Mom is struggling with decision to medicate

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  February 14, 2012 06:00 AM

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Hi Barbara,

I have 3 boys (7, 5 and 2).

My oldest was recently diagnosed (in June) with ADHD (hyperactivity/impulsivity) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He was always a challenge for us to parent. My hope was that his behavior was just a phase and that he would gow out of it. But here I am years later, and his behavior is still a huge concern.

It has become more and more apparent since he is now in school. Peer relationships are difficult for him. He is loud, doesn't get along well with most peers, and sometimes has threatened or hit them. He is bossy with his younger brothers (they do not have ADHD), overreacts to the most minimal situations, swears and talks back to me (tells me he wishes I was dead), etc. Time outs, loss of privileges, you name it, I have tried it.

I did not want to put him on meds, but now it seems like the only option sometimes. I have changed his diet (limit his sugar and dairy intake, colors, and additives) and have him take supplemental vitamins and minerals.

We keep him as active as we possibly can (daily biking, swimming, karate). He gets weekly psychosocial therapy with a social worker (I also see the same social worker for parent training sessions). He will be starting a social skills group soon. Also during school, he will see the school psychologist weekly, and receive speech therapy (social pragmatics).

His behavior just seems so out of control most days (there is always an incident with his siblings everyday), that I can't take it anymore. The child psychiatrist said that this was a mild form of ADHD. It does not seems mild to me. Sometimes, I just want to throw in the towel and go for the meds but will that actually change his behavior or I am just taking the easy way out?

At my wits end, Newton, MA


Dear AWE,

Easy way out? No way. If you are at your wit's end, it's a no-brainer to me to try the meds for a period of time to see what difference this makes for him and for everyone else. You've tried all the alternatives. You're getting professional help. And you have two other kids. You're kidding yourself if you think being at your wit's end because of your oldest child isn't also affecting your younger two.

If your child had a disease that originated in, say, his bladder and he couldn't play sports because he had to go the bathroom too often, and meds enabled him to play, I'm betting you wouldn't hesitate. Your son's challenges are not something he can control on his own. Let him have the opportunity to see what he feels like with the help of meds. He's old enough to understand how they might help. I'm guessing he'd welcome a try. And that's how I'd frame it for him: "Let's try this for a while and see how it goes."

I look forward to comments from readers who have faced this challenge with their kids.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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15 comments so far...
  1. For what it is worth - one of my kids takes medication for ADHD. It has not altered his personality; he is the same boy. He is just now slightly more in control of his impulses. The medication doesn't fix the ADHD; it is not a magic pill. That's good, because if it erased this part of him entirely, he really would be a different person (at the very least, he'd be sedated). The medication, for us, has just been another tool in dealing with this.

    Posted by jjlen February 14, 12 07:10 AM
  1. One of my brothers was like your son. My parents decided not to medicate him. People who need medication but don't get it often self-medicate with drink and drugs and so he did and is a hopeless addict. At least try the medication, if it works fine and if not, keep looking for help.

    Posted by Object Lesson February 14, 12 09:39 AM
  1. I've travelled the same road as you. I tried everything before finally agreeing to meds for my son (now 11) and, frankly, the decision still doesn't sit well with me. But his ability to learn was so compromised by his behavior - not to mention the constant disruption to the other kids around him - that we finally just couldn't see any other way.

    Meds aren't a magic bullet; there will still be plenty of problems and you are wise to contine the other therapies. But one HUGE benefit that I only recognized in retrospect was the benefit that gaining some measure of self-control and not constantly hearing "no" had on my son's self-image.

    Posted by Faith February 14, 12 10:02 AM
  1. There is a difference between medicating your kids and drugging your kids. Giving medication that has been scientifically proven to help change objectively problematic behavior is responsible parenting. Giving pills willy-nilly to change behavior that you personally don't care for is drugging. You will clearly be doing the former. Help your kid, and don't feel guilty about it.

    Posted by jane February 14, 12 10:49 AM
  1. Will he get more out of his therapies if he is on medication? If the medication bring him closer to control, both of you will have more emotional, and physical energy to work in the therapies. Just because he takes medication now does not mean he will be on them for life. Taking medication now might speed up the learning process and enable him to transition off the medication at a later point in his life. Obviously, there is no guarantee, but it is possible.

