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Adhd - Page 7

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 #121 of 142
Fortunately a lot of UK schools are now getting the idea that hydration is important for brain functioning, and are allowing children to take drinks of water into class. Snacks are commonly provided by the teacher in the early years, and often older children are allowed to bring snacks to school for breaktimes.

It's been a long time coming though - I recall at school being soooo thirsty and not allowed a drink. Then teachers wondering why I was distracted. : Fortunately I think most teachers are more enlightened now.
post #122 of 142
Britishmum, I thought I read recently (I think in "News of the Weird" or something) that there's a new law in the UK requiring parents to medicate their kids if they have an ADD/ADHD diagnosis.

On the hunger issue, I recently flipped through something on ADHD and looked at the section on how to tell "true ADHD" from normal 4-year-old behavior. The author mentioned one criteria as being an inability to tolerate delayed gratification, and gave the example of an ADHD child who lost it because he had to wait a few moments for a snack to be prepared. Now I'm wondering whether highly active (but not truly ADHD) children may 1) need to eat more often and at less predictable intervals 2) be so into rushing about the world that they don't notice till they're hungry until they see or hear something that makes them think of food and 3) probably aren't great at dealing with delayed gratification in the first place, but by no means is this a pathology, just one of their frequent life challenges.

Also, reading the hyperactivity DSM criterion reminded me of a description I read in Parent's Magazine about the common differences between 1st grade girls and boys--boys are often likely to yell out answers before working out the problem or even hearing the question, for example. I think that highly active children, especially if they are boys, are more likely to be on the slow end of the developmental curve in things like speaking, verbal comprehension, and being able to deal with the (often developmentally inappropriate) abstract math and reading skills taught in the earliest grades.

I do appreciate what Ivy (I think) wrote about reading that list and believing it described her child's primary characteristics--the main things that were always coming up. On the other hand, my son fits all or nearly all the criteria too (all the hyperactivity ones, but not necessarily all the attention ones to a great degree) and he meets just about every list of characteristics I've seen of babies later diagnosed ADHD, toddlers with ADHD, etc. and there's really nothing wrong with him. He's tough to deal with at times, he is usually a bit behind where he "should" be verbally (but he is always progressing), and it's very difficult to get him to pay attention to something I want him to pay attention to! I think the worst thing about the DSM criteria is that it doesn't distinguish beween the ability to pay attention to something the child chooses and the ability to pay attention to something that someone else chooses for them. DS can show tremendous persistence with the former, but it's almost impossible to "draw" his attention to something, especially if he's already picked a focus of his own.

This is a great thread, thanks for starting it Greaseball, and I'm sorry I got in so late!
post #123 of 142
"I thought I read recently (I think in "News of the Weird" or something) that there's a new law in the UK requiring parents to medicate their kids if they have an ADD/ADHD diagnosis."

I've never heard of any such law. Do you have a reference? I've been out of the UK for four years, but in my years working with children before that (14 yrs) I only ever knew two who were medicated for ADHD, although many whose parents threw around the term. Doctors were reluctant to give a diagnosis. Things have got worse since then and the numbers have increased, but nothing like in the US.

If you read it in News of the World, I'd take it with a very very large pinch of salt. There is very little that is very true in that paper. Of course, I stand to be corrected, but I'd eat my hat.....
post #124 of 142
hi, i dont have nething to contribute to the adhd convo, althogh ive been following it with great interest and appriciation to all of you for sharing and discusing this.

i just wanted to chime in, in response to the comment about boys being more likely to talk out in class.
i read a similiar article and then in psych class we did a study of it sort of and what we came up with and found tons of reference for was that it was really the other way around.
it was found that teachers are far more likely to tollerate and allow and not punish males speaking out of turn than they were for females.
we even called out own female teacher out on it. funny we never noticed it before and even the most "evolved" of us found that it was generally common to tolerate boys misbehavior than girls's/
sorry off topic just wanted to share. hope that came out clear. been along time since school:
post #125 of 142
My personal belief about AD(h)D is that it's realted to diet and environment - in the broadest sense of the word. I think that a classic homeopath with a strong background in nutrition could do a heck of a lot more for a child than Ritalin. But, that doesn't solve all the environmental issues; family stress, school situation, toxic substances, etc.
post #126 of 142
Thread Starter 
I believe being tired is also part of it. Children just aren't built to spend 6 or 7 hours a day in school, IMO. If I don't get at least 6 hrs of sleep a night, I don't even bother going to class because there is no way I will function.

If I ran the schools, they would go for maybe an hour, then an hour for a break, another hour of school, another hour for a break, etc. and of course children could sleep, eat, drink and use the bathroom whenever they needed to.
post #127 of 142
I would bet that tiredness is a factor in another way, too--I bet that parent and teacher referrals for ADHD testing occur in larger numbers among tired teachers and parents.

