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Your Perception Of ADHD?


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  #21  
August 31st, 2011, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tiredmom View Post
Interesting heart condition.
I said I was having a hard time coming up with an analogy.
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  #22  
August 31st, 2011, 03:01 PM
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hhmmm interesting.

All I know is that my BFF's son who is now 10 went on medication for ADHD last year after many years of therapy & his parents trying everything under the sun to help him. He only takes med during the weekdays during the school year.

In a few short weeks of taking the meds, at school he went from a complete social outcast to having friends for the 1st time in his life. He went from being labeled the "bad" kid by teachers & staff to being an excellent student. He went from threatening to kill himself (yes at 9) to being a happy boy. To me that says it all.

I think we hear about ADHD more now because MI's & disorder like this are more out in the open now. We are more aware of this type of stuff in general. DH's brother who is 41 is most likely ADHD. He was never diagnosed as a kid because well no one knew about it back then. He was constantly in trouble as a kid which then turned in to drugs and a life of petty crime. At 41, he has no family, no job, no home, no meaniful life. Truly sad. We wonder what he would have been if his parents had been aware of adhd and had him treated.
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  #23  
August 31st, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
In a few short weeks of taking the meds, at school he went from a complete social outcast to having friends for the 1st time in his life. He went from being labeled the "bad" kid by teachers & staff to being an excellent student.
This could describe my son! His teacher told me today that he is one of the most well-behaved students she has, and he is the highest academically. Medication for him is a must.
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  #24  
August 31st, 2011, 03:16 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
This could describe my son! His teacher told me today that he is one of the most well-behaved students she has, and he is the highest academically. Medication for him is a must.
Same here. DS#1 is 13. He has to take his medicine every day because if he misses a couple of days it takes a few more days of meds to get back on track. Off his med he's very angry, sullen, and just miserable. On his med he's the kid no parent dreamed they'd get so lucky to have. He's home schooled this year and I never have to tell him when to work. He starts his work and keeps plugging away until he's done the right amount for the day. He'll take video game breaks of course, but in moderation and then he gets back to it.
It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depending on whether he took his medicine or not. After all these years, just 1 little pill at one of the lower doses.
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  #25  
August 31st, 2011, 03:26 PM
KimberlyD0
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Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
This could describe my son! His teacher told me today that he is one of the most well-behaved students she has, and he is the highest academically. Medication for him is a must.
My DD as well. She's a compleatly different child now.
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  #26  
August 31st, 2011, 04:17 PM
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OK... I don't normally post on the Debate board, but wanted to add my

I have ADHD, both my brothers have ADHD, my mother has ADHD, and my father has it as well. In none of the cases with me or my brothers did a doctor just say "Yup, you're kid definitely has ADHD, here are some pills." We went through extensive testing with a doctor before it was considered (even though by the time my younger brother was diagnosed at 6 my mom knew all the signs) and then once the doctor considered it our doctors, teachers, and parents all had to fill out these loooooong questionnaires about us. And I can tell you that all of us would be highly offended if anyone said we were disabled because of the condition. I think Molly hit it head-on with our brains just being wired differently.

I'm not saying it's not over-diagnosed, I'm just saying with every experience I have seen about it it's not an easy diagnosis to get.

We've recently started the diagnosis process on my youngest son. He's shown all the same signs as my brothers and I, and even though his doctor knew we knew the signs, he still wouldn't even consider having him go through the testing until he was 5 or 6 years old. He gave us long lists of natural ways to try to help him, and said he would only work towards diagnosing him if none of those worked, or worked enough to help.

The medication isn't there to make your child a zombie, and you know, a lot of the young children diagnosed with ADHD do need the medicine. It helps them. If you're child needed glasses, you would do all you could to help them. You would take them to the doctor and get them glasses. Yeah, they could still see without them, but without them they have to work twice as hard to see. So yeah, your child can function and learn without medication, but instead of it being twice as hard, it's like 10-20 times harder for them.

When your child comes home from school after moving his clip 8 times that week crying because he tries sooooo hard to remember to follow all the directions, to not get up, to not play, to not talk, to pay attention, but he just can't then you can tell me that medication shouldn't be used.

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  #27  
August 31st, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum_Leap View Post
I said I was having a hard time coming up with an analogy.
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  #28  
August 31st, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Undomesticated Housewife View Post
There may have been a time when a short attention span plus lack of motivation to do anything at all (which I only have when not hyper-focusing on dumb things) was okay, but I can't imagine that it was ever beneficial?
It's not that those symptoms would have ever been beneficial, it's that you may not have HAD those symptoms if you'd been raised in a different environment. Several studies have indicated that exposure to nature helps relieve the symptoms of ADHD. This one, for example, suggests that 20-minute nature walks can help improve the performance of ADHD children on concentration tasks:

Quote:
The study compared walks in nature to those in urban or residential areas and found that the child’s ADHD improved most after walking in a green space
Nature helps with ADHD?may even out-perform medication

If only 20 minutes of exposure to nature can have this type of effect, then I can only imagine what 365 days a year of 24-7 outdoor exposure might do.

