ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says
August 19th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says

More and more children are getting a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of children with the condition rose from 7% in 1998-2000 to 9% in 2007-2009, for both boys and girls. In some areas of the United States those figures are even higher. From 1998 to 2009, ADHD prevalence increased 10% in the Midwest and South.

That's not necessarily bad news; it could mean that with greater awareness of the condition and better access to health care, more children who have ADHD get a proper diagnosis, which is the first step toward seeking appropriate treatment. Medications and behavior therapies are available to help kids with attention issues. But the report did not directly measure whether the rise in ADHD cases reflected better detection or an actual increase in the number of children with the condition.

On the flip side, past research has found indications of frequent misdiagnosis of ADHD. Some parents say the first suggestion that their child might have ADHD came from educators rather than mental health professionals. That could lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment; ADHD is a specific condition involving lack of focus and impulsive behavior, but there could be other reasons for similar symptoms.

The CDC report looked at children 5 to 17 years old. It did not look at causes of ADHD, which remain somewhat mysterious; no one knows how to prevent ADHD or predict who will develop it.

Researchers highlighted disparities among ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Among children in families with an income under the poverty line, ADHD prevalence increased to 10.3%, and for those just above the poverty level it rose to about 11%.

ADHD prevalence is about the same across the ethnic groups that the report focused on, with the exception of Mexican children, who have consistently had lower prevalence of ADHD since 1998. Again, it's unclear whether that means this reflects a need for greater awareness and access to health care, or if children in this group are truly less likely to have the condition.

Whatever the underlying reasons for the condition's rise, a tremendous amount of money is being spent on health care and educational interventions directed at ADHD, not to mention other costs to parents. In 2005, using an estimated prevalence of only 5%, researchers estimated the societal cost of this mental illness to be about $42.5 billion.

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soundoff (579 Responses)
  1. Christopher

    Most ADHD diagnoses are bunk and simply psychologists and others trying to penalize children and paint them as abnormal for being normal, flighty, easily distracted children.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kraznodar

      The guy that originated the ADD and ADHD diagnoses stated pretty clearly that less than 1/10th of 1% of children could possibly have either condition. That is 1 out of 1,000. The rates this article lists as having this diagnosis means that there are 900 out of 1,000. This means 899 of those 900 are misdiagnosed. That is pretty tragic malpractice.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Kraznodar, you math is a bit off 900 out of a thousand would mean that 90% of the children in America have been diagnosed. Your point is still well taken at 90 out of 1000 (or 89 children misdiagnosed according to your information.) Just wanted to clarify.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • ramp


      RIGHT ON CHRIS. Pl. read my comments. May be 1 in 1000 has a 'medical' issue but not the stats they claim!!

      August 19, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • Andyjo

      There is a big difference between ADD and ADHD. I hate how they are lumped together.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • Tommy Knocker

      Outside of mainstream thought...here's my 2 cents worth. Let's talk about the effect of in uturo ultra sound. The thought of micro waving an embryo is psychotic to me. This is a Dr. Mengela experiment all over again. Never in a million years should this be done. Now it's the norm. Get pregnant...have an ultra sound. Sounds harmless to me. Bull....we're losing a generation to this. And guess who's making off with billions...the pharma giants. Create future addicts in the womb. Just gotta wait 8-9 months, they're gonna need your pills sooner of later.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Actually, most diagnoses are made by General Practioners/Primary Care Docs who don't have the proper amount of training to diagnose Mental Health Disorders. A good number of cases can be chalked up to sensory issues, rather than attention deficits.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      TommyKnocker, please don't breed. Do you realize there is a difference between a sonogram and a microwave?

      August 19, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • Tommy Knocker

      Sorry Angie, two more Cretans are already roaming the earth.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Penalize them? In modern America, a diagnosis is an excuse. People rack them up so they can justify themselves.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
    • heidi

      A psychiatrist would diagnose the disorder and prescibe medication. Maybe there are too many psychologists with all the online schooling available. Make sure you go to an MD

      August 19, 2011 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      I am so impressed by the majority of the comments in this story I felt compelled to write. While ADD/ADHD is a definitive reality to those that truly have children with this diagnosis, I'm afraid the majority are the product of commercialization. My former career was in pharmacy and I had firsthand knowledge of how cyclical prescribing of medications can be. It was always obvious when drug reps were in the area as there was a flood of coupons & prescriptions in a short period of time. I'm sorry, but if your children are not put first – consequences ensue. Children are wonderfully beautiful, joyful and emotionally draining beings that react to the simplest shift in their parents moods and can easily bring down the mood of the entire family. Family dynamics have changed dramatically over the years; it is difficult to juggle a full time job, household and everyday life for two working parents. Something has to give in this scenario, I simply ask – could you do more with less? Before you take the easy road, take the high one and self reflect on what you could be doing better as a family to assist your child. It may be as simply as cooking your own meals, sitting together as a family for said meals and getting involved in EVERY aspect of your child’s lives. Many are crying for your attention and not a pill.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
  2. Maurice

    Why so much ADHD? Common sense. What is the one thing you can think of that kids have been spending more time doing daily as the years go by? Watching television. Now, it practically raises them, not to mention other flashing images, and multiple minute length commercials of totally unrelated content, one after the other before maybe a 10 minute segment of the main show that their growing minds are supposed to be REALLY paying attention to. And even in the main show there are quick scenes that last for less than a minute at most, and then flash to another scene that might be part of a sub plot and in a totally different setting, and then....COMMERCIAL BREAK.....and more attention span shredding commercials. And THAT is what growing minds are being told to pay attention to; nothing really more than a few minutes, and on a flat 2 dimensional screen – NOT the real 3 dimensional world around them, where the scene only shifts as one turns their head, but the setting is ALWAYS in REAL setting around them. Television has REALLY F@%KED up civilization. Now add alcohol and nicotene, and you have an up and coming extinction level event, I dare say.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BobZemko

      You got it spot on, Maurice !!!!

      August 19, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • John Brown

      Great observation. Watch a child reading a book and they tend to be calm, but watch a child watching TV and you'll observe they can't sit still, constantly twitching.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      add the day long video games to it! man what is america feeding on? pizza for the body and video/ TV for the mind! is it a surprise our economy is taking a hit? americans are raising kids to be less smarter and less healthier by buying these costly games and paying for this costly social media! how dumb can we get?

