Yes and no. Yes, medication is supposed to change your child, in terms of behavior and ADD symptoms. It should make the symptoms less obvious and easier to manage.
The fear most parents have in regards to medication, though, is that it will turn their child into a zombie. Nothing could be farther from the truth, provided:
- It is the proper medication for your child, and is given in the correct dosage. Note: when a child first begins taking ADD medication, there is a trial period – finding the proper medication and the proper dose. Some meds do cause extreme drowsiness or sluggishness, but usually wear off in a few weeks. Your doctor can tell you if that is a side effect of what he is prescribing.
- The child is not abusing the medication.
- The child actually has Attention Deficit Disorder.
As long as the doctor prescribing the ADD medication is someone who is trustworthy and well informed about Attention Deficit Disorder, you needn’t worry. You always have the option of changing the medication or taking your child off of it. Don’t forget, too, that the longest that any ADD medication lasts is about 12 hours; they don’t remain in the body or build up.
What you are most likely to notice when your child first starts taking the medication is absolutely nothing, because generally the initial doses are too low to be effective. As you begin to approach the correct dosage, you will start to see a very subtle change in behavior – for the good – and that’s the point.