My eldest son, Richard (lucky kid
looks just like his father), now 13 and
full of whatever it is that infects teenagers, was a busy baby.
He walked and talked early and was generally a happy, active and
very healthy toddler. Then came school, and it became obvious
that he was having trouble concentrating in class.
Various doctors later, it was
decided that he suffered from ADHD, and that the only course of
action was Ritalin, coupled with physical therapy, to assist his
writing skills, which were lagging behind. Writing, in fact, was
his pet hate. It's about eight years down the line now, and
Richard is blossoming. He still isn't much of a fan of writing,
but he has overcome huge hurdles on his way to claiming his
rightful place amongst his peers.
A word of caution to parents out
there. Richard was never unruly, loud or abusive. There were no
tantrums and no physical signs of rage or anger. Just a normal
child who seemed to have trouble at school. And yet, he was
diagnosed as having ADHD and the Ritalin started. I cannot help
wondering if the same child had been diagnosed twenty years
earlier, if the current malaise of the day would not have been
offered up as the culprit. As it turns out, the physical therapy
was probably the answer, and was tried to late. Then there is
also the issue of food allergies, in particular, colourants. I am
firmly convinced that a convenient label was applied to my son,
and incorrectly so.
I would urge all parents to pursue and
close all other avenues before resorting to Ritalin. Richard was
possibly luckier than most, and appears to have escaped
unscathed, but this medication has a very bad track record,
which may, or may not be justified. There is a lot of literature
out there, both for and against and we have included some links
on the right for further reading.
If you are here because your
child is a possible candidate for ADHD, let us know via the
forum. If you have unanswered questions or need support, we will
try to assist where possible.