The parents most caught up in the whole industry actually believe anyone suggesting changes in how the child is dealt with is a personal attack on them, and, at least here have, or had, (the ADD industry appears to be losing power at present...I guess because the drugs do so little for so many kids and have such nasty side effects for many, and because some kids and their parents end up selling the damn things on the streets, and because of the appalling practices of some paediatricians who would have kids on a cocktail of drugs BEFORE THEY WERE THREE, some of whom have been forced out of business because of these and other practices...like diagnosing ON THE PHONE etc.) formed a powerful lobby group demonising any practitioner who did not immediately give them drugs on demand. Never mind proper assessment, double blind trials etc!!!
I don't take the position that some kids don't have something we now call ADD, whatever the hell it might turn out to be...but the ADD industry has been an almost demonic force in the hands of the weak and incompetent and the drug companies.
Also, so much else exists to explain the behaviour of so many of these kids.
Nonetheless, I think it a bit premature to absolutely deny the existence of ADD/ADHD...though we certainly have some very active psychiatrists here strongly involved in advocating that view.
But, I am a pragmatist....eg I am co-working a case now where a very traumatised little fella has been drugged. I see his sibling. The drugged kid's therapist is aghast, and fought unsuccessfully against the paediatrician's decision. Thing is:
1. Most of us would function a bit better on a mild dose of speed, and these kids often do, at least for a while (unless they are one of the percentage of kids who react very negatively to the drug.) This particular kid reacted well.
2. The carer was overwhelmed, and had become fixated on getting the kid drugged.
3. In my experience, if the carer has become obsessed by drugging said child, and the prescriber is not one of the mad doctors who prescribe really dangerously (we've had a couple of kids nearly killed by mad paediatricians and their bizarre and ignorant potions) fighting the carer results in a destroyed relationship with you, the therapist, and the kid will be drugged willy nilly.
4. Whereas, if you keep the relationship, you can often guide the carer away from the truly dangerous doctors....also, you can continue working with the kid and the family on dealing with the issues...and, if the drugs stop working, you still have a client who has a good relationship with you, and can happily relinquish the meds without feeling this means they have lost a battle, and refusing to move on....they often just try a madder doctor with more drugs. There are actually drugs that help very traumatised kids better than speed....but they have to be used with extreme caution, monitored with great care, and in my view should never be prescribed except by a very experienced child psychiatrist.
5. In keeping the relationship, you also get to be able to explain to the kid about the drugs without them going on with life believing their brain is wrong and therefore they cannot have any control over their behaviour and they are just fucked for life (a common belief with drugged kids.)
So, I try not to get into big fights about this stuff....my colleague in the case I just described has succeeded in alienating the carer I mentioned from our service, and I am kind of mad about it.
But a new and better NLP is here! (NLD = new and lucrative diagnosis).
Behold, the US brings us Childhood onset bipolar!!!
This is a better cash-cow even than ADD.
The diagnostic criteria are even fuzzier!!
The range of drugs recommended is HUGE!!!
The proponents state that one may spend YEARS finding the right combo of drugs!!! Think of the multiple paediatric visits! They are endless!!! Think of the masses of drugs that can be poured down young throats!!!!!
It's a goldmine!!!!
We are alerted over here this time, and have medical etc. folk already attempting to educate GP's and paediatricians about the new madness.