Posts Tagged ‘ADHD’

Shock Horror: Sleep Deprived Children Diagnosed with ADHD Instead!

June 18, 2013



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.


‘If my Son was a Dog, I’d Have him Put Down’: Mother of ADHD Child

May 22, 2013


No, it is true that I don’t know what it’s like to live with a violent ADHD child and it is equally true that I shouldn’t judge other parents, but I can’t help being repelled when I hear a mother speak this way about her child:

A  mother has described the torment of having a son with severe ADHD, admitting that if he were an animal, she would have him put down.

Jenny Young has four children aged 25, 23, 19 and 10 and astonishingly, not only have they all been diagnosed with the behavioural disorder, but she too was told she had it in her mid-forties.

But it is her youngest child Ryan, 10, who suffers with the most extreme symptoms of the condition as well as severe learning disabilities, subjecting Jenny to daily violent attacks.

She said that because she is his mother, and not a pet owner, she must put up with it.


School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ ADD Pills

October 26, 2012

The last person you would expect to tamper with the students’ pills:

Dallas school nurse Rebecca Baily-Long is on paid administrative leave after allegedly stealing prescription drugs from students.

Bailey-Long is accused of risking the health of young students by replacing a K.B. Polk Vanguard Elementary School student’s Ritalin, prescribed for attention-deficit disorder, with prescription painkiller Tramadol, according to The Dallas Morning News. She also allegedly stole unknown pills from another student, WFAA reports.

The incident came to light when a nurse filling in for Bailey-Long said the girl, identified by CBS Dallas-Fort Worth as Natalie, had run out of pills. Mother Ruby found it odd since she had supplied the school with months worth of the drug just one month prior. A family member had also pointed out that the girl was acting oddly, until the discovery that some of the pills at the school had been replaced with others.

Click here to read my post, Who Needs Quality Teaching or Parenting When You Have Medications?

Click here to read my post, Get Your Kids on Ritalin Before Their Grades Suffer

Click here to read my post, It is Doctors Not Teachers Who Are Helping Children Get Good Grades

Click here to read my post, Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

The Rampant Misuse of ADHD Pills

October 15, 2012


A few years ago stories like this one were rare. Now few years down the track,  the misuse of medication among students has become a huge concern:

HSC students are taking illegally obtained prescription medication used to treat ADHD to help cram for their final school exams, which start tomorrow.

The Sun-Herald spoke to students from five schools across Sydney last week who admitted to using the medication, saying it improved their focus during study.

But medical experts warn that they are risking side effects as serious as psychosis and heart problems.

As students try to maximise their study hours, some are exchanging tips on internet forums about the most effective methods of combating fatigue. Comments posted on the website include debates about the effectiveness of caffeine pills and prescription medication, as well as cocaine and the hallucinogenic drug DMT.

A year 12 student from Ryde Secondary College said mixing crushed Ritalin in energy drinks was common among his peers “to get a good boost during tests”.

He tried the mixture while studying for his trial exams earlier this year, and said that it drastically increased his word rate.

“I was set to write around 2000 words but at the end I noticed I had written over 9000,” he said.

Students asked each other whether or not they sat the exams “natty” (naturally), he said.

He said the Ritalin costs $5 to $10 a pill. Students generally mix two to three with energy drinks, and also report snorting it.

“Usually a student who is prescribed it sells them to get some extra money,” the student said.

Click here to read my post, Who Needs Quality Teaching or Parenting When You Have Medications?

Click here to read my post, Get Your Kids on Ritalin Before Their Grades Suffer

Click here to read my post, It is Doctors Not Teachers Who Are Helping Children Get Good Grades

Click here to read my post, Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

Doctors Treating our Children Like Lab Rats

September 2, 2012

It’s bad enough that doctors are over prescribing medications to young children, to read that they are also prescribing them drugs that are intended for adults makes me extremely angry. How do we allow doctors to prescribe any drug until extensive research has been conducted:

Children are being prescribed unlicensed medicines that could be causing harm, a report has warned.

The Government study is demanding an urgent investigation into  the ‘unacceptable’ fact that almost a third of drugs given to sick children are officially approved for only adult use.

It warns of ‘a high number of drug errors’ in which children may be wrongly prescribed too much of a medicine because the doses are meant for adults.

