Is ADHD really a fad diagnosis? Have you been told by your child’s teacher that your child, who is likely to be a elementary aged boy, is distracted, disorganized, forgetful? If you took away the requirement to be between the ages of 6-16, those traits could describe any of us.
In the above article, Dr. Frances shares his research and makes a credible observation:
The tripling of ADHD rates in the last 20 years and skyrocketing use of stimulants are sure signs of a fad.
Dr. Frances also references to an eye opening piece written by Alan Schwartz of the NY Times. Mr. Schwartz exposes some rock solid evidence to support the inappropriate diagnosis of ADHD and the misuse of stimulants to boys to appease teachers who don’t have the time to deal with a kid who learns differently. How freakin’ sad is that?
Parents: Get enlightened. This is your boy. Fight for him. Don’t cave in to the pressure to put your spirited, beautiful boy on meds unless he absolutely has the disorder and is suffering because of it.
Providers: Shame on you for giving out stimulants like they are some magic beans that will make all the kid’s problems go away. How about looking at the evidence and do a let’s try these things first approach before you give the exhausted parent a quick script for Adderral.
Teachers: You are the reason I homeschool my three boys. No doubt you would have called me into a big old meeting and told me my son was not keeping up with the rest of his peers and had all the behaviors that pointed to classic ADHD. Your expert psychologist would back you up with mumbo jumbo literature and intimidate me into making an appointment with my pediatrician and getting my son on medicine as soon as possible because after all, YOU are the expert. Not. You are so fortunate not to have had my sons in your classroom.
I am relentless when I need to be, which makes me good at what I do.
Are the drugs used to treat ADHD truly “nuclear bombs, warranted only under extreme circumstances?”
It’s tough being a parent. It’s tough being a kid in a public school system. It’s tough to be a teacher in an overcrowded ‘teach to the test’ public school system. And, it is hard being the provider who has only fifteen minutes to listen, exam, and evaluate.
That’s why we all need to take a step back and look at the evidence. Let’s not be quick to assume the problem is ADHD. It could be. But it’s probably not.
If it’s my kid, I will try anything and everything before I resort to medications. If he is however, one of the 5% of kids who has true ADHD, then I will gladly take the prescription and once again thank God for modern medicine.