Parents should stop making hasty decisions and consider alternatives when deciding whether or not to use Ritalin, a drug prescribed for children with Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (AD[H]D. It is important for parents to realize a hasty decision, on their part or on their doctor's part, may lead to a misdiagnosis of their child's true condition which may just be an overactive child. If parents are treating just an overactive child with Ritalin, they may just be "Drugging Up" their child for no good reason.
In his book, The Misunderstood Child, Larry B. Silver, M.D. Describes ADHD as behaviors in children that may be described as "Developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity." Then after describing each one of these three behaviors, he writes "There are many reasons why children and adolescents might be hyperactive, distractible and/or impulsive. It is important to understand that not all who show these behaviors have ADHD."(51) It is a common misconception for parents, teachers and sometimes even doctors to confuse an ADHD child with just an overactive child.
Some parents may argue that their children have ADHD because they have a short attention span. Other parents may argue that their children have ADHD because they fidget or squirm in their seat and blurt out answers before questions are completed. Other behaviors such as talking excessively, not listening when spoken to directly, and running about or climbing excessively at inappropriate times are also used to declare ADHD. These six behaviors are actual items on the ADHD Checklist produced by the...
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..., Stephen W, Ph.D., Marianne Daniels Garber, Ph.D. and Robyn Freedman Spizman. Beyond Ritalin. New York: Villard Books, 1996.
Hallowell, Edward M, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. Driven to Distraction. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994.
Hancock, LyNell. "Mother's Little Helper." Newsweek 18 March 1996: 50-6 (accessed online--Sirs Researcher).
Henderson, Randi. "Relying on Ritalin." Common Boundary May/June 1996: 22-30 (accessed online--Sirs Researcher).
McLeod, Rebecca and Ron. "Boys w/ADD." July, 1996, n. pag. Online. World Wide Web. < http://www.p-a-r.org/boyswadd.html21 October, 1998.
Perlman, Shirley E. "The Ritalin RX: Controversy, Abuse. For Agitated Kids, Miracles, but Perils." Newsday 10 June 1996: A5+ (accessed online--Sirs Researcher).
Silver, Larry B. The Misunderstood Child 2ed. United States of America: TAB Books, 1992.
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