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Your Perception Of ADHD?


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  #1  
August 29th, 2011, 04:13 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Top 10 Myths About ADHD - Parenting on Shine


So what's your take on ADHD? Over diagnosed? Under? Too much medication and not enough therapy? Is it just bad parenting and lack of discipline?
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  #2  
August 29th, 2011, 04:25 PM
mayandsofiasmommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'll read the article after I post

I have seen plenty of ADHD being a teacher. It was funny because this year I had a student and he was SO ADHD. Very smart, yet could not focus at all. His teachers from last year would tell me that they didn't think he was ADHD. I guess they thought he was just "lazy"?

I had another student who was diagnosed w/ it and he was in 7th grade and on medication. He did GREAT in my English class and was learning a lot. I noticed at the end of the year he got more distracted. Then in 8th grade, he was totally different. At the end of 7th he was able to write over a full page. Beg. of 8th, he wrote like 2 sentences. He could not pay attention or anything. So we put him in the English class w/ the special ed teacher since he really needed one on one support. Come to find out his mom took him OFF his meds b/c she thought that was the reason for him being short (even though doctors told her it was NOT the case). I still wish he had stayed on medication. It really helped him SO much.

I do think that it can be overdiagnosed. I have seen plenty of people think that normal 6 year old boys were ADHD when they are actually NOT.

Has nothing to do w/ bad parenting or lack of discipline if it is ADHD. Medication can really help, but you have to actually have it.
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  #3  
August 29th, 2011, 05:29 PM
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My son has ADHD, and you can see it in our family tree. The men on both sides typically have it. I think people often misunderstand ADHD, which is where you get people saying it's not real or caused by parents.

I think it can be overdiagnosed. 1/5 of my current students have that diagnosis! So, while real, I do think it is easy to overdiagnose. I've read it is typically underdiagnosed in girls, though.
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  #4  
August 29th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
My son has ADHD, and you can see it in our family tree. The men on both sides typically have it. I think people often misunderstand ADHD, which is where you get people saying it's not real or caused by parents.

I think it can be overdiagnosed. 1/5 of my current students have that diagnosis! So, while real, I do think it is easy to overdiagnose. I've read it is typically underdiagnosed in girls, though.
To the bolded that is us too. My brother has ADHD, wasn't diagnosed until he was an adult. My FIL, SIL and DH have ADHD too. Wouldn't you know that my ds1 has ADHD, shocker eh?

I think it can be over diagnosed, but I think it can be underdiagnosed as well. When we were seaking answers with ds1 people kept saying "it's just normal boy behavior" but we knew it wasn't, espcially since it runs on both sides of the family and ds1 has always been so over the top. It isn't lazy parenting, it actually takes a lot of energy and patience having a child with ADHD. I think some diagnoses could be something else, or they are diagnosed kind of lazy like and really don't have it. I think it is over medicated, that seems to be the Doctors answers for every ADHD child and adult I know. But we do not medicate ds1 or DH (DH had a really hard time with medication, it made him too focused, but not on what he was suppose to focus on). Both DH and ds1 have combined. They can be super energetic/hyper and then fixate on something and mellow out. ds1 is more hyper than not, and DH is the opposite. His energy comes in spurts.
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  #5  
August 29th, 2011, 07:09 PM
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I'm currently in the proccess of getting my son diagnosed ADHD and other co-existing issues so my opinion maybe a little skewed. We have waited very long time for ANY doctor to help us because he has such a large vocabulary. We have finally got the appointment to see a specialist.

I feel ADHD can be a mis-diagnoses, and under diagnosed. I do feel that other illnesses have to be looked at closely before an ADHD diagnoses is given. So I'm really against pediatricians or family dr.'s diagnosing ADHD. I think most "over diagnosed" kids probably need the diagnoses more as a this is the symptoms that need extra help so they can be a successful adult. I'm a medication as last resort type person. I think that several things can help in addition to medication: Sports, Cognitive therapy, Social skills classes, behavioral therapy and talk therapy. I really don't feel medication only is best for any illness. I don't feel ADHD is laziness on either the child, teacher or parents part.
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  #6  
August 29th, 2011, 09:27 PM
KimberlyD0
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I have ADHD

My Brother has ADHD

3 out of 4 of his children have ADHD

DD#1 has ADHD (DD#2 is to young to know, she has other cognitive issues we're dealing with though)

I do believe it can be over diagnosed, but I also know its real. Living with ADHD is hard.

