We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, November 25. 2012
I learned a lot about ADD and ADHD at a recent conference. I am slowly coming around to thinking that it's something worth looking for and paying attention to. There are a number of complicated issues surrounding the diagnosis which I will not get into now.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I scored 2. But it means nothing. Now, let me comment about ADD/ADHD: they are a bogus, invented, fabricated problem. If you really look for a problem, you will find one – whether there is a problem or not. There is a lot of payola in ADD/ADHD diagnoses. It has become an industry. Thus, there is lots of arm-waving over this fabricated 'problem'.
I graduated from high school in 1966. There were more than 400 Seniors who graduated in my class. NOT ONE of them failed to graduate. NOT ONE student dropped out of school over the 4 years I attended. I was typical, in that I never missed a day of school in 4 years.
The class before and after mine had the same 100% graduation rate. By today's standards, ADD and ADHD should have been rampant in a school with 1,600 students. But it was nowhere to be found. All students were expected to pass their classes and graduate, and excuses were simply not accepted.
The grade school and high school I attended allowed no alternative to learning. If homework was not completed, students were required to spend at least two hours after school, hand-copying a college level paper titled "Magnetohydrodynamics". A single spelling error, or bad penmanship, would result in starting over. It was pure make-work, intended to encourage students to do their homework. As you can imagine, it worked very well. There simply was no choice. We were not allowed excuses for failing. Most of us went on to college.
Unless ADD/ADHD has suddenly appeared out of nowhere during the past few decades, it simply does not exist. It is an invented malady, and a convenient excuse for the abject failure of the Education lobby, which derives its income from having warm classroom seats.
My wife is a retired middle school Principal. I have seen the degradation of teacher quality, and the intense water cooler politics that relegates students to a very low priority in the scheme of things. Today, students are income for govenrment schools, nothing more. The endless platitudes about 'putting children first' are disgusting lies.
ADD/ADHD are simply excuses for students who fall somewhere outside a standard deviation or two from the average. Those students can be taught, and they can become valued members of society. But the Education lobby cynically uses excuses like ADD and ADHD to further its own ends at the direct expense of the students, who understand that they are being treated as if there is something wrong with them. There is not. The problem begins with the totally unnecessary and harmful Department of Education, and percolates down to the numerous inept, unqualified and self-serving teachers and their unions.
I have seen it from the inside. Education has gone from bad to worse over the past 25 years or so. In education, ADD/ADHD are simply convenient excuses for the failure of the various special interest groups that put their personal interests far ahead of the good of the students. If you look at ADD/ADHD from that perspective, maybe the scales will fall from your eyes, and you will see the true problem.
Thank you for this reply, Dr. Scott. I am not a doctor, merely a wife and mother of 8 children. I homeschool the youngest five. Some are easier to teach than others. There is no doubt in my mind that should my kindergartener be in a brick and mortar school, he would be labeled, pulled-out, pushed-out, and/or diagnosed with some disorder of the day. There is also no doubt in my mind that he is as sharp as the others and just needs a bit more discipline to get the work accomplished. My thoughts for years about the ADD/ADHD disorders has more to do with the lack of discipline at home and in school then anything else.
Re Screening test: Medicalizing lack of training and bad habits. For most people I would imagine the cure would not involve a psychologist/psychiatrist. Perhaps the Marines could offer a more suitable treatment
I somewhat agree with both comments, especially no.2, but I also have personal experience with an adhd diagnosis. I started taking ritalin at age 45 and my life is much different now at 57 than before.
Screening test seems based on off-the-top-of-the-head speculation and will include many who do not have ADD/HD
Fisher and Barkely have done the best longitudinal study of kids wiht well-diagnosed ADD in childhood, then followed to adulthood. About 60% lose their ADD picture in adulthood. In the remaining 40%, Fisher told me personally, the best quick screens for ADD include questions such as: 1. how many tickets have you gotten for running red lights in the past year; 2. how many jobs have you been fired from in hte past ten years.
These are the better screening questions for well-validated ADD/HD. If people respond positively in adulthood, then do further evaluation.
Why use a screening instrument that appears speculative when there is excellent or good research available?
AS to those who claim ADDHD doesnt exist because no one in their 1960 high school class was diagnosed with it, or their kindergardner who is home-schooled just needs discipline, these are statements based on personal, strongly-held ideologies. Some people don't believe in the infectious origins of HIV , such as a former prime minister (or President) of South Africa. Does'nt make them right, just interesting (and potentially harmful to others).
One day, a new, locum tenens pediatrician I worked with asked rhetorically after seeing a new patient, "Why is it that in Hartford, every child who came here from Puerto Rico seems to have ADHD?"
Of course, we all realize that is not factually true, but the sheer number of referrals from the school system to our clinic would indicate so.
What was this man seeing? He had sold his share in a thriving practice just over the border in MA, and was content in practicing part-time in our inner city clinic; about a light-year form the realities of his practice.
For one, every time a teacher found an excitable child in her class, the child was remanded for evaluation of ADHD, due to "disruption." None of us would start new ADHD therapy without a consult from a specialist, and even then were reluctant to do so. Also, as much as the teacher wanted to know the outcome of the evaluation and therapeutic course, we required them to perform blinded follow-up assessments. Don't want to encourage that behavior, do we?
I somewhat agree with the environmental influences in some homes, which would make John Wayne a nervous wreck! However, it is a real problem, and needs to be treated seriously in those with a true disability. BTW, the diagnosis is rarely made in adults.
I have issues with the questions actually. It seems to me that we're trying to diagnose something that any intelligent, educated human would do as routine.
For example, take question #1: "How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?"
In my experience, "wrapping up" a complex project is always a problem. There is always a need to double and even triple check calculations, assumptions, conclusions and it's not you that is doing this - it's your peers who are reviewing your research or engineering calculations, drawings, etc. And then when they are finished, you do it all over again just to be sure you're on the right track.
The second question also annoys me - "How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?" What level task? Certainly you can lay out an outline of what you think the task or project might require, but like war, outlines never survive past the first contact with the real world project. The project targets are constantly moving in time (and sometimes in space especially in manufacturing) and you constantly have to adjust for blown deadlines, mistakes, etc. You can certainly "organize" a sort of "swat" team to handle these things, but overall, organization can sometimes be elusive even on simple tasks or projects.
Admittedly, I'm looking at this as an adult, but still, this relates to kids because we don't teach these skills anymore - how to organize, how to dissemble, diagram, graph. etc. Hell, we don't teach how to concentrate on a task until completion. I kind of agree with Dr. Scott - it's an invented malady - a solution in search of a question.
What? Did I say something? I wasn't paying attention, can you repeat the question? Never mind, I forgot.
Scored an 8 but am wondering if some of my answers are due to procrastination instead of ADD?
Or turning it around, if one procrastinates, is it due to ADD or laziness? Or if one is lazy, is that due to ADD??
There are multiple cofounding problems with ADHD or almost any of the other diseases of the day. First it benefits someone to diagnose it, therefore they diagnose it. If you give me money or relieve me of responsibility everytime I find someone with a mental illness by golly a lot of people are going to need Ritalin. No wonder half the students are diagnosed with ADHD or some other alphabet illness. Then there is the problem of telling the kids they have this disease. Don't worry little Johnny that you don't do well in school it's not your fault. Don't worry that you act out and get in trouble all is forgiven it's not your fault. Then when little Johnny does something serious or becomes an adult and does something wrong the justice system will do what the adults in his life failed to do. I think this is the point of the first post that if you tell a child constantly that they have problems and you constantly forgive them and allow them to use their problems as an excuse then they live up to your expectations. If on the other hand they remain blissfully unaware that they have ADHD and their parents and teachers continue to demand results from them they will achieve more (usually). AND they won't go through life with a built in excuse to fail.
I think the test is pretty b------t. I scored a 9 - possible ADHD. I made great grades from kindergarten through high school, graduated with honors from college, had a successful career, and have a happy marriage. ADHD - really??