This is dedicated to the thousands of children who are incorrectly diagnosed and drugged.
As I got further into
my research on ADHD, I realized that opinions, even among the experts, range
from one extreme end of the scale to the other and that to have a full
understanding one should explore all sides of the coin. It is unfortunate that many have so obviously
neglected to do this.
DIAGNOSIS AND THE USE OF MEDICATION
The existence of
hyperactivity, attention problems and all related symptoms are very real. Whether or not these symptoms are always
diagnosed or dealt with correctly is the problem. There are millions of children
worldwide on Ritalin, a
drug that has similar biochemical properties to cocaine and possible dangerous
side effects. There is a black market
for adult Ritalin users who get high from sniffing the drug! In other words, before one decides to put
your child onto heavy prescription drugs for any number of years, I would
presume that in-depth and proper research should be conducted. Because there is no single test that can
diagnose ADHD, making a diagnosis can be very complicated. Doctors and specialists only see the child
for a limited period and in a specific environment. They therefore rely heavily on the opinions
of teachers and parents. This can lead
to merely treating the symptoms instead of getting to the bottom of the
underlying causes of the behaviour.
Schools put a lot of pressure on parents to sort out their disruptive or
inattentive child. Anyone who does not
behave in a manner that is acceptable in a classroom situation is a possible
Ritalin candidate! Rather
than relying on the easy way out, parents MUST insist, for the sake of their
child, that proper investigation be done to get to the root of the
problem. To do this, you will have to
really put your foot down and not allow yourself to be bullied by the school or
by the medical profession. This may take
a lot of time, effort and money, but it is your child’s life and is worth
it. Strong stimulant drugs do not cure ADHD, but merely
control the symptoms and make them more 'manageable' in the short term.
Research has shown that the degree of long term improvement and social
adjustment in drug users (Ritalin or Chloropromazine) was identical at the end
of five years to a group of children who did not receive any prescription drug
treatment. Are we drugging our children to make their social interactions
and schooling easier? Who are we making it easier for? By hastily
treating your child for
what could be a symptom of a more complex illness, you may delay the correct
treatment of a serious underlying problem.
OTHER POSSIBLE CAUSES
OF SIMILAR BEHAVIOUR
Whatever the cause, hyperactivity,
behavioural problems and attention deficit symptoms should be addressed,
investigated and treated accordingly. If
your child is displaying any of these symptoms, it is a real concern and can be
traumatic for the parent as well as the child.
Not all these symptoms relate to what is termed ADD or ADHD, and a
thorough investigation should be conducted in the child’s best interest. There are hundreds of underlying causes that
produce or result in the same symptoms described for ADD and ADHD. These include lead-poisoning, pesticide
poisoning, mercury exposure, environmental pollution, house-hold chemicals,
medications, intestinal worms, food allergies, food additives, brain tumours,
certain virus and bacterial infections, low blood sugar or borderline diabetes,
poor diet, genetic disorders, depression or bi-polar disorder, caffeine
sensitivity, sleep disorders, candida albicans, hypothyroidism, foetal alcohol
effects, prenatal trauma, oxygen deprivation at birth, fluorescent lighting,
yeast overgrowth due to antibiotic use, trauma or drama in the home, family
problems, learning disabilities, iron-deficiency anaemia, vision impairment,
chronic ear infections or loss of hearing, hyper coagulation, petit mal
seizures, sensory integrative dysfunction and anxiety/panic disorders, to mention
a few. Many of these can be picked up if
the specialist takes the time to question and investigate and carry out some
simple blood tests. More information on
can be found in the links below. Other possibilities for some of
these behaviours are children that are merely right-brain dominant, have
different learning styles, have a high IQ and are bored in the classroom, maybe
they are dreamers or what is known as an Edison-trait child, creative thinkers,
or are just a little different and don’t fit into what is classified as normal
and acceptable behaviour.
