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"Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School"

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

I read this article today and I am outraged!

 

Here's a few highlights:

 

"When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall."

 

He gives the meds even if the child doesn't have ADHD!

 

The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

 

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

 

I just don't even know what to say, I am speechless.

 

Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance.

 

I just needed to vent and share this information with people.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 61

I don't know what to say to that! And the parents go for it, too?!

post #3 of 61
Quote:
And the parents go for it, too?!

 

 

they think it's GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I felt many were on meds now I really feel so irked.gif

post #4 of 61

I was shocked to read that article this morning. Really, really disturbing. And the doc and parents were on the same page about it!!!
 

post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post

And the parents go for it, too?!

i dont think the parents have a choice.

 

its low income area.

 

the parents are probably working two jobs. 

 

they have no options. they dont know what to do. the kids have to go to school. 

 

if that means take adderall - so be it. 

 

it makes me sick to my stomach, but i understand why the parents go for it. 

 

i dont blame Dr. Anderson either. he is doing his best to help the kids. this is NY folks. 

 

who should we blame? the doctors? the parents? nope. 

 

just shows how low our society has fallen. the same NY that limits the size of soda allows their poor kids to be medicated. who is to blame? everyone who allows this to happen. 

 

if those kids dont do well in the first couple of years or even in elementary school- all is lost for them. they have VERY LITTLE hope. there are no support services to help struggling students.  

 

how can i let this happen? write letters to the representative that we will not allow it. that school budget cant be cut as we continue a war that should never have been started. 

 

the more we accept what is handed down to us, the more those in power gets away with. 

post #6 of 61

I'm a pharmacist and I see this all day. Kids are being modified by medication to fit into their environment because the environment doesn't fit them. I suspect the same about the vast swaths of adults on antidepressants--in low-income areas, being on an antidepressant is about survival. 

 

It's terrible. It points to a larger problem with society for sure. 

 

The parents just want the best they can for their kids. Also probably a lot of them don't/can't/don't know how to parent well.

post #7 of 61
Quote:

i dont think the parents have a choice.

 

its low income area.

while the Times story seemed to focus on this one Dr and area- it it NOT a low income things! It's happening all over! There are many parents that want this! greensad.gif and also they don't just want ADD or ADHD meds for their kids-you are really able with the right Dr to med up your kid how you want, regardless of need............the replies on the Times site are very interesting - IMO

post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

while the Times story seemed to focus on this one Dr and area- it it NOT a low income things! It's happening all over! There are many parents that want this! greensad.gif and also they don't just want ADD or ADHD meds for their kids-you are really able with the right Dr to med up your kid how you want, regardless of need............the replies on the Times site are very interesting - IMO

yup yup you are right. i think that's why some east coast states have legislation against the drugs. in those cases yeah the parents DO have a choice.

 

but i too was focusing on the low income parents. and THEY are the ones who dont have a choice. and the dr. recognises that and if the dr is the kind of advocate he is made out to be, then he is genuinely trying to find a solution.   

post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

i dont blame Dr. Anderson either. he is doing his best to help the kids. this is NY folks. 

 

Actually, it's not NY. It's Cherokee county, Georgia, as mentioned in the OP. It's just a story in the NY Times, not in NY.

 

These are not poor inner city kids. Canton, Georgia is a small town with a pop of about 25,000 about 40 miles north of downtown Atlanta. Both parents work in a car wash. If you click through to the slide show you can find a caption that says that and also see pictures of the family and their home. They have a fairly nice home with new looking furniture. They may have debt, but they don't look to be indigent or homeless.

 

I think it's lazy parenting and poor doctoring and poor teaching/school environment.

 

 

 

Quote:

Quintn was seeing people and hearing voices that were not there, a rare but recognized side effect of Adderall. After Quintn admitted to being suicidal, Dr. Anderson prescribed a week in a local psychiatric hospital, and a switch to Risperdal.

 

...

 

Despite Quintn’s experience with Adderall, the Rocaforts decided to use it with their 12-year-old daughter, Alexis, and 9-year-old son, Ethan. These children don’t have A.D.H.D., their parents said. The Adderall is merely to help their grades, and because Alexis was, in her father’s words, “a little blah.”

”We’ve seen both sides of the spectrum: we’ve seen positive, we’ve seen negative,” the father, Rocky Rocafort, said. Acknowledging that Alexis’s use of Adderall is “cosmetic,” he added, “If they’re feeling positive, happy, socializing more, and it’s helping them, why wouldn’t you? Why not?”

post #10 of 61
Quote:
“a little blah.”

 and also the part about not as "social",,,,,,,,,,,ROTFLMAO.gifoh and the part about having to take more meds to sleep twins.gif and there is no way I think those kids will ever get off them even later in life!

 

 

 

 

Quote:

I think it's lazy parenting and poor doctoring and poor teaching/school environment.

