Why Symptoms of ADD/ADHD Are Not Enough To Make a Diagnosis

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION from Natural Awakenings, pp. 16-17 [edited with change of title from ADD: A Holistic Approach] I’m not against pharmaceuticals. Not 100% anyway. My mother was a diabetic and I’m convinced the insulin she took daily prolonged her life. But when you’re looking at human behavior, a holistic perspective demands that you exhaust less invasive remedies before turning to medication. Such is surely the case with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a problem for which there exists NO definitive diagnostic tool. ADHD is an easy label to pin on an out-of-control child. The most precise measures we have to determine if a particular child indeed “has” ADHD are paper and pencil questionnaires which parents, teachers, and the child may fill out or take on computer. These questionnaires pinpoint aspects of the child’s behavior, and answering “yes” to a sufficient number of them yields a score which means that that child is behaving like an ADHD child. But is he in fact ADHD-or are other factors causing his disruptive, difficult, and hyper behavior? Before concluding that a given child is ADHD, parents, teachers, pediatricians, doctors, and psychologists are morally and ethically mandated to rule out other possible causes, such as the following: 1. abuse I recently attended a conference where I was amazed to see a video of a 5 year old child totally destroying his room over a three week period. He ripped wooden frames off windows and used the wood to beat family members who entered the room. He abused the dog. He would not let his parents come near him. He was in constant motion,...
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