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Media Memo: UW-Eau Claire Expert Available
to Comment on New ADHD Research

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume, Director

DATE: Nov. 14, 2007

SUBJECT: UW-Eau Claire Expert Available to Comment on New ADHD Research

A UW-Eau Claire psychology professor and nationally recognized expert on ADHD-related issues believes a study released this week that indicates crucial parts of brains of children with attention deficit disorder develop more slowly than other youngsters' brains reinforces his long-held belief that children — particularly boys — are overidentified as having ADHD.

Dr. William Frankenberger, who has been studying ADHD-related issues for more than two decades, said the study reinforces the concerns he's raised for years about the overuse of Ritalin and other stimulants for treatment of children who have been identified as having ADHD.

According to the study released by the National Institute of Mental Health, brain regions that suppress inappropriate actions and thoughts, focus attention, remember things from moment to moment, work for reward and control movement develop more slowly in ADHD youngsters.

Contact information
Dr. William Frankenberger
Professor of psychology
Director of the Human Development Center
715-836-4642 or 715-836-5020
frankewr@uwec.edu

Quotes from Dr. William Frankenberger

  • "The new research is important because it makes the point that children who have been identified as having ADHD and put on stimulant medication are really just developing more slowly than other children but their development is within the normal range. The problem comes when the more slowly developing children are put in a situation where expectations do not match their abilities. In other words, we may have unreasonable expectations for children in the early school grades, and this may be especially true for boys who are more likely to develop self-control and sustained attention abilities more slowly than girls."
  • "Our research at the HDC has led us to believe that late developing children (especially boys) who are still within the normal range of development are being overidentified as having ADHD. The corresponding issue then is whether the impact of stimulant medication at a young age could interfere with the child's development of self-control and other developmental skills."
  • "The findings certainly reinforce the point we have been trying to make regarding the overuse of Ritalin and other stimulants for treatment of children who have been identified as having ADHD."

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