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New ADHD Guidelines Examined

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook

New guidelines would diagnose and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children as young as four years old. We’ll look at the implications.

Camp attendees participate in a collaborative project during a class at UAB's 6-week Summer Treatment Program in Birmingham, Ala. A major goal of the camp is improving the social skills of children with ADHD and other behavioral disorders through various activities. (AP)

Camp attendees participate in a collaborative project during a class at UAB's 6-week Summer Treatment Program in Birmingham, Ala. A major goal of the camp is improving the social skills of children with ADHD and other behavioral disorders through various activities. (AP)

The American Academy of Pediatrics this week issued new guidelines urging doctors to begin looking for signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD – in children as young as four years old. Before, the guidelines had set the minimum age at 6 years old. Preschoolers are often rambunctious.

They throw tantrums, have trouble sitting still, and can be easily distracted. That’s normal. So does it make sense to treat children that young for ADHD?

This hour, On Point: the new guidelines, and what it means to diagnose and treat preschoolers for ADHD.

-Jane Clayson


Mark Wolraich, Professor of pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, where he is also Director of the Child Study Center. Lead author, ADHD clinical practice guidelines for diagnosing and treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Michael Reiff
, Professor and pediatric neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota. He was a member of the committee that issued the new guidelines for diagnosing and treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Joan Luby, Professor of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, where she is Director of the Early Emotional Development Program.

Dimitri Christakis, Professor of Pediatrics at the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at the University of Washington.

From Tom’s Reading List

Time “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines for diagnosing and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschoolers as young as 4. Previous guidelines, issued in 2000 and 2001, focused on children aged 6 to 12, but the new recommendations expand the targeted age group to 4 to 18 to include both preschoolers and older teens.”

Boston Globe “New guidelines for diagnosing and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could lead pediatricians to diagnose the condition in kids as young as four and to continue treating teens through high school on stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall. The recommendations, released today at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting in Boston, state that primary care physicians should do a diagnostic workup and initiate treatment for ADHD for any child aged 4 through 18 who has academic or behavioral problems and has trouble with inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.”

The Washington Post “For decades, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has sparked debate. Is it a biological illness, the dangerous legacy of genes or environmental toxins, or a mere alibi for bratty kids, incompetent parents and a fraying social fabric?”

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  • http://twitter.com/tastypoptarts jeffe poptarte

    I will always feel that ADHD is over-diagnosed. When I was a kid in the 90′s, it was diagnosed to any kid that was having trouble with school. I was getting picked on and having troubles with my grades due to depression. There was no help for the root cause, but instead the school consoler convinced my parents and doctor to put me on drugs. I lost some years of my childhood to those unnecessary pills. – Jeff

  • Brett

    I feel that ADD and ADHD are over-diagnosed; however, there are very real cases of the disorder that need clinical intervention…should be an interesting show. I can’t imagine treating ADHD at “age four” with medication, but I do see a behavioral approach going on in the picture and caption above, which is a good thing. I also see the protocol and criteria in diagnostic structure being different than in older children/people, but I don’t know?! Perhaps this will be discussed? 

    • Tina

      If medical professionals had listened to my descriptions of our child’s behavior when our child was pre-school age, early interventions would have made the world of difference!  Recently, I heard about the success of such early interventions, and I almost wept with envy because of the hard road our family traveled virtually all alone (because later school officials refused to take us seriously, as often happens with girls with ADD) until our child was finally diagnosed by a caring, brilliant MD/PhD.  Unfortunately, by then, our child was 19, was already the victim of a crime most likely related to the diagnosis, and too old for us to legally enter into the process (HIPA); and the child felt intervention was not necessary, so symptoms persist.  By depriving individuals and families of early intervention, they are deprived of all the successful techniques that early intervention provides!

      • Brett

        Early intervention wasn’t what was bothering me; in fact, early intervention is instrumental in ameliorating many problems that could lead to more serious problems later if there isn’t early intervention…You also mention depriving people of diagnoses/intervention, which didn’t relate to my post at all, and is mixing a lot of concepts up in one bowl, I must say. I don’t know, I guess your comment would have made more sense if it had been a general comment and not a reply to my comment. As a general comment, you’ll get no disagreement here. 

        Medication intervention at age four was what was bothering me. The first guest sounded reasonable, that is until he began talking about medication as an intervention as early as 9 months! I’m not anti-medication by any stretch of the imagination, but when a clinician starts talking about medication at such an early age, yeah, I’m going to prick up my ears in concern. Early intervention doesn’t have to mean medication. Medication should only be used in extreme cases and as a last resort. I felt that the guests didn’t emphasize this enough.  

        Lack of early intervention may very well be a contributing factor in the severity of the disorder, but of the problems with diagnosing and treating ADD/ADHD, misdiagnosis/improper intervention/ over-diagnosis/medication therapy without the adjunct of behavioral/cognitive behavioral therapies seem to be more predominant problems than early intervention.  

        Anyway, I wish your child, and you, all the best. One concept that was bandied about (as almost throw-away lines on the show) was “learning to compensate” or “adapting,” and so on, with respect to how children begin to really cope as they age and learn to deal with their condition, which is behavioral in its concept.

        Helping the individual, as an individual [important], come to a realization that he/she can exercise some self-control over behavior and can develop strategies to self-monitor and become focused when need be, etc., will bring about lifelong change. 

  • Irv West

    I work with “troubled” teens, many of whom come in with the diagnosis of ADHD. I take them animal tracking for hours at a time and they do not lose consentration; I take them to museums with the same result. I also remember doing intake on a youngster who was diagnosed with ODD at the age of 2, and medicated for it. Really? Oppositional at two!

    We have lost our bearings and are attempting to “homogenize” (the word I use in my book) these kids. They are individuals, anhd develop at their unique rates.

  • CORY

    I can’t shake the feeling that these kid disorders are over-diagnosed and over medicated.  I’m 40, and there was no such thing when I was a kid.  You were a silly heart or a day dreamer.  In any case we aren’t all the same, and we have varying attention spans and interest in traditional productivity.  What would the diagnosis and medication be for a 4yr old Albert Einstein if he were a child today? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I believe the problem with children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD is a lack of stimulation. In modern society we place so much emphasis on visual stimulation; TV, video games, the internet, etc; yet to fully develop most children need more. They need true interaction, engagement, and more attention than a simple pill to dull them down. The problem is not the children, the problem is our “take a pill, feel better now, deal with it later” society.

  • Anonymous

    Food for thought… a study in the Lancet demonstrated a food-ADHD link. Not that food is the only factor in all children, but before you go pumping drugs through a developing brain, consider removing the influence of all the crap in processed food on their tiny bodies and nervous systems. As the human population has moved away from healthy, whole foods to processed food and fast food, we have seen an epidemic of obesity and huge rates of ADHD and autism. It’s alot cheaper, healthier and less risky to try feeding kids wholesome meals than to give them prescription drugs.

    Why have government subsidies for industries that produce processed foods that are killing us and driving up our collective healthcare costs? Are we just to stupid to live? :^)

    • Tina

      In my sixties, I was poisoned by Aspartame, the artificial sweetener.  I was an extremely organized person who could no longer organize anything!  Everyday, taking in this neurotoxin without knowing it, I had what I called “painful dizzy spells”.  Looking later, after I realized I was consuming Aspartame, I saw on the internet that many people have small seizures and/or migraines from Aspartame.  I don’t know what migraines feel like, but I would say from what my brain felt like at the time that the painful dizzy spells could possibly be the result of multiple, repetitive small seizures (for four to six hours per day, constantly!).  One, absolutely identifiable side effect of the Aspartame was my level of DISORGANIZATION:  I used to be an expert at organization; my sense of order AND my house became train wrecks!  I even said during this 2 3/4 year period that I felt like a child with ADHD.  Now I say, it is possible that SOME kids are consuming Aspartame without knowing it, causing the ADHD-like symptoms that I experienced.  Even if a child is trading food for sugarless gum on a daily basis, it is possible that the best of parents would not know that the child is consuming this neurotoxic drug!  It probably took ten days for the Aspartame to start working on me in this way, because it took nine full days to get it out of my system — which is probably why it took me so many years to figure out what the culprit was!  Earlier experiments at food elimination trials were probably not conclusive because I had not stayed off any of the foods long enough (the Aspartame was in my cereal).  Although I read every food label that comes into my house, I must have assumed that the cereal had passed muster, because I kept consuming it.  The FDA says that Aspartame is made of normal amino acids; some scientists say, however, that those amino acids break down into other ones once in the human body, and it is those secondary amino acids that do the extreme disservice to the neurological system of the human body.  I LOST 2 3/4 years of my life to this poison.  Yes, ALL kids — all humans — should stay away from it; apparently only those kids with PKU are advised to stay away.  My doctor says I could not be a PKU individual.  I am NOT saying that there is no such condition as ADHD; in fact, ADD is a factor in the family I married into, so I am very aware of ADD without the “H” to the extent that I believe we must be very careful when discussing the two situations, ADD compared to ADHD.  I AM saying that ruling out Aspartame poisoning is ALSO extremely important.   

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I drink soda with aspartame daily with no ill effects.  Are you suggesting that sugar is better, given our obesity epidemic?

