Monday, September 19, 2016

Don't Criticize Me For Giving My Kid ADHD Medication






A while back, it was in the news that someone hacked the records of well known athletes.

It was discovered that Simone Biles is on ADHD medication. And some people didn't like this.

I've never understood why people get so riled up over what another child takes.

My son Tommy was always active. I noticed it from a early age.




He would barely sit. He would race around in circles. His breath would come out ragged and it looked like he wanted to sit--but his body wouldn't let him.



I'd take him to stores and he couldn't even be in the cart. He'd scramble free and race down aisles. I was constantly chasing after him. It got to the point where I couldn't take him to stores. I had to wait until my husband returned from work to get anything done.

People would tell me, "Oh, he's just being a boy." But I'd look at their boys who would race around but then sit. And rest.

My boy never did that. Oh, he would sit, but never for long.

He started Kindergarten and the phone calls from the teacher started.

"Tommy can't sit still..."

"Tommy keeps crying..."

"I had to take Tommy to the office again because he wouldn't sit for story time.."

It was almost daily. I was at a loss. He was my first kid. What was I doing wrong?



It was later discovered that he had autism--but he was also diagnosed with ADHD. I filled out many forms. The doctor observed him. The teacher observed him and filled out their own forms.

People would tell me, "Don't you dare medicate him."

I tried whatever I could. I changed his diet. Nothing. I begged him to hold still and listen to the teacher. Tommy told me, "My brain won't let me." I could see the sadness in his eyes. He wanted to be good, but his body wouldn't let him. Something was always going off telling him to move.



In the end we opted for the medication. It took a while to find the one that worked. I watched in horror as Concerta turned my boy into a zombie. He'd sit on the couch--something he rarely did--but his eyes were vacant.

I told the doctor it wouldn't work. We tried others with the same results. I did my own research. I was on the computer for hours. I needed to find something to help my boy.

I discovered Vyvanse.

There was hesitation from the military doctors. It was a special order medication. I'd have a co-pay. I didn't care. I paid the co-pay. (A few years later I no longer had to do a co-pay. It became available in the military pharmacy, but it's still special order so I have to wait a few days to get the re-fill.)



Guess what? The Vyvanse worked. I remember a few days after Tommy started taking it he said, "Mommy, my brain lets me sit! I can hear my thoughts."

I knew I had made the right choice. He did better at school. The meltdowns still happened because of sensory overloads, but they were less frequent.

When people discovered my son was on medication, I got some snippy remarks.

"A six-year-old shouldn't be on medication. He's just being a boy." 

"You took the easy way out." 

"Shame on you. You're giving your child drugs."

My reply? "Do not judge a mother who is trying to help her kid. You don't know what it's like to see your child struggle and not be able to sit when he wants to. You don't get it. You think you do, but you don't."



Sometimes they'd retort, "My son was the same way and HE'S not on medication." But I'd watch that same child sit happily on his own. SIT. He'd SIT. My boy rarely sat. My boy couldn't focus for long periods of time. I'd be working on his letters with him and he'd be rocking back and forth, back and forth and then slide off his chair and race around in circles.

My son is a teenager now and is still on medication. He knows he can stop whenever he wants. But he tells me even now, "It helps me get things done." His grades are mostly As and Bs.

So here's my plea: stop judging. Stop with the snippy remarks. Never ever make a parent or a kid feel guilty for taking something that helps.



Be the biggest person. Be supportive. Parents are under enough stress as it is.

105 comments:

  1. It's nobodies business! Ugh people need to mind their own business seriously. And man Simone can't catch a break.

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  2. Absolutely right. We are all doing the best we can! And if you feel it's best for your child, then do it. Period.

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  3. Bravo! My son is also ADHD. I've been blessed because his psychologist thinks I'm the best judge of what's working for him. He has Tourette Syndrome and can't take stimulant meds because of it. It took a long while to finally find something that worked.

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    1. I'm glad you finally found something that helps.

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  4. Finally!!!! I'm glad your speaking up because it blows my mind when people judge others for sh!t they don't even know about. Everyone has an opinion and 90% of the time no one asked. I'm glad your son is doing well and that everything is working out. Thanks for being vocal on a situation that seems to get pushed to the side.

