19 votes

NY Times: "Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School"

CANTON, Ga. — When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall.

The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

Full article @ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/attention-disorder-...




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Schools are like prisons

and they are taught BS and LIES while being forced to sit in rows in wooden desks just like they have since the Gov't started indoctrinating kids before I was born.

I experimented with cocaine when I was young and I've taken ADHD meds in the past to see what they are feeding kids today. The similarities of cocaine and Big Pharma's ADHD meds are uncomfortably familiar.

ecorob's picture

I would NEVER drug my kids...

But I wouldn't mind at all if we drugged quite a few of our god damned politicians!

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

Wow! So sad to see so many

Wow! So sad to see so many here buying into the BS mental health diagnosis for young kids. Kids are like animals, they need to be socialized! Would you drug your dog if it ran hyper all over the place and didn't listen to you? No! You'd teach it and train it. Kids need to be trained! I was told my youngest had ADHD. He was an active kid who didn't like to settle down for anything, unless of course it was something that interested him. He could sit still and play video games for hours but if you asked him to do school work he couldn't sit still. Duh. What it meant was he was bored and had no self discipline yet. He needed to be taught. "ADHD" kids are labor intensive kids. It requires work on the part of the parent to teach them proper social behavior. The person who posted below me is right. Parents now days find it easier to drug their kids than to teach them. What a disservice to those kids.

Blessings )o(

YOUR child was obviously

YOUR child was obviously misdiagnosed because what you describe is not even close to the real thing. You have a reason to be upset about YOUR sons misdiagnosis, but that does not make it a made up condition. I'm glad your son was misdiagnosed and you finally learned how to parent properly, instead of you actually dealing with the real thing. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. ~ George Orwell

Kids are like animals, they

Kids are like animals, they need to be socialized!

I'll just let that quote speak for itself. Wow.

I don't play, I commission the league.

It was meant as in born

It was meant as in born innocent and lacking skills, not that they are the same level as animals, i.e. not human. It was an example, that's all.

Blessings )o(

Good lord - I have only gotten through the first few posts and

am ready to snap.
REALLY people????????????
I have seen these ADHD kids in class and in life with my children - you know what 99% had in common -parents that NEVER said NO and meant it. Mommy sits there pleading with Johnny to behave - only to be completely ignored - so mommy then just "deals" with it - or worse - actually gives the kid something in return for behaving like a tyrant- yeh nothing like rewarding bad behavior and expecting good behavior

I think most of these parents are on drugs and as such have no energy to actually bother being parents. Here's an idea - when you tell Johnny to stop and he doesn't you MUST elevate and win - otherwise Johnny will only get worse.

Yeh - all of you with ADHD, XYZ, BDGEST, NJSTE and whatever else go ahead and slam me. I see this every day with parents and their kids - they don't focus because they have ZERO reason too - their is NO downside. I am a hyper person by nature - I don't drink coffee out of fear of bouncing off the walls for the next three days - but when my dad said stop I knew from his tone that he wasn't saying it again - and the shit was going to hit the fan and I wasn't going to like it. It's called risk to reward.

Yeh - but put your kids - or yourself of some drugs because that's the answer. Don't bother putting any effort into it.

And we wonder why we are falling behind the rest of the world - HALF THE GODDAMN COUNTRY IS ON MEDICATION!!!

Here's an idea- when you can't focus - try harder. When that doesn't work - try even harder.

Patently ridiculous.

Nothing but ignorant assumptions and meaningless nostalgia for "the good old days".

I don't play, I commission the league.

Disregard

Misfire, should have been my response below.

My oldest son has ADHD

as well as signs of OCD and anxiety. Before learning more about ADHD, I too thought it was merely an over diagnosed "disease" made up by the psychiatric industry.

However, after seeing his behavior over the last few years and now realizing that my almost 8 year old is equivalent to a 4 year old in maturity, impulse control, attention, etc. I have become a believer that there is indeed something to ADHD and the whole family of related disorders.

