Update: An Insolent Child

Written by mom - 12 Comments

Guess what? The child that I talked about in “An Insolent Child Part II” has recently been evaluated by a psychologist and diagnosed with ADHD. For the past couple of months he has been wearing a Daytrana patch (this is the first patch medicine for kids with ADHD; technically it’s a methylphenidate, or Ritalin, transdermal patch).

I haven’t spent a lot of time with him since he donned the patch; however, I babysat him just the other day and detected a marked change in his behavior. For example, I insisted that he sit and finish his lunch before running off to play, and to my complete amazement he actually complied! He did, however, wreak some havoc at the end of the year preschool swim party. All in all, I’m so pleased that he is finally getting the help he needs.

Some people believe that ADHD diagnoses are being thrown around with reckless abandon just to assuage parents at wit’s end regarding their child’s behavior. This is clearly not the case here. His behavior was so extreme that he wasn’t just a gregarious boy. I wonder how a psychologist can distinguish the fine line between healthy gregariousness and ADHD? I’ll leave that to the experts who certainly got it right this time.

Now I pose a question to all of you… Do you think his mother is obligated to tell his Kindergarten teacher about his diagnosis? He is being medicated which is helping his behavior issues (although he still has room for improvement here). The medicine can be completely administered at home. She is worried about stigmatizing him. What do you think???

Published on June 1st, 2007 - 12 Comments
Filed under: Daily Life,Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I’m one of the people that think that ADHD and ADD are over-diagnosed, but there are certainly some people who can be helped by the drugs. Sometimes a new environment or a new challenge is enough to engage a child who can’t sit still, but sometimes you do need to medicate them.

    The biggest concern that I have about it is that the kids that manage to be successful despite their short attention spans tend to be very successful. Entrepreneurship can be very well served by somebody with ADD. If you drug your child, will you be limiting the opportunities that they can create for themselves later in life?

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Jun 1st 2007 @ 12:29 pm
  2. Dh is a pediatrician and has a patient who went from failing out of school and causing chaos at school and home to getting straight A’s and being invited to go on the honors trip this summer—the only change was testing and medicating for ADD.

    I’d tell the teacher. I don’t think any child should go to school away from home for 8 hours a day without the teacher having some knowledge of medications their on. IMHO.

    Comment by Karen — Jun 1st 2007 @ 9:50 pm
  3. I also have four boys of my own, number three has been taking medication for ADHD for about a year. I absolutely think the mother should tell the teacher. The only shame here is that the mother IS ashamed. She is doing, we are all doing, what is best for our child, and there is NO shame in that.

    The teacher needs to be made aware of the situation. It isn’t fair to her to leave her in the dark on a situation that could very well effect this young man’s schooling. Be honest and upfront, if the mother can do that it will show her son that there is NOTHING to be ashamed of. Keep quiet, and the child will start to think there is something wrong with him that he needs to be embarrassed about.

    Comment by Christina D — Jun 2nd 2007 @ 1:22 pm
  4. While the comments are largely free of hype, I do want to add that my parents did everything they could to help me through school, (Tutors, testing, classes, etc) I didn’t do much better no matter how many hours I tried or resources I used. I tried college five different times, as I love learning and had many interest. In my mid thirties I did another extensive round of testing at a respected medical center and was diagnose with ADHD. With some medication, and time to work out all the BS that has built up from feeling (knowing) that I wouldn’t finish something, or be fired from a job I loved because I kept forgetting tiny components, I’m free to pursue my dreams instead of finding a way to get by. It’s likely Ritalin is over prescribed, but there are also people out there who have limits to their lives that are grossly short of their potential.

    Comment by Brant — Jun 2nd 2007 @ 7:08 pm
  5. PS Great point about shame. It’s a beast.

    Comment by Brant — Jun 2nd 2007 @ 7:10 pm
  6. Tell the teacher, that way in case something happens they are aware of it and won’t dose the kid with some other medication that would interact with the ADHD medication.

