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ADD / ADHD in kids?

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posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 03:18 PM
I found this on the NIH website:
What Causes ADHD?
One of the first questions a parent will have is "Why? What went wrong?" "Did I do something to cause this?" There is little compelling evidence at this time that ADHD can arise purely from social factors or child-rearing methods. Most substantiated causes appear to fall in the realm of neurobiology and genetics. This is not to say that environmental factors may not influence the severity of the disorder, and especially the degree of impairment and suffering the child may experience, but that such factors do not seem to give rise to the condition by themselves.

The parents' focus should be on looking forward and finding the best possible way to help their child. Scientists are studying causes in an effort to identify better ways to treat, and perhaps someday, to prevent ADHD. They are finding more and more evidence that ADHD does not stem from the home environment, but from biological causes. Knowing this can remove a huge burden of guilt from parents who might blame themselves for their child's behavior.

Over the last few decades, scientists have come up with possible theories about what causes ADHD. Some of these theories have led to dead ends, some to exciting new avenues of investigation.

Environmental Agents.
Studies have shown a possible correlation between the use of cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy and risk for ADHD in the offspring of that pregnancy. As a precaution, it is best during pregnancy to refrain from both cigarette and alcohol use.

Another environmental agent that may be associated with a higher risk of ADHD is high levels of lead in the bodies of young preschool children. Since lead is no longer allowed in paint and is usually found only in older buildings, exposure to toxic levels is not as prevalent as it once was. Children who live in old buildings in which lead still exists in the plumbing or in lead paint that has been painted over may be at risk.

Whole article: NIH ADHD

There doesn't seem to be any mention of mercury poisoning, but they do mention lead being a possible factor.

To say that mercury may be an underlying cause to ADHD is interesting, but to dismiss any other idea as "denial" is absurd.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 03:51 PM
The NIH (National Institute of Health) is not likely to pronounce Mercury as a cause.

They have been denying it for years now.
These are the folks who gave Thimerosal ( the mercury preservative) a free pass, when the safety was questioned.

They chose to accept statistical evidence that was molded to results they wanted to hear. And they completely overlooked the study on mice, and other solid biological science.

I am not saying "only" look at Mercury as the cause.
But I AM saying that NOT looking at mercury as the cause is BEYOND irresponsible!

Want proof of cover-up by the folks in charge?
Do a search for "simpsonwood" and "thimerosal"
You can find the entire transcript of the meeting gained through freedom of information act, in which the folks in charge PLANNED to cover this whole thing up!
Here is a good link, goto the Simpsonwood transcript and read it yourself.
In the transcript they discuss how the mercury preservative Thimerosal affects the prevalence of learning deficiencies, including ADHD, and their findings are terrifying.

Its like a signed confession for crimminy sake!

[edit on 8-12-2004 by kdx175]

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 04:37 PM
Our pediatrician told us that exposure to toddlers of 4 hours or more of TV or video games a day is a considerable factor in triggering ADD/ADHD.

Same day, a commercial on TV for the new V-Tech learning video game system stated that by using their product for umpteen hours a day will lead to child geniuses.

My brothers son has ADD. They put him on Ritalin, and he walked around the house like a zombie. It might be due to the fact that they really didn't interact with him: they treated him as more of a burden than a blessing, by parking him in front of the TV for hours on end so they wouldn't be bothered. Then, a few years later, he was diagnosed with Turrets.

My take on it is: the boy is bored. He's a daydreamer. He's creative and wonderful, and pays attention to the things that he's interested in. I know I can't pay attention to any one subject for very long, unless it has to do with history, or space or Everquest, or Ancient Times, or other subjects that are fascinating to me. I would think that I would probably be said as having ADD. But I wouldn't buy it for a minute.

Not paying attention to a boring subject, is much different than Hyperactivity. I can see a case for Hyperactivity. But ADD/ADHD, I am still torn on.