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    1. I know! I never understand when people get nasty on how another person parents. How is it their business? Is it their kid? No? Then why waste the energy?

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  5. Hello!

    Never mind what others are saying. You are a good Momma who knows your boy, and its nobody's business is you look for treatment for him. You are a super Mom!

    For Urban Women

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  6. Well said and done! I'm so glad he's ok now. :)

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  7. Sometimes a mom just knows. I'm glad you followed up to get some answers, and that you went and did your own research to find your own answers, too.

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    1. Yes, that's for sure. I did all I could before I opted on the medication but even then some people will argue and say it's the wrong choice.

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  8. You know what's best for your child, don't let anyone try and tell you different.

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  9. 90% of the time, I think, I have ADHD too and no!! no one should judge, what we think is good for our kids. You did the right thing by researching and doing whats right.

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  10. A-freaking-men.

    My son told me on more than one occasion "I try so hard to do what I'm supposed to do but my brain won't let me. " But with medication- he's so much better.

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  11. I happened to go to school for Psychology when they were against the idea of medicating kids for ADHD or ADD. I don't agree with that because many do legitimately have it. Unfortunately our culture is set up to increase or exacerbate this in my view. We're all over-stimulated. But we want our kids to be comfy with themselves and not medicating the kids in many cases is letting the kid suffer...no mother wants that. I'd do the same. Like when I thought colic was bogus then my second had it. It's very real and I did go through many meds to get him comfy with his stomach issues.

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    1. I so agree with this. I do whatever I can to ensure my kids are comfortable.

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  12. I can't agree with you anymore! I am so tired of everyone judging what works for one kid and what doesn't work for another! I held off on medication. I also tried to un-medicate my son after we tried medicine because we could find the right thing. However, now that we have the right balance, his issues are manageable. Not fixed, but manageable and he is not a zombie!

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  13. I completely agree with this!!!! There is no reason to judge anybody.

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  14. Every mother needs to do what they honestly feel is best for their child and should be free from judgement of others. I say "read your baby, not your baby book", then you will trust your instincts and do the right thing.

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  15. My son was diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year, and even though I went into the appointment swearing to myself that I wouldn't medicate him, in the end, I knew that medication would be the answer. He has since been on two different meds, and is doing very well in his first year of school- Kindergarten. Thank you for sharing!

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  16. People really need to stop judging. It helped you out, but really the meds are helping Tommy out and no one should say anything until they've been in his shoes. Argh. They should go busy themselves with something else..

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  17. Oh, wow, I can't believe what people say! I'm sorry for you and Tommy. What is wrong with THEM, not you, that they would say stuff like that?

    Good job taking care of your son, Mom. You go.

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  18. This line says it all - "Mommy, my brain lets me sit! I can hear my thoughts."
    I hate how people tell other people how to parent, first of all, but I hate the "He's just being a boy." thing. No. If my son ran around and couldn't rest and said his brain wouldn't let him, like you, that means being proactive. Good on you!

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  19. I agree... to each their own. I had to have my son on medication and I got all the same remarks. But, it did wonders for our son. He eventually was able to wean off as he grew but without those meds during the time he needed them I don't know where we would be today. Now my 3 year old was diagnosed as ADHD and she just started a SDC preschool to help her focus. She isn't on meds yet but if it comes to the point that I know she needs them you better believe I will give them to her. Each child is SO different. And, if you don't live in that house you have no idea what it is like to be that child's mother. A mother's intuition is something not to be ignored and you have to stand up and give your child what they need.

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  20. Wow, this post gives such a perspective! Thank you for sharing your experience, it's amazing to see such devoted and loving moms like yourself standing up for their little ones.

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  21. It's not an easy decision. You do what works best for you and your family.

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  22. You know best for your child and family. Ultimately everyone should function and be happy

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  23. Omg it drives me absolutely insane when people think they know what's best for your own child. I'm glad you found something that actually works and that's all that matters :) xoxo

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  24. I think you have to do what is best for your child and ignore the haters.

