Sales of the drug Ritalin are booming, and psychiatrists and parents face an ethical dilemma. Are millions of American children really hyperactive, or is Ritalin just a "sit-down-and-shut-up" drug? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at the debate over Attention Deficit Disorder. Also a ten-year old who's graduated from college.
Harold Koplewicz is a practicing and teaching psychiatrist and the author of "It's Nobody's Fault: New Hope and Health for Difficult Children and Their Parents." He tells Steve Paulson that while drugs like Ritalin are often inappropriately prescribed, they can achieve miraculous results for some children, and gives an example. Also, psychiatrist Peter Breggin, well-known for his criticism of his profession's dependence on drug therapy, tells Judith Strasser that relying on Ritalin enables adults to avoid dealing with kids' real problems. Breggin is the author of "Toxic Psychiatry" and "Talking Back to Prozac."SEGMENT 2
Ellen Winner teaches psychology at Boston College and is the author of "Gifted Children: Myths and Realities." She tells Jim Fleming about a couple of baby geniuses, why they have trouble inter-acting with other children, and what the schools ought to do about it.SEGMENT 3:
Michael Berube is the author of "Life As We Know It: A Father, A Family, and an Exceptional Child." He tells Steve Paulson that his son has Down Syndrome but is more like other children than he is unlike them, and that everyone benefits when children like his son are included in ordinary classrooms. Also, a selection from "Letters for Our Children," a book compiled by U.S. News and World Report editor Erica Goode from readers' letters to children about the things that really matter.
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