Historically, pharmaceutical companies have not had an obligation  to test medicines on youngsters. The law changed in 2007 and new drugs coming to market must now be tested on children before they can be used on them.

But this still means about 30 per cent of drugs prescribed to under-18s – and up to 95 per cent of drugs given to babies in intensive care – have never been tested on children.

It’s one of modern days big tragedies that doctors seem to be in bed with the big pharmaceutical companies.

Click here to read The Drug Companies Are at it Again!

Click here to read Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

Click here to read ADHD Diagnosis a “Convenient Out For Lazy Teachers”: Dunham

Is There Any Student Left Without a Disorder?

August 19, 2012

There used to be a stigma attached to those students diagnosed with a disorder. Soon the stigma will be reserved only for those yet to be labeled with one.

It is quite disappointing that it has come down to this. Instead of treating naughty behaviour as naughty behaviour, disrespect as disrespect and anger as …. you guessed it – anger, every socially unacceptable emotion must be aligned with a disorder.

NAUGHTY kids are turning up to school with notes from doctors who have given their unruly behaviour a medical name – oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

And children who lash out at teachers or students have also been diagnosed with a condition termed intermittent explosive disorder (IED).

Psychologists are diagnosing ODD – characterised by persistent anti-authoritarian behaviour – at a greater rate than autism.

Child psychologist Lisa Good said the condition was real and created a lot of stress for parents, who couldn’t understand why their child was mucking up.

Ms Good, from the Psych Professionals in Brisbane, said she had diagnosed more children with ODD and conduct disorders over the past two years than autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anxiety.

“It is a lot more common. I would say it was the majority of my appointments this year,” Ms Good said.

Teachers don’t know how to handle the aggressive students and governments do not recognise ODD for special classroom funding.

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said schools were having a hard time dealing with the rise in behaviour disorders.

“It has become an extremely significant problem, that’s having severe effects on our schools now,” Mr Bates said.

“The sorts of things people think are just naughty kids now have a medical diagnosis.

“As (doctors) identify more and more disorders, (parents) expect the system will have a special response.”

Mr Bates said unlike with autism, the Government offered no extra help to deal with ODD students, and often they ended up being suspended or excluded.

So let’s take stock: There’s ODD, ADD, ADHD, IED and ASD.

What they really need to establish is OWMEAD – the Obsession with Making Everything a Disorder!

Click here to read my post, Who Needs Quality Teaching or Parenting When You Have Medications?

Click here to read my post, Get Your Kids on Ritalin Before Their Grades Suffer

Click here to read my post, It is Doctors Not Teachers Who Are Helping Children Get Good Grades

Click here to read my post, Doctors Create a New Normal by Over-Prescribing Drugs

What our System Does to Children Without Attention Spans

August 7, 2012

Why is it alright for children to be tone deaf  at music or fail at sport but it’s not acceptable for children to struggle to maintain concentration?

Why do educators believe that if you easily lose concentration you have a disability that must be fixed. Remember, these are the same teachers whose minds wander during professional development sessions and who stare into space during staff meetings. Yet, when their students gaze out the windows while they’re teaching a maths skill – it’s time to get the child assessed!

Talk about hypocrisy!

Teachers are obsessed with fixing the attention spans of children. They call for hearing tests, speech analysis, psychological examinations, occupational therapy sessions, language disorder checks and if you are really unlucky start the ADHD ball rolling.

Do they ever consider that children are not all meant to have endless attention spans? Just like every child can’t draw a landscape, every child cannot sustain a 20 minute mat session. What is it with mat sessions anyway? When is the last time a teacher tried to sit on a floor without so much as back rest to lean on for an extended period of time? It’s unbelievably uncomfortable! Yet you get teachers complaining all the time about children not sitting still or failing to pay attention. Try paying attention when your back feels like it was just hit by a rolling pin!

And have teachers ever contemplated that it might be their dry and boring style of teaching and their failure to properly communicate to children that has their class zoning off completely? Worksheet dense, talky, stagnant lessons result in inattentive students – guaranteed!

So a recent study shows that children with better concentration spans have a better academic success rate. In my view this study tells us more about the way we teach than the virtues of concentration:

Toddlers who are better at concentrating, taking directions and persisting with a game even after hitting difficulties have a 50 per cent greater chance of getting a degree when older, a two-decade long experiment found.

