Hmm. Perhaps this policy of putting boys on drugs simply because they\’re boys, you know, short attention spans, fidgety and so on, might not have been all that wise?
Drugs given to thousands of hyperactive children have no long-term benefits and could in fact be stunting their development, a major study has said.
The study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) found that, while powerful drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta resulted in short-term behavioural improvements, after three years those benefits had disappeared.
Children who took the drugs for the full three years were also found to have stunted growth, according to the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA).
The MTA has followed 600 children in the United States with ADHD since the 1990s and has just published its latest findings. Prof William Pelham, co-author, from the University of Buffalo, said: "They weren\’t growing as much as other kids both in terms of their height and their weight.
"There were no beneficial effects – none. In the short run medication will help the child behave better, in the long run it won\’t.
"That information should be made very clear to parents."
I\’m unsure of the situation in the UK but certainly in the US it has been true that it\’s not actually the parents who insist upon the dosing of the children. The schools can and do at times. Happened to the child of a friend of ours. If he\’s not on the drugs he can\’t come to school.