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Past Decade Sees Rise in ADHD

More children than ever before are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics indicate that around 6 million youngsters, or approximately 11 percent of school-age kids, have gotten such a diagnosis at some point.

The most alarming figures are among boys in high school. It seems that one in five is now being treated for ADHD. These numbers have raised concern among many experts, especially since it shows an increase of 16 percent since 2007 and of 53 percent since 2002. Many families are caught in a dilemma, since treating ADHD with medications such as Adderall or Ritalin can be extremely helpful for some affected youngsters but can lead to serious side effects and abuse for others. We discussed this controversy in 2012 with two of the country’s leading experts, Dr. Alan Sroufe and Dr. Ned Hallowell.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Rise in brain abnormalities over the past two decades may be an effect of prenatal ultrasound. The evidence is mounting that the scans can interfere with brain development.

My son was diagnosed with ADHD. We had very real struggles with the lack of attention & retention, sensory overload, inability to stay on a task, hyper activity in means of constantly bouncing around thoughts and focus, and impulsive behavior. We tried different medications for 3 years but the side effects were worse that the benefits. Went 2 years trying natural remedies until things were unmanageable. A regular doctor started him on Aderal and it was like the calm after a storm. Amazing! He was calm, focused, pleasant, more mature. His teachers also noticed a big difference. I’m certain that some kids are misdiagnosed. And I’m certain that more play time works for the average normal child. But when there is a real issue of a deficiency of a brain chemical & executive functioning, medicine is an effective and important solution.
I’m in my 40s and was recently diagnosed too, five years after my son. I can see that many problems I’ve struggled with for years, since Kindergarten, are the result of ADHD. I am grieving the fact that I wasn’t diagnosed earlier because it has affected my personal and professional life in many detrimental ways. I also started taking Adderal, and can tell you from personal testimony that medicine makes a huge difference. But it is very hard to find the right med and dosage. Each person is different, and the effectiveness is always changing.
I believe the rise in cases of ADHD are the result of a few factors. One, many earlier cases have gone undiagnosed until recently, as doctors understand it better. Two, the nutritional value of food eaten, and food marketed are depleting. And three, modern society and our lives these days are so fast-paced that ADHD issues arr more highlighted.

I gotta say a huge THANK YOU! to Betty and CBL for adding major solutions to this issue!
What if both approaches were used — a relaxed arrival to school; and, an effectively conducted play time that releases the build-up of the first session(s)to help return the children’s brain waves back to a more calm level. Bravo, you two, and for conservatives, hey, no cost, no taxes, and both approaches would save school districts money in many ways while improving education.
Two little ideeeurs. :-)

Seems like the Big Pharma robber barons and their co-conspirator head shrinkers are in a race to invent new drugs and new “diseases” to go with them. Pretty soon every young child will be diagnosed with ADHD and overfed with Adderall or some other toxic amphetamine, causing no end of additional pain and suffering. Too bad. So sad

Has anyone considered that sleep deprivation may be the culprit in the misbehavior that causes ADHD diagnoses? I am a former teacher who discovered that the students who had the most trouble staying in their seats, paying attention, etc., often went to bed after midnight. Since they were getting seven hours–or less!–of sleep each night, they struggled to stay awake.
Doctors recommend at least 10 hours of sleep each night for teenagers. Younger children often need 12 hours of sleep, yet colleagues in elementary schools tell of children who have no assigned bedtimes and who stay up until they’re ready to go to bed. When queried, they often admit that they stay up until 11 or 12:00. Since classes in the US usually begin sometime between 7:00 and 9:00, this means that our children must rise at least an hour earlier to get ready for school and are severely sleep-deprived.

ADD and ADHD are real conditions. However, it’s no wonder so many children are restless and distracted during class and are being diagnosed as ADD. As a recently retired teacher, I can tell you that children are tested, tested, tested, (standardized and for purposes of getting the required number of grades for the report card) and told repeatedly during the day to FOCUS! Yet children aren’t allowed sufficient time to play freely. The schedule in most public schools is structured so tightly that teachers must use timers to negotiate the day and adhere to lesson plans. Believe me, most teachers are unhappy with the system as it exists, and they WANT DESPERATELY do what is right for their students/children.
Professional administrators (many have very few years of classroom experience) often don’t respect teachers’ complaints or are answering to superintendents and politicians who pressure them for improved test scores. When children are given more free time to play, they’re healthier and pay closer attention in class. I can attest to that. Parents and the public need to demand that children be given more free play and more PE.

TV comics! Kids get up in the morning, turn on comics. The SPEED of comics. The child’s brain. RACE RACE RACE to follow the ‘plot’ and the wildly flashing colors and the wild movements. Their brain is in overload! Before breakfast they have programed their brain to overload– before breakfast. They get to school and have to SIT DOWN SIT STILL while their brain is still in overload mode. They must quietly read S L O W L Y. Their brains are not geared now for S L O W. Of course they have attention deficit. How could they not! Why not avoid a.m. comics! Put on some nice gentle but stimulating music for a while.. not wild music either! That is also geared for overload! Like maybe continuation of the comic overload?

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