August 18th, 2010
07:08 PM ET

Nearly 1 million ADHD misdiagnoses, study says

CNN recently reported that many psychologists are seeing a lot of misdiagnoses of ADHD. Readers had a lot to say about that.

Now studies are backing up anecdotal evidence that ADHD gets inappropriately applied to many children.

An analysis by economist Todd Elder at Michigan State University suggests that about 900,000 children who have been told they have ADHD in America may not have the condition at all. The study will appear in the Journal of Health Economics.

Elder found that how old a child is relative to peers in the same class also affects teacher perception of ADHD symptoms. In other words, teachers tended to perceive ADHD symptoms more in younger kids than older kids, even in the same grade. Younger children were also more likely to take stimulant medication for ADHD. The study authors suggest that children who are young for their grade may get an inappropriate diagnosis because teachers mistake their immaturity for ADHD.

The age at which a child starts school influences teachers' perceptions of whether the child has ADHD-related symptoms, but does not as strongly affect the parents' perceptions, the study said. Data for this research came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Cohort.

Another study in the Journal of Health Economics, led by William Evans at the University of Notre Dame, found similar results regarding the age of the child and the likelihood of ADHD diagnosis. Researchers looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and a nationwide private insurance company.

Both Elder's and Evans' studies found that being young in a grade more than doubles the likelihood of receiving an ADHD diagnosis or treatment. Evans' study says:

Since ADHD is an underlying neurological problem where incidence rates should not change dramatically from one birth date to the next, these results suggest that age relative to peers in class, and the resulting differences in behavior, directly affects a child’s probability of being diagnosed with and treated for ADHD.

The cost of a misdiagnosis on the health and well-being of a child is tremendous, Elder writes. Chronic stimulant medication for ADHD may lead to possible cardiovascular problems and a reduction of children's growth rates, studies have found. These medications also take a substantial toll on the family. Elder estimates that $320 million to $500 million is annually spent on ADHD treatments for children who inappropriately received the diagnosis.

soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. ezar

    take responsibility for your actions. stop taking drugs to change your personality. don't listen to stupid teachers who can't handle hyper kids.

    August 18, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The_Mick

      The most frequent times when "stupid teachers can't handle hyper kids" today is when they get stupid attitudes from parents who show the same attitude you do! Teachers stumped about student behavior meet parents for the first time and often immediately realize why their kid is such a pain. My nephew was diagnosed with ADHD and I, a teacher, observed him in class and confirmed he was unable to focus on one thing for sufficient time periods. He was studied and diagnosed as having ADHD. This past year he was a student of the month in his school and, in his First Holy Communion Ceremony, he was the only boy chosen to read from scripture. So, while ADHD is too often misdiagnosed, it DOES occur.

      August 18, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • Dina

      Yes there are a good deal of "hyper" kids. ADHD is different. My ADHD husband describes focusing as "trying to listen to a radio station when there is static from other stations interfering. With medication, the static goes away." Don't assume what you don't know about.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
    • Richard Polley

      impulsivity and a lack of self control are now emdemic to western culture. treatment is available when you turn the tv off, the radio off and be quiet. we run from ourselves with any possible distractor and avoid responsibility at all costs. we are trained to consume and procreate and die.however, there is actually more to the universe than we think or can even conceive....is there actually a higher intelligence? a highest intelligence? and what would that being do with us?
      What is the rarest thing in the universe? life? water? what substance breaks the laws of physics? water?

      August 19, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse |
    • Non Stupid Teacher

      I really ont appreciate your "stupid teacher' comment. Though I am certified special ed and have learned about ways to "handle" hyper kids, general ed teachers' training is more focused on mastery of the subject matter and ways to effectively teach it. In public school settings, it is a struggle to get through to the ones who want to learn and display the according classroom behavior. So, with diagnosed and undiagnosed students in the classroom making loud outbursts, starting conversations that are not relevant to the topic of the class, and creating other noise pollution, a general ed teacher has to set a priority and that would be to protect the learning opportunity of the other 25-30 kids in the room.

      I would appreciate hearing comments from people who actually know what they are talking about and not just putting down the people who have PAID thousands of dollars in training and certification costs in order to do their job (teaching). Thanks.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
    • RichVon

      Always good to hear something so judgmental from someone who obviously hasn't ever suffered a mental disorder. I work in public Special Education, and I can assure you that ADHD exists. You idiot.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I agree completely. Many years ago, my older brother had a teacher who wanted him to take ritalin. My mother is a former school teacher and my dad is a pharmacist. They refused. My brother went through a series of tests to determine whether he was in fact "hyperactive" and requiring ritalin. The result: my brother had an IQ of 170 and was "hyperactive" because the teacher wasn't teaching anything to stimulate his mind. The pediatrician's last comment on the report (which my parents keep to this day): "smart kid, stupid teacher". From that day on, both my brother and I attended private schools, where they could accomodate my brother's talents, and he was never "hyperactive" again. in fact, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cal Tech at 19.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      I'm a retired school teacher and I'm shocked at the comments from teachers in response to Ezar. A little discipline goes a long way to stop kids talking out of turn, "making loud outbursts", etc. While ADHD and garden variety hyperactivity do exist, I have to agree that many children are diagnosed as a result of incompetent and lazy teachers who want to dope up children because they can't control their classes. As a result, many gifted and normal children are essentially given a drug induced lobotomy and figuratively shoved into a corner by a bad teacher. The cost to those children and, indeed, this country in drugs and the failure to help a child live to his potential is outrageous. A "nonconforming" child is not necessarily a problem child. It's my experience that many of my fellow teachers are so mediocre themselves that they fail to understand anyone who is other than mediocre. I hope teachers can learn to teach to the good qualities of these children, rather than abandon them to drugs.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Hey, "Non-Stupid Teacher": I hope you're being sarcastic with that name. I truly hope you don't teach children, given your bad grammar and misuse of the English language. I have to say of the people on this board who claim to be current or former teachers, the only one I'd want to teach my child is Charlotte. The rest of you appear to be 2.0 gpa education majors who've been brainwashed by the teachers' union.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      I dont think ADHD needs to be handled via medication – but rather reteaching these kids how to behave. Which, is why a lot of parents turn to drugs. Most of them didnt put in the effort to begin with, why start now? I dont think this is the case for all kids who are believed to ADHD, I can definitely see really smart kids being viewed as hyper or easily bored – and I can also see kids who come from homes without any structure (like my nephews) being unwilling to adjust to structure in a classroom. The thing is, there's probably 100 or more different reasons why these kids "act out" as they do...and probably almost all of them are treatable with behaviour modification. LIke Dina says regarding her husband and "static" – it appears maybe he never thought to TEACH HIMSELF how to tune out the static himself...nor really cared to try, or maybe assumed he just "couldnt". I have a friend who believes she's ADHD and much of her behaviour fits the "definition" – but a whole lot of it also has to do with effort. She worked a desk job in a cubicle and didnt want to put in effort – claimed her ADHD wouldnt allow her to focus. But now she's the manager of a cellular store – and amazingly she can focus. It's a choice she made to grow up and realize, work isnt fun...it's just something you have to do.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Each individual case is different. My son was diagnosed last year with ADHD. He does not have behavior problems, he has difficulty concentrating and focusing in school. I also did not wake up one day and decide to medicate him. From the day he entered school he has had difficulty. In kindergarten he was treated for dyslexia, in 2nd grade he was tested for ADHD, in 3rd grade he fell so far behind I wasn't sure if he would proceed to 4th grade. And his difficulties were not due to lack of parental involvement. I had his eyes tested (which subsequently he got glasses), I had him in tutoring, summer reading programs, summer school, as well as myself spending at least 1 hour every night doing homework. My son began his 4th grade year and myself, his teacher, and school principal decided he was not ready. So, very reluctantly I put him back into 3rd grade. He still could not keep up. At that time, I had him retested for ADHD by school and took him to the dr. It was either try medication or put him in special ed classes. I am happy to say w/ his medication he is now an all A and B student and feels very positive about himself. You see, children who can not do well begin to have a negative perception of themselves. He only takes medication on days he is in school, for the purpose of concentration. I am a strong believer in doing what is best for your child. Not that medication is the first answer, but in my experiance it has greatly improved my son's success in school.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • Dalgast

      And so now what do you tell all those kids that in the past you just shoved mind/behavior modification drugs in, OPPS. Maybe it should be mandatory that doctors take their own meds for a couple years before they can write out scrips for poison.

      August 19, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • steve anton

      you are one sick unintelligent piece of garbage. don't speak of things you know nothing about. you make a great case "for" abortion!

      August 19, 2010 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      When did an over-enthusiatic kid become pyschologically ill? or when did a naturally less academically inclined child become sick? Have you not heard of BEHAVIOUR? Feel free to shove pills into the mouth of your seven old child and do not complain when he wonders away from home seeking to "find himself". Do you believe everything you hear? Are all doctors correct? whose doctor was last in class in med school? yours or mine? THINK!!! children go through developmental stages. Just accept it and try your possible best to provide a congenial atmosphere to promote proper growth.

