This situation happened afew months ago, and I am still shaking my head in disbelief. The school district where my son attends has a psychiatrist. As part of assessing him for the next school year, we had to go in and see her. She spoke with us, and then observed Eli. She did not interact with him, or test him, and she was speaking to us most of the time he was in the room.
Diagnosis: Eli has autism and also has a hard time focusing.
She was waiting for the word to write on her little pad a prescription for him.
Daytrana, she said, was a ritalin patch. It is easy to control the dose and when he gets it, she says.
I have to admit, I was alittle taken in at the time. My husband was rightfully skeptical with the whole idea. At that time, for afew months there, Eli was getting frustrated extremely easily. I looked back on how I took ADD meds through college, but we said no thank you at this time. I discussed this with my sister later who said, "Ritalin?! I had some of that, never took it because I hated the way it made me feel."
Holy cow was that the slap in the face I needed. I remembered the similar meds I took when I was in high school and then college. I could focus on everything, right down to the way the girl's shoes in the front row didn't match her outfit. However, I felt like I was watching a show or something. I felt like I could not interact with the world around me. Do not even get me started on the "let down" effect. I could never do that to my son, my little son who does not even have the words to tell me that he feels strange.
Now that I have discovered that my inattention can be taken care of in large part by nutrition, I will never be on attention meds again.
Now just months later, Eli's general frustration level has gone down. He has been bringing home raving reports from school, without the aid of Daytrana.
I have to say that I am very concerned over the whole episode of the school psychiatrist, and I fear for families who may not be aware that ritalin is one of the most overly prescribed drugs in the whole nation.