Saturday, February 9, 2008

Considering meds again

I'm thinking a great deal again about whether or not to try Gus on medication. From the daily reports I'm getting from school, and from his report card, he's not improving in very specific areas. Academically, he's doing just fine, but he doesn't follow instructions unless he is given constant redirection. So, the complaints are that he's unfocused and not completing assignments. Now, part of me recognizes this as the district building a case to push us to medicate him. That is actually part of my resistance to the idea. But at the same time, these are not fabrications. I know he needs to be told something fifty times before it gets done. His mind is very busy; he has no time to think about something as trivial as putting a shirt on when he's cataloguing animal groups.

I am very much against rushing him into mainstreaming before he's ready and I absolutely do not want him sentenced, from the age of six, to a lifetime of medication. But at the same time, I can't help but wonder if he might get a little more enjoyment out of life if he could focus long enough to learn some things, like riding a bike, or if he could make one friend. Would medication help this along? I don't, and won't, know unless we try it. It seems harmless enough - a trial at a very low dosage - but there's just something in me that cringes.

We definitely need to do some more research. He already has a pretty revved up heart-rate. If the meds increase this, is there any danger to him? He's borderline underweight, and the meds are said to decrease appetite. Will he be zoned out? Will he be less curious and...happy? He's such a bubbly kid - I don't want to dull that. He sees into things in ways that only an incredibly sensitive and perceptive person could - I don't want him to lose that ability. That's part of what makes him so special.

It seems like such a huge tradeoff, potentially.

At any rate, we won't even consider a trial until after his next IEP meeting. And I don't intend to share our decision one way or the other with the school, or pretty much anyone. It's very frustrating and kind of depressing that I'm even allowing the thought to stick with me.


  1. I've been on more than one kind of medication , for more than one thing. I found the antidepressants affected my personality more, while the ADHD medicine to improve concentration just...makes me less edgy and improves my concentration.

    That is just my experience, and I started all of this stuff as an adult - the first meds in my 30's, the second in my forties, so it did not impact on my development in any way. Then again, maybe if I had had the second meds all along I could have done better in school all along.

    Just random thoughts for you.

  2. The following link was something I heard on the radio months ago, and had intended to bring to your attention, but just...forgot. Your post brought it to mind.

    While you may be familiar with this research (some studies are several years old) I thought it was something to know, in any event, maybe as part of your research.


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