- Carol K, St Charles, IL, 18/11/2010 21:59 My son is incredibly bright, in grade school he had trouble with his focus. His 1st grade teacher was incredible, she truly "got" how to work with kids like my son. She allowed him to double or tripple task, like get up and walk around, do math while listening and contributing to english lessons, etc. If she could've been his teacher all the way through school we'd have never put him on drugs. Some teachers wouldn't allow him to work at his level because he wouldn't pay attention during some of the regular work. Example in 2nd grade reading with 95 comprehension at 7th & 8th grade levels. So his 3rd grade teacher wouldn't allow him to read anything above a 3rd grade level because he wouldn't pay attention during reading. When I tried to suggest to the teacher that he might be bored out of his mind it fell on deaf ears. Anyway, his 4th grade was tough, teachers were frustrated as all teachers, except his 3rd grade teacher,felt he was talented and gifted so it was doubly frustrating for them that his lack of focus was so pronounced. He spent most of his 2nd through 4th grade life doing his school work at home at night with me sitting beside him helping him stay focused. 5th grade we broke down and tried drugs. They did help him focus during school and get more of his work done during class (and more quickly for homework). He hated it saying it took away his imagination. He was never officially diagnosed with ADD (isn't hyper), but doc said well if it's helping.Regrets? Many!
-James Paicopolos, Dartmouth,MA USA, 14/10/2013 At age 5, my son was the youngest first grader in the district at at his School . His first grade teacher felt that he was very immature for his age, even though he was reading and doing math far above his classmates. She wanted to have him repeat the first grade. He was in second grade, when the principal and school counselor told my ex-wife to take him to the Psychologist because the teacher felt he had ADHD. The Psychologist conducted a neuro-psychological evaluation and promptly diagnosed my son with severe ADHD. It became a matter of life and death that he be put on the ADHD medication. I refused to have my son medicated and with a broken hand in a sling, I went to see his neruo-pyschologist, to obtain his psychological report on my son and he promptly called the GAL saying that I was harrassing him, to insure my son was put on the ADHD meds. I lost my legal custody and I was ordered by the court to medicate my son on his visitation under the threat of losing visitation. My was already very thin and he lost 20 percent of his body weight falling into the minus first percentile, along with developing tachycardia. While he was on his visitation, with me, I got a consult from a cardiologist and I took him to another pediatrician which was illegal because I had lost legal custody in court. A was report was written to his pediatrician, who promptly took my son off Adderall XR. My ex-wife and the GAL promptly filed motion for contempt of the court order. The judge sanctioned me by ordering that I bring my future concerns before the court, but granted me temporary legal custody, as I had acted in the best interest of my son. After my son was taken off his ADHD meds, his grades in school improved dramatically as well as his behavior. He made the honor roll for the first time. Presently, he is now attending the University of New Hampshire, and will attend UMASS- Dartmouth this comming school year. He has been off his ADHD meds for almost 10 years. He was found to gifted in the second grade and he was outspoken in his second grade class. For talking out and not staying in his seat, he was drugged with the ADHD drug Adderall XR. In addition to what I have already told you, he began to act psychotic, stayed up all hours of the night and got rashes all over his body. It was a nightmare that I had to live with, knowing that the drug was hurting my son and I was court ordered not to interfere with his treatment. I founded NELDC.org so that other children would have to go through what my son did, at the hands of an incompetent Psychologist, who still is in practice to this very day. Today I provide Independent Education Evaluations, here in Massachusetts. I do not turn down anyone because they cannot pay. We only evaluate school age students, pertaining to school related issues.
- T. Armstrong, Salem, USA, 17/10/2010 18:40
Go to google, yahoo search or any other search engine. Try the National Institute of Drug Abuse website NIDA.com and search about the horror stories about what Ritalin can really do. You will find all kinds of crazy but true stories. If I am able to at some point, I will get an MRI and post the results online. If what the reports say are true, and based on what I have typed here on this website about my symptoms, then you will all see I am not a liar. Good luck to anyone else suffering needlessly like myself. I truly hope ther best for you, and feel for you. I pray everyday for a miracle or an answer!!!
