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Children are known to be rambunctious.
If our child wasn’t active, we would be concerned. However, the out of the norm rambunctious child may have some teachers and doctors diagnosing our child with ADHD.
With that diagnosis, they may be quick to prescribe ADHD medication to placate a child. Children may pay a price when given a quick pill to curb their enthusiasm.
Research shows that ADHD medication changes a child’s brain.
There are 5.2% of American children aged 2 to 17 who currently take ADHD medication.
Research from the University of Amsterdam demonstrated that one of the most commonly used ADHD medications today, methylphenidate (MPH), is impacting the development of white matter in kids’ brains.
The names of these drugs that are sold in the U.S. are Ritalin and Concerta.
The research tested young men and boys who had been diagnosed with ADHD but had no history of taking MPH.
They divided them into two groups. One was a placebo group and the other group took the drug every day for 16 weeks. Those participating in the study were given MRIs before the research began and a week after the close of the drug trial period.
The study showed that the boys who took the drug had an increase in white matter on their brains.
The adult men did not have any increase in white matter nor did anyone in the placebo group have any increase of white matter on the brain.
This white matter assists the brain in tasks such as communication between the various areas of the brain, learning and overall brain function.
It’s clear that these medications change the brain of a child, which is not natural. However, the long-term effects of brain changes are UNKNOWN.
It is also unknown if these changes can be reversed by stopping the medication or if they influence behavioral or functional changes for the long haul.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than six be given behavior therapy as the first line of treatment for ADHD, but this study shows that older children should also consider this approach.
Some of those behavioral therapy techniques we have shared with all of you.
We have great wisdom from Dr. Raun Melmed who teaches great skills like the ST4 Technique and the Camera technique to children in his books, Marvin’s Monster Diary, Harriet’s Monster Diary, and Timmy’s Monster Diary. These techniques help children develop more mindfulness in their daily lives.
Dr. Melmed said how very important it is to get the children involved in their treatment. And, how important it is to let children know that you as their parents are right there with them to help. You can see my full interview with Dr. Raun Melmed here.
As noted before, many children with ADHD grow up to be very successful adults and have great skills that other children may or may not have.
A few of those successful people with ADHD are:
- John F Kennedy
- Will Smith
- Albert Einstein
- Richard Branson
- Michael Jordan
- Jim Carrey
ADHD is no excuse NOT TO succeed in life.
Parents need to be engaged with their children and teach them the skills to succeed.
There are games and products that can teach children the skills to succeed. We have some of those on our website. One of our most popular items with parents is our own KCA Tool Kit, which is currently available at 40% off!
Many experts believe that behavioral methods should be tried first before giving out any prescriptions for medications.
ADHD medications also have side effects, which include sleeping problems and weight loss.
Research continues to show that taking pharmaceutical drugs at the first sign of a problem can backfire in a big way.
For those with ADHD, it is important to use alternative behavioral methods, exercise, relaxation, mindfulness skills, and diet to keep problematic behavior under control without negative side effects.
We at KCA are here to help support you as parents.
You as parents are right there to teach the skills to your children to become productive members of society and also to have a whole lot of fun in becoming those productive adults.