Many kids with ADHD not getting requi...

Many kids with ADHD not getting required meds

There are 128 comments on the Reuters story from Aug 15, 2006, titled Many kids with ADHD not getting required meds. In it, Reuters reports that:

By Charnicia E. HugginsNEW YORK - While many people believe that too many children are being treated for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder these days, a new study shows that many children with the ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Reuters.

sharron from new orleans

New Orleans, LA

#21 Oct 20, 2006
[so you mean that my child with adhd should just sit in school do bad and not have no chance in life my child is now an a b child in school because of the med they have her on befor she was d f ]

United States

#22 Oct 20, 2006
sharron from new orleans wrote:
[so you mean that my child with adhd should just sit in school do bad and not have no chance in life my child is now an a b child in school because of the med they have her on befor she was d f ]
there are other ways to teach children to succeed. You are creating an addiction for this child and a dependency for the rest of his/her life on this medication. adhd children think they cannot function without the medicine.They become irritable when they dont get it.I know a teen right now who was put on this junk in kindergarten. THE CHILD IS HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING AWAY FROM IT. Just tonight i heard one of his friends lecturing him about his dependency and telling him that he should get over it . He claimed he wants to get off of it but cant because he feels so bad when he stops he goes through withdrawls. This is so sad to me he is such a good kid, His personality was changed when he was medicated and it is hard for him to get back to his old self.I feel sorry for him. I wish his mother would not have believed all the hipe, but she fell into the trap that many do and the kids suffer.
All children learn at different levels, I can't see sense in risking your childs opportunity at a normal life that is self diciplined. Grades have to be earned, kids need to be taught how to learn and there should not be an easy pill poppin way out.
I was told my son had adhd at the same time this boy was way back in kindergarten, i refused to medicate him now im glad because i can see the hindsight and the negative son was hyper, his grades were effected because he was too busy jumping around and talking but when i let him know it would not be tolerated and i stuck to my word and was consistant he quickly learned that he had better settled down,
he is now in college. as for his friend well, he is always depressed because he is the only one out of all his friends dependant on drugs

Lethbridge, Canada

#23 Oct 20, 2006
Mom in Australia wrote:
Hello I am all new to this. Yes I have a son 9 years old. He has learning difficulites from kindy. We have done the eye doctor, yes wears glasses, hearing test and yes he can hear a pin drop. He has fantastic balance like a cat. BUt boy this by can move and be naughty. He is in year 4 and having all sorts of trouble with the teacher. Dawnmarie Brennan
Sydney australia
Sorry, Dawnmarie, I missed that you said your child was 'in year 4'(here, that would be fourth grade, or grade 4)- not 4 years old.


#24 Oct 21, 2006
My experience is that your theory of dependency is a crock. I have 2 kids, both have been on, and off of meds. Ritalin and Adderall. Ritalin kid took it until we decided that the side effects were not worth the small gain we had. So other methods were used. However I believe that the time ON the Ritalin helped us get to the point where we did not need it. Now my kids were ADD not ADHD, which may make it easier to get them off of it. We had absolutely NO problem discontinuing this med.
Adderall child took it for 2 years, and is currently trying high school without it, at the childs request. BUT it was also the childs request to have help during JR high, and it did help. And it is looking as though we may start again after 1st quarter grades. But all summer, and so far this year, no meds and NO problems with withdrawal or persoanlity or anything. I think that what happens is that parents tend to use meds to make kids manageable and the PARENTS dont want to remove the meds. So, used correctly meds are a good thing and helpful, but they are so often used incorrectly
[quote]All children learn at different levels, I can't see sense in risking your childs opportunity at a normal life that is self diciplined. Grades have to be earned, kids need to be taught how to learn and there should not be an easy pill poppin way out.
[/quote]Yes all kids learn differently, and yes you should try other methods first. But sometimes other methods dont work. We tried. We avoided the meds until we had no other choice. Even with the meds, the grades are earned. These are not magic pills. But they help to quiet the clutter so the kids can concentrate on the task at hand. And yes, kids need to be taught how to learn. But first you have to be able to get through to them to teach them that. And the pills dont make it 'easy'. But they do make it easier to do the work, and concentrate. The kids still have to earn it though.
The thing that really amazes me, about this issue and so many others, is that people find it so easy to generalize. And many of those who make those generalizations, have NO experience with the issue, only opinion.
You need to know this

Florissant, MO

#25 Oct 21, 2006
Ritalin, Adderall, and other ADD/ADHD meds are ALL forms of Amphetamines...

