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Posted by ron and wanda on November 15, 1999 at 00:17:43:

In Reply to: Any help that anyone can give. posted by Dee on November 07, 1999 at 18:29:54:

: My daughter is 8 years old and was just diagnosed with ADD Inattentive type. She has no other learning disabilities. I have suspected something was wrong since she was in first grade and I was constantly told that she was just immature. We moved to a new school district this year and her teacher pointed out that she might have an attention problem. I noticed it too. For years I noticed it - but the people who were with her everyday failed to give me any help - until now. I am now trying to decide whether or not to medicate her. We just got her first report card and she is seriously below average. I've tried everything at home. I don't know what else to do for her. I know she is a smart girl when she can fully concentrate on the task at hand. If anyone has any input or information or advice, I could really use it.

Like your daughter, our 6 year old son has been "diagnosed" by the school system as ADHD. Our pediatrician recommended Ritalin, stating unequivically that it is not addictive and causes no long term bad effects. My husband and I went in search of additional information, as you have done. Please, please, educate yourself before you medicate. What we found terrified us for our child and for the future of all our children.

The best advice we can give is to search the internet for "ritalin" then read every article you find. We have spent the last two days doing just this.

Some things that have come thru loud and clear are:

1. Ritalin is "SPEED", a class II narcotic equivalent to cocaine and amphetamines (AKA crystal meth and black molly).
2. Ritalin is DEFINITELY addictive as reported by the FDA, the DEA, and Ciba-Geigy, its manufacturer.
3. Ritalin can lead to PERMANENT facial muscle tics that do not go away after stopping the medication.
4. Ritalin has been linked to PERMANENT shrinkage or atrophy of the brain.
5. ADD/ADHD has NEVER been proven to be a disorder.
6. Ciba-Geigy is a major financial contributor to CHADD, an organization the bills itself as a grass-roots, parent based organization that promotes the use of Ritalin.
7. Ciba-Geigy in its OWN FDA filing admits that it has no research or studies that prove Ritalin (or other similar drugs like Adderall, Dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate and/or Cylert) have ANY long term beneficial effects.
8. Other side effects listed by the manufacturers of Ritalin are: seizures, stomach pain, hallucinations. Also listed is the possibility of suicide following withdrawal of the medication.
9. Additionally, loss of appetite (this is SPEED, remember) and a resultant stunting of the childs growth are listed by the manufacturer in their FDA filing.

Children are, well, CHILDREN. As such, they are inattentive when bored, they squirm, they fidget. They often run around and play rambunctiously. Each of us as parents is convinced that whatever our children are, they are "over the top" compared to other children. In some cases they may be. However, I (and my family doctor) are of the opinion that a child that is NOT active is the child to worry about.

If your daughter is exceeding bright, consider whether she is merely bored with school and her classwork. If she TRULY had a "chemical imbalance in her brain" she would be UNABLE at any time to concentrate her attention. I would imagine that you have found that she is QUITE able to concentrate on fun and interesting activities.

Please do not be swayed into only considering that your daughter has a disability. Consider instead whether your daughter's intelligence creates in her a high level of curiousity, and a low threshold for boredom.

One article we read may have put it best when they said "Wild colts make the best horses." A bright mind is a terrible thing to drug.

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