The study tracked 430 kids from pre-school to 21-years-old, monitoring academic and social development, behavioural skills and behaviour at home and in the classroom.

Parents were asked to watch how long the children would play with one particular toy while at home, while teachers were instructed to give the class a task and then monitor which toddlers gave up and which ones kept persevering until they had completed it.

Results of the study by Oregon State University were published in the online journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

The children most likely to go through further education were those who, at an early age, persisted in tasks and paid attention in pre-school sessions, said researchers.

Perhaps if classroom conditions changed we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the student without the super-human concentration endurance.

Click on the link to read Kids Don’t Need Gold Stars

Click on the link to read Experts Push for Kids to Start Driving at 12

Click on the link to read Kids as Young as 3 are Getting Tutors

Sleep Disorders Often Mistaken for ADHD

July 15, 2012

Whilst the diagnosis of ADHD is reaching epidemic proportions, yet another possible explanation is being uncovered:

“Sleep disorders may contribute to behaviors that resemble ADHD during the day,” says Kevin Smith, a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. A study published in March in Pediatrics analyzed more than 11,000 children over a period of six years, beginning at 6 months of age, and revealed that children suffering from sleep-disordered breathing—including snoring, breathing through the mouth, and apnea, where the child seems to stop breathing for several seconds at a time—had a higher incidence of behavioral and emotional issues such as hyperactivity, aggressiveness, depression, and anxiety. In fact, they were 50 to 90 percent more likely to develop ADHD-like symptoms than were normal breathers. And those children who suffered most severely from all three sleep-disordered breathing behaviors at around age 2 and a half had the highest risk for hyperactivity.

A lack of sleep can damage brain neurons, particularly in the prefrontal cortex region, says Karen Bonuck, lead author and professor of family and social medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. This may be due to a decrease in oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide levels; interference with sleep’s restorative processes; and a disruption in the balance of cellular and chemical systems. What can result is inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity—the classic trademarks of ADHD. When the disorder is suspected in a child, “nighttime sleep patterns should be reviewed with the primary care doctor,” says Bonuck. “Parents may even wish to video or audio tape the problematic behavior as a first step.”

Now it is up to doctors to do their due diligence and ensure that what may seem like ADHD isn’t a raft of other minor possibilities such as sleep or diet issues.

Click here to read my post, ‘Are Children Getting Enough Sleep?’

Click here to read my post, ‘Sleep Deprived Children in the Classroom’.

Evidence that Daydreaming Helps Children Perform Better in Tests

July 3, 2012

I love this research. I am a proud daydreamer – always has been, always will be.

Daydreaming has the capacity to drive teachers insane. In my day it lead to bad reports and vicious lectures. Nowadays it often leads to recommendations for an ADHD diagnosis and the resultant daily dosages of Ritalin.

Well, throw those blasted tablets in the rubbish bin. Daydreaming is here to stay:

Daydreaming could help children concentrate – and even perform better in tests, researchers claim.

The children also feel less anxious and more motivated to perform, according to a review of studies on the value of time to reflect.

Education should focus more on giving children time to think, claim researchers at the University of Southern California.

Research indicates that when children are given the time and skills necessary for reflecting, they often become more motivated, less anxious, perform better on tests, and plan more effectively for the future.

It is also important in helping us make sense of the world at large … and contributes to moral thinking and well being.

Get Your Kids on Ritalin Before Their Grades Suffer

June 26, 2012

I am sickened by the forces that are trying to get impressionable parents to see ADHD drugs as if they were multivitamins. There are many factors that result in a loss of concentration in the classroom. They include diet, sleep deprivation and uninspiring, non engaging teaching styles.

Why then, is Ritalin seen as the only solution for this problem:

Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, struggle in school. Their wandering concentration makes it tough to follow directions, absorb lessons, and finish homework. Now, new research may offer a partial solution.

The large new study funded by the government of Iceland suggests that stimulant medications like Ritalin may help to prevent some of those academic declines.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the earlier kids get started on drug treatment, the less their academic performance was likely to suffer between fourth and seventh grades, especially in math. And girls saw a bigger benefit than boys did from early drug treatment.

Why is a lack of concentration viewed with such negativity?

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