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ADHD treatment is essential

August 28, 2007

Re "Pens, pencils, meds," Opinion, Aug. 20

I agree that marketing for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medications is too aggressive and narrow. Nonmedicinal interventions are rarely advertised because they are not being offered for sale. However, Karin Klein glosses over the consequences of not delivering treatment. Untreated children and adolescents have higher rates of school failure, involvement with the juvenile justice system and more difficulty making and keeping friends. Depression and low self-esteem are often present in untreated youth. Medication can be an effective component of treatment.

For many parents, starting a therapy plan is not as easy as picking out a new backpack. Many are committed to an individualized approach that can include a combination of therapy, medication, coaching, partnerships with school personnel and alterations to a child's environment.

An awareness of marketing is important so that children receive care with minimal influence from biased marketing. So too is an awareness that attentional disorders are real and that early diagnosis and treatment are critical.

Robert Hendren



The writer is president-elect of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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