Adhd - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: What is ADHD?
A brain disease to be treated with drugs 10 100.00%
A brain disease to be treated by natural remedies 10 100.00%
Something caused by the family 10 100.00%
Something caused by the schools 4 66.67%
A complete scam made up by schools and doctors 21 100.00%
Other 45 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 142 Old 09-08-2002, 06:28 PM
 
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Raven67, I'd love to see sources for your claim that, "We already know that kids treated with stimulants are more likely to become smokers and take other drugs during adolesence." The studies I've seen all show the exact opposite--kids who take meds for ADD have a *lower* rate of drug abuse as teenagers.
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#62 of 142 Old 09-08-2002, 08:24 PM
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I don't remember the names of the studies but I know all of the research I found, when the school tried to force Ds on meds, backed up what Raven said. Children on ADD/ADHD meds had a much higher rate of drug and alcohol abuse in their teen years.
I've also read that there is a huge market (in middle and high school especially) for ADHD meds and that many kids prescribed the meds are sellign them instead fo taking them, or older sibling are stealing the meds and selling. Prescription ADHD meds are now supposedly the biggest selling drug on middle and high school campuses.
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#63 of 142 Old 09-08-2002, 09:11 PM
 
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I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the issue of ADHD meds causing increased drug use as teens. I found the following at http://groups.google.com/groups?q=AD...net.com&rnum=3


"CHICAGO -- Hyperactive boys who were treated with stimulants such as
Ritalin were one-third, as likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs as
teenagers than similar boys who had not been treated.

Authors of a study involving 212 boys - including 75 with
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD - said the findings
should help allay concerns that giving children potentially addictive
drugs such as Ritalin may promote harmful habits later.

An estimated 3 million schoolage children have ADHD. Up to half may be
taking Ritalin or other stimulants, researchers say.

"There has been a mythology that the use of these medications could
'prime' children to become addicts in the future or could develop 'a
culture of drug taking,' " said Joseph Biederman of Massachusetts
General Hospital, lead author of the study."

I found more sites as well. I did a google search for "ADHD drug use teen" and looked on the groups site. Lots of info there.

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#64 of 142 Old 09-08-2002, 09:47 PM
 
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I would refer anyone seeking info about stimulant use leading to other drug abuse to a terrific book on the subject, Breggin, P. (1998) "Talking Back to Ritalin." There is a chapter in there about this issue.

Greaseball, if you are a Peter Breggin fan, you will love this book. It is all about exposing the Ritalin pushers, examines the efficacy studies, the brain studies, etc...
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#65 of 142 Old 09-09-2002, 12:24 AM
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ADD/ADHD/Violence/Drug Addiction & Psychotropic Drugs

This article mentions several published doccuments, health agency reports etc. that name the risk factors/drug addiction links with Ritalin/ADD
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#66 of 142 Old 09-09-2002, 12:57 AM
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Ritalin and Adderall are 2 of the most abused prescription drugs in the country:

Commonly abused prescription drugs in the US. (Brand names in brackets):

Opiates ("Narcotics")
Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Tylox)
Hydrocodone (Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin aka Vicodan)
Meperidine (Demerol, Mepergan)

Stimulants ("Uppers")
Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
Amphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall)

Sedative-hypnotics ("Downers")
Diazepam (Valium)
Alprazolam (Xanax aka Zanax)
Lorazepam (Activan)

this is according to

Schick-Shadel Hospitals Drug treatment program




Ritalin addiction is real


40% of Ritalin presriptions are written for Preschool age children according to Partnership for a Drug Free America

Recreational use of Ritalin Rising

UN Study ... Too many kids are taking Ritalin


DEA ... Ritalin has a high potential for abuse and addiction



DEA congressional testimony on ADD medication use and abuse According to the above link 4000 prescriptions for ADD meds are writen for 2 yr olds per year although the medications are not reccomended for children under the age of 6. the above link also give info on state rank accoriding to Adderall and Ritalin prescriptions.
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#67 of 142 Old 09-09-2002, 03:18 AM
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There is also a cancer medication that is commonly abused. I think the deal is that some people abuse drugs. When I was in highschool kids used or sold their parents pain meds. That didn't mean the parents weren't having real pain. That didn't mean pain meds cause drug abuse.