      August 19, 2011 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      My son has been diagnosed w/ ADHD by a dev ped. And this was after he spent his early childhood in a foreign orphanage where I can assure you there was NO TV to watch. The idea that these kids being diagnosed w/ ADHD are just watching too much TV is ignorant and insulting to those of us who are faced with the daily challenge of raising a child with special needs, not to mention insulting to the child who will have to learn to cope with and compensate for this condition for the rest of their life.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
    • tvugly

      Your generation loves to blame tv, movies, and videogames. Anything to distract from the fact that most of you just weren't very good parents.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
    • Donalouisa

      Actually, my sister was a big reader of books as a child but struggled greatly in retaining what she read. Also, all 3 of us siblings watched plenty of tv. My sister was the only one of us who struggled in EVERYTHING. She was never diagnosed with anything. And our Mother didn't believe in heavily medicating a child. So now, at 35, my sister was diagnosed with ADHD and is taking medication. For 35 years she suffered from not being able to sleep & not having the ability to have meaningful relationships. I do believe there are people with ADHD who aren't getting the help they need and vice versa. It's not just about whether a child can sit still for anything. It's also whether their brain can focus on what they're seeing, hearing, touching, and so on. And we will continue to see such crazy numbers because it's so often misdiagnosed – still.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Saying that a lot of ADHD is induced by modern entertainment is not saying that all ADHD is induced by modern entertainment. Don't be so defensive.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:04 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      The level of ignorance and prejudice shown here is breathtaking.

      ADHD is a cognitive deficit caused by an inhibited function in the pre-frontal cortex. It's as real as your nose.

      It is not caused by sugar in the diet, not caused by TV, not caused by lazy parenting, not a commercial device created by pharma companies, and not curable with simple focusing exercises, or fish oil, or vitamins, homeopathy, or pleas to the sufferers.

      My kid showed the first signs of an executive function deficit before exposure to TV or video games, and believe me, we tried EVERYTHING before finally accepting the conventional wisdom that he needed meds and psychological support. I was also, at one time, prepared to entertain the kind of populist nonsense spouted here (though I didn't have the sheer arrogance to go on a comments section and try to tell people about something I actually knew nothing about) – and the only effect it had was delaying, and delaying, and delaying, our getting the medical help he desperately needed.

      Please consider that your idiot bunk hypotheses about these things can have real ill effects. It took us 2 years longer than necessary to get the proper treatment for our kid because we were also in denial, confused about whether his diagnosis was real, or if you could really fix it with crystals or prayer. When we did, the difference was night and day. This is called opportunity cost – it results from ignorance, in essence the same kind of ignorance that helps HIV spread to tens of millions across sub-Saharan Africa, or has people neglecting to vaccinate their kids from preventable and life-threatening diseases, or has people taking homeopathic or other non-remedies at the expense of proper treatments.

      Looking back, I wish so much that I had NOT looked for advice on ADHD on boards like this. Those of you who are blaming TV or lax parenting for what is a real and serious debilitating cognitive disorder might be well-meaning but you're doing serious damage if you steer people away from a proper understanding of the problem and effective remedies.

      Please face up to the fact. You KNOW NOTHING about this disease. The biggest lesson I learned is that paid professionals are often right, however much you want to malign them, and armchair theorists are just noise sources who drown out the truth. Think about it. Who knows best? Not everyone is evil and just trying to line their pockets.

      It's perfectly likely that ADHD is mis-diagnosed or over-diagnosed. That doesn't make it unreal or non-serious. I'd advise anyone at this board in a situation like mine to ignore the amateur advice, get a thorough diagnosis and listen to the professionals. After that you will continue to face judgement and prejuduce from the kinds of idiots who are in such abundance here, and will call you a lazy parent or evil for (gasp) medicating your kid, but at least your kid will get the right treatment.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • california

      Wow Sean, I don't think deciding not to medicate your child is akin to not treating HIV in Africa. You are pretty angry, I have a child with ADHD (according to those experts you mention) and I know how hard it is. I would think that if your child's ADHD is now really under control you would likely not be ranting to the extent you just did.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:49 | Report abuse |
    • whatignorantpeople

      To Sean- Well said! I have 2 boys with ADHD and I walked your foot steps!
      It's clear that some people on here feel they have a right to call other people lazy parents or bad parents since they have children that NATURALLY react to life the way "normal" children do. Or maybe their childs ADHD is not as severe as your childs or my childs so alternatives have helped them. Because of this, they obviously feel they are a good parent or at least know how to parent the "right" way. I feel your irritation! I think they could all solve the ADHD issue if they would all just get together and wright a book and enlighten all of us "lazy" parents just how the problem is fixed. After all, we all put our children in front of video games all day and pay no attention to them and feed them junk all day. Those things never ever crossed our minds right?

      August 20, 2011 at 03:46 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      California – yes, I'm angry. And with good cause. Because it's hard enough for a parent to figure out what's really happening, and called for, in his or her particular case, without having this baying mob constantly feeding you pernicious misinformation about, say, how your doctor is really just on the make, or it's the fault of TV. I'm not just talking about comments boards, I'm talking about most of the people you meet, the people working the daycare, the friends who think they're helping, and so on.

      I'm not arguing any clinical or other equivalence between HIV/AIDS and ADHD (obviously...ahem), I'm saying that where disease and widespread ignorance walk hand in hand, as they certainly do here, then we're the ones who suffer and it's unnecessary suffering. It might be well-meaning advice (though often not – it seems to me that a lot of people just like to judge others) but a significant part of the difficulties we have faced have been in having to educate friends, family, teachers and carers, and it's no small task to dismantle somebody's prejudices when they were assembled and nursed over a course of years and it's a matter of articles of faith which are established in a culture.

      As for my kid's situation now, it's well over 90% improved with the recommended treatments (not only meds but psych support) but I don't think it will ever be 100% "normality" (whatever that is – we're talking about a broad spectrum here) and there's no shame in that. The overall vector is a good one and his school has been excellent, with great results academically and behaviourally. I'm not at all angry about his situation now but I'm angry as hell when I see people in the situation we were in a few years ago being essentially de-railed by so much ignorance of the condition. Again – my advice to those people is to "trust and verify" with the medical profession and you can pretty much ignore everything else you're told.

      August 20, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
  3. BobZemko

    Gee, do you think it could be at all linked to the overabundance of sugar in their diets and attention spans the length of a flea due to social media?

    August 19, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Darwin4ver

      No, I don't.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
    • Mott the Hoople

      I do, although I think it is more the media (TV and internet) than sugar.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Darwin4ver

      Yeah, cause kids never watched cartoons in the past . . .

