There is no reason to think that medication will have a 'zombie effect' on your son. When children are treated appropriately with medication, you do not witness any change in their fundamental personality. Now, whether or not to employ medication rests with several variables. A thorough evaluation should occur. He may not display any condition that warrants use of medication. If he does display, for example, ADHD, use of the medicine might be determined by how much the condition is influencing his life in school. If the activity level or inattention is manageable and is not a significant impediment, there is no need to use medication. On the other hand, if the behaviors are interfering with his mastering the learning and social tasks of his program, you might well consider a trial on medication.
Thank you very much for your response and insight. As I mentioned, my son is extremely intelligent, but was not at the age for Kindergarten, so, I am more afraid of him being bored and disruptive, therefore the school trying to take some kind of action. He is turning 5 but has accomplished about 85 % of the 6 year old milestone and then some. I am new at this and almost at a loss. Academically is was ready for K, socially not so sure. Would meds still be appropriate or should I try to work with the teacher and a behavior chart with her? Thank you.
One more thing.
From what I have read, these medications are amphetamines. Surely their use would have a long term effect. Yes? No? That is one of my main concerns. Dependency etc.
It would make sense to attempt some behavioral plan, using incentives, before proceeding to medication (assuming that an appropriate evaluation precedes any plan for medication).
Relative to long-term side effects of medication, we have the benefit of studying adults who were treated as children with the psychostimulants. It is reasonable to assert that your son would not expect to experience any long-term adverse outcomes. The active ingredients (depending on the particular medication) in the psychostimulants are methylphenidate (in such preparations as Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin) and dextroamphetamine (in Adderall). These remain the front line treatments for ADHD (again, I'm not assuming that your son displays ADHD).
:-) Thank you! I chuckle only because, as a parent, I can clearly see that the ADHD is present. I have it to some extent. To what extreme it is, is yet TBD, and will be more noticeable as he delves into the more rigorous studies of primary school. I just feel that he can respond well to the chart system and am glad to get some great answers to the many questions that I have re: the meds. etc. I thank you again for your valuable insight. It is very much appreciated. I am certain I will have other questions down the line. This is a fantastic site and resource.
Why are all the parents these days putting their children on all these meds?? "How do you determin if your child has AD/HD?" Check yes or no to questions on a piece of paper?