ADHD on a Serious Uptick Among Children

It had been widely accepted that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.) and Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.), while being on the rise, affected only about 4 percent or 5 percent of the juvenile and adult populations in the United States. This reasonably low percentage felt, well… reasonable when dealing with such disorders that impact a person’s ability to maintain attentiveness as well as control impulsivity. There were prescriptions, therapies, and a laundry list of things to avoid while addressing the particular needs of this small percentage of the population. But now this small percentage has apparently ballooned to more than double, if not triple, of what was previously estimated.

According to new data from the CDC, about one in five high-school-aged boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “The figures showed that an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 had received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis at some point in their lives, a 16 percent increase since 2007 and a 53 percent rise in the past decade,” as reported in The New York Times.

While boys make up the lion’s share of those with the diagnosis, rates for girls have been on a marked rise as well. Many critics of such findings see this uptick as a result of over diagnosing the disorder, as well as over-medicating the symptoms. And the likelihood is that even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the very near future because the American Psychiatric Association has plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D. to allow more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment.

To be clear, an A.D.H.D. diagnosis (same goes for A.D.D.) is wholly subjective, and there exists no definitive test that lands you with a clear diagnosis of any sort. The diagnosis is determined by speaking with patients, parents, and ruling out any other possible causes. Such diagnosis not only label children, but also set them up for a course of medications to modify behavior.

While some see the rise in such diagnosis as a positive sign toward widespread treatment of a disorder that used to be largely ignored, others view it as too many bad calls and the rampant and increasing medicating of our young people. Are we jumping to conclusions that may not serve our children in the long run? What message are we sending to our children when we meet adversity with a label and a bottle of pills? Where do you stand on the A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. controversy?

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Anderson L
Anderson L15 days ago

I’m so very happy to share my testimony,my little Son suffered from Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It was so embarrassing for me seeing my son not being able to focus and be responsible for once, i have prayed and tried doctors prescription and advice but nothing worked. I was very lucky i found a spell caster from the shango temple, some one referred me to him that i need a spiritual help because ADHD is not normal and i was happy he responded to me, i was assured that he will be cured and after he performed everything in his temple in just few days later i noticed changes in my Son, he is doing great now and i am proud of him. His father is happy now, back then i used to call him a useless son but now every one in the family is happy for what Priest Okojie have done in the life of my family. If you have similar condition i will advice you contact his

K B.
K B4 years ago

Please sign my petition
Train teachers and staff on ADHD . A presentation plus following sessions for more discussions and questions or information
- or type ' adhd ' in search

Arwen Woods
Arwen Woods4 years ago

I'm a parent to a pre teen boy with ADHD. Life at the moment is real hard for him and it breaks my heart too see him like this . No matter what, he is my boy. I would give anything not to have him on meds but right now he needs them. So be it. I refuse to be judged or made to feel bad for doing the best thing for my son.

Klara Ertl
Klára Ertl4 years ago

ADHD is diagnosed too quickly nowadays... Of course there are many children who really have ADHD, but many adults (and parents) are very quick to suspect ADHD in a child who is just very active. A bit more tolerance for childrens´ energy would be good.
Also, many chemicals in food make children hyperactive. Rather than directly giving them medication while maintaining their unhealthy diet, it would be beneficial to first try switching to a healthier, more natural diet before taking medication.
And is it true that some chemicals calm kids with ADHD, while increasing activity in kids who don´t have it?

Kirsten S.
Kirsten Shute4 years ago

I was diagnosed with ADHD not as a child, but last year while I was doing my Master's program. As an adult, I'm no longer very hyperactive, and I've never had significant problems "sitting down and paying attention," but it's always been difficult for me to finish written projects within a deadline.

The university where I did my undergrad allowed more flexibility with projects, as long as I spoke to my teachers about it and made the necessary arrangements, but the one I did my Master's at did not. Without the diagnosis, I probably wouldn't have had the degree by now. And no, I didn't pay anyone to make a false report! The testing for possible learning disabilities was free and had begun the year before (Canada: good medicare, but often long waits.) I also had a doctor prescribe me Vyvanse for several months, but I didn't see any significant benefits.

My view - based on mine and others' experiences - is that more flexibility in education systems would be a big help to those with mild to moderate ADHD, though medication should be used if it helps, especially in more severe cases. Exercise is also very important!
And finally, since in many cases hyperactivity goes away as kids grow up, such measures would not be coddling people who are "unfit for the workforce" !

Jacqueline S.
Jacqueline S4 years ago

My dad was ADD and so am I. I had two of my five children diagnosed, one ADD and one ADHD. It has existed without a name for many years. Our doctor had us do a family tree. Both of my sons had been medicated to help while in school. I opted against and learned to work around it. Mt children are adults now and are learning the type of careers that embrace their learning styles and strengths.

Roger Bachelet
Roger Bachelet4 years ago

Increased diagnosis means more awareness of problems met by our children, especially at school. This doesn't lead necessarily to more drugs. My boy took some for a while and told me it was like beeing in a "chemical cage" and we stopped.
Additional diagnosis to the level of 11 pc can build a major cause to change.
What is more important is increased benevolence from people in charge with children and a change in pedagogical tools like using mind mapping.
This can be beneficial for all pupils, and eliminates the label that sticks on difference.
These children are very creative, loving and successful when they reach higher grades.

B Jackson
BJ J4 years ago

In agreement with Maggie K.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Kenneth L.
Kenneth L4 years ago

"Rates of ADHD have tripled in the last 15 years -- precisely because many kids are being diagnosed with fake ADHD to make them eligible for medications and/or extra school services. What used to be a $70 million dollar/year market in stimulant drugs has rapidly ballooned to $7 billion/year under the pressure of aggressive and misleading drug company marketing to doctors, parents, teachers, and patients" Dr. Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, 46 years in Psychiatry

" child identified as ADHD has been so labeled because they met a medical standard that confirms the existence of a specific pathology connoting disease. Can’t happen because no such standard exists. As hard as it may be to accept, the words of retired neurologist, Fred Baughman, Jr., are nonetheless absolutely true: “ADHD is a total, complete 100% fraud.” Dr. John Breeding, Psychologist

"There are no chemical deficiencies and no parts of the brain that are smaller (in people labeled with 'ADHD'). ADHD is no more than a name we give to problematic hyperactive, impulsive and distracted behavior" Dr. Laura Batstra, Psychologist

"(psychiatric) drugs work by harming the brain" Dr. Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist, 39 years in Psychiatry