      August 19, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      FYI...a recent study shows that the majority of ADHD kids may have reactive hypoglycemia (the tendency for blood sugar to go up the crash very quickly as opposed to gradually returning to normal over time)....however, it did not lead to hyperactivity..it increased the inattentive aspects of the ADHD...meaning harder to focus/concentrate. They gave these kids and a group of 'normal' kids glucose tolerance tests (Very sickly sweet orange drink, then measured blood sugar over time) and found the reactive hypoglycemic tendency in over 70% of the ADHD kids but not the 'normal' ones...and also found that they produced half as much dopamine in response to the carb/sugar load as the "normal" kids....dopamine and norepinephren are essential to focus and concentration.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      The reason I posted this is not to support sugar as a cause but to show that while it does have an effect, it is the result of a glitch in the body's ability to process sugar/glucose correctly. Dopamine generally increases with carb/sugar loads..but at a much lower rate (about 50%) in most ADHD kids compared to "normal" kids, at least in a recent study I read. The sugar doesn't cause the ADD/ADHD but it does aggrevate the inattentive part of it.

      August 20, 2011 at 01:11 | Report abuse |
  4. Atlanta Native

    To those who believe that ADHD is simply "a child being a child", you clearly know nothing about this condition. ADHD is not a condition of a child being restless, inattentive and active. It is a deficiency in executive functioning and ability to set priorities to reach a goal. This is a very real condition and very difficult to overcome.

    I do not disagree that medication may not always be necessary, and think that behavior modification is the better answer, I know that each person with ADHD experiences a different set of difficulties in executive functioning. This has nothing to do with hyperactivity or lack of attention. They are simply unable to perform the process of mental self-regulation that you and I do without thinking every day. Please educate yourself before holding forth on a topic about which you obviously know nothing.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick

      Well IT is about ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) which IS about lack of attention span ALSO! please do not paint this something more that it is! and yes we all know what it is. it is explained in the article above as well as in the link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder

      August 19, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
    • Moammar Gadhafi

      "a deficiency in executive functioning and ability to set priorities to reach a goal"

      I have a deficiency in the ability to listen to meaningless psychoanalytic gibberish without vomiting. what's my condition?

      August 19, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Really Nick?

      Seriously? You're using wikipedia as your source for your vast knowledge of the condition? You may not have ADHD but I can see how America is getting dumber.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • David M.

      ADHD. Another Psychiatric fraud. There isn't a single shred of scientific evidence that the "disease" even exists. As with all psychiatric diseases their existence is voted into the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). They are on the 4th version now which I believe is about 4 inches thick. If it's in the DSM the insurance companies can be charged. If you want to know why "ADHD" is on the rise look at APA's (American Psychiatric Association) marketing budget. There's billions to be made. Helping children starts with good communication. Not drugging them into a "calm state". Ritalin and the like are classed in the same category as Cocaine. They are dangerous drugs.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • Aidan

      You are correct that ADHD is a real disorder, and people should not discount any diagnosis of it. But being aware of the world around requires any intelligent human to see that often an ADHD diagnosis is slapped on children that are being, just as many have said, typical children. Even this article, that you are commenting on, acknowledges that many ADHD labels are put on by educators before doctors are even involved, thus convincing both the child and parent that it's true. You can be completely accurate regarding ADHD being a real condition, but don't be so blind as to not see the fact that it is a label thrown around far too frequently.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • hez316

      The question I wrestle with is whether ADHD has always been with us or is a recent condition. I can remember being inattentive as a child (and occasionally getting a whop on the rear for it), but I don't remember having friends who had anything diagnosed like this. As stated above, perhaps its not genetic but a product of television or video time.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Donalouisa

      Well said Atlanta Native!!!

      August 19, 2011 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      I have an ADHD child, and I'm in the camp that says it's bunk. "ADHD" is a term made up by self-serving psychologists for children who are easily distracted, easily bored, energetic and hard to focus, i.e., normal kids. It's nothing that isn't "cured" by cutting out sugar, limiting junk food, providing lots of physical exercise and setting and enforcing behavioral expectations. Our son has a zombie on meds until we rebelled against the medical/pharma establishment when after thousands of dollars nobody could show a chemical or neurological difference in our child versus other kids. We addressed his behavior the old-fashioned way, with expectations, consequences and lots of ways for him to blow off pent-up energy by physical activity the ways kids played before TV, video games and the internet.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
    • Mike Canada

      I haven't the attention span to read this garbage. I think I'll respond to your posting on impulse then go drug myself into a cataomic state. Blah, blah, blah....

      August 19, 2011 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      What do I understand is attempted blackmail by a "gifted" program councilor demanding my normal child be placed on ritalin or risk having my 190 IQ student removed from the "gifted" class. I refused & discovered the problem was the teacher who denied my child access to daily prescription asthma medicines unless the child used them in front of taunting classmates. Understandably, this caused my child to cry & the teacher then demanded her student be medicated for being "over emotional". Please realize that a great majority of these diagnoses are originating from the schools.............schools like mine.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse |

      ADHD was made up to control the masses from independent thought period. Someone with ADHD into adulthood would be more likely to be the one to tell the preacher your full of cr@p. If they can turn them into a conforming vegetable the leaders can continue to lead sheep unchallenged. I am so happy ADHD was past my childhood.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Reader

      Thank you for your comments. As a parent of a child with ADD, your comments are spot on. Hard to explain it to those who haven't walked a mile in my shoes. If I hear one more ignorant comment that my child's ADD can be cured by cutting out sugar and going for a walk...

      August 19, 2011 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      Let's face it....ignorance is a far greater problem in the USA than ADD/ADHD...at least that is evidenced by many of the comments here on this article...I'd say much more than 9% of the comments show a complete lack of understanding of what ADD/ADHD is, how it is treated and that is isn't mental illness, but a different way the brain is wired..in fact, while it has some elements of a disability, in that it makes it hard to function in a 'so called' normal system, a lot, if not most of kids with ADD/ADHD are gifted and even some are geniuses! Einstein would have been diagnosed ADHD today if he had been in school...so "Really???"....your child may very well have ADHD....it's more common among bright children!

      ADD/ADHD is NOT just about kids who can't pay attention, or fidget or don't fit in..it actually is an overabundance of attention focused among either too many things or not on what they need to focus on. Distractibility, certainly, but also sometimes being too focused to the point that you find it hard to break away when you need to.

      ADD/ADHD people are also often intuitive problem solvers, innovators, inventors, adventurers, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians or actors. They are the people who take risks and are willing to break the mold with new ideas or a different perspective...but most of the time, they are too busy just trying to keep all the mental balls they are juggling going...with the help of treatment, be it meds, coaching, or other legit therapy, they often have incredible minds and potential.

