Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Asperger's and Ritalin

This post is bound to be a little controversial - sorry.

Technically, there is no medication that helps aspergers in general however Ritalin can relieve some of the symptoms. In this post, I'll attempt to explain what Ritalin does, which symptoms it addresses and how it affects youinger children.

Our experience
We have a seven-year-old son on Ritalin. Sometimes, we forget to give it to him. When this happens, we almost always get a phone call or a note from the school asking if we have forgotten to give him the medication. I think they have only ever asked once when we have actually given him the medication. It is therefore obvious that Ritalin provides a positive benefit in his behaviour and ability to work in class.

Interestingly enough, these comments come from teachers who were initially very resistant to the introduction of Ritalin. Such a turnaround implies obvious benefit.

The Ritalin does not suppress all of the aspie traits but instead allows him to think before acting. This reduces his impulsive behaviour while also preventing him from being distracted by everything around him.
It allows for better concentration and reduces his tendency to irritate his friends. We have asked our son how he feels on the medication and he has told us that he feels better. At age 7, there is not really a lot of information he can give us but we'll continue asking in case the situation changes.

We haven't seen any of the reported side-effects.

Is it safe? and What about the Side-Effects?
This is the question everyone wants answered before they give drugs to their child. In our case, we deliberated for about 6 months before starting and spent quite a while looking up the side-effects etc. We also looked at dietary changes and tried some natural remedies, like fish oil.

Ritalin has been in use since the 1960's as a treatment for ADHD. There have been lots of studies of its use. The most commonly reported side effects lack of sleep and lack of appetite. There have also been reports of stomach ache. Strangely enough, our son already had a reduced need for sleep and lack of hunger. I've had the same thing for most of my life (I once had a nickname of "sparrow" because of my eating habits). I've "normalised" in the last few years.

I think that the eating and sleeping may be aspie traits, which means that the Ritalin research could be flawed.

So far, research does not seem to have found anything too disturbing about Ritalin. There is evidence that it has minor effects on growth (in the early years but apparently kids catch up in the teen years). There is also evidence to suggest that it positively supports brain development.

There were also a lot of claims made that Ritalin, because of a similarity to cocaine, could lead to drug abuse. These claims have since been discredited. You can read a lot more about Ritalin on wikipedia.

Some people also report sweaty palms and a racing heart. There's a whole list of possible side-effects. I guess the best advice is: "If you notice any side-effects in your child - stop them taking the medication and see your pediatrician".

The other side-effect to look out for is "dopeyness". This indicates that the child is on too high a dose. The medication needs to be reduced.

Why does the need for medication increase?
This was a question I asked myself about a year ago. It turns out that the required dosage of ritalin depends on body weight. As the child grows, so does the required dosage.

Which symptoms does Ritalin Affect?
Ritalin is a stimulant which has a "calming effect reducing impulsive behavior, and facilitates concentration on work and other tasks".

Ritalin and Statistics
There are a lot of statistics around about Ritalin and all sorts of side effects. In pretty much every case I have seen, the studies don't have appropriate control groups. This means that the data in their statistics is meaningless. This lets us right into the Anti-Ritalin groups.

Anti Ritalin groups
There are two major anti-ritalin camps to be aware of;

1. Parents against drugs in Children
2. Scientologists

In both cases, the objection isn't specifically against Ritalin, it's against almost every drug used with children. The suggestion being that dieting or meditation is a better option.

I know of some people who swear by dieting but I'm yet to see compelling evidence to support it. As far as meditation is concerned, I'm not going there... especially not with a 7 year old.

If you find an article in the paper or on the internet, or if you see a programme on TV that raises specific concerns about Ritalin, you should always check to see if one of these Anti-Ritalin groups are behind it. Otherwise, you may find yourself needlessly worrying about things.

Of course, when all is said and done... remember, it's your child and you have a responsibility for their wellbeing. If the medication affects them adversely or if they don't show immediate improvement (say within 2 weeks of use) then you should discontinue.

I'll do another post on Ritalin at a later date to cover things like the effects of coming off the drug, school holidays and weekends and the difference between morning and afternoon effects.

37 comments:

TheZach said...

Galvin,

I am on medication myself, an anti-depressent (zoloft). The thing that worries me the most about medication and children (or people in general) is not the fact that they take medication but the fact that medication in my oppinion is often not used properly.

