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ADHD medication and statementing(11 Posts)
My DD aged 8 has Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD. I had a meeting with the SENCO today and it is coming to the point where I either ask them to apply for a statement, or I do it myself. I mentioned this to the SENCO and she said had we thought any more about giving DD ADHD medication because she thinks this may 'do the trick' and help DD concentrate therefore no statement needed.
DH and I are very reluctant to just medicate DD, without giving her the chance to cope on her own in year 4.
So, can I please ask...
a) In your experiences, how much difference did the medication make?
b) If we say no to the meds, will this affect our chances of getting extra help for DD?
Would really appreciate your input.
The choice to medicate or not is entirely up to the parents and is no business of school to be honest. You certainly wouldn't do it just for their benefit! It should have no bearing on statementing. It is up to the teachers and TAs to find a way to support your dd to learn whether or not you choose to try medication. If all appropriate strategies tried have not worked after a fair chance, statutory assessment is the next stage (but be prepared for opposition every step of the way).
We did try equasym XL (slow release) for dd to help her concentrate. It certainly did that, but her attainment didn't change. She also hated taking it - the side effects were unpleasant and after several months we decided it wasn't the way forward for us. We now finally have a statement (following a long fight) for dd and she will be getting appropriate support from here on in. As it turns out, her needs are more complex than simply AD/HD inattentive type. Apply now, because it has taken us four years to get to this stage. Dd left primary today!
Apply for the statement yourself. Cant comment on medication as DS isnt on any. But you go with your heart and get him all the help she needs.
I would just tell the school that no for now you do not wish to give dd meds and would rather take the natural course of action first. If they dont apply you can do it yourself quite easily and send any relevent copies of medical reports you hold to support your dds diagnosis. I cant see how it affects your chances of getting help by saying no to the meds and I would have thought that it was the parents choice and cant see how they could force you to go the med route. Obviously your dd has issues needing taking care of in school and even the school has suggested meds so that proves there is an issue at hand.
There are plenty of ppl here more experienced that me that would probably be glad to hold your hand through the application
I would only use medication as last resort if she is a danger to herself or others. My son is medicated because he became dangerous. Medication can be hit an miss my son started on ritalin but this gave him tics so he went on strattera this made him sick he is now on clonidine this does help him concentrate and stops him being dangerous. I would make a parental request for a statement. If with the right support she is then able to manage better you will know she doesnt need medication. The senco has no right to tell you to medicate that is your decision.
Thank you for your replies. To be honest my heart tells me there is no way I want to give my DD meds for this. She is not a danger to herself or or others, it's just down to her concentration issues.
I feel as though I am beginning to build a good relationship with the school. They have been very supportive with regards to DD's problems. They are starting a circle of friends for her in Y4 and are very hopeful of some 1:1 social skills training.
She got 3's at the end of KS1 (apart from 2a for writing). I asked today for her levels at the end of Y3 and was told that she got a 3a for Maths, 4c for Reading, but they couldn't find the teacher with the results for her writing!
Gosh she sounds as if she is doing really well. My dd has 3s and she is y6 and has a statement. My dd was on Ritalin but came off two years ago and there is no way I would have put her on it if she was achieving as well as your dd seems to be.
Don't be fooled by the school saying they are doing this and that, before you know it she will be in year 6 and you will be thinking about how she will cope in senior school as she has had no social skills groups etc. Get the statement whether the school want to apply or not as it is essential as she moves on through school like.
On the rittalin it was the worst thing I did for my dd and the school used it as a way of keeping her quiet without really understanding what it was doing to her. I know it works for some kids but my dd was on it for about four years and the reality was it didn't really help that much, the negatives far outweighed any benefits. I always had my doubts about it as I felt she would be far better receiving better teaching and some decent therapy but didn't know what kind of therapy.
We finally took her off it when I made my husband take some to see how it made him feel. Following his reaction to it and that the next day he woke up and felt so depressed that we took her off it immediately and have never looked back. We did finally find the therapy that she needed and working much better than the rittalin was OT which had an instant and long lasting affect on concentration and mood.
Well, she is doing well at the moment, her English teacher has already told me that her lack of concentration is starting to affect her work. I just don't know what to do! My plan at the moment is to watch her carefully next term and see what the school puts in place in terms of support and if by the end of the term if I'm still not happy I am going to apply for the statutory assessment myself.
Thank you for your replies, it really helps hearing all your experiences.
School will be unlikely to put in any more support than she is currently receiving now.
I would respectfully suggest you start making the statement application now rather than wait until the end of next term. Such things as well take six months (minimum) to set up so time is of the essense anyway.
If you personally make the application now you know its been done then and also you can appeal the LEAs crass decision in the event they say no. If school make the application they have no such right of appeal if the LEA turn it down.
I have a friend whose DD (now aged 19) has ADHD diagnosed at 5years old, she put off giving her DD medication until 9, and she tells me know that she wishes she had done it sooner, as soon as her daughter started taking her medication she was able to actually work at school.
I don't know why people are so against medication, if its what your DD needs then why deny it to her?
Medication for DS2's ADHD has been mentioned recently as a possibility by one of the ASD assessors in the paed's office. And the senco has mentioned it numerous times. Much as I like her, I was careful to point out that, as DS2's parents, whether or not he had medication was OUR decision, and we at this point are not comfortable with the idea. Perhaps in future we will consider it. But we will NOT be pushed or rushed into it.
And DS2 has a statement. As far as I'm concerned, the need for a statement and whether or not he is medicated are simply not related.
And we're not "against medication" but simply not certain it's his best option at this point. I resent the implication by saying "if its what they need then why deny it to them" that we are in some way giving them substandard care or not doing our best for them.
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