      Google 'famous people with ADHD

      August 19, 2011 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  5. John Brown

    I just read the symptoms of ADHD and everyone I know has these symptoms, children and adult alike. It's called the human condition. We live in a society in which big pharma can cure all of our problems with a pill. Teach yourself and your children how to discipline the mind. Exercise and diet are also very important.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mott the Hoople

      Your theory is close, but big pharma cannot cure all of our problems with a pill. When was the last time they came up with a cure? They only treat "disorders". Got high blood pressure? Here, treat it with this pill (for the rest of your life). Got high cholesterol? Treat it with this other pill (for the rest of your life). Got ADHD? Here, use this pill (forever). And on and on and on.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
    • MoMom

      You obviously do not suffer from the condition, do you Mr. Brown? I am a 35 year old mother of 4 children who has just recently been diagnosed with ADD. I frequently found myself driving around doing errands and find myself spacing out and on streets that I had no intention of traveling, missing appointments, terrible organization and incredible stress due to these factors. I have tried your "mind controlling" exercises. I run 1/2 marathons, triathlons, classes at the local Y and eat a fairly healthy diet. I have also tried to read books about ADHD trying to gain control without medication. Just one month ago I started Concerta. I can not believe the difference it has made. I feel like a haze has been lifted from my mind. I can actually sit down and plan and organize. I really wish people would stop judging others and start to be a bit more understanding. This is much more than simply being "hyper and not being able to sit still" (which by the way I have trained myself to do perfectly well) and touches upon every aspect of my life. It is my opinion that the reason that ADHD is more prevalent is due to our society's increased focus on technology and education society continues to gear itself toward more focused and attentive type of activities making ADD/ADHD more obvious.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      100% absolutely correct, John Brown. Thank you.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
  6. Nick

    Lack of concentration is not a disease, but a habit which people form. if you constantly flip channels, keep surfing the web aimlessley then you promote that kind of a habit and your mind becomes unstable. EVERY one drifts a little bit, I see that during meetings and conversations at workplace...and these are REALLY well educated people. if you diagonise a kid and tell him you have ADHD then it affects him psychologically and he/she starts behaving more like it! so please STOP this non-sense. do some mind excercises, get into a habit of reading a book v/s surfing and absolutely do a simple meditation that I can gaurantee will increase your concentration. Draw a black circle about 1/2 inch in width and put a yellow dot in the center. Place it in front of you so that you can sit and stare at it from a feet away. look at it for atleast 30 minutes daily and in a matter of weeks your ADHD will be gone!

    August 19, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sean

      One of the most ignorant and ill-informed comments on this so far. Tell you what, take your super "cure" and market it. If it holds water, you'll be a millionaire in a week because there are millions of parents and sufferers who'd jump for a non-pharma solution that works.

      It's just depressing really, seeing garbage like this.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      A 30 minute session of meditation might also result in other health benefits for both ADHD children & adults, Sean. Martial arts lessons combine exercise with focus techniques. Having taught martial arts to children, I have watched ADHD kids gain in attention skills from practicing. Sadly, I also know a number of children placed on drugs at an early age who have received no practical therapy to gain any lifetime coping skills. They remain dependent on high doses of the drugs, & are struggling with health problems caused by side effects of their medications. Drug therapy may be needed in some cases; but it is definitely overused, & should be combined with training in maintaining focus.
      Currently, ritalin has become too popular among some public school systems as a disciplinary tool for ANY behavior the teacher or counselor does not like. Plus the school receives extra $'s for every special needs child in the school. In my area children go to the public school's prekindergarten at 3 years old. Parents of TODDLERS are ordered to get ritalin prescriptions from their family doctor if their child is disruptive in any way, or face loss of services. The sheer volume of misdiagnosis in the school systems, & by doctors without specialized training who figure the schools are experts, I feel is fueling this "epidemic of ADHD".
      Understand that I am not belittling the struggles of those who do need medications to function. I am simply appalled at the improper use of dangerous drugs on children who exhibit behavior problems in school from a variety of non ADHD related causes. I have 6 children, & have had children in school continuously, from 1989 to the present. Since I have children with asthma, the ritalin pushers at school have attempted to misdiagnose my kids many times. Uncontrolled asthma can cause a child to be unfocused, hyperactive, & over emotional due to low oxygen levels. The school threatened to remove my 190 IQ student from the gifted program, unless I got a ritalin prescription from my doctor for the child. That particular child also had congenital bradycardia listed on the school's medical alert sheet. Ritalin's worst side effect is that it is known to cause heart rate drops leading to death. The ritalin they were pushing us to obtain would have killed my child. That year we also had to transfer students to another school because the nurse was not called from her lunchroom after the child was found collapsed outside the nurses office during a asthma/ bradycardic attack. The principal told us he was qualified to medically treat our child in the nurse's place, because he had a social worker's degree. These are the kinds of people diagnosing ADHD in my public school system. After new asthma medications brought the child's medical conditions under control, the ADHD like symptoms disappeared. That child is now a normal 3.8 college student who does not have ADHD.

      August 21, 2011 at 06:11 | Report abuse |
    • Nasar

      8-12: Encourage independent renadig and books-on-CDs. Enforce healthy sleep and diet. Limit TV and video game time. Be an active participant in your child's academics, remembering that you are doing him

      November 14, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
  7. ramp

    For what its worth: My wife is an MD and she believes the ADHD in children, specifically, is OVERBLOWN by teachers and parents (some times). I agree with her. I was such a child that were I borned in USA I would have been sent to Psychiatrist EVERYDAY!! Fortunately I was left alone except sent to the Principal wherever I misbahaved for a few 'canes' on my hand!! TODAY I am happily retiring with a Graduate Degree (MS) in Engineering, an MBA diploma and a 40 year successful career in IT. PLease give the children a CHANCE to be kids and grow up!!1

    August 19, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jonathan

      You don't see shrinks for ADHD its not depression

      August 19, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • A Mom

      Actually Jonathan, that's not entirely true. My son sees a phychiatrist for medication management for ADHD. Shrinks are seen for many other reasons than just depression.

      As for ADHD diagnoses being overblown, i tend to agree. My youngest son was diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago, but it was not at the suggestion of any health providers or teachers. Our decision to have him evaluated was based on what we saw with our own eyes and read in his report cards. Nothing was ever mentioned about ADHD to us. On the other hand, last school year our oldest son's teacher asked if we have ever had him evaluated for ADHD. I agreed to talk to his doctor just to make her happy. The doctor said he's just fine, but we can do an evaluation if we wanted. I gave his teacher her part of the paperwork, but never filled mine out. I can just tell all of his behaviors are that of a normal 11 year old who gets bored in school, and his doctor agrees with me.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
  8. johnborg

    All psychological diseases/disabilities are socially constructed. This isn't inherently bad, but it does force us to question where the line was drawn between able/disabled and why. I have a few opinions of why ADHD is on the rise: 1) Maybe young children can't sit in a classroom all day and 2) our children live in a culture of quick service. Nothing holds their attention anymore, they are postmodern.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jonathan

      Definition of ADHD; its not a disease

      August 19, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
  9. cz452

    ......... What?

