Adhd - 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 57.14%
A complete scam made up by schools and doctors 22 100.00%
Other 45 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-21-2002, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you think? Does the "disease" exist? Have any of your kids had experience being drugged or narrowly escaping it?
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Old 08-23-2002, 12:49 AM
 
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One of my daughters has been diagnosed with ADD (not hyperactive type) and does take medication. It's not our only recourse, but we feel that it's what's best for her and our family at this time. I have it as well, though it hasn't been formally diagnosed. Once Alec has weaned I will probably seek out medication as well. I hate living like this and until recently didn't know that other people don't live like I do. It sucks.

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Old 08-23-2002, 01:19 AM
 
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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.
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Old 08-23-2002, 03:44 AM
 
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I voted "other." As a teacher, I know it definitely does exist but is certainly overdiagnosed as a "catch all." I wouldn't call it a disease of the brain, though. Much more complex than that if it's really ADhD.

Peace
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Old 08-23-2002, 11:03 AM
 
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YOu guys are right, it's not a disease. It is a different way of thinking, a different way for the brain to act. However, it's not like these kids start exhibiting the behaviors only when school starts. Even if my daughter were homeschooled she would still be on medication. I think that if you don't live with it every day in your life, you can't fully understand what it's like. It sucks!

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Old 08-23-2002, 11:11 AM
 
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I know that school doesn't create it (or that it doesn't just appear when they start school), but don't you think that the behavior required for school (sitting still for long periods, being quiet, active listening, waiting in line, etc) makes the behaviors more pronounced? That was my impression. Also, I think that it's harder to diagnose in a very young child, because many of the behaviors are natural ones for young children. I hope I'm not offending, or way off the mark, TwinnMom, as I don't know anyone personally. These were just my impressions from the information that I have been taught about it.
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Old 08-23-2002, 03:45 PM
 
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It's just so complex when it's truly ADD or ADhD. But, we have to fill out a huge checklist, as does the parent before the child can even be tested. THe scorer looks for matches in the behavior at home and at school. I've never spoken w/a parent who was caught unawares. Most approach me at the beginning of the year b/c they're frustrated and not sure what's going on w/their child's behavior. Incidentally, some of those kids are also the sweetest, brightest, and most lovable kids in my classes.

There are prob. a million different conditions that lead to ADhD like "symptoms" and it's just really hard to figure out what's really the issue, though! But, the families w/true ADhD have nothing in common; ie. come from all sorts of value systems, etc.

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Old 08-23-2002, 04:48 PM
 
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Sure, sitting in school, etc. does make the behavior more pronounced. In our case, my daughter isn't hyperactive. Her problem is a lack of focus and attention. It's plainly visible whether she's doing homework, sitting in class, playing on the playground, or doing a gymnastics class. She can't play family games without having to constantly be reminded when it's her turn or being told to come back to the game instead of rolling around on the floor or examining a bug she found in the corner. She makes me nervous when she's riding her bike because she'll forget what she's doing or get entranced with the cracks in the sidewalk and run into things. Team sports are not even an option for her. Give her a book or a GAmeboy, though, and the house could collapse around her without her noticing.

It's a very misunderstood condition. I'm not offended by your questions at all; I'd love to help other people understand children with attention problems. There are so many misconceptions!

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Old 08-23-2002, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I believe in a child's right to decide for herself whether medication is the right thing...if that's what she wants, it should be available to her. But in high school, I knew many kids who faked the diagnosis just to get the drugs, and then they sold them at school.

I do not believe in forced drugging of children. Teachers need to learn to work with all types of children rather than demanding they all fit into a certain mold.