I know I would not let my children take Ritalin, just from observing the effects on my nephew.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 06:21 PM
As a teacher I'll say this. Yes there is such a thing as ADD and ADHD. However, it is MASSIVELY overdiagnosed and I openly admit that a lot of it is the fault of teachers. Yes we do try to teach each and every student, but I personally teach 130 students each semester so its quite a burden. I'm not complaining I signed up knowing it was hard but just stating a fact. However, medicating a student because they act up in class is just wrong. Yes you can usually tell which kids are ADHD but I would never presume to make such a diagnosis and berate a parent into medicating their kid. I'd go as far as to say the problem is 90 percent overdiagnosis and 10 percent real medical issue. I say this because a prominent pediatrician in my county championed the issue and had strict guidelines put in place for diagnosing ADHD. The number of kids diagnosed after that point fell dramatically.

The second thing I would say is that I think in the ones that don't have a medical problem a short attention span is the problem brought on from our society. We live in a society of 10 minute TV segments broken up by 30 minute commercials. Kids are exposed to this most from toddler on so their brains get used to it. They don't have to focus for long periods or have a lot of self control because everything is instant. Then we expect them to sit in school and pay attention for long periods of time, basically doing something that we take for granted but they have no concept of or ability to. Having recently gone through teacher college education is changing to take this into account for better or for worse. We are trained now to break up our lessons into 15-20 minute segments and to differentiate each activity to keep attention. We are told that a child's age is roughtly their attention span in minutes. So, while I personally think to some extent this is feeding the problem, it is the reality and what we do to hold attention.

So, finally I would say this. If you think your kid has ADHD or ADD get them tested by a doctor you trust and know won't make a diagnosis unless it is in your child's best interest. I have seen the drugs help the kids that really need it. However, it is a travisty to alter the ones that don't through drugs. If they don't have a medical condition encourage them to practice the internal attention span that someone mentioned before like having them read a book for 30 minutes a day or something that requires them to put effort into attention, having it forced on them by TV, CD-players, etc. requires little if any effort.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 07:16 PM
Hello, to the original postet, I, too, suffer from ADHD and it's been utterly deliterious to my life. I have just been advised on a NEW treatment: Modification of Enviroment; I would urge you to afford some time into researching this, and try to get in contact with an able proffesional who can administer this therapy.

I hope, however, you never allow anyone to deem your child unable to complete highscool, university, and go on to lead an acedemic life. I've never recieved my high-school diploma, and have very little expierence in University, but if other members can vouch, I am far from 'uneducated.' Most of which is listed in the site below, is what I have suffered with my whole life.

ADHD and School Failure

For children with ADHD, "school too often starts with failure . . . and goes downhill from there."1 With failure rates double to triple those of other children, about 50 percent repeat a grade by adolescence..2 Thirty-five percent eventually drop out of school and only5 percent complete college.3 One study found that, by age eleven, 80 percent were at least two years behind in reading, writing, spelling, and math.4 Even children with normal to superior intelligence show "chronic and severe underachievement."5

Unusually high suspension and expulsion rates further compromise school achievement and completion. A long-term study found that 46 percent of children with ADHD had been suspended and 11 percent had been expelled.6 Taken together, expulsion and dropout rates approach 50 percent--an alarming statistic, since children with ADHD compose up to seven percent of the population.7


[edit on 8-12-2004 by ZeroDeep]

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 07:40 PM

I have seen the drugs help the kids that really need it. However, it is a travisty to alter the ones that don't through drugs.

jjukyu, I agree 100%

I use to think as most of the posters here do about ADD, and to some extent they are right. I would like to point out however that ADD is a real condition. I speak from experience as I have one child with ADD, one they are trying to label as ADD, and one perfectly normal child that has never had an issue.

Before my daughter was diagnosed with ADD I was very much against the diagnosis of ADD. I believed that the educational system used this label and medication to "tame" the more active creative children. As a matter of fact I believed this so much I could not see what was happening with my own child.

ADD is not normal childhood behavior. I will provide you with an example of this. My daughter can not focus on a task, any task, even if it is one she very much enjoys. She has a very difficult time staying to one thing and will often go off in different directions. The slightest noise or different activities on a paper will thoroughly distract her from completing what needs to be done. She never could complete her work at school, and homework was a nightmare. She was tested by the school system and labeled ADD. They asked for me to take her to our pediatrician for a proper diagnosis and medication. I was very against the idea of medication, but the doctor suggested to try it out for one month. If it did not help her we could take her off of it. I can not tell you what a difference it made with her. Even I was amazed.