    August 19, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. bh

    I'm not even going to read this story and just say that it is BS. Kids that are supposedly diagnosed with ADHD have parents that don't keep them in line. And by keeping them in line, I don't mean beat there butts. Raising children is hard work. It takes more patience than anything else in the universe. Most parents don't put in the proper effort. A child that is occupied and engaged by the parent will behave as a child should PERIOD!!!

    August 19, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bh_is_bs

      Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. Clearly, the discipline that I've been giving and the playing with my son and the helping him develop his interests is all for naught. I'm just a terrible parent. Maybe I should be with him every second of the day, ignore my other child and ignore my other obligations at home. Then he won't need to go through the testing.
      Maybe I can also just up the sugar in his low sugar diet and I can add the artificial dyes back in too. They've made a big difference but I can put them back in because all ADHD is truly is crappy parenting.
      I'll also ignore the fact that he's reading a grade above level and doing math nearly three grades above level. That might make me feel like I'm doing something right and as a parent I am NEVER to feel this way.

      Or maybe I can just conclude that you're nuts and leave it at that.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Reader

      As a parent of a 10 year old with ADD, I can assure you my child does not suffer from lack of parenting. My wife is a stay at home mom, and he is an only child. My son is very bright, but clearly has issues with focusing on tasks when compared to other kids. In grade two, his teacher would write on the board a simple sentance, such as "My favourite toy is a _____ because _____". The kids were to fill in the blanks. He would start reading it, and not get past toy before he'd drift off onto something else. His pediatrician describes his mind as going 100 mph in a 30mph world. He just processes things so fast, he easily gets side trackeed.

      With various treatments, and an amazing, understanding pediatrician, our son is an A student in school, and has such better interaction with his classmates. ADD is real. Suggesting it isn't, or suggesting other methods to "heal" kids when you haven't walked a mile in my shoes is naive at best, ignorant at worst.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
    • whatignorantpeople

      bh_is_bs – hahaha I love it!!! Thank you so much for this! the ignorant people on here amaze me! And they think we the so called "Lazy" parents have a problem. You are awesome!

      August 20, 2011 at 04:02 | Report abuse |
  11. JOH

    It's natural for kids to be easily distracted. Ever heard the term "like taking candy from a baby?"

    And after all that, if you beat your kids till he begs you to stop... I guarantee you your child won't have ADHD anymore. That's how my parents cured mine when I was young... Too bad I got PTSD from child abuse though...

    Morale of the story is... There's always something, and there's one easy way to stop ADHD.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Nah

    marthac: "Controlled Medications that are basically legal amphetamine ("speed") is less addictive than marijuana? Having small children addicted to speed is okay, but adults smoking marijuana is not. Crazy..."

    You don't seem to understand the medical literature, but in kids with ADHD the effects of Ritalin ("speed") are the opposite from a normal person.

    Much less, the issue with marijuana (that was discussed above) are the deleterious effects it has on the mind, its link to psychosis, etc.

    Ritalin, on the other hand, helps children with ADHD by allowing them to focus. More importantly, it often helps the underdeveloped parts of an ADHD child's brain "to" develop properly.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. SteveO

    Is ADHD truly a medical condition? Yes.
    In my opinion, are most children misdiagnosed? Yes
    What is the cause of misdiagnoses? 1. Uninvolved parents that can't be bothered to spend time with their children. (2) prents who refuse to instill a morale compass within their children and fail to discipline them when they become unruly. (3) overworked or overprescribing doctors who use an ADHD diagnosis to either clear their workload or line their pockets. (4) insurance companies who prefer to pay for medications than pay for true counseling, identification, and true treatment of psychological or chemical imbalance conditions.

    And, no. I'm not a doctor. I'm just a grandfather that has been around a while. Seems to me that spending time with children is far more beneficial to their short term and long term health than doping them up. Spend the time to ID and treat the ones with real symptoms and just spend quality time with the others.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • grateful julz

      Steve-o.... why those options may be.. my adhd child have parent who DO care.. who DO intall morals and values... the one option you did forget was the demands that schools are placing on children earlier and earlier.. in sweden... children DO NOT start kindergarten until they are 7.. educators and parents are pushing children earlier and earlier to sit and listen when they are not developmentally ready.... my son was diagnosed with this "disease".. i should say misdiagnosed... he has some anxiety and visual scanning difficulties and when he gets tired or doesn't feel "safe'.. he tunes out.. or when he is tired of sitting still.... he doesn't watch that much tv or play that much video or computer games.... he choice of play? imagination...maybe he will invent something one day.....

      August 19, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  14. Jonathan

    First off kids with ADHD can focus we just focus on everything and jump from onething to another. You're diagnosed when you're 7-10 years old not 2y/o. Also if you think the pills don't do anything its false because if you took them without having ADHD you would be going crazy

    August 19, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. cjk

    It's all about the money!! The schools have teachers "diagnose" the child – with a percentage goal of children to be diagnosed – that brings money from the federal government to the school!! The drug manufacturers lobby the government and donate money to the politicians!! The children and the taxpayers pay the price!!

    August 19, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      It is illegal for teachers or schools to diagnose children with ADHD/ADD. All that a school can do is present evidence that there may be a problem and suggest that the child be taken to the doctor for further testing.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
  16. More Research

    There is research being conducted on the relation to ADHD/ADD and pitocin (Labor inducing med). Labor being induced is becoming the norm now. And the more children that are diagosed means more money toward research. This is a very misdiagosed condition.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Derek Switzer

    Many college students abuse the readiness of doctors to prescribe adderol. This study's estimated U.S. cost is probably very low since it only considers patients between 5-17.

    August 19, 2011 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Eric Colorado

    I know in some schools, the teachers want most of the kids on rydalin. Sounds like the drug companies are trying to make more money since their patents are going generic. Of course the long term effects are only suicide, drug dependency, etc.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      Which schools are these? How do you know this? Do you have proof? I have been working in schools for the last 10 years and I have NEVER met a teacher that "wanted" a student medicated.It is very difficult to come to a parent and tell them there are issues with their child and NO teacher does this without great thought and careful watching of a child's development. Teachers take into consideration the wide range in a abilities to pay attention and sit still. If a child is recommended for further testing, it is because these issues are impacting not only their classroom behavior, but also their grades, relationships with adults and peers and their ability to function day to day in a structured environment.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:13 | Report abuse |
  19. are u kidding me

    ADD/ ADHD. diagnoses did exist in the 70's when i grew i had an apple tree in my backyard which when i got in trouble. My parents had me go out and get a switch off the tree and bring it back so they can beat my A$$ with it. Timeout for kids today are you kidding me, go to your room. NO video games, NO cell phones, NO computers...ect.. Timeout when i grew up was getting up off the floor 20 minutes later. Anyone remember when the school principal would paddle your A$$ then call your parents so when you got home they beat your A$$ again. Therefore change that diagnoses to LOCD. Lack Of Child Discipline!

