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'Miracle Drug Gets Closer Look'

January 15, 1988

I felt vindicated after reading the Ritalin story.

Last year, after our son was enrolled in the local public school kindergarten, he was diagnosed as having attention deficiency disorder.

A series of meetings with his teacher and school officials followed. In fairness to them, I have to say that a number of constructive changes were made to his curriculum.

However, my husband and I were very dismayed when his kindergarten teacher, school nurse and school psychologist repeatedly urged us to consider Ritalin therapy.

Even our son's pediatrician, usually very conservative in approach, sided with them saying, "It couldn't hurt to give it a try."

As parents, we felt very alone in resisting the professionals' advice, preferring behavioral modification techniques instead.

It seems ironic that while school officials are urging kids to "Say No to Drugs," some officials are promoting Ritalin use as a quick fix to children who present classroom challenges.

MADELEINE B. PETTENGILL

Seal Beach

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