Many children who have been diagnosed (in a 5-minute visit with someone they have never met, who doesn't bother to evaluate the child's school) do poorly in school but very well at things that interest them.
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Old 08-23-2002, 06:43 PM
 
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If a child has been diagnosed in 5 minutes, her parents need to get another diagnosis. My daughter was diagnosed after a long battery of written questions for both parents and her teachers. The psychologist had interviews with her teachers, her school counselor, and dh and I. He wanted to know every detail of her life from conception through the present time. She was observed by 2 psychologists (unknown to her) while she played in their playroom. She had a full physical at our family doctor before any of this. Believe me, we agonized long and hard over what to do, or if we even *needed* to do anything. Meanwhile, she was coming home crying, begging me not to send her to school because the other kids made fun of her. They called her "Space Kate" because she couldn't keep a focus on conversations with them, much less what was going on in class. She couldn't finish her school work and had hours of homework every night (no, I didn't make her do it). This is an extremely intelligent girl, in the gifted program, very bright and friendly and kind...but she couldn't show it. Her medication has helped her immensely.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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Old 08-23-2002, 08:59 PM
 
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This subject is so interesting! In the UK far fewer chidlren are diagnosed wiht ADHD, although sadly the trend is upwards. It shocks me how many children are diagnosed here in the US, they cannot surely all be really ADHD?!!

It's interesting that the brains of children with ADHD diagnoses have been shown to be different to their peers - the parts used for concentration etc are smaller. But nobody knows if this is a cause of ADHD or a result of the child not 'exercising' that part of the brain enough - we do know that the brain thrives (and grows) from 'exercising' it. I don't know if professionals will ever agree about the nature of ADHD.

I worked with hundreds of young people over the years, many with special needs. I saw children un-diagnosed and even taken off drugs once they went in classes with teachers who handled them well - thier 'condition' improved to the point of being absolutely non-existent. I'm not sayign that this would be the case for all chidlren, but I do believe that if the classroom environment met the needs of young children better, there would be a minimal number with the symptoms of ADHD.

AFter all, most young children should show the symptoms - they are not supposed to concentrate for long stretches of time, and they are supposed to be active learners!! Duh.

As an aside, I even knew a child who was drugged because his mother received disability benefit because of her son's 'condition'. She managed to wind him up before every appt with the consultant and persuade him that the child was ADHD. In fact, she needed the medication more than her son did. It still haunts me that nobody would listen to me and take a look at the family rather than drug the poor little boy.

I could go on, but it really bugs me to think that adults would drug chidlren to make them fit into a model that is not suited to a child. I"m not saying that this is true of all the children diagnosed with ADHD, or of your children here, but I've seen it to be true of many, many children in the system.

Edited to add that these drugs are stronger than cocaine. Everybody gets upset about illegal drug use, yet it is perfectly legal to drug large numbers of very young children just for the convenience of adults. Ironic, isn't it?

(I"ll stress again that I am talking of the majority of children with ADHD diagnoses, not all of them, and certainly not those discussed by parents here. Don't want to be taken as dismissing anybody's real and very valid experiences!)
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Old 08-24-2002, 12:43 AM
 
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I have several perspectives on this: one as a therapist in community mental health, one as a parent, and another as a consultant to Headstart. I agree that it is a mulifaceted issue; diagnosis should come from a very thorough assessment, not a 5 min. visit to the doctor (more like what Twinmom is describing should be the norm). I believe there are "true" cases of what looks like attention deficit. The disorder is one of regulating oneself (that's why issues like attention span and impulsivity are the hallmark). There are many causes. Poor attachment in infancy, trauma, and neglect can actually cause changes in brain chemistry, leading to the symptoms of ADHD. Bipolar disorder can appear to look like ADHD. Also, just a general difference in the way a child or grownup thinks (not related to any trauma or mental illness) can look like ADHD. That's why thorough asssessment is so important.

Brain scans have actually identified differences in the brains of children with ADHD.

Many kids in Headstart from multi-stressed families bear the appearance of ADHD. However it is hard to be calm, relaxed and self-regulating when your family has a myriad of problems.

I think there is a subset of kids who are very bright, well attached, and still have problems with self regulation. Some call them spirited children, "difficult children", "challenging or high needs" children. When the schools get them, they are often wanting to label them as ADHD. My son is one of these. We struggle with whether to go the route of labeling. He is truly a challenging child and would meet criteria for ADHD. Yet he was breastfed, co-slept, loving guidance, etc.

It is a complex issue, and one that is luckily getting a lot of research.

 
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Old 08-24-2002, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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About the brain scans...were they done on kids who had been drugged? The drugs alter the chemistry of the brain, and that will show up on a scan. All brains "look different" from all other brains.

