Honestly, 90% of the kids that are diagnosed ADD/ADHD are simply kinesthetic and auditory. They need to move in order to learn (it stimulates learning centers in their brains) and/or they need to hear (which at young ages, means that they speak) in order to learn.
My son is both...and on the second day (!) of a new school, his teacher (who had known him all of a few hours) announced to me that not only was he a severe problem child, but he was also extremely ADHD and WOULD be medicated if he was to remain in her classroom. When I advised her (after tearing out workbook pages for the year, for the entire class, the day before) that the work she was handing out was 2 years behind his previous school and he was bored silly, she huffed at me and announced that boredom has nothing to do with discipline. Uhh, ok...
(Honestly, I pulled him out the third day, have been homeschooling him (at his request) ever since, and he's anywhere from grade level to 4 years above in all of his subjects. He volunteers to do school 6-8 hours most days...and gets straight A's. Doesn't really sound like a problem child that needs medication to me!)
Honestly, I see it as teachers having to do more, with less resources, and being forced (or choosing) to treat kids like middle school students at extremely young ages. A 5-7yo is not wired to sit down and stay still, it hinders their learning most of the time. An 8-9yo can do it for a few hours, but they still need to get up, move around, and discover. The great teachers know this and work it into their day; others demand that the kids be medicated so they don't have to deal with them.
It's not so much of an ADHD epidemic, as it is an educational system that is no longer attuned to the needs of young children.
*Note - for the 10% of the kids that actually do have it, I'm fully supportive of medication and alternative therapies/diets/treatments. ADD and ADHD are brain chemical imbalances that honestly need treatment - otherwise, it's like not treating asthma or diabetes. Please know that the above comments DO NOT apply to kids who honestly have it...but to the 90% that do not, but are medicated needlessly and labelled throughout their school careers.
Parents can't accept that their kids are either developmentally behind or hyperactive. In schools, they're forced to diagnose more and more because of pressure from parents and the attempts to avoid getting sued. That's life. The United States is overly litigious.
I believe most of the m are misdiagnosed...the symptoms of "ADHD and "ADD" are symptoms of being a kid most of the time. That is why this so called disease didn't really exist until recently...Parents used to spend time with thier kids instead of parking them in front of a t.v...And, now, WOW! ALl these kids mysteriously have this "disease" when it used to be non-existent. So, of course they are bored! I am a pharmacists and it's a big joke to most of the pharmacy population, because 90% it is made up! So, next time you fill your ADD meds, just think how the pharmacy is laughing it up, HA! Unless your child happens to be apart of that 10% that really has it...
We're asking children to act more and more like adults. Its no wonder kids fail the test. I observed my child's classroom on several occasions and could not figure how they expected an 8 yr old boy to behave under those conditions. Add to that inexperienced teachers and the tendency to try to diagnose or label problems and you have a big mess. No teacher wants to admit that he/she can not manage her classroom of active children.
I think it is somewhat over diagnosed..But, I also think that parents who don't medicate their kids are wrong too.
There are kids who seem to be diagnosed when there is nothing wrong with them and kids who aren't diagnosed when there clearly is.
Also, the symptoms of someone with ADHD and ADD aren't really that of someone being ''a kid''. They have anger issues and can't focus. They have trouble with languages. And they get upset at the smallest of things. To name a few symptoms. It isn't caused by parents not spending time with their kids. Parents back in the day didn't even spend time with their kids! The kids were left to tend to themselves!
All I'm saying is, if you really want to know if your kid has it, don't medicate him for a day..and see if he's way more annoying then the average second grader.
So, I do think that it is over diagnosed..but I also think that alot of times, the parents don't listen to the doctor when the kid does have ADD. In turn the parents end up wondering why little Johnny is failing all of his classes and is being suspended everyday.
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