Ask Tim: Medication for A.D.D?
Q: My 14 year old son is struggling in school due to symptoms of A.D.D. We are working with his teachers, but wondered what your opinion is of medications for A.D.D. Is it something you recommend?
A: The medication can have an effect. It’s powerful stuff. For some kids, it really can have a positive affect when it comes to learning, grades and deportment. Before you go that route, I’d make sure you’ve done all the other things that help a kid with A.D.D. learn to make the most of their 'gift' (and I mean it really is a gift).
- See if he can be seated on the front row in all of his classes (closer to the teacher and with fewer distractions between him and learning).
- Have the house as quiet and peaceful as possible in the evenings.
- Participate in a bed time ritual that has you or your wife or both of you involved in seeing that he’s given encouraging words, perhaps a short word of prayer and a blessing for good sleep every night (it helps in the heart connection between you and him).
- A.D.D. kids thrive on lists. Help him figure out how to write down all of his assignments, make lists of what he has to remember for school each morning, etc.
- Limit junk food.
- Make sure he has adequate physical outlets to burn off energy (sports, etc.).
- Regarding medication: I take meds every day for my A.D.D. I make an 8 cup pot of medication every morning. I drink it all during my reading of my Bible and then I knock off another cup or two of coffee once I’m at work. There’s a reason why coffee is so popular. Caffeine has been medicating A.D.D. people for thousands of years. You might even consider having your son try some to see if it helps. He’s getting close to the age where he’s going to be drinking it anyway. It’s cheaper than Adderal or Ritalin and may be a decent middle ground. All he would need to try is 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coffee. If he doesn’t like the taste, he could drink a cup of black tea (with cream and honey) or even 1/2 an ounce of dark chocolate. I know a mom who makes strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for her A. D. D. daughter every morning. Don’t you wish all medicine was that delicious!?!
But, bottom line, I wouldn’t hesitate to put my child on meds if there was a genuine physiological base to his circumstances and the meds were certain to improve his lot without injury.
Thanks for inquiring. I hope this helps.