Half of kids with ADHD are not being treated

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

We likely all have differing ideas about hyperactivity. Should we ask for medications for our child or should we attempt to use behavioral strategies to cope with his or her behavior? Arguments about the topic abound. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a high percentage of kids with ADHD are not receiving treatment. In fact, almost half of the children who might benefit from ADHD drugs were not getting them. According to the scientists, only about 58 percent of boys and about 45 percent of girls who had a diagnosis of full-scale ADHD got any medication at all in the group they studied.

From a clinical point of view, this study affirms that for whatever reason, many children who could benefit from treatment are not receiving it according to the authors. They suggest that it's possible those children aren't being identified at schools or pediatrician's offices or that their parents are choosing not to put their children on stimulant medication. The tone of the article is that ADHD is undertreated in the U.S. and more kids should be on meds.

I personally have ambivalent feelings about medications for ADHD. In severe cases, they probably are needed. However, as one who volunteers at an elementary school, there are often complaints about kids who seem basically normal to me but who are on drugs for ADHD. This has led me to wonder why the drugs are being prescribed: to benefit the child or mollify the teacher? This is a simple response to a complicated issue, but what are your views? The thoughts of everyone who supposedly is ADHD being on drugs bothers me.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.