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Child & Teen Health

ADHD medication for kids: Is it safe? Does it help?

March 4, 2016

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photo of Ellen Braaten, PhD

Ellen Braaten, PhD, Contributor

Dr. Ellen Braaten is associate director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at MGH, and an associate professor of psychology … See Full Bio
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April 16, 2016

I might also like to mention that most individuals who find themselves devoid of health insurance are typically students, self-employed and people who are without a job. More than half of the uninsured are really under the age of Thirty five. They do not experience they are in need of health insurance simply because they’re young as well as healthy. Its income is typically spent on real estate, food, plus entertainment. Some people that do represent the working class either full or part-time are not provided insurance by way of their work so they head out without due to rising cost of health insurance in the us. Thanks for the thoughts you share through this blog.

Beverley Calvert
April 5, 2016

Isn’t the ADHD problem in the cerabellum? May have this spelt wrong.

March 7, 2016

Its high time that people should get aware of the environmental factors which are contributing to the higher rates of neurological disorders. We all know that the whole world is polluted with toxins….but the most important thing which everyone should be aware off is that there are a category of toxins called neurotoxins which can damage the brain and nervous system which are present in the air we breathe, water we drink and the food we eat…..So, all the beings on earth are neurotoxic. And neurotoxicity is the hidden cause of various health conditions including various neurological disorders like ADHD, Autism…….Everyone should be aware that they are neurotoxic and take appropriate measures to avoid the exposure to these neurotoxins to minimize their consumption, they should try to detox these neurotoxins on daily basis which can help with the prevailing health conditions……. As all are neurotoxic….each person struggling with neurological disorders should understand the importance of considering the treatment of neurotoxicity as a part of treatment protocol for neurological disorders like ADHD, Autism.

John R williams
March 7, 2016

Give me an example of a neurotoxin and a scientific paper where its levels have been measured . Then follow it up with a scientific paper reference that shows the compound is a neurotoxin in animals and in humans. I think your comments are unproven. I want original scientific papers not something that someone says in the secondary unrefereed literature. As a professor of organic chemistry I can understand the chemical reactions between molecules.

Justin Ferrell
March 7, 2016

I have ADHD. I take meds for it. It doesn’t always work. I may end up paying attention to all the wrong things. I take it while I’m doing my homework and it may not always help and then won’t be able to get any sleep because it keeps me up at night. I may go a couple days without sleep. because I also do my homework at the last minute too. It sucks a lot.

March 6, 2016

Lynn Gimpel…. All due respect, but most people do not “outgrow” ADHD. Up to 35% of those diagnosed in childhood may no longer qualify for the diagnosis upon reaching adulthood, but this could be due to medications, educational supports they have benefited from, coping skills they have learned, and a myriad of other things. That leaves 65% of adults who still qualify for the diagnosis of ADHD. That doesn’t sound like most outgrow it to me.
Source: Milwaukee Longitudinal Study, Barkley & Fischer. 2008
March 5, 2016

With over 50 things that mimic ADHD (including lead exposure in tap water) we must rule out many other things 1st. Always. I’m working hard to raise global awareness on this fact.

Jeff Emmerson
March 5, 2016

With over 50 things that mimic ADHD (including lead exposure in tap water) we must rule out many other things 1st. Always. I’m working hard to raise global awareness on this fact.

– Jeff Emmerson

Lynn Gimpel
March 5, 2016

ADHD is a case of delayed development of the frontal lobe. Executive function is delayed; an 8 year old has the attention span, consideration of consequences, impulse control, concentration, etc.
of a 5 year old. Social skills, school performance,
family interactions are emotionally 3-5 years delayed.
Yes most will “outgrow” ADHD but if not treated early in life they will
have a weak academic record, low self esteem,
lack of confidence that will handicap them into adult

March 8, 2016

The frontal lobe – executive function does not complete its task until the early 20’s. Teachers do not like to teach boys because they are naturally fidgety. Parents are to busy these days to spend time on executing behavioral issues. Also, what is adding another drug going to do with the development of the frontal lobe? Alcohol and drugs seem to affect proper formation of this important function.

john west
March 4, 2016

With all due respect Ms. Patel, if, like us, you have a wonderful child who suffers from significant ADHD symptoms, you will have none of these concerns. While yes, changing schools can help a lot, meds are warranted in cases like ours — if just to learn how to take care of his household responsibilities.

re:side effects: loss of appetite in adolescent boys who are growing taller by leaps and bounds is definitely a major concern among us parents! Chronic abdominal pain is also a side effect that forced us to switch meds.

Lily Patel
March 4, 2016

One problem I have seen with this diagnosis is the reservations parents have with putting their child on this type of medicine. I am not entirely convinced that attention deficits are the crux of the child’s health problems. It could be the education curriculum and that the child is just not interested in the learning environment that they are in. Furthermore, the schooling environment may not be structured that it is effective for the child’s learning abilities. It might not be providing adequate social supports. Some children may be interested in just math and science or just art and to receive such a specialized education could very well mean moving the child out of the present school and placing him or her in a private school or a boarding school where the attention and focus is geared towards the child’s interests.

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