        • Rex

          Neither is better.  I don’t want to tell you what to put in your body, but too much of any sweetener (aspartame, sugar, corn syrup) can’t be good…especially with kids who can’t handle the effects as well as adults.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            It can’t be good?  Why not?  You don’t like it?  Give me evidence.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Hi, Greg.  I’m just testing.  I got a message on screen that I’m being blocked from posting on this site.  So, monitors, delete this if that’s what you want to do.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I can’t imagine why anyone would do that to you.

          • Ellen Dibble

            It happened before, without forewarning, and I called WBUR, and got a email address to call if it happens again.  I was quite rattled.  Have you been using a lot of dollar signs?  Have you been putting lots of internet links?  No, I was being rather normal.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’ll swear to your legitimacy.

          • Anonymous

            Hi Ellen,  I have had that happen too. I usually have to log off and log back on to get access to the comments section.

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Evidence: The number of comments you post here and your tendency to confront almost everyone on every issue.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Oh, so using logic and participating in discussions are dysfunctional?  Perhaps you mean counterrevolutionary.

          • Rex

            I’m no doctor, but:

            Weight gain and insulin spikes, which can lead to diabetes.
            As for the adult vs. child’s handling of this, I speak from a general point of view of watching kids go crazy after consuming large amounts of sugar and crashing later.  Insulin spikes also cause rises in blood sugar levels which lead to varying levels of energy.  

            My main point: use any sweetener in moderation.  If I had to choose between a natural sugar, artificial sweeteners, or a sugar derived from corn, I would choose sugar.

        • Nutricj

          Greg, you cannot know the possible ill effects of long term exposure to this poison. Tina, many of us in human health are fighting everyday to rid the food supply of such toxins. The ADA, USDA, companies, lobbyists are very powerful and represent the giganto corps that produce such products. I am always stunned by the general populace ignoring the fact that companies that make weed killer (Round up) and roach killer, also make such false sweeteners. Many people surveyed over the years have no idea what aspartame is, or acesulfame potassium- which is actually worse if it would even matter to compare. thanks for sharing your story!

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            They’re real sweeteners, and why are you shocked that a chemical company would make them?  Are you saying that aspartame and Roundup are chemically identical?

          • Nutricj

            oh, i have never seen an aspartame tree before.

            i am saying they are “identically” poison. they are neither food nor meant to pass animal mouths

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            You do realize that we fill ourselves with dihydrogen monoxide daily, thanks to our chemical industry.  How do you feel about that?

          • Nutricj

            of course, especially in GMO and pesticides.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Do you know what the chemical dihydrogen monoxide is?

          • Rex


  • Ward Cheney

    I just checked the titles of today’s shows, and immediately started shaking my head, wondering how Tom Ashbrook, the guests, callers, and posters are going to handle this one, the show on attentional disorders. Will this be a sane discussion or an opportunity for warfare camouflaged as conversation, where personal beliefs disguised as facts are used to attack the enemy? Will people be able to step back a bit, pause for a few seconds, to ask themselves, “How do I know the things I think I know?”

    Is this really an epidemic? Are kids really over-diagnosed and over-medicated? If, as a society, we’ve lost out bearings and kids have lost their’s, is it reasonable or fair to lay the blame on some young person who truly has a neurological disorder that manifests in trouble focusing or blocking out distractions? A kid who, through no fault of her or his own, has trouble handling the day-to-day tasks of life?

    A soldier comes home from Afghanistan or Iraq with traumatic brain injury: She (or he) has trouble concentrating. Can’t find her keys. Loses track of time. Is easily frustrated. Can’t plan one day to the next. Has trouble filling out a form because she’s constantly distracted by the noise around her. She (or he) is a hero in need of our help, compassion, and understanding. A kid with a neurological condition that produces the same or similar symptoms . . . what?, how is it that she’s a pariah, a malcontent, trying to get something for nothing?

    Sure, there are million things wrong in the world right now. Sure, we can be doing better, even kids (and adults) with neurological disorders such as attention deficit (and their families). But rather than taking a huge club to all such kids (and adults, parents, teachers, caregivers) because they are believed to be the problem, how about taking it one person at a time?

    • Ward Cheney

      My apologies for leaving out Jane Clayson, sitting in today for Tom Ashbrook.

  • Anonymous

    I am hopeful that this discussion doesn’t turn into the standard “parents want to medicate their kids because they are lazy” I see on so many sites. As a parent of a child w/ ADHD and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not otherwise specified/Autism Spectrum), we noticed very early on that something was just not right with our son. He wasn’t reaching the milestones on time, if ever and was like a whirling dervish, very impulsive to the point of being dangerous. Luckily, by the time he was 3, we were able to get early intervention through our school district which included behavioral modification techniques, OT/PT, Speech Therapy, Social Integration Therapy, and diet modifications. All these helped, but the biggest breakthrough came with the addition of a sleep medication and medication to help him concentrate during the day when he was 5/6. Imagine not being able to EVER turn off your thoughts at night or to have them come through jumbled and incoherent. That is what the brain of a person w/ ADD/ADHD is like. We are good parents, we expect and model good behavior, but every day was a struggle and many times we were just tired of it, but that doesn’t mean you stop trying. We worked with his counselors and teachers in order to give him the best chances possible. Now that our child is older, he has reduced the amount of medication he takes and may eventually not take any as he learns coping mechanisms. He is well-manner and polite, and does very well in school. He runs cross country, he plays the sax, and he is a member of the chess club, all of which are possible because of the help received when he was younger. The earlier you can get help, the better the outcome. If your child has a disease/condition and medication would cure/help it, wouldn’t you go for it? Please don’t say people who medicate their children are lazy or bad parents; most are just trying to do the best they can for their children. You really don’t have any idea until you have a child with this condition in your family. Maybe it is over-diagnosed, but I can tell you, my son went through a battery of tests and testing before we got the diagnosis and I am glad for that. We did not just throw him on medication to make our lives easier. Everything we have done is to give him the chance of a great life. I think that makes us great parents.   

    • Tina

      It does indeed sound like you are great parents!  Thank you for your excellent post!

    • Drew You Too

      “Imagine not being able to EVER turn off your thoughts at night or to have them come through jumbled and incoherent.”

      I, as I’m sure many others, have struggled with this problem all my life. Insomnia is the primary result but it is survivable, I promise. You might not be happy sometimes but you can live without being medicated. I am no physician so I would never presume to contradict a diagnosis. The point I guess I mean to make is that rampant thought is the product of an active (or perhaps over active if there is such a thing) brain. I’m glad that you’re child is doing better, that’s the important thing.

      • Anonymous

        Drew, I too suffer from insomnia, have all my life, but I do not medicate for it. With my child, though, with all the issues taken as a whole, allowing him to get the rest he so desperately needed was very important. And thank you his is doing well and has a bright future and that makes me glad.  

  • Drew You Too

    Strange that we (humans) managed to raise our children for thousands of years without having ADHD diagnosis as a “tool” to help us. This is a ridiculous topic and if you can’t understand why the ADHD diagnosis has increased with exponential frequency there’s no point talking about it. Put four year olds on meds to make them settle down? Disgusting. Don’t bother addressing me, I won’t return to this topic.

  • Tina

    This show HONORS all the parents who, when they accurately and pleadingly described their children’s characteristics to school teachers and guidance counselors, were told, “well, with a parent who complains about their child as you do, no wonder the child has problems”!!!  I hope and pray that the entire nation does not dwell “there” any longer!

    The show hasn’t yet started, but thank you for airing it!

  • Robert

    I was medicated with stimulants for ADHD as a child which resulted in a long struggle with methamphetamine.  I strongly urge parents to think hard about medicating their children.  Redirection into the arts or sports can be effective.

  • elis

    Please ask your guests about the positive attributes of those with ADD.

     Ask them to ponder upon the unknown consequences of putting pre-schoolers on medication.

    Ask them about the known benefits of outdoor play and being in natural environments on ADD.

    And please, please, please take a look at the pre-school programs children are in.  Take a good look at transitions every 20 to 30 minutes, the lack of free play, the teacher directed activities, and the short and sometimes instruction filled outdoor play periods, all of  which actually train a child to not seek depth.  

    I believe that ADD is a societal illness.  We don’t treat our children right, in a huge movement to seek intellectual development to the cost of the whole child.

  • Kathy

    When I was in high school, Middle Class Mediocrity Syndrome, the “illness” where children of college educated professionals get grades other than As and Bs, was diagnosed as dyslexia. In the 90s and 00s, the mass diagnoses of dyslexia disappeared and sudden rise of ADHD among the same demographic. But I thought we’ve moved on with that and we were now going to be mis-diagnosing MCMS as Aspergers. Was that a dead end and we’re going back to ADHD? Or is this ADHD’s last hurrah?

    (BTW all these disorders obviously exist. They’re just way too trendy for me to believe they are being accurately diagnosed.)

    • Ward Cheney

      Okay, no argument here about Follow That Trend Disorder. So, how do we identify and support kids with real “disorders [that] obviously exist” from the trends and authoritarians, the too-fast, corporate, consumerist society, the schools cramming round kids into square holes, and all the rest? When does one kid’s real struggles simply become a trend that one can deride, dismiss, and walk away from?

