Parents of kids with ADHD: how have you decided whether to give your kids medication?
I have a friend whose daughter has just been diagnosed with ADHD in second grade, and who is adamantly opposed to giving her daughter medication to treat it (they are doing diet changes and other things instead). I was shocked to realize I have no opinion on this at all (I usually have opinions on everything), and I am tremendously curious about it. I do believe that ADHD is over-diagnosed--I have a friend who is a Physician's Assistant who used to work with a doctor who would prescribe meds to kids based on a 5-10 minute conversation with the parents about the child's behavior, for instance. On the other hand, I have at least one friend with ADHD for whom, in adulthood, meds have been a life-changing.
I followed the recent AskMe question on ADHD
with great interest, and it seemed like some people who responded there wished their ADHD had been better managed with meds as children. And yet, my friend is (quite reasonably, I think) concerned about possible side effects and long-term negative effects.
As parents, we have to make decisions for our kids all the time, but this seems like a really big one, with potentially huge consequences. I would be interested to hear from other people in similar situations about how you decided whether medication should be part of your kid's treatment.