This is why they ar all CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES!
This is why people are illigally taking them for their drug effects!
This is why people illegally acquire them for the production of Methamphetamines...Meth!!!!!

You guys really need to do some serious research before drugging your chidren with these substances.

Ritalin, Adderall, Stratera...and Meth, all change the DOPAMINE levels in the brain. This is why Meth is so addictive. Once the Dopimine levels have been changed, they NEVER NEVER return to normal. It is a lifelong condition.

Once the brain becomes dependent on an external drug to control its dopamine level, it never resumes the process of controlling it on its own. This is why recovering Meth users never experience life the same...ever again. It's a life of utter depression. The brain loses its ability to intepret pleasure and happiness.

If ya'll insist on giving drugs to your kids, it's your choice but I urge you to do some serious study on it first.

If you think your kids have self esteem issues now.....well....give the drugs time and you'll really see the damage they do.
Some things to search out and read...
ADHD/ADD and Suicide
ADHD/ADD and Dopamine
ADHD/ADD and Long term effects
Ritalin and Crime
Ritalin and Drug Abuse
Ritalin and Alcohol Abuse

If any of these terms seem unfamiliar to you, then obviously you havent done enough research.

Cary, IL

#26 Oct 21, 2006
It appears that ADD and ADHD are relatively new "diseases". I have a medical book that was printed in 1978 which I used while my daughters were growing up, and it does not mention either one. It sure makes me wonder how so many children could possibly be so dysfuntional that they require prescription medicine. Every negative human emotion today is deemed a mental illnes which requires medication. When are people going to wake up and realize that there is no magic pill? Medications treats symptoms, and very rarely do they cure anything. Quite often, the side effects are far worse than the illness itself. I feel sorry for all the children in this world who are being drugged for no good reason.


#27 Oct 21, 2006
Oh please, how ridiculous to compare these drugs to meth. Get a clue!
I have to tell you, you mention a self esteem problem. I dont believe that I ever mentioned a self esteem problem. Or a depression problem.
My daughter has a friend who used to cut, and her problems were not related to medications, rather to a lack of them, manic depressive disease and a crappy home life.
As far as the studies, you can find a study to say whatever you want it to.
In fact, I have to tell you, my Ritalin childs self esteem was BETTER after starting the meds. Because for once she didnt feel stupid. She was on a level equal to her peers. We could tell her constantly that she was not stupid, that she learned differently, SHOW her she learned differently. But when she saw RESULTS that is what convinced her she wasnt stupid.

Here is a site that specifically mentions why Ritalin is NOT addictive, taken in pill form.
It also tells you that children needing these meds start with a decreased dopamine level, and Ritalin normalizes it.
You can believe what you like. These meds have improved my childrens school performance, I believe without damaging them, and they are NOT addicted, depressed, suicidal, cutting etc etc etc.
Now, can these meds cause problmes? Sure, ANY med can and does have side effects for certain people. this is why parents and doctors must closely monitor children on these meds to watch for any of these effects.
You need to know this

Florissant, MO

#28 Oct 22, 2006
Earl…You are partially correct. ADD/ADHD is NOT a new 'disease'. It received this ADD name in 1980.