Here's another study that suggests the same conclusion:
Children with ADHD benefit from time outdoors enjoying nature | Archives | News Bureau | University of Illinois

I've also noticed this anecdotally in the students I've taught. Those who have participated in programs such as Outward Bound have often come back transformed.

Moreover, as I'm sure you know, "short attention span and lack of motivation" aren't the only symptoms of ADHD. ADHD manifests itself differently in different individuals, with certain symptoms more pronounced in some individuals than in others. Here's another common symptom list on WebMD:

Quote:
easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others
Stimuli that are considered 'irrelevant' in today's society certainly would not have been 10,000 years ago. If you're sitting in a classroom and you can't concentrate because you're distracted by the noise coming from the pencil sharpener behind you, you have ADHD. If you're sitting in a stone-age village and can't concentrate because you're distracted by the rustling noise coming from the bushes behind you, you save your village from the tiger that was about to eat them and you're the hero of the day! All stimuli were relevant in an age where danger lurked around ever corner. And (in my experience), individuals with ADHD tend to notice all stimuli. They're unable to block any of it out.

With hyperactivity symptoms, such as the following (also taken from Web MD), it's quite obvious how these might have been beneficial in an age where physical prowess was more valued:

Quote:
getting up frequently to walk or run around

running or climbing excessively when it's inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness)

having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities

being always on the go
10,000 years ago, it would have been better to be excessively restless than to be excessively restful.
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  #29  
August 31st, 2011, 06:39 PM
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I'm about to go make my dinner but I wanted to quickly add that I just read an article last week about how people with ADHD have faster reaction times in critical moments than people without it. I'll be back and see if I can dig that up.....
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  #30  
August 31st, 2011, 07:15 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Of course I can't find it now. How ironic, I guess I wasn't paying enough attention when I read it.
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  #31  
September 1st, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I'm about to go make my dinner but I wanted to quickly add that I just read an article last week about how people with ADHD have faster reaction times in critical moments than people without it. I'll be back and see if I can dig that up.....
I wonder if this could be because some individuals with ADHD have higher anxiety levels? I do not have ADHD but I do have anxiety and I have read that anxiety can keep some people in a perpetual state of "fight or flight".

As to the OP, I do believe that ADHD is real but I also think it is overdx'd. Simialr to what some of the others have posted, my son has been dx'd with ADHD the inattentive type. We decided to try meds last year and his teacher told us that it made a world of difference for him socially and academically. His grades went up and he quit focusing on what all the other kids were doing or not doing in class. This does not mean he's the perfect child because he still has his quirks and the same personality(I was afraid medicating him would change that) but it has helped him settle a bit more and he's able to focus on his schoolwork enough to learn. When he's home, he's not medicated.

I also wanted to add that I am enjoying Molly's thoughts on the subject. I do agree that it seems like being outside is definitely a healthy place for kids and fortunately, we have a decent sized yard for the kids to play in.
Blurb on "nature deficit disorder"
Nature deficit disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:

Attention disorders and depression may develop. "It's a problem because kids who don't get nature-time seem more prone to anxiety, depression and attention-deficit problems." Louv suggests that going outside and being in the quiet and calm can help greatly.[13] According to a University of Illinois study, interaction with nature has proven to reduce symptoms of ADD in children. According to research, "Overall, our findings indicate that exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children." [16] Attention Restoration Theory develops this idea further, both in short term restoration of one's abilities, and the long term ability to cope with stress and adversity.
Following the development of ADD and mood disorders, lower grades in school also seem to be related to NDD. Louv claims that "studies of students in California and nationwide show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produce significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math".[17]
Childhood obesity has become a growing problem. About 9 million children (ages 6–19) are overweight or obese. The Institute of Medicine claims that over the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled for adolescents and more than tripled for children aged 6–11.[15]
In an interview on Public School Insight, Louv stated some positive effects of treating Nature Deficit Disorder, "everything from a positive effect on the attention span to stress reduction to creativity, cognitive development, and their sense of wonder and connection to the earth."[14]
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  #32  
September 1st, 2011, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum_Leap View Post
It's not that those symptoms would have ever been beneficial, it's that you may not have HAD those symptoms if you'd been raised in a different environment. Several studies have indicated that exposure to nature helps relieve the symptoms of ADHD. This one, for example, suggests that 20-minute nature walks can help improve the performance of ADHD children on concentration tasks:


Nature helps with ADHD?may even out-perform medication

If only 20 minutes of exposure to nature can have this type of effect, then I can only imagine what 365 days a year of 24-7 outdoor exposure might do.

