Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Schools Can't Make ADHD Kids Stay Home

On Wednesday, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a bill baring schools from requiring hyperactive children to use drug treatments as a condition for attending classes. Backers of the bill say it’s designed to curb anecdotal but troubling reports of officials telling parents that their disruptive kids must begin treatment for ADHD if they want them to attend school. Doctors have traditionally relied on teachers to identify symptoms of ADHD. But some schools have overstepped their bounds and have coerced parents into starting children on medication.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn. Is the bill’s main sponsor and says it’s unconscionable to make parents choose between medicating their child or not sending them to school. According to the CDC, nearly 4 million U.S. children under age 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD by 2004. Also, during the first six months of 2005, doctors wrote more than 5.6 million prescriptions for Adderall, a drug used to treat ADHD. That’s a 15 percent increase over the same period a year before. It remains unclear how often schools have tried to make medication a condition of attending class.

No comments: