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New ADHD study leaves some wiggle room

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2009 09:45 am
ONE in THREE!?

Holy crap. That's mindblowing.

It really is an industry, isn't it?

"Who did your diagnosis?" has become my stock reply whenever I hear anyone talking about their kid having ADD.

Thanks so much for the links! I'll start working my way through them.

I think I'll start printing up all this stuff so that I have it all handy the next time someone starts yammering at me about ADD.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 01:46 pm
From the ablechild link dlowan posted:

Quote:
"This is 2005, we are not scared of medication," Appleton says. "What we are scared of is the incredible depression in children that comes from these problems [having ADHD] because they are ostracised at school and not socially acceptable."


This is exactly the type of emotional blackmail that I heard.

Appleton, it should be noted, is the "president of Australia's Hyperactivity Attention Disorder Association" and she doesn't like that people are starting to question medication.

This is a perfect example of what regular people like me come across while trying to make the right decision.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 02:04 pm
@boomerang,
Damned interesting debate, isn't it?


And, I DO see kids helped by ADD meds.


Sigh.


Hopefully one day we'll know what the **** we're talking about, and this craziness will stop.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 02:15 pm
@boomerang,
You know, I don't buy all this "pedagogical methods are now suited for girls not boys, that's why boys are doing worse" stuff.

The sit 'em down and talk at 'em and expect them to be perfectly still stuff was invented before girls even got to GO to school. And continued when how well girls did didn't matter a damn, and they did way worse anyway.

Boys just got belted more than girls back then, and got sent off to tech schools, or just dropped out without much of a murmur...just as girls, even in my day, got pulled out at 14 or 15 "because you don't need an education." And there were JOBS for 'em, too.

Not that I am arguing against methods suited for active students.


And boys (at least here) are doing way worse...


I do wonder how much TV (and now computer games played to excess) accounts for decreased concentration in kids generally. The data is starting to come out and, from what I have heard (I have only heard the research being discussed on the radio in good quality science shows...not read any primary data as yet) it's not looking good at all at all. (Plus the increase in violence when TV hits a country that hasn't had it before...but I digress.)

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 03:04 pm
I too hope that someday we'll understand it all.

That's an interesting point about girls not even getting to go to school; I hadn't thought of that.

But again I think about rural kids, or kids from a more agricultural based time, when they worked at home on the farms, etc. Maybe it was just a joy to sit still and be quiet for a while.

Even in the city a lot of kids had jobs when I was in school. Paper routes were very popular jobs that required a person to get up very early in the morning and walk or bike for several miles before school started.

I don't know how it all fits together in a historical perspective. It would be interesting to know.

I do know that schools here were out in the summer to allow the kids to help with the harvest and they're still out in the summer even though 99% of the kids wouldn't know a harvest if it bit them on the ass.

I have mixed feelings about video games. I see them as a good way to improve concentration and problem solving. I also see them as a complete waste of time. I've known a few kids that were seriously addicted to gaming.

I don't particularly like violent movies so we don't watch much of that but what I find interesting is the pacing of movies and shows. When I watch older movies and shows they always seem "slow" compared to the more contemporary stuff. The pacing and editing is completely different.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 03:16 pm
@dlowan,
One thing I saw somewhere recently is that when a TV is on, adults and kids talk far less than when it's off. (Even when they say that they're not watching it, and it's just in the background.) The thought was that perhaps the reduced interaction/ language exposure had something to do with deficits related to TV-watching.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 05:05 pm
@boomerang,
When i was a boy, i hadda walk five miles to school each day . . . uphill . . . both ways ! ! !
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 05:43 pm
@Setanta,
Forgot the snow. Several feet deep, right? (Or is that only a feature of Minnesotan "When I was a boy" stories?)
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 09:52 pm
@Setanta,
And you did it shoeless!

No.... wait.... footless....

You lost your feet to frostbite!!

You hobbled to school on your ankle stumps! And wrote with pee using a splinter you dug out of your foot on your hand me down paper!! And lanterns were for rich kids so you did your homework using fireflys as a light source!!! And when your homework was finished you sauteed the fireflys in pee and rolled them up in hand me down paper old homework assignments for dinner!!!!

They just don't make good ole days like they used to.

Bless you, Setanta. From your nose to your.... ummm.... ankle stumps.... you have lived long and prospered.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:47 am
@boomerang,
Footless?


Luxury!!!!!


0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 03:24 am
Its all about individuals.

I dont really believe rural kids are or were any better off apart from the fact that they may have had some advantage from mixed grade levels within thew one class room in smaller rural schools. I recall kids who were "the dumb kids" some who were what might be classed as hyperactive, some who were considered really smart etc.
my father was a well regarded primary teacher. he pointed out a man some time ago saying "when he was at my school i honestly believed he had no hope of getting anywhere in the world"
This man is now a lawyer.

We used to play a game with my daughter when she got into bed with us called The Still Game; I would count 1...2...3... and she would have to lie still not moving ANY part of her body, it was a very rare occorance for us to get past 3, but we made it a fun game rather that a teaching/pressure excercise.

I definitely have noticed my concentration span has reduced since i started using the computer. I also notice much of the print media has shorter articals.

You have tried lots of different things to assist you son and I understand you reluctance to use drugs however perhaps they could be another thing to try. Would a trial to see how it goes be such a big problem? You can always discontinue.
Or maybe we (teachers included) should just accept that Mo is an individual and we havn't found the right box for him to fit into yet.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 10:52 am
@boomerang,
On general principles that good information can come from unlikely sources, here's an excerpt from a manual intended for security personnel in negotiations with armed suspects holding hostages:

Quote:
.....Typically irritability and aggression are much more the product of
Bipolar Disorder than ADHD. Both can be impulsive. Both can hurt
you. The former is often very bright while there are often learning disabilities
with the latter.

