Not a One Size Fits All When Treating ADHD

Not a One Size Fits All When Treating ADHDI just saw a treating ADHD commentary on NBC regarding a school that allows bike riding among its students. They correlate this bike riding with the ability to delete medication like Ritalin as a result of this activity. Many speak of increased focus, less fidgeting, and less distractibility once in the classroom.

I am sure that this is true for many children with ADHD. After all, there are studies that do talk about how exercise, particularly outside, diminishes the effects of ADHD.   Even any kind of break allows a refocus and improvement in concentration. For some kids, this may allow treating the ADHD without medication.

But I worry about the portrayal of exercise vs. Ritalin, an ADHD medication. Here are some bullets that create concern:

  • Every child with ADHD is DIFFERENT.
  • There are different degrees of impairment as well as numbers and kinds of co-existing disorders.
  • Management for a child with ADHD can vary.
  • Environments alter symptoms and our children can change in severity on a daily basis.
  • What was the time frame for those kids who showed increased focus? 40 minutes, 6 hours? I would guess relatively short lived in many.

Because of the literature and commentaries out there that question the existence of ADHD and insinuate the over medication and over diagnosis of our kids with ADHD, I am concerned about a documentary that seems to imply that with exercise, Ritalin can be thrown aside! Don’t get me wrong. Once again, I totally am in agreement that exercise can certainly help with the impairments of ADHD. But again, there are so many children who need treatment beyond exercise for valid reasons.

For many, treatment includes medication as well as education and behavioral therapy. Again the existence of co-existing disorders that are common among our kids diagnosed with ADHD need addressing many times with medication, although effective treatment of the primary diagnosis of ADHD can certainly minimize the symptoms. Let’s be aware that there is not one easy fix for many of our kids with ADHD.

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