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ADHD Parents Together
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On again and off again- medication

My seven year old daughter was put on medication when she was six after being diagnosed with ADHD. She is the youngest in her class and was having a really hard time with focus. The medication really helped her focus, but did mute her sparkle.

About a week before her school's winter break she told me she really didn't want to take the medication anymore because it makes her anxious. During winter break I removed her from medication to allow her to be medication free for 2 weeks. Her personality came back and she sparkled again-- she was cheerful, friendly, and made friends very easily. Also, she seemed ok at swim and cheer practice from a focus point of view. Not the best, but sort of normal.

She was medication free for about four week now and I thought she was doing fine without it. She got in trouble by me for something she did at school (no big deal). After she got in trouble she is insisting that she needs back on her medication. She even tried to take the medication herself one morning.

So basically when she is on medication she wants off and when she is off, she wants back on. Is this something you see with your children? What have you done?

I want to keep her off because I think she is doing fine without it and her grades have not really suffered from what I can tell.

4 Replies
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Kondasa- I really can't express how important it is to have her on medication. What do you think about trying a different medication? Her sparkle should still be there on the medication. She understands what it can do to help her. Before long school will get more complex and peers will be harder to deal with. So I would not take her off, I would try a different medication and see what happens.

Best of luck.

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To go with Onthemove1971 it’s crucial to keep your daughter taking her medication. I’m 19 and have ADD, diagnosed in fourth grade, and I can’t imagine not taking my meds because it allows me to think clearly and to focus on the task at hand. In my eyes by not allowing your daughter her medication you are doing her more harm than you are good. The only person who can control when/if she takes her medication is her doctor, with of course her input. What medication is your daughter taking right now?

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Hi there, first you will want to make sure she never takes her medication on her own. It should be locked up someplace. She must be feeling that her bad behavior in school is a result of not having medication.

My 11 yo. with ADHD had been on Straterra for the school year. I took him off the medication over summer break and have not put him back on it. Like you mention, he just did not sparkle and wasn't himself. The days at home are tough, but I deal with it. He gets extra support in school and has 2 different tutors during the week and on the weekend. I'm being optimistic about his grades improving without the medications.

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I would like to clarify that my daughter has mostly A's and has never been in trouble at school with or without medication. She is the youngest in her class (August birthday) and we were never 100% confident about the ADHD diagnosis or the medication. The "trouble" she got into at school was that she didn't turn in a note to her teacher that another student passed to her--but rather kept it in her pocket (not a huge deal).

We had a doctor's appointment yesterday and talked through everything with the doctor. My daugher's grades have not suffered when off medication at all during that time. She recommended that we stop medication because her maturity over the last year has allowed her to be successful without it. She also said that it isn't uncommon for a child to be medication free and use it as an excuse for their behavior.

If she starts to fall behind or show lack of focus I am going to call the doctor back for an appointment. But for now, it has been determined that she should be medication free because she is not being impaired academically or socially.

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