I was medicated as a child for ADHD and it really did help me. I was able to gain control independent of medications as a teen, but in the years since my children have been born its become increasingly difficult for me.

My own personal experience with ADHD is complicated. I feel out of control at times. My emotions get heightened to a point where its like I am not even there. Not sure if it can really be explained. I get over stimulated easily, but I also get restless and need something to keep busy.

Over stimulated for me is through noise or crowed. I just can't handle a lot of people or noise.

DD#1 seems to be the same. We've recently made the hard choice to medicate her because it was detrimental to her. She's doing so much better now. Her behavior has done a complete turn around. She can focus more. She's quieter and actually pays attention to things around her better. My hope it that through some behavioral therapy she'll be able to stop taking the meds, but until that time I am grateful that they're available.

I don't believe medication alone is the answer. I do think that for some kids it really does help.

I don't judge parents who have children with ADHD. I know what they're going through. They're not bad parents, they're not to blame. I also can see the signs of ADHD in children and I don't judge them either. They're not bad and they sure aren't lazy.

Having ADHD doesn't mean you can't do what everyone else can, it just means you have to work harder sometimes.

I do think that sometimes people don't take ADHD as seriously as they should though. They hear ADHD and assume that its not real, or that its the parents/child fault. That its an excuse. That makes me very sad.
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  #7  
August 29th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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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.
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  #8  
August 29th, 2011, 10:17 PM
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I honestly think it is a body's natural response to unnatural circumstances. Everybody cannot have ADHD. I do believe it exists but I do believe it is very over diagnosed. I do not think medicating kids is ever OK unless it is life or death and I believe in therapy before meds. Many many new studies are linking our lack of nature to behavioral problems.

There are links in the blog:
A 'Dose of Nature' for Attention Problems - NYTimes.com
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  #9  
August 30th, 2011, 12:20 AM
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I think ADHD is very real.

I also think it is over-diagnosed. Yes, there are plenty of times where it's under-diagnosed, but I do think that some kids are diagnosed that shouldn't be because of lazy parenting. Parenting a kid with legit ADHD is a lot of work! So those parents should be commended highly! I think some lazy parents would rather have a diagnosis like that, not work with their kids, and just blame any behavior issues on ADHD. This is from a few personal observations. In general, though, I try hard not to judge when I hear a kid has ADHD because I know that it is very legit and you never know.
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  #10  
August 30th, 2011, 01:57 AM
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It is very real.
But it's also misdiagnosed quite often.(both over, and under included in that as well).

Medication should never be the first resort, in my personal opinion. But that doesn't mean I don't think medication should never be used. It should never be used as a blanket treatment though. "All patients exhibiting X behavior, who have been diagnosed with ADHD need to be medicated", doesn't cut it for me.
ADHD is not that cut and dry, much like most things aren't. No two cases are identical and shouldn't be treated as such.

Quantum_Leap already said what I was going to say, but she said it much, much better.
I very much believe that the whole "they aren't wired the same" is used way too often. I don't think it's that they(all) aren't wired the same, but rather that many tap into their natural instincts and human nature in some areas much better than the rest of us.
Maybe the rest of us are all wired wrong, or simply ignoring some of those instincts we used for survival for so many years.
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  #11  
August 30th, 2011, 06:33 AM
KimberlyD0
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The perception that ADHD is not a disability is just as hurtful as saying that parents of ADHD children are lazy.

Like it or not it IS a disability. It can be extremely debilitation for the person who has ADHD.

Just like with autism there are different levels involved. Some kids with ADHD are more high energy and can learn focus and control through physical means, like sports. Some its a sensitivity to some types of foods or additives. Some its much more.

Fact if our brains ARE wired differently. The neurons needed for self control are just not developed the way they should. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Like other disabilities caused by chemical imbalances it needs treatment.

Treatment doesn't have to mean drugs. There are other treatments. Like physical activity or dietary changes.

Those don't always work. In my home I already know I have ADHD. We avoid foods that trigger ADHD. My kids just don't get them. Both children are in age/developmental appropriate activities. We did everything conceivable before drugs were even brought to the table. Unfortunately for my child drugs was the only thing that worked.

Having ADHD sucks. People just don't understand what its like to go through life having no control. They think your lazy, uneducated, or unintelligent. A lot of assumptions are made. I can't keep count of the number of times I've heard "ADHD is just an excuse" its not.

