Ballet North: Ridilin No Better Than Exercise

From Ballet North Coppelia Dress Rehearse 2

Ballet North in Kansas City noticed on Monday November 22nd, 2008 during Fox4TV's 10 pm broadcast a story concerning an area elementary school participating in a 3 year study about the effects of Ridilin vs exercise on the use of ADHD students. It was found that regular 5 minute exercise breaks throughout the school day resulted in 30% less Ridilin use by students who had been prescribed the drug.

This advocates VERY strongly for parents putting their collective feet down and making elementary aged school children take up and stick with physical activities instead of reaching first for a drug. There are two parts to a Ridilin prescription: the hyper-activity of the child and the hypo-activity of the parent(s) in many cases just not wanting to be the "bad guy" and force the child to do what is actually the healthiest choice for her or him: get into and stick with physically demanding activities. This author for one was a hyper active child in line for every behavior modifier out there until his mother did, with immense perceived cruelty from this author's perspective at the time, put him in Classical Ballet as a means to burn up some energy and challenge his coordination and mental faculties. Let us just say, it worked in spades and even cured this author of having to get allergy shots. The other major thing "mom" did was get the sugar and "fake food" completely out of the diet. The turn around this caused was stunning and has lasted thus far over 35 years and past the passing of both parents - truly, if you take the time and effort to set your child up with what is best for them - NOT what they want, but what is best for them - you will be able to pass to the next world with a totally clear conscience that your child is ready for a long, healthy and productive life. What else is the goal of parenting? Being a child's "friend"? Friends don't let friends do drugs.

Now, if 5 minutes of random playtime exercise can cut Ridilin use by 30% just imagine what benefits lay in activities where the child is asked to maintain a physical activity level for an hour or more in one go? Imagine the benefit to a student that other wise would be on Ridilin who instead comes to Classical Ballet lessons 3 or 4 hours each week? In fact, we have just such students in our main program and they do, without exception, benefit immensely from the participation in Classical Ballet - some even to the point of totally not using their Ridilin except in rare occasions which, it is safe to say, represents more like a 75% reduction in Ridilin use. We do not have a study as such to provide since it is obviously very disruptive to monitor such things among adolescent students in a busy studio classroom and there are privacy issues to clear. But we are confident in stating this trend is really there and is double the effect, at least, that the study showed among the students with periodic 5 minute "free play" breaks.

World of Warcraft is great but children develop based on a genetic model millions of years in the making that leaves no room for negotiation - children simply MUST burn physical energy AND challenge the mind to fully coordinate the body or they will not develop their physical body or mental faculties correctly. The overprescription of childhood drugs like Ridilin is truly one of the great tragedies of our time and is at the same time totally avoidable in what we think are the vast majority of cases. Spend your time and money getting your child into developmentally beneficial activities instead of driving to doctor's offices and buying drugs. Be your child's parent, not their "friend". That is the friendliest thing you can possibly do for them.