Dear Dr. Meg,
My son is 9 years old and just ending his year of third grade. In first grade, we were encouraged by his teacher to have him evaluated for ADHD. His teacher and I filled out a questionnaire about him. When we finished I turned it in to his pediatrician and since then has prescribed him Vyvanse. He’s on a small dose that he takes only on school days.
I have been listening to your podcast and reading other books by some of your guest speakers and have taken away that maybe I turned to medication too soon. What could you recommend my husband and I do? Should I have him reassessed? Try taking him off meds and try other ways to get him to focus? He’s not a very hyper child but I do see him lacking attention when it’s needed. Would love to know other ways to handle ADHD without medication.
Thank you, Jennifer
It sounds to me like you have done your homework regarding the evaluation of your son. If the only medical opinion you have had, however, has come from your pediatrician, I do encourage you to go to a psychology specialist in your area who does thorough evaluations for learning issues, depression, ADHD, etc. This should take about 1 hour and give you a definitive diagnosis. There are kids who need medication. I’m certainly not against it (I prescribe it) but I do think that in the US, we overtreat kids with medication. That said, it sounds like you are doing a good job with your son. I would ask: how does he do on the Vyvanse? Is it better? Make sure that when you have him tested he is not on his medication so that you can get a clear picture of what’s going on.