Now on the other hand, my son, who the teacher wants to label as ADD, is totally different. I know he doesn't have ADD. He was tested three weeks into kindergarten, and now they want him tested again in second grade. He did not test to have ADD the first time and he won't again. He is active and is a perfectionist, very different than my daughter. He can sit and focus on whatever he sets his mind to and not be distracted. His problem is that he wants everything to be just right and to look just a certain way, and this slows him down. I do not consider this ADD. So having this experience, I understand both sides.

To tell you the truth my daughter at the time she was diagnosed was not interested in TV or video games. You see that requires concentration on one thing. Video games to her were extremely frustrating and TV did not interest her for long periods of time.

Lemonhead, definitely see your pediatrician and get tested. Perhaps you could test the medication as I did. This will let you know if the medication is actually helping your daughter.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 08:07 PM
In that vein this new bill in congress scares me to death. They are trying to make it mandatory that all children have a psychological profile done when they enter school and that they can madate that your child be on medication like ritilian, anti-depressents, etc.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 09:14 PM
Well, I'll be honest and tell you that I know for a fact that doctors are too quick to diagnose ADD/ADHD. (In my opinion doctors are too quick to diagnose anything, which is why I don't go to them. But ADD/ADHD epecially.) When I was twelve I was in a Boy Scout troop of about twenty boys or something, and on campout the Scout Leaders would always yell, "Everyone come take your riddalin except an3rkist!" (Obviously they used my real name, though.) I was the only boy who wasn't daignosed with it. My ex-stepsister, (long story), was also diagnosed with it, although I think she just sold her riddalin. (Did you know it's almost identical to Speed?) A couple years ago I was dagnosed with Adult ADD, which is different from just normal ADD, if you can call it that, along with about ten other disorders I was diagnosed for for practically no reason at all. As usual, I refused to take any drugs, especially since the doctor was so quick to prescribe it to me. Two years later I'm doing just fine, actually, better than that. The fact is, I never had anything wrong with me. (Or if I did, I cured myself of all ten disorders.
) It was just I wasn't doing what my parents wanted me to be doing, so they wanted to blame it on a disorder and take me to numerous doctors to get me "fixed".

I'm not even convinced ADD is a real disorder. Lots of people have trouble paying attention in class. My advice for you would be to have a little chat with your child and find out if the problem is actually this: Perhaps your child is not the least bit motivated to pay attention because she's too smart and not being challenged. This is a serious problem that is hard to recognize because it can be mistaken for ADD or just stupidity, when in fact the child is just too smart and finds no reason to pay attention. If this is the case you need to identify it properly as soon as possible and get the child in some classes that motivate her. Otherwise her grades will suffer, and she might end up like me and drop out of high school as soon as she's old enough. Which has worked out okay for me, but the stigma of being stupid or a druggie will follow. It may sound strange, but you should really look into the idea that perhaps she's just not being challenged and motivated properly. I hope all works out, and that if she does indeed have ADD/ADHD that it all works out.

posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 11:09 PM
There is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD) and ADD (without hyperactivity).

Indeed such conditions exist.

Children are often put on medication when these conditions cause failing grades and other difficulties in school.

Many parents of children with these disorders find out they have these conditions as well, after they've tried their childrens' medication and find out it helps them.

A pediactric neurologist diagnosed my son at age 6 with ADD. He tried several medications but one caused severe headaches and another caused liver function tests to be altered, thus he took no medication for 5 years after that.

In children, behavioral modification techniques are to be used in conjunction with the medication, not just taking medicine alone. And sometimes behavior mod alone is sufficient.

The organization called CHADD has chapters throughout the US and I suggest you check them out, and attend local meetings where parents can learn more about these conditions. Their national website is:

You should request a psychological evaluation from the school psychologist, and if you're not satisified with it, you can request the school to pay for a second opinion using a physician of your choosing.

Children with learning disabilities fare much better in public schools where there are grants and funding available to these students.