  • Salzburg

    My personal experience with ADD kids, is there is an ADD parent. 

    The parents need the treatment. Adults should promptly be sent off for evaluation.

    When the parents are level headed organized capable of good time management, consequent and able to attain goals, it sets a good model for their children. If the ADD parent‘s were in better control of the situation then meds shouldn‘t need to be started so early. 

    Thank you for this show.

    • Karen

      I agree. I have ADD, and I find that when I managing my own well, I am in an infinitely better position to assist my son with his own difficulties concentrating. I have a very good job and am well-employed. We have the resources available. He is a very bright boy, an A student and a voracious reader — but he is so easily flustered, has difficulty concentrating and remembering, and really struggles to organize himself for basic tasks.  It pains me to watch him struggle, especially when even at my age — I still feel overwhelmed at times.

      I feel one of the biggest impediments to help for grown ups with it, less for children his age, is that there is still such a stigma attached to the diagnosis.

      • Boston mom

        There is such a stigma that I never tell anyone about myself. It frustrates me because people don’t think it’s real and think it’s about bad parenting, sugar or too much TV. The caller who said her son’s personality could really show through after she finally succumbed to medication made such a good point; people think parents are drugging children because they’re lazy when most people are involved with their children and care about their frustration and struggles. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I’ve known some children with genuine mental diseases, but ADHD in general is just another word for childhood.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      What are your qualifications for making a statement like that?

      And before you ask me mine, I’ve worked with kids and adults with various forms of LD (language based, ADD, autism) for over 25 years. 

      While I agree that ADD and ADHD are over diagnosed and over drugged, I don’t agree that “ADHD in general is just another word (acronym) for childhood.”

      Is there a coincidence between helicopter parents, delayed maturity, and ADD? Maybe, but the overlap isn’t complete: ADD and ADHD exist in the wild, even in “normal” families, so to speak.

    • CORY

      Where was this terrible disorder 20-30 years ago?  I think it is a joint creation of Rx companies, social workers, and psychologists.  I am similarly suspicious of autism.

      Please save the insults and anecdotes of saved children!  It is just my opinion, free of any clinical study or omniscience.

      • Been there

        20-30 years ago it was called hyperactivity and the children were considered trouble makers. The non-hyper form was not recognized and those kids were labled intellegent buit lazy. Before that, it had other names including minimal brain dysfunction. It is not new but the children are no longer blamed for their behavior and the physiological basis for ADD has been recognized.

  • Rex

    How about cutting down on all of this sugar in their diets?

  • Boston mom

    A few points:
    Like elis says, our schools have moved toward such a rigid and stringent focus on academics, with little play-based learning, artistic endeavors or free time. For a 5-year-old, it is no wonder they have attention deficits in school. Additionally, our culture only seems to nurture and appreciate one type of personality, one type of learner, and one type of brain functioning, virtually ignoring the artistic intelligence of individuals. I bristle at the idea of calling ADHD children bratty, or their parents incompetent. ADHD is no excuse for brattiness; these are two separate issues.
    On the other hand, that is the culture we exist in. 
    Both my husband and I were adults by the time we finally sought medication to treat our own ADHD, and I really wish I’d begun much earlier. Just one example of my frustration: I could never seem to make curfew, often missing it by less than 1/2 hour, and was always told I was selfish, insolent, and cared only for myself. Really, I had legitimately lost track of time (this is before you could set an alarm on your cell phone.) I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. Now I realize I never had the tools to keep myself focused, and one of those tools was medication. 
    My daughter is in first grade, and last year I was approached about the possibility of her having ADHD. I felt it was too young to make such a sweeping generalization, particularly given the rigidity of the classroom today. We’re holding off seeking any diagnosis, and she is doing better this year. I will not wait until she is a teenager though, as many studies point to the fact that children undiagnosed typically suffer from low self esteem (feeling inadequate or stupid) and sometimes turn to addictions or self medication.
    Finally, I’m curious about the neurological component of ADHD. I have read that it is part of the spectrum that also includes Aspergers and autism. Then, is it any wonder there are increasing diagnoses of both, considering the toxins we encounter daily in our environment?

    • Boston mom

      To clarify, we are not deciding our daughter will or will not need medication or a diagnosis of any kind. I think it’s too early to determine that, as some kids outgrow ADHD tendencies, just like many outgrow sensory sensitivities. But we are finally opening up to the idea that it could help her if she does have these struggles based on our own experiences as adults.

  • HAL from east boston

    Here’s as radical research experiment for your guests. Go into the homes of people who are smart enough to keep TELEVISION out of the lives of their little ones, and observe the natural attention span of those uncorrupted young minds. Observe, for example, how long they will fix their attention on a six-sided block, and the images thereon. Then observe how often the mind is forced to shift while watching any TV program, even so-called children’s programming.  THERE’S YOUR CULPRIT RIGHT THERE. If you want to raise kids who can’t seem to concentrate, put them on the attention-destroying drug of television. That includes, but is not limited to, the dopiness of Sesame Street.  (BTW, I had two kids who never saw a television set except in other people’s houses. As a consequence, they could both read and write before they went into the first grade, and were straight-A and –B all the way through.)

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Perhaps you can show some evidence that television causes ADHD?  Please recall that the plural of anecdote isn’t data.

    • guest

      I was always the kid who wanted to go out to play and was very frustrated with my friends who wanted to stay in and watch TV. Now, as an adult in my 50′s with ADD, I have not had atelevision in the house for over 12 years.

    • CORY

      That’s baloney!  I was raised on television and I……………  What was I saying again?

    • Brett

      Okay, as long as you’re not badmouthing Captain Kangaroo! 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Ask for a definitive answer as to what ADHD is and what it isn’t.  So far, everything I’ve seen in psychiatric diagnoses is that they are geared to make insurance billing easier.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Please explain why a four year old needs medication.  What are we expecting children to be able to do at that age?

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      On this point we agree, especially given the fact that many of the behaviors associated with this class of problem are developmental, one might (or might not) grow out of them.

    • CORY

      OBEY and CONFORM!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Significant dysfunction?  We’re talking about four year olds.  This reminds me of “Scrooged”:  He’s old enough to get a job!

  • Gordons31

    We are going thru the testing process for our child for ADD not for our convenience but to help him.  We want him to be successful not frustrated at school and activities.  He wants to do well but struggles with attention.

  • Bob

    My wife is a first grade teacher recognized for her exceptional ability to teach reading including challenged kids.  She has over 25 years in elementary school and agrees that screen time (TV , Computer, Video games) should not be a big part of the environment for children under 7-8 years old, because it exacerbates attention issues.  She has also seen a rise in the number of kids requiring glasses over her career that she suspects is also related. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Does it occur to you that pumping up a child with speed isn’t the best thing to do to a four year old?

    • CORY

      I’d like to conduct a study of my days that on point has a topic where Greg Camp and I completely agree.  Am I happier, crabby, more musically inclined…  Today would be such a day.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Depends on what’s in your water on that day.  I like mine twelve years old.

  • Jane P.

    This is very interesting to me.  I have a now 28 year old who at the age of 4 I suspected he has ADHD. He was very young when I saw signs of ADHD. At the time his preschool teacher said his behavior was age appropriate.  At at 5 at the same preschool in October I was asked to remove him from school. Apparently his behavior was no longer age appropriate. He was tested at this time and it was determined that he was extremely bright and bored with his environment.  It was not until he was 7 that he was diagnosed with ADHD. I think that it would have been very helpful if he were diagnosed earlier.His entire life has been effected by his diagnosis.

  • Yar

    What is the difference in an attention deficit child and an attention demanding child?  One gets the attention of the adult caregiver and the other doesn’t.  Our children are a product of our society, we put more emphasis on business productivity than raising children.  Maybe what is abnormal is the child who can learn without adult redirection. I am one of those that had never fit the mold, but I am happy to stay away from drugs, regardless of what they might do for my productivity. I have difficult days and great days but I would not trade my life for that of anybody else.  Thank God I was born before we drugged our children.  

    • guest

      Not everyone with ADD gets into trouble or draws attention to themselves. I was always very quiet and blended into the woodwork. The last thing I wanted was attention! We are not all hyper!

      • Yar

        I am happy you have found a system that works for you, it seems you have regrets about not figuring out what works sooner.  Are you unhappy with your experiences?  I am not, I tried medication, I did not like the way it made me feel.  I attempt to not swing the pendulum, no caffeine, no alcohol, no drugs, I give myself plenty of sleep time and eat regular healthy meals.  While many may think I am giving up things that add to quality of life, it works for me.  My experiences are what makes me who I am, and gives me compassion for those who struggle to fit in a world that demands conformity. Change seldom comes from the center, I prefer to be in the center of change, it keeps me on the edge.

