According to a report in The Journal of Family Practice (6/2011), children and adolescents with ADHD complete fewer years of school, graduate from high school at a lower rate and are less likely to go to graduate school. They underperform in both educational and occupational settings.
While the report did not mention if the children were prescribed drugs for their ADHD symptoms, since they had all been seen by psychiatrists, I can only assume they were.
If ADHD treatment actually worked well, why are these kids doing so poorly in school? Generally, I find that children who are diagnosed ADHD are very smart. They often have learning or processing problems but they are very bright.
The ADHD diagnosis is subjective. It is based on a checklist, not a medical or educational evaluation.
If these kids are just being diagnosed with ADHD and not being evaluated for their learning and processing problems and they are not being evaluated for any medical underlying cause of their symptoms, then I can understand why they continue to do poorly in school and work.
ADHD drugs will not fix a learning problem. ADHD drugs will not fix a diet problem. ADHD drugs will not fix a thyroid problem or an allergy problem. Any of these medical or educational problems can cause the ADHD symptoms. Covering the symptoms with an ADHD drug fixes nothing.
To give children the best opportunity for success, and not the poor results that are seen currently with children diagnosed with ADHD, let’s not use the ADHD diagnosis and instead do the thorough medical and educational evaluation and treat the underlying cause of the problem.
Every child deserves that much.
At The Block Center, the goal is always to Find the Cause and Fix the Problem, Not Just Cover Symptoms with Drugs.
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