There is no other explanation for it.

It's not a lack of parenting or poor parenting. He doesn't have a learning disability because he made basically 100% averages in all of his 1st grade classes last year in public school and is still excelling in home school this year which is much more advanced than the corresponding public school curriculum. It's not merely "a little boy being a little boy" because his 3 year old little brother doesn't show the same behaviors.

My boss has two sons one of which has severe OCD and the other has ADHD and minor Austism. What he describes them like while growing up sounds very close to what we see in our oldest son now.

I am not a fan of medicating my son. He's on Intuniv and Focalin for ADHD/OCD and a small dose of Xanax to help with the anxiety and panic attacks. But without something most days he is simply unable to control himself and do what he needs to do... whether it be do his homeschool work, get dressed (which he can't do by himself still), eat with proper manners, follow instructions, etc.

If it is all diet related then we are more than willing to try changing that up as an alternative. We've actually tried some of that already, but we didn't notice a change in his behaviors. I'd welcome any ideas though from people who have been through similar situations.

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

Re ADD

I'm sorry for some of the comments towards those who have gone the traditional route for ADD treatment. While I do think there needs to be more research done given the high percentage of children now taking drugs on a daily basis for ADD (and other learning and/or behavior disorders), my reason for posting this was learning that doctors were now prescribing drugs even WITHOUT any such diagnosis.

In any event, as some other comments have also indicated, I do know that some children w/ADD have had success with an alternative route. An educational consultant I know of who has worked with many, many ADD students over the years has had very good results looking at the issue holistically. As you've expressed an interest, I thought you might want to see this video clip she posted by a "no drug" physician http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=c-J03... [FYI, it's posted, along with her comments @ http://apogeelearning.blogspot.com/search?q=ADD+ADHD].

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

This sounds crazy, but ADHD

This sounds crazy, but ADHD is prevalent in my family and nobody had to go on prescription drugs, - try a cup of coffee, seriously. It has the opposite effect on them than non-adhd people. It will calm him right down and make him able to sit and focus without all the crazy side-effects. Also, watch the preservatives and artificial colors, especially reds and yellows. PS - he might possibly sleep better at night too, if you're dealing with that issue.
My son has aspergers, adhd, and odd btw so I'm not just talking out of my a**.

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. ~ George Orwell

maybe

I doubt he would drink coffee, but the boy loves to steal my sweet tea every chance he gets!

Probably would have the same effect as coffee if it's the caffeine at work.

=)

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

It is the caffeine,

It is the caffeine, decaffeinated won't work. I think the sweat tea might work but I've never tried it so I am not certain.

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. ~ George Orwell

Young humans were not meant

Young humans were not meant to be taught in manner which they are to sit still and be quite. This behavior presents no evolutionary advantage to the species and is therefore unnatural to us. If we continue to ostracize and drug kids that are not able to conform to this style of education and we make a monoculture out of education (Dept of Ed), then maybe eventually sitting still and paying attention will be a behavior that is selected for... but that will take a few hundred thousand years at least.

In the mean time, we can keep telling kids and their parents there is something wrong with the kid and the Pharm industry will smile and hand out their drugs like candy.

I'm not saying that extreme cases don't exist, but they are the exception and not the rule.

Well yeah...

but actual ADHD is more than "not sitting still" and it extends outside the classroom. I know from experience what unmedicated ADHD is like, and it's not fun to live with: I was basically living in a fog, not hearing 80% of what anyone said to me, forgetting dates and deadlines, constantly dropping tasks and never really getting back to them, etc. In a world with ever-increasing responsibilities, this can be very stressful and anxiety-provoking. Reducing this to "oh well, some people aren't meant to sit still in a classroom" ignores 90% of the issue and misses the point of why many people seek out this medication.

I don't play, I commission the league.

Maybe so, but for 5% of the

Maybe so, but for 5% of the people actually diagnosed with it. It's WAY over-diagnosed and our education system is horrible.

