|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||57.14%|
|A complete scam made up by schools and doctors||22||100.00%|
|Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll|
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.
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!
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.....
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...?
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.
|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?|
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.
|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!
There is no "too quiet and well behaved to be true" syndrome, is it?
Wow, this thread is old! I havent had time to read all of it, but i didnt agree with any of the definitions on the poll.
My understanding so far, is that ADHD is a collection of symptoms, that if found in a child, are usually symptoms that interfere with learning at school. The symptoms are different from person to person, and sometimes contradict each other. For eg, some children with adhd talk too much, and are highly verbal, others with adhd, dont talk enough and have spoken and receptive language difficulties. 60% of children diganosies with adhd, also have co morbid language difficulties.
Some children with adhd/add have similar problems at home and at school, others only have the problems at home, or only at school. (i cant think of any other disease where symptoms only present in one environement, but hey)
So i think that adhd is a sydrome, that has conflicting symptoms, and that sometime in the future, genuine diagnosis can be made which accurately describes causes but at this time, there is mostly confusion.
Its a syndrome-not a disease.
I wanted to add, that an adhd diagnosis will only be made if there is impairment. So if symptoms are not present at home, but inattention exists at school-its a problem, its impairment, so that will contribute to a diagnosis. If however, the symptoms appear at home, but are manageable by a patient mother (me for eg), but such symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity, oppositional behavior, transitional difficulties,etc, are not present at school, no diagnosis is necessary....
I voted "other." My son has ADHD and a tics disorder. The books ADHD: What Every Parent Wants to Know and It's Nobody's Fault thoroughly impacted us. I have seen a difference in him with the way he takes in the world since he could crawl. He was different, and I could see it as a mother, he was always so much "more."
I would not call ADHD a "disease" but it is most certainly a neurobehavioral problem...before we sought out effective treatment my son couldn't sit still for a thing. In fact, the brains of ADHD kids have been found to be about 3-4 years behind that of their peers, not pathologically deviant in any way, just developmentally behind. Which makes a lot more since as to why ADHD kids tend to grow out of it.
We did everything "right" in the eyes of a crunchy mother: Natural midwife attended birth (no Pitocin I would add), extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, delayed and selective vaccines, played the audio book Raising Your Spirited Child over and over again until it was practically memorized (might I add it was audio b/c I never had a chance to sit down and read), *homeopathy (I have a bit on the bottom on this),dietary help, healthy organic foods, allergy testing and food elimination, along with a very flexible early childhood education (Waldorf)...I exhausted myself trying to "cure" something that I cannot cure with such means b/c it is a disorder.
The most freeing day for me is when my son was diagnosed and I could finally know that it wasn't anything we had done and there are very good treatments out there to include counseling, medication, and biofeedback. I left that day with a smile on my face knowing finally that I can now arm myself effectively in setting my son up for success.
Hearing people say ADHD is made up or caused by diet and parenting infuriates me. You are not going to cure a problem with neurotransmitters by eliminating tomatoes. Proper diagnosis drives proper treatment.
This piece from PBS is very helpful IMO and I am most certainly in agreement with Dr. Barley, Dodson, Jensen, and Koplewicz.
*Homeopathy-I self-diagnosed my son with ADHD around the time he was 3 1/2. I was not ready to hear it from a doctor, but I knew enough to know that developmentally and behaviorally something was wrong and he fit the criteria. I experimented with homeopathy with little success. I think if anything natural would work for some ADHD kids, homeopathy makes the most sense, b/c the medications used to treat ADHD are generally stimulants. Thus, the same principle in pharmaceuticals is being applied as it would with a homeopathic remedy "like cures like."