DETAILS: My son was 19-1/2 inches, 7#12oz at birth and 33-1/2 inches long at two years of age. (For non-Americans, one inch equals 2.54 centimeters and one pound (16 ounces) equals 453.59 grams. One British Stone equals 14 American Pounds of weight. My son's weight of 109#, at that time, translates into 7.79 British Stone.) My baby books suggested that at the two-year-old mark he should be half his adult height. This translated into 67 inches. I am 67-1/2 inches tall and his biological father is 66 inches tall. My son was approximately 63 inches tall at about 15-16yo. When he entered his two-year period he was 65 inches. A fast 2 inch spurt the year preceding the two-year puberty is a classic sign of impending development, according to his pediatrician, himself a late bloomer. During the two-year period the average growth is 5-7 inches. This projects a final height of 68-70 inches. My son's father's father was the same height (66 in) as his son, my son's father. My father is 76 inches tall and my brother 73 inches tall.
SOURCES: The basics of the drugs named were derived from the book "The Misunderstood Child" by Larry B. Silver, M.D. (McGraw-Hill, 1992), chapter 14, which gives an extensive explanation of each group of medications, each medication within the group, the establishment of optimum dosage, the side effects, etc. I also did some online research though I was unable to obtain sufficient details on every one of the drugs we've had experience with. So I fell back on this book and our own personal experiences to draft this article.
Parents, you need to remember some key things before you approve drugs for your child for this disorder. Your child's pediatrician, who is most familiar with your child's overall biological development, because of the medical records he has at hand, is NOT the individual who will be prescribing these drugs. Your child's school counselor or school nurse or school teacher, who see him regular, even daily, and see him in his most stressful learning environment where these disorders most often manifest, is also NOT the individual who will be prescribing these drugs. The psychiatrist who prescribed these drugs for my son saw him for all of 30 minutes every few months and the initiative to prescribe was dictated by referrals from the school and pediatrician. Few of my son's behavioral problems manifested at home. Drugs were recommended in an effort to control his ADHD and behavioral problems at school long enough to enable him to learn. So, though the school kept me fairly well apprised of serious episodes at school, his day-to-day behaviors remained fairly steady at average-to-poor, with occasional good days. I had only my son's complaints to go on as to whether any specific drug was having an effect on him, and my own experience as an observer. I saw little or no long-term improvement in his behavior at school. In fact, he steadily progressed to more and more restricted learning environments due to a continuing lack of progress academically throughout these years. He has progressed faster since he was removed from all meds about two years ago, improving his original projection of high school graduation January 2000 by almost six months, to August 31, 1999.
There are too many possible causes of ADHD for any one curriculum of treatment to be universally effective. But the spectrum of curriculums is so tedious that the system appears to have no alternative other than to try one drug after another until and unless a match is found. Its kind of like shopping for shoes when you don't know your shoe size and none of the boxes give any clue to their contents. You try one on and wear it for a time, then return it and try on another, and again and again and again. By the time you find a pair that fits perfectly, you may have outgrown the need to wear those shoes altogether. If you ever get that far.
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