I think it's also important to keep in mind that in some cases of ADHD diagnosis/labelling, there's really nothing wrong with the child at all. There's a range of healthy childhood behaviors, and highly active "spirited" children fall within that range. Their parents and teachers may well be more tired than other parents and teachers, and the child's activity level may well interfere with their ability to sit still in class or at the dinner table--it may interfere with their daily life just about everywhere we expect them to be like "most of the other kids."

I even remember reading of a homeschooling mom who learned that her son could remember quite a lot of what she read or what they discussed while he was crawling around on the floor or walking around the table, she just had to keep going rather than stopping to tell him to sit down and listen.
post #128 of 142
post #129 of 142
I've continued to think about this topic since my original posts here. I recently encountered a book that I believe was by Thomas Hartmann? called the Complete ADHD something--Complete Guide to ADHD perhaps, and I believe he also wrote a book called Healing ADD.

I didn't read enough to really review the book, but some things I did get from him were that 1) the traits labelled ADD/ADHD can be positive in many circumstances (he also says that most schools situations are toxic for ADD kids, but he gives examples of exceptions in which the same kids do well 2) about 20-30 % of the population is probably ADD, and the condition exists on a continuum 3) Drug therapy should only be used for a tiny minority of this group and should be one of the last things tried.

It made me wonder, how much of my resistance to the labelling kids ADHD/ADD is a result of the fact that there are so many people who seem to think that they should all be drugged. The author I was reading stressed helping kids (and older kids/adults helping themselves) to develop new sets of cognitive skills. For example, if someone has a very hard time remembering and following through on a series of instructions or remembering what they are supposed to do at a certain time, stopping long enough to mentally picture themselves doing the things at the right time and in the proper order will really up their chances for success, if practiced over time.

I just read a Jane Healy book Endangered Minds that made similar points about how some kids need more help in creating pictures in their minds and developing an inner dialogue in which they use words to help plan for action and how to control impulses.

I mean, if someone wanted to attach such a label to my child and I knew that what I would receive was pressure to medicate, I'd have one idea about the whole theory behind it. On the other hand, if what I would receive were tips on caring for myself when I'm exhausted, what to do and say when his behavior really angers me, help in understanding where he's coming from and why he might not listen the way my neighbor's child of the same age listens, and ways to talk, play, and listen with him that will help him focus and remember when and what he needs to, then I'd have a very different reaction.

post #130 of 142
This is what I originally posted, now I feel more comfortable posting it

I say other, I think it's a multi-causal diagnosis, and is too often used as an umbrella label for a number of different issues that are either recent problems or something that we happen to have new drugs available to use. It may also be an old problem that we are looking at with new eyes - and I think that there are several issues being relgated under one label.

Personally, I think add/adhd is realted to diet (including but not limited to the childs diet, the diet of the mother/parents before and during pregnancy, and breastfeeding, if present). And parents may not even be aware of this becuase we have so much mis-information about nutrition (not to mention diet). another and seperate cause of add/adhd is toxins in vaccines, food and the environment.

I think there are other causes and it's very dangerous to have so many doctors making their varied diagnosis of this issue. And it's dangerous to let them (school, doctors) label your kid as add/adhd.

I don't even know if this is really a problem, or if in some cases it's made up.

Also, I think it's very dangerous to allow the establishment to medicate all kids, or even some of them, because if you ask them about it, they REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE DRUGS DO. They just think that if symptom is happening, than this drug MIGHT do something. Then again it might. And it also may have an adverse effect. Seriously. You'd be better off sending your kid to a homeopath; at least their stuff is proven, well documented and has been around for one hell of a lot longer. And, since the theory is based on like cures like, if you aren't suffering from the ailment the remedy is for, there are no side effects. Heck, there aren't side effects if the remedy is correct. Allopathic docs can't say that...

in my case, undiagnosed, but still not specifically identifyable as such, however based on some symptoms of add/adhd - it's related to the massive amounts of sugar i consumed as a child and some "other" issues that I've since been able to cope with. #1 being not "fitting in". f-that.

I think my kid has a high probability of being labled add/adhd by the establishment, based on his parents. But I don't intend to let them get their hands on him (or her as the case may be).



edd May 11, 2003
post #131 of 142
I am just fumming right now. I'm on a Educator's e mail loop for the Discovery channel. Someone wrote about the school they work for and how 60% of the students were (at one time?)on ADD meds. Well one person claiming to be a special Ed teacher for 25 yrs jumped all over the OP. She blamed "exagerations" such as what the woman posted for laws that forbid her from telling a parent that they must put their child on Meds. she went on the say that she thought that the school psycologist should be able to prescribe meds for students, and it would be based on a teachers classroom observations. She went on and on about how wonderful it would be if she could force the parents of all her special ed students to take meds.
I sent a heated response but since the list is moderated I don't expect it to go through. It's actually been long enough that it should have been posted but it has not showed up yet.

