My son is diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, too :) He's also 8, and in the 3rd grade - hi! We are doing medication, along with counseling, and OT therapy. He's a completely different kid this year, and it is great to see. For the first time since kindergarten, he's actually enjoying school. It's amazing to see, actually.
We tried the no-meds last year, and just got to a point with him. He was miserable, we were miserable, and school just wasn't working for him. That said, the OT has helped him A LOT, as has the therapy.
Hi, and welcome
We tried the no meds route at first, and like so many others we now use Meds. Good luck, but remember, if you do choose meds,it is a personal choice, and one that can be changed if needed.
A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.
My son us 8 and was diagnosed last winter with ADHD. We do not do meds, but our situation is different than most people. First, we homeschool, and he does his work at his best learning and concentration times. Next, my son is happy with himself and his learning right now. My son does have other issues, but they do not involve ODD or anger - they are physical and related to fine motor control. He gets OT for writing and he just completed vision therapy so he is not seeing double anymore, which has also allowed him to sit still better (he doesn't have to move to see things normal.) It has made reading a lot easier for him as well - the words aren't moving around on the page so it doesn't take as much effort to read and write now, which also helps with his attention and movement.
To help my son concentrate we got him a core stability disk to sit on - it is like an exercise ball only not as bouncy and distracting. I made him a partition board so that he is not looking around so much when he is doing his work. When doing school work he JUST does school work - no snacking or drinking as he gets distracted. We do the harder/least fun things first and the exciting stuff last to help him to continue to focus. He takes lots of breaks, and sometimes we practice stuff like multiplication while he jumps on the mini-trampoline. I try to make sure he has a high protein breakfast when we do co-op classes or testing.
I am not opposed to medication when my son thinks he needs it. When he starts to feel like he can't control his actions or emotions, or that he can't concentrate long enough to learn the material, then we will look into meds. But it has to be for him - not me or some other teacher.
Reading the book "Healing ADHD" by Dr. Amen, was very helpful for me to see why medications can be important, and why we don't really need them yet. I suggest you read this book as it also has lots of information on supplements and other things that can help.
Waves to all from another mother to an 8 yr old 3rd grader.
I have no personal experience with medicating or not medicating, but do see the pros and cons through my Music Therapy work.
Do what the best is you think for your child.You are the parent, no one can say you are right or wrong.
Way all the options and if you feel the medicating was rushed into, take a step back, take longer to see what works best, and find a doctor who is wiling to listen to your concerns and who cares about your child's well being.
Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to: