June 14, 2008

Sources for ADD and ADHD . . .

Reader Gregory has a good-faith question out there on a previous thread. After I made a rather cavalier joke about ADD (assuming everyone realized I was including myself as a target of same), Gregory enquired as to how, objectively, we can tell the difference between these conditions and those of ordinary, energetic children.

There is a real concern, here, inasmuch as Ritalin may well be overprescribed to minors, and we shouldn't be giving our kids speed without some thought (any more than we should be using the television as an "electronic babysitter").

Given that I'm pushing 46, I reserve the right to take any drugs I like (provided my personal meth lab—now located in the back of my Cruiser—doesn't blow up).

But seriously . . . what are your thoughts?

Posted by Attila Girl at June 14, 2008 03:08 PM | TrackBack

I think that the real cause of ADD/ADHD is PCDD: (Pedagogical Competency Deficit Disorder), defined as "a mental disorder characterized by the inability to inculcate useful knowledge in an educational setting."

Posted by: John at June 15, 2008 02:55 AM

So nasty; so cynical. And at such a young age!

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 15, 2008 03:21 AM

ADD does exist. I think it's over-diagnosed because people have forgotten what little boys are supposed to be like (and in some cases, little girls).

But I can assure you, there are several folks in my family that are just, um, different in their executive function. ;) And if they can have a happier and more successful life with some medication to help them achieve their goals, more power to them.

Remember though, medicating is just one part of it. Really, what people with ADD need to be taught how to deal with it. Making routines, lists, organization, etc.. Just having a place to keep their car keys, so that when they get home their routine is to put them there, then there's no more running through the hosue for 20 minutes trying to find the keys, which makes them late, and so forth.

Posted by: silvermine at June 15, 2008 10:03 AM

If you happen to attend any conferences, you will find many doctors arguing that in fact both of these are under diagnosed
and under-prescribed. In my experience as an educator, I have seen students who could get help from the medical community but the parents did not want to label the child and in a lot of cases had a mistrust of medical authorities. John is absolutely correct, that in educational settings these conditions become enlarged and are a headache for the teacher trying to maintain a reasonable learning environment and the administrator who has to deal with parents who do not want the medicine to treat the the symptoms.

Posted by: Azmat Hussain at June 15, 2008 03:58 PM

I've seen the identical problem among adults who are chronically depressed but so hate the idea of taking medication that they don't do it: They choose to "tough it out," and suffer for no reason.

Unnecessary suffering does NOT ennoble a person. Unnecessary suffering is just stupid.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 16, 2008 01:58 PM

As a parent of one ADD son and one non-ADD son, the decision to medicate was based on the fact that my ADD son knew that he was behaving badly and was upset (furious with himself, actually) that he was not able to control himself on a consistent basis. That, coupled with the observation by his teacher that he could do his school work if stuck in a corner by himself, but could not if left at a table with other children, made the decision straightforward. At the other end of the issue, I knew of two children who were being medicated (according to their mothers) because the mothers 'couldn't handle' the behaviors. Bottom line: if it is about the kid then medication can be appropriate, otherwise it probably isn't.

B.t.w., over time my son was able to control his behavior by himself. When he said that he wanted to do it on his own (he was 16), then it was time to take him of the meds. He is progressing well.

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