    I do think ADD and ADHD is overprescribed. But DH’s old boss knew each of his kids had it since him and his wife had it. It made finishing school for all of them terrible.

    Comment by Livingalmostlarge — Jun 3rd 2007 @ 5:30 pm
  7. I’m in the over-prescribed camp as well. To me, our society is holding girl’s behavior as the standard. While there’s no reason that a boy should not be obedient, I think that giving the kids drugs because a parent can not properly disciple their child is dangerous at best.

    To me, I think there should be some research done with the family to see what exactly is going on. Before giving out drugs, the physiologist should have to spend a week in the family’s environment to see if there’s some actions that are provoking or encouraging the boys to behave this way.

    Your previous story about this child had an appeasing parent. I don’t want to judge if she was always this way, but perhaps she could get help in controlling and training her kid instead of giving him drugs.

    Drugs should be the very last resort, not the first.

    Comment by MInTheGap — Jun 8th 2007 @ 10:22 am
  8. Not that I am an advocate for meds, but they definitely have their place. My 3 boys and I all have tourette syndrome, which often is accompanied by ADHD and OCD. My kids have been on meds at different times, mainly for the ADHD and at this point my two oldest are not on any. My youngest cannot function without–he is very active and very impulsive–on the RIGHT meds at the RIGHT dosage, he is doing incredibly well. He is a smart and very witty guy and has wanted to be a neurosurgeon since he was 7. Support and openness about all the symptoms involved…with all caregivers/teachers involved makes a huge difference!

    I only recently sought out correct diagnosis because as a child my family ridiculed, and abused me because I was often very impulsive and active. They did not understand that I was trying to stop…just couldn’t. I have learned to function with an active job and lifestyle (raising 3 boys will do that anyway 😉 ), but am now on meds…working on balancing activity level with ability to focus. I never realized how much I struggled!!

    Please don’t rule out meds–they have their place. Please be open with all involved and work together—and look at each child as the separate and unique gift that they are.

    Comment by Rindy — Jun 11th 2007 @ 4:17 pm
  9. I’m in the way overprescribed camp. I honestly think that instead of drugging the kids, they should hire more teachers and have much smaller classes.

    Comment by Mamid — Jul 30th 2007 @ 2:25 pm
  10. I’m glad that the medication works in this case, however unless it fixes the symptoms completely, I say tell the teacher. Speaking from experience, if a child has a behavioural problem I need to KNOW about it, so I can be ready for it.

    Comment by Magpie — Aug 4th 2007 @ 10:20 pm
  11. I think his teacher should be told that he is on medication. If she doesnt trust the teacher to be non judgemental and treat her son like all the other kids then she should have him moved to a new teacher. I know several parents that have their children on ADD and ADHD medications and they have to switch their medications up often. The teacher should be informed about the meds. because she would be the best judge on if they are continuing working or not. She see’s the kid for more hours in the day then the mother would.

    I’m not sure how all the medications work but for my friend her kids are so draggy by the end of the day that she can’t judge if the medicines are working properly (and kids act totally different on the weekends then they do during the school week).

    The teacher should be involved in judging if the meds are working so in my opionion she must know about them.

    Comment by Stephanie — Oct 28th 2008 @ 10:43 am
  12. I can only say that some of these comments are definitely from folks I only presume to either not have children, or not have children with special needs.
    I have four children. MY oldest son (second oldest) was a perfect example of a mom not believing in labeling or medication. He was able to “make it through” the first 11 years of his life without meds. He also fell behind academically, had low self-esteem, few friends…
    As one friend pointed out to me, if your husband had a heart condition, you’d want him to have medication for that, right?”
    Meds allow his “train of thought” to slow down enough so he can see the thoughts clearly and completely (and not blur by.) Many kids with ADHD also have poor impulse control which the patch also improves. We definitely trained our children correctly, but without the patch, he can’t see the right choice until it has already passed him.
    Tell the teacher, it is a partnership of sorts to help him learn skills he will need for the rest of his life.
    Good Luck.

    Comment by Phyl — Jul 3rd 2009 @ 11:41 am

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