According to new British health guidelines, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be treated with drugs such as Ritalin only in severe cases and never when they are younger than 5.
There is widespread concern that such medication is used too freely to calm hyperactive children. The new policy is that most children with ADHD should instead be offered psychological therapy to improve their behavior, backed up by training to support their parents and teachers.
Up to 3 percent of school-age children in Britain may be affected by ADHD, but only about a third to a quarter of these would qualify as severe cases. The symptoms of ADHD include an inability to concentrate for long periods, hyperactive and restless behavior, and impulsive actions.