Sunday, September 29, 2013

To Medicate or Not to Medicate

We finally got our diagnosis from Children's Hospital and no surprise, it was ADHD. The doctor also noted that Christopher seems to have trouble identifying letters and is well below Kindergarten level there so she's concerned that there's dyslexia as well.

I agree with the ADHD but not so much with the dyslexia. Christopher's been learning some things more slowly than other kids his age--potty training was a challenge for example. And I'm still battling with him to use a fork at the dinner table. So I think it's a learning delay, as opposed to dyslexia.

I've seen his school work and he seems to get a lot of "happy faces". He is writing and the letters look normal (for a 5 year old that is). Plus he loves school and doesn't appear to be frustrated at all. So I think maybe he just needs a little extra attention for reading and writing. I will ask the school to provide testing though and we'll get to the bottom of that.

However I totally agree with the ADHD diagnosis. Plus, I'd also throw in SPD and ODD for good measure as well. The doctor gave us a prescription for Metadate CD and suggested I try that out with Christopher. A low dosage to start: just 10 mg per day.

I did some research on ADHD medications and there are definite side effects which scared the bejesus out of me. I'm like I'm supposed to do this to my child??? No way!

Then I started asking around and I joined an ADHD parents' group on Facebook and learned that there are a lot of parents going through what I'm going through now. And everyone says that the medication is fine. I liked how they said if it doesn't work out for your child, you could just stop. Truth told, I hadn't thought about that--I felt like once we started I was locked in--so I appreciated that as an option.

I looked into holistic options as well (since I realized diet makes a huge difference, why not consider herbal supplements?) But the thing about herbal supplements is that nothing is regulated by the FDA and these supplements could have some strong components to them as well. I went onto the site and looked up Brightspark, for example because I had heard about that as an option. I started reading the reviews and saw that one woman reported that her child was experiencing something called Micropsia, and it was because a form of Arsenic is one of the top ingredients and it was affecting her daughter's brain chemistry. I'm sorry but...Arsenic??? In a children's medicine???

I just don't know how I feel about going to the Internet and buying powerful psychotropic supplements that are not regulated by the FDA and that are being administered to young children. Do we have any idea their safety protocols? Do we understand how they will affect little kids? And are they really putting Arsenic in them??

Long story short, I decided to start Christopher today on the Metadate and we'll see how it goes. He mentioned today while we were at the dog park that he was super thirsty but aside from that, so far so good. No negative side affects. Yet. I did notice that he played with his friend Salvi for an entire hour without shoving him as well, so that's equally good. Hopefully this was the right decision for us. I guess we'll see.

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