My dh takes ritalin. It works well for him when he can remember to take it. And if he remembers to go to the dr. to get his perscription every month (he has to see his doc every month to get the perspcription). He forgets to both frequently. How can that be if it is such a highly addictive drug? My mom tried it but it made her nervous so she quit (though it was the only time in my life I ever had a conversation with her without her forgetting what we were discussing or getting distracted and walking away). Again, didn't get addicted. My ds took it for two years. It helped him be able to write and to concentrate and he enjoyed school when he took meds. But I still didn't like him taking it, so now we homeschool. He never, ever asked me for his meds. He never snuck any or took extra or complained when he quit taking it. Didn't get addicted.

Ritalin abuse is caused by drug abusers- and they're probably taking lots of other stuff besides ritalin.

Again, people with ADHD are not just ADHD at school. It affects their whole lives. It sucks that they have to keep proving their disorder exists. Wether it's caused by vaccs, allergies, genetics, birth trauma or the American diet- it still exists.
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#68 of 142 Old 09-09-2002, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Raven - Notice that "Gradumet" might sound like "Graduate" to some? ("Grad" and "meth"?) I'm sure the drug companies knew exactly what they were doing with that one!

Yes, I used to buy Ritalin from high schoolers. Fortunately I hated it. I think the "Ritalin prevents drug abuse" is used by doctors to scare parents. As if giving a child meth can stop her from smoking. I don't know any parents of drug addicts who say "If only i'd have forced him to take meth when he was six! Then maybe now he wouldn't be addicted to meth!"
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#69 of 142 Old 09-10-2002, 11:58 PM
 
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Greaseball, I just want to let you know that I think you have set a record here on the public school board, for starting the thread that has gotten the most responses, views and pages of any former public school thread!!

 
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#70 of 142 Old 09-11-2002, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Ritalin abuse is caused by drug abusers- and they're probably taking lots of other stuff besides ritalin.
HUH???
Ritalin abuse is caused by an addiction to the drug ... yes folks a schedule II narcotic (schedule II narcotics are the ones considered highly addictive).

A little side note ....

One of the children I mentioned briefly that is on med was in my home yesterday. I've know this child since he was 3, and I was always amazed at how he could concentrate on things, and complete task at a younger age than his peers. He has always had social issues (that I contribute to an over crowded in home day care he was in from 6 weeks until 3 1/2, when the mother wised up and realized how her son was being neglected). At around age 8 the school insisted he had turrets. He when through a battery of psychological and neurological test and the only problem they found was vision. He did have some annoying habits, such as he couldn't start writing until he blew on his pencil, among other odd habits. I really think they dropped the ball and missed a great example of OCD in a child, but from what I have read it is easily missed in children or miss diagnosed as ADD. Fast forward to a year later and his habits began to disrupt his ability to do his school work, the school told the mother he was ADD after they did a hearing test and the person who did the test said he was ADD. The mother had him put on meds within a couple of weeks. He has been on meds for 3 years now. The meds never seemed to affect him, and at times seemed to make him worse (or at least he was better when not on the meds such as during school breaks). Now they have increased his Adderall to the point where he has gained a great deal of weight, can't sleep or eat and is depressed. You know what his mother said," He doesn't bother me all the time now, the meds must be working".
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#71 of 142 Old 09-11-2002, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, usually when a child shows the worst kind of drug side effects, the parents and teachers see it as an improvement.

Gained weight on Adderall? Interesting, I've never heard of that as a side effect. Some kids, after showing "bizarre behavior" on Adderall or Ritalin, are given antipsychotics, which frequently cause weight gain.

I haven't paid attention to how many people have viewed this. I don't spend too much time in the Education forum, but I think I will. It looks interesting!
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#72 of 142 Old 09-12-2002, 02:31 AM
 
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Raven - you said that "There is no valid research whatsoever that finds the brains of ADHD subjects are substantially different in structure or function before diagnosis and medication."

I believe that research has shown that there is a difference between brains of ADHD diagnosed children and their peers. In 1996 a study by Castellanos et al showed that in ADHD children the right prefrontal cortex and two basal ganglia are smaller in children diagnosed with ADHD than in their peers and a region of the cerebellum, is also smaller in ADHD children. I don't think this is the only such research - I believe that others have had similar findings. I also find no reference to these chidlren already being drugged, I believe that they were newly diagnosed when the study took place. (I stand to be corrected if I"m wrong and they were already drugged, in which case their findings would be worthless in my opinion.)