TwinMom, it sounds like your dd got a thorough evaluation from a caring person. It's too bad that kind of care is not available for all children.
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Old 08-24-2002, 08:51 AM
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I voted other as well.

One of my first nanny jobs was for a family of 4 boys. 2 of them had been diagnosed with ADD. The oldest was 13 and the youngest just three. The youngest started medication a few months after I was hired. He was out of control before the medication. He hit, kicked, spit, cursed, and tried stabbing his older brother with a screwdriver. The last straw was when he bit me on the arm. A week after that his mom and dad took him to see a doctor and he came back with meds. The turn around was UNBELIEVABLE! He went from a child who was out of control, frustrated, couldn't concentrate, was moody, to a sweet little boy who was able to focus on tasks and learn well.

I believe it exists, and is so sad for children and families going through it, but I also agree it is overdiagnosed WAY to much, and I think some children are put on it simply because they are "different". In my jobs case I believe it was NEEDED.

PS- because they were afraid of his violent behavior(which stopped after starting meds) they would lock him in his room at night so everyone could sleep without fear. So sad...
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Old 08-24-2002, 04:06 PM
 
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there was a show on PBS a couple of years ago about a principal in texas who started working at a new school. while reviewing his students records he noticed a very high number of add/adha kids at his school. upon further investigation he saw most of these diagnosis were teacher initiated. what his theory was these kids did have a deficite of attention. his solution was to increase his teacher to student ratio and add more activities for the kids. the children who required medication was drastically reduced.
i don't have the name of the program or any collaborating research, but i notice with my three, when they begin to act out of control i try to increase my involvement and interaction.
if a child is out of control, i can appreciate the desire for help. i just can't help wondering if there is a connection between drugs at birth, drugs for childhood symptoms and drug abuse as a teen ager and alchoholism/ drug addiction in adulthood.
i wont even start on my theories on early vaccination and childhood ailments.
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Old 08-25-2002, 12:14 AM
 
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yes, familyman, I was going to add that too, that adhd has dramatically increased since the number of compulsory vaccinations has gone up (in the 1960's and 70's). But that is probably a topic more for the vaccination board.....

 
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Old 08-25-2002, 12:30 AM
 
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ok, well what about all the cr*p in food these days?

They watch tons of tv and play videogames, eat junkfood, spend time w/o parents, and have lots of preservatives, etc. from mass vax.

hmmmm

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Old 08-25-2002, 02:49 AM
 
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Greaseball - I am sure that the children who have been scanned in the research into brain differences in ADHD children were not on drugs, otherwise the research would be invalid.

One piece of research was by Castellanos in 1996. He found that the right prefrontal cortex and two basal ganglia (which help to regulate attention) are smaller in children diagnosed with ADHD than in their peers. A region of the cerebellum which regulates motivational levels is also smaller in these ADHD children.

However, the question remains, whether or not the differences are due to a genetic factor, or due to lack of use of those parts of the brain, for whatever myriad of reasons. If a part of the brain is not used, it does not develop.

I think the hyphotheses that the increasing numbers of children with ADHD symptoms being due to a combination of diet, exposure to TV and technology and today's 'fast' way of living, make sense. The problem is compounded by the unreasonable expectations of children in many classrooms. I believe that the popularity of computer games, for example, that encourage and reward impulsive behaviours are a contributing factor in many cases.

A lot of research is taking place, but the jury is out at the moment regarding whether this is a genetic or social condition. Whatever the 'experts' finally decide, in my opinion the answer should not lie with drugs, but with making the environment fit the needs of the child. I"m not criticising anyone for using the drugs to help their child if a proper diagnosis has taken place, but I do think that more energy should be put by the experts and researchers into developing ways to work with these children rather than reach for the prescription pad.