        • guest

          While I would not change things, I do feel as though I am now paying the price for the tangents which have distracted me throughout my life. I have had many wonderfull exeriences because of my ADD which I would not trade for anything. I do wish, more than anything, that I could save my mother from all the pain it has caused her. I am involved in many animal oriented activities since animals have always been there for me, they are my “cause” and i have reason to feel that I have made a diference. I was never in to drugs, alcahol, etc… myself and it took a lot of thought before I tried the meds. i still wish i could find life changes and/or supplements that worked as well as they do and I do occasionally go off them to try lifestyle changes. I recently also had to deal with depression resulting from a combination of work and personal issues which came all at once. I am now dealing with the after effects which not even antidepressants could prevent, and the ADD is making that more dificult. I feel as though I am at an age where it is harder to keep up with things. The current employment outlook for people my age does not help. In spite of how I may sound, I am really not a pessamist however! I am happy within myself (now that no longer carry all that guilt) and the person I am. I too feel that ADD teaches compassion and has a lot to offer, I only wish the world could see how much we have to offer, not just how we do nott fit in.

  • Joe in Philly

    Oh, let’s drug all the children lest they disrupt our busy lives! Wasn’t it Eisenhower who said beware of the pharmacological-dysfunctional family  complex! The world doesn’t need more Ritalin but it needs a cure for our collective madness!

    • CORY

      Joe, your next philly is on me!  (wit or witout?)

  • Ellen Dibble

    It happened before, without forewarning, and I called WBUR, and got a email address to call if it happens again.  I was quite rattled.  Have you been using a lot of dollar signs?  Have you been putting lots of internet links?  No, I was being rather normal.

  • momof3

    I started listening late, but I have not heard them mention that one of the first things pediatricians should do is rule out any lasting infections that could be the cause of things like ADHD in some kids.  Untreated strep infections (discovered through elevated strep titers found in blood work) cause a myriad of behaviors, including ADHD.  A child does not have to have a sore throat to have strep.  This is now becoming more known in the medical world and a lot of research can be found in the NIMH site.  Susan Sweedo from NIMH has done most of this research.  Google PANDAs. 

    • momof3

      I should add that treatment with antibiotics often remedies the behavior.  The longer it goes untreated, the longer the lasting implications.

  • Eestey

    I am a parent educator of 25+ years. The most common demographic parent to call our office has 4 year old strong-willed or extremely active kids. Entire households have been turned around with new paradigms and simple techniques that alter parental responsive behaviors and pantry contents–to include reading labels on everything they serve to their children.  In MOST cases, the child behaviors that prompted the exacerbated parents to call were not only alleviated, but everyone in the family benefited. Make NO mistake; this is about MONEY.  It is important to note HOW MUCH THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES HAVE TO GAIN BY ALTERING THESE GUIDELINES. BILLIONS!

  • Muriel

    I am not contesting the fact that a number of children as young as 4 could be suffering from ADD/ADHD but I think that kids this age AND older need more recess at school during which they should run around and blow off steam.  We are asking kids to concentrate for 6 hours in a row (minus one 15min recess and one 15 min period for lunch).  Not even a well adjusted adult can do that (multiple trips to the water fountain).
    Medication for ADD/ADHD can have really serious side effects 

    • Nutricj

      there was just a great study recently released, i believe the nytimes printed an article about it. the results were about how children on attention def. disorder realm were profoundly helped by time in nature, and it did not matter if the children were medicated or not- the kids were greatly helped by outdoor play. we know that humans are better thinkers, better memory recall, better mood, more patient, longer focus and are generally more kind when we have had exercise outside. kids need so much more than a few short jogs for a few minutes during a school day, and they would perform much better on tasks were they provided more. we are backward to think more time at the desk will increase their performance accademically.

    • Mel Snyder

      Muriel – kids with ADHD aren’t simply “hyperactive.” It’s more than inability to sit still. It’s more than inability to sit still.

      My children have been on Adderall for years. It cuts the appetite, and very active kids will fall behind in weight. Don’t believe the “really serious side effects” baloney unless you see them first-hand. I’ve never seen them in my experience, other than the weight issue. Since my kids both played lacrosse and soccer, they might have had weight retention issues without Adderall

  • Fifibrains

    I was diagnosed with AD/HD predominantly inattentive type in my early 50′s.  It was a condition I has all my life and the school system I was in was detrimental to my development.  It would have been great to have early intervention.  Not necessarily medication but having strategies that would have let me use my intelligence in the most effective way. I taught myself strategies over the years as a form of survival and for the last 4 years I have been able to use Adderall XR to great effect.   

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Is it possible that the so-called disease runs in families because behaviors run in families?  We learn behavior from the people around us.

    • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

      Good question Greg.  

      But it sounds like a recently out-dated argument about whether it’s “nature or nurture.”  Latest investigations indicates that genetic predispositions (nature) are influenced in how much they’re expressed, by environments, family included (nurture).   

  • Anne Paikea

    Generic adderall is impossible to find, those who suffer narcolepsy need it too. Any comments? Thank you for this show.

    • Mel Snyder

      It’s available at most pharmacies. Try Walmart in North Reading. I got it for my daughter there

      • Anne Paikea

        Thank you, No Reading is one I haven’t tried.

  • Phil Spitzer

    I can’t remember the last time a primary care physician saw me for more than 15 minutes during an appointment. that isn’t enough time to observe and make a diagnosis, so as in the case off my nephew this is supplemented by questionnaires for family and friends. This is not am appropriate way to make a diagnosis.

    My 13 nephew Does not have adhd but is being drugged for it without any other type of therapy. this is too common! And my sister uses the fact that his grades improved a proof that he is adhd. This is inaccurate. Anybody who takes these drugs is able to focus better. This is why it is one of the most popular drugs on college campuses. I don’t know anyone on adderal who doesn’t sell it. And if you want to get it prescribed so you can sell it anyone with aces to a dsm can walk into a doctors office and get it prescribed. Putting your child on these drugs can turn your kids into drug dealers.

    • Anonymous

      My son was not diagnosis by his pediatrician. We were referred to a practice that evaluated him, had him go through many many tests over a period of time. We, as parent, also had to be interviewed and take tests before any diagnosis was made and then we worked together to plan how to treat him. We found once he was prescribed medication (after we worked on behavior and other treatments) that it was treated very seriously by his dr office – we had to pick up in person & show ID, and were told the amount we requested would be monitored and if it ever showed we were requesting more dosage than was prescribed, we would have to explain why. We never had a problem because we worked with the dr to make sure he was getting the proper dosage he needed. He now is winding down on his dosage and in the future might not need it at all, but if he does, at least he knows it will help him.    

  • S.C. Listener

    This is unbelievable… how could a legitimate human agree with pushing drugs on a four year old. This is a worse societal decline milestone than the Chinese toddler being driven over a few days ago. 

  • KJ

    I just heard a Birth to Three interventionist call in and suggest that children can be behaviors observed at 2 indicated a later diagnosis of ADHD. I am very concerned about her call. Young children are developing very rapidly and when diagnosis are made during this period the child is looked at and treated differently. Well established research has demonstrated that expectations for children are related to outcomes. My concern is that a premature diagnosis can lead to the unintended consequence of altering the child’s behavior when he or she responds to what is expected of him or her. I have personally worked with children who appeared to have some of the characteristics of ADHD at 2 and 3, who were perfectly typical and not showing these characteristics at age 4. I am concerned about unrealistic expectations for our children resulting in early and inaccurate diagnoses.

  • Guest

    Greg Camp should stick to what he knows: teaching English in an Arkansas community college.

    Your untrained medical opinion is not welcomed.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      So the fact that I’ve been teaching students of many ages over the years tells me nothing?

      • Guest

        It is hard to make sense of anecdotal observations that may or may not be generalizable to the broader population.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          It’s also hard to remove the belief that human beings can be quantified by simple tests that then tell us what is normal and what isn’t.

          • http://www.ldresources.org Sanfordmshapiro

            Greg, you’re right, you can’t necessarily quantify someone from simple tests, but no ones suggesting that ADHD be diagnosed in a simple way.  

        • CORY

          This is a comment section for a daily radio show, not a clinical study being submitted to the JAMA!  By your standard, there’d only be 2-3 posts per show! 

    • CORY

      Sure it is!  Welcome, Greg’s opinion!

      Anonymous posters trying to shut off people’s ideas are what should not be welcome. 

      • Guest

        Typical republican tea bagger, know-nothing simpleton who only wants to see opinions they agree with. Stick to Rush limberger for that

        • CORY

          Your comment shows just how uninformed you are.  First day here, guest?

          • Guest

            been here longer than you. go back to AM radio teabagger

          • Brett

            Cory, now when did you become a Republican, TP’er and a Limbaugh devotee? Gosh, you take a little nap, get something to eat and the whole world turns inside out!

  • Allison

    What can you say about programs like Brain Balance, which involve clinic visits and home activities?  They say that it’s a matter or stimulating areas of the brain, even making lasting physical changes to the brain.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I’ve worked with children who used the label ADHD as an excuse.  They would tell me, “I can’t do my schoolwork; I’m ADHD.”  The truth was that they didn’t want to do the work.  We can’t give a drug to create motivation.

    That being said, I’ve also seen genuine disease–children who were incapable of controlling themselves.  Those cases were rare, though, and it worries me that we’ve decided to use powerful drugs as an easy response.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Ah, so now you change your tune: ADHD isn’t just “childhood” but some people actually have it as a label (diagnosis).

