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PRETTY SAD

Filed at 1:32 am under by dcobranchi

Not that this study shows that methylphenidate (Ritalin) is effective on 3-4 year-olds but that the study was needed in the first place.

9 Responses to “PRETTY SAD”


Comment by
Christy
October 26th, 2006
at 8:13 am

Hooray for universal preschool! (sarcasm)


Comment by
Andrea
October 26th, 2006
at 8:44 am

Ohhh.. that’s just… disgusting.


Comment by
Nance Confer
October 26th, 2006
at 9:22 am

Another view of the study:

dallas...nt/dws
/dn/latestnews/stories/102006natritalin_.1f8c796.html

. . .

The research involved children with severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with behaviors that included hanging from ceiling fans, jumping off slides or playing with fire. The researchers say the benefits of low-dose treatment outweigh the risks for these youngsters.

But critics disputed that.

“I hope publication of this does not lead to more overprescribing,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the watchdog group Public Citizen. “The safety isn’t adequately established, the efficacy even less.”

About 40 percent of children developed side effects and roughly 11 percent dropped out because of problems including irritability, weight loss, insomnia and slowed growth.

Preschoolers on methylphenidate, or generic Ritalin, grew about half an inch less and gained about 2 pounds less than expected during the 70-week study.

“This is a catastrophe. It just opens up the way for drugging the younger kids,” said Dr. Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist and longtime critic of psychiatric drug use in children.

Breggin said the research is part of a marketing push by the drug industry to expand drug use to the youngest children.

. . .


Comment by
Christine G
October 26th, 2006
at 9:40 am

I don’t see how slowed growth rate qualifies as “safe”. Just because there weren’t deaths, seizures, liver failure, etc- is that how they qualified “safe”?

The kids I have known like this, including two nephews, (I also worked in day care, summer camp,and as a pediatric nurse) and I can say that a little consistency and boundary setting goes a long way with them. I know there are kids to which this doesn’t apply, but I believe that number is very few in relation to how many parents get a script because their kid isn’t doing what they want them and what they really need is some parenting help.


Comment by
HS mom
October 26th, 2006
at 10:32 am

I think this is sad. When my son was that age, the daycare said that he would need to be medicated when he went to school, or at least need an individual para-educator to be with him. He was the hanging from the ceiling fan type, too. He also needed to be physically restrained on a regular basis to stop him from hurting people – at age three!

Now, at almost 10, he has none of those problems. He needed no additional services for the three years he was in public school before homeschooling. He has never been medicated. He is high-energy, but that’s just his nature.

All we did – not that it was easy – was give him a safe outlet for his physical impulses at least a few times a day, and impose strict limits with consistent consequences at all other times. It’s about training kids to control themselves until an appropriate time, with an emphasis on offering them an appropriate time.


Comment by
Andrea R. in Missouri
October 26th, 2006
at 11:03 am

I have one of those three year olds. As much as I’ve thought that we will end up in the emergency room with multiple broken bones it hasn’t happened yet. I’d still rather have a broken leg from jumping off a slide than have him on ritalin.


Comment by
Sandra
October 26th, 2006
at 12:17 pm

It saddens me when I see such an atitude of medicating toddlers. When my daughter was three, her Sunday school teacher–also a 5th grade public school teacher–told me my DD would be put on Ritalin when she went to public school. Next time I was at the family doctor, I mentioned the comment to him and he was furious. He told me to never let anyone label her ADHD and that she was just high energy and extremely intelligent. He told me to consider homeschooling her if I could and then set off on a discourse about how he wished he had homeschooled his six children. I had already planned to homeschool; I took his comments and those of a close friend (also a ps teacher) and began the three year plan to convince my husband (it worked). Now 10, she, too, has outlets to expend energy and over the years I’ve pointed out when she is getting out of hand and she has learned to act more sedately. Now she comments to me about all the kids in the stores that are uncontrollable or “acting inappropriately.”


Comment by
NMcV
October 26th, 2006
at 6:10 pm

I agree with Christine when she says:

“…a little consistency and boundary setting goes a long way with them. I know there are kids to which this doesn’t apply, but I believe that number is very few in relation to how many parents get a script because their kid isn’t doing what they want them and what they really need is some parenting help.”

I imagine there a some very few kids out there with such poor impulse control and with such high excitement-seeking that methylphenidate treatment is called for. But yes, there will be pre-school teachers playing diagnostician, and real doctors caving in to parents demanding ‘scripts.

None of that, however, alters the fact that ADD is not a discilpine problem or a parenting problem.

” training kids to control themselves until an appropriate time, with an emphasis on offering them an appropriate time.” is a non-starter. Kids with ADD are not merely “high energy”. Many, in fact, are hypoactive, but still impulsive, unable to focus attention, lacking in organizational skills,… just slower about it. (And frequently not diagnosed until adulthood.)


Comment by
Andrea
October 27th, 2006
at 11:21 am

Excellent point NMcV, as that is exactly the type of ADD that *I* have.

But medicating me at age 3 or 5 woudln’t have helped. Seriously.

Nobody here in the comments is disputing the need for the medication or that ADD is real. The bothersome part is that by the time a study like this trickles down to the general public, all they hear is “hyper 3-5 year olds can go on a slow-down pill”, coupled with the pervasive amount of drug ads on American tv.

And THAT is the scary part.