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My 17 year old ADHD son & ROTC


My son is applying for college and is interested in ROTC.  We received the application and under the questions for medications it states that he has to be free of any ADHD meds for at least 1 year?  This lead me to the article Uncle Sam Doesn’t want YOU!
I am prepared to fight this however I do not know where to begin.  Can anyone help?

Replies

Hi ADDonna. Not so sure you are going to have any luck with that. We have a neighbor who had a son with ADHD and his parents signed him up for some Military Academy. After he finished, the FBI came out to our neighborhood and interviewed neighbors for references for him. Even though he and his parents claimed that he was not on ADHD meds, the neighbors knew that he had been all through high school. I’m sure not everyone they interviewed said anything about his ADHD or may not have even known he had it. Nevertheless, he was denied any possible placement. It was a huge waste of money for them (although they must have known up front that he wasn’t supposed to be on meds in order to get into the program) and he ended up going to a college in New York which specialized in high school graduates with ADHD. Not sure what he is doing now.

Another neighbor who lives right next door to them also had a son who wanted to get into the Marines after high school graduation. He was also on ADHD meds. They sent him for some type of screening to be admitted into the military and the story from them was that…..“He changed his mind.” Quite honestly, I believe he was also denied because of his history with ADHD meds.

Perhaps your son might want to go I into some type of governmental studies at a college where he could possibly become an Ambassador or something. I would definitely consider other options rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket and ending up with an empty basket.There is a reason why the military does not accept applicants with ADHD and they seem to be very “firm” about it. It’s really for their own good and the safety and security of our country. I have a friend who used to work for the FBI and she said that there was a study that showed that people with ADHD may have a tendency to commit espionage against our country if put in a position of any type of military knowledge o r intelligence. That’s all I can tell you. Perhaps others may respond with more information.  Hope this helps you make your decision. God Bless.

Posted by BlessedinMN on Feb 08, 2014 at 3:43pm

Thank you for your reply.  Can you tell me about this study about ADHD people having a tendency to commit espionage against our country?  I’m sorry but that sounds ridiculous!    I would like to find out facts regarding who did the study and where I can read about it, as that is why he is interested in ROTC.  He feels it would be a good stepping stone into a position into the FBI or CIA field. What a shame that he would be prohibited because he is not allowed to take the medication that allows him to be at his best.

Posted by ADDonna on Feb 08, 2014 at 4:14pm

I have heard this many times - if you’ve been on ADD meds the military doesn’t want you.  Quite frankly - and I LOVE my ADD son - I don’t blame them.  They have enough challenges corralling all the 18 years olds as it is.

Posted by ymasnave on Feb 08, 2014 at 5:45pm

I don’t know if the military is making a good or bad decision with regard to keeping people with ADHD out.

I agree that it is absurd to say people with ADHD are likely to commit espionage - I have ADHD, I find that really funny. As if I would be able to figure out how to implement a plan like that, even if I wanted to, LOL. I can barely find my damn bills. So yeah….No.

But I have heard that this is their policy. If a child has an IEP, has been in Special Ed, or has been on ADHD medication, the military doesn’t want them.

I’ve heard a few horror stories about people with ADHD ending up in military prisons because they can’t perform and due to emotionality end up fighting or making other impulsive decisions that are dangerous, which would not surprise me.

When I heard the military doesn’t want ADHDers, I was relieved, because I don’t want my son in the military - I think it would be a disaster for him, and would destroy everything about him that is good. If having ADHD saves him from a destructive experience, I regard that as a positive.

Is their position discriminatory? What is their policy with regard to other disabilities?

Posted by sdsea on Feb 08, 2014 at 7:05pm

Even though I agree that when ADHD or ADD get out of hand bad decisions are made and impulsive actions are taken, I believe there is some discrimination going on when they allow people with other conditions, such as visual problems, and they let them use eyeglasses but don’t allow people with ADHD or ADD use their medication.

Anyway, I guess even though I don’t like the idea of my son joining the army, when my son was growing up, a psychiatrist told me that a military-style education would be appropriate for my son because it involves a lot of discipline. I never really liked the idea, but what do you think of military education being positive in general for ADHDers?

Posted by najn on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:01pm

Even though I agree that when ADHD or ADD get out of hand bad decisions are made and impulsive actions are taken, I believe there is some discrimination going on when they allow people with other conditions, such as visual problems, and they let them use eyeglasses but don’t allow people with ADHD or ADD use their medication.

Anyway, I guess even though I don’t like the idea of my son joining the army, when my son was growing up, a psychiatrist told me that a military-style education would be appropriate for my son because it involves a lot of discipline. I never really liked the idea, but what do you think of military education being positive in general for ADHDers?

Posted by najn on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:01pm

I just wanted to add that I was told about the study from an FBI Agent. I have no idea how to find out any other information about it other than what I was told. Wish I could be of more help. I also wanted to add that if any of you follow these ADD/ADHD boards, there are often side effects such as depression, tics, anxiety, etc. There are possibly too many risk factors involved to have people on these kinds of meds working in highly sensitive governmental positions. As for me, our son is an only child and I certainly feel blessed that he could not be drafted! There are many career paths out there that will allow every child to shine, no matter what type of issues they are dealing with. I’ll close with a quote I heard at a recent Christian Women’s conference: “Love the child you have, not the child you wish you had.” God Bless!

Posted by BlessedinMN on Feb 11, 2014 at 1:24pm

True…military seems like the best place for ADHDers who need the structure, but also true that they don’t want to have to worry about doling out daily drugs to those on front lines…and since ADHD med isn’t a 24 hour drug (like allergy med or such) you’d have issues with them having different shifts and trying to schedule meds according to when they’d need them.  It was hard enough when our kid worked the over night shift on a job but then had things to do during the day after he woke up. 

The other part about all this is that there are lots of folks out there currently holding security clearances that will NEVER get the help (therapy or medications) for things like depression because they will lose their security clearance (do not know if that applies to ADHD meds).  Very sad cases recently with husband killing wife and himself because he was so depressed but was an AFT officer and would lose his clearance if he took anti-depressants. 

The neighbors wouldn’t have had to say anything about the boy taking medications….the FBI would know that as all your medical information (if you have insurance) gets shared thru a medical clearing house.  That’s how insurance companies know what your life insurance rate should be, etc…  Most folks don’t realize this clearing house exists, but it does——kinda like your credit report and the clearing house that exists on insurance claims for property damage etc….  Besides anyone applying for any type of position with the FBI, etc would have had to sign an release to access all medical records from physicians, etc….  You leave out any info…you don’t get the job.

Posted by greyhairedmom on Feb 11, 2014 at 9:20pm

“a psychiatrist told me that a military-style education would be appropriate for my son because it involves a lot of discipline. I never really liked the idea, but what do you think of military education being positive in general for ADHDers?”

I think that a military style home can be a place where ADHDers can thrive.  The military offers a lot of discipline and external structure which is what ADHDers need to function.  They are generally terrible at providing their own discipline and structure (poor executive function skills) that is why stay at home moms with ADHD generally have a very hard time.  There is no external structure imposed on them.

Posted by Abner on Feb 12, 2014 at 11:19pm

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