It seems to me that a lot of Doctors use medication as a "band aid" for an infection, instead of trying to deal with the issue - they just kinda band-aid it with medications.

There has also been the thing (and I've had to deal with this myself) where doctor's want to drug up people to the point that there mind is non-functional to stop behaviors that are not acceptable.

I'm not against medicating at all - I just think it should be done very carefully.

My Website

AspergerStore said...

We have a 7-year old daughter with Asperger Syndrome. Three years ago, we tried the Feingold Diet treatment as an alternative to Ritalin and some of the other drugs and have had good success with it helping her attention span, anxiety, and general outbursts.

However, my wife and I found it somewhat difficult to find many of the Feingold-accepted foods, so we created The Asperger's Store which lists all the Feingold-accepted foods which Amazon.com carries.

Hopefully, this list will be of some help to others.

Craig

Info Monkey said...

Here is some interesting research on Ritalin. "Ritalin abuse" is one of the biggest concerns of people searching for Ritalin online.

This site has info about Zoloft too.

I look forward to the day when everyone realizes what these substances really do to people's lives.

Khelben said...

I have never tried Ritalin or Zoloft, but as a person I'm an very anti-drug person, without a doubt.

And I prefer to meditate rather than taking some medicine.

I have a very positive opinion regarding meditation. In fact, I actually love it! I have been training Kendo 2005-2006(2 years) and it involved meditation in this sport.

I enjoyed Kendo very much and will hopefully be able to train again in the future, although at the present I'm focusing on my IT/Computer skills instead and using Kendo exercises(suburri) outside near a lake when the weather is good. Relaxes the body and I promise that it works!

Gavin Bollard said...

It's always been my hope/intention that my son will get off the ritalin when he gets old enough to manage his condition by himself.

Meditation is certainly one method which works for many people.

Unfortunately, my son is turning eight this weekend and he's not really old enough to understand mediation.

It's certainly a great idea for the future though.

Anonymous said...

My husband & I have been desperate to find help for our five year-old son with Asperger's. His level of hyperactivity is extreme. He is a danger to himself and to others when not medicated. Moreover, he is unable to participate in activities he otherwise enjoys because he can't sit still or focus long enough, even to play on the computer (which debunks the notion of those who think it's suspicious when a child with ADD attends to an enjoyable task but not to something less pleasant - must not really bee ADHD). Before medicating our child he was treated poorly by extended family members and friends who thought we simply weren't do a good job parenting. His grandparents could not tolerate being alone with him, which meant we had little support or a break in dealing with him ourselves. We usually are not able to keep a babysitter beyond a first visit because invariably, as his meds wear off during the evening, his behavior is too much for them to handle. So, whether you agree with medicating a child or not, please recognize that the need to do so in many cases is a legitimate medical necessity. Would you oppose chemo for a child with cancer? Would you oppose insulin for a child with diabetes? So why oppose a medication that enables a child's brain to function more effectively, thereby giving that child a more normal chance in life. We recently were convinced by our child's psychiatrist to try an antipsychotic called Risperdal because of the benefits it has for many children with autism. Unfortunately, it made our child's hyperactivity worse. They suggested we hospitalize him until a proper dose could be established. Well, two hours after getting back onto his ADHD meds he was functioning as close to normally as he ever can. He does well in school, is able to play with other children (rather than annoy and alienate them) and he's able to feel good about himself because he's not getting into trouble or irritating someone every thirty seconds. If you find something that works for you or your child that isn't pharmacalogical, then that's terrific. But for those of us who've watched our child suffer with a disorder that child has no control over, leave us be from condemnation. If things were any other way, we would not be in this situation. And, there but for the grace of "god" you go...

Khelben said...

If the medicine works, then why not? I'm not against that.

Being a critic against greedy companies is a good thing, though, in my opinion.

There are bad medications and good ones.

Ritalin Side Effects said...

My name is Lance Burnet and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

I am 56 years old. I have taken Ritalin for 30 years. I have been diagnosed with a mild form of narcolepsy. I use 4 (10 MG ) pills per day. The drug ahs worked wonders and eliminated the drowsiness and sleep attacks. My concern now is the length of time I have been on it. When taking a "drug holiday" it seems like my symptoms are worse.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
rebound effect when dosage wears off.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Lance Burnet

Anonymous said...