      August 19, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      As a special education teacher for the past 12 years, I take offense to the assumption that all these children are being misdiagnosed because of teachers. It is ILLEGAL for a teacher to "diagnose" a child (not that I'm saying it never happens, but that can't possibly account for every misdiagnosis). In my experience, it's many times the parents who push for a diagnosis and medication (either because they can't handle the child's behavior or because you can receive additional public assistance if you have a child with a disability). And many times (not all) the kid is a mess due to some incredibly poor parenting. The US is the only country that medicates for ADHD, what does that tell you??

      Is it a valid medical diagnosis? ABSOLUTELY. There is plenty of neurological research to back that up. But the actual percentage of children who have it is very slim and an even smaller percentage should require medication.

      And for the parents who are railing against the school system for teachers who "just want to drug their children", did you ever go observe your child in the classroom? Have you compared your child's behavior to that of their typical-aged peers? If only the teacher makes the comment, so be it, you are probably right. But if a dr. perscribes meds, it's because of something YOU said or THEY observed, NOT THE TEACHER.

      August 19, 2010 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • Kmjoen230

      I agree.
      I remember when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I moved schools and had already learned everything that was being taught, i had read the books and done the math. I was bored so what did the teachers say? ADHD!
      So of course I went to get tested and the dr confirmed what the teachers said. This was back in like 1994.
      But I never took the medications after about 6th grade. They made me feel like a drone. It wasn't that I was unable to focus it was that I had to be taught to focus. When I wanted to focus I could without the medications. So I think that its not a matter of taking the pills to "help" the kids focus or "make" them focus.

      August 20, 2010 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
    • JCwire

      This article nails it!. My son was in 1st grade, the youngest in his classroom, above grade level in all areas of study, but can't sit as long as his older classmate is diagnosed with ADHD. I decide to home-school him because I don't want to put him on medication. It's the right decision because our school system is not designed for immature kids especially boys. Our society just rather medicate this kids to make teacher jobs easier.

      August 21, 2010 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • Wonderland

      Has anyone heard of CAPD? Central Auditory Processing disorder. It mimics ADHD in many symptoms, and is often assumed that a child has ADHD when in fact they have CAPD which is NOT curable with drugs, but addressed with personalized intervention specific to what the diagnosis is for that child. It is worth reading up on and understanding that some children loose connection not because they have ADHD, but because their processing has not caught up and they loose what is going on or said and then wonder, because the brain has forgotten what comes next. "When the Brain can't hear" is a good book for all teachers to read.

      August 23, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Doctors are foolish to continue to perscribe these medications to young children whose parents fail to realize that they don't need them. Children need to act like kids, not medicated humans who suffer the consequences of these drugs. Children lose weight and are quiet, which is abnormal behavior for NORMAL CHILDREN. Doctors need to stop and take a look at the situation and stop overprescribing. Its turning this society into CHAOS!!

      August 23, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • Ingrid

      Wow – I'm amazed at the variation of comments posted. As a mother of 2 children diagnosed with ADHD I can't imagine any medical professional diagnosing ADHD and putting a child on medication on the Teachers input alone. Those of you reading this who actually have children or are adults with ADHD I highly recommend Dr. Russell Barkley – Amazing man who is on the cutting edge of research regarding ADHD. Stick to the well documented facts and ignore the stupid people who speak from no actual experience what so ever.

      September 1, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
  2. Ken

    Really? Maybe drugging kids and FORCING parents to do it or lose their children isn't the proper approach for a civilized society. For shame!

    August 18, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      There is no school that can FORCE a parent to medicate.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Wrong, Jen...

      Private schools routinely do this... and they did it to my son. The Montessori school where my son was in first grade called an "emergency meeting" and the principal sat us down and informed us that our son had ADHD and needed medication or he couldn't continue in the school. We hired a child psychologist to anonymously observe my son's class and she informed us that our son met NONE of the criteria for the disorder. We pulled him from the school that day. Since then, he has gone on to do very well in public school, scoring in the 95th percentile on his STAR testing every year and getting straight A's.

      The disorder is vastly over-diagnosed and far too many children are receiving brain altering medications - the long-term effects of which NO ONE knows, btw. Certainly there are children that need help, but it is a tiny fraction of those currently being medicated.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      That's private. Private schools can also kick you out much more easily. That's the risk you take when you go to a private school. Public schools cannot.

      August 19, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      Wrong again, Jen...
      Public Schools can kick your child out by saying that they are interfereing the education of other children and that they won't be able to come back to school until they have seen a doctor and been put on medication. Then if you try to take your child off of the medication, they tell you that you are a negligent and abusive parent and that they will call child protective services so that your child can be forcefully medicated. And for those of you who don't think that the teachers' diagnose the disease, please tell me why then does the doctor give you an evaluation for the teacher to fill out?

      August 20, 2010 at 05:14 | Report abuse |
    • DoubtingThomas

      @Jackie. Wrong. Teachers are asked to fill out forms detailing their observations, ya dolt. Not a diagnosis, not a prescription.

      Get a clue.

      August 20, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
    • JCwire

      Even if public school does not kick out your ADHD kids, but you'll get the pressure to medicate your kids eventually. Teachers will put your kids in detentions, not allowed to join field trips and other social activities. I was furious to find out my 1st grader couldn't got to park field trip because he couldn't sit still and focus. There is an accumulative punishment of these ADHD kids done by these teachers. That's the reason I pull him out from this school system. These kids need justice.

      August 21, 2010 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  3. Lydia

    Well if psychologists are seeing so many misdagnoses, who's providing them? Other psychologists?

    My son was not diagnosed until he was almost 16 although I questioned the school administration. By then, he also suffered from severe depression. He is 30 now and has been confimred bi-polar along with ADHD. It seems the medical community has gone from under diagnosing to over diagnosing.

    While some people may foolishly think it's not a medical condition and it's only children not being parented correctly, it is indeed a major problem IF that is what it is.

    Schools are not geared to deal with unruly children, whether because the unruliness is medically related or whether because of poor parenting. However, I'm not too sure the medical community is not to blame for caving into demanding parents in finding ways to instill discipline in their own children.

    I just hope children who indeed have this condition don't get pushed away and get lost in the system.

    My son did and he has not recovered.

    August 18, 2010 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ArmyWife

      That's just it though, it is not always psychiatrists diagnosing ADHD, which is a psychiatric disorder. Family practice doctors diagnose it and are able to prescribe stimulant medications for it. The medical community can and should stop this. My son has a list of psychiatric diagnoses a mile long, for which he does take some medications and also receives therapy both for him alone and for the family to help us all help him the best we can. We have lived in several states and in some family practice doctors either cannot or will not prescribe stimulant medications; however, we have also lived in states where they do make these diagnoses and do prescribe stimulants. I have had friends whose children were diagnosed with ADHD in the matter of 5 minutes in an office visit with a pediatrician. Although a pediatrician is certainly knowledgeable, he or she is not a psychiatrist. Even the difference in a psychiatrist and a psychologist is pretty significant. I once read a book that was about this topic and it advised that if the ADHD diagnosis was made in a single office visit then it should be questioned. My own son was in fact diagnosed with it by a neuropsychiatrist after both my husband and I answered numerous questions and the teacher was asked to answer a few questions as well. In total he had about 6 visits before a diagnosis was made. Fortunately, I am well educated and well informed and did not make the decision to medicate over night. I asked a battery of quetsions of his psychiatrist. In the end, what I felt it came down to was asking myself one questions: Are we doing this to make our child's life better or to make ours better? If it is in fact to ease a burden the child is trying to cope with, then I do believe there is justification; however, when it is to make it easier on a teacher or parent then it is nearly abuse. We use medication in addition to many other coping mechanisms for him. It is not a magic pill and you still have to take the time to teach your child how to deal with the symptoms. I think an important thing to remember, however, is that each child is different. There are a lot of very judgemental posts here from parents who have children/grandchildren with ADHD. Each child with this diagnosis, and adults with it too, will have different manifestations of the symptoms and thus what works with one child will not work for another. Of course, I mean the children who do in fact have ADHD or ADD. Assuming my child with ADHD can successfully be handled the same way another child was would be like assuming they are both boys so they can wear the same size clothes, it is an absurd assumption to make.

      Steven in MO further down the posting, aside from the grammar that is currently making my eyes bleed, should realize not all children are the same. We have a stable home with a nuclear family and are very involved with our children, that alone does not solve problems for every child. I do agree that ADHD is diagnosed in far too many children when too often it is in fact due to environment and parenting; however, you also have to realize that is not always the case. It certainly is not for us. We have 3 other children who are very mellow and well behaved.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      Let's remember, that schools do not diagnose, physicians do. Teachers cannot diagnose, only state what they see. It's up to the parents, not school administration, not the school psych nor the teachers to provide medication and/or seek medical attention. Schools simply state and educate the student and parents on what they see. It is the parent responsibility, not the schools. I think we often forget what our roles in society are.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I have to agree that this problem went from being unnoticed to overly daignosed. I too have a family member who was diagnosed with ADD in the early ninetees when it started becoming fashionable to drug kids. I have a major warning for parents of kids who have to be drugged!!!! These drugs often end up being the gateway to experiment with other drugs and then becoming hooked on them. Sure, most kids will play around with pot, or acid, etc....but I truly believe that kids who are already on these prescription drugs don't have the strength to just dabble. Anything they do they will get hooked on. My family member started trading her ADD pills for pot in junior high!!!!! She said that pot made her just as calm and was more fun. Well, this led to a number of other drugs, sex, etc. Now in her twenties she's been diagnosed with bi-polar and has not really recovered from her teenage issues. She can't hold a job, doesn't do well in school, can't hold a boyfriend, etc. It's sad to see. I blame the ADD drugs.

