Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How Best to Treat Preschoolers With ADHD?

How Best to Treat Preschoolers With ADHD? The Harvard Mental Health Letter Discusses the Options

Preschoolers? 3 to 5 years old, being diagnosed with ADHD, and treated with Ritalin? How do they get an accurate diagnosis on a 3 year old? And is anyone else scared to death with the thought of prescribing psych medications to a 3 year old?


BamaGal said...

I have a serious problem with the ADHD diagnosis to begin with. How much is it just behavior control? How much is it poor nutrition? Psychiatry is observational---there can be no lab value or test done to determine if an illness is present.

My own son was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4--he's 24 now. His kindergarten teacher is the one who diagnosed him. I just took him to a doctor to confirm it. All he did was just rubber stamp what the teacher said. I refused to put him on Ritalin. I opted to work with a therapist on behavior control. Which allowed him to do much better up until he hit puberty. He did eventually become diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a few years ago. He was exhibiting too many of my own symptoms at that time.

Too many parents today do not set boundaries with their kids, even the little ones. So really could it be a behavior problem unchecked or is it actually ADHD. I'd opt for the therapy again before allowing a tiny child to take such a strong medication.

Okgenuine said...

Giving medication to someone who can't even come up with their own opinion about it is just wrong. Dare I say, this seems to fit into the pschiatric agenda to never have a plan b.

Just Me said...

I wonder how much these kids are limited. When I was a camp counselor we'd get kids who were so clearly overmedicated, along with kids who needed sleeping pills to counteract the Ritalin all day. Or their parents would send them to camp for their medication holiday and they'd be crazy for 2 weeks.

I am all for pharmacological treatment when all else fails, but there is no way that's true for a young child. I think delaying drug tx as long as possible probably is responsible for my own educational success that I am told is unusual. I was violently opposed to meds for many years after the disease started and I did not move into mood stabilizers until I had been very symptomatic for 7 years.

There's also the little fact that we know some of these meds can cause underlying disorders, like bipolar, to be worse. Doesn't seem worth the risk until no other options exists to me....

Stacy said...

I saw an article once where a 3 year old was already on risperdal and seroquel. That is scary!!

So many parents just want kids to be perfect little sheep, following the herd.

We didn't medicate Cody until he was 7 and then it was very slow and only because he was obviously suffering. I put up with alot, and would love for his behavior to improve, but will not medicate him for my convenience.


Stephany said...

I wrote something about this, and added a link to an article promoting NON med use in preschoolers, [yay] and guess what they use kitchen timers and plan the day giving kids necessary heads up to what's happening in the schedule, DUH. My article is my part 22 in my OCD>ADHD>Bipolar evolution series, there's a link to the non-med for preschoolers story.[teachers totally dx kids though they are not allowed by law, they do it, I work in the schools and its awful when a kid is on meds, [i know this from experience as a parent and a educational assistant]the first thing a teacher says when a kid is 'acting up' "did you take your meds?" I received many a phone call like that as a parent and then at my school from my daughter's school. It was ridiculous. Most of the time my answer was "yes she did take the meds, and THAT is the problem!"

Jon said...

bamagal - I agree with you that medication is used only after other options are exhausted.

OK - Plan B? Change the cocktail.

JustMe - great post. I agree with everything you said.

Stacy - that 3 year old died due to over-medication. I'll NEVER say that meds aren't necessary, but like you said to medicate out of convenience is criminal.

Stephany - like always, your thorough research and willingness to share your experience is appreciated.