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Personal stories about taking medications for ADHD

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

Parents of Michael, age 11: We thought that our son had a learning disability. He seemed "spacey" at times. When he was little, he couldn't pay attention long enough for me to read an entire book to him. As he got older, he did poorly on standardized tests at school. A psychiatrist finally diagnosed him with ADHD and suggested that medication might be helpful. We are thinking it over and will probably try it. Our son is old enough to help us with the decision too. I'm sure he would be happy to have some help staying on task at school and with his homework.

Parents of Carlos, age 4: We thought our son was just a little more energetic than other kids. Then he started preschool. We got a call from the teacher on his second day there. Turns out he was a lot more "energetic" than the other kids. We have been working with his doctor and with the preschool teacher for several months on different ways to get him to sit still and stay on task. He's made some progress, but he is still a handful. We are trying to hold off on trying medication until he is around age 6. We realize that he may always need more than just a little extra attention in order to succeed in school.

Parents of Ann Marie, age 6: Our daughter Ann Marie doesn't have many friends at school. Her impulsive behavior is so out of control that none of the other kids want to play with her. It is hard for us, because we know what a warm and fun-loving child she is. When our doctor suggested that she might benefit from medications, we were happy to have an option that might make it easier for her to get along with her classmates.

Parents of Emily, age 7: We aren't sure what our daughter's problem is-ADHD, learning disability, depression, or some combination of things. It's a little frustrating that it seems to be taking so long to figure it out, but we like our doctor and she has done a good job of helping us understand why there are no quick and easy answers. Our daughter isn't hyper like a lot of kids with ADHD, but she can't seem to pay attention in class and she's not doing well in school. We work with her most nights at home to help her focus on her homework, and we do not want to put her on any medication at this point. However, if her grades still aren't up at the end of this quarter, we may consider trying medication to help her focus.

Author Jeannette Curtis
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Mina Dulcan, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Last Updated April 17, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 17, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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