It is ironic to consider the anti drug campaigns in schools where in some cases a third of the kids are on drugs stronger than cocaine, just to make them easier for teachers to 'control'. But of course, the drug companies have a vested interest in pushing the drugs onto children, who usually have little choice in the matter. I believe that we are making a big problem for the future as nobody knows what the long term effects will be on these millions of children takign these drugs.
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Old 08-25-2002, 03:40 AM
 
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I also voted "other". I'm a school psychologist (*shudder* ) and so I'm often asked to give this diagnosis. I personally believe that there are some true cases out there, and that the true cases are chemically induced (for whatever reason) in the brain, but that those cases are few and far between. I rarely give this diagnosis at all, and feel like I've probably seen fewer than five kids with true ADHD in the ten years I've been practicing, and I never suggest to a parent that s/he medicate his/her child. Whether I not I think it's the viable option, I'm not versed in the side effects. But I will say that when a child is truly ADHD, it seems to work pretty darn well. The titration is very scary to me though. It's such guess work and so fraught.

Interestingly Lauren, I totally agree with you about the bipolar/ADHD link and it's a really hot topic in the medical and educational settings currently. They're also linked to autistic spectrum. But I'm sure you know that.

I fully expect to receive the medication phone call from my ds's kindergarten teacher a few weeks into the school year when he starts school (he's 3 now). I have no intention of telling them what my occupation is, and I know he's not ADHD, but boy-oh-boy, he certainly is spirited and assertive and spunky, and those traits often don't go over very well in the school setting. More of those things we cherish in adulthood that we also don't find very convenient in childhood. :

Leah
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Old 08-25-2002, 03:46 AM
 
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Sidenote: I had a beautiful little girl in my K class this year who was diagnosed w/ADhD and bipolar disorder. Parents chose not to medicate and are trying a lot of alternative methods to help her.
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Old 08-25-2002, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BritishMum - Most people who undergo "brain scans" to "prove" some sort of "mental illness" have already been taking toxic drugs. This includes testing for ADHD, schizophrenia and depression. The tests are invalid, and would be even if the individuals were not on drugs, because all brains vary from all others, and things like sexual abuse, violence, and other emotional trauma all cause "different patterns" in the brain.

I worked in a mental health clinic for years, and saw massive improvement in everyone who stopped their medications, no matter what their diagnosis.

Of course, I think drugs should be available for those who want them...for THEMSELVES!
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Old 08-26-2002, 02:55 AM
 
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Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of people who are having problems and aren't really in a position to judge for themselves whether they want/need medication. This includes people who are too sick to know and people who are too young to know. Still, that might be okay if the lack of medication only affected them, but where it is acted out in violence or other disruptive behaviors, I believe there are times when parents have to step in.

BTW, my belief with ADD and ADHD is also that some very real cases exist that are helped by medication. However, I think the majority of cases are misdiagnosed, and the majority of these are more problems with the school system and what it expects than problems with the child's behavior.
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:40 AM
 
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Well I only have experience with adult ADD (my dh) and in our case we are going to try medication (he's going to follow up appointments after a 12 page questionaire and a therapist appt in October). For *us* all the tips and tricks to help out with remembering just doesn't do enough (making charts, I try to remind him of things very often and not get mad, using a whiteboard for "to do's" ect). I really believe the medication isn't going to "fix" him, but is a tool to help us along. If children or adults with ADD or ADD/HD can use tools besides medication (including natural remedies, which if anyone wants to let me know of some I'd love to know of them) then waaaay more power to them!!

And also I don't see ADD as this horrible thing (well sometimes when I've been begging him to take out the trash for a week that changes) all the time. Dh can hyper focus on things like working on computers, woodworking, ect...

He's currently reading a book on ADD/HD and the author was making a point that perhaps ADD isn't a disease but rather just a different way the brain functions. Back in hunter and gathering times, it would really benefit a hunter to have ADD and have that hyperfocus on his prey. To not get distracted by other people or things... Of course, from what I've heard/learned I think children tend to get easily distracted, and my dh does the opposite. He gets caught up into watching tv, being on the computer, ect and when I talk he sometimes doesn't even hear me (seriously!). Of course he does have plenty of times where his mind wanders and I don't know how that would figure into a hunter lifestyle...

But its kinda cool to think that there is a *reason* for my dh being this way as opposed to thinking something is wrong with him.

But still, for our marital sanity we've choosen to try medication. Hope it helps for us

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 08-26-2002, 07:29 PM
 
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"Most people who undergo "brain scans" to "prove" some sort of "mental illness" have already been taking toxic drugs. This includes testing for ADHD, schizophrenia and depression. The tests are invalid, and would be even if the individuals were not on drugs, because all brains vary from all others, and things like sexual abuse, violence, and other emotional trauma all cause "different patterns" in the brain."

