Medication First?

By , Morris Plains, NJ

In any given school day, students are getting into trouble for doing something wrong, absurd or even crazy for attention. For example, a student may tap their pencil which can disturb fellow classmates. However, these students do not do these actions on purpose, they do them because cannot control the actions they make due to a mental disorder called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD often take medication to improve focus and behavior, but sometimes the children are being overmedicated. Children with ADHD are being overmedicated even though there are other options that can help with treating the disorder.
     

 Instead of medicine, some parents consider behavioral therapy for their children. Behavioral therapy is effective and cheaper than medication. A study showed, “Having children and their parents begin with behavioral treatment and follow with medication, if needed, cost an average of $700 less annually per child than treatment as usual”(Carey 3). Behavioral therapy is a cheaper way to treat ADHD. The article states, “Behavioral therapy can work as well as medicine. Both behavioral therapy and medicine work for about 70-80% of young children with ADHD”(ADHD 4). If behavioral therapy is just as effective as medicine and it is cheaper it is a better way to begin treating ADHD. Therapy is an excellent substitute for medication.


It could be helpful if a child with ADHD gets help from an adult. That’s why it is important for parents and teachers to get involved. The article states, “Parents do not cause ADHD, but parents do play a key role in the treatment of ADHD. In behavior therapy, parents are trained by a therapist over the course of eight or more sessions, and they learn strategies to encourage positive behavior, discourage negative behaviors, improve communication, and strengthen their relationship with their child. When applied, these skills can help the child at school, at home, and in relationships by improving behavior, self-control, and self-esteem”(ADHD 4). Parents are a big part of treating their children for ADHD. Teachers can also play a big role in helping. The author states, “The researchers had the children’s parents and teachers rate their behaviors, including recording disciplinary problems. The school evaluation included a “daily report card” describing the child’s day”(Carey 2). Teachers would keep track of the students behavior and help them when they need help. After all, parents and teachers will always be willing to help no matter what.
       

Many children who have ADHD are being overmedicated, even though behavioral therapy is another option. It is effective and cheap and parents and teachers can get involved. After behavioral therapy students will stop tapping their pencils and annoy fellow classmates with their inane actions.






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