    Posted by been there, struggled with that February 14, 12 01:18 PM
  1. Wow. I am really impressed with all the steps you are taking to help your son and yourself. To me, if you are doing everything in your power (as it seems you certainly are) and it is still not working, it is worthwhile to try the medication. It has worked wonders for my ADHD son, although he was not oppositional. He is a much happier and more confident child.

    Posted by Cordelia February 14, 12 08:03 PM
  1. Try the meds. It doesn't have be a permanent solution. I had a student 3 years ago who has a similar diagnosis. School was a huge struggle, but in fourth grade, when the learning demands got more intense, it came to a head. She had a horrible year both in and out of school until May, when her mom, who also is not crazy about meds, finally said, let's try it.

    3 years later, she is in such better control of her emotions. Is she still stubborn? Is she still a pain in the butt sometimes? Yes. But we saw an immediate change in her impulse control and ability to attend to information. She went from my classroom where she was literally restrained often, to a full support special ed classroom and slowly back into a classroom that has support from a special education instructional assistant.

    Medication is not for every person. Just like other ailments, some medications are helpful for some and detrimental to others. Until you give your child a chance on medicine, you're not truly sure it won't help. Think of it this way- if your child was diabetic, you'd try insulin. If your child had asthma, you'd try a series of medicines until you found the best fit. If your child had a stomach condition, you'd look for answers in medicine. Why not for ADHD or ODD? Go for it. Reevaluate in 6 weeks. If it helps, stick with it. If it doesn't, drop it. But until you try, you can't really be at the end of your rope.

    Posted by teacherinmass February 14, 12 09:58 PM
  1. I do not believe that the problems of this child are treatable with medication and therefore medication will further distance the child in need of treatment from the real solution to his problems.

    Jean Piaget proved through many years of scientific research and observation of children, that their verbal language is not fully developed until they reach at least 8 years old. The body language of this troubled child is telling the truth about his unmet needs.

    I believe that the serious acting out of this child began when he was 2 and the second child was born. The mother depicts the struggle very accurately, but there is no mention of the father's active involvement with his son on a daily basis one-to-one.

    This oldest child was probably primarily attached to his father, and the father became busy at the time that there were two children. Maybe for reasons of income, maybe for other reasons, nevertheless, the detachment from the father is the real problem here, and this has to be an integral part of the answer.The behavior has scaled up as a third child was born, and as the frustration has grown over time.

    The Oppositional Defiant Disorder sounds like the correct diagnosis here.
    Given that the primary hostility is towards the mother and siblings, a family based intervention is the only solution that is going to work.

    I have seen this numerous times when watching the interactions of nuclear families as a group. It takes about 2 hours of watching the parents and children all in one place in their normal mode of behavior to see what the dynamics are. A family therapist can then identify the needs and work with the group to modify behaviors.

    As long as the real emotional needs of this child are not met, the addition of therapies like drugs will only make things worse.

    My parents made permanently bad parenting decisions like who to spend time with: openly preferring some of their children and shunning others based solely on appearance. It took some years of therapy to unravel the fact that I was not the most seriously harmed sibling. However, I had learned by the age of 12 that no amount of medication would ever work, and I did not self-medicate as a teenager or adult.

    I have never encountered another case like mine (thankfully). I know that the body language of the family group is the ONLY source of information that a professional should use in diagnosis and treatment, whenever there is such a strong component of family dynamics as described here.

    Posted by Irene February 15, 12 05:18 AM
  1. Our son has ADHD and is 14 and still on meds. His life is easier because of the concentration and impulse control. We used to explain it to him (and other judgemental others not in our shoes): Our son has a beautiful waterfall in his head, filled with great and creative ideas. Meds help it become a powerful fire hose, capable of directing all that energy where you want it, so that it does the most good. It's a tool to bring out the best in you that we know is in there. He loved the analogy and it helped greatly.

    Posted by JC Medford February 15, 12 06:57 AM
  1. All of the non-medical interventions in the world aren't going to "take" if he can't quiet his mind a little to absorb them. It will just be noise in the atmosphere to him. This isn't a case where a child is a little wiggly in school and the doctor thinks that throwing a prescription at the problem will get you out of the door faster. Give the meds a shot, but do speak to him about the possible initial emotional effects of ramping up (this means adding or increasing) a medication.

