Archive for the ‘ADHD’ Category

Girls Next on the ADHD Agenda

December 9, 2015

 

 

 

girls-adhd

Girls didn’t wait in line to be diagnosed with ADHD. The fact that they are being diagnosed in significantly large numbers of recent times has more to do with the ever expanding definition of ADHD and less to do with markedly new trends in girls behaviour or concentration levels.

Whether you believe that ADHD is real or not is besides the point. What should shock people is the level of over prescribing that’s going on and the lack of focus in other aspects of a child’s lifestyle such as diet and sleep that may be contributing to the problem.

The last thing I want to see is an equivalent number of girls on ADHD medication to that we have currently we boys:

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder among children in the United States — and a new analysis suggests that diagnoses are on the rise. 

Between 2003 and 2011, the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses jumped by 43 percent among children between the ages of 10 and 14 and by 52 percent among 15- to 17-year-olds, according to parents who responded to a national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although the overall rates remained highest among white children, the new analysis of the survey data, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry on Tuesday, revealed that a growing number of Hispanic and black children are being diagnosed with the disorder.

And while ADHD has long been perceived as a boys’ condition, researchers noted a surprising jump in diagnoses among girls, which increased by 55 percent during the study period. 

The question of why, however, is one researchers say they do not have an answer for.

“This is speculative, but what [we are learning] is that the symptoms of females with ADHD may not be the same, so they may have been overlooked,” Sean Cleary, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University and one of the authors on the study, told The Huffington Post. “They may be more withdrawn, more internalizing.”

Even girls who display “classic” symptoms of ADHD, such as restlessness and impulsivity, may have been missed in the past simply because many parents, teachers and doctors have operated under the misapprehension that ADHD rarely affects girls.

In general, Cleary said it is not yet clear whether the increasing rates are evidence of doctors doing a better job truly capturing how many children have the disorder; if the disorder is being over-diagnosed; or if something else is at play. Many experts have been critical of how readily ADHD diagnoses are handed out, and how quick some healthcare providers are to prescribe medications. For example, one CDC investigation found that thousands of toddlers are being medicated for ADHD with drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not even talk about diagnosing children under age 3. 

But as researchers continue to probe possible factors driving the apparent increase, a key takeaway from the new study, Cleary said, is that caregivers and clinicians should zero in on potential symptoms among previously overlooked populations, including girls.

“If symptoms are being missed because of problems with accessing care, or because they’re just not being recognized,” he said, “that’s important.” 

 

 

Click on the link to read my post on ADHD Students Can Help You Develop Your Teaching

Click on the link to read my post on Stop Over Prescribing ADHD Medication to Young Kids!

Click on the link to read my post on Does ADHD Exist?

Click on the link to read my post on Why Prescribe 1 Medication for ADHD When You Can Prescribe 2?

Click on the link to read my post on An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

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ADHD Students Can Help You Develop Your Teaching

June 18, 2015

boring-teacher

 

Instead of looking at ADHD students as a nightmare. Instead of complaining about them in the staff room, see them as an incredible opportunity for personal growth.

Many ADHD students act up when they are bored. Whilst others can contain their impulses when they are disengaged or under stimulated, ADHD students tend to disrupt. Such disruptions should not be seen as bad behaviour, but rather feedback.

Keeping children engaged and excited by their learning is an essential part of what we must seek to achieve. An ADHD student merely heightens the importance of keeping your lessons fresh, well paced, captivating and fun. I promise you that as you invest more in the quality of your lessons, the changes you experience in the behaviour of your ADHD students will become very noticeable.

And before you know it, you’ll be developing lessons fit for an ADHD student even when you don’t have any.

 

Click on the link to read my post on Stop Over Prescribing ADHD Medication to Young Kids!

Click on the link to read my post on Does ADHD Exist?

Click on the link to read my post on Why Prescribe 1 Medication for ADHD When You Can Prescribe 2?

Click on the link to read my post on An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Stop Over Prescribing ADHD Medication to Young Kids!

December 23, 2014

ritalin

Some doctors seem obssessd with prescribing ADHD pills to youngsters. Are we really to believe that the disorder is as rampant as the prescription numbers lead us to believe?

