Parenting the ADHD Labeled Child

My Charley Has ADHD Lessons Learned

(Click here for Pat Wyman’s  Super Speller Strategy video)

This video demonstrates many of the common issues about ADHD:

  1. Teachers are the most common referrer for ADHD.
  2. They are more often wrong than right
  3. Teachers are more interested in classroom control than academic results
  4. The parents are very interested in academic results
  5. For better academic results change the way you teach

How did teachers get put in the position of making psychiatric referrals? Why are they so bad at it? Does it help even the few correctly diagnosed? To answer these questions we need to follow the money.

In the 1990’s the Federal Government decide that ADHD students would earn their school district extra funds. With that money began the meteoric rise in ADHD. ADHD is a genetic disorder, yet its prevalence is increasing at 3 times the population growth. How do you get a genetic disorder without the genes to produce it? Evidently you just need enough money in the right hands.

I was the medical director of an ADHD clinic and our own evaluations supported this national data, 70% of the children labeled ADHD are misdiagnosed. Only the parent has the information necessary to make the diagnosis because ADHD behaviors must be seen in at least two environments. (The environments are school, home and community.) The teacher only sees one.

Does the teacher need control of her classroom? Yes, but not at the expense of the child’s health and future. An ADHD child on medication shows no more academic improvement than one without medication. Charley would have never learned to read if I placed him on Ritalin. Within about three years he would be on its maximum safe dose and getting diminishing results.

Charley’s mom, however, was very happy that he was reading and spelling. In fact, the teachers had held out the carrot that if Charley was on Ritalin he would learn these important subjects. Their actual motivation only came out a year later.

For Pat Wyman’s Super Speller Strategy mp4 streaming video click here:

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