|BOTH THE BPS AND THE AEP QUESTION THE ETHICS OF PRESCRIBING PSYCHOTROPICS TO YOUNG CHILDREN ESPECIALLY UNDER THE AGE OF SIX.|
Why Medication To Treat ADHD Is Not The Answer- Guidelines To Avoid The Chaos
Posted: Nov 17, 2011 |
The annual congress of the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has just finished and they have recommended that children as young as four years of age, can be given a med for ADHD, such as Ritalin, if behavioral therapy fails. They also recommend that the upper age limit be raised to eighteen which is probably quite sensible as many young adults discover they have ADHD later on in life, especially women.
But prescribing medication to treat ADHD at four years of age is quite another matter and the recommendations of the AAP are causing a storm of protest. The previous age limit was six years of age. The AAP say that ADHD needs to be diagnosed as early as possible so this is why they are saying that preschoolers should be screened. They also point out that as one in twelve children is likely to have ADHD, early diagnosis will be an advantage. It will help them to do better at school, they claim.
Assessing a child's behavioral and academic progress at the age of four is almost an impossible task, I would say. Why put them on medication to treat ADHD at such an early age when the risks and side effects are quite a burden?
In the UK, the authorities concerned such as the The British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) are extremely concerned about the latest developments. They say that this could lead to massive over prescribing of these drugs, instead of alternative, safer and non-invasive approaches.
They say that they will do everything in their power to stop the same thing happening in the UK. This follows the controversy raised by David Traxson, a child psychologist in Britain who said about 100 very young children between the ages of three and five were on the potentially addictive Ritalin in one region (West Midlands).
Guidelines to avoid the chaos:-
get a proper diagnosis when your child is older, probably around six years of age
resist efforts by teachers who are advocating medication to treat ADHD
choose an alternative medication such as homeopathy and tell the teacher that your child is on medication, without specifying which one.
younger children can benefit enormously from these treatments and there is no risk to their developing brains at all.
children at four years of age are not under pressure to well academically and that should be borne in mind.
they can be calmer and at the same time be helped to behave well and to eat properly.
make sure that the child has limited access to TV and electronic media and is allowed to play in the open. Studies show that children are much better behaved after such activity.
Even if your child is diagnosed with ADHD at a later age, you will have laid the foundations for better and more comprehensive treatment which is the key to success. Above all, you will able to avoid the chaos of relying on medication to treat ADHD at such a young age.
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Matthew V. Gant
Matthew V. Gant - About the Author:
Experts now tell us that medication to treat ADHD is only a partial solution. It can be combined with child behavior modification techniques. Matthew Gant has written extensively on ADHD and Mental Health for many years. Check out this site for more parenting and ADHD advice