Of course, we can draw our own conclusions from such research - there is no proof that these differences are caused by 'ADHD' - they could be a result simply of underuse of those areas of the brain. And the lack of use could be caused by any number of factors, as have been mentioned here. And there could well be a genetic factor that predisposes somebody to underuse these attentional skills in childhood and therefore develop the ADHD symptoms.

Well done, Greaseball - you should visit education more often and get the discussions going!
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#73 of 142 Old 09-12-2002, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Childhood traumas have been shown to change brain chemistry. This is particularly true of sexual abuse.

In one study, a guy's brain was scanned, and then he was asked to recall a sad time in his life. As he did that, the picture changed!

Other doctors have stated that the same person's brain can look different at different times of the day.

And, of course, illegal drug use (or legal drug abuse, for that matter, such as alcohol and prescription narcotics) would leave a mark as well.
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#74 of 142 Old 09-14-2002, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sha_lyn


HUH???
Ritalin abuse is caused by an addiction to the drug ... yes folks a schedule II narcotic (schedule II narcotics are the ones considered highly addictive).
What I mean by that is that when you read that ritalin is one of the most widley abused drugs around (though apparantly it isn't anymore. I've heard it's now an over the counter hormone) they're talking about people selling and taking it illegally. As I mentioned in my post, when my own family members took it for various lengths of timeas perscribed, none of them became addicted. In fact, none of them could even remember to take it on their own. And you don't forget your addictions.

There are many, many drugs that are abused. Is it the fault of that new pain med. for cancer that it is abused? Should docs. no longer perscribe it because some choose to abuse it?

And I have to say again, why are tourettes and ODC believalble but not ADHD? All can only be diagnosed by a set of symptoms and all involve problems with controlling emotions and impulses.

It is so hard for the parents of ADHD kids to constantly hear it suggested that we are just lazy or otherwise bad parents. Especially when we've been to four or five doctors and other types of healers to get help for our child. Especially when we become convinced it must be true if eveyone says so- it is our fault. So we try diet and suppliments and behavior mods and most of it doesn't help at all and, in fact, only makes our kids resent us. And if we should use medication- well then, we're "dopeing" them.

I'll tell you this, when I read that list of symptoms for ADHD, I was sure I'd be able to laugh at it. I planned to take it to work so my co-workers and I could laugh at it togethor. Of course kids are fidgety and don't listen. That's just kids. But then I read the list. And it wasn't a list, it was a description of my ds. He didn't just fit some of the list some of the time -with the exception of one trait, that list was him. I couldn't see how all his quirks and his tempermant could be written down by a stranger.

So I get defensive and angery when I see people laughing at that list of symptoms and saying, "What kid doesn't fit these things sometimes" and never asking " Do some kids fit all these things all the time. If so, why do they? And how much more difficult does this make thier lives?"

And to not live with it every day and then second guess the choices of those of us who do just stinks.
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#75 of 142 Old 09-14-2002, 01:42 AM
 
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Ivy - I can understand your frustration, but I don't believe that anybody here is saying that ADHD is not real or difficult for those genuine cases. Personally, I am not convinced about the real causes of ADHD and am trying to learn more from discussions like this, but that does not mean that I doubt what you and other parents say about their experiences.

However, the reality is that there must be something wrong when increasing numbers of children are diagnosed with ADHD and drugged as a treatment without any further investigation into other possible causes.

I don't think people are laughing either - I don't find ADHD remotely amusing. I think it is a serious issue that warrants close scrutiny and analysis. To drug children with no real reason is child abuse, and that is what is happening to millions of children on a daily basis. That is not to say that I doubt your experience or the difficulties of your child. But professionals need to debate the nature of this ADHD epidemic, or the numbers will continue to rise and more children will suffer because they don't fit a system that is not appropriate for them in the first place.
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#76 of 142 Old 09-14-2002, 01:51 AM
 
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Greaseball - you are right that experiences affect the results of brain scans. That's why I don't believe that the research I quote shows that ADHD is caused by a brain difference. I believe that the brain difference is real, but that it could be caused by any number of factors, not least by the lack of use of these parts of the brain in early childhood.