This is the best site I've found. My 16yr old son has always been different and early investigations could not come up with any diagnosis. On the day he was tested for Autism and Asperger he was normal although he did display autistic behaviour in all categories, not enough to come up with a diagnosis. My GP insisted he did not have ADD and because he was never hyperactive I never pushed it. After doing the speech occupational therapy and socializing skills rounds I slowly pulled back, because in his own way he was moving forward and I think the school psych thought I had more problems than my son did. My son has days where he is totally switched on and focused and then he has days where he displays all the Asperger/ADD/Dyslexia traits and we never know what to expect. We know he is highly intelligent in some areas but immature in others. As he is starting TEE I know he needs more than a tutor. As a Registered Nurse I have done enough research to be able to identify my sons problems and I know he needs Ritalin (and as I suspect I have similar problems I have self medicated and what an amazing difference) but recent psychiatric appointments have not established what I know my son needs. I am frustrated to the max because I know my child, and how many $250 appointments do I need to have before the psychiatrist agrees with what we know. Oh, and my son has also become an expert at masking his symptoms. What tools do I need to convince a psychiatrist that my son needs Ritalin. Kaz Fremantle

Gavin Bollard said...

Kaz,
One of the big problems with Ritalin is that it enhances the performance of everyone, not just those with the ADHD Comorbid.

For this reason, there are some parents around who use it as a performance enhancing drug for their children.

Doctors and teachers are very wary of this trend and will generally deny Ritalin in cases where the parent or patient seems over-eager to obtain it.

If you feel certain that your son needs Ritalin (ie: that he has ADHD - because Ritalin is generally ineffective against normal Aspergers), then you should take him to a different psychiatrist.

The one you are seeing now has obviously made his mind up already.

Anonymous said...

I am 56 and have been using ritalin for 12 years; looking back over my adolescence now, I have so many regrets. Ritalin has brought creative energies and skills out in me that I never knew I had, and had obviously been repressed/dormant for 40+ years. As i feel the meaning of life is to develop and use our skills and creativity for common good ( otherwise we would still be living in caves ) I am now trying to make up for lost time.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should check out http://www.ritalindeath.com it's very informative.

Gavin Bollard said...

As you'd expect, as a concerned parent, I visited the Ritalin Death site and read it very carefully before making a decision to allow my child access to the drug.

All medications including Ritalin have side-effects. The site doesn't advocate using something in place of Ritalin, it is actually anti-drug.

desifeminists said...

I'm a medical student and definitely not against use of medications. However, I don't dismiss the importance of diet and meditation in healing a person. It's a very different kind of healing than the effect a pill can give, but both are equally important to me. I take Adderall when I need to, but I try to make diet and lifestyle changes and diet changes especially have made me feel better overall.

There is valid scientific research that finds links between eating too much processed foods and depressing (in addition to other health problems of course). It makes complete sense to pay particular attention to diet and exercise. The trouble is, on one hand diet modification is more complicated than many people think, and on the other, some people make it more dogmatic than it needs to be.

I don't support the dogma that anti-pill people promote, but to dismiss the value of diet and lifestyle change is also a kind of dogma. I found out a lot about Ayurveda and it has helped me understand "natural" healing a lot more. If you're ever interested, I can share some resources with you.

Julie said...

My son is now 7, and on Ritalin. He also has Asperger's, and like Gavin's son, the Ritalin helps, and I only know, because I have asked my son this. And yes, when we have forgotten to give him Ritalin, the school usually calls us to ask if we've forgotten to give it to him. He is able to concentrate better with Ritalin, and is so much less disruptive in class. And like Gavin, hopefully in time, my son can manage his Asperger's by himself, and will not need Ritalin to help him through. My son does have a decreased appetite, but as Aspies tend to have limited appetites anyway, I wonder whether the Ritalin is the cause of this, or whether I am more aware of it, now he is on Ritalin.

Anonymous said...

