Thursday, August 28, 2014

To medicate or NOT to medicate


Yes, you read that right. the mother who was vehemently against medicating children, has put her child on meds.

I was always against medicating my son. He was diagnosed with ADHD before he was diagnosed with Autism, and I told the pediatrician from the get go, NO MEDS.

As the years have gone by and as I have watched my child struggle, pita and I started to actually entertain the idea....

I still wasn't sure. That's a BIG step. But when Liam had his last manic episode, and our choice was inpatient over 2 hours away or home with an appt with the child psychiatrist, the realization was that medicine was going to need to be administered.

It was with heavy hearts that we accepted a script for Concerta, and one for Hydroxyzine for Liam. We were told that these are the first step. If they don't work it will be Zoloft, and then maybe even anti psychotics. So we started with the lesser of evils.

I was nauseous when I gave him his meds that first day. I watched him like a hawk. I mean seriously, Liam kept asking me to stop staring at him!

                               That day I saw a miracle.

  My son was concentrating. He was staying on task. He was playing something for more than 10 minutes at a time. He wasn't angry. He wasn't having constant meltdowns. He wasn't stimming constantly. We weren't walking on egg shells. (note: I don't mind that he stims, but sometimes he gets carried away (head banging) and I do fear it will hurt him)

We went from three meltdowns a day to maybe 3 a WEEK! Instead of bursts of anger, he cries. (I don't like to see him crying, but it beats keeping him from banging his head off the walls when he is upset)

I was afraid to actually come forth and admit that I too, was giving my son medication. So many people look down on those that medicate their children. I myself hated to hear that children were being put on Ritalin or Adderall. I didn't condemn anyone for it, but I hated to hear it. In my mind it was like people were giving their children legal cocaine. How could that be healthy?

And then my son went down hill. so fast in fact, that we really had no other choice. It was then that I realized that these medications are made to HELP our children. His doctor wasn't just throwing a script at us and rushing us out of his office. He was reaching out and telling us what he thought would help our son lead a happy, healthy life.

We just went today for a medication check up and when we told Dr. S all the good that has come from these two medications, he was smiling from ear to ear. He said that sadly, he doesn't always hear that it helps a child like this. He was genuinely happy that Liam is doing so well. We are happy. Liam is happy.

While I still believe wholeheartedly that medication should ALWAYS be last resort, I am now embracing it.

Not for me. Not for my life, but for him and for his life. He is happy. He is healthy. He is thriving.

My job as his mother is to make sure of that.

(I am NOT a doctor. I am NOT saying medication is the right step for ANYONE or ANY CHILD. I am saying that it should be last resort, but as parents, we shouldn't feel guilty for helping our children have better lives)


  1. We had a similar experience with our ADHD daughter. Concerta and Intuniv are our wonder drugs. She is a totally different child, able to do school work and actually learn on medication. I was also against trying them at first. I'm so glad I did.

  2. Great blog!! Courtney Liam couldn't pick himself a better mom or Pita ;) Stay strong! Luv ya!!

  3. I'm at this crossroad with one of my daughters. I've been anti meds for so long that it's a difficult step to make. Thank you for this, I feel better about going down this path hearing such great experiences.

    1. Glad I could help. If you need anything feel free message me on fb at A Legion for Liam. :)