Parents Warned: Don't Use Ritalin
Hyperactive children should no longer be given Ritalin, new health guidelines say.# # # # # # # # # #
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The drug should not be prescribed to children under five and used for older children only when they have severe ADHD or as a last resort, the guidance says.
Instead, parents should be taught psychological techniques for changing the behaviour of unruly youngsters diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The guidelines were issued by the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.
The directive says parent training and education programmes should be offered as a first-line treatment for ADHD, both for pre-school and school-age children.
The programmes show parents how to create a structured home environment, encourage attentiveness and concentration, and better manage misbehaviour.
Research has shown they can be highly effective, helping children do better at school and lead more normal lives.
Teachers should also be involved in the management of school age children, says the guidance.