      August 18, 2010 at 23:44 | Report abuse |
    • Common Misconception

      I completely agree with this study, but that doesn’t change that fact that there are those of us who actually have ADD. It’s impossible to understand for those who don’t actually have it, but you body literally can’t handle sitting and focusing on something. At my job, when I’m working on a single project, or reviewing something, for a long period of time I will literally spasm occasionally with the pent up need to move. My brain will sometimes be moving or thinking of different things so quickly I will lose my train of thought mid-sentence (this happens at least once a day). It’s not even a self-discipline issue, I took martial arts for years as a kid which helped me learn focus, but there are limits. When your body is screaming ‘MOVE!’, no amount of focus is going to be able to keep you on track. There ARE ways to manage it without medication, but for a young child that isn’t easy. It takes years to learn how to focus properly, and even then I could never stand studying for more than an hour at a time. I would never have learned even the meager study habits I did without a few years knowing what ‘normal’ felt like by being medicated. The key is not to medicate them their whole lives! Give ADD and ADHD kids a chance to learn how to focus and they’ll turn out okay. We make great multi-taskers.

      August 19, 2010 at 09:45 | Report abuse |
    • Dheeraj Raina


      As someone who works in the field and likes to give time and attention to the evaluation process, I think that many psychiatric conditions including depression (major depression, dysthymia), bipolar disorder, and ADHD are both overdiagnosed and underdiagnosed. In short, they are misdiagnosed on both ends of the spectrum.

      In my opinion, many factors are to blame:
      – Most often, psychiatric diagnoses are made by clinicians (physicians, therapists) whose training in psychiatric diagnosis is not as comprehensive.
      – Even when psychiatrists make the diagnosis, they don't spend as much time and pay as much attention to the diagnostic effort as they should for a variety of reasons ranging from insurance plan requirements to personality issues.
      – Patients want a quick fix, and are relieved when they find one. Most don't spend time, money and energy at the outset getting second opinions, etc to have better confidence and accuracy in diagnosis.

      Psychiatric diagnosis is inherently subjective. Even if one sees a primary care physician, gets diagnosed with a allegedly 'simple' diagnosis as depression, I wish more people would seek a second opinion from a psychiatrist who is reputed to do good diagnostic evaluations.

      August 22, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
  4. leikela

    Big shock! I have been in education for 15 years, have had numerous students who "had" ADHD and only 3 that I actually thought had it. Most had poor parenting – including bad diet and lack of sleep. It is a great disservice to all the parties involved. I am glad to see that more people are looking into this.

    August 18, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Disturbed

      What concerns me more than the topic itself is that the people who are educating our children have such a poor grasp of basic concepts in grammar they think it is proper to use quotation marks to call attention to a word, such as in the above post where "had" is used. Our education system in America is going down the drain fast, right up to the level of knowledge of our teachers.

      August 18, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • ILikeAllCritters

      I "think" Disturbed is wrong. "Perhaps" it's really okay to use quotation marks. Why does a teacher using them "deserve" to be criticized? I think Disturbed "needs" to have a nice cup of tea and go relax instead of criticizing hard-working teachers.

      August 19, 2010 at 05:28 | Report abuse |
    • Tina B

      Just want to share a story about a family I know that put their child on medication when she was eleven. Even though the teachers didn't push it and her condiion was never a problem until she was in sports. The mother is a nurse who takes xanax for dealing with her ability to cope with life.She believes that a pill cvan give you answers. The father is a father who just loves to be the screaming yelling soccer dad.TROPHYDAD all the way. He has his children in every sport during the year. When he was growing up sports played a huge part of his life, to the point he took STEROIDS to perform better. Now he and his wife divorced so they have to enlist grandparents, aunts, friends to shuttle their kids to and from school and to and from sporting events. The parents cant keep up with it all. The parents continually bog these children down with a hectic lifestyle of go go go. They do not at all have any kind of structure in their life. The time spent on homework is minimal because they are too busy with sports and any extra curricular activity the parents can enroll them in. The parents love to socialize at these events too. The one child who is one of the youngest in her grade, is smart and very creative. She gets decent grades in spite of the fact she is never home to study much. She can and will focus on a project that she finds interesting. She is a great child who at times can be a little bit rebellious due probably to lack of sleep. The mother, A nurse, jumped to the occassion of getting her tested. After all the testing was finished the psychologist came up with some silly kind of explanation of why she needs medication for HER CONDITION. I know they never took into account that this child is one of the youngest in her class and has a lifestyle as hectic as a CEO. Trust me there was no reason that this chilld should be on medication. It is due to the unstructured lifestyle this child has. The parents now are excited to TELL EVERY ONE THEIR CHILD GETS ALL A's in school.
      I have to laugh that sometimes the parents should be labled as TROPHY PARENTS OR HYPERPARENTS.

      November 16, 2010 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  5. Janet

    ADHD is NOT the whole story. ADHD has risen at the same level as diabetes and there is a llink! Blood sugar is the root cause link for ADHD and Alzhemiers. The drug makers control the health care and much of Washington

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes WITHOUT medication in much of the world and the USA drug makers are still silent on the story to the people

    Just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

    August 18, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • another one of these people

      how many of you crazy cynical fools are out there claiming "the government is doin this Big Pharma is doin this! wake up sheeple!!" google some common sense you freakin idiot

      August 18, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      Oh pleeeease...you been reeading too much junk. Please don't make statements you can't support. Get a grip and stop parroting some unsubstabtiated piece of garbage.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      No filmmaker, no doctor, not even God himself is "curing Diabetes without medication". Maybe they are resolving type 2 Diabetes without medication but that can be done here and has been done here. There is no cure for type 1 Diabetes. Insulin is the treatment. Period. Without it, type 1 diabetics die, plain and simple.

      Go call Jesse Ventura with your conspiracy theories.

      August 18, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
  6. Dee

    I put off having an evaluation of my son for almost a year, not wanting to face the diagnosis of ADHD. (I am an adult educator). Arguing about his behavior caused strife in my marriage and extended family, and my son spent about half of kindergarten and first grade unhappy, labeled "the worst kid in his grade level." His high standardized test scores didn't matter. After a six week evaluation, the team of a psychiatrist, nurse, and a counselor diagnosed him with both the hyperactive and inattentive subtypes. He went on a low dose of medication. Our lives ALL changed for the better almost immediately. The dose has gradually been changed as he has grown so much in the past 3 years, but is just enough to allow him to remain calm and focused on his schoolwork and extracurricular activities without changing fundamentally who he is. He's changed schools, had supportive teachers, and participates in a gifted program. I'd say he's a pretty happy, well adjusted 4th grader now...my only regret is that I didn't try to get him some help sooner.

    August 18, 2010 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clare

      I think what some people don't understand is that it really is a tremendously difficult decision to choose to medicate your child. For us, medication allowed our son to be his true self. It didn't change him- it gave him a chance to show the smart, sensitive, inquisitive, sweet, funny kid that we knew he was. I appreciated your response to the article and the glimpse of the face of ADHD that we know, apart from the stigma that seems to come with the diagnosis and the method of treatment.

      August 18, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      It just crushes me when I read people saying that ADHD doesn't exist. For years we could see our daughter having trouble focusing and falling behind her classmates, even though she was well-behaved. When we finally got the diagnosis of ADHD-inattentive subtype, and started treating her for it, the turnaround was amazing. She is now in the gifted program, has many friends, and her anxiety about school and social issues has been greatly lessened. Sure ADHD is overdiagnosed, but please don't generalize and say it doesn't exist or that parents are wrong to medicate. The decision to medicate still weighs on me, but everyone in my daughter's life can see the changes that it combined with counseling has made in her life.

      August 19, 2010 at 08:00 | Report abuse |
    • LaB.

      Many of you responding are ignorant and commenting with no knowledge or education of ADHD. Teachers DO NOT diagnose children but assist the parents, pediatricians, psychologists, and psychiatrists in describing observable behaviors in the classroom as part of the process of diagnosing a child. I'm a parent of a child with ADHD and I have experienced first hand the successful outcome of this diagnosis. Treatment has increased my child's self esteem, confidence, performance in school, and interactions with peers. I suggest those of you who commented without having a clue of what you're talking about, to refrain from exposing your ignorance and stupidity in this forum any further. It's a shame to all.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
    • shelly

      Dee, your story sounds identical to my son's experience. We fought the idea of ADD & any medication. (My husband is a physician & was adamantly opposed to any meds.) However, it became apparent that the alternatives were not good. Since being on meds, his life has infinitely changed for the better. He is entering the 3rd grade, doing wonderful, & has a great self-esteem (mostly due to being able to FOCUS and ENJOY his life.) He loves chess and joined the little chess club at his school. (Who would have thought!–Chess?!) This summer he did fantastic on swim team & enjoyed competing AND practices. That being said, it's been a long 2 yrs of figuring out what he needed. As a parent who has seen their child struggle w/ this, you wonder how many tears you must be shed before answers are found. Yes, I have no doubt that this is over-diagnosed. And yet, it's heartbreaking as a parent to see your child "fall through the cracks" if goes untreated. Kudos to you & here's to a great future for your little guy!

