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Katama
Katama asks:
Q:

Looking for feedback, my child has been diagnosed with ADD and I don't what to medicate. Is there  success in another approach?

I have a 9 year old child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD. I have been told that medication will help with his concentration in school. I don't believe in medication. Looking for advise from parents who feel the same. Or, if you tried medication and how has it helped or not helped.
In Topics: ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Feb 5, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Katama:

Typically no, there is not.  While intense behavioral training is part of the team approach to dyslexia and ADD at school, without medication to help the chemistry of the brain to focus, little is achieved.  Having said that, many parents would disagree.  I would argue that many of those children were also misdiagnosed and many parents become the "personal assistant" to the child and therefore, the chief organizer of their lives.  the purpose of medication is to balance both worlds and allow the child time to learn those organization or executive skills themselves.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatricsWayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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Additional Answers (7)

SeraGage
SeraGage writes:
JMO- I would be more concerned with the dyslexia than the ADD....altho they both deal with concentration issues, the dyslexia could be linked to the way your child actually processes information, which could lead to his lack of motivation to concentrate ie. frustration when he "just doesn't get it".  I'm just thinking out loud here...but it could be a ripple effect...When he doesn't get it & looses concentration, what happens next?  My son, who's 7 & nicknamed "Destructo" lovingly by his Grandparents, gets totally off subject & 'someone' needs to know how to bring him back to center without upsetting him more.  {This can be tricky, takes time & patience & works best when consistent w/ teachers & all caregivers}  I read somewhere that medication for children "suffering from" ADD & ADHD has risen 400% in the past decade- Apparently many doctors are using the diagnosis as a 1st call instead of ummm idk.....Maybe CHECKING OUT OTHER OPTIONS that DO NOT REQUIRE putting a CHILD ON A CLASS 1 NARCOTIC!!!!!  Maybe I'm a bit cautious when it comes to putting my child- who hasn't lost all his baby teeth yet, is still growing physically, hasn't mastered the art of Emotion Regulation or started puberty yet- on a medication with known addictive properties....   So basically in another 10 years the drug addiction rate will rise EXPONENTIALLY!!!   WOW- do they give out Dr. degrees in gumball machines nowadays or what????

[ok....sorry- I'm done....I just get a bit excited & tend to turn into the Mother Bear when the subject of protecting kids comes up  :~)  ]

I'm sure in some cases, medication works- I just don't believe it should be the first line of defense.....like i said- Just my Opinion-

Good Luck
> 60 days ago

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lynellen
lynellen writes:
I noted that you said your son was diagnosed with ADD not ADHD.  I am assuming he is a "daydreamer" not hyperactive.  Is he a slow moving person: slow to wake up, slow to process?  Have you checked into sensory issues with him if the above questions were answered "yes".  Lucy Jane Miller's book Sensational Kids has  suggestions for ADD and children with sensory issues.  Please make sure you do address the dyslexia as it has wide ranging affects with academics.  Check out the Neuhaus Education Center's webside for help and information.
> 60 days ago

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lovemybabies11
lovemybabie... writes:
I have 2 boys that have been diagnosed with ADHD and a few other diagnosis. My oldest son was on meds to help him concentrate while at school from 5 yrs old until he was 13 yrs old. Sometimes I thought meds worked and when they did it was always short term less than 6 months. I realize that you have to get that one medication that works. When my son turned 13 and we were told that he would have to be put in a facility they call in patient for 3-5 days just to find what works. Myself and his father disagreed and decided to take him off meds nothing had been working recently and no matter if we switched meds or went up on the doses nothing worked. It was pure hell at my house for 4-5 days but he has been off meds for about 4 months now and everything is fine. We are seeing some defiant behavior but he is 13 and with consistancy things are working out great. While the schools or teachers seem to try and be the Dr's most of the time putting in what they think just remember this is your child it is up to you. While they may suggest meds if you are against it they still have to teach your child that is the job they wanted to do. They have to accomidate your child in whatever way it takes. If the school does not have the resources your child needs then they will let you know and you can choose or they can let you know what other schools do have the resources. Every child is different and all meds work different also. The main thing is the decision is yours not anyone else's. Even if the school says we are taking your child out of regular education and putting them in special education you can refuse that as well. Hope this helps...Good luck to you and your family! ;)
> 60 days ago

