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Question
Posted by: JJ | 2010/02/01

ADD

Hi,
I would like to know:
1) if Ritalin is given to a child that has ADD who is not hyperactive, does this child become calmer and quiter?
2)Do children outgrow ADD?
3)For how long can Ritalin be taken?
4) Does Ritalin have a sedative action and can it be addictive?
5) Can a GP diagnose ADD?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

HMmmm. As one tends to see only hyperactive kids with ADD being given Ritalin, I'm not sure quite what this situation would be. Maybe you're asking would it sedate a normal kid ? Possibly, because kids nervous systems tend to react paradoxically to some meds, and may quieten with meds that stimulate adults, and may get over-active on some sedatives
2. Most do seem to out-grow it.
3. I've seen to good research on it. But as some kids are started on it when quite young, and, where the condition continues into adult life, may continue taking it, the answer is probably that we have seen some people take it for decaes, without sinister problems arising.
4. In adults, not needing it for medical reasons, taking it for fun, it would probably be stimulant and potentially dependency producing.
5. Some GPs might diagnose it, though few will have had the trainign to do it reliably - I'd prefer to see the diagnosis made by a paediatrician with experience in this diagnosis, or a child psychiatrist. I notice some teachers and Occupational therapists claim to make such diagnoses, and they are totally unqualified to do so.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/02/01

HMmmm. As one tends to see only hyperactive kids with ADD being given Ritalin, I'm not sure quite what this situation would be. Maybe you're asking would it sedate a normal kid ? Possibly, because kids nervous systems tend to react paradoxically to some meds, and may quieten with meds that stimulate adults, and may get over-active on some sedatives
2. Most do seem to out-grow it.
3. I've seen to good research on it. But as some kids are started on it when quite young, and, where the condition continues into adult life, may continue taking it, the answer is probably that we have seen some people take it for decaes, without sinister problems arising.
4. In adults, not needing it for medical reasons, taking it for fun, it would probably be stimulant and potentially dependency producing.
5. Some GPs might diagnose it, though few will have had the trainign to do it reliably - I'd prefer to see the diagnosis made by a paediatrician with experience in this diagnosis, or a child psychiatrist. I notice some teachers and Occupational therapists claim to make such diagnoses, and they are totally unqualified to do so.

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