I have posted about meds many, many times and will do so again. No, I don't hold stock in any pharmaceutical company, but I learned the hard way about "Western Medicine".
What one parent thinks about "medical management", a euphemism I use frequently to describe DRUGS, or their experience with a specific medication or doctor may or may not be reliable information. If you have good doctors and they are saying things or you are reporting things that they believe would be benefited from medication, the ONLY way to determine if they are right is to try the meds.
Many parents decline meds for their OWN issues. I did. When my son's doctor first recommended drugs for my son, IN KINDERGARTEN, I was sure that this was just a grand conspiracy, fueled by BIG PHARMA, to sell drugs. When teachers recommend drugs, I was of the belief (then) that this was just their laziness to want to work with a child that was more active than another. I was adamantly opposed to drugs and said no.
Six months later I went back and asked the doctor this question: "What was it you wanted me to hear about medical management that I did not want to listen to 6 months ago". She laughed, we had the discussion and I put my son on drugs. This was in the days when we didn't have a lot of choices like now so it was a scary path on which I was traveling.
By the end of the first week's trial, I was getting notes from his teachers about the amazing day he had, the burst of language he was using, etc. etc. etc. I cried from my guilt. I have never looked back
Yes, my son is one of those who really needs meds. At the ripe old age of 19, he is more than capable of telling me what he feels on or off drugs, which ones make a difference, etc. We have made changes in his regimen over the years as he grew, as he progressed (the better he got, the more anxiety he had about the things he could still not do), etc. But, we found a doctor we trusted, followed her recommendation, and move forward.
Now for a few words of motherly wisdom. If you do decide to try any medication, it is generally best to try one at a time so that you have some base to know its impact. If you start two at once, there is no way to know which one is working or whether you need both.
Second, DO NOT tell your child's teachers you are starting meds. If they know, they start looking for things and reporting them. Tell them NOTHING. Talk to your doctor about the time table for anticipated changes. Some drugs take 3-4 weeks because they have to build up in your system. Most ADHD drugs should respond very quickly. If you should expect a response in a week and have heard nothing from teachers, then ask this on the Friday of the first week (we started the drugs on Saturday so that we had two days to see before we sent him to school and then gave them a week to report to us): "Have you seen any changes this week at school? We were trying a few new things at home and wondered if you saw any changes". Be vague. If they say nothing different, say - Okay, well keep your eye out and if you see anything next week, let me know. If they want to know what you started, just say, "that's classified information" and laugh as if you were guarding some top secret protocol.
If at the end of the second week, they still have said nothing go in on Friday and say: "Did you see anything new this week?" If they say no - then say: "Okay I'll tell his doctor because what we started was ADHD meds and if you are seeing nothing, well, then we need to go back to square one". If the teacher was playing coy because he or she thought you were doing some crack-pot biomedical intervention you read about on the internet (that is what they all think we do), and they really did see some changes, they will immediately come clean. If there was nothing, they will express their frustration (as they all think drugs are the panacea for all active kids) and you can move forward.
Then call your doc and tell him or her. Sometimes if your doctor first prescribed a non-stimulant medication (e.g. Strattera), he or she may recommend one of the more traditional stimulant drugs (e.g. Metadate, Concerta, Vyvanse, Adderal) for a trial. Ask the doctor for a free month trial (most drug companies will give you a trial). Keep good track of any changes along the way. There are side effects that some children have and your doctor will want to know.
If you start a second medication, then repeat the above. Again, you don't want to tell the teachers what you are doing directly. If after a week, they have not said anything to you, do the surreptitious questioning and see what you get. If there are big changes, they will tell you.
Just my two cents as someone who HATES drugs, resisted drugs and was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
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