If you are a parent of a child who has been diagnosed or suspected as having ADHD and you are considering putting them on Ritalin, this post is for you! I have written about ADHD in this blog before, hoping to empower parents to take control over the health and wellbeing of their children and making sure their kids do not become a label. I hope today’s story and video will help you make more informed choices about ADHD and Ritalin.
I have been working in the special education field for 25 years. My amazing mentors and teachers warned me that one day, the inflation in the use of drugs to solve academic or behavioral problems like ADD, ADHD, emotional struggles and even tiredness will be so high that my job would be to stay on guard and offer parents alternatives and hope. I took this job description very seriously, but never in my darkest and most pessimistic dreams have I seen it becoming as big or as scary as this.
I am angry and I want to cry from frustration, because we have lost one more child to a form of organized crime. I am writing this post to recover, to remind myself of my job description, to try and save other children from a horrible fate and to offer hope, only this time I need that hope myself.
Over many years of work, I have seen many kids whose parents claimed they had ADD (Attention Deficit disorder) and/or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and wanted to know what I thought about giving them Ritalin.
Luckily, I am not a doctor and I do not need to prescribe medication to kids, but when parents want my opinion, I usually say, “Try as many other things as you can before you consider Ritalin”.
In fact, this happened to me again recently.
Luke is a 6-year-old boy who came to see me because he was diagnosed with (are you sitting down?) ADD, ADHD, autism, Asperger Syndrome, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The doctor was pushing the parents hard to put him on Ritalin, but his mom did not like the idea. She changed his diet and said there was a significant improvement at first, but felt that after 6 months of a strict diet, the effects had worn off and he was becoming more agitated and getting into trouble at school again.