How do you deal with an ADHD child?

My 8-year old son is taking Ritalin for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) . He's been taking it for almost 2 months now and recently I notice some changes in him. The most major problem is that he never eats breakfast anymore and his lunch is always untouched at school... He eats one full meal a day, that is, dinner. On weekends, he is off his medication, yet I still have a hard time making him eat his breakfast, lunch and/or dinner even if its his favorite food. This is one of the side effect of taking Ritalin.

On the other hand, putting him on medication has improved his listening skills and attention span in school, he often finishes his school work on time now. His grade has improved a lot too (no more NIs in his report card). And he NEVER gets in trouble anymore. I was able to witness how this medicine works on my son's concentration and attentiveness. It's like a miracle drug.

At home, he is becoming unmanageable... he never listen to me nor to his dad anymore. Taking away his fave toys doesn't help too nor does "time outs". Getting dressed up in the morning is also a problem every now and then.

I'm thinking of taking him off his medication especially after reading an article about a child who died from the long-term use of Ritalin. This would mean that his education will definitely suffer.

Ritalin is a widely "abused" drugs in North America. It is given to school age kids, with or without ADHD (sad to say). But for my son, he really needs this stimulant to help him focus.

It's so hard to choose between the health OR the education of a child. Both are equally as important in building a bright future!


manuscrypts said...

very true... coz there's always a price to pay for the cure too..

Junnie said...

we just pray it doesnt cause anything more than the slight traces of side effect. but yes, you can take him off medication and balance it with disciplining. kaya mo yan Jo!

JO said...

I talked to the school principal today whose son is taking Ritalin for the past 8 years, she said that her son have no health problems... Anyway, my husband and I decided to keep him on medication until the end of the school year...

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Jo. I read the poem and it led me to this post. My 3-yr old son is hyper and I have intentions of bringing him to the devt. psychologist for some tests. I have read articles about ADHD and he seems to be exhibiting signs. I've never written about this concern on my blog. I just couldn't seem to write about my worries. I find it easier to write about happy things rather than worrisome posts. I must admit that Yohan's hyperactivity can really be stressful. I've never shared this on my blog before, but it somehow depletes me of energy and makes me quite irritable. The poem just struck something inside of me and made me a little teary eyed. I love my son but sometimes he could be such a handful. I guess you'll be surprised when you read this 'coz I've never mentioned anything about this on my blog. Just felt good sharing this with you.


JO said...

Hi Rach,
Kids with ADHD needs a daily routine to follow... they get disorganized without routine... and kids with ADHD cannot multi task! Hope Yohan doesn't turn out to be ADHD and what you see is just typical of a 3 year old.