    Starting a new medication for ADD doesn't just feel weird, it can be very emotional. As an adult it is hard to take if you don't expect it, but as a kid who doesn't fully understand his emotions it can be even harder to take. Make sure he expects it, and that your family expects it, and can talk about whatever feelings/moods/outbursts he might have. Emotional support makes all the difference.

    Bear in mind, too, that if there are many stages of ramping up (starting with say a 10 mg dose, then going up to 20, then going up to 30) doctors often say "take x dose for 3 days, then y dose for 4 days, etc. That makes sense from a medical standpoint but not an emotional standpoint. When my husband or I have switched, increased, or decreased medication we always do it on a Saturday and make no major plans for that weekend. That way if we are feeling emotional or (as is usual) just wanting to hang around the house and not having to be social, we can. I wouldn't want to be a first/second grader who is undergoing the emotional changes that come with ramping up on ADD meds while having to be at school. It is just a recipe for disaster, and the last thing you want to set yourself up for is for your son's first experiences on the medication to be of failure.

    The meds can help make things better, but bear in mind that they are only part of the solution. The meds plus the therapies plus time and growing up can make the difference. Don't slack off on the therapies and other wonderful, positive things for him just because the meds help!

    It sounds like you are a very "together" parent who is doing everything possible right, and you have a missing piece. The meds might be the missing piece. I suspect so.

    One last thing I want to say is this: With the right compassion, therapies (meds and others) and positive experiences, your kid will turn out ok. Honestly. He will always have a personality, but some of the things that come along with ADD and ADHD are strengths and gifts, and those will reveal themselves in time as he grows up. I know people who once had your son's issues who go on to own their own successful companies or have very high-responsibility, interesting professional jobs, great friendships, great marriages and raise great kids. I am married to such a person, and I wouldn't trade his or my ADD for the world. Honestly. Maybe someday you will feel that way about your kid's ADHD too.

    Posted by Meri February 15, 12 10:06 AM
  1. I totally get your struggle with this. My oldest son is almost 14 and was diagnosed 7 years ago. Luckily, his behavior isn't "an issue" in the sense that he is not hyperactive or disruptive, but this severely affects his ability to learn, complete homework, focus in school, and complete tasks at home. It affects him in every facet of his life.

    We see a nutritionist, he takes supplements, we minimize certain foods, he plays organized sports, has PE every day, spends one period a day in the resource room, gets accommodations at school (he has some learning disabilities over and above the attention deficit), has done "alternative" therapies, and we have designed our home and routines to set him up for success (which also helps my husband, his step-father, who also has ADHD). So I can confidently say that we've tried everything but medication, and it all helps and is all worth continuing.

    However, now that he reaching an age where grades really count for college admissions and he is old enough to take on a greater role in managing this, he has asked to try medication so we are in the process of doing that. We've had many unfilled prescriptions handed out over the years by his pediatrician and various mental health professionals, but we'll be working with an adolescent psychiatrist who does rigorous screening and follow up for this to, we hope, find the right medicine for him. In a few months, I may very well be in the camp of people who say "we should have done this years ago" but at the time, it just didn't feel right. Now, the time feels right. I think that if this affected my son's behavior and peer relationships the way it seems to be affecting your son's behavior and relationships with others, I would have been comfortable trying medication sooner. Your son, as well as you and your family, deserve to live as "normal" a life as possible and if the responsible use of medication can help to calm his behavior, it will help everything else you're doing work that much more effectively. There is no substitute for a happy childhood - give the medication a try and don't feel guilty about it. There's no shame in admitting that in many cases, "everything but medication" doesn't work as well as medication.

    Posted by Jen February 15, 12 10:15 AM
  1. I agree with what other posters have said. I've been in your shoes and ultimately also started medication for my son who was struggling in school because of his inability to focus. This is just another tool in your tool box, just like changing his diet and starting therapy. There is no magic fix it pill, but if you find the right balance of 'tools' it'll make like easier for the whole family. Also, talk to other parents who have been in your shoes, I found that extremely helpful. Family memebers, ADHD support groups (they do exist!), even ask the Dr if they can suggest other parents who might be willing to talk to you.

    Posted by Bostonmom February 15, 12 02:06 PM
  1. I wholeheartedly agree with Barbara and think the other posters have responded with some very thoughtful and sound advice. And you've obviously done a lot already and given this some serious thought yourself. I applaud you for being cautious about giving your child these medicines, which are controlled substances and come with their own potential issues.

