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Monday, September 8, 2014

Secret Lives of Christian Women: I Have an ADHD child, Medicate or NOT

After receiving my third call from my toddler’s pre-school in less than a week, I knew at that point something had to be done. My four year old suffers from 1-2 hour tantrums, which have been reoccurring for 6 months. Nothing anyone says or does can calm him down. Trying time outs, breathing techniques and a spanking has not worked. We met with a child psychologist who said my son has signs of ADHD, but medication should not be an option until he is older.

So I asked for my other options and there were two:

     1. Develop a solid behavioral plan (which we already had in place).

     2. Home-schooling

Since we were already using the first option the second option was our last resort. I honestly knew that home-schooling my son would drive me crazy and he would be unhappy due to his daily craving for social interaction. After meeting with my pediatrician one more time and letting him know what the psychologist thought, the pediatrician agreed that medicating may be the best option. Why?

  • Excessive and long tantrums
  • Hyper-activity that involves only 8-9 hours of sleep a day
  • Minimum focus in pre-K

Sooo…. What did I decide?

As much as I wanted to find a quick fix to my toddler’s challenging behavior, there were three things I failed to diligently pursue:

      God Through Pray

In Jeremiah 29:13 the word says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

I hate to admit but I was more focused on what the professionals said over the indisputable word of God. Every child and situation is different, seeking God to find out what is best for our family is a must.

2   Research

When I took the time to do research and found out that the ADHD medicine can bring along friends (depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder), my opinion became more skewed. Additionally the loss of appetite and erratic behaviors also led me to second guess my decisions (medicate or not).

3   Peer Feedback

I confided in strangers that I know God placed in front of me at the grocery store and at Chucky Cheese and was provided with hope and honest feedback. One mother said, “The medicine changed my son, without it he would not have made it through 3rd grade.” The other mom I confided in said, “You must do what is right for our family and medicating was right for us. My son needed it!”

After prayer, research and peer feedback, I have decided to wait on medicine. Why? My son is 4, which means he has the rest of his life to find a balance. In the meantime, food intake, bi-weekly appointments with a psychologist and weekly with his ever soooo patient teacher, will prayerfully get us through the school year.

Please share your thoughts with me on this topic.