These are great kids who have focus and attention issues. Often there is a learning disability accompanying the ADD, and medication is usually the only assist along with individual support in the classroom and at home. More often these are bright children who need organizational skills and most all will have a great future.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
My son was diagnosed in middle school with being mildly ADD. We did try medication but for him it was not a good choice. The medication made him more anxious and sick to his stomach. And yes, we tried different kinds! We then went to behavior modification which started off as a big struggle, but believe it or not, as a senior in high school he still is using the same techniques! Kids are not destined to fail in school if they are ADD/ADHD, they just need support to achieve. He does struggle with certain classes, especially at exam time, but if he wants, he can take his exam in another room away from everyone else. What we have found however, if he does well throughout the semester with his actual schoolwork in a class, then that ends up outweighing the trouble he has on exams. I know that sounds weird, but as long as he is understanding, which he does, he is learning. As long as his teachers know that he is ADD and not medicated, they are willing to work with him when he has trouble. Right now he has a friend who is tutoring him and helping him stay on track. This was his choice and it is working out well.
My son uses his assignment notebook without fail and has done this now for 6 years. He also has color coordinated folders and notebooks for each class. He keeps all his papers organized in his folders and his books are right with them. These are all of his ideas that are working for him. Between his 7th and 8th grade years he was tested for learning disabilities. We already knew about his ADD but for some reason he was not retaining information. What we found out is that he is extremely intelligent and probably has a high I.Q., and it was decided it was the ADD that was causing the problems. Once he went to the modifications, and all his teachers knew, everything improved.
So, kids do always need medication, some do but many don't. Just trying different things to help can work also. It did for us and my son will graduate from high school on May 20th, 2011!