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Adhd - Page 6

Poll Results: What is ADHD?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 9% (10)
    A brain disease to be treated with drugs
  • 10% (11)
    A brain disease to be treated by natural remedies
  • 9% (10)
    Something caused by the family
  • 3% (4)
    Something caused by the schools
  • 21% (22)
    A complete scam made up by schools and doctors
  • 45% (47)
103 Total Votes  
post #101 of 142
Jannan, you say "i truly believe it is a condition of the brain that causes behavior in the child tha tis not condusive to the entire learning environment of the classroom"

I'd argue that if the classroom environment is one that is conducive to children learning, then good learning behaviours will follow.

" won't believe they'll be well prepared if they are staring into space, crawling on the floor in the classroom, or losing their belongings... anyone care to agree?"

Of course, I agree. That's where the teacher needs to be skilled in behaviour management. And creating a lesson that is meaningful and engages the child, preventing him from wanting to crawl around on the floor. But of course, this takes work and a great deal more skill and effort than drugging the child to make him conform.

Jannan, I'm not saying it's easy. I've worked with hundreds of these children over the years. But I've never met one who really needed drugs. A very small handful needed to be in special ed schools not in mainstream. But the large majority could be 'cured' of supposed ADHD if they were given an appropriate learning environment and treated with respect, not with labels and drugs.

Sadly, this is often not the case.
post #102 of 142

Greaseball: Amen, amen, amen...

I say to you! I always cringe when people say that school prepares kids for the "real" world. I tell my kids in therapy all the time how much BETTER their lives will be when they grow up and don't have to go to school anymore. My school years (from grade school through high school) have been the worst of my 35 years. People treat you WAY better when you are an adult. Even employees in a convenience store have more freedom of movement than school kids have. Of course, the more prestigious your job, the more freedom you have. In school, I was slapped, and insulted by teachers, forced to do boring repetitive work for hours on end, and I had to get up at the crack of dawn to be there! I was assaulted in the hallway during jr. high, I was picked on and ostrasized at different points. No one in my adult life has ever treated me so poorly! There is very little that I do in my work life that is related to elementary/high school "skills." Good for you for saying so.
post #103 of 142
Raven, you're right in some ways.

Some schools do fail to prepare children for the world ahead of them. Others, though, do a fairly good job. There are schools and teachers who value learning attitudes above content and respect children and their rights.

There are also children for whom the world is pretty tough. Id' argue that many get a better deal from caring teachers in school than they get in their 'real world.' For some, the classroom can be a refuge from the home.

Truly, there are many schools that do not tolerate bullying, where teachers respect children and behave with care and kindness only. And even allow them to use the bathroom when they wish to!

got to dash, Halloween beckons, but jsut wanted to reply with a more positive message.
post #104 of 142
greaseball, there are several jobs that require sitting for long periods of time: a telephone operator, a computor programer to name a few............. children are given addequet breaks during the day( recess) i don't require children to raise their hands to use the bathroom, if they leave the room i assume it is to use the bathroom.......... part of the cirriculum requires them to be at desks but also a large part is at active learning centers where children can share ideas, help eachother on projects, and contribute to the classroom. please try to understand where i'm coming from
post #105 of 142
i won't believe they'll be well prepared if they are staring into space, crawling on the floor in the classroom, or losing their belongings... anyone care to agree?
We are talking about children for goodness sakes. They are not mini adults and should not be expected to act as such.
Please let our children be children. They will spend on average 2/3-3/4 of their lives as adults.
post #106 of 142
Jannan, I think you are missing the point. Of course, some jobs require adults to sit for long periods. But that doesnt mean that children learn well if they are required to do so themselves!

Children are not trees. They are not supposed to sit still for long periods. If the curriculum is not suited to their stage of development, and their physical needs are not met (including their basic physiological need to move) then behaviours will emerge that, as you say, are not conducive to learning.

Of course, other factors contribute to children's poor behaviour. Home environment is one, diet and poor nutrition is another. Over-exposure to TV and games that do not foster emotional intelligence is yet another.

