Today a report came out about a major ADHD study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal. It was reviewed in the British press, and covers medication choices for both children and adults. It's a report your doctor should be familiar with.
You can find the Guardian review here:
The Lancet study itself can be found here:
The authors of the study say that methylphenidate, of which Ritalin is the best know brand, is the most effective and best-tolerated treatment for children, while amphetamines work best for adults. The Guardian article states that, just like in Canada, most children in need of treatment do not get treatment for as long as two years. Actually, the Lancet article is reviewed in a very brief and clear way, and it's very readable to most people. It's a good example of what a scientific study should look like.
What's important in this study is the clear statement that "monotherapy," meaning medication alone, is never the treatment of choice. Successful treatment includes psychoeducation (learning about your cognitive and behavioural strengths and weaknesses, classroom and home based environmental modifications/accommodations, and specific behavioural skill training are all necessary to ensure a child, adolescent or adult deals successfully with ADHD.
While some research states that over the long run students receiving medication do no better academically than those who do not, those studies do not include students who receive appropriate accommodation, classroom supports and skill training. Too often these studies are used as an excuse not to provide support.
Parent and teacher education is imperative. Teachers seem no better trained to support students with ADHD than do parents. When your school develops an individualized education plan (IEP) for your child, always ask, "what kind of training have the staff received to support my child with special needs?"
An excellent resource is Taking Charge of ADHD, The Complete, authoritative Guide for Parents by Russell A. Barkley (or his book, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD for adults), as well as the various training videos he has available for teachers.
At RelatedMinds Educational and Psychological Services we provide comprehensive assessments for ADHD, so that we can differentiate different cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as well as understand personality and behavioural issues that may effect treatment, as well as comprehensive psychoeducational assessments for children, adolescents and adults. Contact us through our webpage at www.relatedminds.com
We also provide testing for learning disabilities, dsyslexia, behavioural disorders, and autism spectrum disorder for children over 6, adolescents and adults.