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lovemybabies11
lovemybabie... writes:
I have 2 boys that have been diagnosed with ADHD and a few other diagnosis. My oldest son was on meds to help him concentrate while at school from 5 yrs old until he was 13 yrs old. Sometimes I thought meds worked and when they did it was always short term less than 6 months. I realize that you have to get that one medication that works. When my son turned 13 and we were told that he would have to be put in a facility they call in patient for 3-5 days just to find what works. Myself and his father disagreed and decided to take him off meds nothing had been working recently and no matter if we switched meds or went up on the doses nothing worked. It was pure hell at my house for 4-5 days but he has been off meds for about 4 months now and everything is fine. We are seeing some defiant behavior but he is 13 and with consistancy things are working out great. While the schools or teachers seem to try and be the Dr's most of the time putting in what they think just remember this is your child it is up to you. While they may suggest meds if you are against it they still have to teach your child that is the job they wanted to do. They have to accomidate your child in whatever way it takes. If the school does not have the resources your child needs then they will let you know and you can choose or they can let you know what other schools do have the resources. Every child is different and all meds work different also. The main thing is the decision is yours not anyone else's. Even if the school says we are taking your child out of regular education and putting them in special education you can refuse that as well. Hope this helps...Good luck to you and your family! ;)
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
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lovemybabies11
lovemybabie... writes:
I have 2 boys that have been diagnosed with ADHD and a few other diagnosis. My oldest son was on meds to help him concentrate while at school from 5 yrs old until he was 13 yrs old. Sometimes I thought meds worked and when they did it was always short term less than 6 months. I realize that you have to get that one medication that works. When my son turned 13 and we were told that he would have to be put in a facility they call in patient for 3-5 days just to find what works. Myself and his father disagreed and decided to take him off meds nothing had been working recently and no matter if we switched meds or went up on the doses nothing worked. It was pure hell at my house for 4-5 days but he has been off meds for about 4 months now and everything is fine. We are seeing some defiant behavior but he is 13 and with consistancy things are working out great. While the schools or teachers seem to try and be the Dr's most of the time putting in what they think just remember this is your child it is up to you. While they may suggest meds if you are against it they still have to teach your child that is the job they wanted to do. They have to accomidate your child in whatever way it takes. If the school does not have the resources your child needs then they will let you know and you can choose or they can let you know what other schools do have the resources. Every child is different and all meds work different also. The main thing is the decision is yours not anyone else's. Even if the school says we are taking your child out of regular education and putting them in special education you can refuse that as well. Hope this helps...Good luck to you and your family! ;)
> 60 days ago

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LouiseSattler
LouiseSattler , Child Professional writes:
Hello!
As a parent and a psychologist with a now adult soon who was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, I think I may help you by sharing my families' experiences.

The first thing I did was to educate my husband and I about ADHD. We wanted to know many of the more standard options.

We then decided for our son that the best option was to use a multimodal approach.

We first did behavioral charting prior to ANY interventions with the help of an early intervention team from the public school system. We were able to gather this information by a formal request made to the public schools.

Then we consulted with our son's physician and started a trial of medication.  We asked for the lowest dose medically possible.
We then implemented some consistent home and preschool strategies and charted any changes with behavior (good and bad).

We shared the information with the physician and school based team and were able to adjust the programs and the medication accordingly.

We also went and consulted with other parents.  Two phrases that kept coming up and stuck with me are (paraphrase)..."Pills do not replace Skills" with the corollary...."This is a medical disorder with psycho-educational implications."

I hope this helps.
Thanks for writing.

L. Sattler
> 60 days ago

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dev1999
dev1999 writes:
I have Dyslexia and ADHD. I'm a sophomore in high school.
I remember 6 and 7th grade. It sucked, I hated being Dyslexic and I felt that no matter how hard I tried I'd just fail in school, which I did, so I stopped trying. My grades went down from a B to a D, towards the end of 7 grade. I got into music and stared playing the drums. My grades went back up to a B. When Ii stared the drums, for some strange reason, school got easier than it had been. Going into 8th I stared playing the guitar and played blackball and  cheer and my grades went up again, to an A. I feel that just getting interested in some thing can help, it gets your mind off Dyslexia. This past year I had a report I had to do on someone or something that made a difference in my life, so I did on music and how that help me in school and  in life so I stared researching "Dyslexia Drummers"  and I found this story at the link i put below about Pat Gesualdo, you really need to check it out!
> 60 days ago

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