This is especially true with younger children!

If the EdPh'd's designing curriculum don't understand, children NEED to be active. These days, even kindergarteners sit at desks.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Diet and vaccines

Get your son off the pills and on to an organic diet if you can. Children are especially sensitive to the chemical assault we are all under (disguised as "convenience foods.")
Please watch "The marketing of madness" - it should be on youtube. Your son needs you to understand what is going on, or he will never be healed. Good luck.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

Thanks for posting

You beat me to it. Any time a diagnosis of ADHD or related conditions is made, I strongly suggest examining the child's diet for processed & "refined" foods (white sugars, white breads, white rice, etc.) and ditching these, at the very least.

They don't make good food for ANYONE since almost everything beneficial has been stripped away and in all too many cases of processed foods, replaced with straight up unhealthy garbage. What you're left with at best is a bunch of simple carbohydrates that may cause ADHD and like, and at worst a chemical cocktail with God only knows what long-term effects.

I need to get around to looking up the study that clued me on to the former, a group of "ADHD" students were put on modified healthy diets with all ADHD symptoms resolving themselves shortly thereafter.

Adderall? Really?

I'm surprised so many doctors haven't switched over to Concerta yet. The effect is more subtle and it's supposed to be less addictive.

I don't play, I commission the league.

Concerta is the same thing as Ritalin (methylphenidate)

From my personal experience methylphenidate is AWFUL compared to Adderall (amphetamine). Methylphenidate helps you concentrate like amphetamine, but it is a very dark drug for your psyche. Everytime I have taken it I have had an unshakable feeling of doom. My college friends had the same response. Unless it was the last possible resort for hyperactivity and destructive behavior because the side effects of amphetamine are causing too many problems, I couldn't imagine using it preferentially. Western medicine for the most part frowns on euphoria as a side effect (which I think is ridiculous) but realistically who wouldn't want to feel happy over dark? (Although there are other pharmaceutical options like guanfacine).

From what I've heard...

Concerta uses a "pump" system to deliver the medicine at a slower rate throughout the day.

I don't play, I commission the league.

Mechanism of Concerta is complicated and under investigation

It is chemically related to amphetamine and works on the same neurotransmitters (though a different mechanism) but it has what I consider to be significant differences in psychologicsl effects. When I hear about other medical students using Concerta I ask them "omg why would you do that to yourself. Take amphetine if anything."

You support the idea of drugging children?

All of these drugs have side effects. But to me, it's wrong on principle.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

No, I support the treatment of mental disorders.

Is that suddenly a bad thing? I have ADHD myself and I've noticed a huge change in my ability to focus and listen when medicated compared to before I was diagnosed.

Are some medications bad? Is the FDA corrupt? Yes... but discounting every single FDA-approved medication because of this is closed-minded, dangerous and illogical. That's like discounting Ron Paul because most politicians are corrupt.

I don't play, I commission the league.

I don't discount every single

FDA-approved medication. I don't know why you have jumped to such an extreme. As this article states (emphasis mine), "They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — NOT to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance."

That's what I object to primarily. But regardless, all drugs have side effects; the trade-offs need to weighed. And drugs are over-prescribed to children. (In some cases it's the schools pushing this.) It's my guess that a quarter of students take prescribed drugs on a daily basis for some learning and/or behavior disorder. (Ask teachers.) While some students might always need something, when the number of children is so great who need to be on medication, I think it's high time we get to some of the root issues and address them there vs. what that physician said, that "it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I agree...

that doctors need to stop prescribing this medication to people without ADHD. That's just lazy and irresponsible. But let's not pretend that blanket-labelling this treatment as "drugging kids" somehow isn't extreme. There are indeed people, such as myself, who have a valid need for this medication and for whom it actually works as intended.

I don't play, I commission the league.

Child Abuse

Is it any wonder we have such a big problem with substance abuse in this country? These kids are made to suffer because the education system is a failure and they refuse to admit it.