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angela kovacevic December 9th, 2004 01:06 PM

Medicating children with ADD
In my Clinical Psychology class we have been discussing the topic of medicating children with ADD. I don't agree that children should be medicated at such a young age for this disorder. I believe medication is overused and it is harmful to children. What are your opinions on this subject? Should children be medicated so frequently? Is this just a method to get children to clam down in classrooms so teachers don't have to deal with them? :confused:

Da Friendly Puter Tech December 9th, 2004 11:24 PM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
IMNSHO I think both is true. Medication is way overused for children, I think teachers sometimes are too quick to recommend meds to kids who does not need it AND I think that some kids has ADD and meds help them tremendously.

I also think that meds for add should not readily be prescribed by a family practitioner but preferably by a psychiatrist who can manage the meds long term. Finally, I think kids who get those meds should receive therapy and training in how to handle their disorder.

Da Friendly Puter Tech

Beverly Snodgrass December 22nd, 2004 12:41 PM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
I am a pcyhotherapist and have seen many instances where children arent able to pay attention in class, are highly distractable, and cant retain information. Often this leads to low grades, poor peer relationships and as a result low self esteem. If this is the case I think medications should be considered. It often is a combination of factors that lead to these behaviors and they certainly should be addressed as well. But the reality is that classrooms are overcrowded, and some families have poor parenting. Sometimes the fact that a kid has to take a medication is low on the list of their problems.

Head Shrinker, MD March 11th, 2005 11:32 PM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
I think anyone who dosen't believe in medicating ADHD hasn't spent enough time with hyperactive children.

Stuart Moore April 12th, 2005 03:46 PM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
Angela, it's one thing to have an opinion, it's another thing to at least look at the research. If you are interested in this topic (and I think it's a good debate), you should at the very least read John Ratey and Ed Hallowin's work (Driven to Distraction, Answers to Distraction, Delivered from Distraction). In one of these works, they point out an interesting data bit, that the kids with ADD who are properly medicated are at much less risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

angelwbratmix August 12th, 2005 01:05 PM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
When it comes to this subject I personally have very strong opinions. My adult son suffered greatly from ADHD and from a young age fell behind in his studies, his lack of social skills caused no end of problems. By grade two it was decided to put him on meds which I have to say did make a tremendous difference. However my concern is this they had a long history with him he had anoxic brain injury from birth. They were very quick to label him rather than take the time to assess more closely. He is one of the many children who slipthrough our systems cracks.
To make a long story short he recently had surgery for a brain tumour that was later discovered to have developed in the first two yrs of life. This particular tumor caused bizaare behaviours where my son blacked out and did or said strange things. (they assumed it was the ADD) Rather than look closer or listen to experts (parent/child) the professionals refused the requested cat scan linking it to his ADD history.
A year later I almost lost my son as he blacked out while driving and went head on into a transport truck. Luckily no one was hurt and because these professionals didnt have a history to go on they did the cat scan immediately followed by emergency surgery.
So I guess in saying all this I feel that meds can be valuable but I believe that there should be a cat scan done at least once during their developmental yrs. Assessment needs to be a team effort and the individuals involved need to be listened to far more closely.
I personally would love to see a law enacted that stated any child with any form of brain injury must have a cat scan. As ADHD is a frontal lobe brain injury I have to wonder how many children would then be placed on meds.
I think the numbers would drop dramatically.

JustBen August 27th, 2005 12:01 AM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
Interesting topic, and it tends to get people fired up. I know a few elementary/middle school teachers, and they freely admit that the medication is getting out of hand. Typically, a teacher will "diagnose" a student as ADHD and pressure the parents to get the meds. The parents go to either their family doc or a either case, the "evaluation" is usually pretty meager and the scrip is written with a minimum of fuss. I have no doubt that the medications have worked wonders for many kids, but I also have no doubt that there are countless thousands on stimulants right now whose only "illness" is being a boy.

I've read some compelling research that indicates this is genetic...then again, I've also read that it seems far more prevalant in children raised by single parents. (Interactionist maybe?) Back in March, Head Shrinker, MD said, "I think anyone who dosen't believe in medicating ADHD hasn't spent enough time with hyperactive children." Well, I've spent a lot of time with hyperactive kids, and strangely enough, the more time I spend with them, the less hyperactive they tend to be. I think a lot of these kids have normal problems, but the teachers don't have the time, resources, or authority to work with them effectively, the parents either don't have the time (or won't make it) and getting an MD to write up a scrip for stimulants is just less of a hassle for everyone involved. (Not true for everyone, of course, but a lot of cases seem to fit the bill.)

grayt67204 October 19th, 2006 10:34 AM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
I agree. I have an 8 year old with ADHD and an 2 1/2 year old whom we think may have it. My 8 year old is on medicine and I think it was a good thing my husband and I did. He is doing really well in school. I think all children with ADHD shoud be medicated for their wellbeing. It will give them a better chance at life and being who they want to be. ;)

alexandra_k October 28th, 2006 05:48 AM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
I think that ADHD isn't a natural kind.

If you take a bunch of people with a dx of ADHD then some of them benefit from medication and they probably wouldn't benefit as much from other interventions.
If you take another bunch of people with a dx of ADHD then some of them benefit from alterations in diet so that they aren't eating such high amounts of additives and preservatives and sugars and they probably wouldn't benefit as much from other interventions.
If you take another bunch of people with a dx of ADHD then some of them benefit from alterations from their environment so they aren't being sexually, emotionally, and or physically abused at home anymore and they probably wouldn't benefit as much from other interventions.

Whether a kid meets DSM criteria for ADHD or not depends on their meeting behavioural criteria. The DSM doesn't say anything about WHY they meet criteria.

I imagine most kids would benefit from a combination of interventions. Parents (and teachers) could benefit from learning techniques to manage their behaviours so they aren't so disruptive. Parents could benefit from learning about the role of certain kinds of foods (though the availability of healthy foods might be problematic for some parents). Medication might benefit...

The studies that have been done on the medications are controversial.

There is some evidence that some children's behaviour settles down considerably with medication, yes.
There is some evidence that some children might have long term problems (neuroglogical and / or psychiatric) possibly... induced by the medications.


For that reason...

I would take medication to be the last resort while being fully prepared to admit that some children seem to find considerable benefit to it.

dyostmft March 3rd, 2007 10:39 AM

Re: Medicating children with ADD
The interesting thing about all of this discussion about meds for ADD children is that fact that no one is talking about the long term effects of taking these meds. From the research that I have seen, the truth of the matter is that we do not fully know what the long term effects of taking these meds are going to be do. If we don't know these effects, how do we know that these children will not be worse off 20, 30, or 40 years later? I don't know about what is best, but I do agree with what some else said...meds should be the very last option, after all other options have been ruled out.

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