    I am left to wonder if part of your concern is over the actual diagnosis. You are dealing with 2 different things here with some very upsetting behaviors. Its always sound to get a second opinion if you doubt anything.

    You're a good mom. Good luck


    Posted by ash February 15, 12 02:21 PM
  1. First of all, I sincerely wish you, your son, and your whole family the very best. I agree with the " meds are just another tool" approach. We have recently started our son on meds for ADHD. We do not give him meds on weekends as of yet. His teachers and he have noticed a marked improvement in his behavior, attention, focus, maturity level. I would counsel you to try the meds on a trial basis. We all would love to hear back from you with (hopefully good) some news. Good luck and God Bless!!

    Posted by Tom February 15, 12 07:05 PM
  1. If your kid had diabetes, would you think "If only I was a better mother, I wouldn't need to give him insulin."

    This medication could let him be calmer in school, enjoy it more, and perhaps even be more likely to make a friend. Why on earth would you not try it?

    This is not about you, it's about what is best for him. You're obviously a great mom and doing your best. Give it a try - can't hurt, might help.

    Posted by just cause February 22, 12 10:02 AM
 
15 comments so far...
  1. For what it is worth - one of my kids takes medication for ADHD. It has not altered his personality; he is the same boy. He is just now slightly more in control of his impulses. The medication doesn't fix the ADHD; it is not a magic pill. That's good, because if it erased this part of him entirely, he really would be a different person (at the very least, he'd be sedated). The medication, for us, has just been another tool in dealing with this.

    Posted by jjlen February 14, 12 07:10 AM
  1. One of my brothers was like your son. My parents decided not to medicate him. People who need medication but don't get it often self-medicate with drink and drugs and so he did and is a hopeless addict. At least try the medication, if it works fine and if not, keep looking for help.

    Posted by Object Lesson February 14, 12 09:39 AM
  1. I've travelled the same road as you. I tried everything before finally agreeing to meds for my son (now 11) and, frankly, the decision still doesn't sit well with me. But his ability to learn was so compromised by his behavior - not to mention the constant disruption to the other kids around him - that we finally just couldn't see any other way.

    Meds aren't a magic bullet; there will still be plenty of problems and you are wise to contine the other therapies. But one HUGE benefit that I only recognized in retrospect was the benefit that gaining some measure of self-control and not constantly hearing "no" had on my son's self-image.

    Posted by Faith February 14, 12 10:02 AM
  1. There is a difference between medicating your kids and drugging your kids. Giving medication that has been scientifically proven to help change objectively problematic behavior is responsible parenting. Giving pills willy-nilly to change behavior that you personally don't care for is drugging. You will clearly be doing the former. Help your kid, and don't feel guilty about it.

    Posted by jane February 14, 12 10:49 AM
  1. Will he get more out of his therapies if he is on medication? If the medication bring him closer to control, both of you will have more emotional, and physical energy to work in the therapies. Just because he takes medication now does not mean he will be on them for life. Taking medication now might speed up the learning process and enable him to transition off the medication at a later point in his life. Obviously, there is no guarantee, but it is possible.

    Posted by been there, struggled with that February 14, 12 01:18 PM
  1. Wow. I am really impressed with all the steps you are taking to help your son and yourself. To me, if you are doing everything in your power (as it seems you certainly are) and it is still not working, it is worthwhile to try the medication. It has worked wonders for my ADHD son, although he was not oppositional. He is a much happier and more confident child.

    Posted by Cordelia February 14, 12 08:03 PM
  1. Try the meds. It doesn't have be a permanent solution. I had a student 3 years ago who has a similar diagnosis. School was a huge struggle, but in fourth grade, when the learning demands got more intense, it came to a head. She had a horrible year both in and out of school until May, when her mom, who also is not crazy about meds, finally said, let's try it.

    3 years later, she is in such better control of her emotions. Is she still stubborn? Is she still a pain in the butt sometimes? Yes. But we saw an immediate change in her impulse control and ability to attend to information. She went from my classroom where she was literally restrained often, to a full support special ed classroom and slowly back into a classroom that has support from a special education instructional assistant.

