COM155ADHD Final Essay

Submitted By Samantha-Edmondson
Words: 1181
Pages: 5

ADHD, Whether or Not to Medicate a Child
Samantha Edmondson
September 21, 2014
Laura L. Griepp
ADHD, Whether or Not to Medicate a Child
With the diagnosis of ADHD in children becoming such a controversial subject because of the medications that doctors prescribe; parents have difficult decisions to make. My son, T.J., has had ADHD since he was five years old, and has had many trials and tribulations with the medication that his doctor placed him on to help with the issues that come from ADHD. The medication has made him very violent with his little brother, and he has had emotional episodes to the point of hospitalization and has also excelled in school because of the choice that I made to place him on the medication. For parents, there are many things that need careful consideration when deciding whether medication is the right avenue to take for their child’s course of treatment. Things to consider are diagnosis and treatment, what the pros and cons of taking the medication be, and whether or not the medication is the right decision for their child because of all the controversy behind this disorder.
When a parent first starts to question if their child has a diagnosis of ADHD there are a couple things that need addressing in order to find out for sure. In order to receive a diagnosis for ADHD; the child needs to be showing certain symptoms that go along with the disorder. Symptoms to look for in a child that could have ADHD are things like having trouble focusing, impulsivity, and feeling like a motor drives the child. There are other disorders that can attribute to ADHD; things like ODD; Oppositional Defiant Disorder, GAD; Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and any possible sensory issues that the child may have. Once realized that there are symptoms that are becoming a problem in the child’s life; it is time for the parents to start looking into where they can get an assessment completed for their child. The best places to go are a mental health facility that takes children as patients, or they can talk with their child’s pediatrician to get a referral for services. With a completed assessment, and if the diagnosis is ADHD; there are many treatment options available for the child and the family as well. Some options include things like stimulant medication; such as Adderall XR, Concerta, Ritalin, and Vyvance. Other options include therapy; which includes family, one-on-one, and group. Now that there is a diagnosis, the difficult decisions start to come in for the parents about where they should go with treatment for their child.
With most doctors; they push for the child to be started out on medication because it is supposed to help balance out a child with ADHD. If a parent decides to place their child on these types of medications for the treatment of the disorder; then they need to understand what the benefits versus the risks are. One benefit of the medication is the fact that it does help a child learn how to focus a lot better than they would without taking it. A risk is the loss of appetite that is a known side effect of the medicine. Another benefit to the medicine is it helps to balance the chemical imbalance that happens with children that have ADHD. An example for this to help better understand is, a normal person drinks a 16 ounce can of Monster energy drink; they start to get all shaky and nervous because of the caffeine overload in their body. For a child with ADHD; the same can of Monster given to them, and although not recommended, that child will start to feel normal, and be able to do things that normal children can do without the extra added hyperactivity. The risk of giving the medication is the problems with loss of sleep, and the messing up of their sleep schedule altogether. And finally, a benefit of giving the medication is how it can help a child live a normal life by making them feel normal while on the medication. A risk of giving the medication to a child can be that they become more