 

yeahthat.gif

post #11 of 61

I have a family member doing just this with their child to keep on top of things :( So sad!

post #12 of 61

This doesnt surprise me at all.  The concept of adhd never made much sense to me, but seems to be the diagnosis for inconvenient  behavior in school. Thanks for posting this.

post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

This doesnt surprise me at all.  The concept of adhd never made much sense to me, but seems to be the diagnosis for inconvenient  behavior in school. Thanks for posting this.

 

ADHD is real. I have no doubt about it. However, it's also massively over-diagnosed, imo. I remember my cousin telling me, years ago, that several people, including a doctor, had suggested that her oldest son had ADHD, based on his behaviour. He showed fewer symptoms of ADHD than ds1 did, and ds1 isn't even close to having ADHD. There's a large contingent of people, including medical professionals, who are ready to scream "ADHD" at the slightest sign of high spirits or mischief. It scares me. Medicating kids with Adderall to bring up their grades scares me even more.

post #14 of 61

I think ADHD is often used as a diagnosis for inconvenient behaviour at school, simply the result a child's physical and emotional needs are not being met in a particular environment.

 

But I do believe that there are some children and adults for whom problems with attention are profound, for whom the term "disorder" is apt. Most adults are able to adjust their environments such that they can cope without medication, but I know several who cannot function without it. One of my friends functions 90% of the time just fine without medication because he has made a lot of smart choices about how to live his life, but he still cannot drive a vehicle safely unless he takes Ritalin, and is unable to attend any of his daughter's choral performances without it, and can't read to learn without it. I believe that there are some children who have the same profound level of difficulty. 

 

Just because the diagnosis is vastly over-applied doesn't mean it doesn't apply to some people.

 

The original story in this thread appalls me. But I still believe there is such an entity as ADHD.

 

ETA: Haha, cross-posted with Storm Bride. I think we're saying the same thing.

 

Miranda

post #15 of 61

I was also interested by something - think it was in the comments, not the article - about kids still being addicted to the drugs, once they'd outgrown their ADHD. I've known five people with ADHD in my life. (I mean that I've known five of them well. I've known a few others casually, and only when they were children.) These people are all adults now, and none of them have outgrown it. They've learned to manage it, one way or another (two of them chose very physically demanding careers, involving a lot of activity and a lot of time outdoors, which helps them), but their brains still don't function like other people's brains. They just don't.

 

I have to say that the cover picture on that article really bothered me. The boy in the picture doesn't look happy, healthy, etc. He actually looks drugged.

post #16 of 61

I understand it, it doesn't mean that it isn't a shame. There should be other options to where this is never an option. I'm sure there are many "middle class families" that do this just because. Others are doing it because modifying the environment is impossible and this is the only way for the child is function. I would have more sympathy for those families, but we never truly knows what goes on in other homes.

 

My Dh takes Adderall. I say that it would be highly doubtful that we would still be married if he didn't take his meds. Half the time he can't even remember he needs meds or even has them or where they are at. The script can sit at the pharmacy for days before he remembers it is there.  He is that scattered. It effects every single aspect of his life and therefore mine and the children's.  

 

Our oldest takes Zoloft. I think I understand how families with kids that are on ADHD meds might feel. It was not an easy decision for me and it took years of trying so many things before finally waving the white flag and asking for meds. She truly needs her meds, she is an entirely different child when she is off of them. One interesting side effect is that while she did not have any issues concentrating or with attention before the Zoloft, she can actually focus so much better while on it. She is dyslexic and honestly this has been a very helpful *side effect* to have although I would not be placing her on this med just for that, I could see the appeal though for some. 

post #17 of 61

That article is pretty concerning, especially the part where Medicaid or other insurance pays for medication that is 'cosmetic' in nature. Of course it doesn't help that pharmaceuticals market directly to parents and even kids on these medications.
 

post #18 of 61

I don't know how a doctor can fail to 'believe' in a disorder with the huge amount of evidence behind it that ADHD has.  

 

I have ADHD.  It profoundly and continuously impacts on my life and always has.  I was not a badly behaved child.  I wish there were more articles demonstrating the importance of correct identification and treatment in children and adults who do have this difference instead of the constant stream of reports that focus on this sort of thing.

 

I am not addicted to the medication.  If I was I'd remember whether I'd taken it or not.  And I'd probably remember to get a repeat prescription.  Instead, like everything else in my life, I forget about it.

 

For those who don't believe in it, here's a leading expert on it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF1YRE8ff1g

post #19 of 61

Re lazy parenting - most parents are forced to accept substandard schooling for their children, which caters for a small minority of children while labelling the rest deviant and blames them for their 'failure'.  I reject any idea that parents are to blame for medicating their children so they can get through the nightmare that is modern schooling.  And I reject the notion that parents are 'lazy' if they medicate their children.  I wish my own parents had been 'lazy' enough to go to the doctor and find out what was wrong with me instead of labelling me lazy and stupid.

 

And here's the reality of one family's experience of having an ADHD labelled child.  It's a shocking read.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-3802.2010.01183.x/pdf

post #20 of 61

Thanks Silverring. We can't lose sight of that fact, even as many are overdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. For those who have these issues, regardless of what name it receives (executive function disorder is one that is growing in favor) it is a very real thing.
 

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