    August 19, 2011 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Canadian Reader

      Like saying cancer isn't real because you didn't have it, and since you didn't have it, nobody else possibly can. Not sure how beating my child with a switch will cure the chemical imbalance in his brain that causes ADD. Must be some stick.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      ADD/ADHD was around in the 70's...just not really diagnosed..you were either hyper, lazy, dumb or bored or you were normal or smart/gifted. The group of people labeled in such ways back in the 70's are now grown up and may have kids of their own...guess what? in many cases, one or more of their kids gets diagnosed with ADD/ADHD....and when they are told about the traits and typical behaviors etc....they discover that's exactly what they went through in the 70's themselves!

      Now, is it better to label a child who actually is very bright but has attention issues ADD/ADHD or would you rather go back to calling them DUMB, LAZY, USELESS and so on? Would you rather treat them for a neurochemical imbalance with meds and/or coaching and help them use some of their vast potential, or would you rather continue give them guilt trips because they haven't managed to be all that they could be and tell them it's their own faults when evidence shows the imbalance is not only real, but genetic and inherited......

      August 19, 2011 at 21:25 | Report abuse |
  20. The Spin Doctor

    The answer to this mysterious rise in diagnosis is in the last sentence of the article.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Andyjo

    It sounds like a lot of people on here don't know what they are talking about. It is really sad.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanne

      I agree totally! Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of that lately in general.....frustrating!

      August 19, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
  22. clark1b

    a great many of these parents remind me of Willie Wonka when he tells the naughty children ... "stop, don't do that" in quiet tones with no conviction. If the parents would provide consistent, firm and effective discipline about 50% of these kids would self correct without medicine or medical intervention.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mayshay

    It's so sad to read these posts of people saying such mean, misinformed comments. I bet all of you don't have a child with ADD/ADHD. Of children diagnosed, at least 60% have a parent or first degree relative with it, so there is a genetic component. Medications can help manage symptoms, but they are only a part of a comprehensive treatment program. Shame on you to blame bad parenting, as if that was really the case.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tia

      If one of the parents has a behavioral problem, of course the child is going to have it. That doesn't make it an illness or genetics. Adults who never learned to concentrate or focus aren't going to be able to teach their child to do it, just like parents who party all the time are going to have children who grow up to party all the time. Kids look to their parents for examples of "normal". But it's easier to label the kid as having an "illness" and then demanding that he or she receive "special" treatment. That is why there are a lot of children diagnosed as being ADD/ADHD when really, they just have behavioral problems that need to be corrected but Mom and Dad would rather give the kid some pills.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      Tia...while I can see your point, it's actually a little backwards in this case....Many of today's parents only discover they are themselves ADD/ADHD because one of their kids is diagnosed....Yes, many of these parents have difficulty following through and being consistant disciplinarians...but it's because of the focus issues..not a learned behavior. Some bad habits may be passed on as with any family, but example, but the lack of focus makes it hard to, for example say, do this or this will be the consequence....the kid doesn't follow through, and the parent gets side tracked and doesn't follow through with the punishment.

      I agree that there are an incredible number of misinformed people posting opinions on the origins of ADD/ADHD, the use of medication and so on. I too, was sceptical about the whole labeling issue and medications, especially because of potential side effects....but after it was suggested that my daughter was ADD, and i discussed it with the family doctor, I researched it....including the biological/neurochemical aspects...patterns of behavior etc.... and it's so much more complicated than most people think it is. Do the research yourself.....it's not a matter of controlling unruly children...but helping them to find focus and reach their potentials, not dumbing them down like everyone is assuming.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
  24. AIW

    As an engaged, loving parent of a child with ADHD, I can tell you that the diagnosis was based on certain indicators and behaviors that unless you have a child that exhibits these factors, you will never understand how ADHD affects both the child and the parents. Parents are given a choice (at least we were) of behavior and environment modificatiion or medication. Just blaming all doctors and parents for being irresponsible shows a lack of understanding. Are there bad doctors and parents? Sure. ADHD is real and the people affected by it deserve some compassion, not accusations.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tia

      That may have been your experience, but plenty of parents go to doctors to have their kids diagnosed with an "illness" to excuse poor grades and poor behavior. Focusing and concentrating are things that have to be taught to a child and today's parents don't want to bother. Better to get the kid labeled ADHD then to have to teach the child how to behave, focus and concentrate.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      Tia...research shows very clear brain differences..neurotransmitter levels, behavioral patterns..positive traits as well as negative traits..an overall pattern that goes beyond discipline and whether parents are 'good' parents or not....you're not looking at the big pictures. I'm not saying parenting styles and other things aren't affecting the kids..they do...but we are talking a predisposition which is genetic and physical from birth....

      August 19, 2011 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  25. Jeanne

    One of the things that isn't even mentioned in this article is that ADD/ADHD has two sides to it's proverbial coin. While there is a difficulty focusing on some things, a child or an adult can hyperfocus on things that interest them. Most people assume if they can focus on one thing, they should be able to focus on anything, but it comes down to the interest...when you are interested in something, you are excited about it..this increases dopamine and norepinephren, which helps focus....when you are not interested in something, you lack the chemical levels necessary for focus.

    Also, many of these people actually focus on too many things at once. They are intelligent and interested in many things...often 'jacks of all trades' type people....and great problem solvers....but they divide their focus to the point that it's hard to complete projects or give things your 'all'.

    It's much more than what many of you are assuming...kids who cannot sit still and conform/behave..that is only one small aspect of it....and not even an issue with all of them. It is not about making kids into zombies or controlling them with drugs...it's about helping them to overcome a situation that makes living in a world that doesn't fit their way of thinking and doing things more manageable so they can reach their potentials. The positive traits and abilities many of these kids have are things that you can't teach...intuition, that flash of brilliance that leads to innovation....but they are often spinning their mental wheels just trying to get through the day and what is expected of them.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. BFOTO

    It's the American way. Take a pill and everything will be better. I read with interest an article about a boy diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed ritilin. His parents moved him to an all boys school. Problem solved. Better grades and no more meds. We Americans always want the easy way out. And today's doctors are all too willing to go along. Sad commentary.

    August 19, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Skeptical

    ...not to mention all the medications being given to these kids. I'm rather concerned what the long term effects of these medications is going to be on these kids. Maybe the solution in most cases is more breaks to jump around, better food, and more sleep. And more patience from the teachers.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RC

      And more involvement and discipline given by the parents.