Here's the Time/Name breakdown for what we hear now as ADD/ADHD:
-1902: The first clinical description of ADHD appeared, labeled as “Morbid Defect of Moral Control.”
-1922: ADHD gets a new name, "Post-encephalitic Behavior Disorder"
-1930s: Amphetamines introduced to treat hyperactive children.
-1956: Ritalin introduced as a treatment for hyperactivity.
-1960: ADHD gets another new name, "Minimal Brain Dysfunction"
-1968: And another, "Hyperkinetic Reaction"
-1980: Attention Deficit becomes an official disorder with the National Institute of Mental Health
-1996: Adderall gains FDA approval
-1999: Concerta gains FDA approval
-1999: Metadate gains FDA approval
-2001: Focalin gains FDA approval
-2002: Strattera gains FDA approval

Here is a rough drug 'Engineering' breakdown:
1930's - Amphetamines was the drug of choice. Used for 20 some odd years until they realized they had raised an entire generation of young adults on this drug….BAD idea!
1956 - Faced with the bad results of Amphetamines, and a group of screwed up patients, they had to change. They 're-engineered' the Amphetamine and called it Ritalin. The basic chemical components of Amphetamine was changed slightly and renamed. But, the actual makeup of the drug remained essentially the same. This is when Ritalin entered the scene.
1980 - ADD/ADHD hits the books and listed in the DSM.
1996 - The 'Pharmaceutical Rush' Five drug companies grab their piece of the proverbial pie and the market is flooded with new forms of the magic pill.

Snitch….please read - Ritalin IS AN AMPHETIMINE. It is Speed. You really need to do some deep research on your own, not just listen to what the school doctor or what your pediatrician is telling you. The main therapeutic chemical in Ritalin is methylphenidate. Brand names of drugs that contain methylphenidate include Ritalin, Ritalina, Rilatine, Concerta, Metadate, Methylin and Rubifen. Methylphenidate has the SAME chemical properties as Amphetamines.

Here are more facts for you to consider: These are NOT statements made by anyone criticizing the use of any medication either, these came from a study by the AMA.
-In the 1970's roughly 100,000-200,000 children were taking Ritalin, by 1990, 10% of american boys are on the drug.
-The United States uses 90% of the worlds Ritalin.
-Since 1997, the use of Methylphenidate has been under severe scrutiny by the AMA.
-Ritalin is a gateway drug!!! These medications predispose children for other drug abuse later in life. Cocaine tops the list, followed by Smoking, Alcohol and Meth.
-These drugs suppress a child's spontaneous behaviors. This includes curiosity, socializing and playing.
-They increase obsessive/compulsive behaviors.
-Studies of methylphenidate show long-lasting and sometimes permanent changes in the biochemistry of the brain.
-Methylphenidate is the primary cause of 'Tics' and Tourettes-like symptoms in medicated children.

Final parting thought to sum up what I have been saying all along. It all revolves around the parents and the school…not the child!!
The ADD/ADHD diagnosis was developed specifically for the purpose of justifying the use of drugs to subdue the behaviors of children in the classroom. Children are diagnosed with ADHD when they are in conflict with the expectations or demands of parents and/or teachers. The ADHD diagnosis is simply a list of the behaviors that most commonly cause conflict or disturbance in classrooms. By diagnosing the child with ADHD, blame for the conflict is placed on the child. Instead of examining the context of the child's life - why the child is restless or disobedient in the classroom or home - the problem is attributed to a "faulty child's brain". Both the classroom and the family are exempt from criticism or from the need to improve, and instead the child is made the source of the problem.

Chatsworth, CA

#29 Oct 22, 2006
jumping up and down...