Personally I tend to think along the lines of "Indigo Children" there is nothing wrong with ADD brain activity. It is perfectly normal for that person. They are actually the next step in evolution.
post #132 of 142

well I tried to tell the school that my

ds had it long before he was diagnosed
I had been tutoring a child with it and noticed the symptoms etc
Disease or behaviour? I would say altered behaviour
we had a neurologist who at the time was laughed at and now they use his tool on a regular basis
He did actual "brainmapping" and it showed where some of the damage to the synapses were

I agree that it is overdiagnosed when often times it is NOT add adhd
Case in point my son went through 8 to ten hours of testing etc before he was diagnosed

TWo things in his school
One boy from another state bored to death because he had already covered stuff in his grade that was lower than the one they put him
the school told her that he had add even after the other school confirmed in writing that the child had covered all the material currently studied

a mother was sent to a dr here in town for an "adhd screeN'
the dr WEighed and measured the child, THat is it nothing else period and told her her son had add and she had better fill this scrip for Ritalin right away,
She was referred over to me at the time, Found out he had done the same with other kids
post #133 of 142
Thread Starter 
One test I read about consisted of a boy put into a small room with a sheet of math problems to do. He was observed as he completed the work. Although this boy did the work quickly and got 100%, he was diagnosed ADD on the basis of how many times he looked up from his paper.

I wonder exactly how much testing is appropriate. 8 hours, while possibly thorough, sounds like a long time for a kid. I'm exhausted after 2 or 3 hours at school, and I find school interesting and choose to be there. If the test is boring, if the kid is frightened of the examiner or would rather be somewhere else, I would think that would affect the results.

Think of prenatal appointments - if you've seen an ob, you go in for 5 or 10 minutes and come out thinking, was that it? How could they possibly determine anything in that time? And then if you've seen a midwife, you might have had those hour-long visits where they really get to know you. And you think, yeah, that's right!

Maybe an hour of testing would be good...?
post #134 of 142

my sons was

broken up into two hours at a time over a period of two weeks

how many times he looked up from the paper?? to quote Charlie Brown AUGGGHHHHHH
post #135 of 142
I am not sure that I get the question - but I am wondering, is ADHD that is triggered by trauma any less real than trauma-less ADHD? I have had two students with severe ADHD who were dramatically helped by medication, and it is quite possible that it was triggered by their childhood traumas. But how much more traumatic is it to have no control over your body and behavior and to have to be separated from your peers in the regular classroom because someone has a philosophical problem with medication?

That said, I have seen many kids who came to me with a diagnosis of ADHD who just needed some time running in the sunshine and not dealing with adults' problems. And I am proud to say that I was instrumental in getting several of them off medication.

It is a hard question, but every situation is different. Every person is different. Is the suggestion that no schizophrenics be on medication? We need to be real about this.
post #136 of 142
Thread Starter 
But how much more traumatic is it to have no control over your body and behavior and to have to be separated from your peers in the regular classroom because someone has a philosophical problem with medication?
Many children are also traumatized by the lack of control they have over their bodies when adults force them to take drugs.

If these kids are dramatically improving, I would ask - do the kids themselves say so? Have they actually been asked how they like the medication - over the short and long term? Or are they simply being evaluated in terms of how less often they annoy adults?

I have worked with dozens of schizophrenics who dramatically improved - in their own view as well as in mine - when they were taken off all medications. I have also known several who were happy with their meds, but only in the short term. Months later they were hating it.

It's a choice people have to make for themselves, but with children they are rarely given a choice.
post #137 of 142

I voted other and I agree with this post

Originally posted by jenoline
I voted other...
I majored in Special Education, and have had some experience with ADD/ADHD. I think it exists, but that it's not exactly a disease. More of a set of behaviors taken to the extreme (picture a continuum of behavior, people with ADD/ADHD all the way on one side). I think many people may exhibit some of these behaviors at some time in their life. I think that it is exacerbated by the school setting and the unrealistic expectations schools have for children. I believe that medication is warrented in some cases. HOWEVER...I think that ADD/ADHD is SEVERELY over-diagnosed and over-medicated.

My son is on meds after YEARS of struggling to live without them. Our goal (his and mine) is a life WITHOUT meds!

Someday, I know he'll be there!
post #138 of 142
myboysmom I'd like to hear some of your thoughts for choosing meds finally for your boy. we're struggling with this due to ds's self esteem drooping big time. Since this might not fit with the thread's intent, you can pm me, or I guess I could ask it over in Health.
post #139 of 142
I think in our society there seems to be much pressure for kids to behave a certain way, to fit in, to follow certain schedules... I don't know, why is it considered normal for a kid to sit in a class 6 hours per day?

There is no "too quiet and well behaved to be true" syndrome, is it?
post #140 of 142
Thread Starter 
Nope! There is no "Extreme Obedience Disorder", "Always-Conforms-to-Social-Norms Disorder", or "Persistent Thinking-Adults-Always-Know-Best Syndrome." (These "illnesses" do exist; they are just not seen as problematic. I think they are the most serious and debilitating of all the childhood disorders.)
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