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Kids On The Couch

July 03, 1988

I object to the case of Billy Redmond. The author states: "(David) Paster diagnosed Billy as suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder--he couldn't concentrate, had too much energy and acted impulsively." I don't think Billy "suffered"--however, I'm sure the school suffered with a child they couldn't control.

The prescription of Ritalin is glossed over without any warning of the possible side effects (such as headaches, rashes, retarded growth, weight loss, hallucinations and stomachaches). This article does a disservice to children who are hyperactive (many don't suffer from it--they just have it). And it does a disservice to the therapists who relate to their clients in a more humane way. The problem is real, but it is also society's problem of fitting hyperactive children into its system, without having to sedate and control the individual.

STANLEY R. BERMANN

Venice

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