#30 Oct 22, 2006
You need to know this- I am very aware what Ritalin is. I also know that drugs like Ritalin, controlled substances, while susceptible to abuse, also have legitimate uses. Because of their nature, they are 'controlled substances'. This is why parents and doctors must monitor the use of these medications.
And you can believe me that my information was not just from my pediatrician(s). And NONE of it was from a school doctor.
Furthermore, your post seems to deal mostly with children who need to be 'supressed'. Which was not the case with mine. We must remember to distinguish between ADD and ADHD.
Now you have a laundry list of bad things that this drug causes:"These drugs suppress a child's spontaneous behaviors. This includes curiosity, socializing and playing.-They increase obsessive/compulsive behaviors""Methylphe nidate is the primary cause of 'Tics' and Tourettes-like symptoms in medicated children." We experienced NONE of that. NONE.
While I agree that classrooms do need improvement, schools need to start teaching again rather that teaching to meet the needs of standardized testing, and that in many cases familys need to make changes, that does NOT invalidate any use of these medications. It is NOT about blame. It is simply about helping the child to function and do well. At least it should be.
Now I agree, there is a problem with overprescribing, and I believe there is a problem with under monitoring. I believe that some parents use these meds to 'supress' thier children. No doubt about it. I have seen it with my childrens classmates. But again, to invalidate all use of these drugs, BS. Without them my childrens struggle would possibly have ended up in some of the very issues you say the drugs cause. I have a brother who is now 42 and he was prescibed for a time. And along with some behaviour modification techniques, he was very successful. HE is now an elementary school teacher. He is not addicted, no self esteem problems, to Tourettes, etc etc etc.
Mr Bullfrog

Saint Louis, MO

#31 Oct 25, 2006
Dear "Hogwash":
Based on your analysis, it's obviuos that you do not have a clue. Educate yourself before you respond to forums such as these. Then and only then you will be less inclined to make an ass of yourself.
From Hogwash

Belleville, IL

#32 Oct 25, 2006
Mr Frog...

My posts are not 'an analysis', they are based on my personal experience. Further, any facts I stated here are not of my imagination, they are easily found in the journals of the AMA.

Do your own homework...ADD/ADHD has been a hotly debated subject since the turn of the century. There are those who accept it as a mental illness, there are are those that do not. I do not.
Someone mentioned a few days ago that the illness was added to the DSM. The text/rational posted here is EXACTLY as it appears in the DSM IV manual. ADD/ADHD is diagnosed purely by a childs behavior in SCHOOL. Nowhere in the diagnosis is the childs family setting truly studied to determine why a child is behaving in a certian way.

I say kids are kids...they are as different from each other as night and day. We shouldn't be drugging them into a subjective mold.


#33 Oct 28, 2006
From Hogwash wrote:
Mr Frog...
My posts are not 'an analysis', they are based on my personal experience. Further, any facts I stated here are not of my imagination, they are easily found in the journals of the AMA.
Do your own homework...ADD/ADHD has been a hotly debated subject since the turn of the century. There are those who accept it as a mental illness, there are are those that do not. I do not.
And what is it that qualifies you to not accept that it is a mental illness? What is your area of expertise?
From Hogwash wrote:
Someone mentioned a few days ago that the illness was added to the DSM. The text/rational posted here is EXACTLY as it appears in the DSM IV manual. ADD/ADHD is diagnosed purely by a childs behavior in SCHOOL.
Simply not true. My childrens diagnoses involved Connors surveys for ALL teachers, and for the parents. It involved sessions with a Child Psychologist and with the pediatrician. School actually had a very small percentage to do with the diagnoses.
From Hogwash wrote:
Nowhere in the diagnosis is the childs family setting truly studied to determine why a child is behaving in a certian way.
Again, not true. Also you seem to be saying that the childs homelife is the reason for the behaviors related to ADD/ADHD. While I will concur that this can be a contributing factor, a major factor, and in many cases the whole ball of wax, it is improper to make a blanket statement that this is the reason.
I would also say I resent such an implication. My children live in a home with both parents present. They have a father who is very involved. They do not do without the things they need, but sometimes they do without things they WANT(so they have learned the meaning of NO). There is no drinking, smoking or drugging in the home. There is no fighting or violence. They are given rules and are expected to live by them. And they do. But we are not so rigid as to not leave room for mistakes. I have never had a complaint about the behavior of my children from school or anyone else.(They are ADD not ADHD) They are well liked by adults and their peers. What else do they need?
From Hogwash wrote:
I say kids are kids...they are as different from each other as night and day. We shouldn't be drugging them into a subjective mold.
Yes, kids are kids. But a question. My child comes to me in the 6th grade. Tells me that he has a problem (and no it was NOT used as an excuse for a poor report). SO for his whole sixth grade and the first quarter of seven, we try to use other methods to help him. It doesnt work. Am I now supposed to deny him medical help. Which by the way HAS worked. Or should I just let him continue to WANT to do good, but be unable to? Should I just let his self esteem crumble? That seems to be your choice.
Your blanket condemnation of medical help for this problem shows much ignorance on our part, as does your blanket denial of ADD/ADHD as a medical diagnoses.


