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Avatar universal

ADHD assessment and diagnosis in School-aged children

Is it unheard of for teachers to outright suggest to parents that their over-active, misbehaved child should take prescribed methylphenidate, most commonly known as ritalin to improve the child's behavior in school?  If so, what do you think of this trend?  Also, do you think their is a stronger argument for the child to visit a clinical psychologist or just see a psychiatrist for assessment and diagnosis?  Thanks!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
First of all, teachers should not be recommending medication.  They are not physicians.  To suggest your child see a physician to discuss options would be normal, but not recommending a medication with no medical education.  How old is your child?  The diagnosis for children with ADD/ADHD should be taken very seriously.  There are a number of tests to be done.  Your child isn't just diagnosed because he seems "over-active" to a teacher.  You should start out by setting up an appointment with your pediatrician and going from there.  I would get multiple opinions before starting your child on this or any other medication.  ADD/ADHD is an "easy fix" in some peoples eye, and it isn't always the case, sometimes there are other things going on with the child.  A psychologist wouldn't be a bad idea either.  
503422 tn?1218556941
Not many teachers will recommend that course of actions b/c they are not docs; rather they should inform the parent of the child's behavior and ask the parent to see if they can help to mitigate the obnoxious behavior .  Most schools have counselor's and some school districts even have child psychologists.  

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is prescribed a lot for children who are overactive, hyper, or very unfocused a.k.a. ADHD and or ADD; this information is from various news and health articles.  There are recent studies that indicate that some behavior modification can be achieved through proper diet and sleep, but that is something your doctor should address.

Obviously, if a teacher is recommending medication, it's b/c of their observations of the child's behavior.  But, is the child abnormally hyper or overactive?  Does the child cause problems at school and/or home?  Is the child disrupting the education process of the other kids at school?  If so, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to see a doctor.

Sometimes, we as parents, get defensive when someone has something to say about our kids, especially if it's not said in a way that we like.  Teachers have a very difficult job and sometimes kids' behavior can only make it more difficult.  Some people can be overly brutal with their opinions (I've been accused of that more than once).  That does not mean that it is an attack or is meant to be cruel.  

I'm always in favor of any method other than medication if possible.  Again, there are many studies that show links between behavior and the foods we eat.  The chemicals that are in the foods that we eat are outrageous.  (I make chocolate chip cookies from scratch that contain only butter, flour, salt, brown sugar, chocolate chips and baking soda.  Look at the ingredients in some of the major brands at the grocery store and ask what many of those chemicals are doing to your body).  I'd take the teachers recommendation as her opinion and talk to your doctor.

Avatar universal
Thank you everyone for commenting on my post.  I actually do not have any children, but I'm currently writing about this subject for one of my college psychology classes.  I wanted to get a quick snapshot of what other people thought of ADHD/ADD.  

In my research, I have generally found that the cause of ADHD remains debatable.  I've learned that only health care providers such as psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, clinical social workers, family physicians, and pediatricians can officially diagnose a child with ADHD.  Unfortunately, there have been cases where schools have outright told parents that if they don't get their child medicated, the child would not be allowed back in school.  That struck a chord with me.  What is going on?  Studies show that symptoms of this disorder can be associated with normal behavior depending on what age the child is.  Moreover, they could be symptoms of some underlying family issue.

Overall, it's up to the parents to choose the right health care provider to fit their needs.  A child clinical psychologist with extensive experience with ADHD, benefits from a strong background in psychological assessments, parent and child structured interviews, and focusing on the patient's strengths rather than weaknesses.  Except for in a few states such as New Mexico, a clinical psychologist cannot prescribe medication.  So, should your child need stimulant treatment, a medical doctor would have to get involved in the treatment also.  
535822 tn?1443976780
As a follow up to you original Post, this is Happening you are correct and it is very worrying for Moms if you read a lot of the Posts on the ADD and the ADHD Forum you will see what is happening, even Day care and pre schools are doing it , there is quite a lot of Talk regarding this  very often the children are merely exhibiting Normal Child hood behavior and Tantrums and the Carer/Teacher is telling the Moms to have their Children evaluated,Most Moms and Dads need better parenting skillsthat can be addressed,  and to be told by someone looking after your 2-3 yearold they should be evaluated for ADD and AHDD , is shocking.Go to Breggin .com and read for your self
535822 tn?1443976780
Have read this in a reputable local paper," Food Supplement treatment of ADHD may be of equal efficacy to Ritalin treatment, " All children and especially those with learning difficulties, benifit from a Multi Vitamin-mineral supplement with Antioxiadants ,B Complex and Vitamin C.
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