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August 26, 1974

Treatment of Disorders Of Learning in Children

Author Affiliations

Upstate Medical Center State University of New York Syracuse

JAMA. 1974;229(9):1167-1168. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230470019009

To the Editor.—  The relative success of drug stimulant therapy in the treatment of children with learning disorders, overimpulsiveness, and overaggressiveness has led to a rash of articles in the popular and professional press emphasizing the dangers of drug treatment and even complaining that stimulants fail to produce miracles.1Some of these articles have suggested "alternative" therapies, notably behavior modification. Behavior conditioning has indeed been shown to be effective in reducing hyperactivity, but teachers, parents, and many children with minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) are often highly resistant to carrying out the conditioning program. Teachers frequently think that they don't have the time, and many parents and teachers object strenuously to what they perceive as bribery. It is likely that most children with MBD for whom behavior modification programs alone are prescribed receive no therapy at all.While it is a truism that good teaching and good parentage improve learning