I have been suffering with the decision to medicate my son who is now 6 years old. He is intelligent and has scored average and advanced on tests that have been administered to him as a result of having and IEP. This past April he was diagnosed with ADHD. This week his counselor suggested that his symptons actuallyllook like ODD. He will be starting private school next week and I really don’t know what to do. He is phyiscal at times, non-compliant, occasionally has emotional “melt downs,” says means things and seems spiteful. Risperdal was suggested, but one of the side effects is the development of breasts. What do you recommed? I hope that you will find my inquiry worth addressing. I appreciate your time.
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The answers to your questions depend a lot on who suggested these diagnoses. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder can be mistaken for each other unless the diagnosis is done by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist.
In addition to the correct diagnosis, it is only a psychiatry who should recommend a prescription medication for your son. I have no idea at all whether Risperdal is the correct medication or if it’s even appropriate. I do know and can say with confidence that, if your son is correctly diagnosed with ADHD that a stimulant medication would be prescribed.
It is essential that you read this next paragraph with care. Medication alone is never the solution, especially with a child. Your son needs to be in psychotherapy with a trained psychotherapist who knows how to work with these types of disorders. This is true even if he is not prescribed medication. It is the psychiatrist or psychologist who can make a referral to the correct person.
Alone with psychotherapy for the child, you will need to work with the same therapist in order to learn how to cope with your child at home.
Best of Luck