#34 Nov 5, 2006
? nothing to say?
mom and educator

Boynton Beach, FL

#35 Nov 5, 2006
Sherri Rhode Island wrote:
I honestly believe that medication isn't always the answer either. But I am home schooling my son who is 10 now because of this and he is still having difficulties concentrating. I can't get him to sit and do one paper by himself. He get's so overwhelmed. I don't know how to help him be more independent in his work.
I believe that self esteem may play a role in his frustrations as well, but again I don't know how to help him. I love him so much and I try so hard to talk to him, but he never wants to talk about what's on his mind. I don't know what to do.
I have considered medication, but would rather try ANYTHING else! Any ideas?
You should medicate your son before his self esteem is totally destroyed. You can try it for a short period of time and if you don't see a 180 degree turn around discontinue. It will make a world of difference.


#36 Nov 6, 2006
You should PROPERLY get him the help he needs. Do NOT rely strictly on your pediatrician or doctor. Please see an appropriate mental health professional. I would recommend a 'child psychologist" We took our child to a regular psychologist at first who administered 3 hours of 'tests'(There is no clinical test for add/adhd). This 'doctor' said there was nothing wrong but emotional problems, which was laughable. My child was in the 3rd grade at the time, and a very happy child. We then visited a child psychologist. This woman, as we were describing the problems we had, took over and started describing our daughter to US. DEAD ON.
You should do this, because pediatricians have a tendency to medicate for this without really checking. It could be that there is a different problem. He may also open up to that psychologist easier than he will to you about it. And you shouldnt be hurt by that, it is the way kids minds work sometimes. While I am a proponent of the meds, I also believe in using every other approach first and being sure of your diagnoses.

Orlando, FL

#38 Nov 7, 2006
you have got to be kidding me!!!!!... consider yourself lucky!! ADHD is a realllllll condition. let me give you and example: A child is born into a well adjusted family who is both caring and involved in every aspect of the childs life!!! The child goes to pre-school to gain social and academic exposure...Reports come home every day that you child is rambunctious and talk with the child, give consequences for misbehaving and yet it continues...the child says he/she understands and tries with all of their might to follow the such luck....he/she enters primary school and the problems continue except now the consequences are more severe....before long the he/she thinks they are worthless and stupid because they want to please the adults around and want to fit in with their peers....they continue down this self-destructive path and no matter how much support the family provides it does not help...they ultimately end up dropping out and becoming society's worst are now a potential victim of this adult who had he/she been diagnosed and supported early on would be a productive member of society.


#39 Nov 7, 2006
Who has got to be kidding. If you are addressing me, perhaps you misread me. I KNOW adhd is real. I just stated that there is no clinical test for it. SO many psychologists will not recognize it. AND I am not against medication. BUT I think that other measures should be tried first. NOT to the extent that the child goes thru school without help. But lets face it. There are lots of instances where parents and teachers use it as the easy way to control a child, who might be helped by means other than meds. We exhausted these means first, and have used meds with both children.
The other reason for exhausting these reasons AND making sure it is adhd, is that there are other reasons a child could show these behaviours, both physical and mental.

