Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > ADHD > ADHD Treatments > Concern About ADHD Medication

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Concern About ADHD Medication

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D.

Q: I was just told that one of my 7-year-old twin daughters is ADHD. She is in the first grade. When my son, who is now 10, was in the first grade they said the same about him. I put him on Ritalin® at the advice of the teachers. I hated the way he was (like a zombie). I took him off immediately. He is now just fine. He still has trouble in reading, but is doing fine in all his classes. I refuse to put my daughter on any drugs, I believe she will also turn out just fine. What is your advice? She has the most trouble in reading just like her brother.

A: Two things are likely here. One is that your son may have had undiagnosed reading difficulties (or perhaps even learning disabilities) when he was little. The teachers may have misread the signs of frustration for the signs of ADHD (not being able to follow a story looks a lot like inattention; getting out of your seat or always asking to go to the bathroom are good ways to avoid the embarrassment of reading poorly in front of your friends, and so on). The Ritalin® probably didn't work because he didn't need it, and you did the right thing by taking him off of it. (I do hope you consulted your pediatrician and that he or she agreed; changing or stopping medication should always be done with a doctor's knowledge.)

I can understand your hesitation about putting your daughter on Ritalin®, especially since she has reading problems like her brother had. I would suggest that you have her tested for reading disabilities now. If the school suggests that there is no reading problem, it's their job to determine why she's having difficulty. It certainly is possible that ADHD is a cause or a contributing factor, but I think you should unravel this mystery a layer at a time -- and start with a good LD evaluation. Glad to hear your 10-year-old is doing fine. Sometimes...mother knows best.

More on: Expert Advice

Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!