 

MORE than a fifth of school psychologists in England know of children under the age of six who have been prescribed ADHD drugs to treat behavioural problems despite it being against health guidelines, a study has found.

HEALTH services are being pressured into offering the mind-altering drugs to preschool children because of a lack of psychologists available to offer intervention first, one of the lead researchers said.

The study, to be published in full next year and carried out by the University College London Institute of Education and the British Psychological Society, raised concerns that diagnosing ADHD was seen as an “easy explanation” for behavioural problems which absolves families and schools of blame. It added that some educational psychologists feared there is “an increasingly prevalent view in society that people who do not fit a particular environment must have something wrong with them”. In its latest advice, independent health advisory body the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says drug treatment is “not recommended for pre-school children with ADHD”. But 22 per cent of educational psychologists working in primary schools in England told researchers they were aware of children who were already on medication by the time they were seen by a psychologist. Vivian Hill, director of professional educational psychology training at the institute who helped conduct the research, said: “The huge cuts have meant that people really feel under pressure to offer drugs when they can’t offer long-term interventions. “It really is quite a significant threat to our children and young people. It’s a naive gesture to thinking the quick-fix solution is dealing with the problem – it’s just masking it. “Some of children are living in very difficult family situations and the behaviour is a consequence of that. “If you were to unravel the nature of the child’s behavioural problems, 9/10 times you find it is because of significant factors in the child’s life and is really irrespective of any pathological undercurrent.” She added that in many cases children who are treated by psychologists first do not need to progress to medication.

 

Click on the link to read my post on Does ADHD Exist?

Click on the link to read my post on Why Prescribe 1 Medication for ADHD When You Can Prescribe 2?

Click on the link to read my post on An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Does ADHD Exist?

June 22, 2014

 

ritalin

I am not qualified to make a clinical assessment about ADHD. All I know is that a startlingly high number of children are being diagnosed with the condition.

It is interesting to note that within the medical field, as prescriptions for Ritalin are skyrocketing, specialists are now more than ever, starting to speak out against the condition:

 

Paediatric neurologist Dr Richard Saul, based in Chicago, believes that ADHD simply ‘doesn’t exist’ and is being used as a mask for less serious problems.

Dr Saul argues that children are being misdiagnosed.

‘ADHD makes a great excuse,’ Dr Saul said in his book, ‘ADHD does not exist: The truth about Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.’

‘The diagnosis can be an easy-to-reach-for crutch. Moreover, there’s an attractive element to an ADHD diagnosis, especially in adults – it can be exciting to think of oneself as involved in many things at once, rather than stuck in a boring rut.’

Echoing Dr Saul’s views, a group of researchers from Australia and the Netherlands said in November that the diagnosis of ADHD may have become too broad.

A wider classification of symptoms for ADHD in the psychiatric ‘bible’ used by the profession has led to a steep rise in diagnosis and prescriptions for medication, the study warned.

The group of researchers said there was now a risk of over diagnosis which could fuel scepticism about the disorder.

In addition, stretched resources may mean some seriously affected children do not get medical help, or they are undertreated.

Click on the link to read my post on Why Prescribe 1 Medication for ADHD When You Can Prescribe 2?

Click on the link to read my post on An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

 

 

Hitchens: Dyslexia is NOT a Disease. It is an Excuse For Bad Teachers!

March 2, 2014

 

dyslexia

While I cannot comment on a report that claims there is no easy definition for dyslexia, I do agree that learning difficulties and ADHD labels have been helpful to poor teachers looking for an excuse.

Mr Hitchens has gone a lot further than I would, but the fact that many teachers rely on labels such as dyslexia to avoid full responsibility for a child’s lack of progress is hard to dispute:

I doubt there has ever been a society so easily fooled by pseudo-science and quackery as ours is. Millions of healthy people take happy pills that  do them obvious harm, and are increasingly correlated with inexplicable suicide and worse.

Legions of healthy children are drugged into numbness because they fidget during  boring lessons, and countless people are persuaded that they or their children suffer from  a supposed disease called ‘dyslexia’, even though there is no evidence at all that it exists.