My 9 yr old son sounds exactly the same. School definitely knows if he hasn't taken a tablet. We can literally see the "switch" like a lightbulb when the tablet kicks in. He becomes caring, attentive, interested, focused, considerate. I am torn between the "real" boy, and the one without the meds, but feel that without it, his poor little mind just can't gather together, to be the boy he wants to be. He loves who he is when he's taken the medication, but hates the inability to eat.
I must say that I like the idea of meditation (we've tried diets, extreme diets, which didn't work), but not sure where to go for "child-friendly" classes.
He once had an Indian teacher who did some meditation exercises, and funnily enough he was the best in class, which made me think that there might be more to this...
I just hope that he is able to learn and enjoy friendships throughout his school life, and medication certainly ensures that he can make friends finally and enter social situations.
It's hard work, and weekends we try to keep "drug-free", which means that we're all exhausted by the end of the weekend, including his sister. I think a combination of meditation and medication would be wonderful, and something I'll be looking into.

Anonymous said...

Can I ask, as a parent...how are you all coping personally?

I struggle...it's frustrating and such hard work, almost bordering on depression with most mornings ending in tears, and weekends tough. To be so in love with this little boy, and then be driven to a point where you could walk out the door and never come back...it's tough on the whole family.

My 9 yr old was diagnosed with ADHD, but I really feel he has Asperger's. Ritalin definitely works though.

Gavin Bollard said...

If the Ritalin is working, then your son has ADHD. It doesn't mean that he doesn't ALSO have aspergers since it's common for them to appear together.

As to how we're all coping...

Sometimes we cope well, sometimes we don't. Sometimes the depression gets to us - particularly when report cards come home or when we're talking to parents of "perfect children".

It's hard to watch my child interacting with other children because he tries so hard but it's so obvious why he's failing. He's really annoying.

The thing is that sometimes we have to step back and see through the eyes of our children. We think that we have it bad. How much worse do you think it is to BE them.

I'll post about that soon (it's planned to be somewhere in the next few posts).

Anonymous said...

I do believe that Ritalin does have some positive effects on Aspergers. My 6yr old son has ADHD, Aspergers and ODD and is currently taking 36mg per day, whilst the symptoms of his aspergers are more apparent when the drug is in his system the impulsiveness is not, it certainly allows him to think about consiquence before acting. I have read other articles linking the use of Ritalin with aspergers for this reason, one book i have read recently is a BMA guide. My first knowledge of the use for Aspergers (you may laugh) came from a Robert ludlum book called The hades factor and a caracter called Marty who has Aspergers and uses the drug to stop his mind from spiraling into the stratasphere....

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous,

Ritalin probably does have some positive effects on aspergers - it can have positive effects on almost anyone and it's often misused as a "performance enhancing drug".

What I meant was that Ritalin isn't going to;
- Modify your child's monontone speech
- Give your child the ability to read facial expressions
- Supress your child's special interests

It has no effect on the main parts of the aspergers condition.

Anonymous said...

Remember that most Aspergers have very sensitive taste senses. So they might stay away from certain food because of the taste/smell and/or structure.
This doesnt have to be a Ritalin side-effect!

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with aspergers 5 years ago. One of the issues I have is auditory sensory overstimulation. When I am in a room with other people and noises my mind wanders from one sound to the next and each time throws an image in my mind of what is making the sound. This was extremely exhausting and distressing for me and after being in a room with many noises I needed to get away to someplace quiet and alone for an hour or so. The doctor started me on Ritalin 3 years ago and it has been the biggest help for anxiety etc. I tried numerous antidepressants with no positive results before trying Ritalin. I've found it keeps my attention from wandering to so many different sounds and I don't feel so exhausted or anxious about public places and am able to even engage others in conversation for longer than a few seconds.
For me Ritalin works...

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone and especially 'Anonymous March 2',

I am a student and I have almost got my Bachelor grade. However I cope with the same problems as Anonymous described: being extremely sensitive to sound and movements around me (especially people). It is so frustrating that I tried medication like Ritalin and Oxazepam on recommending of my psychiatrist. I see no hope or possibility in effectively reducing my problems. How do you deal with these this?

Armstrong

Chris said...

Oh I like the microwave method, where I place a tin foil hat on my head, stick my head in the microwave, then chant a mantra against drugs, and apologize to the cosmic vegetable that I ate.

Chris said...

I prefer to meditate to the cosmic carrot which is just outside the orbit of the magic tea cup.
These things, along with crystals, power bracelets, tonics, herbs, spices, sauces, and bones can cure things better than any ole medicine

Anonymous said...

