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Ritalin effects

In response to your article "Temper or trauma" (TES, May 26), I should like to set the record straight as to how the drug Ritalin is prescribed by Dr Geoffrey Kewley at the Learning Assessment Centre, Horsham, Sussex.

My son James was referred to Dr Kewley by my GP last October. We went to the Learning Assessment Centre in February. Before meeting Dr Kewley, James had a two-hour assessment with an educational psychologist followed by an in-depth discussion.

We then had a long consultation with Dr Kewley, during which we discussed James's problems over all of his nine-and-a-half years. Detailed reports were requested from James's primary school. They were more than pleased to provide these, as James has been statemented for special educational needs since reception class.

James was diagnosed as having significant attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), together with some underlying learning difficulties. It was suggested to us that we may wish to try Ritalin. This was not a decision we took lightly but after careful consideration, decided to go ahead. This decision was entirely our own.

James has now been taking Ritalin since February and we haven't looked back. His personality is completely unchanged, his sparkle remains. His behavioural problems, together with his inability to cope with his school work have become bad memories. James continues to receive some classroom support and this together with the drug is the obvious way forward for him.

The increased interest and demand for information on ADHDADD should not be turned into a pro or anti-Ritalin debate. This will do no favours for the children, parents and staff teaching and non-teaching) who are suffering daily.

Those of us who know ADHDADD exists must strive to educate others who believe these children to be the sad by-products of "bad parenting", "birth trauma" and all the other excuses that are offered.

JENNY MISSEN 41 Peninsular Close Bedfont, Middlesex

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