Intervention for ADHD should not involve medication behavioural intervention is sufficient.

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 Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Running Head: Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Intervention for ADHD should not involve medication – behavioural intervention is sufficient.

University of Western Australia

Sandhya Subarmaniam

The Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) affects 3-5 percent of school age children and of them 50 percent that are referred to clinic tend to have symptoms that pursuit till adolescence (Brown, 2000; Sales, 2000). Children diagnosed with AHDH are at greater possiblities of having learning, behavioral and emotional difficulites throughout childhood and adolescence. Resulting in lower occupational staus and higher chance in being diagnosed with psychiatric problems such as anti-social personalty disorder or substance abuse. Children diagnosed with ADHD have difficulty with social interactions and family members (Kollins et al., 2001; Miranda and Presentacion, 2000). Thus, effective treatment is required due to the adverse outcomes. This study focuses on examining an efficacy intervention focusing on three approaches such as drug therapy, behavioural/psychosocial therapy and the combination of both the therapy.


Various scientific studies that have been conducted over the years have tried to determine the most efficient intervention. Purdie et al. (2002) conducted a meta-analysis of 74 studies over years and concluded that medical intervention had a higher effect size compared to behavioural intervention. But drug therapy had its own side effects thus showing that each approach has it’s own weakness (Purdie et al., 2002). Though educational intervention a better cognitive outcome was produced than the use of medical or psychological approach (Purdie et al., 2002).

The use of medication as a suggested treatment for ADHD created a controversy, especially on the side effects and pharmacological use. For example, the long term use of drugs throughout childhood could lead to an increase in risk of substance abuse by 50 percent (Sales, 2000).  Drug therapy having either a positive or negative long-term effect has yet to be unresolved.  The purpose of this study is to understand if behavioural intervention is sufficient and drugs are not necessary for ADHD (Sales, 2000). The study would cover on the risks of children diagnosed with ADHD, drug therapy, behavioural intervention and education intervention (Sales, 2000).

Children with ADHD tend to be socially withdrawn, timid, perform poorly in both academic and sports. They are also more likely to be diagnosis with other learning and behavioural disorders. Teachers report that ADHD children being more inactive and slow in movement related skills (Erk, 2000). Hynd et al. (1991) stated ADHD children tend to be self-conscious, have lower intellectual process and higher chance of suffering from learning disorders such unable to do basic maths, experiencing language delays (Erk, 2000), or having difficulties with reading (Piseccoet al., 2001).

Of these children, 30-50percent suffer with behavioral disorders (Erk, 2000; Kendall et al., 1980; Sales, 2000), 60 percent are diagnosised with oppositional-defiant disorder, almost 50 percent with mood disorder (Brown, 2000) and as many as 60 percent of them suffer from depression, anxiety, and convulsions (Kollins et al., 2001). Usually children with ADHD, as many as 60 percent of them come from a household whose parents are most likely to have this co-existing disorder or come from an abusive family background. A combination of certain genetic and environmental factors creates a higher risk of an ADHD diagnosis leading to learning disabilities (Sterman, 2000).

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 The availble drug therapy helps to reduce symptoms of ADHD and the functioning of the child rather than a cure. The common medication taken is called “stimulant”. Stimulant is rapid in its action and the side effects are generally considered mild. The most popular stimulant is Ritalin followed by Dexedrine and Cylert. 2.8 percent of school-aged childern that suffer from ADHD use Ritalin. Few other medications are non-stimulant and works differently, reducing hyperactivity and improving physical coordination (English et al., 2009). These might not work for all children with this disorder thus need to be closely monitored. The most ...

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