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ADHD Medications Not Working
Q: My 11-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD and moderate to severe dysgraphia. He was taking Ritalin earlier in the year, and then was taking Adderall. The Adderall really seemed to hype him up, and his teachers did not notice a difference when he was on or off medication. I have taken him off the Adderall and he seems better. He has also seen a neurologist, and she did a sleep-deprivation test on him looking for seizures, and that came back negative. I am not so sure where to turn from here.
A: Although it can certainly make a dramatic difference, medication alone is rarely the cure-all for ADHD. It is only one of the elements in a comprehensive plan that may include both academic and social interventions.
Call CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders) at 1-800-233-4050 to see if there is a branch of this organization in your community. Ask for a referral for a comprehensive evaluation site that will take into account all of your child's needs and monitor interventions to see which ones need to be modified to be effective. The Attention Deficit Disorders Association at 1-847-432-ADDA may also be able to give you more information and assistance.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.