Day 22: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

Scared of ADHD making my child a skeleton

Hi, I’m Dr. James Wiley. This morning, I had a patient’s mother scared to death about the skeleton effect. She actually used that word. She said, “Dr. Wiley, I can count his ribs, as though he was a skeleton.” I told her I was doing this series on Halloween, and pulled his growth chart up to reveal that his weight is in the 50th percentile.

When we held his shirt up, you could indeed see his rib cage, but he was a fit, healthy, young man, with no worries about his growth or development. His linear growth was fine. This was very reassuring to his mother, who had always heard that stimulant medication would effect growth and weight gain.

While it is true that, in the early going, weight loss is common, we’ve already discussed the fact that it’s usually transient, and usually has no meaningful or clinically significant impact on growth. Please don’t let your child’s temporary weight loss and appetite suppression keep you from treating the things that’s really scary out there, and that’s ADHD.

If you have concern about your child’s growth, address it with his or her pediatrician or physician, and make sure that the growth is normal. To be sure, it should be monitored carefully, but in the end, we are almost always reassured by what we see in the child’s growth and development.

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.

James Wiley is the founder of Focus-MD. Focus-MD is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and related problem patients. They provide objective testing, medical treatment as well as behavior modification strategies to help or patients transform from frustration to focus. To find a Focus-MD clinic, click here. 

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