Teachers do not have an easy time dealing with children who display the 'symptoms' of ADHD. But we are debating here the question - what exactly is ADHD? Nobody is saying that the symptoms are desirable, or that it is easy dealing with children who display them. But matching the classroom to the needs of young children would go a long way to 'curing' the ADHD epidemic, don't you think?
post #107 of 142
Holy crap I don't know how this thread got to be 6 pages before I saw it!!

I'm just a mom, so I don't have any viewpoint other than that. But, I am 100% convinced that if I put my ds in public school he would be diagnosed immediately as adhd. The thing is, he is so smart, and can pay attention when he is interested.

Dh and I agree he will NEVER be put on ritalin. We found a very small private school where he is doing so well. Each time the teacher says "he is such a bright little boy" I want to cry. Sure, I'm proud of him, but mostly it's because I am so grateful that he is in a place where they belive that children cannot learn if they are hungry, thirsty, etc. There are plenty of breaks and the information is given to the kids quickly. They don't drag it out. He gets very individualized attention. I was lucky that the school is only 10 minutes away. I would have driven further. It is really expensive, we are stretching it to be able to send him there. One of my friends has said on numerous occasions that I should bring him to the ps district to have him tested, so he can get a diagnosis so the school system will send him to preschool for free. NO THANKS. When I think of how it could have happened at a different school....(shudder)

I'm so happy that I found just the right place for him. I've heard that in public schools they are now forbidding talking at lunchtime, doing away with recess,adding hours of homework. I think, that if that many kids have add/adhd, then there is something wrong with the school system, not the kids. Plus, I think that a lot of the crap the kids eat now is making them crazy. I know my ds freaks out whenever he has brightly colored candy. Turns him into a lunatic. Some kids have a constant diet of that stuff.

This is a very interesting conversation, I am going to go back and read it when it's not so late.

Oh, and when I first came to MDC, there was a really good article on some school that dealt with kids that had been diagnosed as add adhd. I don't know if it's still online here since the new boards.
post #108 of 142
Ok, two more things, then I really have to go to bed (note to self, get dh to bf the baby at 2 am.....)

Greaseball, what made you start this thread, I see you don't have any older children: just wondering. I read more after my last post and really like the info.

Good points that Britishmum makes, also.

A good book that I read called "Indigo Children-The new kids have arrived" asks the question, how are these children going to feel when they are grown up and realize they have been given drugs to suppress their own personality traits? I'm sure that it was worded better in the book, but makes you think. How would that feel? I wasn't good enough, I didn't sit still long enough, I was bored/tired/not challanged/had issues/didn't like that subject/etc etc, and instead of adressing those issues, they are just doped up on ritalin.

Why couldn't I have found this thread say, two hours ago?
post #109 of 142
Thread Starter 
I started this thread to get an idea of others' experiences with the diagnosis, drugs, etc. I'm a mental health associate and a psych student and am interested in all mental health related things. I also am very concerned for my dd, should she end up in public school, and hoped to hear something from parents who have fought the label, refused the drugs, and still managed to give their child a quality education. (Of course, there's homeschooling and all kinds of other options as well.)

And now, another quote from that guy: "Psychiatry has no diagnoses for children who are too conforming...and just plain too good. Shyness has to reach the proportions of autism or schizophrenia before psychiatry will take notice of it. If the child is a girl, even the most morbid inhibitions may go unnoticed."
(Dr. Breggin, Toxic Psychiatry, Page 277)
post #110 of 142
Greaseball, thanks for your response to my questions.

Interesting, that last quote you wrote, I have a friend who likes to really control her kids, and it scares me how docile they are. Makes me wonder what kind of adults they will grow up to be, and glad that my ds has a little bit of fire, kwim?

Off to read the whole thread now....
post #111 of 142

Not necessarily in that order.....
post #112 of 142

Greaseball, shyness is being pathologized...

