Indiana Ranks Second For Children On ADHD Medication

Doctors say parents should consider behavioral therapy before giving their children ADHD medication.

Ritalin

Photo: Ian Barbour (flickr)

Ritalin is a common medication for ADHD.

Indiana ranks second in the nation for the number of 2 year olds to 17 year olds who take medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics that were released this month.

Nine percent of Hoosier children aged 2 to 17 are taking medication for ADHD. That’s the second highest rate in the nation behind Louisiana. Indiana ranks fourth for the percent of its children that are diagnosed with ADHD at 11.7 percent.

While medication for ADHD has become a more accepted remedy in recent years, Dr. Thomas Lock, a developmental behavioral pediatrician from Riley Hospital, believes cognitive behavioral therapy is a good option to try before medication for children who display signs of ADHD.

“If you take groups of those children, about half of them will improve on behavior therapy alone,” he says.

He says children who continue to have difficulties should be carefully diagnosed and prescribed medication.

But even with medication, behavior is still an issue, especially in schools says Monroe County Community School Corporation’s Special Education Director Kathleen Hugo.

“Some of the best results have been seen with a combination of both medication, appropriately given, and behavioral therapy,” she says. “And in the schools we obviously would handle the behavioral part of it.”

Hugo says it’s important to intervene with children at a young age.  She says doing so helps address the problem quickly before it gets out of hand and, she says, the younger children are, the more likely they will react positively to the necessary changes.

Emily Wright

Emily, an Indianapolis native, joined WFIU/WTIU in 2013 as Producer of Noon Edition. She studied Telecommunications and Liberal Arts Management at Indiana University.

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