Actress Audra McDonald's Remarks About Drugging Hyper Kids​ Create Controversy

audra mcdonaldEver since Broadway star Audra McDonald accepted her Tony by thanking her parents for "disobeying doctors' orders and not medicating their hyperactive girl, and find[ing] out what she was into and, instead, pushing her into the theater," moms around the country have responded fervently. One in particular, Belinda Luscombe, who happens to be an editor for Time magazine, opted to write an open letter entitled, "Sorry, Audra McDonald -- My Kid Needs His ADHD Meds." She shared that it was medication -- and medication alone -- that enabled one of her kids "to learn to read and stopped him from getting into trouble at school." In turn, the actress penned a response ...

She clarified that her speech was "in no way, shape, or form intended as a platform for me to denounce the use of medication for ADHD or any other psychological disorder" and that she herself benefited from psychotropic drugs for depression when she was younger.

Audra went on to explain how she personally feels about medication for kids:

The decision of whether or not to medicate a child is a very personal, difficult, and subjective one. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. But in the end, as a parent, all that matters is that you do everything within your power to help your child.

Right on. Her elaboration really ought to put her initial remarks in perspective for moms. Seems like some moms overreacted and projected their own experiences onto Audra's speech. She never said she was against medication.

She only shared the route her parents chose to go with her. Theater and doing something she was passionate about resolved her hyperactivity. But ultimately, there's no one size fits all solution for all kids -- or all parents, for that matter. Especially when it comes to treating something as serious as a behavioral or medical issue. Sounds like a belief just about any mom could get behind, right?

Do you agree with Audra? Where do you stand on using medication for your own children?


Image via Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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nonmember avatar margaret

Within ten minutes of meeting him, a doctor was talking about ritalin for my son. I did not listen to him. Best decision I ever made. Some kids do need meds. Some doctors are way too quick to suggest them. Sounds like Audra's parents were dealing with a doctor like that.

nonmember avatar Katie

Sorry but no. A child should NOT be medicated before thier brain has had time to fully develope. Atleast for ADD. The ADD drugs are addicting, have side effects and are not safe for children. I should know...I take them as an adult. There are alternatives to medicating a child.


This woman is entirely too sensitive. This was about one womans journey and how SHE got there, not about how to medicate or not medicate your children.

SoJaided SoJaided

As usual, people are too sensitive. Everyone is offended by everything.

Anna West

personally these kids need to learn how to act and put their energy to good use without medication, because if they don't as an adult they will depend on it. these drugs caused one of my family members children to have suicidal thoughts. the side affects are everlasting and don't go away its permanent damage. plus on a side note adhd is a fictitious disease it doesn't exist.
these medications are not the solution to your child being violent reckless obnoxious or defiant... be a damn parent and stop allowing the behaviors.

tbruc... tbrucemom

My best friend's daughter was very hyperactive as a child but when she got older she became very reserved, with no medication. I believe some parents don't want to deal with having a child that needs to have their energies directed into appropriate activites like this actress' parents did, it's easier to just give them drugs. I also think, and I know there will be some controversy, that maybe the kids that aren't able to cope when they get older and commit suicide or want to kill their classmates are experiencing side effects from the drugs they take for ADD, ADHD, or whatever else they take them for.

bugaem bugaem

i am very against medicating children for things such as ADD or ADHD. I think you have to try everything else first. I feel like this stuff is getting overdiagnosed a lot.

mommy... mommyarmywife19

Most medication causes more problems then it solves.

OneTo... OneToughMami

Well, if I reacted like this every time someone did the opposite of me, I think I'd lose my job, never sleep, and forget eating.

mom2b... mom2boys1997

I totally agree with Audra.  I think ADHD is an easy way to deal with kids, well, being kids. Kids need to move and learn boundaries.  School short change kids byinsisting complete conformity and sill bodies and shut mouths. (I taught school for 16 years) 


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