There is often a great deal of hype in the press here in Syracuse regarding the diagnosis of ADHD in children. Parents here in Syracuse have justifiably been concerned about reports of over-diagnoses of this disorder coupled with the serious harm this diagnosis can bring to their kids from the standard drugs, Ritalin, used to treat this disorder coupled with the stigmatization which comes with such a psychiatric diagnosis. Now an online article from the Daily Telegraph, http://Telegraph.co.uk, titled “Summer babies ‘more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD'” by Matthew Moore has reported that the youngest children in each class, those born just before the admissions cut-off date, are disproportionately likely to be treated for ADHD on starting Kindergarten.
And it has been reported in this article that children born just a few days later, who join the subsequent academic year as the eldest in their class, show significantly lower levels of diagnosis. With the majority of Kindergartens opting for a birthday cut-off around September 1, this means that babies born in July and August are most likely to be confronted with an ADHD diagnosis. However, the researchers who did this study dismissed the idea that children born in summer were more prone to the disorder.
It appears that the significant difference in diagnosis levels, children born a few days before the cut-off are 25 per cent more likely to be told they have ADHD than those born a week later, suggests that the problem lies in how doctors and teachers perceive of the behaviour of pupils. Dr Melinda Morrill of North Carolina State University, who led this study, has said: “This indicates that there are children who are diagnosed, or not, because of something other than underlying biological or medical reasons. We believe that younger children may be mistakenly diagnosed as having ADHD, when in fact they are simply less mature.”
Many experts have dismissed ADHD as an excuse used by the parents of children who are naughty to medicalise unruly behaviour. Dr Morrill stressed that although her research did not challenge the broad medical consensus that attention deficit disorder is a genuine condition, but suggested that some young children are being prescribed drugs such as Ritalin unnecessarily. There have been concerns that some parents are pressuring their family doctors to prescribe Ritalin as a “quick fix” solution for poor concentration, when counselling and discipline might be preferable.
Critics of the psychiatric paradigm have gone further than Dr Morrill and have raised questions about the credibility of any psychiatric diagnoses. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, http://www.cchr.org, has pointed out that there are actually no biological markers for any of the diagnoses of the psychiatrists. “The Harold Mandel, MD Natural Mental Health Care Reform Foundation”, http://www.haroldmandel.com, has investigated this statement by the CCHR and supports the position by the CCHR in dealing with allegations that all psychiatric diagnoses are fraudulent.
Therefore parents and teachers here in Syracuse who really care about the well being of their kids should be very careful about entertaining any psychiatric evaluations or diagnoses when dealing with behavior problems which kids generally grow out of. And if parental or teacher abuse is suspected in having any kids here in Syracuse diagnosed with ADHD reports filed with the CCHR and “The Harold Mandel, MD Natural Mental Health Care Reform Foundation” may be helpful in opening up civil and criminal investigations of this matter.
Mandel News Service: http:// www.mandelnews.com