A growing number of parents are concerned about the behavior, social aptitude, and scholastic performance of their children, but often this concern can lead to quick diagnoses of attention-deficit hyperactivity and other behavioral issues. With a multitude of children receiving regular medication for ADHD and similar behavioral concerns, there is some dissent within the psychological and psychiatric communities over whether medication is justified in many cases, or whether it is a symptom of an industry focused on profiting through pharmaceuticals. A recently developed approach to some behavioral issues in children with sleeping difficulties has been suggested as a further alternative, but a study performed at the University of Kansas School of Medicine has suggested that such efforts may be misled as well.
The research was focused on taking a second look at children who had undergone surgical removal of adenoids and tonsils in an effort to clear breathing passages and foster healthier sleep, and included instances of children reported to exhibit symptoms of ADHD and other behavioral issues. The study found that while results were positive in terms of behavioral effects after six months, many of the participants did not show significant improvement over a two-and-a-half-year period. The results suggest that such treatment is poorly suited to providing a surgical “cure” for behavioral problems, and along with the many problems presented by over-medication of youth, provides support for the wider adoption of therapy and psychological care.
Though some behavioral issues may clearly benefit from alternative therapies based purely on prescription medications, the need for a first response with positive, empowering psychotherapy is becoming more prevalent with the published results of each study of this kind.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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