Greaseball - I agree with you - the differences in the brain between children diagnosed with ADHD and their peers could be caused by many things. My personal conclusion, after a lot of reading on the subject, is that the brain differences are probably caused by the lack of use of the parts of the brain rather than a genetic difference. (ie 'use it or lose it')

The lack of use could be due to any number of reasons - and in each person they would be different. In many ADHD children, however, I would think the reasons would be tied up with early experiences that encourage impulsive non-attentive behaviours - eg computer use and TV watching. Of course, there could be a genetic disposition to make it more likely that one child would become ADHD having had the same experiences as another child with a different genetic makeup.

The particular piece of research that I'm talking about was on about 100 children, and although I can't find reference to medication, I believe that they were newly diagnosed and not using any drugs at the stage when they were studied. Of course, all brains differ, but the findings in this study were that there were clear patterns in the size and development of specific areas of the brain that were common to the children with ADHD, despite individual differences.

I also agree strongly with Hydrangea that the problems often lie with a system that expects behavoiurs of children that are simply not reasonable and developmentally appropriate - hence the successes that some teachers have with ADHD chidlren when they present a curriculum in an appropriate way.
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Old 08-27-2002, 12:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by hydrangea
Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of people who are having problems and aren't really in a position to judge for themselves whether they want/need medication. This includes people who are too sick to know and people who are too young to know. Still, that might be okay if the lack of medication only affected them, but where it is acted out in violence or other disruptive behaviors, I believe there are times when parents have to step in.
I am quoting myself because I think I may have been misunderstood by someone. I am basing this mostly on what I know of violent schizophrenic adults (I know schizophrenia is very different from add/adhd, but I am using this as an example because of the medicine). I know what I know mostly from NPR and from my mother who used to work with schizophrenics and from a friend who's stepson (adult) is schizophrenic. Not all schizophrenics have violent tendencies, but some do, and sometimes the ones who do refuse to take their medicine and then commit violent acts, even murder. Medicine can help them. Possibly there are other ways, and ideally each of these people would have some sort of counselor who was there for them at all times, who would really work with them, etc. But I tend to trust what I've heard that sometimes these people need medication, even though they don't want to take it.

I think in rare cases there are children who need medicine for ADD and ADHD and some of these children can be are destructive to themselves and/or others without their medicine. I personally don't know anyone like this, but I am assuming from anecdotes that there are some children like this. The child might be to young or too sick to understand that the medicine helps to keep them safe, in which case, a parent may decide that the child should take it. I do believe in these cases (as in all cases) that a parent needs to keep the lines of communication open, to be aware of how the medicine affects the child, how the child feels about taking the medicine, whether there are alternative therapies out that might help, etc., etc.

If my opinion needs further clarification, please let me know.
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Old 08-27-2002, 11:13 AM
 
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I think what's wonderful about this discussion is that it mirrors how complex this topic is (and should be). Simplistic answers are never totally useful (although they can be temporarily comforting!) The question of ADHD, brain chemistry should be considered by professionals as an extremely complex discussion, rather than the often seen "let's try this medication, and if it works, your child probably has ADHD."

I think ADHD can come from so many different variables. Everyone is right! Trauma is known to create changes in brain chemistry. Poor attachment through neglect, abuse, etc., which is experienced by the baby/toddler as trauma, literally does change the brain and this is documented. Added to that is family history of birth parents who may have undiagnosed mental illnesses. In well cared for children there are still incidences of ADHD. Then there is the "use it or lose" phenomenon. And the idea that video games and other things like it will cause the part of the brain that is already over functioning to continue to strengthen, while the creative, imaginative part of the brain suffers entropy. Throw on some preservatives, vaccines, junk food, school emphasis on sitting and writing, and you have the recipe for disaster.

HOpefully, through parents getting more educated, we can challenge the parts of the system that go too fast for the easy answer. Bravo to LianmEmma who is right there "in the system" and refusing to bow to the pressure to diagnose. I'm sure the pressure is intense.

