Kids With Special Needs: Medication for ADHD
Giving a child medication for behavioral disorders such as ADHD is a very tough decision for many parents. Children with ADHD can be mislabeled as being naughty, lacking effort or being lazy and disobedient. Many parents and teachers don't realize that while many children have occasional behavior problems in school, children with ADHD try hard but are continually unsuccessful at behaving appropriately. Over time, these children begin to give up trying or start to avoid activities that are difficult for them.
It is important for you to know that medications for ADHD have been extensively researched and tested. Some of the medications have been in use for several decades. Research has shown that children with ADHD who are treated with medication end up having lower rates of alcoholism, substance use and behavior problems as teens and young adults when compared to those who are not treated. With appropriate follow-up, any side effects from ADHD medications can easily be monitored and managed by child/adolescent psychiatrists. Hence, for most children with ADHD, the benefits of medication are high and the risks are low.
I think it is important for you to educate yourself about ADHD and its treatments. You can start by becoming a member of your local chapter of an organization such as CHADD (Children and Adults With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and by going to the following websites:
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Click on "Facts for Families")