      No doubt many people use the labels “LD” etc. as excuses but that ought not cloud the fact that there’s plenty of “real” LD like dyslexia and ADD and ADHD in the world.

      How it overlaps with enabled and learned helpless lazy people who have no clinical issues is sometimes tough for lay people to sort out but professionals can accurately sort it out quite easily.

      • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

        And, as I think you’ll agree Richard, there are people with clinical issues and who are lazy and develop learned helplessness.  Peeling away the layers helps to identify each. Having one doesn’t eliminate the possibility of having the other(s).  

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          I do agree Sanford, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t also an epidemic of non-clinical behavioral issues as well.

          • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

            Absolutely.  I’m just saying it’s not always an either or situation.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I tend to suspect the “inherent” aspect of ADHD might in some cases relate to heavy metal toxicity.  It took me to age about 55 to figure out the extent of heavy metals; the test costs about $400, counting the consult with a specialist, and the EDTA/DMPS provocation IV and the lab work, and I’ve been treating that for a year weekly, not easy, not cheap, but the only way to get at things that doctors otherwise cannot deal with.  Just for example, mercury, was at 98, where the acceptable limit is 2.  Lead comes out slower, or starts to come out after more months of provocation, it seems to me.  But reading the symptoms that are recognized (tough to pinpoint since heavy metals collect over the course of life in different ways, with different synergies), but the mercury toxicology is the Mad Hatter syndrome, referring to the mercury formerly used in making hats and thus exposing those in that industry.  That sounds to me like ADHD.  Or for lead, think of Beethoven, to me exemplifying the kind of really intense focus that comes hand in hand with a more prevalent sort of dizziness.  
        When I ask my doctors why others aren’t offered testing and treatment, across-the-board, they say “everybody is in the dangerous spectrum,” not on the record.  Well, I know what I suspect were my sources, and some of them are certainly prevalent.   You wouldn’t inherit this, but I’m thinking it could affect sperm and ova and fetuses.

  • Sped Mom

    ADHD is a neurological disability – we need to stop blaming parents for the disability.  We don’t do that when the issue is cancer – I have an almost 17 year old who was diagnosed at 4 at MGH.  He is still on medication – he has received various therapies but would never have been able to benefit without his meds.  He’s a six sport Special Olympic athlete so that wasn’t the “cure” either. 

    My son also has cormorbid learning disabilities – its NOT okay to allow these children to fail and develop further mental illnesses because of the stigma.  If the child is having issues – he.she needs a complete neuropsycholoigcal evaluation including home and school visits.  Now the problem is getting insurance to pay for it and schools to comply with special education laws!

  • momof4

    Thanks for discussing this very important topic. As a parent I had experience with a teenaged daughter who was prescribed antidepressants and ADHD medication. Despite being a bright, articulate young woman, my daughter’s medication created a nightmare of mood swings and side effects because the practitioner we visited weekly for a year couldn’t diagnose correctly or prescribe the right combination of meds. I can only imagine this situation would be hell for a parent of a younger, less self-aware child and urge parents to stay away from medicating their children for such subjective conditions.

  • Pmhbyrne

    You mentioned that one of your contributors on ADHD did not receive funding from drug companies. You conveniently did not comment on whether the doctor from Toronto receives funding from drug companies. I presume  this means she does but does not want it publicized that she is a big pharma shill. Perhaps you could let us know what drug companies fund her.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    But I’m waiting to hear how you diagnose these “diseases.”  How is this anything beyond creating a solution and then hunting for a problem?

    • Ward Cheney

      I’m speaking only for myself. I don’t call it a “disease.” I see it as how certain brains are put together. Neurologically based. As for wanting to hear how people diagnose neurologically-based conditions that severely affect everyday functioning, there are loads of very specific tests. It’s a little like a truck that doesn’t start, and one jiggles the battery cables to see if it might be loose. Neurologists and others have very specific, sophisticated ways to test brain function.

      Just one example: The child/adult being tested is told three numbers then asked to repeat them back. Then four numbers. Five. Six. Some people can’t remember more than three. Others remember 7 or 10 or 14. The test is meant to measure short term memory. It’s not just for ADD/ADHD or learning disorders, but people like soldiers with traumatic brain injury from IEDs.

      The practical implications? If you are sitting in a classroom and can remember only three numbers in a row before losing track . . . well, a teacher moving quickly gives a reading assignment or lectures on important dates in the American Revolution or asks what is the answer to 6,472 minus 1,793 . . . 

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        How about “learning difference” that really comes alive in school which is built for people who can read fast, sit still, memorize meaningless crap and spit it out.

        If you’re not built like that but CAN learn it’s possible you have a learning difference of disability.

  • Sybylla

    My 16 year old son has both ADHD and an LD which were uncovered after 8 years of searching within the educational system and without. He has been on medication for one year with moderate improvement. His behavior has no hyperactivity and his LD was illusive as he is extremely bright, articulate and well read. My wish is that executive functioning strategies are a part of education starting at elementary school and continue through high school.That 504′s actually have impact by internal support within the infrastructure of all grades.Our search is not to have a perfect child but a productive one who learns how best to work with his brain and be able to uncover his own potential and joy of learning and expressing his knowledge.

  • Joe in Philly

    Jane, our experience living in a very Type A suburb is that many parents want to have their children diagnosed with ADHD. Why? Their child receives one-on-one attention at the public school (adding more burdens to an already taxed system) and they get special treatment when it comes to testing (more time to complete tests, for example). In other words, the child gains a competitive advantage. And, we know of many parents who shop doctors until they get the result they want! I would say that 10% of the my kid’s Middle School was diagnosed with some form of attention deficit. My question: how many kids have legitimate disorders and how many are pushed into a diagnosis!

    • Ward Cheney

      Joe, your guess about the 10% number sounds pretty accurate, according to some of the research I’ve seen. (For example, the CDC reports 9.5% of children ages 4-17, as of 2007.) I also agree that competition in many communities puts tremendous pressure on students, families, teachers, and administrators. You say that many (how many?) parents want that competitive advantage. Given all that, why then is the percentage of kids diagnosed relatively low? In a school cafeteria with 200 kids eating lunch, roughly twenty of them might be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. If it’s so competitive and there’s such an advantage, why not 20%? Or 45% or 70%?

  • Victoria

    I was diagnosed with ADD as an adult and currently am on medication to treat the disorder. These symptoms did not become a problem until middle school.  For me ADD did not prevent me focus-it prevented me from knowing what to focus on, when, and how. Understanding what prevented me from succeeding academically, socially, and financial was like a light going on, especially with the medication, which I use as a tool.  I no longer am overwhelmed by those things that once set me up for failure.  The sooner we recognized ADHD symptoms in children, the better prepared we are to take intervention action when needed. btw My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and my son has Asperger’s, but not ADHD.

  • Roberta

    Do the guidelines provide parameters for a careful differential diagnosis between ADHD and Bipolar Disorder? This is extremely important because stimulant medications, in a child or adult who is genetically predisposed to Bipolar Disorder, may significantly exacerbate that condition. 

    Similarly, do the guidelines promote careful screening for other conditions that can cause symptoms that mimic the symptoms of ADHD, e.g., environmnental problems such as abuse or severe stress in the family, post-traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorders?

  • Salzburg

    Believe that ADD is genetic and it exists. Honestly if one of the parents is undiagnosed  themselves they probably have a gap in their executive functions which effects the family. At the age of four I wouldn‘t want to give my child medication. I‘d rather save it for the school age when I want them to be able to have a fair advantage and on equal playing grounds as all the other kids in the class room. At such an early age if things are spinning out of control I suspect the family is already dysfunctional. Treat the parents.

  • Ren Knopf

    Speaking as an adult poster child for ADD who was diagnosed at age 50, use guide lines and meds with care. My daughter was diagnosed as borderline in 6th grade. After consideration, Ritalin was used on a limited basis to aide concentration in school with the following understanding: as she grew, her brain’s “wiring” would reshape itself allowing her to focus on her own without external chemicals. It was made clear that she was a participant in this. Years later, she allowed that she thought she didn’t need it any longer. We went with that and she was correct. Go slow and evaluate carefully. Do not throw meds at the problem.

  • Anonymous

    I think an early diagnosis would be good if it helps the child’s parents come to terms with how their child is different. Also good if parents can be given options (esp. non-pharmaceutical) for how to help their child (structured environment; limiting exposure to overstimulating circumstances; various therapies depending on the child’s particular weaknesses). But the sooner the parents can embrace the fact that their child is neurologically atypical, the sooner they can embrace what that means for them and their child’s life.

    In my experience (13 y.o. son with ADHD + husband with same), folks with ADHD can be enormously creative, bright, imaginative…and not able to easily fit the mold that we ask kids to fit into earlier and earlier these days. The more we can help our atypical kids feel confident about who they are–and keep finding ways to strengthen their areas of weakness–the more those kids will accept themselves, which is critical for their long-term success.

    BTW, real ADHD is not a product of too much sugar (my kid didn’t have it), too much TV (ours has always been a TV-free, mostly screen-free house), or permissive parenting. It also shouldn’t be looked at as a “chronic illness” (insulting). It’s a way that you’re wired.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      … but too much sugar, TV, and permissive parenting no doubt exacerbates it, no?

