September 24, 2008

Drugs ‘Not the Way to Treat Unruly Kids

RITALIN, the controversial drug used to calm hyperactive children, should be avoided where possible and not given at all to underfives, new guidelines say.

Instead, parents should be taught psychological techniques for changing the behaviour of unruly children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), said experts.

Teachers trained in ADHD management were urged to put their skills into practice in the classroom.

Methylphenidate, better known as the stimulant Ritalin, and other drugs should be reserved for severe cases only after other options have failed, health professionals were told by the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence and the NationalCollaborating Centre for Mental Health.

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