      August 19, 2010 at 10:39 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Your story is very similar to mine. I was in denial that my son had a problem and I was very much against putting him on medication. When he started the 3rd grade I took him off of it and he went to school unmedicated. We had problems. He was feeling bad and he began to have low self esteem because he felt "different". He himself noticed that he was unable to sit still and also had a hard time concentrating. He is on the lowest dose of his medication but it has made a world of difference in his life. His grades went up to A's & B's and I too have finally been able to get over the fact that he does need therapy in the form of medication and I was the one who was doing a disservice to him by not keeping him on the medication because of my beliefs. I do believe that misdiagnosis happens but I also believe that ADHD does exist. My son is proof.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Understanding

      I totally agree with what you are saying Dee as I am in the same situation. My daughter struggled up to grade 5. Finally after accepting " I " had ADHD myself, seeking help and experiencing the medication... Never EVER would I go back to where I was. I now live a NORMAL life. For my daughter, only 2 weeks after being on a very low dose of medication, her marks started climbing. And for her final provincial exam in June she had an impressive 90% in math. A lot better than her 40% at Christmas exam. She is being increased as needed, but is still on a low dose. I feel so bad for not giving it to her earlier. But at least she is FOCUSED now. Believe me, it was'nt a teachers decision. It was a parent's decision wanting to give all the chances in the world to her daughter to live a normal life. Neurological problems are treated like any other health problems. And like any other health problems, most of the time you do not have a whole lot of control over it. I am really happy when I read remarks like yours that I can relate to and not feel JUDGED... Because too many people are judging without knowing how it really works in an ADHD head... BUT your son, my daughter and I " DO"... and we have NO CONTROL over it without medication.

      August 19, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  7. SJB

    It is not always PhD level psychologists that diagnose. Licensed Counselors can diagnose in many states. Often, a school teacher may plant the seed by "mentioning" to a parent or someone that an unruly student may have ADHD, and it goes on from there. Don't allow your children to be doped by para- professionals. Get another opinion.

    August 18, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lynn

      Sadly and far too often, the diagnosis is made by a family doctor or a teacher/principal or a parent and relayed as official – so surprise children are misdiagnosed. In the 70s, everyone misbehaved child had hyperactivity,in the 80s, it was ADD, in the 90s, it was ADHD; now it's autism – throwing these words around creates labels these kids can never shake. Be careful which one is stamped on your child and by whom.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
  8. steven in mo

    My wife and I raised two of our grandchildren due to the fact their Parents being not fit to raise them. (Drugs) They were taken away by the State and given to us. They were diagnosed as having ADHD. After years of Taking medication, one kept getting worse. Acting up in school, on the bus and had a habit of running away. I never believed they had ADHD. I blamed it on the way they were treated by their Parents and the shock of being taken away from the only home life(if you can call it that) they knew. A strong Family foundation and commitment of responsable Parenting can achieve more than any medicine. I also believe that at least some of these diagnosises of ADHD are the result of lazy Teachers and school staff. We turned these Children around more on our own than the medicines effect. The Pharmaceutical Companys are making a mint from these drugs.

    August 18, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lynn

      And who, may I ask, writes the prescription?? Don't be fooled into thinking your family doctor should be diagnosing these kinds of conditions. They are not. Big Pharma does what they do because that is what we ask of them and we keep doing it...supply and demand? We demand and they supply.

      August 18, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
  9. DeeDeeLynn

    CNN still did not report in this article (and not in the previous one) that much of the problem is due to the fact that the ONLY people qualified to diagnose ADHD are neurpyschiatrists and neuropsychologists, not pediatricians and not theraphists and not psychologists... although many of these people (particularly pediatricians) DO diagnose it and prescribe medication. If people made sure that their children saw a neuropsychologist or a neuropsychiatrist and underwent a complete neuropsychiatric evaluation, these rates of misdiagnosis would not occur.

    August 19, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SF

      DeeDeeLynn, you are wrong about "ONLY" neuro practitioners. Certified and licensed, and to a lesser degree registered, professionals varying from general board certified practitioners to licensed psychologists can diagnose ADHD. From a statistical standpoint, 81% of childhood ADHD cases within the last10 yr period have been diagnosed from non mental health providers. The term neuropsychiatrist is redundant, psychiatrists are automatically board certified in neurology. And neuropsychologists is a specialty within the psychology community; however, it is not neccessary for a neuropsychologist to assess/diagnose/treat ADHD, a clinical psychologist without a neuro background qualifies for this task. All-in-all, psychologists, like myself, appropriately assess, diagnose, and treat these cases, and if we were exposed to misdiagnosed cases, which I will continue to see throughout my career, will offer a more accurate condition and educate the community on signs, symptoms, features.

      August 19, 2010 at 02:05 | Report abuse |
  10. Thomas

    Mr's Elder's study is irrelevant because he uses anecdotal evidence and he relies on the "diagnosis by teachers" for much of his evidence. First off, teachers can't diagnose a medical disorder, they are educated to do so.. They are not trained with the expertise nor do they have the physiological or neurological tests available to them, to verify their guesses. This study is not only flawed, but its irresponsible. Mr Elder might be seen as incompetent by medical professionals who are trained and have the access to the necessary expertise to actually diagnose this disorder. Mr. Elder is another in a line of many, who are trying to find ways to get those off the hook, who have invested millions if not billions of dollars into chemicals we ingest. I believe Mr Elder needs to find a real profession that doesn't involve creating nonsensical studies designed to cast doubt on real issues for the sake of making a name for himself and demeaning the anguish many people who suffer from ADD and ADHD live in. And yes, I am and adult who has been diagnosed with ADHD by a Psychologist and a medical Doctor, both of whom are trained to to recognize, diagnose and treat, ADD and ADHD. If you don't have you, you cant imagine it.

    August 19, 2010 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Victor

    Wow. I can tell who has and who hasn't read the actual article based on the comments. Like others have said and as stated in the article, ADHD is a medical diagnosis, not the results of an educator's loose training in identifying kids who might need help. Generalized labels and uninformed opinions of of something as complex as ADHD (or diabetes as one person mentioned) really does a disservice to those who struggle with the condition. No one wants to be diagnosed with ADHD, diabetes, bi-polar disorder, etc... it's something that those individuals have to live, cope and deal with everyday. It really angers me to read Internet educated folks come to such ill informed conclusions on a topic they have no knowledge, experience or expertise in.

    August 19, 2010 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. SAM

    Cant blame this on PASSIVE SMOKE EITHER.....

    August 19, 2010 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. GE

    The schools have cut playground time. The time they do have on the playground they can't run (actual rule in our town), play tag, hang from the monkey bars, go up the slide backwards (like all kids like to try to do), or just be themselves while on their reduced recess time. They complain kids are fat after reducing the very time kids need to blow off steam. They give the kids 15 minutes to go through lunch line and eat their lunch then complain kids are malnourished while the kids throw a goodly portion of their lunch in the trash because they were rushed. In the end they complain kids are ADHD when all they needed was more time to run, get a little tired and more in the classroom discipline. But we wouldn't want to call out a misbehaving kid because that might damage their self esteem. It's so much better to reduce them to little more than zombies with mind altering drugs! It would almost make Timothy Leary proud.

    August 19, 2010 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joanne

      I agree with you on most points, However, not too many people seem to care about my kid's self esteem. He has been bullied on the playground( almost to the point it being sexual) and gets blamed for whatever happens to him. I do think that the shortening or lack of recess hasn't not helped this situation and God help a a kid if he's not just like everyone else.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      Joanne – I had the same thing happen to my daughter. That is also an issue. Once your child has been singled out, the kids had a field day with her. They knew she was under a microscope so they thought it was fun to get her in trouble and blame her for things she didn't do. Small example – my husband was talking to the teacher with my daughter standing next to him and a kid came in from outside and said that my daughter hit him. She wasn't even outside! Kids are cruel. We all lived it. All of that certainly doesn't make a child "want" to be in school or pay attention. And until they are older and more mature and realize that they have to do things whether they want to or not, there will be problems. Also, I think you posted before that you wished you could send your kid to private school but couldn't afford it. Don't bother. Both my kids are in private school. It is everywhere.

      August 24, 2010 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
  14. Pippysmom

    DUH!!! Its a way to say my child is misbehaving and I can't control it except with the help of drugs!

    August 19, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Parent

    Its a given that some kids are truely ADHD , but the issue at hand is the many kids are misdiagnosed. I think one key point is that immature kids are thought to be ADHD. ADHD is a label that is used to try to put a box around certain issues. But many conditions will cause ADHD type behaviors. The brain is a chemical factory. One could be high or low in many different brain chemicals. Are you low Serotonin, or Dopamine or high Norepinephrine or low Epinephrine, or low GABA or high Glutamate. Its also import that certain ratios of these chemicals are in balance. So if you think in these terms you can see how ADHD can be misdiagnosed. I think in some states you can be forced to have your kid on meds. So thats an issue also. Immature kids dont think before they react, this is called impulsive which is almost always said to be ADHD. As a child matures and they think before they act they will become less impulsive. Now its said that excutive control is in the frontal lobe of the brain and thats the area that most ADHD meds work. Executive Control is what helps you think before you react.
    There are nutritional supplements to help balance neurotransmitters. As you can see its all so complex.