Hi!

ADD / Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder signs and symptoms in young children are always being researched and studied to develop appropriate therapy and treatment method.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a very wide topic, not only related to children. There's the medical and the holistic side of ADD. To learn and get more information regarding ADD or ADHD, including ODD presented in children. Also if you're interested in proper child behavior, refer to Oppositional Defiant Disorder and for a wider information regarding ADD symptoms, have a look in ADD Symptoms blog[img]http://www.addsymptomsinchildren.org/ref/d1.gif[/img]

Jill said...

Gavin,

Wonderful site . . Thankyou.

Can you direct me to where I can find studies on the long term use of Ritalin?

I can only find bad news . . Am looking for good news . .

Jill

Gavin Bollard said...

Jill,

There really aren't too many studies on the long term effects of Ritalin (or any drugs for that matter). Most "long term studies on Ritalin" seem to consider that "Long Term" means 12-24 months.

There are a lot of powerful groups out there who have issues with the use of ANY medications in children and these groups produce a lot of "studies" themselves but these are biased in the extreme, the data and methods are questionable and unfortunately, these studies tend to get pushed to the top of the search rankings due to deliberate manipulation.

There's a good summary of a few "long term" studies at Google Answers but most of these papers aren't publicly available.

Many of the studies contradict each other but there does seem to be a consensus that the major long-term side effect is loss of appetite.

You also have to be careful when reading these studies because many are about the long term abuse of stimulants rather than the long term effects of taking a sensible dose.

Ultimately though, if your child is on Ritalin, it's because they need it to learn (at school) or to help them control their behavior.

You should not plan for your child to be medicated for their entire life. They may need the medication in their formative years but should be able to reduce their need as they reach adulthood and are able to exercise more control over their own behaviour without assistance.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you my Asperger/Ritalin story, so take from it what you will. I went undiagnosed for Asperger's Syndrome until I was 19 years old. When I was younger, especially in High School, I knew something was 'different' about me. I was very intelligent, IQ around 175, but functioning socially was extremely difficult. I failed 3 classes my freshman year due to absences and failure to adjust to the new environment. One day a friend told me to "Try some of my ADD medicine." I tried it and that day was the best day of my life. I was focused, took notes, talked to people. I felt like a new person. I went to the doctor, assuming that I must have ADD since the ADD medicine worked so well for me. I was prescribed Adderall, which is very similar to Ritalin. Over the next 3 years I became very popular in school. I aced all my classes. I was involved in extracurricular activities (Band, Newspaper, School Photographer). I know I wouldn't have been able to do these things without medication. Ritalin saved me from a high school experience that would have been very unpleasant in retrospect.

With this being said, I also have to include the negative. I am now 25 and that "motivated" feeling that carried me though high school faded over time. After several years of medication it suddenly stopped working and I found myself experimenting with other illicit substances. This medication is a wonder drug if used properly, no doubt. But the user MUST be prepared for a life without medication. Ritalin gave the the courage to LEARN to interact with people. It showed me how well I really can perform. It taught me a lot about myself and my personal role as a member of society. As long as you are willing to accept that one day you MUST stop taking the meds, take the lessons it teaches you with you through life, then you might want to consider it. If you're just looking you an escape button, or a crutch, this isn't what you're looking for.

Sunshineday said...

I am 48 and have been diagnosed with both adhd and aspergers. I have tried just about every damn "natural" thing under the sun to deal with this. Fish oils, diets, herbs, prayers, endless visits to naturopaths, herbalists, meditation, etc etc...IT WAS ALL A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!

Thanks to Ritalin I now have a life, can work, can focus, I don't let people push me around anymore, I have self worth and self esteem, I'm a better mother, fears and anxiety gone, has been an absolute life saver.

Me said...

I have two children who have HFA (their extreme speech delay meant they were not able to be dx'd with Aspergers). My nearly 7-year-old was severely behind academically, and socially before taking Ritalin. I was initially very anti-medication, and if I lived in a country where natural alternatives were cheaper/more readily available, I would consider alternatives. Originally her teachers believed she may be dyslexic, and on Ritalin it has been discovered that she can SIT and READ and ENJOYS READING! Ritalin has meant that I can actually take her to school, that we can go out as a family, that she can think and behave, and she feels good about herself. Her older sister is a different story. Currently I'm trying to get someone to bring melatonin, and children's 5-HTP supplements back from the USA, because here none of that is available, and will get seized at customs if I order it online.