The best way I can explain what happens is you know when something happens that triggers your adrenaline? where everything seems to just be in super focus and your kind of outside of yourself looking in? Thats close to what it feels like when you go over the edge. Only its near impossible to come back over the edge by yourself. Emotions are felt and expressed in heightened way. Things are extreme.

Holding a job can be a challenge for people with ADHD. Not because they can't do the work but because the work can't hold their focus. I for example am bored at a job within a week. I can learn new things for work very quickly, but get bored as things settle into anything predictable. When I do find something that I like I can become obsessive with it though. Almost like a super focus. According to my mom I have always been like that. DD#1 is like that now. For example right now she's obsessed with butterflies and will literally spend hours a day trying to find them, catch them, or telling stories about them. It can be extremely exhausting.

ADHD is a disability and people who have it should be respected as such. Its not an excuse to act badly. Its doesn't have to mean that you can't have a very happy fulfilling life.

It does mean that sometimes you feel like an outsider looking in. It can be debilitating for some people. It can be extremely lonely.

These are just my own personal experiences and feeling of being a person living with ADHD.
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  #12  
August 30th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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I believe the same thing about ADHD as I had said about Autism in that other post, people just want to put a label on a kid, and THAT'S why you hear about it so often. I'm not saying either don't exist, just that they are overused, and everyone is so labelishious in our current society.

I also STRONGLY believe that most of the ADHD labels have to do with making kids sit in a seat at school all day long with two 15 minute recesses and gym 2x a week. Then they go home and they have 'homework' starting from grade 1 on, that HAS to be done, or they get in trouble at school. Where is the time to play?
** Have to add that this is coming from someone who DOES send their kid to public school because I do not personally have the resources to home school, I wouldn't do my kids any justice.**
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  #13  
August 30th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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I agree with Kimberly. ADHD is definantly a disability. There are different levels of ADHD and some can focus more than others. My SIL has to be medicated or she cannot focus at all. She even had to leave college for awhile because of it. Being at the level she is can mean loss of schooling, jobs, etc. Some people can function just fine without medication, and others can't. My DH does not need medication, but has had medication in the past.

Saying medication should only be used in a life or death situation is kind of silly. You may not die from ADHD, but it's not fun being out of control and not being able to do normal daily things like "normal" people. I do believe it should be a last resort, and I do believe that it helps out a lot of people function. We do not medicate ds1 and I hope we never have to, but he is a high level of energy and very non-focusing. We do homeschool though.
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  #14  
August 30th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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I think its very over diagnosed. Its like the episode of South Park where they read War and Peace to the kids and any kid who gets distracted, bored or falls asleep is labeled ADHD. I think its easier to have a kid labeled then take responsibility for a child who is all over the place. Yes, I do think ADHD exists but not at the level that its diagnosed at this point. Same with aspergers. In a world like ours where there are so many stimulants at a constant rate, kids can't concentrate like they could 50 years ago. So yeah, I do think its over diagnosed and I do think that probably 50 - 60% of kids diagnosed with it don't actually have it - they are just "overly - active" children.
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  #15  
August 30th, 2011, 10:47 AM
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Here is a good explination of what true ADHD is What Is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What You Need to Know

I think the over diagnosis must be a regional thing, because in MN it's hard (atleast for us) to get the diagnosis or anyone to even listen to you without saying "he's just hyper". Then once someone does listen to you it's a lot of refferels, tests, etc. It's not a simple thing where a Pediatrician just says "yep he's hyper so he has ADHD". I think there is a huge misconception with those who aren't a parent or a person that has ADHD. They seem to think that children who are hyper are labled as ADHD, but it's so much more. Being hyper is a factor, but it's more of the mental aspect.

ETA: I also don't think there was less ADHD 50 years ago, I just think it wasn't understood until recent, that is why there are more diagnsis' now.
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Last edited by HappyHippy; August 30th, 2011 at 10:53 AM.
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  #16  
August 30th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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My litte brother has ADHD and had since he was about 6 I believe (well this was when I guess it became very noticable). My mom didnt want him to be medicated and tried for two years with therapies and activies and all sorts of special things to help him focus and none of it helped. Eventually she did take him to the doctor, who refered him to a psychologist who had him go to therapy twice a month and put him on a low dose of medication. It helped him so much it. His grades inproved, his behavior improved, the results were truly amazing. Everyone in our family was worried about problems the medication would cause but they didnt seem to cause any (not that I remember anyways).