  • Melanie, Boston

    I also work in early intervention as a developmental specialist, and would like to respond to some of the comments made on the show.
    I have worked with many children, especially boys, who display “ADHD like” behaviors.  My first step is always to consult with an occupational therapist and begin working on finding sensory support systems to help the child calm and focus.  I think a piece of the conversation that is missing is the misdiagnosis of sensory integration dysfunctions (which has not yet made it into the DSM) as ADHD.  Child adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Larry Silver, author of The Misunderstood Child, states that ADHD is actually the least common reason for hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity.  He lists the leading reasons as anxiety, followed by depression, learning disabilities and sensory integration dysfunction.

    • Nutricj

      here, here Melanie!

  • N-invested-parent

    Anxiety masks many conditions, according to the professionals I have spoken to. Without removing anxiety from the equation isn’t ineffective, or possibly harmful in some cases, to treat someone for ADD or ADHD. Giving speed to a kid who suffers from anxiety is like putting out fire with gasoline. It makes as much sense as treating alcoholics for psychological pathologies while their still drinking. 

  • Mel Snyder

    The anti-medication people blow me away. They don’t understand the pharmacology of the drugs. They do for ADHD what insulin does for diabetics – normalizes organ function. I blew off a 1972 diagnosis of ADHD by one of the pioneers in the field, pediatrician Sidney Adler. Only when my two children developed it, and my brilliant, highly compensated daughter couldn’t sit through her SATs did we appreciate the problem. She went on meds, and proceeded to graduate with honors from Trinity College, and is now a leader in Teach For America. We took my troubled son for evaluation, he went on meds – and is now a senior with a 3.85 dean’s list average.

    You anti-drugs people, get off your ignorance and learn something about how they work. And stop blaming big pharma – all the drugs for ADHD are generics, and you can get them for peanuts at Walmart.Alas, the meds didn’t work for me. I got up three times from my work during the past 45 minutes. I can’t sit for more than 30 minutes in meetings.In retrospect, I realize both my father and paternal grandfather suffered from the disorder. I wonder what my career might have been like if I had the benefit of medication early in life. Dr. Adler’s book, “Your Overactive Child, Normal or Not?” is probably way out of print, but that book tells of his life keeping good kids out of trouble because of ADHD.

    • Anonymous

      Good post Mel!!! I sometimes feel people judge without ever having any idea what parents go through to help their kids. It isn’t about being lazy, it isn’t about looking for special treatment, it about doing the best for your child to allow them the opportunity to shine!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      We know exactly what insulin does.  Can you tell me what specifically these psychoactive drugs are doing?  Can you define what “normal” means in terms of brain function?  I’m concerned about the way that psychiatrists push pills as the answer to every question.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        While I agree that drugs are prescribed too often and not micro managed well, they do work and many of us know the people to prove it.

        “Normal” is being able to sit in a classroom and follow along where before one might not be able to.

        No doubt this isn’t true for everyone who carries an ADD or ADHD diagnosis but it’s true for many.

  • Anonymous

    What is it about TV that can harm a baby?  Is it flicker?  If so, then LCD TV’s and plasma TV’s would be okay?


    • Anonymous

      Okay, they finally get to the crux of this in the interview.


  • Anonymous

    My three sons 27, 27, 24, their mother and I all have ADHD and we all take stimulant medication with great benefit such that the boys are in the top 1% academically at their respective grad schools and college. Additionally, after 40 years of practice, I’m now a retired Ph.D. with a speciality in child and family therapy. 

    Contrary to what one might expect after that introduction, I am profoundly  opposed to these new guidelines.  The fundamental issue here that goes unrecognized due to the overwhelming bias of biologically based psychiatrists predominately influenced by the drug industry is the recognition of the primary role of parents and the need for authority figures to support their belief in the fundamental ultimate goodness of their children.

    ADHD is not an illness, it is only a maladaptive personality type in a society extremely biased towards defining successful academic outcomes as librarian types able to maintain a single focus as opposed to the hunter types who can only be successful with multiple foci.  Librarians are self directed and a teachers dream while hunter types are their nightmares, needing multiples more attention and direction  than their opposites.

    Human life is getting less valuable as the costs of childrearing in an increasingly complex society increases.  NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PARENTS BELIEF IN 

  • Jack

    I’ve struggled with ADHD (the inattentive type) all my life. Not diagnosed until age 35, I look back on my school years and feel so much regret  that I wasn’t able to reach my full potential. I struggled with reading, listening, following instructions, etc.. I could never filter things going on around me making it nearly impossible to focus on homework. It was awful to try and keep up in school. 

    In the 70s/80s this disorder was virtually unheard of, and for all of those children who struggle with ADHD today, I see these new guidelines as a positive step to giving these children the opportunities I, and many others, never had.

    Today I work in a design agency with many artistic types. Many of my colleagues have ADHD. The medicine many of us take is currently unavailable and we are all struggling to get through the day. Medicine absolutely is a life-saver for many people. And while it may help symptoms, to say diet, vitamins, exercise is a cure all is utterly irresponsible. This is a REAL chronic disorder and like any of other mental health condition, children/adults should have the opportunity to be diagnosed and treated.

  • Dani Bee

    ADHD comes with the stigma of skepticism. Telling anyone who doesn’t have the disorder that I suffer from it usually causes the same comment, “Everyone has ADHD”.
    In an attempt to alert my parents my 5th grade teacher gave me an IQ test which I scored very highly on yet I was failing all subjects. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t catch on.
    Middle School and High School were terribly difficult for me. I was the kid in the back of the classroom singing, dancing, and doodling. For some one with such a high intelligence quotient being placed in all remedial classes was a waste.
    After High School I went to college three times in three different settings and I dropped out all three times. It wasn’t until three of my nephews were diagnosed with ADHD that I realized what was wrong.
    At 25 years old I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. Since then I graduated with a GPA of 3.97 and have an associates degree in Graphic Design.
    It’s heart-breaking to think of what I could have done with my education if I had been diagnosed earlier.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Once diagnosed, what was the approach?  Multiple pharmaceuticals?  Did it take a while to figure out the right mix?  Was psychotherapy part of it?  How did that figure in?
         Kudos for the 3.97 GPA and the graphic design degree.  That’s a beginning, anyway.

      • Dani Bee

        It took a year for my neurologist and I to figure out the best medication and dosage. Unfortunately, although it was suggested that I see a mental health physician, my insurance didn’t cover the visits and I couldn’t afford it. Exercise, eating healthy, and keeping a schedule are what really helped me. Thanks for the kudos… it was so satisfying to finally live up to my potential.

    • mglad

      Your story could have been my own!  I too was finally diagnosed as an adult and try not think about how if I had gotten treatment as a child, I could have achieved so much more academically and professionally.  A big part of having ADHD is always feeling like a “screw-up.”   Don’t beat yourself up – think of how far you’ve come with an undiagnosed disability!

  • Kbrisc

    As an adult who was not diagnosed until I was in my 30′s, I know how damaging ADD can be. I don’t know what my life would have been like had I recieved help as a child but I suspect that it would have been easier. I certainly would not have developed the load of self blame that dragged me down all my life. After the diagnosis I felt like Atlas finally able to put down my load. I also may not have developed the numerous bouts of what I now realise were childhood depression. My mother  would not have the feeling that she failed me though she tried every thing to find help for me. Perhaps I would have lived up to the potential every one insisted that I had “if I only tried”. Ritilin opened a whole new world for me. I am certainly not worried about addiction since my biggest problem is remembering to take my meds! I have had to deal with proffesors who do not believe in ADD, employers who would not schedule me for the hours I needed, inspite of the fact that co-workers say that i do an exellent job, once they learned that I had ADD (which is illegal), and pressure from well intentioned friends who have tried to get me to stop taking my meds. Thankfully i have an exellent psychyatrist at the Hallowell Center who understands what i am going through and who helps me balance medications to my needs (different meds help me in different situations) while helping me understand my behaviors. I am now in my 50′s and while my life will never be what it could have been, I no longer blame myself. 

    • Ward Cheney

      Thanks for the comment. Good work, good luck.

  • BWB

    I’m a therapist and parent who has extensive experience with ad/hd, learning differences, and how the school-based intervention system sabotages true help and empowerment of students.  I’m not against the judicious use of medications that *restore functioning* (they do NOT
    repress, they restore), however, early behavioral intervention and family education can and should do wonders for atypical children. What parents must know is that your school district is not in a position to dx your child.  They might refer you to an on staff professional to “test” your child, however that staff person has an inherent conflict of interest: to minimize all but the most severe problems.  Why?  Because schools **do not want to spend money** on services.  To get the kind of proof that your child requires services parents must procure an independent, objective evaluation.99% of the time, if you’ve come this far in the process, the parent takes the child to a specialist (after waiting a YEAR or more on a waiting list).  That specialist will not take insurance, (your insurance will likely not cover this, btw.)  We spent over $50,000 on neuropsychological, speech and language evals for our daughter, professional advocates, and independent procurement of services for our child.  These professionals determined that our dd’s needs could not be met in most typical classrooms.  Their recommendations drove our pursuit of an “out of district” placement at district expense”.  After 6 years of evaluations, presentation by evaluators to the school personnel, hiring an advocate (no parent can fight the system w/out one, or an education lawyer), we procured this out of district, private school placement in time for our child’s LAST YEARS of education.  This cost our school district nearly 200,000.No wonder our health care is in shambles, our schools are running out of money, LD kids bring rage to schools, and … our prisons are FULL of people with undiagnosed/untreated learning disabilities.For more information I suggest http://concordspedpac.org/, the best overall site for parents I’ve seen.  It’s run by local parents, but its resources will empower all parents any place in the US.  www.millermoms.org (formerly SchwabLearning, the site sponsored by Charles Schwab’s) also a superb, highly intelligent source of information about how schools really work.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Do you mean http://millermom.proboards.com/index.cgi?
      I couldn’t find millermoms, plural.