    August 19, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Careful Mama

    I would like to see a study that compares the rates of misdiagnosis from Licensed Counselors to Pediatricians to General Practitioners to Licensed Psychologists. It is a parent's responsibility to ensure their child is diagnosed by a properly qualified doctor. When we shared our concerns about our sons behavior & emotional difficulties, he gave us his 2 cents and a referral to a qualified child psychologist. We gathered surveys from family members, care givers and teachers for 3 years – comparing the results over time as well as looking at environmental differences (ie of course he behaves worst at home – don't all kids?) After looking at the big picture for an extended time, it became clear that my son matched the criteria for both subtypes of ADHD. We implemented a plan that includes a low dose of stimulant, play therapy, and parent training. I question the wisdom of ANY parent who would request or accept a drug for their child without getting second or even third opinions from qualified individuals. Until there is an accurate & widely available conclusive test – ie a brain scan or something of that sort – there will continue to be misdiagnoses. But I'd wager quite a bit that the percentage drops dramatically when child psychologists are involved.

    August 19, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Chris

    Maybe now they will create a new condition called LDHD (Lack of Disclipline Hyperactivity Disorder). This new condition will be classified as the result of LPhD (Lazy Parents hypoactivity Disorder).

    August 19, 2010 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tb

      Very good!!!!!True the majority of parents who medicate their children do not do any other kind of therapy for their children POPPING THE PILL is the easiest way. Parents are too lazy to try the other suggestions that involve time and energy on their part. I have seen it time and time again with parents who are lazy.

      November 16, 2010 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
  18. Mom of 4

    My 3rd daughter was a terror, to put it bluntly. Daughter #1 was the typical strong-willed child who would put her foot across the line you just told her NOT to cross. She needed a lot of discipline, boundaries and encouragement. Daughter #2 was very easy going and compliant. But we had no clue what to do with #3. She kept getting sick each month with colds, ear infections, tonsillitis, etc. Her pediatrician finally ordered some blood work. He checked her blood allergen count, and it was 5 times the normal count.

    We took her to a pediatric allergist who tested her for food allergies. She was allergic to wheat, corn, yeast, beef, turkey, peanuts, chocolate and a host of other foods. We literally had to cleanse her system of all these foods. After 6 weeks, she was a completely different child. No more temper tantrums, no more attention span like a gnat. We found out through slowly introducing these foods into her diet that wheat made her hyperactive. I told many friends of this, and some looked at me like I was in denial. Many told me I needed to get her on Ritalin before she started school. Her allergist wanted her to be part of a double blind study to show that it is food allergies affecting kids, and not ADD or ADHD. Unfortunately, I just found out I was pregnant, and we couldn't do the traveling to the city twice a week for the next year. He did give me the results of the study some years later, and he found that over 50% of kids diagnosed with ADD or ADHD had food allergies. Most allergies were wheat and dairy products. My daughter is now 20 years old. She outgrew all of her food allergies. For years I had to make her special snacks to take to Girl Scout meetings or Sunday School so she wouldn't eat wheat. I made her bread, cakes, cookies, tortillas, etc. for years from scratch using various flours. I have convinced many friends over the years to get their children tested for food allergies instead of putting them on Ritalin or other behavior-control drugs. It's amazing how many kids are indeed allergic to various foods, and those foods cause behavioral problems. Parents need to take the time to research these things instead of trying to drug their poor kids and causing them even more problems in the future.

    August 19, 2010 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bblueskies17

      I have lived around food allergies all my life. I have a few but my younger brother many and my wife has many. Wheat, Corn being big ones. We also have done a lot of scratch cooking with different grains and learn a lot of creative ways to make different foods. Also making your own food from scratch allowed us to control what was being eaten. So I support Mom of 4 on what she is saying. The reaction to an allergen can cause many different results. Sometimes thinking outside the box on what might be going on is a good thing. It did not take drugs to solve the problems we had but a willingness to check all possible causes. What we thought was a low immune system was a over worked immune system due to allergies. Food coloring and sugar are other big ones that have been found to cause hyperactivity. Keep an open mind on the causes

      August 19, 2010 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  19. flcracker2

    My son was misdiagnosed ADHD when he really had an ocular vision issue. Check out the LearntoLearn.com website for more information.

    August 19, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Zebula

    "Disturbed" is in error and should try perusing a book of English usage.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. kathy

    my son too was diagnosed with adhd. my husband and i were totally against medicating for at least a year. neighbors kept coming to us telling us they just about hit him with their vehicles while he was riding bikes or walking because he would pay no attention to cars. we had to make the decision to medicate for his own safety. so please don't be so quick to judge parents or phycoligists or physicians, when in fact u don't know these families or the situations.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TLB

      This is defiantely a reason that the child would be an ideal candidate for medication. I have a friend with the same situation. Her child would run across the street without looking, she was very, very hyper to the point she put herself inserious danger in alot of situations. There were plenty of times the mother had to send out a search party for her child because when this child was tall enough to unlock a door she would justt up and leave the house and go visit neighbors. She was only in kindergarten. So you defindately will know without all the fancy scientific medical reasoning to back up what is obvious.

      November 16, 2010 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
  22. Elsie Elaine Connelly

    I attribute ADHD to parents who are not taught to be parents, either by their own parents or because they listen to "so-called" experts. There was not this problem when I was child. But then again that is before Dr. Spock (who admitted in his later years that he was completely wrong about his theories). Too many kids are diagnosed by teachers who don't really want to deal with children (who's attention span is less than ideal). I have seen too many teachers in our public school system that are incompetent, un-attentive and disgusting in their habits and dress. Teachers need to lead by example and when an impressionable child sees his teacher(s) look like bums (hair unruly, clothes less than neat and tidy, trying to pull off a younger age than they are......

    August 19, 2010 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Adam

    Kids are acting like kids, the world is coming to an end! Let's drug all our kids for behaving like kids. Drug adults behaving like kids, and medicate adults for behaving like adults. Let's use drugs to fix ALL of society's problems. After all, the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies know what's best for us!

    August 19, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • YES

      So true everyone I know is taking something for their inability to deal with life. Xanax, cymbalta, prozac, paxil etc... and these are people who really have it good in life. They just want to feel good all the time and are ADDICTED. Llife is a journey with ups and downs. Unless you are dealing with a life changing situation, that calls for medication to help with a very serious issue, by all means why not look for help to get through the darkest moments life can throw at you. Loosing a boyfriend or not being able to cope with work or kids does not call for medication. PILL POPPING SOCIETY

      November 16, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse |
  24. Stacey

    Electronic media plays a significant role in the development of ADHD-like symptoms. When children grow up watching television, playing video games, and hanging out on the computer, their field of vision never has a chance to develop normally, which results in the inability to concentrate. Of course, there are far more complexities regarding the development of field of vision.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Andrea

    ADHD is a real disorder that affects kids and adults. I am tired of people blaming parents by saying it is a result of poor parenting. What a cop out.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jen L.

    I hate when studies or articles like this come out because it gives people yet another opportunity to judge parents of ADHD kids. Until you have a child with ADHD, you can't understand. I do NOT medicate my child everyday because it's fun. I do it so he can function in school and play with other kids and not be miserable. This study doesn't recognize the majority of childrent that truly do suffer from ADHD or ADD and do need medication and counseling.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SuzyQ

      I sympathise with you but the article is trying to show how many of the so called ADHD children are not really ADHD. A misdiagnosis in my opinion is more harmful for a undeveloped mind of a non-ADHD that is put on medication than it is for you to deal with your ADHD child.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
  27. DMJ

    My son was mis-diagnosed with ADHD and had been on numerous variations of medication over the past two years. Some made him gain weight, develop nervous twitches, and even insomnia. He was then diagnosed by a specialist with having Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea. After having his tonsils and adenoids removed, he was sleeping, eating, and acting like a normal, non-ADHD child in a matter of weeks.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Joanne

    My son's school has been pushing the ADHD diagnosis at us for 4 years,despite us having reports from his pediatrician and a child psychologist that he is not ADHD. He is oppositional-defiant and an active boy. He is also quite smart and gets good grades, reads well above grade level, and was in the gifted program. I agree that ADHD is real, it doesn't apply to all kids are don't fit the mold. Last year was the first year that his teacher agreed that he wasn't ADHD and worked with us on a behavior plan to deal with his oppositional defiance. The school psychologist says she doesn't see it and continues to push the ADHD diagnosis. I really dread the start of school tomorrow because I'm sure we'll have to go through it all again. I wish we could put him in a private school, but we just can't afford it.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OMG

      I cannot believe the school psychologist is behaving like that. That person should be fired. How can a school district employ someone who is terrible at their job and shows no experience at all. I bet you this psychologist is young and naive and probably on medication too. lol