However on the other side of it, I remember my brother having a friend when he was 8 or 9 who also had "ADHD" and was so grossly over medicated that the child had no real emotions, he was very monotoned, and looked to be high almost all the time. It mad me sad, he seemed to be trapped almost. There was one weekend in particular that I remmeber where his mother didnt give us his medication (2 bottles to be taken 3 TIMES DAILY) and he was fine all weekend because him and my brother (who wasnt medicated on weekends either) ran around and were perfectly fine and behaved like normal 8 or 9 year old boys. His friend was a totally diffrent child and it made me really sad that they put him on so much medication. Maybe I missed something but he didnt seem like a child that needed to medicated (at least not to the point he was-I cant imagine any child needing to medicated to that point).

Overall I do think it can be very over diagnosed but I think the bigger problem is being over medicated. Medication is needed for some children but it should not be a willy nilly decision. It can be just as hurtful as it is helpful to the child.
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  #17  
August 31st, 2011, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
The perception that ADHD is not a disability is just as hurtful as saying that parents of ADHD children are lazy.
My point was that 'disability' is a term that is situational. What's considered a disability in one instance may not be a disability in another. I'm having a tough time coming up with a good analogy, but here's the best I can come up with: imagine that someone has a heart condition that causes them to absorb too much oxygen into their blood. On this planet, their heart condition makes them sick. Hence, it's a disability. But if they lived on a different planet, where there was less oxygen in the atmosphere and more absorption was needed, then it wouldn't be a disability at all. It would actually be an advantage.

It's the same with ADHD. It is most definitely a condition that can hinder functioning in our modern, largely sedentary society. In this situation, it can be considered a 'disability.' But for most of human history, it wouldn't have been. It might have even been an asset. That's not to say that those with ADHD don't require support (whether from medication or other types of therapy) in the same way that anyone else with a disability would. Of course they need this. But they don't need to be blamed for having difficulty functioning in the modern classroom/workplace, since it's really those classrooms and workplaces that are so screwed up.
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  #18  
August 31st, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Quantum_Leap View Post
My point was that 'disability' is a term that is situational. What's considered a disability in one instance may not be a disability in another. I'm having a tough time coming up with a good analogy, but here's the best I can come up with: imagine that someone has a heart condition that causes them to absorb too much oxygen into their blood. .
Interesting heart condition.
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  #19  
August 31st, 2011, 11:05 AM
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I wasnt diagnosed or treated for ADhD until I was 23. I spent years on anxiety medications and antidepressants until then. When I finally found a doctor that would think outside of anxiety and depression, I tested and scored twice as high as the score they used to determine that you needed medication. I don't think I could have thrived in ANY society before medication. It was why I was always depressed (I am still on anti-depressants, but the 2 often go hand in hand). Lack of motivation and forgetfulness do not seem like good qualities in any situation. 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?
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  #20  
August 31st, 2011, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Undomesticated Housewife View Post
I wasnt diagnosed or treated for ADhD until I was 23. I spent years on anxiety medications and antidepressants until then. When I finally found a doctor that would think outside of anxiety and depression, I tested and scored twice as high as the score they used to determine that you needed medication. I don't think I could have thrived in ANY society before medication. It was why I was always depressed (I am still on anti-depressants, but the 2 often go hand in hand). Lack of motivation and forgetfulness do not seem like good qualities in any situation. 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?
I agree, I think the forgetfulness is by far the most difficult optical to overcome. The hyper-focus part can be extremely debilitating to normal activities in daily life.

ADHD is not about being "super active" you can be super active and not have ADHD. There is so much more to it then that. Which is why it needs a multifaceted treatment so often.

ADHD can often be linked to other behavioral issues, like violence. Because there is no off switch its harder to control ones tempter and it can be expressed in a multitude of ways. For me it was emotional instability, heightened emotions, crying, screaming, so much more. My brothers manifested into violence. I have scars all over my body from his attacks. He pushed me down the stairs when I was 10 (he was 11) because he was so angry he wanted to kill me. My ear was sliced open so badly its now deformed. It then turned to braking laws, drugs, stealing, and more. It wasn't until he was 23 that he finally found control. To this day he is medicated and he doesn't take his childrens ADHD lightly.

ADHD and high energy are just not the same.
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