As a parent of an ADHD child, you need to become your child's advocate and to learn as much as you can about this condition because it's an uphill battle when dealing with the schools to be sure your child gets the education he is legally entitled to, which may include modifications and other learning aids. Each state has their own laws regarding how a child may qualify for special educational services. Thus you should become very familiar with both state and federal laws regarding learning disabilities and the educational system.

Many children with ADD or ADHD are gifted as well as learning disabled. So you should read up on this topic.

Here are some links to start with:


National Center for Learning disabilities:

The Learing Disability Association of America:

National Association for Learning Disabilities:

I received certifications as a disability advocate for my son
through the Arizona Center for Disability Law. They provide
excellent free publications or you can read many of them online.
Here is their website:

One last word of caution: Some parents exploit the Social Security
Disability system by getting their kids on disability, which can hinder
them more than help.

I would caution you to avoid labeling and to stress the positives
about ADD and ADHD. Many highly successful people have had these
conditions and other learning disabilities, and have excelled in their

Be careful what you say around your child as he may begin to
model his attitude toward learning disabilities after how you perceive

In my life, I always view problems as challenges. When you look
at them that way, it is a positive perception which helps you turn
things around in a positive light.

Good luck!

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 09:37 AM
Thanks to all those who have contributed to this forum. My wife and I have struggled and questioned for the last couple years whether or no to get my son on meds for ADHD. She is a nurse and something that made me curios is that she asked a pediatrician who was a collegue and friend about seeing him and the doc told her right off, he would not put him on the meds for it. This doctor has other kids on the meds so why would he deny doing it for a friend not having even seen the child? Curious, no?

I have always been against it and more than willing to give the extra attention he needs as well as the help staying on task with homework.

He is bored by it and I was too. No kid likes homework and every kid loves to run and play and roughhouse at the age of 7 so why is that different from myself as a child? My parents said I could never be still and was always into something. Even today, I can scarcely sit through a movie without thinking about all the things I could be doing especially on a sunny day.

I just don't know what the answer is to it. The mercury hypothisis is definetly something I'm looking into. My son was born in 97 so that would mean he could have been affected by it through his immunizations.

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 11:11 AM
Yeah - thank you to all those who posted to this thread.

There's so much to worry about as a parent. You have to get the kids immunized to go to school....... so what do you do?

Aluminum, lead, mercury -

I cant even feed my kids without worrying about what's in it. Sugar, MSG, pesticides........

Maybe I should just move to the mountains and live like they did in the 1800's.


and BTW - I'm gonna let them test her - but I'm not going to put her on drugs - just so the teacher feels better about her job. She's a KID... and her grades are fine. I don't have a problem with her.....

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 12:47 PM
A lot of people think that ADHD/ADD is a bunch of bull. That's easy for others to say, but not if you have children with it, than it is very real [ I have two with it]

I have read some very helpful info in this thread with regaurds to diet and it is something that I am going to look into.

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 06:24 PM
I think a lot of where people come up with ADHD being a made up condition is the way its massively misdiagnosed. When you see 30 kids on ritalin and 28 of them for less then medical reasons its kind of hard to see the 2 that really needed it.

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 08:57 PM
That is true Jukyu, the schools respone to every problem is to put them on meds and a lot of times the parenets listen to them thinking that they now what they are talking about.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 12:30 PM
Adhd is real, EEG amongst other brain scans/testings will tell you that. And its not cfaused by diet or led, mercury etc. Its genetic so it cant be. Tell you one thing though, most are very understimulated different type of people, a different stratagy to the learning system (could propably benefit more the just ADDers) has proven to be quite rewarding.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 01:07 PM

Originally posted by BirdsEyeView
And its not cfaused by diet or led, mercury etc. Its genetic so it cant be.

ADHD is an epidemic.
It is reaching insane levels, currently more than 1 in 6 children.

There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic happening in a 30 year period!
Let me repeat:
There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic happening in a 30 year period!

High School level science can tell you that!!

Anyone who claims this epidemic is completely genetic is simply ignorant.

The only way to explain a skyrocket increase such as this in a 30 year period, is ENVIRONMENTAL factors!

