Saturday, March 10, 2012

ADHD and Medication

I write about my son having Autism, but he also has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Autism and ADHD often go hand-in-hand.  They have similar characteristics (inattention, impulsiveness, etc.).  When he was diagnosed at 3 with ADHD, we were just getting used to him having Autism.  Those days before we knew what was going on had to be some of my hardest moments as a mom.  Our pediatrician is the one who diagnosed his Autism.  Once we had that diagnosis, he suggested we see a psychologist and psychiatrist.  I was a bit hesitant to take a child so young to a mental health professional.  We have been very lucky that both the psychologist and psychiatrist have been fantastic. We saw the psychologist first and then started seeing the psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist told us that medication might be a good idea for our son.  There are a bunch of medications for ADHD.  If you Google "medications for ADHD" it will bring up a ton!!  Another tough "mom"  moment was deciding to start giving my son a medication at a young age, he was about 3 1/2 when he started taking Ritalin.  I remember that I cried!! Once we put him on the Ritalin, his world opened up, we were able to get more eye contact and could start communicating with him much better.   His medication is very closely monitored (we see the psychiatrist every three months).  He continues to be on the Ritalin and until my husband and I don't think he is benefiting from it, he will stay on it.  We can definitely tell if he misses a dose or is late getting it.  I can only speak for myself, but I am so glad that I decided to put my son on a medication.  I know that other parents out there probably don't agree with me, but I think you have to do what works for your child. Every child is different and you know your child the best!!

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