    Medication is not for every person. Just like other ailments, some medications are helpful for some and detrimental to others. Until you give your child a chance on medicine, you're not truly sure it won't help. Think of it this way- if your child was diabetic, you'd try insulin. If your child had asthma, you'd try a series of medicines until you found the best fit. If your child had a stomach condition, you'd look for answers in medicine. Why not for ADHD or ODD? Go for it. Reevaluate in 6 weeks. If it helps, stick with it. If it doesn't, drop it. But until you try, you can't really be at the end of your rope.

    Posted by teacherinmass February 14, 12 09:58 PM
  1. I do not believe that the problems of this child are treatable with medication and therefore medication will further distance the child in need of treatment from the real solution to his problems.

    Jean Piaget proved through many years of scientific research and observation of children, that their verbal language is not fully developed until they reach at least 8 years old. The body language of this troubled child is telling the truth about his unmet needs.

    I believe that the serious acting out of this child began when he was 2 and the second child was born. The mother depicts the struggle very accurately, but there is no mention of the father's active involvement with his son on a daily basis one-to-one.

    This oldest child was probably primarily attached to his father, and the father became busy at the time that there were two children. Maybe for reasons of income, maybe for other reasons, nevertheless, the detachment from the father is the real problem here, and this has to be an integral part of the answer.The behavior has scaled up as a third child was born, and as the frustration has grown over time.

    The Oppositional Defiant Disorder sounds like the correct diagnosis here.
    Given that the primary hostility is towards the mother and siblings, a family based intervention is the only solution that is going to work.

    I have seen this numerous times when watching the interactions of nuclear families as a group. It takes about 2 hours of watching the parents and children all in one place in their normal mode of behavior to see what the dynamics are. A family therapist can then identify the needs and work with the group to modify behaviors.

    As long as the real emotional needs of this child are not met, the addition of therapies like drugs will only make things worse.

    My parents made permanently bad parenting decisions like who to spend time with: openly preferring some of their children and shunning others based solely on appearance. It took some years of therapy to unravel the fact that I was not the most seriously harmed sibling. However, I had learned by the age of 12 that no amount of medication would ever work, and I did not self-medicate as a teenager or adult.

    I have never encountered another case like mine (thankfully). I know that the body language of the family group is the ONLY source of information that a professional should use in diagnosis and treatment, whenever there is such a strong component of family dynamics as described here.

    Posted by Irene February 15, 12 05:18 AM
  1. Our son has ADHD and is 14 and still on meds. His life is easier because of the concentration and impulse control. We used to explain it to him (and other judgemental others not in our shoes): Our son has a beautiful waterfall in his head, filled with great and creative ideas. Meds help it become a powerful fire hose, capable of directing all that energy where you want it, so that it does the most good. It's a tool to bring out the best in you that we know is in there. He loved the analogy and it helped greatly.

    Posted by JC Medford February 15, 12 06:57 AM
  1. All of the non-medical interventions in the world aren't going to "take" if he can't quiet his mind a little to absorb them. It will just be noise in the atmosphere to him. This isn't a case where a child is a little wiggly in school and the doctor thinks that throwing a prescription at the problem will get you out of the door faster. Give the meds a shot, but do speak to him about the possible initial emotional effects of ramping up (this means adding or increasing) a medication.

    Starting a new medication for ADD doesn't just feel weird, it can be very emotional. As an adult it is hard to take if you don't expect it, but as a kid who doesn't fully understand his emotions it can be even harder to take. Make sure he expects it, and that your family expects it, and can talk about whatever feelings/moods/outbursts he might have. Emotional support makes all the difference.

    Bear in mind, too, that if there are many stages of ramping up (starting with say a 10 mg dose, then going up to 20, then going up to 30) doctors often say "take x dose for 3 days, then y dose for 4 days, etc. That makes sense from a medical standpoint but not an emotional standpoint. When my husband or I have switched, increased, or decreased medication we always do it on a Saturday and make no major plans for that weekend. That way if we are feeling emotional or (as is usual) just wanting to hang around the house and not having to be social, we can. I wouldn't want to be a first/second grader who is undergoing the emotional changes that come with ramping up on ADD meds while having to be at school. It is just a recipe for disaster, and the last thing you want to set yourself up for is for your son's first experiences on the medication to be of failure.

    The meds can help make things better, but bear in mind that they are only part of the solution. The meds plus the therapies plus time and growing up can make the difference. Don't slack off on the therapies and other wonderful, positive things for him just because the meds help!

