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ADHD & MEDICATION--
A Mom's Perspective


We have a boy (8 years old) who was diagnosed with ADD in May this year. He also happens to be gifted (it was through our pursuing testing for his IQ that we got the ADD diagnosis!).

Following the diagnosis we tried a diet free of yeast and sugar, meditation tapes, physiotherapy and Efalex (capsules containing 3 essential oils which help dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADD sufferers). Initially, there was an improvement in Michael's attention, but this was not maintained and his academic and social skills suffered - not to mention family life. I can fully sympathise with other parents, having had to cope with the emotional demands on a 24 hour basis, basically since birth.

We made the decision to put Michael on medication (dexamphetamine) this term and have seen a remarkable difference in his whole behaviour. The first day back at school he received a quality work award - he received two more this week, and at the end of week one he received a certificate for outstanding achievement in listening and completing work.

We are seeing our little boy being freed up to reach his potential and in the process enjoying life without the frustration of distractions. He has never experienced this peace and contentment in his whole eight years. He is now able to communicate with peers on a more consistent level and is making attempts to play with his friends each day - instead of heading down to the library or wandering around the school by himself. Worksheets are being completed and he is requesting more work to go ahead with unsupervised. Today, at his birthday party I was a very proud parent as I watched my son playing and communicating with his friends at a level I have never seen before.

We too had seen medication as a last resort - BUT - in the end we realized we were not responding to Michael's needs in the best possible way. It was not easy to take that first prescription and have it made up, but I now know it was the right thing to do for Michael. For Michael, there have been no side effects - he is eating well and has the same sleep patterns - and he is so much more aware of himself and the difference Dex has made for him.

I am not advocating that medication is for every child or adult with ADD and ADHD, but I firmly believe it has a place and that the social stigmas attached to medication are grossly misleading and detrimental. A very dear friend of mine (also a nurse) reminded me that if Michael was a diabetic I would not hesitate to give him the medication (insulin) his body needed to deal with his condition, and ADD and ADHD are no different!!

It is very easy to say Chin Up - but ADD and ADHD are physically and emotionally draining and demand a lot more support than a pat on the back. I would recommend seeking out an ADD/ADHD support group in your area that not only you, but your child could join.

Regards,
Erica


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