Here's another study that suggests the same conclusion:
Children with ADHD benefit from time outdoors enjoying nature | Archives | News Bureau | University of Illinois

I've also noticed this anecdotally in the students I've taught. Those who have participated in programs such as Outward Bound have often come back transformed.

Moreover, as I'm sure you know, "short attention span and lack of motivation" aren't the only symptoms of ADHD. ADHD manifests itself differently in different individuals, with certain symptoms more pronounced in some individuals than in others. Here's another common symptom list on WebMD:



Stimuli that are considered 'irrelevant' in today's society certainly would not have been 10,000 years ago. If you're sitting in a classroom and you can't concentrate because you're distracted by the noise coming from the pencil sharpener behind you, you have ADHD. If you're sitting in a stone-age village and can't concentrate because you're distracted by the rustling noise coming from the bushes behind you, you save your village from the tiger that was about to eat them and you're the hero of the day! All stimuli were relevant in an age where danger lurked around ever corner. And (in my experience), individuals with ADHD tend to notice all stimuli. They're unable to block any of it out.

With hyperactivity symptoms, such as the following (also taken from Web MD), it's quite obvious how these might have been beneficial in an age where physical prowess was more valued:



10,000 years ago, it would have been better to be excessively restless than to be excessively restful.
Totally agree. There is a book called "Last Child in the Woods". And it goes into how kids who are not exposed to nature like they use to be (being on farms, climbing trees, etc) have more behavioral problems. I can see how that is true in my own child. ds1 can be really calm while on nature walks and while fishing. The nature just calms him down so we try to spend as much time outside as we can, and not always at man made parks, but at nature parks where he can climb trees or roll down a hill. My town is really sad, and a good example about the non-nature problem. We are a small town, over half are kids, we have a lot of parks, one park in paticular has a nice nature area to climb trees and play in the grass, and yet NO ONE but us are outside. It's like a ghost town. Everyone stays inside. I actually see more people out shoveling snow in the winter then I do outside during the summer enjoying the weather. It's insane. Video games and TV has consumed kids of all ages.
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  #33  
September 1st, 2011, 04:32 PM
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My Brother was diagnosed as a child. Medication worked, too well. Even on an extremely low dose he was a zombie. Diet changes and as much exercise as possible was all that worked for him. Even now, having just graduated from highschool he struggles daily, hating the fact that he cannot concentrate sometimes even though he wants to.

I do think it's over diagnosed. That happened where I grew up and all kids with the diagnosis ended up being labelled as Bad kids all because of a few. Led a lot of parents to not even seek help, because they didn't want the stigma that was placed at the time (pretty much thanks to one family)
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  #34  
September 2nd, 2011, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Quantum_Leap View Post
I think that ADHD is definitely a real thing in people's brains. I don't, however, think of it as a disease or a disability. I think that this is really a case of society not matching the kids, rather than the kids not matching society. What our society expects from everyone in terms of behavior is an unreasonable expectation for MOST people, and especially from those who have ADHD.

If you think about the conditions in which humans evolved, millions of years ago -- well, for most of human history, we were never, ever expected to be sitting still and concentrating on academic tasks all day long. Early humans would have been spending all day, every day, outside walking around and being active, almost the entire year long. 'Academic concentration' wasn't a trait that would have naturally selected for; 'high-energy' definitely would have been.

In today's society we demand that kids be able to sit still and concentrate for long periods of time from an early age. And many of them are able to do it. But they're working against their natural urges, not with them. Some just aren't able to do it. It's not their fault; we're asking too much of them.

I've taught lots of kids who had ADHD. And it's obvious that this is a condition that is very, very real. Nine times out of ten you will recognize the ADHD kids before anyone tells you that there's been a diagnosis. Their brains definitely work differently, and in ways that are usually very apparent. But at the private school I worked at in the U.S., I noticed something. Environmental education was a big focus of this school, and we did two school-wide outdoor backpacking trips per year. During these trips, many of these ADHD kids turned out to be the LEADERS. It was like, they were the ones running ahead, getting the camp-stoves set up, pumping water for everybody, whatever. In a different setting, their 'weaknesses' turned into strengths. (One of the reasons I wish these types of trips could be incorporated into the public school curriculum).

