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To medicate or not to medicate?

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

My husband and I have always been on the same page with strong feelings about using medications and both agreed we never really wanted to go down that road. After attending an ADHD seminar recently, I now feel like it’s an option we need to explore.

We have sworn to do and try everything in our power to help our children, which I think we have done fairly well so far, with this one exception. I feel it’s a good time to try, with Madi now tolerating and experimenting with new foods, medicines etc. and would not have been possible in the past.

Since that seminar, there have also been other signs that I feel I can no longer ignore.

A question popped up on Facebook from an Autism parenting group, specifically about dual ASD & ADHD diagnosis and using ADHD medication. It was such a coincidence! I was considering our situation with Madi and it was exactly what was discussed at the seminar. It could not have been more perfect timing to read all of the other parent’s comments and opinions.

They were all so positive! Some mentioning how they had tried everything before medication too… Things like, ‘It was the best thing they had ever done’ and ‘they wish they had tried it earlier.’ They ‘can’t cope now with them being off it’ and ‘regret now resisting medication for so long’. “Such a hard decision but a beautiful thing to watch. Only you know what is best for your child, trust your instincts.”

I felt like they were all talking directly to me and that I could potentially be one of those parents in the future. My instincts are strongly urging me to give this a try!

What if our beliefs are preventing our child of further progress?

One of my most popular comments I use to encourage others is, ‘everything is worth a try!’

I have been thinking to myself and discussing with others, how lots of people in general take medication for various reasons and conditions. Like high blood pressure or epilepsy, why should this feel different? Why do I feel the need to have to defend my decision to even consider this as an option? I am not even sure whether it is even a legitimate option yet? Madi was diagnosed at age 3, now 10 years old and I hadn’t even considered it until now…

I have also recently spoken to a few other autism parents that I know personally and they have all said similar positive things.

So, I got a referral from our local GP and made an appointment with a Pediatrician to hopefully explore our options.

This particular speaker said in the case of a dual diagnosis of Autism and ADHD, if you don’t see improvements after taking ADHD medication, you know that their behavior is caused more by their Autism than the ADHD.

Like everything now, I am not holding high hopes or expectations. If we do go down that road and it doesn’t have any positive effects, at least we know and we tried…

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