      • BWB

        Yes!  I wanted to edit my post for a couple of reasons, but can’t find out how to do it.  Thanks so much for the correx!

        • Ellen Dibble

          BWB, if you sign in/post yourself using the Disqus option, after you finish your post, then you can go back and click an “EDIT” tab and edit multiple times. At least for some span of time.

      • Brett

        Thanks, Ellen

    • Brett

      You make some excellent points. The distinction between judiciously using medication to restore functioning and NOT repress functioning should bring clarity to many. Suggesting parents procure an independent, objective evaluation, separate from the support structures in the school system, is great advice! In fact, your comment is full of good advice and valuable first-hand experiences. We need to hear more from therapists like you!    

  • Mom

    I have no doubts that ADHD is a real, chronic mental health disorder, though I suspect that with more brain research we will be able to pinpoint the parts of the brain involved in variants of the disorder and provide better treatment.  However, medication  is clearly an invaluable part of treatment.  If the diagnosis is correct, the medication will make a very positive difference.

    My husband and son have ADHD.  My son was diagnosed in 2nd grade, and has greatly benefitted from  his treatment and medication, although it was not always an easy road.  He’s in his mid 30′s and is doing very well.  My husband, diagnosed at age 50, has been helped by medication but would have been much better with early diagnosis.  Now we are struggling with the cost of his medicine, while he is in the medicare “donut hole”.  Non-stimulant medicine does not work for him, and the costs and regulations for stimulant medication are prohibitive. 

    • Callie

      I would prefer that people begin referring to it as what it is: a neurological disorder.  Three of five in my family have ADHD.  One was on medication for a number of years. She is now older, understands what modifications she needs to take to make things manageable ( break down tasks, make lists, simplify verbal directions, writing out a schedule, etc),and has successfully been off meds for a year. 

      I think the important thing to remember with ADHD is that it is a dynamic disorder, and static treatment is not always fruitful.  Brain mapping is showing cortical neuronal plasticity. There is no reason to think this could not apply to ADHD treatment, as well.  It seems, in fact, to be supported by the anecdotal evidence provided by O.T.

      Best of luck to you, Mom, and everyone else.

  • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

    Early evaluation and then early intervention are good things.  The intensity of this debate is a good thing.  Look at layers of presenting issues (differential diagnosis), be open to multi-layered interventions, and don’t assume that medications for four-year olds is the first line of treatment.

  • Ward Cheney

    I’ve been thinking about this, the last two hours since the show finished: I very much appreciate the people who wrote in to talk about their own experience, how school and learning, socializing and work were and are dramatically different for them because of the way their brains are put together. I appreciate, too, that they weren’t trying to make excuses or asking for extraordinary treatment. The responses were personal and from the heart from people trying to do good as students, parents, workers.

    On the other hand, in my own comments, I’ve been trying to remain detached, thoughtful, considerate. Deliberately trying to leave myself, my personal experiences, out of the picture. I’ve had second thoughts.

    I grew up on the prairies east of the Rocky Mountains. When I went to a small school on the plains in the 1950s, there was little knowledge or awareness of learning disabilities, let alone attention disorders. By third grade I was placed in special education. I could not read well and was perpetually lost in class. I was considered slow, not very smart. I felt deeply embarrassed. I was publicly humiliated and ostracized by peers and teachers. Thirty years later, after years struggling in school and work, I went through incredibly thorough neurological testing (something like twelve hours total over several weeks) . I found out I have significant learning and attentional disorders . . . glitches, anomalies, issues, differences, whatever you want to call them.

    The truth is I feel angry when someone argues, even rages against treatment for a young kid, even if that treatment might include medication. I think this is misinformed, willful opposition, or just plain ignorance. Why in the world would these people want to let a little kid suffer without support or understanding? I see it as almost criminal to take some misinformed or holier-than-thou stand against medication when the real-life consequences to many young people (and older, too) is more suffering and isolation. What g-d d–n good is that? And, if this is you, what makes you so qualified to judge someone like me? Several times people here and on the show mentioned that we don’t have these kinds of conversations about giving extremely powerful medicines to kids with all sorts of illnesses, maybe diabetes or cancer. What the h–l is it about disorders of learning and attention, based in the brain, that gets your knickers in such a twist? The studies just don’t seem to support the risks you claim. Go take your ideologies out on something else. Don’t dare take them out on me.

    • Anonymous

      Ward, Thank you for sharing your story! There will always be those who think they know best or try to discount what they do not understand, but there are those who know, who understand, who support, and who look for the answers whereever it may take them.

    • guest

      Ward, I don’t think those people can understand the what we must face every day, nor can they understand the incredible creativity, i ntellegence, compassion, and persistence lost to society when those of us with ADD are dismissed as lazy slobs who won’t even try. We know that those of us with ADD tend to have these traits in excess. I too have LDs as well and many teachers could not see beyond my spelling.
      I used to teach in nature programs before I was diagnosed. I used to envy the children I worked with even though they had been labled as behavior problems because I realized that they had these traits and more. They had been recognized as problems because they had ADHD and stood out. I enjoyed working with them and felt that, if only the system could find a way to work with them as opposed to against them, it was they who had the power to discover the cures to the worlds problems! Back then they were called hyperactive, as I’m sure you know. I did not know that I was one of them but without the hyperactivity. (I still secretly envy and admire those with all that energy!)
      It is those who are ignorant to the gifts ADD has to offer and the battle we have to make it through every day as we have to concentrate to do even simple(to them) tasks, who pay the highest price. They (and the world) are missing out on our potential!

    • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

      Right on Ward.  
      “What the h–l is it about disorders of learning and attention, based in the brain, that gets your knickers in such a twist? The studies just don’t seem to support the risks you claim. Go take your ideologies out on something else. Don’t dare take them out on me.” 

      I agree wholeheartedly with you Ward.  Walk a moment in someone else’s shoes before slinging righteous indignation.  

  • Guest

    You people are all crazy.

    You are commenting on guidelines that you have not even seen, since they will be released on SUNDAY. You do not know what they say.

    Furthermore, they are GUIDELINES…steps that a doctor should take if parents bring in a child whom they suspect may have issues.

    It’s not like a wanted poster for Osama Bin_ladden for crying out loud.

  • Modavations

    ADHD is bad parenting.Autism is from women having babies at 40.I can not believe you’d give a kid Adderol.I eat it recreationally and it’s hard core “speed”.In 20 years from now,all those kiddies will have blown out,heart valves.What a world!!!

  • Zero

    As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD: it’s a bunch of crap!  If I could change one thing about my childhood, I would prevent my mother from drugging me in order to temper my behavior. 

    If you want to restructure your attention span, then memorize a long poem, read books, read the Bible, read the Iliad and the Odyssey, but mostly try to actively memorize a long poem and then recite it to your friends. 

    This is a long cry from T.V where you watch a 23 minute show that is broken up by three commercial breaks that is broken up by 30 second commercials. 

    If you read McLuhan’s “Understanding Media,” you will see that predominate mediums are influencing and shaping the consciousness.

    A video game is the kiss of death.  We live in an instant society that has shaped an instant attention span.  It is a fast world and we are gearing ourselves for it.  Drugging ourselves is not the answer!  Guidelines or no guidelines, it’s all crap.  Force yourself or your kids to memorize literature, and trust me, it will be far more rewarding.      

    • Kblo

      Many of us with ADD grew up before computers, video games, and when kids spent much much, more time outdoors. I spent a lot of time reading and was far ahead of my cohorts in reading level. I was particularly fond of poetry and did memorize favorite poems. I hated when friends would watch TV and I would go out and play in the woods without them. I agree that new technologies make life even harder and can be addictive though I don’t have the patience for them, but my ADD predated the media. By the way, I read so much that I would get in to trouble for reading everything i got my hands on, except my homework.

      • Zero

        Only lawyers have to have the stamina to read anything.  Math bores me; doesn’t mean I have ADD.  Anybody who is on Adderol feels as if there has been an attention deficit before.  You don’t have to be diagnosed to feel that.  And that is why it is more of a recreational drug than a medication.

        I really don’t care if adults medicate themselves, but I think it’s horrible for kids.     

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brennan-Moriarty/100000655771831 Brennan Moriarty

      Amazing, the wizard, the sage.
      If someone’s disabled, they’ve got to apply themselves, and maybe that^s the escape.

      • Zero

        It’s not a disability.  It’s a condition (if you can call it that much).


