Using medications to manage ADHD symptoms in kids is a hotly contested issue. Some parents have found medications to be incredibly helpful for their kids. They regret not having started them sooner. Other parents feel giving their child medication wasn’t worth the risk. Whether or not to give your own child ADHD medication is something for you to decide for yourself.
To find out what some parents have to say on this topic, we turned to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, who gathered feedback from their Facebook community. What they found was a range of experiences and opinions.
Keep in mind that these are individual, personal stories. When considering medication, it’s important to talk with your child’s doctor.
Read on to learn what some parents had to say.
Happy With ADHD Medication
“My 8-year-old son has ADHD (inattentive type) and has been taking meds [for four months]. I cannot believe the change in his ability to do his work and enjoy school a lot more too. It’s been a huge positive for our family and we still have the same much-loved little boy with the same personality.”
“Any changes have been positive ones. We have a happier, less frustrated and more engaged kiddo now. Not one regret in our decision to use them.”
“My son … went from almost being expelled and not able to finish assignments, to playing with others and completing timed math worksheets.... But this was not just due to meds … it was a combination of social skills classes, counseling, behavioral plan and parent follow-through....”
On the Fence About ADHD Medication
“I resisted meds for years. I finally caved when my son was 12. The first day he came home from school beaming and announced he was finally smart like the other kids. It’s definitely overused, but it also definitely has its place.”
“I have two sons with ADHD (inattentive type)…. [With the right medication ] one son went from constantly struggling and frustrated to the top in his class in most subjects. My other son has been on every ADHD medication known to mankind, in every form and every dose. Every one was a different disaster. … So it really depends on the child …you just have to know your child and you don’t know till you try!”
Finding the Right Medication Can Take Time
“My daughter was having behavior issues while on Concerta … [Professionals] monitored her, switched her medications around a bit (now on Adderall) and today she is a brand new child … best decision I ever made.”
“My older son (now 20) and my youngest take meds for ADHD. My oldest son took Adderall and abused it, right under my nose. He moved on to worse things. I was reluctant to allow my 7-year-old daughter to be medicated. So we opted not to use a stimulant. She is doing very well on the non-stimulant.”
Against Using ADHD Medication
“From a parent with ADD who has a child with ADD ... Do not use medications … Some kids will do better with medication, but they are not for everyone. In my personal experience, no meds is best.”
“The medicine helped my son retain info at school. But the trade-off was steep ... So we have chosen not to medicate him again. He is happy-go-lucky as he forgets every detail of his school day and flutters off to chase butterflies.”
“[My son is now] off the meds ... [He] is doing a lot better with an occupational therapist, and counselor/behaviorist put in place.”
Understanding ADHD medications and how they work can help you make informed decisions for your child. And consider talking to other parents who’ve been there. You can get tips from and share experiences with other parents in our online community.
Understood is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company.