Anonymous said...

Tara

My son has been very difficult from the day he was born. He was very hard to settle as a baby, the moment he started walking he was running, and constantly on the go! I was told he's just a typical toddler, and all that sort of thing. His aggression and hyperactivity spiraled out of control at about 2 and a half, he was kicked out of 3 daycares and kindy. He's now almost 5 and was literally almost NOT functioning at all due to hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, oppositional behaviours and rituals.
After seeing countless professionals for over 2 years he was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD, and severe anxiety disorder. He was at this stage only attending school for 2 hours a day, with one on one support, so the pead prescribed ritalin. It is only day 2 of him taking it and he's turned into a different little boy.
The rituals are still there, and the resistance to change is still quite immense, but the hyperactivity, aggression and oppositional behaviours have decreased drastically! Day 2 on the meds and he was at school for 4 hours and did more work than most of the other kids in his class!!!!!
I am worried about the side effects of the medication but he needs this to function!
He's also developed a facial twitch, which looks a bit like a tic, hoping this will go away as his body gets used to the medication!

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Anonymous said...

Body and mind are two sides of the same coin. Meds alone or therapy alone is only half the solution. A balance of both is necessary.

Buy Ritalin said...

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Anonymous said...

As a 30-40'something Aspie, very high IQ (most tests score me between 184 to 188), good job (self employed in law, obviously, I'm too aspie to ever be able to be an employee for anyone) and well respected by my peers (to the extent that I often just have to show up and the other side folds), I hate to say it, but for the past couple of years, I occasionally "have a neurotypical holiday", for a day or so, once a month, so that I can reset myself with my extremely long suffering wife and kids.

I was diagnosed many, many years ago, whilst I was still at school as High Functioning Autism. The diagnosis was changed about 10 years ago to be "textbook extreme aspergers with a very high IQ and extremely sophisticated coping strategies in place".

I've tried every diet, various medications, herbs, groups, discussions, psychologists, psychiatrists... the lot.

I have a plethora of coping strategies. They fake interaction pretty well. They serve almost well enough for my wife to genuinely believe that I adore her (most of the time) and can stand her touching me (which to be honest, I frankly cannot at all 99% of the time). (Oh, lets be honest, I love my wife I do... seriously aside, but just not with the kind of "feeling" which she experiences, because that kind of "feeling" doesn't compute).
Oh, I love my kids, and yes, the feeling of love I have for my kids and my wife is the same. It's a good love, just not a "grrr".


Anyway, all of the above aside, I've never told anyone this (not something one can really say now, is it), but for a couple of years, once a month or so, I've used a (seriously hardcore, and frankly worryingly potentially deadly / highly addictive white stimulant) illicit/ unlawful drug.

Why, because for the day that I've taken it, I'm as neurotypical as I can possibly be. I can actually talk to people "without" faking it, and "feel" whatever it is I'm supposed to feel.

Now, I'm just talking from my own position, and I could never recommend this as a course of action to anyone, however, in the grand scheme of things, I suppose that a little Ritalin may well be positive for some kids who suffer, the way that I have.

Anonymous said...

It really is instructive to read all these posts with ALLLLLLLLLLLL these kids that have these disorders. Doesn't anyone find it a little odd that in recent times,all of these kids are now being diagnosed with all these mental problems??
Hmmmm---Either we have a lot more sick and brain damaged kids now than we did in the recent past,or-----SOMEONE is making a LOT of money pushing these pills and "Medicating kids"----all with the blessing of these stressed out uptight parents who can't handle the job of dealing with a normal kid.
If you think the kind of food your child eats has no bearing on how they behave,you're a complete idiot and a bad parent who shouldn't have kids in the first place. Kids health has EVERYTHING to do with what they eat---and BY THE WAY----Kids are supposed to have a little "attention deficit" here and there.They're KIDS. That's what kids do I see a lot of people on this site that are criminalizing normal behavior and a lot of parents who are more tan happy to have their kids labeled and medicated so tHEY can have more time on their cell phones. You people are pathetic.