What are some general rules of response?

- Reduce stimulation (noise, action).
- Tolerate irritability in the Bipolar individual. They often will seek
weaknesses to prey on verbally, do not be taken in.
- Tolerate effort to attend by engaging in behavioral activity. A person
with ADHD may be squirmy or engage in repetition of some mechanical
behavior (tapping a foot, pencil, etc.).
- Recognize that communication may have to be on more than one plane.
If the individual is having trouble attending (has a poor verbal memory
and does not easily remember what you say) use cues, clues and repetition
of ideas. This is a person that may connect better to providing a cigarette
for five minutes than trying to understand their life situation for
two hours.


Boomerang - of course I know your kid is no danger to anybody, but I thought that the above, being practical advice directed at military (non-medical) personnel, probably has some practical validity in terms of quick assessment and practical response - aka it must work. If there's any discrepancy between the academic medical advice and the practical one here, the one here makes more sense to me, for one.
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 12:46 pm
Screw the meds, give them pot. That way they can shut out other people's noise and confusion and get their work done.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2009 03:41 pm
@High Seas,
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-adhd-drugs-take-a-toll&print=true

Quote:
A smattering of recent studies....... hint that stimulants could alter the structure and function of the brain in ways that may depress mood, boost anxiety and, in sharp contrast to their short-term effects, lead to cognitive deficits.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 11:02 am
@High Seas,
Interesting article, High Seas, thanks!

I found this particularly striking:

Quote:
I told her that I did not think her son had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that he did not need medication. That was the last time I saw her.



I've had the experience where I felt the doctor thought I was fishing for meds and he was more than willing to give them to Mo. He was truly surprised when I rejected his "advice".

Without a doubt, parents are a huge part of the problem. I think it's all a part of the "build a better baby" competitive parenting culture.

Is there a word for the addiction of keeping someone else addicted to something? I think some parents become addicted to having their child drugged.

High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 03:07 pm
@boomerang,
The answer can be found in the "comments" section, published after the article itself:

Quote:
Should we be surprised by these findings? Psychopharmacologists are little more than sanctioned drug dealers. They know virtually nothing about the etiology of the "disorders" that they treat and have little knowledge of the mechanism of action of the drugs that they prescribe. I am confident that in subsequent years medicine will look back in shame at the current practice of psychiatry. Psychiatrists have virtually pathologized all human behavioral variation and treat patients with potent agents for which there is little to no data on the long term health risks. Unfortunately, psychiatry has not progressed significantly since the days when "hysteria" was believed to be a dysfunction of the uterus, Tourette's was believed to be the product of a poor disposition, and homosexuality was pathologized as a psychiatric illness. The danger now is that psychiatrists have an arsenal of powerful agents heavily marketed by profit seeking drug companies. Prior to the "drug revolution" psychiatrists were relatively harmless quacks. Now, armed with the dangerous stimulants, antipsychotic, and antidepressants, these dangerous quacks are jeopardizing the long-term health of the public.


That comment - reposted here in its entirety - strikes me as self-evident.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2009 11:25 am
From a new study on ADHD, reported here: http://www.ajc.com/health/content/shared-auto/healthnews/adhd/630780.html

Quote:
The new study "found a disruption in the brain's reward/motivation pathway" in people with ADHD, Volkow said. "We also found that disruption in this area was directly related to the severity of inattention."

The implication of the finding is that ADHD might begin with disruption in motivation, which in turn leads to inattention and hyperactivity, she said.

Volkow described it as "a disruption in interest."

The finding, reported in the Sept. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, could have an impact on treating the condition, she said. "My strategy would be rather than exercising the attention network, let me give an intervention that will make the task much more engaging," she said.

<snip>

Among those with ADHD, the researchers found disruptions in the two dopamine pathways associated with reward and motivation. The finding, according to the researchers, lends support to the theory that ADHD is a result of problems in dopamine pathways in the brain that affect both reward and motivation.

<snip>

The current medications given to children with ADHD already enhance motivation because they target the dopamine pathway, Volkow said.

But the finding should also be considered a "wake-up call for teachers," she said. Knowing that the problem is one of motivation, teachers could devise methods to provide "extra engagement" for these children, Volkow said.



I really don't get the part I bolded above.

I'm certainly not a neurobiologist but from what I've read about dopamine production a person would want to avoid stimulants because they ultimately cause dopamine levels to drop.

"Extra engagement" sounds like it would be good for almost any kid.

I think this will be an interesting development to follow.....
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Sep, 2009 11:46 am
@boomerang,
Yes, the scans have been around for a while, the breakthrough in that study (as I understand it) is that they somehow measured dopamine in the brain, so it's a new chemical process, not any new principle. But if the chemical test works consistently in other patients it may provide a valid (objective, repeatable) test on which to base a diagnosis. Dopamine deficiency btw is the cause of many diseases starting with Parkinson's.
High Seas
 
  3  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 12:23 pm
@High Seas,
This is for Boomerang, many others here may want to look it up as well:
http://able2know.org/topic/130117-56#post-3769968
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 09:44 am
@High Seas,
That movie looks amazing! I can't wait to see the whole story. I might have to get the book so I can get into it right away. Thanks, HIgh Seas!

I don't face anything as extreme as what that family faced but the message hit very close to home. I'm often asked what "program" we're on. I've learned to say "we're not on a program, we're on a lifestyle". These people took that lifestyle idea many steps further than we did. I can't wait to hear their story.
0 Replies
 
 

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