New Westminster, Canada

#40 Dec 9, 2006
Having a child with ADHD i feel qualified to reply. I strongly disagree with what you are saying. I run a tight ship in the house and it is not an escape to parenting a child. I work very closely with my childs school in order to suceed.
ADD ADHD Hogwash wrote:
All this ADHD/ADD crap is overrated. Lines pharmacutical <Sp?> companies with hard green cash!
Parents hide behind this farce in order to escape parenting their children. Teachers push it on parents because they are too damn lazy to work with each child according to their abilities and talents.
Every public school we had our children in kept pushing that crap in our face.'Your kid needs to be evaluated...blah, blah, blah! They were saying that our kids were inattentive, disruptive and (according to them) showed all the classic signs of all the other ADD/ADHD children in the schools. I was military and lived all over the country, we experienced this at every elementary school.
One distinct episode rings this bell loud and clear: While at the military hospital, getting the school physicals, there was a mile long line out the peds office, all kids (with parents in tow)waiting for their ADHD referral papers. The attendant asked dad 'What can we do for you today?' Dumbfounded, he looks down at his 10 year old daughter. She says 'Dad, were here to get that Ritalin.' The attendant again asks dad, what prescription dosage do you need? Again he looks at his kid, she tells him....the story goes on. This loser dad had absolutely no clue, the line was full of moms and dads with the typical deer in the headlight look on their faces. It was rediculous.
Bottom line, our children were all bright, bored with the curriculun and were not being challenged...period!
After countless years of dealing with that crap, we pulled our kids out of public school and home schooled them. Each of them (all 5 of them) excelled beyond description! My 23 y/o son graduated at 16 years old and is finished his 4 year degree at 20 years of age, years ahead of his ritalen/stratera/concerta peers. My next 2 graduated early, both are in college. My youngest is on the same path. All of then earned academic scholarships.
Moral here is this:
Parents need to be in tune with their children. God made them exactly as he intended them to be, it's not our place to drug them into submission so they they fit into some subjective mold. If they are having problems at school, at home or socially, the answer isn't in a bottle, it all starts at home.

Mandurah, Australia

#41 Feb 10, 2007
I am a Creative Arts Therapist, and a behaviour management consultant. I have six children, aged between 5 years and 28 years. One of my children (number three) has ADHD. Prior to Bridgette's 5th birthday, I was criticised regarding my parenting skills, told that she was gifted and bored, blamed for comparing her abilities to those of her siblings and generally treated with barely concealed contempt. My children have attended public school and were, for a year home schooled. I continued to home school Bridgette as I believed her confidence and self-esteem suffered far less and I could structure her learning around her individual learning style. After battling for several years with the belief that indeed, Bridgette's issues were a direct result of some 'mistake' my husband or I might have made, we finally resorted to medication. After trialling a number of medications and dosage rates, along with very careful pre and post medication evaluations, we decided to trial the medication for 6 months. Our lives, our other children's lives, and most of all, Bridgette's life, dramatically improved. She is now 17 years old. She is employed, happy and very much in control of her own mental health. Her description of how, particualy when life is stressful, she sees and hears everything instead of just what she wants to see or hear, vividly illustrates the diffuclties she must have had as a young child. Every thought has a high priority instead of just the line of thinking she WANTS to follow. Although she had not been on any medication for two years, she recently undertook further study, and moved into a new workplace. After 4 months, she saw her psychiatrist and requested a small dose of medication again as she was beginning to become overwhelmed by the sensory stimulation and was again starting to lose confidence, sleep and her ability to learn.
I know that medication is probably over prescribed, but there are certainly cases where it is well and truly justified. I have 6 happy, healthy, and successful children, but one of them needed ritalin along the way, much like a diabetic might need insulin. Assuming that all children are the same, that all medications are the same and that any one method might solve every child's challenges is naive and dangerous. In my work I see plenty of young adults who, perhaps if they had been given some ADHD medication as a child or adolescent, might have had sufficint self confidence, success and valuable friendships to not have resorted to illegal drugs and a life of crime.

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