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  25. People will always criticize parents these days because they feel everyone's business is theirs. You do what is best for your child and tell those sticking their nose in that you'll cut that tip off! lol.

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  26. My friend's little girl have autism but she looks perfect which is why other people cannot tell there's something with her. I only knew about it when my friend told me about how difficult and sad their situation is and doing everything for her. From that point of view i feel your situation too. Hope you get through this.

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  27. Came here from http://resumescentre.com/ preview. I feel your troubles. Don't mind the say that doesn't help. Do the best for your child.

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  28. Man, this post is everything. I shared it, because I just couldn't not. It's here: https://www.facebook.com/brandi.fields.kennedy.923/posts/10155838524679897?pnref=story

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  29. I give my son meds for his ADHD, too. Each family has to to what is right for them.

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  30. Nobody has the right to tell you what is right or wrong or to judge you! Its your child and a mother always wants the best for their kids!!

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  31. Don't criticize moms for doing ANYTHING that helps their kids. I'm of the opinion that if you're helping your kid, you're doing the right thing. People should keep their opinions to themselves.

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  32. Every child is different. Even mothers WITH children with special needs who judge can't get it. Even though they think they walk in your or your child's shoes. EVERY case from ADD ADHD anxiety depression and so on is different to the person suffering from it!

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  33. i do not have kids myself but i always thinks that responsible parents know what is best for their own kid. So whatever other people say, follow what your heart and instinct say :-) www.crayonized.com

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  34. I didn't know that Simone Biles was on ADHD medication! Our four year old has diagnosed OCD. If therapy doesn't work out, we will have to look at medication. We have to do what is best for our child to have a healthy day to day life. No judgement from this mama!

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  35. Don't mind what others are saying. What's important is you're doing what is best for your son.

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  36. What is it with people and medication? No one would criticize you for giving your child insulin for diabetes. ADHD meds should be the same way.

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  37. I can't believe people would be so negative! My little sister who has Williams Syndrome and Aspergers has been on medication since she was a few months old because without it she can't sleep or sit still. She is 8 now and still on it because its all part of her syndrome. People shouldn't judge you for being a parent, they have no right to judge!

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  38. When people see things on the surface and start to judge before they ask any questions, I just ignore those people. I have no time to deal with ignorant people that is ready to judge without having full information on a situation.

    I rather spend the time to help my ASD kid rather than trying to convince people that I don't really care about.

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  39. Points for you and Tommy. What he said to you when he started, like you said, means it was the best decision. Sometimes, most times, medication is a tool that makes the rest of life happen.

    Continued success to you and your family!

    Lorna

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  40. I am glad you could speak about this... You know better about whats happening with your family and no one has a right to criticize you for that... I hope he is doing better now :)

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  41. I find it heartbreaking when other's would judge you for something you do for your family without even experiencing what you are going through. I think you are amazing.

    Chubskulit Rose

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  42. It's a mothers nature to do everything they can to help their little one in anyway they can. And you are just doing your part as a mother, shame on them for judging you without even understanding the pain of the parent and child.

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  43. it is so easy for kids to be swept up in all the distractions and challenges the world throws their way this day and age. I think doing whatever is necessary is a great way to handle it.

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  44. This story is so similar to the behavior that I dealt with when my oldest son was little. Once he was mobile, things went sour. My x deployed and I was at home with two kids. By the end of the deployment, my x decided he didn't want to come home from Japan and wanted a divorce. Around this time, my son turned into a holy terror and I was going to pull my hair out. My son at 14 months, started using chairs to climb. At first, I thought he was just exploring but then it escalated. The boy wouldn't sleep unless he was next to me. Then he would wake up at the crack of dawn. Once, I attempted to move him to sleep in his room he didn't want anything to do with that. He would scream for hours (I am sure the neighbors thought crazy thoughts). I was lucky if he would sleep 5 or 6 hours. As a single mom, I couldn't handle the lack of sleep. At this point, I cried at the doctor on base that something was wrong with him and that I couldn't do it anymore. It took a while but the finally listened. We tried Ritalin, it helped for a few days and then the newness wore off. They upped his dose and he turned into a Zombie. I didn't want this either. They thought he had ADHD but wanted testing to be sure. I cried to this therapist to help me. I wanted my son to be happy and be able to enjoy life too. In the mean time, the pediatrician had us try benedryl at night to make bedtime less of a struggle. It didn't really help. It took lots of tears, trial and error, but the doctor wanted to try a small dose of blood pressure meds at night and starters. This combo made a huge difference. Then a few years later, his doctor in Ft Worth took him off of Stratera due to increased suicide in teens. I should have fought the dr. We tried a few others and they made him a Zombie at school. His teacher saud he couldn't stay awake. He stayed on the blood pressure meds bc it helped with sleep. He is now 16 and a quite mouse.

