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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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In Kentucky, where I teach, we are like Massachusetts, we CANNOT even mention the need of drugs for a student. As for the diagnosis of ADD, I do not feel I am qualified to diagnosis anything. However, can I tell a big difference between a child who can focus and one who cannot? Can I observe a child who cannot focus long enough to copy down a few sentences from the board? Can I see the child who is squirming so bad, it looks like he wants to crawl out of his own skin? You bet I can. Are all of these things a symptom of ADD, yes they are. They could be other things too, so that is why the doctor has to make the diagnosis. And as the doctor's diagnosis goes, my son's doctor told me that there isn't any foolproof way of correctly diagnosing this disease. He said, the best we could do is to try Adderall, and see if it makes a difference. If we try it and it doesn't, then we can try something else. That was the attitude we took going into this. When his teachers reported a remarkable change, then I felt we had made the right decision. We could see the difference at home too. But you are correct in that the medication alone is not the answer. You have to work closely with the teachers to get other modifications, ones that I, as a teacher, are happy to do for my kids. It does break my heart though, to see the ones that I personally think would benefit from the medicine, who struggle and are a grade level or two behind the others because school is just too hard for them. And it isn't going to get any better. The latest research says that ADD children who were treated with medicine are much less likely to become drug or alcohol users in their teen and later years. It is the opposite for the ADD children who didn't receive medicine. The theory is they are trying to medicate themselves with alcohol or other drugs. I am not saying all ADD children will end up as junkies if they aren't medicated, but the research is showing that the reverse definitely isn't happening. Something to think about.

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