Since Breggin wrote his books, shyness has become a new/old disorder: Social Phobic Disorder. It has been in the DSM for a while now. Recently, the antidepressant, Paxil, was approved to treat Social Phobia, and now there is a new interest, and of course, huge increase in the number of people diagnosed with it. In my city, there are tv commercials, asking people to "talk to your doctor" if they feel uncomfortable at parties, or making presentations. I have seen children/teens treated with Paxil for being too quiet and shy. My take is that gentle, sensitive children can't just be accepted for who they are. Not everyone is an extravert. We are, again, pathologizing a natural variation in human behavior.
post #113 of 142
Thread Starter 

Oh yeah, Social Anxiety Disorder and all that...

So when kids are introverted, they're "Social Anxiety Disorder" or any number of depressive disorders, and when they're extroverted, they're "ADHD" or "Conduct Disorder"...just what is it that children do RIGHT?
post #114 of 142
"just what is it that children do RIGHT?"

Conform to what adults think that children should do right.
post #115 of 142
Thread Starter 
A few years ago I had a good friend who had four kids, ages 7-12. Before I met them, she warned me that her youngest "had ADD." This was before I worked in MH and I was expecting some sort of horrible monster who was going to urinate on me or something. Instead I saw that he was the happiest of all her children (he was not on drugs). Her other children were sullen and argumentative. I think he was the only one who was truly healthy and bright.
post #116 of 142
I voted "other" because I think it's a nutritional deficiency. (and/or nutritional allergy)
post #117 of 142
Greaseball, that story rings so true for me!

Some of the brightest, most inquisitive, adventurous children I have worked with were called 'adhd' by their parents. Somehow, if parenting them was tough and called for effort, it's easier for some parents to label the child rather than look inwards and think about how to help the child grow.

(And the same can go for teachers and professionals too)
post #118 of 142
I will probably vote for other as well. I think ADHD is both real and frequently misdiagnosed. I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that there were schools who had nearly 50 % of their kids on Ritalin--that's outrageous.

I struggle with attention issues myself at times, but I think that may be related to having spent so much of my life being bored in school.

I worry about this at times because DS is definitely the highly active "spirited" type. Total strangers sometimes come up to me at the park shaking their heads and say, "My God, cute kid, you must be exhausted though." I spend a lot of time around kids, and DS is more active than 95%. But he is capable of spending 20 minutes pouring and otherwise transfering beans from one container to another, even though he really has to be in love with a book and away from distractions to sit still for a story.

He has a cousin who was really active, and more likely to hit or bite other kids. Once he hit Kindergarten, his parents got all kinds of pressure from his school to medicate him. They refused, and by the time he was 8 or 9, it was just not an issue any more. It's one of the many reasons I want to homeschool, to avoid the pressure. DS would be hell in a classroom, but I really believe he will be able to learn well if we can talk about things while walking and take lots of breaks so he can move. Too many highly active kids just don't get that in their school situation. And it's hard to resist the pressure to diagnose and medicate because, yes, my child is not like most other children, I just don't believe there's anything wrong with that.
post #119 of 142
jtsmom's post made me think of something else--hunger and thirst as a factor. My highly active toddler eats a lot throughout the day. He's still considerably below the lowest line on the growth chart and keeps falling. He can get freaky when he hasn't eaten or if he's thirsty, and there's not always a regular pattern to it. Some days he could go from lunch to dinner without eating, other times he needs 2 or 3 separate snacks (and his snacks nearly always have peanut butter or egg or some other fat/protein combo that you would expect to hold him for awhile). Other kids just don't burn calories at the same rate. At every stage of our nursing relationship, he has always nursed way more than any resource I've read thinks kids nurse (there were some issues in infancy with a short frenulum, but it doesn't explain all of it).

I wonder how often some kids just don't get to eat or drink frequently enough since their needs are atypical?
post #120 of 142
Thread Starter 
Of course, children who are hungry are not going to function well. The people who run our schools need to get it together and realize that children don't do well on a "feeding schedule." There are going to be students who get hungry outside of the conventional lunch hour and those students should eat when they feel hungry, not when other people say it's OK.

I bring snacks to every class. If I get hungry, I start eating right away. I do not function when hungry.
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