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  45. Parenting is hard enough we need too support each other. Keep up the great work momma!

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  46. I'm so glad you're sharing this with us. I think you're doing a great job. Everyone needs to support everyone instead of being so rude towards one another. I think it's great what you're doing.

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  47. Thanks for sharing this honest post. Parents can decide what will make their kids better and its a parents choice, not by the people surrounds you. Keep what you are doing, coz Mothers' knows the best!

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  48. People are so super critical these days. I think you should do whatever you think is right for you and yours and it really shouldn't be anyone else's business. Ugh.

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  49. People don't criticize others with diabetes for taking insulin or those with psychiatric disorders from taking their meds so give me a break about complaining about parents using meds to help their kids suffering from ADHD. It is a medical condition. If it helps a child give it to them! Now if a child doesn't actually have ADHD and are being given the meds that is another story.

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  50. There will always be judgmental people out there and the best thing to do is ignore them. Do what you think is best for your kid. It's your kid anyway.

    -Lynndee

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  51. Unfortunately in today's world if you don't medicate you get judged, and if you do medicate you get judged. I wouldn't even worry about what other people say and just do what works for you and your family.

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  52. God bless you for sharing this post. I experienced the same thing and was ostracized by so many, yet I did what I needed to do and my son has been medicine free for 3 years. He is now a 21 year old man, and yes, now he sits still. It was a long, uphill battle but God is good, we're here today to tell the story!

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  53. If you and your dr agree I wouldn't listen to anyone else they don't know him like you do. Great pictures by the way

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  54. We need to stop mom shaming now. For pits shake let them handle their kids the best way they seem fit.

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  55. I give my son with ADHD meds, too, and it's the BEST thing I have ever done for him. People can judge all they want, but unless they live it they are clueless.

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  56. I can't understand why some parents think that it's any of their business whether you give your child meds or not. I get so sick of judgmental people. Who made them boss? I'm glad you found something that works for your son.

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  57. Every parenting style is different. What works for each family is as different as each and every family.

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  58. My oldest daughter is also autistic and has ADHD, and a speech processing disorder and anxiety as well as a few other things, I always say she has alphabet soup since so many things are known by their letters. We used to try to have her go during the summer without her meds, and she couldn't control herself. She told us that her brain felt better when she tool her medicine. Now she takes it all the time. I tell people to STFU. Until you live in her and our world you get no say in the situation.

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  59. It's hard and yes you are right, they don't know your situation so they don't have the right to judge.

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  60. It's so heartbreaking that so many people are so judgmental when it comes to this personal decision. Parents are under enough stress. The last thing they need is to be judged by other parents. No child is the same and they shouldn't be treated the same when it comes to making this decision.

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  61. A mom has to do what a mom has to do! I'm so glad to see you share your story, which I hope other people can share theirs also. You're a great mom. Keep up the good work :)

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  62. For some children, this medicine is necessary! It has a lot of great benefits, especially if it isn't abused.

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  63. I'd be more inclined to avoid medicine if it were my kid - unless absolutely necessary, but then you wrote your son didn't complain and rather seems to be happy with taking it, so maybe people are exaggerating in their worries.

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  64. I hate how everyone has an idea on how other people should raise their children. You know your child better than anyone else ever will. So you get to decide what works for you and them.

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  65. wow, thanks for sharing your story. you have to make your own decisions everyone has their own opinions.

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  66. I completely agree with you. It's your child and your business, no one should have the right to intervene with their opinions.