      November 16, 2010 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
  29. Carol

    One issue which is not being discussed is the ridiculous concept of "red shirting" kindergarteners (most often boys) so that they begin school a year later. In very affluent neighborhoods, where parents can afford an extra year of daycare this is becoming the norm so their boys are big for sports. So if you send your boy to kindergarten at a normal age and heaven forbid, if he has a late birthday, he will be abnormally young in the class – maybe a year or more younger. According to this report he will run double the risk of a wrong ADHD diagnosis. School districts need to prohibit the practice of red shirting and level the playing field for all children.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. SuzyQ

    I agree that there is indeed indviduals who truly have ADHD but I also have seen many, many children who have parents that do not or cannot control them. Usually it is because they simply do not want to take the time to interact with their children. They don't "Want to be bothered".
    Doctors should have to observe children in their own environment before prescribing drugs for children who they believe have ADHD. I would suggest something like they have for sleep disorders. An individual who they suspect has ADHD would spend a day or two under observation. At that time a determination might be made as to whether or not they have ADHD.
    I have 2 nephews and 1 niece who have been diagnosed with ADHD. One of my nephews I feel has been correctly diagnosed but the other two children I feel have been misdiagnosed. I have had the opportunity to see them with and without there medication. When they are not under medication and are with their mother (who is a stressed out single mom) they appear hyperactive because she doesn't handle them well. If they are with their Grand-Mother or other responsible adults they have no problems other than the liveliness of any other 8 & 10 year old children. It is sad to see that they must be medicated because of incompetence of their mother and doctor.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • StepMommy

      I think you nailed it and havent seen this yet in the replies. a prescriber of medication should have to observe the child *in the environment* prior to writing the script. my brother truly has adhd. he was observed at school, at home, in sports, etc. we were able as a family to manage it without medication and by 6th grade he had mastered the skills necessary to manage it on his own and appeared to "grow out of it". my stepchild's mother, at the vehement objection of my husband, took his child to her primary care pediatrician and in 5 minutes based SOLEY on the words of the mother was diagnosed and prescribed. In defense of the medical practicioners, they are only as good as the information they are given by the child's guardians. if the parent feeds them canned symptoms of adhd the doctor will make the logical conclusion pushed on them by the guardian. (like his ex did, as stated in her journals, she looked up adhd on the internet and made sure she described all the symptoms to the doc to get the medication she wanted to use on her kid, and it worked.) amazingly even after my husband contacted the doc office and advised of his objections, that doc continued to renew the prescriptions for the mother. the child is the one who loses out. the child acted perfectly normal when in my husbands care, unmedicated. when observed with the mother, the child was unruly, temperamental, moody, and prone to violent outbursts or crying fits. strange..... ? no, just sad. my firm belief is that those children who trully are adhd should be given all their options and make informed decisions. that may or may not include medication. for the vast majority of other children who are misclassified by well meaning (or not) parents, the results are tragic.

      August 19, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
  31. Mike

    ADHD is vastly overdiagnosed and we, as a society, have decided to experiment on our own children for the sake of convenience. I won't be so naive as to say no child needs medication - because some clearly do. But we have given brain-altering medications to the growing brains of millions of our children without any knowledge whatsoever of the longterm side effects of said medications.

    More recently there has been a disturbing trend to begin diagnosing children with adult mental illnesses (like Bipolar Disorder) and then treating them with adult medications (like Lithium, etc). Again, NO safety or longterm studies have been conducted in children on these medications. Just because a medication is successful in the adult (non-growing) brain, does NOT mean that it will be safe in a child with a developing brain.

    The responsibility ultimately lies with the parent, but schools and moreover teachers (who have just enough knowledge in this area to be dangerous) should NEVER council parents on medical diagnoses/treatments. Suggesting they seek out a proper professional is about as far as it should go.

    As a physician, I can tell you, I would NEVER give any brain altering medication to my children. Never... Counciling, yes... Therapy, yes... Drugs... no.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AWESOME!!!! TLB

      It is shocking to see how many parents I know in the affluent neighborhood i live in, pop meds in thier childrens mouths so they can perform academcally better without actually studying. NONE OF THESE PARENTS TRIED ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE PILL. It is the first choice for them because it is the easiest way for the parents.

      November 16, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
  32. Chris

    I've been saying this for years. ADHD is basically made up. Oh no my kids hyper! This can't be normal behavior for an 8 year old! Parents are idiots and will believe anything out of the mouth of a doctor not realizing the doctor is robbing them blind because he is working for the drug companies. He's the pusher and the pharmacist is the dealer. This is kind of like restless leg syndrome. Do you really have an illness or is it your body saying get your lazy butt up off the couch and do something. Kids just have lots of energy. Let em run it off and get out there and participate in activities with your kids and they'll be fine. And schools need to bring back recess and P.E.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply

      Does anyone know of a pill that will help me get my daughter to study harder and faster and get all A's. I want her to do everything I ask her to do. I want her to be obedient and reliable. I want her to be at the top of her class, as well as, the best athlete. I want her never to talk back and never ever voice an opinion. I want her to like everything I cook and never have a temper tantrum. If you do let me know so my role as a parent would be SOOOO much easier. LOL a lil sarcasm. Sorry if it rings true for some.

      November 16, 2010 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  33. LaLa's Ma

    WOW – I am stunned to see that people really think that there is no such thing as ADHD, and that a diagnosis of ADHD is merely an "excuse" for parents who don't want to discipline their child, and who simply want to "medicate" them. I have a 7 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with ADHD – but, it took us 3 years before we decided we needed to have her evaluated. Our daughter spent 3 years with teachers telling us that she absolutely could not sit still, that she could not focus, and she could not pay attention. Even as a baby, our daughter was constantly moving. You knew she was asleep when she finally stopped moving. We didn't want to believe our daughter had an issue, but after seeing that these problems were having more and more of an impact on her friendships, school performance, and self-esteem, we finally had to do something. She has been tested and evaluated by 4 different specialists, who all have the same conclusion – she has ADHD. She also happens to be an extremely intelligent/smart girl, but her grades/performance are definitely affected by her ADHD. For people who don't believe ADHD exists – my opinion is that you truly do not know someone who has it, and have not been personally affected by it. There have been studies of kids diagnosed with ADHD versus kids without – brain scans over a 10-15 year period show the difference in brain development of kids with ADHD vs. kids without – The brain scans of kids with ADHD show extremely slow development of the parts of the brain governing "executive function" (focus, attention, impulsivity). It takes until the child is around 15 – 18 for the brain development to "catch up" – but even then, the "excutive function" part of the brain is not as well developed as in people without ADHD. Medication given to kids who truly DO have ADHD does not render them "zombies" – it does just the opposite – it allows them to focus. My daughter says that when she takes the medication, the "fog clears up." Think about it – the medications being given are not "downers" or "sedatives". The medications are STIMULANTS, and fall within the class of amphetamines. These medications "stimulate" those areas of the ADHD brain which are not as well developed as in other people. For those who state that people who take ADHD medication will use it as a gateway to other types of drugs – the OPPOSITE is true. For those who truly have ADHD, and who take the medication, they are LESS likely to try illicit drugs and substances. Why? Because the medication helps with their focus/impulsivity. People who truly do have AHD, and who do not take medication are the ones who are more likely to experiment with illicit drugs/substances – why? Because they are trying to get the stimulation they so desperately need. Don't assume that all parents who choose to medicate their child are "lazy" and don't want to discipline their child. We work tirelessly with our daughter – to understand right from wrong, and to understand how to make good choices. We discipline our daughter when she doesn't make good choices – plain and simple. If you don't know anything about this issue, then stop commenting on it. I am amazed to see how many people have opinions on something they know NOTHING about.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrea

      Very well stated, LaLa's Ma.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
    • Tyler's Mom

      I just wanted to say Thank you. Your insight is much appreciated. I too have lived this life of a mom searching for ways to help her child. And it just breaks my heart to see the negative things uneducated people believe to be true. And until you have lived the life of a parent who's child struggles everyday, who's child is tormented by other children at school. My son is only looking for acceptance of his peers and the unforgiving manors of children who refuse to associate with my son because he is differant. We are not lazy parents, we are not uncaring parents and we do teach our children right from wrong! It's just trying to teach the rest of society not all kids are the same. Not all kids learn the same way. And these parents who say we are just bad parents are unfortunately passing that prejudice onto their kids........the kids who torment my son.

      August 19, 2010 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • Careful Mama

      Absolutely. I posted this article on my FB page and was amazed how many 'friends' crawled out of the woodwork to comment that medicating your child is "the easy way out." Those of us who have been there know – there is nothing "easy" about it!