    It sounds like you are a very "together" parent who is doing everything possible right, and you have a missing piece. The meds might be the missing piece. I suspect so.

    One last thing I want to say is this: With the right compassion, therapies (meds and others) and positive experiences, your kid will turn out ok. Honestly. He will always have a personality, but some of the things that come along with ADD and ADHD are strengths and gifts, and those will reveal themselves in time as he grows up. I know people who once had your son's issues who go on to own their own successful companies or have very high-responsibility, interesting professional jobs, great friendships, great marriages and raise great kids. I am married to such a person, and I wouldn't trade his or my ADD for the world. Honestly. Maybe someday you will feel that way about your kid's ADHD too.

    Posted by Meri February 15, 12 10:06 AM
  1. I totally get your struggle with this. My oldest son is almost 14 and was diagnosed 7 years ago. Luckily, his behavior isn't "an issue" in the sense that he is not hyperactive or disruptive, but this severely affects his ability to learn, complete homework, focus in school, and complete tasks at home. It affects him in every facet of his life.

    We see a nutritionist, he takes supplements, we minimize certain foods, he plays organized sports, has PE every day, spends one period a day in the resource room, gets accommodations at school (he has some learning disabilities over and above the attention deficit), has done "alternative" therapies, and we have designed our home and routines to set him up for success (which also helps my husband, his step-father, who also has ADHD). So I can confidently say that we've tried everything but medication, and it all helps and is all worth continuing.

    However, now that he reaching an age where grades really count for college admissions and he is old enough to take on a greater role in managing this, he has asked to try medication so we are in the process of doing that. We've had many unfilled prescriptions handed out over the years by his pediatrician and various mental health professionals, but we'll be working with an adolescent psychiatrist who does rigorous screening and follow up for this to, we hope, find the right medicine for him. In a few months, I may very well be in the camp of people who say "we should have done this years ago" but at the time, it just didn't feel right. Now, the time feels right. I think that if this affected my son's behavior and peer relationships the way it seems to be affecting your son's behavior and relationships with others, I would have been comfortable trying medication sooner. Your son, as well as you and your family, deserve to live as "normal" a life as possible and if the responsible use of medication can help to calm his behavior, it will help everything else you're doing work that much more effectively. There is no substitute for a happy childhood - give the medication a try and don't feel guilty about it. There's no shame in admitting that in many cases, "everything but medication" doesn't work as well as medication.

    Posted by Jen February 15, 12 10:15 AM
  1. I agree with what other posters have said. I've been in your shoes and ultimately also started medication for my son who was struggling in school because of his inability to focus. This is just another tool in your tool box, just like changing his diet and starting therapy. There is no magic fix it pill, but if you find the right balance of 'tools' it'll make like easier for the whole family. Also, talk to other parents who have been in your shoes, I found that extremely helpful. Family memebers, ADHD support groups (they do exist!), even ask the Dr if they can suggest other parents who might be willing to talk to you.

    Posted by Bostonmom February 15, 12 02:06 PM
  1. I wholeheartedly agree with Barbara and think the other posters have responded with some very thoughtful and sound advice. And you've obviously done a lot already and given this some serious thought yourself. I applaud you for being cautious about giving your child these medicines, which are controlled substances and come with their own potential issues.

    I am left to wonder if part of your concern is over the actual diagnosis. You are dealing with 2 different things here with some very upsetting behaviors. Its always sound to get a second opinion if you doubt anything.

    You're a good mom. Good luck


    Posted by ash February 15, 12 02:21 PM
  1. First of all, I sincerely wish you, your son, and your whole family the very best. I agree with the " meds are just another tool" approach. We have recently started our son on meds for ADHD. We do not give him meds on weekends as of yet. His teachers and he have noticed a marked improvement in his behavior, attention, focus, maturity level. I would counsel you to try the meds on a trial basis. We all would love to hear back from you with (hopefully good) some news. Good luck and God Bless!!

    Posted by Tom February 15, 12 07:05 PM
  1. If your kid had diabetes, would you think "If only I was a better mother, I wouldn't need to give him insulin."

    This medication could let him be calmer in school, enjoy it more, and perhaps even be more likely to make a friend. Why on earth would you not try it?

    This is not about you, it's about what is best for him. You're obviously a great mom and doing your best. Give it a try - can't hurt, might help.

    Posted by just cause February 22, 12 10:02 AM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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