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 ADHD 
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I was wondering what your opinions were on putting children on medicine for their ADHD. Do you think that the medicine would help or hender their learning?

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Courtney Hovis


Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:16 am
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I think that the answer to that question is totally unique for each different child. I definitely think (especially if it were my own child) that I would rather modify lessons, the environment, and everything else so that the child does not have to be put on medicine. I wish I could just say NO do not put any child on medicine...just let them be themselves. However, I have seen children and I know people who NEED to be on medication.

I do think that parents, teachers, and doctors should not be so quick to decide that so-and-so is hyperactive, they need to be medicated. It seems like everyone I know if on ritalin, even those who would be fine without it.

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Jenny Smith


Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:35 am
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While I think there are definate extreme cases that needs medication, I think that children are being overmedicated just because ritalin has become the buzz word for the day.

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Jeff Tutterow


Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:17 am
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I agree that their are the children who need to be medicated for ADHD, however I do feel that ADHD/ADD is a buzz word in today's society and medication is the buzz word solution. I think more children are being medicated because they are trying to be children in a setting that is not allwoing them to be! The children who are acting like children are fitting into the cookie cutter model of a child so we are medicating to make them.


Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:15 am
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I do think that there are some cases in which children need to be medicated for ADHD. However, I don't think these medications should start when children are 3 or 4 years old. I know that some medications have been approved for children as young as 3, and I just find this ridiculous. At 3 years old, children are supposed to be lively and full of creative energy. I think people are to quick to think a child has ADHD, and doctors are too quick to give it as the diagnosis.

Having said that, I do think that teachers should try to help students who have been diagnosed and not look at them as a problem child or a disturbance. I have a cousin who has been diagnosed with ADHD for several years. He graduated from high school a couple of years ago, but he definately had a struggle throughout high school. Teachers labeled him as a "problem student" from the very beginning and passed the word on to other teachers. I even walked in on a conversation one of his teachers was having about him with a teacher he would have the next year. She was warning his future teacher about his "disruptive behavior" and how there was nothing you could do to make him sit down and be quiet. As future teachers, I think it our responsibility to help these students learn in manners they can, not expect to change them by making them "sit down and be quiet."

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Emily Grogan


Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:21 am
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I have a 16 year old step-son with ADHD. I believe that there is a problem with him never being made to be responsible. It is too much work for the school and his mom! ( Because they do not want to take the time with him) The medication makes him feel slow and he does not like the way he thinks others perceive him. So he won't take his meds and he can't pass classes. I say to take away his car, and his mom just cries, "nobody understands". Someone has to be responsible or take responsibility for the actions of our children with ADHD. There is a problem and it can be made easiler to deal with medication, however it is not a cure. Irresponsible children grow up to become irresponsible adults.

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Steve Mills


Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:53 am
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I know a little boy with ADD - when the put him on meds he lost so much of who he is and became like a robot. That broke my heart. I think that we don't let kids be kids; that we expect too much out of them too soon... and that this applies to children with ADD/HD as well. And if medicine is used, it shouldn't be the solution; just part of it.

Also - one of my college friends has always been on the meds and often has feelings of inadequacy because she believes she can not function in our world without medical intervention. Surely the effect on the child's self-esteem is worth considering as well...

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Kaci Slate


Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:51 pm
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I think too many childern are "diagnosed" with ADHD just as a quick fix to a learning problem or other issue. Medication I think should only be used as a last resort or in conjunction with other strategies that help a child over come any problems that he/she may be having. However, I do realize that there are certain cases that may require the use of medication.

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Charlie Meadows


Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:35 pm
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I think that doctors over-prescribe drugs to "help" parents with overly active or exciteable kids, who probably just need more time outside running around. I think everyone has problems sitting all day in classes, especially if they are young and full of energy. The drugs, for most people, I think is a cop-out for their patience levels with their kid's energy. Although, I am sure some kids really do benefit from treatment, I think there are many alternatives for drugs.

