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Friday, May 14, 2010

Children On Medication - A Disturbing Trend

Should our kids be on medication to alter their behavior? I realize that in some cases, it is necessary. But I am beginning to notice a trend that’s disturbing. My grandson is seven years old and is normally a calm quiet boy.

I went with his mother to a parent-teacher conference and his teacher had some very nice things to say about him. However, she proceeds to mention that sometimes he gets on her nerves by softly tapping his pencil on his desk.

She explains that she has spoken to him about it, but he occasionally forgets and “sits there tapping his pencil”. I can’t help but be surprised a little as she animates with gestures and facial expressions how unnerving this continual tapping is.

My daughter smiles and assures her that she will speak to him about it. Then his teacher leans in and asks, “Have you thought about putting him on medication?” My daughter and I exchange glances with wide eyes and bit of shock and disbelief. At this point I politely ask, “I’m sorry, who did you say needs to be on medication?”

I may be wrong, but it seems that some teachers are opting to suggest meds to children rather than deal with the stresses associated with managing thirty active kids. If at least half of the children in class are sedated, this is bound to make her job a little easier.

My inclination is to ask if she might want to seek medical attention. Again, I know that some children truly need it, but are teachers, social workers, and even doctors getting slap happy with prescribing medication for children who are simply being children?

If a child is a little jumpy or edgy and we offer him a pill to feel better, what message are we sending the child? When he hits sixteen and his peers offer him a pill to feel better, is he more likely to accept it? “Sure…my parents give me pills.” This thought brings horror to my mind and it should.

Children should be completely tested for conditions such as ADHD or bipolar disorder before being prescribed medications. I have a friend whose daughter is ADHD and she recently informed me that her daughter was being tested for ADHD. “But wait a minute...hasn’t your daughter been on Concerta for about six months now?” I asked. She explains to me that her doctor wants to be sure she actually has it before continuing her meds.

So in conclusion, if your child is a bit hyper, there’s a possibility that he might just be acting like a child. If his actions are truly disruptive, there are several natural remedies that have been known to work very well. Pycnogenal and Fish Oil (Omega 3) are excellent supplements that assist in the support of emotional and mental disorders.

As a last resort, medications might be necessary, but please have your child tested first before allowing him to start on medications.

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