Letter: Ritalin children
Friday 12 March 1999
Of grave concern to many teachers however is that Ritalin may be being prescribed much too freely and without sufficient follow-up. Some children have led lives so full of events which are stressful or painful to them and so lacking in parental care and control that it would be strange if their behaviour were not affected; Ritalin will not solve their problems.
Doctors may need to be aware that there are parents who take a cavalier attitude to medication and cheerfully double the recommended dosage if the child seems to be getting difficult, and sometimes advise the school to do the same. Some even use the medication as a pick-me-up for themselves.
It is also worth mentioning that the parents of children who are diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are entitled to an attendance allowance, which could also provide motivation for seeking such a diagnosis.
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