      August 19, 2011 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  28. RGM

    Doctors told us that our son was just slow and would eventually catch up. We could not accept that especially because he did not start to talk till almost 4 years of age. Thankfully we kept pursuing the issue only to find out that he is autistic (PDD/NOS) and ADHD. It angers me that doctors all too often look at the book to find the definite answer. I dislike the fact that my son has to take meds to be able to function in school. Fortunately, we as parents are strong advocates for him and have found that there is a happy medium that allows him to be successful yet when the school day is over and weekends arrive, he can be the kid we like him to be.

    On the flip side, there are those parents who just want their kids sedated so they can have their own sanity. It would seem like many out there pray for doctors to give their kids the magic pill to take them down a couple of levels. It is these parents that I detest and truely do not understand the plight of the child and their ability to function successfully within the community.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanne

      giving medication when inappropriate is harmful, and even when it is called for, not everyone tolerates every med and side effects and reactions should always be kept in mind...but for some people, it really, truly makes life manageable and the quality of life significantly better for the person on the meds(and those around them too sometimes). It's not all a conspiracy theory about controlling and dumbing down the masses.

      Only some of the kids with this are really 'hyper'...as in can't stay in their seats, gets into trouble hyper. Some are inattentive type...meaning that in spite of trying, they have trouble focusing on what they need to when then need to...often because they focus on too many things at once, or something that is interesting to them, when they need to focus on something that they find less interesting. the meds help focus and even can help 'wake them up' mentally.

      ADD/ADHD meds should never 'dumb down' the child....if they seem too sedated, then talk to your doctor about dosage and whether it is the right meds for them. I am an adult...only recently diagnosed in my 40's....I am on adderall, and it helps me tremendously...at this point, I am considered ADD, not ADHD, but my parents might have said otherwise when I was a kid....the adderall actually wakes me up....it doesn't sedate me or make me hyper or make me feel like I am on speed or high or anything. If nothing else, I feel like my IQ is back up where is used to be because I can focus and remember better and string my sentences together more coherently than before I started on the meds. It increases the levels of norepinephren and dopamine in the brain, which helps focus/concentration...

      Unfortunately, many students are currently misusing this medication as a 'smart drug' or a stimulent to help the focus all night for tests and such. But if your brain chemistry is normal and you increase your norepinephren and dopamine, you can have other issues including seizures from the norepinephren....this is when it becomes 'speed'....and that is dangerous...but if it is appropriate, such as with ADD/ADHD kids, it can be a miracle drug and make life much more manageable!

      August 19, 2011 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
  29. RC

    Entirely too many people are diagnosed with ADHD, and by the wrong people. Can't sit still? Can't pay attention? Maybe your caffeine and/or sugar intake is too high. Maybe the chair is too tall and it's cutting the circulation in your legs. Maybe it's your gender and how you learn (it's proven that boys often learn while fidgeting, doodling, otherwise looking "distracted" when it's actually how their brain is throttling and processing incoming data). Maybe you lack discipline. There is no reason why this "disorder" should affect more than the tiniest fraction of the population, if you exclude dietary and environmental factors.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Serena

      I don't have a child with ADHD, but to me this research potnis to the importance, and the difficulty, of finding a way to make positive behaviour MORE rewarding than the inappropriate behaviour.For younger kids, and maybe for older ones too, an important part of motivating them to behave appropriately is to do some relationship-building. Spending some positive time with your kids is essential if they're having difficulties you need to make some deposits in the relationship bank. Hopefully, this will help to motivate the kids to try to monitor their behaviour

      November 16, 2012 at 03:05 | Report abuse |
  30. Derek M


    August 19, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanne

      lol....sorry, have to laugh at that...my ADD daughter and I joke with the same reference from the movie Up! It really can be so like that at times!

      August 19, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
  31. onebeltfixesitall

    I'm sorry what was this story about. I wasn't paying attention.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Liz Birge

    ADHD is not a mental illness. There's no smoking gun for it's cause, but what researchers do know is that it's neurological in nature, heredity, and the chances of getting it increase if the mother smokes or takes drugs while pregnant.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. mommers

    Children would not have ADHD during school hours if they had a cross looking nun rapping their knuckles if they weren't sitting still and paying attention. Solved my problem!

    August 19, 2011 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanne

      so...you would recommend treating it with the threat of physical punishment/child abuse over using medication and coaching which do seem to help in many, if not most cases?

      August 19, 2011 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
  34. Garrido

    You know if you get these kids outside a little more and involve them in outside activity instead of the television and computer 24/7 the ADD ADHD would probably decline. Isn't it funny how once we got all this convenient technology every one went haywire because the brain was rewired to process information differently.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. deb

    Ahh the reliable medical experts. Always at the ready with a syndrome or disorder to explain lousy parenting, dumbing down of school kids, crappy diets, zero physical exercise, video game addictions. Name it and medicate it and move on. When society stops caring for and nurturing kids like they should be, and instead is agreeable to medicating 7, 8 and 9 years old kids....who's really got the problem?

    August 19, 2011 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Dan Ari

    The educators see the kids every day. They see how the kids behave and focus. The fact that they are the first to see a problem confirms that the problem is real. To claim that this suggests that a diagnosis is false is ignorant pandering. Any competent researcher would know that chronology must match itiology: observation leads to testing, testing leads to diagnosis.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. estelle79

    With all due respect to the experts: parents, children, therapists; educators; doctors etc. it's beyond time to stop using alphabet soup diagnoses as a panacea. People have learning differences, that's fact and common sense. Let's focus on accommodating and appreciating different styles of learning, rather than focusing on difficulties that do not NOT have to be inherent. If we must use labels, then for the good of all, let's remember they are supposed to serve as explanations, not excuses.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. shyboy69

    I know this sounds mean-spirited, intolerant and just plain racist. But perhaps the reason there are more kids with autism, ADHD and a myriad of other maladies owes to the ever-expanding spectrum of symptoms that qualify. There aren't more kids with autism, only more kids DIAGNOSED with autism, for example. The left has to make people victims in order to make them reliant on the state. And it has to make people reliant on the state to make them Democrats. It's a sickening, vicious circle. And it's what is utterly ruining this country.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      I have worked with children with autism for 16 years. I have never once met a child diagnosed with autism that I thought 'hey this kid is just a brat." If you have ever met someone with autism, it quickly becomes clear why they have that diagnosis. An autism diagnosis is a parent's worst nightmare! You obviously have no clue what you are talking about.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      No, you don't sound racist. You just sound like someone whose mind is so controlled by their ideology that they are unable to think clearly.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • Mayshay

      Well said Tracey and Robert!