A few weeks ago I rejoiced at the first major cracks in this great towering dam of lies. Dr Richard Saul brought out his courageous and overdue book, ADHD Does Not Exist.

I also urge everyone to read James Davies’s book Cracked, on the inflated claims of psychiatry since it sold its soul to the pill-makers.

Now comes The Dyslexia Debate, published yesterday, a rigorous study of this alleged ailment by two distinguished academics – Professor Julian  Elliott of Durham University, and Professor Elena Grigorenko of Yale University.

Their book makes several points. There is no clear definition of what ‘dyslexia’ is. There is no objective diagnosis of it. Nobody can agree on how many people suffer from it. The widespread belief that it is linked with high intelligence does not stand up to analysis.

And, as Parliament’s Select Committee on Science and Technology said in 2009: ‘There is no convincing evidence  that if a child with dyslexia is not labelled as dyslexic, but receives full support for his or her reading difficulty, that the child will do any worse than a child who is labelled dyslexic and then receives special help.’

 This is because both are given exactly the same treatment. But as the book’s authors say: ‘Being labelled dyslexic can be perceived as desirable for many reasons.’ These include extra resources and extra time in exams. And then there’s the hope that it will ‘reduce the shame and embarrassment that are often the consequence of literacy difficulties. It may help exculpate the child, parents and teachers from any perceived sense of responsibility’.

I think that last point is the decisive one and the reason for the beetroot-faced fury that greets any critic of ‘dyslexia’ (and will probably greet this book and article). If it’s really a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. But it is somebody’s fault. For the book also describes the furious resistance, among teachers,  to proven methods of teaching children to read. Such methods have been advocated by  experts since Rudolf Flesch wrote his devastating book Why Johnny Can’t Read almost 60 years ago.

There may well be a small number of children who have physical problems that stop them learning to read. The invention of ‘dyslexia’ does nothing to help them. It means they are uselessly lumped in with millions of others who have simply been badly taught.

It also does nothing for  that great majority of poor readers. They are robbed of one of life’s great pleasures and essential skills.

What they need, what we all need, is proper old-fashioned teaching, and who cares if the silly teachers think it is ‘authoritarian’? That’s what teaching is.

Click on the link to read my post on Valuable Tips for Teaching Children With Autism
Click on the link to read my post on Autistic Boy Gives an Inspiring Graduation Speech

Click on the link to read my post on Girl Banned from Museum because Her Wheelchair May Dirty Their Carpet

Click on the link to read my post on Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

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Why Prescribe 1 Medication for ADHD When You Can Prescribe 2?

January 14, 2014

 

 

invent

The pharmaceutical companies have managed to get their ADHD medications in classrooms all over the world. You’d think after this windfall they could leave these children alone. No, there is more pills to be taken and money to be made.

Whilst I do not possess the medical knowledge to make a determination about ADHD I do know that it is over prescribed, it is supposed to be prescribed after other modes of treatment are deemed unsuccessful yet it isn’t and not enough research has been conducted to rule out the long term implications of drugs like Ritalin. So don’t have a go at me for being extremely skeptical about this latest study:

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who also are extremely aggressive might benefit from taking an antipsychotic drug along with their stimulant medication, a new study suggests.

Prescribing powerful antipsychotic medications to children with behavioral problems is controversial. Little is known about the long-term safety of these medications, which are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. And previous studies have provided little evidence to support the idea that they help quell youngsters’ violent outbursts.

But the new study, which was published online in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, suggests there might be some merit to the idea, at least for severely troubled kids.

 

Click on the link to read my post on An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

An ADHD Epidemic or an Over-Diagnosis Epidemic?

December 26, 2013

ritalin

ADHD is only an epidemic because lazy doctors and greedy pharmaceutical companies have allowed it to be:

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study “The amount of children on medication has reached an astounding 3.5 million up from 600,000 in 1990. Also an astounding 15% of high school kids are now diagnosed with ADHD.  The historical average was 5% of children were affected by ADHD.”

