Your Questions About Adhd Medications For Kids

Joseph asks…

Who has a child that has ADHD, what are there symptoms, reactions, actions, and how do you deal with it?

My six year-old has ADHD and a speech disability. But she is smart as a tack. She is on Concerta medication. She can talk morbid and say things that I am not sure happened or not. Is this normal for ADHD kids?

barry jennings answers:

My oldest is severly ADHD. I am kind of crunchy when it comes to medications but this is what he was like and what I did.
1. Motor mouth can NEVER stop talking!!! Lacks the ability o complete task if not given step by step instructions BUT you can’t give him more then 3 instructions at a time. It is getting better as he gets older but still hard. Lacks concentration. Incredibily intelligent. Ability to understand concepts WAY out side of the picture and his age level.

2. Research the feingold diet. They are finding that MANY kids dx with ADHD have food allergies to dyes and preservatives which antagonize the condition. I cut all red & blue dies out of his diet completely. Hard at first to shop, but once you get the hang of it, you will be good to go.

3. Try behavioral modifications and redirection.

4. We finally went to concerta as well but keeping the diet restrictions and behavioral modifications to keep him on the lowest dose possible. Started out at 18 mg, went to 36mg, then 54mg the 54 mg had bad side effects like never sleeping, grumpy, mordib thoughts, etc. So we took him back down to 36 mg. Try adjusting the dose.

5. Hang in there. I know it is VERY difficult to deal with and sometimes you jsut want to SHAKE them!!! It can get really frustrating! Just remember it is like getting mad at a kid b/c they are not growing fast enough. It is something that is out of their control to have.

6. Dr. Dobson has some good books out too!


Maria asks…

Do you think ADD and ADHD actually exist?

I was just diagnosed with ADHD, but I’m not sure if I actually have it. I’m thinking all these symptoms I’m having might be because of my asperger’s sydrome. No doubt it affects people, and sometimes the drugs they use help, but psychiatrists seem to just hand out diagnoses to people left and right without really doing any sort of sound testing to see if it’s really a neurological problem and not something else. And now we have millions of kids on medications for it and we don’t know why.

barry jennings answers:

ADHD absolutely does exist. The body of evidence attesting to this fact extends back more than a century and includes rigorous scientific testing, all of which indicates that the ADHD brain really does function abnormally. Almost anyone with ADHD (including myself) will tell you how real it is and how vastly treatment has improved their lives.

That said, I think it probably is overdiagnosed. Many people – especially little children – are occasionally overactive, inattentive, or forgetful. In addition, today’s society can produce a sort of culturally-induced “pseudo-ADHD.” We’re so used to constant stimuli that we get very bored without it and cannot tolerate anything less than instant-gratification. This, however, is different from true ADHD, and I urge you to do some research on what constitutes an actual biological attention disorder. A very thorough well-respected book on this topic is “Drive to Distraction,” which should be available at just about any public library anywhere.

At the end of the day, ADHD symptoms are almost entirely a matter of degree. Some people are not bothered enough by ADHD to need treatment. Some do perfectly well with just psychotherapy and loads of encouragement. Some, however, only respond well to a combination of therapy and medication. And let’s be clear about this: when the medication works, it works VERY well. The first time I took Concerta, I felt as if I had suddenly come back down to Earth after living alone on an alien planet for more than two decades. It was the single most astouding experience of my life. Even now, I get a bit emotional just talking about it.

Contrary to popular belief, ADHD medications like Ritalin don’t make you act drugged-up, sedated, boring, or lobotomized. If anything, Ritalin has enabled me to be myself and pursue my interests and personal relationships far beyond what I could manage before I got treatment. I remain a very vibrant, energetic, and cheerful person.

The most important thing is your own happiness. Are you satisfied with your current level of mental/social function? If not, do you think it’s at all possible that ADHD treatment could improve it? You really have nothing to lose, and no one will force you to continue treatment if you really believe it isn’t helping or that a false diagnosis has been made.

Good luck!

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