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The DSM is the only way that ADD is diagnosed. Here’s how it’s done: In the DSM, ADD has nine symptoms listed under it. If a child has any six of them, in the opinion of the doctor (or the teacher!) that child may be diagnosed as having ADD. That’s it! Funny thing is, it seems like most of these entries on the list are not symptoms of a mental disorder, but just symptoms of being a kid:
1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
2. Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
3. Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate
4. Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
5. Is often ‘on the go’ or often acts as if driven “by a motor”
6. Often talks excessively
7. Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
8. Often has difficulty awaiting turn
9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others
Sound like anyone you’ve ever known? Some may ask if there are any kids who would not fit six of these criteria. The reader should understand that this is the only “diagnostic” “testing” that exists for determining ADD. Six out of nine. No lab test, no blood tests, no physical examination whatsoever, no standardized batteries of written or verbal psychological testing. Just these nine. And unlike any other disease in history, the diagnosis may be made by anyone in authority, with no medical credentials or training whatsoever: the school nurse, school counselor, a teacher, the principal, a coach…
“…they come off drugs at 14 or so and suddenly they’re big, strong people who’ve never had to spend any time building any controls in learning how to cope with their own daily stress. Then the parents who have forgotten what the child’s real personality was like without the mask of the drug, panic and say ‘Help me. I don’t know what to do with him.’ … they can only deal with the medicated child.” – Schrag, p 94
Of course childhood and adolescence are confusing periods of growth – there’s no dress rehearsal. First time through’s a take. But what we’re doing with these psychotropic drugs is erasing footage that can never be replaced. Each lost stressful experience was an opportunity for growth and learning that was drugged out of existence, stolen from the child forever. High and lows are clipped; elation and depression are merged together as one, and the victim cruises through his formative years an insensate robot.
The darkest aspect of the whole ADD scam, in my opinion is the totalitarian leveling effect that is being perpetrated on American children and docilely accepted by American adults. Children may still be able to function and to attend classes on Ritalin. But any teacher or parent will attest that creativity is usually gone. The light in their eyes goes out. Children develop at different rates, with varying degrees of stress and the ability to cope with it. As Dr. Walker says, stress and confusion are a necessary part of adolescence, essential to the learning process. To mute these normal emotions of frustration and elation with drugs is to steal these kids’ childhood and adolescence from them.
Originally posted by SourGrapes
Who's sponsoring your "full ride"? Is it an academic scholarship? Or is it military, or other?
Did you make a drastic turn-around in high-school? If so, what did it for you? Did you suddenly find that school was challenging enough to keep you interested, and focused? Or, did you follow a 504 (or some other) plan?
I'm seriously, genuinely interested. I have a boy, about to start high-school (we go tomorrow to ninth grade orientation night) and I'm a little concerned. He's ADD, but not hyper; although I wouldn't mind a bit more hyper 'activity' and lot less hyper "focusing" (he's tired all the frick'n time!).
We just got his state test results back today, and they are the same as every year: advanced in Reading, Math, Science, and 'very proficient' in Language Arts. The thing is, he either gets A's or F's (like 90 - 100% or 0%). There really isn't a middle ground for him, which concerns me (you're being ADHD, I'm sure you understand).
I'm just worried that he won't be able to see past tomorrow (very common with ADD), and won't ever get the hang of long-term planning and it's implications.
I know you started this thread to discuss ADD medication, but meds are only a very small fraction of the overall long-term health management plan.
BTW, how are you doing in college?