Should We Medicate Them?

medsTIME Magazine has an article that is quite interesting, focusing on the questions Americans should ask before putting a child on medication for ADHD. Keep in mind “DSM-IV defined ADHD as “a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development”. Symptoms must have been present from before age 7, although many patients are diagnosed years later.

The article begins as follows-

American kids are now much more likely to be diagnosed and treated for ADHD than kids in any other country. For example, a teenager in the United States is now nearly 14 times more likely to be on medication for ADHD than a teenager in the United Kingdom. In my book The Collapse of Parenting, I explore some of the reasons why. One is that in the U.S., medication has become the first resort for almost any child who is struggling in school. Outside of North America, medication is usually a last resort. That’s especially of concern because of research showing that these medications for ADHD may affect the developing brain in significant ways.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before your start filling prescriptions for your child:

And the six questions include-

Am I sure my child really has ADHD, rather than some other problem which is causing him to be inattentive?

Has my child had problems in elementary school, or did teachers only start talking about attention in middle school?

Is my doctor suggesting we try medication even though he or she is not 100% that ADHD is the problem?

Am I comfortable with the risks of giving my kid ADHD medication?

Is it my child who needs to change, or the way he or she is taught?

Are we using the safest form of the medication?

To see the answers you should look for to these questions as well as to read the article in its entirety click here.

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