As I began to read more about ADD & ADHD, I came to a realisation. Although the causes of the behaviour should be investigated and treated accordingly, there are few problems relating to these conditions that would be such a big problem outside a school or classroom environment. In fact, many of these symptoms are not nearly as much of a problem in a one-one-one home environment or in a fun home situation like playing a computer game. Are we therefore incorrectly diagnosing and medicating our children, just so that they can fit in and perform at school? What if we take out the school and the classroom? Most children with ADHD are able to control their behaviour and perform well during individual free play or while getting lots of attention. If your child is not coping in a school environment, homeschooling is a viable option. And should certainly be considered before drugs. Children benefit from one-on-one learning and the freedom to learn as they do best, be it standing, doing or fidgeting. Each child has an individual learning style which can be adjusted accordingly at home. For more information on learning styles, see the links below.
Dr Walker is a practicing neurologist and psychiatrist, trained in neurosurgery, physiology and pharmacology with over three decades of evaluating and treating hundreds of labelled children. He shows that the symptoms are due to other underlying and often undiagnosed medical disorders. This is a must-read for any parent whose child is hyperactive or currently on Ritalin. The most helpful part of the book deals with advocating for your child with the medical and educational professionals.
After the introduction, you get to the reason you bought the book – excellent alternative solutions, whether or not your child is on medication. Thomas Armstrong starts with a checklist of things that may bother you about your child's behaviour - each one checked off directs you to at least one chapter of practical solutions.
Does your hyperactive
learner have YOU climbing the walls?
Veteran homeschooler, Carol Barnier knows the challenge - and the
solution! As a Christian mother of an ADHD son, she's developed successful
techniques to help you teach your high-spirited child. By incorporating her method of games,
manipulatives, and motions, you'll discover that it is possible for your
special learner to learn math, phonics, history, and more! Includes reproducible resources. 112 pages.
As a homeschooler,
professional speech/language pathologist, and mother of three, Melinda Boring
heart-wrenching honesty and humour. Her
real-life examples reveal the trials and joys of teaching and parenting a child
with challenges. Melinda offers
practical strategies from both her personal and professional experience in
helping children with auditory and visual distractibility, sensory issues,
fidgeting and hyperactivity, daydreaming, and social communication
difficulties. The suggestions for
modifying curriculum and adapting the learning environment are easily
implemented and applied.
This best seller
provides simple and practical, yet dramatically effective lessons to develop
the right-brain tendencies of children.
Included is a checklist to determine hemisphere dominance and engaging
instructional activities that draw on the intuitive, non-verbal abilities of
the right brain, a list of skills associated with each brain hemisphere and
Does your child forget to follow even the simplest instructions, crave praise and positive attention yet refuse to conform or tell more than his share of fibs and tall tales. If you recognize these actions, you probably know the frustration of turning to experts only to find the rules and systems don't work and strong boundaries make the situation worse. The creative-sensitive dreamer is not the strong-willed child. Get this book and learn how to parent your special needs child who is highly creative, principle-oriented rather than rule-oriented, overly sensitive and frustrated at a world that fails to live up to the ideal.
Lucy Jo Palladino claims that 20 percent of children have what she calls the
Edison trait: "dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a
free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to drive everyone around them
crazy." The symptoms may be similar
to those of ADD, but she says that's an overused term often mistakenly applied
to Edison-trait children. She helps you
decide whether your child is one of the three types of Edison-trait children:
dreamer, discoverer, or dynamo and also gives pointed, practical advice
regarding such controversial topics as diet, neuro-feedback treatment, and
psychological testing. For frustrated parents and educators, this book will be
a rich source of both help and hope.
Does your child learn
best in the morning or evening? Does his
reading comprehension increase or decrease when music is played? Does she prefer to study alone or with
others? Our children process information
in a multitude of unique ways. What works best for one child is often counterproductive
for others. By trying to force all
children into the same learning mode, we unfairly short-circuit their education
as well as their intellectual development.
This book shows you how to assess and nurture your child's individual
learning potential based on his or her talents, interests, disposition,
preferred environment, and more.
LINKS AND INTERESTING INFORMATION
Lots of Excellent Articles about ADD and links to articles about other conditions that mimic the symptoms of ADHD
An Excellent Article with information about alternative causes and
solutions to ADD
This article gives a good idea of what steps should be taken by a specialist before even diagnosing a disorder
Lots of links to adhd articles and information – not all my opinion!
Understanding Learning Styles – lots of information and links
An interesting article about the effects that toxic and heavy metal
exposure have on children
I know he'll be a wonderful adult; it's just a matter of getting through childhood!