I wanted to tell Lisa Lynn that there are natural remedies that seem to be helpful. The Omega oils (essential fatty acids) have been helpful to lots of people. You can research this online. Also, we have never pursued the homeopathic approach for my son's ADD tendencies (tho' we use homeopathy for lots of other things) but I've heard it is helpful. The Omega oils have definitely helped my son.

Tomorrow is the first day of school here in our town!!

 
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mothering has some great articles about Ritalin and ADHD in some of the back issues. I've donated them all to the WIC office, but I'm sure they're online somewhere!

I've been reading a lot of books by Dr. Breggin, a psychiatrist who has been in practice 20 years and who is also a teacher at Harvard Medical school. And, most important of all, he's a parent! He's a different kind of shrink in that he does not force his clients to take drugs and he's totally against drugging children. One particularly good point he had was that Ritalin affects all children who take it, not just the ones who have been diagnosed, and that the same is true of antidepressants, antipsychotics and other drugs.

There was a study done about using "talk therapy" in place of drugs for violent schizophrenics (as if they are somehow more of a problem than other violent people!). It was effective, but many times more expensive than drugs. I used it a lot where I worked and it was great! There was one time when I had to physically restrain someone but since I did not allow anyone to drug her I was able to talk to her and tell her what was happening (she had accidentally ingested LSD) she calmed down quickly.

One of the county mental health docs gave a presentation about Ritalin and he was talking about how helpful it was to parents and teachers, and I asked him "How do the children feel about it?" That was met with a blank stare, and then he said "Interesting question, I don't know, no one has ever asked that before!" So I showed him all these interviews with children who said "This medication makes me feel weird" and stuff like that, and the presentation took a very different turn! Basically it got ruined, but the doctor actually looked happy!
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:45 PM
 
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Greaseball, that's some interesting information. Thank you for sharing it. I'll try to check out something by Breggin at some point.

I found a conversation on the unschooling.com boards about add and all it's variations that you might find interesting. It's at http://www.unschooling.com/discus/me...st2820020323pm

Of course it's from an unschooling perspective and this is the public schooling board, so forgive me if I've overstepped my boundaries.
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Old 08-29-2002, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The books I was reading are Toxic Psychiatry, Reclaiming Our Children, Talking Back to Ritalin, and Your Drug May Be Your Problem.

Also, there is www.breggin.com

I don't know when Ritalin was invented, but I'm only 23 and somehow managed not to be on it. In middle school I was constantly an annoyance, pulling leaves off teachers' plants, climbing on top of file cabinets, banging on doors and running away, etc. I got expelled and moved out of state to live with my dad and went to a different school. That helped some. Later I tried Ritalin recreationally and hated it!

No one, however, asked "Why does this child feel the need to act out in such extreme ways? Can't she find a more positive way to get attention?" I think that really was the key.
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Old 09-01-2002, 05:15 AM
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I didn't do the poll because I'm sick of the question. I think someone else pointed out here that schizophrenia, like AD/HD, is a disease that's diagnosed by a set of symptoms. You never hear people saying schizophrenia isn't real. I'm pretty sure tourrettes and OCD are diagnosed by their symptom's, but most people believe they are real diseases. And tourrettes and OCD share many similarites with AD/HD.

And it isn't just a behavior problem. Many people with AD/HD also have other ld's and most have problems writing.

And that whole tv/computer argument bothers me too. My ds has very involved parents who didn't own a computer when he was small. His tv was limited. He's still ADHD, just like his daddy and his grandma (who, by the way, grew-up without tv, computers or junky food).

I do agree that vaccines and the American diet could be making those who are genetically predisposed to AD/HD exhibit much worse symptoms than they would have 50 years ago. And that's probably why we're seeing so many more people with this disorder. The same way we're seeing more kids with autism, asthma and dyslexia.

And by the way, my ds is homeschooled and he's still ADHD. He doesn't take medication at home, but he couldn't have survived in a public school setting without it. Not everybody can homeschool, so I don't blame anyone who makes the choice to medicate. My dh has chosen to take ritalin and it has changed his life. And as far as becoming addicted- I'm sure it will never happen. He's been taking it for three years, but he will sometimes go a month or two without it because he can't remember to get his perscription refilled!
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