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Elyse Boehme


Fri Jun 04, 2004 12:10 am
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I think it depends on the child. I would always like to know what the parents think about their child. Some students that I have seen I would say could possibly be over medicated. They function like a completely different person. There are wonderful books on ADHD that give alternatives and methods for teaching students with attention deficit.

http://www.add411.com/teachers.htm

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Brooke Spada


Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:30 pm
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i tend to agree with kaci. we should let kids be wild and rambunctious for a while, that's part of being a kid! and i do know lots of people who've taken drugs for being adhd and then ended up feeling depressed/sad/tired/or other negative affects from taking drugs like ritalin.

maybe if students are in middle school and are still beyond wild, they should be referred to a psychiatrist or something, but i agree that medicating them should be the last resort and is completely dependant upon the child.

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Emily Welch


Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:11 am
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As the significant other of a special education teacher I have thought much about ADHD and medication. While I do believe that ADHD is over diagnosed and Ritalin is over prescribed, I also believe that there are cases that must be medicated. There are many items that are being linked to ADHD and they are changing everyday. One of the constants is diet, I have seen it with my own eyes. There was a student that was showing all the signs of having ADHD, many different treatments were tried to no avail. Before putting the child on medication, it was suggested that the child be taken off dairy products for one month. The results were remarkable; a totally different child. Turns out the student had a milk allergy that caused his behavior. So, as future educators, it is our job to be up to date on the research and to help the parents of our students in any way that we can.

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Derek Nagel


Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:30 am
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I worked at an afterschool program a couple of years ago and there were several kids there on medication for ADHD. I saw a completely different side of them when they were on medication as opposed to when they were off of it. They definitely needed to be on medication but I believe they did use medication as a last resort and it worked. I think that parents have these kids that they have a hard time controlling and putting them on medication when they shouldn't be just so that they could have a perfect child who is in a comatose state almost all of the time. Just because you can't control a child with your current method of discipline doesn't mean that there isn't something you could try out there other than medication.

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Allison Pendleton


Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:40 pm
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My brother was diagnosed with ADHD in his early teens and when my parents tried to put him on medicine he lost weight because it made him not want to ever eat. Then it's like what can you do now? This is not affecting him in a positive way. It does affect every child differently i think. My brother is almost 19 and is currently not taking any medicine. He has struggled tremendously in school with his learning disorder, but would rather not be on the medicine. I also have a friend that was diagnosed with ADHD and does not care to take the medicine. He admitted to me that if he can't do it on his own, it would hurt his pride to have to take medicine to help him succeed. Every person is different.

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Erin A. Eldridge


Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:17 pm
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I am definitely a cynical person on this subject. I do not believe that ADD/ADHD exist. I know I am pissing people off just by that comment. How many of our peers took ritalin? I know of one from high school. How many kids are going to take it in 5-10 years? I don't even want to know. I've been challenged with the argument that once, cancer wasn't identifiable, but it definitely existed. The same can be thought about ADD/ADHD. But having worked in a pharmacy for 3 years I witnessed absolutely not a single case where a chemical imbalance was to blame for misbehavior etc. If you read over the "warning signs" checklists from doctors, nearly 9/10ths of the population is affected. I just don't believe that. In the school setting I DO NOT want to be told if a child is taking medication for such a "condition". I should be able to reach all children, no matter what waves I'll have to travel. But I refuse to dumb it down, because I see no end in sight.

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Natalie Hawley


Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:54 pm
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I'll give you an Amen on that one Natalie. I to am skeptical about ADHD/ADD. I guess I am not willing to totally rule out the possibility that it does exist but kids are often very energetic people and this is normal. I feel that it is outrageous to put kids on meds simply for their energy level. I also feel that if we as educators did not know who was on the drugs and not this might help us better teachers in the sense that we read our children and see what they feel instead of coming into the situation with a preconceived notion. But mainly if you can't handle children being children then choose another area of expertise.

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Jennifer Chaddock


Wed Jun 16, 2004 10:40 am
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