Mudcat Café message #1613778 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86484   Message #1613778
Posted By: dianavan
25-Nov-05 - 04:55 PM
Thread Name: ADHD- Ritalin
Subject: RE: ADHD- Ritalin
Mark - I don't want you think that I am arguing for the sake of argument or that I am questioning your medical expertise or ethics. ADHD is a problem that, as a teacher, I have to deal with every day. I too, hope for a solution. I am just not sure that Ritalin is anything more than the pharmaceutical answer to a target market, mainly working mothers in an urban environment.

I did find this: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/165/11/1475

"To conclude, we found that short-acting methylphenidate was an effective short-term treatment option for children diagnosed with ADD. Yet, this finding may not be robust or completely valid. We also observed that this treatment exhibits a short-term safety profile that requires further investigation. Finally, there is a lack of long-term randomized trial evidence. Collectively, these observations likely reflect a less-than-an-ideal state of affairs given the long history of extensive, and ever increasing, use of methylphenidate for ADD particularly in North America for groups that now include preschoolers and adults."

Although your theory (dopamine and neuro transmitters) is probably the most popular at the present time, there are other theories that make as much sense. Some blame toxins in the environment, some point to an absence of essential fatty acids, the list goes on and on.

This entire thread has only exemplified the wide gap between the medical profession and the teacher. I don't need to read a book called 'Overcoming Dyslexia' because I know that dyslexia can be overcome in the early years. I also know that it is only one of a range of learning disabilities that often fall under that catch phrase. In all my years of teaching, I have never seen a bonafide
case of so called dyslexia. I see number and letter reversals, but if a child is allowed to develop without a bunch of neurotics hovering over him, it gets straightened out by the end of grade two. If not, they can be trained to cope with it. Its not the debilitating disease its made out to be.

I am a learning disabilities teacher, Mark. I can assure you that if a child does have a learning disabilitly beneath the ADHD, no drug will help that child learn. What is more important, the ability of the child to learn or the ability of adults to manage a child's behaviour?

A lot more research needs to be done. Until then, I maintain that counselling, combined with behaviour modification is a far safer, but more expensive, alternative. Lets face it, Ritalin is the most cost effective way to control behaviour. Other than that, its not a miracle drug. In fact, its a dirty drug with many side effects and no proven long range benefits.