My personal feeling is that there is probably a genetic predisposition that makes one child vulnerable to developing the symptoms of ADHD whereas another could have the same experiences and not develop the symptoms because of a different genetic makeup - ie the balance between nurture and nature differs for each child, meaing that some are more vulnerable than others. Also of course, the role modelling within the home will be of ADHd type of behaviours if a parent has the condition, meaning that the child will model on those behaviours, so leading to underdevelopment of those skills (and areas of the brain that are linked to concentration and focus)

So is the condition genetic, or learned? I'd suggest that it is probably a combination. That makes the research make sense to me - for whatever reason, those who are diagnosed wiht ADHD have underdeveloped regions of the brain. There are differences between male and female brains, so why not between those with this condition and those without?
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#77 of 142 Old 09-14-2002, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Despite its endorsement of the ADHD diagnosis, the American Academy of Pediatrics, like the National Institute of Health consensus development panel, found no convincing evidence that ADHD is biological in origin. The academy concluded that brain scans and similar studies 'do not show reliable differences between children with ADHD and controls' and that they 'do not discriminate reliably between children with and without this condition.' "

I have mixed feelings about the AAP, as do some other moms here, but some people are interested in "official" things.

(This is from Talking Back to Ritalin, Dr. Breggin, pg 24. Hope that takes care of the copyright stuff.)
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#78 of 142 Old 09-14-2002, 11:53 PM
 
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I have been unable to post on the boards for a couple days due to internal or external problems (can't figure out which!!)

Anyway, just a gentle reminder to be kind in the discussion of this extremely complex issue.

I am a mother of 2, one who would qualify for ADHD if school were given the reins and one who is more average on the continuum (both raised with strong AP). I am also a licensed clinician working with children in a mental health center. I do view this through so many different lenses, and have become humbled by how much we don't know. There is overdiagnosis. There is also a real issue for some.... please let's all be mindful of each person's individual experience. There is no black and white answer or solution for everyone.


 
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#79 of 142 Old 09-15-2002, 09:36 PM
 
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just skimming this thread, but way back there on the first page i think someone was asking about natural remedies. i know dr sears has been working on DHA supplements and ADHD. i think his site http://www.dhadoc.com/ has more info if anyone is interested.

hth,
-beanma.

p.s. i hope all of y'all that are having to deal with this will find a way that works for you.

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#80 of 142 Old 09-15-2002, 09:58 PM
 
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Just wanted to note that I agree that children labeld "ADHD" are different in that they are unusually active, reactive and distractible. I just don't agree with describing this difference as a "disease" state. It would be analogous to labeling kids who are excessively shy as diseased, or "social phobics." Factors like activity level, emotional reactivity and shyness are tempermental factors, that is, we seem to be born with a push in this direction. On the other hand, hyperactivity and emotional reactiveness are "global symptoms" of childhood. They often signal excessive anxiety or a response to trauma. Sometimes the symptoms are due to inadequate parenting, or an inadequate social/cultural milieu. But, just as often, the kid is just tempermentally different. I tested a seven-year-old the other day who was fine for about ten minutes, and then drove me bananas for the next hour. He was very fidgety and distractible. He is labeled "ADHD." I do agree that he was more active and fidgety than most kids, but I still don't see him as "diseased." Obviously, a tempermentally active kid is not going to do well in "boring" settings. He requires a lot of creative responding on the part of his parents and teachers. I hope he gets it. But, yes, I do agree these kids are challenging.
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#81 of 142 Old 09-17-2002, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Raven -

Some psych's do consider shy children to be diseased. It's sad that a child can't be a unique creation of the universe without being labeled.

When I was a kid I insisted on having my head shaved and wearing my shirts inside out and shoes that didn't match. I bet they have a name for that sort of eccentric, debilitating, sick behavior now.
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#82 of 142 Old 09-17-2002, 02:36 AM
 
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Greaseball - I've done more research and take my hat off to you - you were right, it seems that most of the children in the Castellanos study that I quoted were already being treated with drugs. This fact was omitted from the reports that I read of the study.

Thanks for the insight.
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#83 of 142 Old 09-17-2002, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Britishmun - "Talking Back to Ritalin" describes (very tediously!) exactly what Ritalin and other stimulants do to each and every area of the brain. It makes sense that these changes would be noticeable, and common with other children who had taken the drugs.