      August 19, 2010 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • Lance's mom

      Well said LaLa's Ma! My 5 yr old has the SAME issues–lack of concentration, incessant talking, singing, making noise, can't sit still, doesn't follow directions. He is currently in therapy–my husband and I hope to NOT medicate him-but only time will tell. ADHD is a real mental disorder and it has NOTHING to do with LACK of parenting–trust me, I'm the meanest mommy ever–ask my son! 😉

      August 19, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
    • StepMommy

      I agree with most of what you said, and it was nicely written... but the example you left out.... what about the non-adhd child who is misdiagnosed and put on medications? i can tell you from experience that zombie is a perfect description. my stepchild seemed stoned. out of it. slow to respond to any stimulous. slept all the time. had no energy to play or go outside. it did not help the child focus. furthering my husband's belief that his ex pushed the pediatrician for a diagnosis so the mother could drug the child she was unable to control in her home. the child behaved fine in our care, so why the difference? an adhd child should be given the option of medication and parents should think carefully about the reprecussions good and bad of doing so. but for those non-adhd children, these medications do not have the same effects as intended. i liken it to giving me cough syrup to treat a sinus headache. its not what i need. dumb analogy maybe, but you get my point.

      August 19, 2010 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
  34. Stacey

    "Dr Mike" You are misinforming the community. I too am a physician and I there are many studies of psychotropic medications that were done in children. The drug Abilify, for example, has several studies, including a long term safety study over a year in length, of the medications effects and safety in children. That is why the FDA approved its use in children down to age 6yo. You state that you would NEVER give any psychotropic medication to your child. What if they had schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder and couldn't funciton in society without medication. You are doing you child and the community a disservice by spreading such non-sense.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      First off, a one year long study is not a longterm study. Second, if by "safety" you mean there were no medical side effects, then fine. There is no effective way to study the effects these medicines have LONG TERM (5 or 10 years out) on children versus control groups. I am skeptical about the diagnosis of ADHD, but acknowledge that it exists in a small percentage of children - certainly nowhere near the number that are currently being treated. The decision to medicate is up to the parent, and I don't begrudge them that. But as a parent myself of a child "forced" out of a private school because they wanted him medicated and he clearly didn't need it (he has transferred to public school where he has since done exceptionally well), I have chosen to not take that route.

      As to the use of adult mental illness diagnoses on children (Bipolar Disorder, etc)... that's an entirely different issue that troubles me as well. Calling a 5 year old "bipolar" and giving them lithium (and this is done, btw) is doing a diservice to your CHILD... and society. And of course, any time you (or me, in this case) use the world "never" in a statement, you open yourself up to being given the extraordinarily rare example of true mental illness (like schizophrenia, which as you know typically presents in the late second or early third decade of life) being thrown in your face. Yes, if my child had true psychosis, I would treat him...

      There... happy?

      August 19, 2010 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
  35. Shelly

    My son was diagnosed in 2nd grade by his teacher. It was the new disease of the week in 1991 when he and 4 other boys in his class were "diagnosed". They tried to push Ritalin on us and we never caved because we never new the implications of this medication. I asked his pediatrician if he was ADHD and she said "no, he's all boy though". He was quite active but we could handle him at home, although he tested every limit known to man. hahaha Anyway the pressure from all the teachers throughout his school career was incredible. The label followed him to every single class..... I was so glad when he finally finished school.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lance's mom

      Well done Shelly!!! Also for all of your parents our there, diagnosis of ADHD CANNOT be done be a teacher or school principal...the child has to be seen by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist....sorry! Teachers and principals CANNOT diagnose children with ADHA or anything for that matter! So for all you parents who have said their teacher thinks...or says...or the principal says...please get your child checked out so you KNOW for sure what is going on–even if it's nothing!

      August 19, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      I'll bet his teachers were too!!!
      Sounds like he was a pain and you didn't know how to discipline him.

      August 19, 2010 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • TLS

      My daughter is now in 6th grade in honors reading and writing. She is not good at math, but that is okay. I will eventually get a tutor because the math is getting difficult for even me to understand. LOL
      Anyhow, starting in preschool through every grade at every parent teacher conference it was always an issue of her ability to concentrate and stay on task with her classmates. She never has enough time to finish her tests, she is the last one to finish anything in class. She interrupts and talks alot etc...... a true social butterfly. It often takes her hours at night to finish homework, she daydreams ALOT. My child is very creative in art draws way beyond her age.
      I did not medicate her and with all that she is now in honors reading and writing. I know if I medicate her she probably would advance to the next grade. I do not need to impress anyone so no thanks to meds.

      November 16, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  36. Shannon

    Sadly I have seen that so many kids are getting misdiagnosed for ADHD and really have SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). Like many of you, in first grade my son's teacher "suggested" that he had attention issues. She continually tried to ram it in our faces that he had ADHD and needed to be medicated with Ritalin type drugs. Until finally we went to an independant physician and tested him for ADHD/ADD. The psychologist said he didn't hae ADD/ADHD. He did believe he had SPD. We had never heard of SPD before and began researching it. It really opened our eyes. SPD can be controlled with Occupational Therapy. Our son has gone through a year and a half of intensive OT and is a completely different child with no medicine!! For those of you with children diagnosed with ADHD/ADD, I suggest you check out SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). It will really open your eyes!

    August 19, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • StepMommy

      awesome job, thank you for sharing

      August 19, 2010 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
  37. Joe

    There is no test or exam for ADHD, just a phychiatrist or other making a guess. Ever wonder why there is no cure for any mental affliction? maybe drugs are quick, but who actually gets better? no one, you keep taking it. That's why the whole industry is a sham.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Mike

    Being a teacher with these so called "disabled" kids, this whole syndrome BS got to go. ADHD doesnt exists as a disabllity. Most of these kids are just BADD and need some discipline at home. Quit enabling kids that can't focus and put them on drugs. Special education labeling is the reason why only 1/4 of high school graduates are ready for college.Excuses excusing lowering the bar and letting empowered students run the schools. If you fail study harder (this means many hours a day) stay in your seat and learn. If you choose not too then you suffer the consequence for being a loser.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LaLa's Ma

      Mike – if you really are a teacher (and I seriously doubt that you are) – you should be fired.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • LaLa's Ma

      Why do I doubt you are a teacher? And if you are actually a teacher, why should you be fired? Because your grammar is appalling, and your spelling is even worse. If you are a teacher, then perhaps the reason why YOUR students are failing has something (everything) to do with the person who is teaching them...

      August 19, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • Tyler's Mom

      The reason 1/4 of highschool students aren't ready fo college is the inadequate teachers just like yourself. Do yourself a favor and find another job.You are not the kind of person who should be teaching any child.

      August 19, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • MT Parent

      IF you read Mike's comment, and don't think he or she is not a teacher, check yourself. Read what he said, and he is not missing the boat with his/her comments. Politically Incorrect, bad spelling, but not far off at what he/she is seeing in the classroom. As with this article, it is about misdignoses. And he/she is correct, we have a problem with parents wanting to be the victim. Or parents living threw there childs problems. Or parents that just don't care.

      And if you feel you are that smart bash him/her about the why he wrote his article, it is learned from the previous teachers that taught him/her. Can you see the dumbing of Americans Education that started in 60's. You can thank a baby boomer.

      August 19, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
  39. Kay

    These disorders do exist and for the children & adults that truly have ADHD they really struggle with the effects of it on a daily basis. The kids with Hyperactivity Disorder are not really what you would think as "hyper" or just children full of energy, these are kids driven by impulses they have no or little control over. For these kids they just can't control mental impulses telling their body to touch an item or stand up or tap their fingers. My son has both Hyperactivity Disorder & Attention Deficit Disoder (Not everyone has both). I noticed problems from as early as 1-2 yrs old in my son. I wasn't really concerned over the way he would often rock back & forth and I didn't realize at the time the frequent spinning or walking in circles he was doing was a red flag. My biggest concern was the way he wouldn't respond when I called him..I even had his hearing checked & that was fine. My son is now 11 and it is no fun to watch your son struggle. Because of his ADD he struggles to retain things he learned, he constantly loses things, he often gets tricks played on him by other kids because he doesn't pick up on clues from the other kids that would warn him their up to no good. I could go on & on with the things people take for granted that my son struggles with.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shannon

      Kay.. please go here: http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html

      August 19, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
  40. concerned parent

    ADHD has no scientific or medical basis – it was an invented disorder AFTER the discovery of Ritalin!
    Look it up for yourselves.

    Big pharma used ritalin to treat children with MBD (Minimal Brain Disorder) from an earlier incarnation of the DSM (which BTW listed homosexuality as a mental disorder!)

    Parents didn't like having their children labelled as MBD (Minimal Brain Disorder doesn't sound very nice) so later editions of the DSM split MBD into ADHD and LD (Learning Disability).

    August 19, 2010 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LaLa's Ma

      Dear "Concerned Parent" – you obviously have no personal experience with this issue. YES – there is scientific evidence to back up a diagnosis of ADHD. Perhaps you should research the issue, and become educated on the issue, before you render an "opinion."

      August 19, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Concerned parent, you're simply delusional. ADHD has been around far longer than Ritalin, and idiots like you just muddy the waters. Get educated.

      August 20, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
  41. 22much

    Watch. . .reports of similar data on the over-diagnosis of Autism will be next. Just saying.

    August 19, 2010 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. MT Parent

    I read these comments and I have to shake my head. I am a parent of a child that takes the lowest dose that can be given to correct his ADHD. As with anything there is many different levels. AND MANY who abuse it. Parents, teachers and Doctors.
    Since America has turned the classroom into a babysitting arena, a good teacher should document the problem. (Good Luck) Then you have to find a Doctor that is up-to-date on ADHD. Good luck again. And finally, as a parent you have to be intune to your child. And by reading some of these posts, I can't beleive some of you are let to breed.
    I was lucky, my childs teacher was/is excellent, and the family doctor specialized in the study of ADHD. IT was my hard head that needed to be woke up. My child went from struggling in class to being on the Honor Roll and made the Peace team at his school.