  • Jenny

    With child sexual abuse at epidemic levels, the emphasis on diagnoses that blame the child may mask and prevent adults from carefully assessing for other causes of behaviour issues, such as abuse, which could be coming from siblings, family friends or other unsuspected sources

    • Ward Cheney

      What can happen to kids in school who do not fit in, who are misunderstood, who’s timing is off enough to single them out can be (and is) a form of abuse, no less serious in terms of impact than sexual abuse.

      Indeed, problems associated with learning and attention — which can be numerous and spread across all areas of life — may make children more susceptible to sexual abuse. Less able to resist or report, less willing (or able) to seek help and support.

      I was sexually abused before I was a teenager, but after a number of years struggling terribly in school. By then I had little fight left in me. I’ve never felt the sexual abuse affected my life one-tenth, one-hundredth of what happened to me in school. The sexual abuse came and went, struggles in school remained.

      • Ward Cheney

        Jenny, I was off on my own digression. Please don’t read my comment as a criticism of yours. Yes, good point. I understand that various forms of abuse can result in kids being distracted, not being able to pay attention, hyper-vigilant . . .

  • http://www.sonicyouth.com/ Kim Gordon

    there is no benefit from going to school if you cannot focus and cannot study. there is no “jumping to conclusions” saying ADHD is a real problem. The problem and the medication have been used since the 1950s. The parent with an Asperger’s (Aspie) was concerned about misdiagnoses. Question what is the medication for ADHD: stimulant typically. What is the medication for Asperger’s? same stimulant. What’s the difference? Possible additional anxiety issues with autism spectrum. Ignorance and fear are the enemy of every child trying to learn and study in school.

  • Don Wertheimer

    Notice that the doctor says that there is a “genetic component”, but when asked about the evidence of that he skirted it and simply offered that it tends to run in families as if that proves anything. This is in accord with the general fixation with genetics, which clouds the very possible alternative possibility that it could NOT be genetically focused or that its not the genetics, per se, but behavioral and environmental interactions — nurturing or lack thereof, diet, pesticides and other toxins, media influences, etc., which may or may not interact with certain genotypes to manifest the observed behaviors. Almost never do they seem concerned with WHY it occurs so often. In short, as usual, the medical profession drives everything towards the most simplistic, pathology-assuming, natural-alienating approach.

  • http://www.sonicyouth.com/ Kim Gordon
  • http://www.sonicyouth.com/ Kim Gordon

    If it does not work for you, don’t medicate. But don’t kid yourself or provide subversion and misinformation – it works for many people. If you really want to learn something, do. If not, know that some of us are willing to put in the HARD WORK and learn about the mental issues and solutions available. –> Youtube –> Russell Barkley, Ph.D., discusses the recent advancements in
    understanding the nature and subtyping of ADHD as well as recent
    discoveries in what might cause the disorder and medications that might
    help treat ADHD. Series: M.I.N.D. Institute Lecture Series on
    Neurodevelopmental Disorders [11/2008] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID:
    14660] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3d1SwUXMc0

  • Laurencechase

    As a longtime wbur listener and On Point fan, I was very disappointed in the sensational approach to a serious subject. The program did nothing to address the science and research behind the new guidelines, and ADHD in general, and did everything to further promote negative stereotypes and dated thinking. When your guests gamely tried to refer to the scientific studies, they were drowned out by the feigned outrage over medication.
    The decisions to go through the evaluation process, to pursue behavioral therapies, and to medicate or not are serious ones. They require deliberate and thoughtful consideration, qualities that were sorely lacking in the program.

  • Hidan

    Seems these people are attempting to put even more children on drugs.

    Sad state.

  • Danorby

    I’ve taught school for 10 years and have read much information for and against ADHD.  I think in 50 years we’ll look at our current treatment of these symptoms will be considered as abusive of children as we consider the child labor of the 1800′s.  It turns my stomach to see children treated this way.  Bring out the leaches.

  • Alice Karl

    Absolutely it makes sense to treat any child, any age, that has a diagnosis. No, 4 years old is not to young to see a reason. My grandson was demonstrating a need for help at 3 – I saw he didn’t have the ability to sit still in ‘story time’ and recognized it was different. Now this boy is almost 17 and much has happened. I am now the mother of a daughter diagnosed as an adult and two grandchildren in their teens, all diagnosed only 3 years ago that are receiving medication and behavioral counseling and benefiting more than I can describe. I am an RN and know something about science and medicine and I have made it a mission to try to understand this ADHD difference in how people think over the past 3 years and I can tell you my personal experience is that these children are desperate to be understood and for help. As I raised my daughter I just knew I had an unusual child on my hands and it was really hard even though I just adored her. This was before ADHD was more than just a vague idea. Quit debating this issue and help these children. Please stay aware that many of the children with this difficulty are being raised by parents that also have the diagnosis, and they need help now. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brennan-Moriarty/100000655771831 Brennan Moriarty

    Are there any geo-biography studies in psychology/psychiatry prevention?
    If they could reinvent TV [content timmer], they could save us all.

  • A.D. Ward

    THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGTH!  They are not broken.  The school system and the home system (society) is what is broken.  We need to get these kids up, out of their seats, with hands on and outside, experiential learning activities.  Take them camping, build something, wear their butts out with exercise, stop testing, testing, testing, and discipline your children.

    Surprise, surprise you stick a kid in an sterile and soul crushing institution and they act up.  Get a clue folks.  These list of systems for ADHD describe NORMAL children.  Not little monsters that must be pacified with drugs.

    Stop hurting kids!  Stop drugging kids.  Stop building pools and second homes for BigPharma execs.


    • Guest

      More school could have helped this post.

      • ADD parent

        So would an opinion formed by experience

    • ADD parent

      You’re flat out wrong. You obviously haven’t had to watch your child who’s in advanced math struggle for 10 minutes on a simple problem he’s done 100x’s before b/c he simply can’t go from start to finish. Or take 5 minutes to read each page in a book b/c any little sound or motion draws his attention.

      The debate about how to treat it may just beginning, but the question of if it exists or not is long since settled.

      • Zero

        What are the things that interest your kid?  Because, surely, he or she pays attention to things that interest him or her.

        The point is that you need to curtail trivial interests in order for the kid to pay attention to the math problem.  When you open up Shakespeare for a high school kid, the kid turns his noise.  When you show a kid that Shakespeare is filled with depravity, the noise does not come out of the book.  That is the law of attention; inspire kids to read, don’t drug them.  

  • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

    While ADHD can be severe and make school, work and relationships a lot more challenging, it’s important I think, to educate people to the richness of cognitive diversity.  Aspects of inattention (dreaminess) is tangential and associative thinking resulting in imaginative problem-solving if harnessed and in the right setting.  Lack of censorship and internal impulse controls can become an amazing gift under the right circumstances, as in the case of Robin Williams, for example.  

    It’s always a double edged sword.  Robin William’s comic brilliance must’ve have come after years of being an outcast in school settings.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Care MUST be taken to enable a child to escape the stigma and title of ADHD, if they later prove to have a lesser condition.  I have been informed that being labelled ‘Autistic’, follows a child the rest of their life, even if they prove NOT to be Autistic, or are able to function on normal, or near-normal levels!  THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!

    • http://www.ldresources.org Sanford Shapiro

      Terry Tree,
      What do you mean by “followed.”  It’s my understanding that if a diagnosis changes, treatment changes.

  • BeenThere

    There go the psychiatrists again – pathologizing slightly out of the “norm” (whatever ‘normal’ is today) behavior without any biological evidence for their subjective criteria.

    I’m not saying Adderall doesn’t help some people with “adhd-like” symptoms to focus and have an easier life concentrating… but how many people and at what long-term health risks? 

    Drugging children should be our absolute ‘last-resort’. 

    Guess what else can induce or is associated with “adhd-like” symptoms:

    Flouride: http://www.fluoridealert.org/pmullenix.htm

    Food Additives: http://www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2007/sep/07_99.shtml

    Aluminum adjuvant in vaccines: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/20/david-ayoub-interview-february-2010.aspx

    Thimerosal in vaccines: http://www.smartvax.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=144

    Video Games and TV: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1293044/Watching-TV-playing-video-games-DOUBLE-risk-getting-ADHD.htm

    Sleep disorders: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501090914.htm

  • Slipstream

    Jeewhiz, what a boring show.  You would think a show about ADHD might be a little more lively, a little more exciting.  I felt like I had ADHD while listening to it.  Actually, I may have a touch of it.  So here is a serious point – ADD/ADHD is not a yes or no thing.  It is on a continuum – everybody has it to some degree. 

  • Garciat

    Absolutely they should start testing younger. As a mother of an adult child that was clearly having problems at a very young age, it would have been helpful. He had been expelled from 2 daycare centers before Kindergarten even began. Childcare options were exhausted and I was unable to work. I wish I had known there were options or that he could have possibly recieved disability because as a single mother of a family of 3, we nearly slipped through all the cracks. I insisted on behavior disorders special education upon entering kindergarten and at that time had testing by the Knights of Columbus. When eventually only 5 mg of Ritalin was introduced, he was mainstreamed into regular classrooms, has completed high school and attended college. Age 2 was the most difficult of them all but definately evident at 4.

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