ADHD and Sensory Integration Dysfunction


"Our son takes Risperdal, Wellbutrin and Concerta. A counselor has suggested having him tested for Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Could this be affecting his ADHD?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

About 30 to 50 percent of students with ADHD will also have a learning, language, or motor disability. The motor disability is called Sensory Integration Dysfunction. If a child has both, both need to be addressed — the ADHD with medication and the SI with occupational therapy.

To the best of my knowledge, Risperidal is not used to treat ADHD. Wellbutrin is not used often with children because it is not effective. Thus, you need to discuss with the physician treating your child why these two medications are used. Maybe there is another diagnosis besides ADHD.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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