    August 19, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Claire

    Many children, especially boys, are not developmentally ready for the regime of kindergarten and 1st grade which revolves around getting children to sit still. Children will sit still when they are ready to. A generation or two ago kindergarten was 1/2 day and involved play time, snack, rest period with maybe a little bit of learning the alphabit thrown in. A few years ago my son was in a 'gifted' kindergarten and was given homework such as book reports (no kiddlng). He was not able to sit still and constantly in trouble. We moved him to a private school where they believed children should have the 'time' to develop and the freedom to move around a little bit. It took him a whole year to recover emotionally from the trama of K & 1st grade but after that he was fine.

    August 19, 2010 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Kennie

    My daughter was originally "diagnosed" by her 2nd grade teacher. That teacher gave her father a doctors name and asked him to take our daughter to that doctor to get medicine. There were no tests, no behavior modification, no testing for food reactions. Nothing but a prescription given on the 1st and only visit. She wasn't "hyper", she likes to draw and she would draw instead of doing her classwork. In my opinion, this should have been a discipline issue, not a medical issue. My daughter lived with her father (long story – she wasn't "taken" from me). I refused to give her the Ridilin when she was with me. I am really glad this study came out. There are too many kids just thrown on medication for ADD or ADHD without anyone thinking "Gee, maybe there is another reason this kid isn't paying attention in class". If you look at the symptoms of ADD and/or ADHD – EVERYONE has some form of it!! ADD and ADHD do exist – just not in every child.

    August 19, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MT Parent

      Your post shows the absurd approach by a teacher, the unwillingness by the father and mother to research this, and a doctor that just does not care. Ridilin should be the last drug in the arsenal for ADHD, period. Your child is already trying to deal with Dad and Mom issues, and then the Doctor throws in medication without proper research. Everything about your post poses a sense of failure for the little girl.

      And this is what this article is about. Exactly what her post says.

      August 19, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
  45. Mike

    ADHD exists because we live in a society where you can talk on the phone, text, go on the internet, half watch tv, and hold a conversation all at the same time. And if its not the kids gorging on technology, then the parents are. Its not a genetic disease, its how we're living our lives. I was on medication for ADD (the version without the hyperactivity) for years and it turned me into a zombie focused on playing lots and lots of N64, and didn't do a whit for my schoolwork.

    I can see why parents would be upset at the idea that teachers are shilling drugs to their kids. But remember, most teachers aren't growing up in a world that is fractured by technology and media. Drugs are not the solution to this one

    August 19, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Natalie

    ADD/HD are completely made up disorders that give the pharmaceutical companies something to market and make money off of, and give parents the comfort in believing that their children aren't dumb and/or undisciplined...probably helps to give the children self-esteem boosts for the same reasons too. People who claim that they have or are close to those who have ADD/HD and that the medicine works, should be subject to placebo tests too. These days, whenever a child can't pay attention in school, it's automatically assumed that he/she has some sort of learning disorder. I blame the parents for not disciplining their kids. The only kids I remember from school who we sometimes joked about having a learning disorder, just weren't smart, and you could tell that their parents pretty much let them do whatever they wanted because it was much easier to give in. I didn't misbehave in school because I knew my parents would kill me if they found out. AKA I was disciplined enough to know when it was time to play around and when it was time to be serious.

    Think your kid has ADD or ADHD? I bet you could scare it out of them. Be a parent and quit taking the easy way out by drugging your children.

    August 19, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shannon

      Let me guess?? either you don't have children or you beat your kids into submission?? hhhmm.. Studies have shown the 90% of the children that have ADHD/ADD/SPD are intellectually gifted.. Their brains just can't slow down long enough for them to function.

      August 19, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • Lance's mom

      I don't think you have children, but if you asked my child he'd tell you I'm the meanest mommy ever! My child thrives on structure and I discipline like no other, I spank, timeout, nose in the corner, etc. But some days it doesn't matter how much you discipline it doesn't work, it really doesn't–that's when the child needs to go to bed and start over the next day. Trust me...and he has NO video games (I believe in giving them to kids nor do i buy them)...no candy...and if he doesn't nap on a daily basis he goes to be at 7:30 pm every night–he's 5! He starts Kinder in a few days and every single day in ALL day Preschool I had to remind him on the way to school to be quiet (no talking, no singing, no making noise), to listen to the teacher, to follow directions and to finish his work–on a daily basis!! Sometimes he needed to be reminded many times a day! So if you think it doesn't exist–you are a moron!

      August 19, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • Natalie

      Whether or not I have children is completely irrelevant. All I was trying to point out is that diagnosing your kid with a learning disorder is an easy way out. Big surprise a CHILD is hyper. Maybe he's not getting enough attention/discipline/anything at home so he's acting out. Maybe he's TOO smart and he's bored. Maybe it IS an intellectual issue, and your kid just doesn't get it. It's the parents' job to figure out what the root cause is before they decide to drug their kids and potentially limit their abilities in the future.

      My brother was "diagnosed" with ADHD in high school. He's one of the smartest people I know. After being on the medication for 2 years, he decided on HIS OWN to ween himself off the medicine because, while it calmed him down, he didn't like the side effects of it. He made an effort all on his own to change.. He's gone over 10 years without medicine. You know what he does now? He works for Google. Now, he's living the life, he's happy, and you'd never be able to guess that he ever had "issues." Yeah, nothing to do with discipline, right?????

      August 19, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      What a shame your brother got all the brains. Maybe he can teach you how to spell. It's "wean", ya moron.

      August 20, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
  47. JustLikeIThought

    My son's 1st grade teacher told me that he had ADHD because he touched thing she had posted or on display throughtout her classroom, fidgit, tap his pensil or crayon, hum, tap his feet, play with the girl hair that sat in fron of him, etc. She had me concerned, so I called my mom (she is a kindergarten teacher and has been for over 25 years), she said that since my son had been going to a daycare/pre-school since he was 2 years old, he was probably just bored. Turns out my son would finish with his assignments THEN start doing all these things that the teacher was saying he was doing. I did, however, take him to his peditriscian, she had me fill out a bunch of forms, asked my questions about his behaviors and when these behaviors happened, she also asked my son numerous questions, and also tested his eyes and ears. She said he was a normal 6 year old boy. I told the doctor what my mom had told me and the doctor agreed with her for the most part. IThe doctor wrote me a note to give to the teacher (which is now in his school record) that he does not have ADHD. From that point on I have told his teachers that my son needs to be kept busy, if he finishs before the rest of the class, give him something else to do. He has not had a problem since. He is now in the 8th grade and is a happy healthy 14 years old.

    August 19, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Frank Barnhill, MD

    I think the number of kids currently misdiagnosed as ADHD is closer to 2 million. In my practice about 25% of all children and teens seen for re-evaluation of their ADHD are misdiagnosed. These kids are almpost always on ADHD drugs, and despite the drugs or therapy are still bringing home bad grades and still have major behavior problems.
    Current news articles discuss how many very young kids are misdiagnosed as ADHD and I agree. My rules of thumb on diagnosing ADHD:
    You can't accurately diagnose it in a child less than age 6. Too many of these kids have ADHD-like symptoms but are really just normal little boys and girls with normal curiosity and impulsiveness.
    In evaluating and treating behavior-disordered kids over the past 29 years, I've found the younger a child is when you try to diagnose ADHD, the more likely the diagnosis is wrong and will harm the child and many times, the family. Often, these kids will respond to things other than drugs.
    Too many kids are diagnosed with ADHD, even though their behavior problem only occurs in one setting instead of the two or more required by the DSM-IV, the book used by Psychiatrists to make psychological diagnoses. To suffer from ADHD a child should have a problem in two settings or environments (i.e. Home and School) that interferes with his or her ability to function like a normal child would in a similar circumstance. For more info, please visit my information-content website: ADHDbehavior.com.
    Frank Barnhill, MD author "Mistaken for ADHD"

    August 19, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. concerned parent

    It is true that ADHD was invented after the discovery of Ritalin.
    Check your facts and history!

    August 19, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shannon

      the actual name of ADHD perhaps.. but the causes and behaviors weren't.. ritalin was NOT created to combat ADHD.. it was found to have a serendipitous side effect.. just like Viagra was NOT created for ED.. they found that it had what is called a serendiptoous side effect that helped with it.

      August 19, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
  50. RK

    I come from India and was very hyper-active in my early childhood days. Anyone looking at me if I were here as a child in the US at this time would have labelled me as definite candidate with ADHD. But my parents understood the hyper child in me. I went on to be among the most bright student in my school durin my high school days and went to the top ranked colleges both in India and the US!
    Now when I look at my son and my father sees his grandson, my father just says that he a exact copy of mine! But some people have already labelled him as a candidate for ADHD and I am just appalled at that! He is brighter than most kids and at least 2 grades ahead scholarly of his regular school grade!

    August 19, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sean

      You go brother!

      August 19, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
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