If my own children were diagnosed with ADHD, my husband and I would like consider medication only as an absolute last resort. We would try other forms of nutritional and behavioral therapy first, and only utilize medication at the point where we felt it was in the best interest of the child and wasn't just being used to make the lives of teachers/ourselves/society at large easier. I recognize that medication is very often the best choice for certain children and certain families (and of course ultimately, it's up to each family to decide). But instinctively, I buck at the idea of trying to 'rewire' the brains of ADHD kids because there's nothing WRONG with their brains -- it's just a bad fit for today's society.
I agree with this and found an article this morning that supports your theory...

http://www.naturalnews.com/033477_To...ric_drugs.html

Quote:
Imagine if the beloved young characters in Mark Twain's classic, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," lived today. Based on current psychiatric criteria, Tom and Huck could be designated mentally ill and prescribed mind-altering drugs. Quiet, listless and numb, their legendary adventures would be over.

Describing a day in school, Twain wrote: "The harder Tom tried to fasten his mind on his book, the more his ideas wandered." His "heart ached to be free, or else to have something of interest to do to pass the dreary time." That's a text book so-called symptom of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). A teacher today could refer him to a psychiatrist who would dope him with stimulants. Yet like any typical boy, Tom had no trouble focusing attention on something he found interesting - like finding a hidden treasure.

Tom's friend Huckleberry might fare worse. An avowed non-conformist, a psychiatric checklist could tag him with ODD - oppositional defiant disorder. And having run away from an abusive father, Huck would land in the hands of Child Protective Services who would sedate him on psychoactive drugs subsidized by government funds.

Although no brain scan, blood test or x-ray had been done, the psych doctors would claim the boys' mental illness stemmed from a neurobiological disorder involving chemical imbalances in the brain, probably hereditary.

Tom and Huck would likely experience insomnia, stomach aches, high blood pressure, stunted growth or some other "side" effects, and more drugs would be added to treat these. They would start feeling despondent and have mood swings, leading to probable depression or bipolar disorder diagnoses and more drug cocktails. The once spirited youths might end up as life-long pharmaceutical junkies.
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  #35  
September 3rd, 2011, 05:48 PM
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Also, keep in mind how many ADHD families there are that choose to take their kids off the meds during the summer when school's out. When the setting changes, they find that the meds are no longer needed.
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  #36  
September 4th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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I think ADHD can be pretty misdiagnosed. I had a kid I watched once. GREAT kid at my house. Helpful, quiet when it was appropriate, not much TV, etc.

When he got home, mom says he was hyper and inattentive and she swears he had ADHD. She takes him to a pediatrician who after several MONTHS of testing, found nothing. She takes him to another one, and they medicate him.

I found that the more the child got to go outside, the less "hyper" he acted. He played a lot when over here, but because mom was in an apartment, he played less at home.

Did I think he had ADHD? NO, but I'm not a doctor so the doctor won. Once he was on medication, he got MORE hyper! It was a weird phenomenon. I told the mom that if he indeed had ADHD, then he was on the WRONG meds or wrong dose because he started getting worse.

Mom said she was having similar issues at home.

She took him back to the doctor, took him off the meds for several weeks (so that starting a new one wouldn't be masked). He went back to NORMAL. He didn't ever need the meds. It was just something I think the doctor did because a lot of their diagnosing things is based on their medical knowledge coupled with parental concerns. If the parent is insistent enough, some doctors will do what the parent asks; and ADHD isn't "easy" do diagnose.

I agree that possibly ADHD wouldn't be a problem in kids in different environments. Perhaps more physical activities would help. I also think that schools are a little too harsh in what they expect from kids. I mean really, think about you who have sedentary jobs. You're sitting on a computer all day taking calls. Can you just "sit" there the WHOLE TIME with just a lunch break? Probably not. Most of us will stand up, stretch, go potty, etc. Bodies weren't built to just sit there doing tasks all day. They were built with some idea of activity in mind. So many schools took out gym class or shortened their recess times so kids are not getting nearly as much physical activity done as they used to (in most of our day).

I believe the lack of options in school for physical activities, the lack of parents taking their kids outside (maybe because they can't get outside) and the increase in TV/Video Games is a large contributor to why some of these behaviors exist.

I know that I personally notice that if my kids don't get enough fresh air and outdoor time, they can be hard to manage. Hyper, running around, screaming, acting like a fool (this is more often in winter months when the temperatures are plain just too cold). They are not ADHD children, though. I have had someone (friend of mine) ask if my youngest SN son has ADHD. No, he doesn't. He's a very active child, yes, but I don't believe that he has this condition JUST BECAUSE he happens to be a SN child who likes to play.
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