I have never been a proponent of giving children drugs for anything other than infections and other medical illnesses that threatens their health. In fact it is fair to say I was vehemently against it. But I have to step up and admit I was wrong on a few things. For four years my oldest boy had a terrible time in school. He was held back one year because of it. We tried a private school thinking it was government schools causing the issue, we worked with him for hours every night even after his after school tutoring. We got private tutors on top of all the work we were doing with him at night and on the weekends. We bought programs and books to see if it was just something we were doing wrong and they system we were using to teach him. The poor little guy would get so frustrated he would be in tears. I have dyslexia and I was terrified he had it also but three separate doctors all said the same thing it was not dyslexia but a problem with focus and attention. They all suggested various drugs which we said no to. Well finally after the first semester this year we had a teachers meeting and they were telling us he would likely have to be held back again. The said the same things they had said every year, he is not disruptive or hyper and he was well behaved, they know he is bright but he just cannot focus and it was likely he would not pass the tests to advance him to the next grade level. I did not want that to happen so we tried working even harder with him to no avail. His brothers and sisters were not having the same problems so we were still perplexed on what was going on.
Finally in February his pediatrician again suggested we give a drug a try. We said no again but after spending a sleepless night thinking about the last 4 years from kindergarten on my wife and I decided we would give it a try for his sake just to see. The drug is called focalin and now I am almost ashamed of myself for not trying it earlier for his sake and not being so bull headed. I still do not like the idea of him taking the drug but the change in his grades was nothing short of amazing. He went from basically failing to the equivalent of straight A’s and one B on their scoring system. He got a most improved award and is so proud of himself he could burst. We have not told him what the pill was for because we did not want a placebo effect fooling us or him. We have just stopped giving him the drug for the summer to see how he does off it but I have to say so far it seems to work wonders and it has changed my opinions. We are still trying to decide if we will start him next year without it or not just to see how he does. I still advocate trying other avenues but drugs like focalin should not be dismissed completely and they are worth a try.