Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Change for Life

My sister has two sons, one is seven years old and the other is two. Both have/had speech delays and her older son has problems paying attention. He has trouble concentrating in school, finishing his work, and following through with tasks. We have suggested taking him to her pediatrician, letting him be evaluated, to get him tested but since she has problems with following through with things and being organized it never got done.

Recently she moved and now my nephew goes to a new school district, a better one. They want to have him evaluated to make sure he is in the right classes, etc and they also send him to a medical doctor for evaluation, which I think is amazing. I think there are two roads he is going to travel down, either we try and intervene and give him the help he needs now, or he will be medicated for ADD for a long time. I know ADD medications are terrific, and help a lot of people, I probably know more about this types of medications then the average person, because E worked with these types of medications. Medicating kids in my opinion is a last resort.

I have offered to help her research and organize a new diet plan for their home. My nephews and my sister and her husband will no longer be allowed to eat just anything. No sugar, no red dye in foods, various supplements, a hard task to accomplish. It will take an overhaul of how she shops, eats, cooks, and is more effort then she is used to putting in. I asked her to give him 2-3 weeks on this new "diet" and see how he does both at home and at school.

I want to know if anyone has an experiences with this to share with me. What do you think about medicating children?


  1. You might want to check out Jenny McCarthy's book as I know she went to a strict diet with her sign when she found out he was autistic. She believes that and therapy made a huge difference especially since now her son appears to be quite on track developmentally, which is great considering her doctor originally told her her son would never call her Mom.

  2. This is a touchy subject for me. When my son was diagnosed with a developmental disability which ADD was a symptom of, we resisted medication for many reasons. We read all the books, put him on Neuromins, gave him flax seed oil, fed him all kinds of fatty acids, limited the preservatives, processed foods, sugar and artificial dyes and it just didn't change his situation. We did this for over a year and gave it our all. I can rest knowing we tried everything we could. There are the die hards out there who say no medication but I ask them, if your child were diabetic would you medicate them? If your child has a fever do you medicate them? There are some instances that require a medical intervention.

    While I personally believe that drs. are overdiagnosing certain LD's, etc. there are children who absolutely need to be medicated. I really believe it's a personal choice each family has to make.

  3. dd, I forgot about her book, thanks for reminding me!

    bibi, that is what I think also, Children are being over medicated but I think my nephew deserves the chance to see if we can help him without medication, after that we will know we did all we could.

  4. I think kids are overmedicated as well. We went for six years with the diet thing (like bibi) before deciding to try meds. And even then, I wanted to be sure that I was going to medicate him to help him...and not just to make my life easier.

    So, we went and after 5 meetings with the psychiatrist, he got some medication. Lowest available dosage and it's worked wonderfully. He's gone from a D student to straight A's. He still gets awfully, awfully angry at times...but they're more flashes of anger. No where near the tantrums that would lead to violence which would require me to hold him down (which I was doing 3 or 4 times a week). The longest I've had to restrain him while was 3 and a half hours.

    I know that as h gets older, his dosages will have to increase. But the last thing I want is a kid who takes a pill, and then has to take another to counter a side effect, and then another to counter a new side effect, and then another and so on.

  5. Kristi2:51 PM

    I'm with bibi on this. My story is almost exactly the same. To top it off, my son HATED the meds and though each summer he went without and each and every school year we gave him the chance to prove he didn't need them, he ultimately did. Still does, but won't use them (he's now 20). My kids are both very tall (6'3) and skinny (about 165lbs) so his football coaches in highschool hated for him to take his meds because he wouldn't be able to eat all day, but then his teachers couldn't stand him in class. No win situation.

    When my son was tested in 1st grade, I fought it and the ped, a child study center and then a child psychologist all confirmed the diagnosis, so I was someone more open to it. THey also said I was OFF THE CHARTS for ADD myself. I was shocked, my parents weren't.

  6. My dd is autistic. She is not on medications. I think that there are certain situations that require it, but only after you've exhausted other possibilities. I think medication is used too often as a "band-aid" for children's disorders. I'm not saying it shouldn't be used at all, but sometimes it's really not needed. Does that make sense?

  7. I'm not going to be of any help. But I do wish you all the best.

    (PS. Happy Delurking Day! )

  8. Heya,
    My son was diagnosed with a mild case of ADD.
    We put him on meds for 2 years with some diet changes. In his last yearof meds we took him to a place called learning rx.After going thru that program changing meds ,he improved greatly.He is now off the meds and on a regular diet.I think a combination of all things and aging improved his life soo much.
    Children are worth every bit of the effort.Being a parent is so hard and I hope all will be well.


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