LETTER: Ritalin helps raise children's self-esteem

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YOUR article on Ritalin contained many errors. The drugs are not mood- changing but are used to help the body boost manufacture of its own inadequate supply of dopomines in the brain, a function that occurs naturally in most children.

Ritalin is one of the most tested drugs given to children. It has been researched for more than 25 years and the research is continuing. Up-to- date results show that side-effects were previously overstated, are usually minimal and often easily overcome.

Attention Deficit Disorder is not a new condition; it existed at the beginning of the century under a different name. Since then the name has changed to reflect more accurately the symptoms of the condition. Not all the children are over-active or "hyperactive" as the condition was known in the past.

Ritalin is not a wonder drug, and should be used in conjunction with other strategies. Our group has, for example, benefited from talks by educational psychologists, special needs teachers and doctors, and numerous books are available. To pop a pill is not a cure all.

Linda Reimer

Sussex Area ADHD/ADD

Support Group

East Grinstead, W Sussex

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