      August 19, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
  39. kazz

    All in the name of selling more drugs.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. nancy

    it is not a disease. these children carry a higher vibration and purpose for being here. it reaches so far beyond mental disorders and medical practices. all it takes to help these children is a whole food diet without chemicals & toxins, life in nature, love and acceptance of who they are and how they act. they are here to teach us things and ya'all better start paying attention instead of paying billions of dollars a year trying to medicate them. the actual label that should be used for these children is within the scope of indigo, crystal, and rainbow children. turn off the t.v., get them in nature and feed them right. then, watch as they make their footprints into our cultures and societies and listen to them, for they bring the wisdom of source with them. many are already adults by the way. namaste

    August 19, 2011 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sonia

      All adults senkieg ADHD treatment should have a complete and thorough evaluation which is available where I live in Minnesota to confirm the DX before medication is prescribed.Interesting enough many and maybe more do the same type of thing to get stoned on pain medications.

      November 14, 2012 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
  41. MannyHM

    Watch out for the medications used for ADHD being sold in the streets. They're stimulants. A mother of a child diagnosed with ADHD ended up being addicted to Ritalin her son supposedly is taking. The child diagnosed with ADHD and supposedly taking these medications should be urine tested. This would add to the prescription drug abuse.

    August 19, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. JD

    Every misbehavior is a disease. No one is responsible for their actions.

    August 19, 2011 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      Having a diagnosis is not an excuse for misbehavior. In schools, this leads to interventions that over time teach children how to behave just like everybody else and expect the same consequences as everybody else. The purpose of the diagnosis to give educators/parents and doctors information that tells us this child may not learn the same way as everyone else. We may need to do things a little differently with this child. It is not an excuse.

      August 19, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
  43. Nurse

    Adhd both inattentive and hyperkinetic are valid medical diagnoses, however I do agree they are often over diagnosed because a teacher sees a hyper child they cannot control. I agree all children have these symptoms, but not to the actual degree of adhd; these childrrns symptoms are so bad that it effects every aspect of life. Do not try to down play or blame the parents of the children who actually have this disorder. To the people that say kids are walking around like zombies from the medication; more than likely those children were misdiagnosed because the new medications do not cause that reaction is children who truly have this diagnosis it just brings them to a normal level. . .

    August 19, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jill

    Thanks for noting the flip side. I work in the mental health field and constantly see people that are not qualified jumping to that diagnosis and I have to jump in there and present this flip side. I work with traumatize young children and often times what is simplified as ADHD is in fact PTSD, depression, anxiety etc. Can you imagine trying to sit still and learn when you are in a constant state of fear, worry, grief? There are studies that support this statement–children absolutely cannot learn in school when they are in an anxious state and what does that look like? ADHD. kids with severe trauma getting misdiagnosed-horrific. We can't afford to misdiagnose children because the longer they suffer the more damaging this is.
    Its not to say there isn't cases of ADHD but lets absolutely rule everything else out and not overlook the obvious.

    Please read: http://www.childtrauma.org/index.php/articles/trauma-a-ptsd. Educate yourself.

    August 19, 2011 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Star

    At my sons school last year when he was in kindergarten, the principal she automatically thought my son was ADD or ADHD so I had a 6 hour extensive test thru a psychologist which cost me $1,200.00 and they came back as inclinclusive until I had a CAPD test done. We had this done and he had CAPD which some of the same symptoms are of ADD and ADHD. So the psychologist overruled the others. The principal was peeved I didn't take him and put him on meds.

    August 19, 2011 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. bunny

    Some of you folks should get informed about adhd before passing judgement. Most children truly diagnosed with the disorder get it from one their parents, which explains the rise of adults being diagnosed. My husband and I were in denial for many years regarding our son, we tried everything from soccer, karate, hockey, omega 3 supplements etc etc but it just wasn`t enough. We finally had him evaluated by a psychiastrist and yes, he has adhd, and guess what, he gets it from me.... By actually getting INFORMED about this disorder, I finally got help myself and wish I HAD DONE THIS 20 YEARS AGO!!! My son is no longer barely making passing grades, he is at the top of his class. So for all you parents out there of kids with ADHD, please ignore most of the moronic comments posted here and believe your child is GIFTED and that there is a solution for this condition. From an ADD mom, i wish you all the best..

    August 19, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Lisa

    ADHD is a disorder of the nervous system, not a disease. If someone is properly diagnosed with ADHD, medication can be very effective. My son has 2 loving, attentive parents, a good home environment, and has had values and morals taught to him throughout his life. Don't forget a good diet with plenty of fresh foods and tons of outdoor play and exercise. Yet he still has ADHD that is well controlled with medication. If we want to know why ADHD is on the rise, look to the companies making pesticides that work on the nervous system of the insects, disrupting their reproductive cycle. We feed the treated crops to our children and they mysteriously develop disorders of the nervous system. Compare the rise in children with ADHD to the rise of infertility, then look back to the pesticides – we are poisoning our own race, and the children suffer the most.

    August 19, 2011 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Robert

    I was diagnosed with ADD in 1978 after a major battery of tests. I was 7 so I don't really remember a lot of them, but I remember that there was much more to it than some 6 question survey with questions like, "Are you distracted often?" Who isn't distracted these days? Nowadays it seems like there is a whole industry around getting as many people as possible diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

    August 19, 2011 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. William Kenly

    My daughter was diagnosed by a 23 year-old Phd. My daughter is a Type A personality, and her mother wanted her more controllable. She was prescribed Ritilin and Concerta. I got a court order to stop it until another doctor could be consulted, and that doc, a medical doc, said no to the Ritilin. Way too much drugging is going on in our schools, just to control the children. These are maintenance drugs forever.

    BTW, studies have shown that a majority of America's entrepreneurs have ADHD (diagnosed or undiagnosed). That's what allows them to juggle all the inputs necessary to start and run America's businesses. What is wrong with this picture? Insist that your child gets a second opinion. And then get them off these drugs as soon as possible.

    William Kenly
    author of "The Dogs of Divorce"

    August 19, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sam in NC

    Perhaps if kids put down the x-box, the game boy, and the cell phone and actually went outside and played and burned off some energy, they wouldn't display symptions of ADHD.

    August 19, 2011 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      And that works for kids that don't really have ADHD. Kids and adults that do actually have it really do need treatment for it because it's not something you can correct with simple parenting, otherwise playing outside all day like I did as a kid and then being a 3 sport athlete through high school would have surely cured me.

      ADHD is caused by a lack of development of specific areas of the brain, and this has been proven over and over again by brain scanning. One specific area results in ADHD people not producing dopamine like "normal" people causing them to seek out constant intense stimulation to boost dopamine production. Other consequences due to brain development result in an inability to self-regulate mood, emotions, and time management. These kids can't just grow up or try harder or play until they've burned off enough energy to sit still and focus. And it doesn't end with childhood, but continues on well into adulthood.

      August 20, 2011 at 02:45 | Report abuse |
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