Posted by: Belinda | 2008/05/28


Hope with Ritalin

I am writing this hoping that you would see that there is hope for kids with ADD/ADHD.

When my son entered Grade R, his teacher came to me within 1 week to say my son cannot do what his peers can - he should be tested to be sure. (He was at another preprimary before that). We had him assessed and the OT discovered he has a big delay in his visual intergration functioning. Without it you cannot learn to write or read. He started OT twice a week. Progress was slow. His teacher mentioned that he would rather play than work and was often disruptive in class. He drove his brother nuts at home and he was always jumping and fidgeting and messing. He was never disrespectful - but he needed constant warnings and hated doing anything that required even a bit of concentration. During the last week of preprimary his teacher said she has serious reservations on whether he will be able to cope in grade 1. We had him assessed with a clinical psycologist. His report was terrible. He was 7.7months behind developmentally and scored significantly below average on all the tests - yet his IQ was in the higher than normal bracket. She recommended that he see a paed as she was concerned that he may have ADHD. I very reluctantly did that and the paed was absolutely convinced based on all the reports as well as his own assessment that he has ADHD. We put him on Ritalin 15mg a day. (10mg am and 5mg at noon). The change was immediate and miraculous. He went from being an annoyinginly busy child to a normal playful 6 yer old. Apart from not feeling hungry after he takes his pill, we experienced no side effects. We also decided to send him to grade 1 - but to a special school that caters for kids with ADHD. He loved school and was coping beautifully. We had him reassessed last week (6months since the first assessment) with the same psycologist. She was astonished and said to me that it was the most profound improvement she had ever seen in her 20 years as a psycologist. All his test scores improved. Some to average, most to above average. He is now 5 months ahead of his peers. He improved developmentally by 18mnths in 6 months of being on Ritalin and school. He can go to a mainstream school next year and his class teacher and the doctor are both sure that he will cope very well.

He did not become a zombi, he just became normal. We are so quick to believe all the negative (and mostly false) press about Ritalin. I know I believed it. But apart from the fact that it helped my child so much both scolastically and with his peer and sibling relationships (he went from being disliked to one of the most popular boys because he plays nicely now), I cannot believe that paeds - who are there to look out for kids will perscribe it unless they were convinced it will benefit their patients.

If your child battles and the medical professionals encourage you to use Ritalin, dont be closed to it. It may not be the answer for your child - but if it does work, it can mean the difference between sucsess and failure.

Good luck

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Hi Belinda

Thanks for sharing your story as it may give many parents some hope. The medications used to treat the condition can often make a very real difference, but as you point out there are those that have unacceptable side-effects and therefore cannot use the meds. It is important to always bear in mind that this is a multi-disciplinary approach, and this is the method that will allow your child to reach their potential and to demonstrate your conviction what their true potential really is.


Dr Peter Velloza

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Gillian | 2008/06/24

Hi there, I would also like to share my view. My daughter was only diagnosed with ADD in Grade 2. Her Grade 1 teacher did not even pick this up. My doc also advised to try Ritalin, of which I was also really apprehensive. But I can assure you, within 1 week there was an enormous improvement in her work and concentration. I believe in Ritalin, solely because it helped my daughter and still does. So, for those who are against it, I respect your view, but just give it a try. If you still feel that it does not help for your kids, then try something else.


Reply to Gillian
Posted by: Jolene | 2008/06/20

haven't met one person that says anything good of Ritalin. Reading how you describe your child, it is as clear as daylight I'll have to try Ritalin on my children, 5 and 3. I have bipolar depression, and the way their preprim teachers describe them, I regret to say, they'll have to get treatment like myself, to be accepted into this world...

Reply to Jolene
Posted by: Laura | 2008/06/10

Dear Belinda,
I feel like you are telling my story about my son to the point of deciding whether or not I should try Ritalin. I am going to give it a try at the start of the third term with close watch of his Grade R teacher and of course myself. Wishing you the very best, chat soon, Laura

Reply to Laura

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