3 Reasons for the Rise in ADHD

(Center of Disease Control)

1. In 1990, SSI pays for each child labeled ADHD and taking medication– by 2009 ADHD is 31% of SSI. ($700 a month per child)

2. In 1991, a Policy Clarification Memorandum adds ADHD to IDEA.

3. In 1997, IDEA, a federal law gives extra education funds for ADHD.

Are Normal Little Kids Being Labeled ADHD?

ADHD is growing at 3 to 4% a year about 4 times the population growth. It is now up to affecting 10% of the children. When asked how could this be many experts say the ADHD growth is due to increased awareness. This explanation should see a plateau after the awareness increased, but instead it keeps going year after year. 70% of those diagnosed with ADHD simply can’t have the disorder because they don’t have the genes.

If you read the Boston globe article linked in reason 1 you will recognize that poor parents are offered a simple proposal. Drug your child and we will pay you $700 a month, give you food stamps and medical insurance.  This is a powerful incentive and over the last 20 years has grown ADHD to nearly a third of all children receiving SSI.

Reasons 2 and 3 are the financial force behind why teachers are the number one referrer of ADHD. It should be noted that each school district knows which doctors will “cooperate”  with the diagnosis. As medical director of an ADHD clinic we noticed that 70% of our ADHD patients were misdiagnosed.

The misdiagnosis is so common that parents talk about treating ADHD by changing their child’s diet. But diet doesn’t change genes so the real diagnosis would be food allergies or sensitivities not ADHD. If this seems trivial, please realize that all the research done on ADHD is worthless if 70% of those children studied don’t really have ADHD. In fact according to the University of Oregon Health and Science in over 40 years of research there is no support for using medication to solve the problems associated with ADHD.

If ADHD medications aren’t the solution what is? Actually, that depends on what behavior your child is displaying that you want to change. Being ADHD all my life I have found we are natural irritants to our family, friends and community. I would recommend if you are looking for real solutions then listen to my podcast series. (Click on the Show Episodes tab above)

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One Response to 3 Reasons for the Rise in ADHD

  1. Francesca Marren says:

    Academic difficulties are also frequent. The symptoms are especially difficult to define because it is hard to draw a line at where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity end and clinically significant levels requiring intervention begin. To be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must be observed in two different settings for six months or more and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.

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