D's been off his asthma medications for a couple of months. He hasn't had a real attack since the first one, in February 2005. Last winter, we treated every cough as if it might be asthma-related. He's been totally symptom free since the spring, and his pediatrician agreed that we might as well see how he did without the steroids. There's pretty good evidence that long-term use of inhaled steroids retards growth slightly, and lord knows that he could use the extra inches.
He's got a cold, and a little bit of a cough. School's about to start, and I've read the study showing the dramatic peak in attacks among school-age kids in September and October. The doctors quoted in that article argue forcefully that asthma should be treated as a chronic, not episodic disease. But a lot of kids also grow out of asthma. No one's been able to give me an answer as to how to find out of he's outgrown it other than keeping him off the meds and seeing what happens.