It was hard to read that chapter. Endless pages of "and here is what Ritalin does to the basal ganglia..."
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#84 of 142 Old 09-24-2002, 04:41 AM
 
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I've just skimmed through the thread and I just wanted to quickly mention my experience with my son. He had a difficult time in school. He was easily distractible, had a hard time concentrating, was physically uncoordinated and was very shy. His teacher thought he had ADHD, but the diagnosis just didn't sound right because many of these beahaviors didn't show up at school. A fellow parent at school mentioned Sensory Integration Dysfunction and we pusrsued that course. Sure enough that's what he had.
He now is undergoing occupational therapy and we are homeschooling him. The change is incredible. He is now much happier and calmer.
My point is there are a lot of other developmental difficulties out there that mimic ADHD and it's worth pursuing other avenues.
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#85 of 142 Old 09-24-2002, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"[One particular psychiatrist] claims to have located an objective, diagnostic sign for ADHD - foot tapping. According to [this guy] foot tapping or fidgeting, in and of itself, is sufficient enough to make the diagnosis:

" 'Fidgeting and foot movements are common signs of hyperactivity in ADHD patients - so much that such patients can usually be diagnosed in the waiting room by a receptionist.'

"He then goes on to say 'The reduction of the foot sign in ADHD patients may also be an indicator of the stimulant drug response.' Thus, he first diagnoses the child by the increased rate of foot tapping and then determines the medicine is working when the rate declines. It's as if there is no one attached to the foot.

"ADHD is a diagnosis that treats children as if they have no feelings, reasons or motives behind their actions...The diagnosis merely counts the number of unwanted, undesirable or irritating behaviors displayed by a child. It doesn't ask, 'Why is this particular child acting so jittery or nervous? What is the child thinking or feeling? What is the child's inner experience? What is the child responsing to?' In fact, [it] rejects any concern with the child's feelings. There isn't a single item among the ADHD criteria that requires asking a child, 'How do YOU feel?'

"Considering the joylessness of many schools with their authoritarian structures, it is fair to speculate that hyperactivity may be a normal response - indeed, even a healthy reaction - to an intolerable situation."

(Talking Back to Ritalin; Peter Breggin, MD; pgs 153-54 and 156)
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#86 of 142 Old 09-26-2002, 03:57 PM
 
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OMG Greaseball! I am an out of control foot-tapper. So is my father. Thanks for clearing that up, now we know that we're undiagnosed ADHD! LOL. I can't wait to share this with my husband whose always laughing at us - I wonder if he'll rush right out and get me some Ritalin ...though personally, I think Xanax or Valium would be more effective for our out of control feet.

I'm so glad that when I was a child we weren't diagnosing ADHD the way we are now. When teachers reported to my parents problems I was having with boredom, it could have easily been suggested that I had ADHD. I could have easily ended up taking Ritalin or the like. Whew!

I would certainly like to think that the practitioner who bases diagnosis on foot tapping is a rare example of how things are being handled.
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#87 of 142 Old 09-27-2002, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Schools also benefit from kids being diagnosed with ADD as a learning disability. The government gives schools $420 per ADD kid; state funds are also available. At a time when school budgets are being slashed to the bone, disabilities are valuable for school funding. The amount is not a lot per child per year but it does go into a common pool where it can be used in a discretionary fashion."

(Dr. Breggin, quoting journalist Trish Ready from Washington State.)
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#88 of 142 Old 09-27-2002, 10:52 PM
 
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How do the schools or government know who has ADD? My daughter has a diagnosis but does not take medication at school and is not in any kind of special ed. Well, she's in the gifted program, but so is her (nonADD) twin, but I don't think that program gets any funding. It should, but that's another vent . So, how would her school get extra funding for her?

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#89 of 142 Old 09-28-2002, 12:25 AM
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Twinmom .... if your DD isn't under treatment (meds, "special ed" )at school and the school didn't do the testing then the school probably isn't getting funding for your DD.
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#90 of 142 Old 09-28-2002, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, like she said, schools could do their own testing and refer to a certain doctor, who will make the diagnosis official. With the official documented "disability," the student then qualifies for the LD program, and the schools qualify for the funds.

Also, "special educational services" is a very broad definition that can include things like a nurse giving out a dose of Ritalin at school - a "professional health service" which "better enables the student to fulfill her learning potential."

The reason some students have trouble living up to their potential is that it may not truly be THEIR potential - it's more like an expectation of someone other than the student.
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