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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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I'm just wondering how many in here have young children that have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and are on medication for it? My son was diagnosed a couple months before his 9th birthday, and is on Ritalin now, and I think (most days) it does make a difference. He's more manageable, and his marks went up a full letter since then. We always knew he was bright, but alot of time he just couldn't prove it on paper because he would get too distracted watching the other kids or just playing with his pencil or whatever. Now, I think at 8, it's a good time to know what's going on. I'm just a bit worried with the younger children though...especially before 7-8 years can they claim to know if they're ADD/ADHD anyway? My son was always a hyper kid. My rule of thumb from then still stands. Any kid younger than 10-12 that ISN'T hyper to some degree...then I would wonder that something's wrong. And the idea of medicating them at such a young age when you don't know how they'll react...that scares me a bit. I don't know, I guess I've been lucky with my son. He was put on Ritalin, and has had no side effects except for a slight decrease in appetite. Nothing drastic. He did lose 5-10lbs the first while, but at the same time, he needed to lose a bit anyway, so...all worked for the good. Plus, I guess because it's been a year now, the last few months I've been a bit lax about giving him his meds on weekends and such. This weekend I gave him his meds like he was supposed to have though, and I've got to tell you, he was alot more agreeable to listening to what I said the first time I said it, which really is a switch for him.
Anyway...I'm just curious to hear from parents with 4-5-6-7 yr olds that are on medication, and what thier opinions are :)
First of all with competent testing you can help get a good diagnosis of ADD at a much earlier age. My son wasn't diagnosed until he was in the third grade and I only wish someone had caught the signs of ADD sooner so I could have taken him for testing that many years sooner so he could have gotten more of the help he needs. Would I have put him on meds back in first grade?? Seeing his test results in black and white I would have definately given it a shot at that age. What tests did they give your son to come up with his diagnosis of ADD? Without proper testing I am not convinced that all cases are ADD as I also had my daughter tested for ADD and she is negative for ADD but has ADD tendencies which is a whole nother story. She is going to get some help for her reading again and writing next year but even now they still want to say she has ADD at school and I have point blank told them that she does not and am willing to show them the written report from the doc that evaluates the test results. I truely think our children need all the help they can get whenever they need it and with whatever is needed. So long as the proper testing is done I see nothing wrong with using medication on a first grader if it will help him in the long run. Yes there are tons of pro's and cons but I don't feel age should be a factor as much as proper testing with a clear cut diagnosis. Obviously a preschooler or even kindergartener would not need medication if they have simply ADD. These are of course only my opinions and I am sure many others will come on and chop the heck out of all of us that have used medication for our children.

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