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What do you do when you have a child with ADHD..do you medicate or provide therapy?

I have a 3 1/2 year old son who was born at 26 weeks due to an incompetent cervix and now he has ADHD. He is extremely hyper and does not listen to me, I dont like spanking him but I do sometimes just to get him to focus. Now Im starting him in behavioral therapy, do you all believe that this will work or is it better in your opinions to put him on the miedicine? I know my opinion I just want others input.

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Well for my son the behavioral therapy is making a substantial difference in his behavior. I cannot believe how much calmer he seems, and how easier it is for him to sit and watch a tv show. His impulses are still prevalent, but arent half as bad as they used to be. I know that my son is still young but he is at the highest risk for this disease, being severely premature,and having both parents had the same disease. For me, I was in therapy as well as a child and the older I became the better I got. For my husband he was medicated until his mother saw the horrible change in his behavior and attitude towards life. He started not to care about anything and became sort of a zombie. He tried to kill his self when he was 12 and they took him off the meds. She didnt know that depression was a side effect of the drugs. So after that she put him in therapy and it worked for him as well. I have talked to many parents with children with this disease and you are by far the most out spoken about medicating that I have encountered. In our mommy groups we discuss good therapist and ways that we as mothers could help our children. It is sad that so many parents rely on these medicines just to deal with their kids. I am totally against meds and I will stand by this! My son is so much better and will continue his progress without the threat of being an empty shell with no emotions..like a zombie.
Yes I already have my opinion, I just wanted to hear if other moms on here felt the same way as I do. I have had this as a discussion question on 4 different sites, and you are the ONLY mom that downed the option of therapy as an acceptable treatment. Some have said that they would take meds into consideration if the therapy did not work. But none compared it to having an eye impairment and needng glasses, or anything ridiculous like that. I am treating a behavioral disorder with behavioral therapy and its totally working!!! I dont care if parents keep their kids doped up to be able to deal with them, Id rather work with mines and they remain normal.
Sorry that Im "ineducated" about the disorder, I just dont understand why doctors would give children who are "hyperactive" stimulants. Why would you want them to be more hyper? Whatever Im done with YOU and your DRUG FACTS, you and your stimulant giving doctor could just keep up whatever your doing. I guess its working for you, The only thing that I could do at this point is agree to disagree.
Maranda is right in her comment about the DSM criteria. I know that doctors do try push for an earlier age diagnosis.

Some of your issue does relate back to the pre-mature birth however. It is often found that premature babies develope symptoms of ADD ADHD dyslexia apraxia etc.
But please note i did say symptom. There are really awesome 'alternative' therapies out there that can really help him before you start down the road to medication. Treat the cause, medication so often just treats the symptoms.

i would also advise you look serious at his diet if you haven't already. Diet alone can alleviate much of the behvaiour problem. I have a free ebook out were i inform parents about the good, bad and ugly of foods. IT is free so you are welcome to download it from my new blog www.charlene-proctor.com
You may even want to have him tested for food allergies. just because your child doesn't break out in hive after eating something doesn't mean that something is not having an adverse affect on him....which is more likely to come out if behavioural outbursts. Just the other day a mother had her son tested, turns out he was allergic to wheat and dairy, since his diet has been changed he had become 'normal'.

look into diet and primal reflex therapy as a staring point.

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