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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 01:34 GMT 02:34 UK
'It has changed his life'
Andrew Wainwright
Andrew Wainwright has responded well
An alternative treatment has been licensed in the UK to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Charmaine Wainwright, whose son Andrew - now 15 - was diagnosed with ADHD seven years ago, tells BBC News Online how atomoxetine has helped them.

"I noticed something was different from an early age, probably even before he went to school.

I just sat at the kitchen table and sobbed
Charmaine Wainwright
"I was working as a child-minder, and the other children would sit down and read, or paint, for hours on end. But he would do it for two minutes and then he'd be off."

Andrew continued to behave in the same way when he went to school.

It was only when Charmaine read a newspaper article about ADHD that she realised her son could be affected.

"I just sat at the kitchen table and sobbed. I realised there was a high chance he had it.

"Andrew's GP sent him to a specialist for assessment. She had doubts because she said naughty children were being labelled as having ADHD."

But after a specialist observed Andrew's behaviour at school, and carried out tests, he was diagnosed with ADHD.

'He now has a social life'

Charmaine, from Dronfield near Sheffield, said: "He was put onto Ritalin when he was about eight or nine.

"It did work. But it was difficult to give him the medication at lunchtime when he was at school.

"If he didn't have it, the rest of the class would suffer because he was constantly on the go."

Andrew was on Ritalin for 18 months. He then developed a heart murmur, which was not related to the drug, but which meant he could no longer take it.

Charmaine added: "I heard about the trial of this new drug from a friend and thought we should give it a go.

"We had to go to Sheffield every eight weeks for a full range of checks - but it was worth it.

"He's a lot calmer now. He has a social life, he didn't have friends before.

"He's also gone out and found himself a paper round, and he's been doing well at catering college.

"It's changed his life around."

New ADHD drug launched in UK
03 Jun 04 |  Health

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