Some people are less prone to environmental factors, and some people are more resistant. This is where they try and bring genetics into it, to blame it on genetics. They blame the person's genetics for not being able to clean the multitude of toxins that are part of the current environment.

That is simply ridiculous!

[edit on 10-12-2004 by kdx175]

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 01:25 PM
I grew up with ADHD and was diagnosed when I was in the 4th grade.

I just wanted to clear some things up for some of you who have this misconception that it is the parents fault or that it is just the child misbehaving, its not. I remember very clearly trying to learn like normal kids but I couldnt. I remember trying to read something and having to force myself to read it over and over and over again, sometimes more than 20 times, just so I could retain it. I wasnt misbehaving, I was just trying to learn.

Unforunately my teacher at the time was so abusive that she pretty much screwed me up for life there on after, all because I had a (not commonly known at the time) learning disability.

Even if it is misdiagnosed, teachers need to know some of these common learning disablilities so they can learn on how to work around them and acomodate for these children.

Is it misdiagnosed often? Probably... It it real, definately.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:30 PM
Well thats the thing isn't it? Its not 1 in 6 kids, its diagnosed in 1 in 6 kids. I guarantee you 1 in 6 kids is way way way way way I can not overstate way over the ratio of kids that actually have it. Is it an illness, yes. Is it caused by environmental factors? I'm sure it probably is. However its not an epidemic by any stretch of the imagination.

Is your teacher an expert on ADHD? Well as much as we would like to say we are we're not. No one other then your doctor should ever be planting such ideas in your mind. A teacher can express concerns and allow a parent to take that information and make an informed decision about their child. I'm a teacher and I have exactly one piece of medical training. I am licensed to give certain injections to students. I am trained and licensed by the medical board to do so. Thats the extent that my medical training goes. I'm sure there is some teacher somewhere that has an MD, but thats not most of us.

I know this was kind of rambling but I'll end with a story that was relayed to me last night. I had a conference and had a parent discussing ritalin with me. She said her child had been on it for many years and that she had taken him off of it over the summer. She had not put him back on because she had discovered this really interesting person who's personality had been supressed by the drugs. Now her child's grade was going down some and she was struggling between what was more important, letting her child be who they really were or grades. I commend her for being concerned about her childs grades and after discussing it deciding the medicine was the wrong way to go, but there is something wrong here when that is a decision that has to be made.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 04:30 PM
As someone who has severe ADHD, and has done a lot of research and thinking on it, I think I'll speak up.

ADHD is without a doubt caused by neural chemical imbalances. How can I be so sure of this? Well, the medicine perscribed to children with ADD/ADHD is a stimulant, or in other words, speed. Now, if you give anyone else a 20mg pill of speed or whatever, they're going to go off the wall. But give a stimulant, like caffeine, to a kid with ADD/ADHD, you'll notice the difference.

Now, I'm 18, and at this point in my life I have very mixed feelings about medication. On the one hand, I myself can see the difference when I'm on my medicine or off it. ADD/ADHD, if not treated, can make a person very impulsive and easily agitated, not to mention hyperactive and inattentive. And once your daughter gets older, you'll also want to take driving into consideration. There is nothing worse than a driver who can't keep their mind focused on one the road.
BUT, on the other hand, medication has side effects. The most noticeable side effect I've found for me, is the loss of appetite and even weight loss. Because I've been on this medicine for most of my life, my body has gotten used to a small appetite, and its making it hard to gain weight.
And, I do believe that the medicine takes away from my creativity and perhaps even my personality.

But, all in all, I do believe that the medicine has been a greater help than hindrance. However, every situation is different, and ultimately you have to do what you feel is right as a mother.

Good luck! I hope this has helped.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:53 PM
I will say this again because I haven't gotten anyone else talking about it. The government is trying to mandate the psychological testing of our children which would in turn lead to government mandated medicating of our children with things such as ssri's and ritalin. You think the ADHD overdiagnosis thing is bad now, wait until the government gets its hands on it. Another dirty little secret for you about schools, they get more money from the federal government if they have a lot of kids diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD which require special individual education plans. Which side do you think they're going to fall on? I'm a teacher and I wish I could say they'd side with the kids, but I can't

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