- Brian, Rice, USA, 10/05/2010 02:10
I was put on Ritalin as a child. I had been to the school therapist many times for different learning tests and I knew that it was odd that I was being taken out of class while others were kept in class to go and take special tests. Before that I was held back a grade. My first year in grade school I was held back which made me hyper-aware of all social differences between me and the other children. My parents took me to psychologists outside of school to run more tests and it was suggested that I might have Attention Deficit Disorder. This is when I was put on Ritalin. Being on Ritalin was at first funny, but slowly became a constantly uncomfortable feeling. I am writing this because I hope that any parents out there that are debating the use of drugs for a learning difference will choose not to. Over time my anxiety increased and I would find myself having slight hallucinations of anxiety in classes. I became very self aware and started having panic attacks daily in school. I didn't know what was wrong with me, and because I was always dealing with being medicated it made all of the other issues that arose as a result, seem even harder to deal with. I didn't have myself to rely on. While I was just starting to understand who I was, I was being erased by this medication and forced to learn how to function on drugs. On Ritalin, life became an experiment of who I was on some drug and there was no clarity. Who I was before was a fog. I still have panic attacks in my 30s.
- David Foster, New York US, 24/02/2010 04:46
I have 3 children, 1 son who is 8 and 2 daughters 4 and 3 .My son who is 8 is extremely hyperactive , My husband and I are good people, My son has had more attention than ever from us and also his grandparents, At Preschool at only 3 years of age we were called in every other day about his behavior . He started Kindergarten and we called in regarding his behavior in the first week, My husband and I continually fought over him as we were literally at the end of our tether. In Year 2 , the Principal of his then school had a councillor talk to Ethan and myself and my husband, we filled out forms so that they could do a test , It came back that he was ADHD.
My husband and myself did not believe in that label and said that there is in way we are going to put our then son on medication. We then took him out of that school as he was always in trouble , had no friends and we thought he woulod be better off in a PRIVATE SCHOOL.
We met with the Principal of this new school and he said he would accept Ethan on a trial basis.
Only 2 weeks into this new school, we were called up to the office and spoke to his teacher who said Ethan was so distractible , Disruptive and was unable to concentrate - We knew all this so well.
I don't have a child diagnosed with ADHD but I do have 2 boys and as most parents will know, children have their own personalities and often go through phases or long periods where their behaviour is difficult. Parents, being human, cannot always deal with the difficulties well, it may be that their circumstances are part of the problem. Ups and downs are part of life, some children need a different approach to help them get through difficulties and parents need support and guidance. Parents and children need chances to develop better coping strategies, sometimes they just need a break and the child needs one to one attention from a caring person who can steer the child to positive thoughts and activities. Professionals have a role but as Aristotle suggested long ago, an over excited child needs plenty of physical exercise, plenty of fish and less meat. This would be a good starting point rather than Ritalin.
When I was younger at age 9, I was prescribed ritalin, I don't know the dose I took at the time. I felt that it made me feel tired, robotic and in a type of deep daze daydreams. It did not help me in concentrating very much, I could not work out or understand maths subjects, or understand some stories from books, for a time I stopped taking them, other times I felt I should take them. I felt Isolated in classes falling behind and not getting good grades. I'm not sure how long I took them for but it was over a year. I had less friends than most, since I felt like there was something wrong with me. I didn't know why I was different, I could not understand why I felt down, at times and other times, my mood changed. Felt enticed to daydream when people were talking to me. I did not have a great attention span for long periods, or I had to read some sentences twice to understand it. At a time when I stopped taking ritalin, I would sometimes act in a hyperactive manner, found it a lot hard to concentrate with what I was doing. I felt I wanted to commit suicide when I was a teenager, without any skills to motivate me in learning new skills, suffered because I had a problem with being put behind from the rest of the class at college. So in turn left, with no skills and am finding it hard to find jobs now at 32 years of age. I suffer from bouts of depression and have been on antidepressants as I have changing moods, but don't always take them as I worry it will make me worse..