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  67. every parent has to make a decision about what to give their kid to help them thrive. I really believe that other parents need to mind their business and not get involved.

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  68. You did the right thing. I would do exactly the same given I was on your situation, if that is the only way to help my child.

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  69. I've tried to talk to my daughter about getting Abby put on this but she won't listen. She would do so much better in class if she could just sit still long enough to concentrate.

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  70. in all honesty i've been on medication since i was 18 and while my mom was also criticized for that, she still made the best desicion for me and others can not judge on what they are not living. YOU ARE amazing!!! I am so happy he is doing better.

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  71. You know your child the best. I think people like to jump on others and criticize. Have faith in your choices and don't worry what others think.

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  72. Only parents know what's good for their child and if you're a parent you also know that every single child is different. If it works for others, it doesn't mean it will work for you. People often forget that which is sad. I applaud you for doing this for Tommy. He deserves a good life and you're helping him do that.

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  73. I am so glad to hear you chose to do what was best for your child and your family and not what was best in the eyes of other people! Every child with ADHD is different and it really is inconsiderate of others to expect you not to medicate your child just because they aren't doing so themselves.

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  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  75. This is also considered mom shaming. You did what you think is best for Tommy and I think that's amazing and important. You're the mom and you shouldn't listen to anyone else. You know what will help him most. Good job for not letting others mess with your decisions.

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  76. I dislike people who pretend to be experts in every field of motherhood! Did they author a best-seller entitled "How to be a Mother?" OMG. I am so glad you told them off. We decide what we feel would be good for our kids, with the proper guidance of a medical professional.

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  77. I agree with you, it's your decision, you know whats best for your boy!

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  78. You do you! I think that this country would be much happier if we worried more about our personal lives than what others are doing. :-)

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  79. I love this article! I am one who chooses not to medicate my 11 year old but I know my kid and I have my reasons for it. I have worked with children with ADHD who have needed the medication and that's okay. ADHD runs rampant in my family. My son and two of his cousins have it. My niece and nephew, both teens now, have needed medication. My niece has stopped taking it but my nephew chooses to stay on it. I feel this way: At the end of the day we parents are doing what we think is best for our children. We know them best too so regardless of whether we medicate or not, we should support each other. I hope this article reaches those who cast judgement on something they don't understand.

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  80. Others need to stop sticking their noses in other peoples business/situation. There's no judgement needed on someone and what medications they need to take for them to feel normal or help them out. It is sad to see how much people judge others even without knowing the full story. You are a wonderful mama for your son and he is lucky to have someone like you be at his side and keep him strong. Your son and your whole family are strong and full of love.

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  81. Awww, this post made me nearly cry! I salute how you wanted your child to be well and I can almost feel your struggle to look for the answers. I could only thank God that everything is better now. I still could not understand the fact that even giving meds to your kid is also subject for people's judgment. I super salute admire you as a Mom. This post could inspire many moms out there.

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  82. Its pain for every parent to see their kids suffer in pain, they go to any lengths to do anything for them. Nobody has any business judging them. They are doing for their well being. Nice Post. Thanks for sharing i spent while going through the post..it was emotional and refreshing at the same time..!

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  83. I am so glad things are better for you all. You are doing right by him and every bodies right is different, so as long as you are not hurting him I say do what you need to do. Who are we to say anything?!!

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  84. Preach!!! I used to say already that parents already have enough on their plate ... and now that we have our own little one, even more that I can relate. Judging parents is not the way to go. I am glad things are better now for you and your family. I wish all moms and dads can get a break too from judgemental people.

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  85. I think every child and family is different. I think people spend too much time trying to impose judgments when the fact is that they dont have a right to do so. So i say do what works for your family and ignore the noise.

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  86. As a former educator, I definitely have seen the positive benefits of medication for ADHD! And I so agree there should be no judgement!

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  87. I can only imagine the struggles to finding the right medication. I didn't face that with ADHD but I watched my ex struggle with multiple different kinds of medications when it came to depression. Some of them did make her catatonic. And some didn't work at all. It's so hard sometimes when dealing with things like this.

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