I have an 8 year old who was diagnosed with ADHD last year and then was later on diagnosed with high functioning Autism. After a lot of thought about putting him on Ritalin to help concentrate at school, with discussions with the pediatrician we decided to give him a small dose before school so that he could concentrate for the main part of his learning. It was explained to me that it only has a short half life in your system, like pandol, so that when you take it it works almost immediately but doesn't stay in your system for a long time as with anti depressants. We don't give it to him on the weekend or on the holidays and we actually haven't been giving him any over the past few months. I notice though he is very anixous at the moment which is due to having moved. The reason we chose to give him the medication is that because he was distracted in class he was getting frustrated at not being able to do his work and was getting behind. Because he is only at the beginning of his schooling I was worried that he would miss out on the building blocks and would find it hard to then catch up. I thought that as he matures and settles into school and learns how to cope with school that we would eventually just take him off completely which is what has happened. Believe me it wasn't something we did lightly. There was a lot of time and thought put into it. I think every parent has to do what they believe is the best interest in their child who they know better then anyone else.