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Please do not take offense at the following -




Cheryl - I don't know you or what experience / knowledge you have of ADD / ADHD - but i suspect you, like many - only know what you have read in magazines -Or you wouldn't suggest "The other is to give him his medication later in the day so that it lasts later into the night and hopefully until he is asleep" ADD meds are STIMULANTS - he will NOT sleep with them in his system. (there is only one brand-new medication out that is NOT a stimulant - and it doen't work for many and is VERY expensive)


There are so many people who read one or two articles about ADD in a magazine and want to pass on the information to me about how I am abusing my child, or should change his medication, or discipline him differently, etc. It just makes me steam!


if any lay person came up to me and suggested changing (or adding to!) my sons or my medication (we are BOTH ADD)- the mildest reaction I would have is roll my eyes and turn away. Most likely I would turn on them and give them a lecture on the intracacies of ADD, the details of the effects and purpose of the medications, the long, long history of all the research I have done for my son and myself and wait for them to pass out in shock (or boredom?) or run away screaming. Because I am (usually) fed up with people who know nothing about it, presuming to lecture me - when I have lived with it every day for 40+ years.



'Well meaners' are so persistant and prevalent - that it does not surprise me AT ALL that by the time these boys get to Jr High and Boy Scouts - the parents have built up a hard shield of resistance to outside influence - even if it is well meant- it is usually very ignorant.


Every parent of an ADD child that I have EVER talked to or heard of, went through an extensive research and questioning process before making the agonizing decision to medicate their child (or themselves). NO loving parent EVER willingly gives their child serious drugs like these without a considerable amout of forethought. Using these drugs is an extrememly personal thing - medication is not determined by size or weight, or by clearly defined parameters like antibiotics or some other medicines. there is no way a Doctor can determine, without patient trial, observation, error and adjustment what kind and amount of medication will work. (if ANY will - sometimes nothing works)


In addition, there is still a huge stigma attached to being diagnosed with any perceived mental disorder - that most parents will do whatever they can to avoid having their child labeled - especially give them medications. Medications are almost ALWAYS a last resort - yet as soon as 'the outside' finds out a person is medicated - their attitude is often to expect total 'fix' of the problem (not possible) or to shove more medication at the ADD. the joking remarks people make when someone goofs something up, " didn't you take your pill today?" HaHa! or 'what are you, Hyper?' or the jump to the conclusion by ordinary people that any kid who can't sit still is ADD - these things HURT. and these attitudes make it even harder for parents and kids to honestly inform and help SCOUTERS to effectively deal with their kids.


Medication does not 'cure' ADD

medication does not even 'control' ADD


medication stimulates the brain so that the ADD person does not have to seek as much OUTSIDE stimulation in order to focus.


medication is a tool that allows someone with ADD to make SOME choices in their behavior - rather than being overrun by impulse.


Medication provides a bridge to learning BEHAVIORS with which the ADDer can cope with the expectations of the "normal" world.


One of the best things a scouter can do for a 'difficult' child - whether ADD or just going thru hormone changes - is to listen, be patient, work with the parents - keep an open mind.


If you are not able to deal with the situation - be honest and pass it on to someone who can, or tell the parents honestly that unless they work with the troop, you can't help or deal with their child.


For all that I am a strong advocate for scouting for ADD kids (I feel Scouting is and ideal outlet and it is not fair to sacrifice the program for the rest of the troop to deal with one boy, regardless of his needs - it is fully reasonable to expect the family to help. they don't necessarily have to work with their son - each kid is different - but the family could do SOMETHING for the troop, that in turn, frees up someone else to work with their boy.














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  • 2 months later...

Thought I'd pop this thread back up to add my son's recent input.


He's 19 now, in college, and yesterday he thanked me for NOT "making him do his homework" when he was in middle and high school. he acknowledges that if I had made him do his homework he would probably have had better grades - but he doesn't think he would love learning for the sake of learning, the way he does now.


As I've said before, we chose not to medicate his ADD. When his teachers called me to inform me that he was failing, always because of failure to turn in homework, I would thank them for the call and tell them I would bring it to his attention. Then I would specifically give the teacher permission to fail him if he didn't turn in the work.


I'd let my son know about the call, ask if he needed any supplies or other support from me, then let him figure it out. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't. If he failed a class - well, he failed a class, and took it in summer school. It prevented him from going on band trips. Oh, well. We tried to let him know we loved him anyway, and supported him, and tried to keep the depression from running him over.


He ended up taking the GED, which he found laughably simple, and went on to community college where he now has a 3.1 gpa. Many of his A-B honor roll friends whose parents closely supervised and monitored their homework during high school are kicking up their heels with college freedom and are NOW failing classes where they never did before. Go figure.

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Glad to hear your son is doing so well. Sounds like you handled things just fine. I do have one question, though? Why would a teacher need your permission to give you son a failing grade if that is the grade you son earned?


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Good question, Ed! All I can say is that more than one seemed to need my permission. A friend with 18 years in the classroom explained to me that teachers often find themselves in trouble when parents complain to the principal about their little darlings being failed. So my reassurance was necessary. Sounds insane, but there it is.


My husband is a school bus driver. He got into trouble at work because he repeatedly wrote up a youngster on his bus for hitting and spitting on her neighbors - she was a littl'un, first grade I think, and just didn't have good impulse control. Not a bad kid, just badly behaved after a long day of classes. Her parents complained about the Mean Old Bus Driver's harassment of their sweet child - but upon viewing the videotape of her popping out of her seat, swatting another kid with her lunch bag, and spitting on him - they had to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, their daughter wasn't behaving appropriately. But nonetheless, my husband was disciplined for failing to control her. Mind you, the ONLY disciplinary tools bus drivers have are 1) assigning seats and 2) writing the child up for action by the school administration. That is ALL they can do. He had already reassigned her to the front seat - which did help getting the good video of M**** in action. But then he got into trouble for writing her up when the bad behavior persisted... does that make any sense to you? Sometimes it does seem the inmates are running the asylum....

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Sager -- That is awesome.


I can understand why teachers were relieved that you gave them permission to fail your son if he failed.


Then they can treat the child fairly and not worry about Mom or Dad storming into the principals office.


I know my mother would have said the same thing to my teachers and I think I'm a better person for that brand of support.



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LauraT7, Thanks for clarifying (hopefully) the role of medication as well as the frustration of parents who are bombarded by suggestions from persons with little or no experience. We have been lucky to have teachers who are well-trained and a supportive community. ADD/ADHD children need support from the people around them, especially the parents, and medication is a useful tool (as you rightly note) not a substitute. We struggled with my son (WITH) until the middle of high school. I just could not take a 'sink or swim' approach with my son so we did everything we could to help him untie the knots in his life. Then he suddenly 'got it' and is now excelling in engineering at a top university. He still has medication available and manages everything himself. I credit everything that I mentioned before AND I credit his effort during his Eagle project. It was a real turning point for him, and one that he could look back on with pride. It can be done. Expect some premature hair color change - but it's worth it.

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