Dr. Connors of Duke University who fought to bring Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) into the spotlight is appalled and considers this a “national disaster of dangerous proportions.”  Many doctors are quick to diagnose and give out medications. This comes from a phenomenal marketing campaign by pharmaceutical companies that publicized the disorder and promoted the medication to medical practitioners. The proportion of children taking medication for ADHD increased with severity, from 56.4% among children with mild ADHD, to 71.6% among children with moderate ADHD and

Click on the link to read my post on More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

More than 1 in 10 U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD!

November 23, 2013

 

perks

Does anyone actually believe this figure is a true reflection of how many children actually legitimately suffer from the condition?

The number of U.S. children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder continues to rise but may be leveling off a bit, a new survey shows.

More than 1 in 10 children has been diagnosed with it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which surveyed more than 95,000 parents in 2011.

ADHD diagnoses have been rising since at least 1997, according to CDC data. Experts think that’s because more doctors are looking for ADHD, and more parents know about it.

The condition makes it hard for kids to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. It’s often treated with drugs, behavioral therapy, or both.

The latest survey found about 11 percent of children ages 4 through 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD. That translates to nearly 6 ½ million children. Half of children are diagnosed by age 6, the study found.

A 2007 survey put ADHD diagnoses at 9.5 percent of kids.

The CDC survey asked parents if a health care provider told them their child had ADHD. It’s not known how thorough the assessment was to reach that conclusion.

ADHD diagnoses were increasing at a rate of about 6 percent a year in the mid-2000s, but slowed to 4 percent a year from 2007 to 2011. That may reflect that doctors are closer to diagnosing most of the kids with the condition, said the CDC’s Susanna Visser, the study’s lead author.

 

Click on the link to read my post on Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

Click on the link to read The Rampant Misuse of ADHD Pills

Doctors are Hypocrites When it Comes to ADHD

November 12, 2013

ritalin

So doctors are now warning that ADHD is being over diagnosed. Over diagnosed by whom?

By dentists?

Vets?

Beauticians?

Doctors have been savagely over prescribing medication (Ritalin prescriptions have risen by 72% in Australia from 2000-2011), often for as little as concentration issues in class. This is not a reason to give children medication!

Why is it that we focus on the child that is not concentrating rather than the teacher that isn’t sufficiently engaging his/her class? How can we blame the student when the teacher has often invested nothing more than a trip to the photocopier machine in planning for their lesson.

Remember, the very same teachers that complain about the lack of concentration in their class can often be seen dozing off during a staff meeting or professional development seminar. If poor concentration is all it takes to earn a prescription, then teachers at staff meetings make for great Ritalin candidates!

For too long we have been allowing our children to be the guinea pigs for our obsession with the quick fix solution. I would have thought that one cannot make a proper determination about a child’s ADHD status until they have ruled out social issues, home life issues, dietary habits and sleeping patterns. But this due process often goes out the window, because those matters take time, patience and sensitivity. Who has got time for that when there’s a wonder drug that turns a daydreamer into a concentration machine?

So the doctors think too many children are diagnosed with ADHD. I wonder who they have to blame for that.

Click on the link to read my post on Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

Click on the link to read my post on ‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

Click on the link to read my post on Why Are There So Many Children Exposed to Prescription Drugs?

Click on the link to read School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

Click on the link to read The Rampant Misuse of ADHD Pills

Click on the link to read Is There Any Student Left Without a Disorder?

Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

June 18, 2013

 

adhd

What upsets me more than anything when it comes the the explosion of ADHD diagnoses of young children, is that many doctors seem to dismiss other possible causes such as sleep deprivation, family issues and diet way too readily:

More children – and adults – than ever are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Yet many of those may not have the behavioural disorder but could instead be suffering from sleep deprivation, says a leading U.S. doctor. He estimates more than a third of children and a quarter of adults diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep problems.

Sleep deprivation, especially in children, does not – as might be expected – cause lethargy, but very similar problems to ADHD, including hyperactivity, an inability to focus, aggression and forgetfulness.

The similarity between the symptoms, coupled with many doctors’ poor understanding of sleep disorders, is what is causing the confusion in some patients, says Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.

‘While there is no doubt that many people have ADHD, a substantial proportion of cases are really sleep disorders in disguise,’ he says.

(more…)


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