Part 2 of this ADHD and the money schools receive article from physician Stephen Guffanti continues to reveal the high cost of an ADHD diagnosis and why the problem of increasing numbers of cases will not go away as long as the condition is funded.
This article is excerpted and modified with permission from Dr. Guffanti's book, Does Your Child Really Have ADHD?
The question at the end of the ADHD article on schools receiving money for ADHD yesterday was, "How do you tell the difference between ADHD and boredom?"
Answer: Boredom is a normal, functional response that includes loss of attention to a subject.
If the professional can give a logical response that will allow the parent to tell the difference between ADHD and boredom, then write that criteria down and see if it applies to the treatment they suggest for your child.
The professional’s criteria on ADHD must be specific and measurable.
If the environment is dysfunctional it will be consistently dysfunctional, but because environments by their very nature have lots of variables, it will take a lot of experimentation to find out what in the environment may be the cause of the ADHD and how to solve it.
If you approach this process with the attitude of exploration and excitement, then your child will gain not only from the final solution, but also from the process used to create the solution as to whether he or she really has ADHD.
In summary, we have lots of financial incentive to diagnose ADHD and treat ADHD ineffectively.
So if the professional can’t give you the difference between ADHD and boredom in measurable criteria, then seek a second opinion.
ADHD is not the only childhood disorder affected by financial incentive.
For example, I was recently asked this question: “Lately I have noticed a rise in autism being diagnosed. It seems like the ADHD of the 21 st Century. Is there any reason for this?”
The answer I gave is this: “The rise in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is associated with a fall in other similar disorders. It reflects a change in the criteria as well as the reality that there are more services available for children with that diagnosis.
“As one psychologist said, ‘When in doubt, diagnose autism; they get services!’
“In a world where the government controls most of the funding for medical services, it is the desire to get help for the child that is fueling this rise in the diagnosis, whether is be ADHD or autism.”
Notice it is the financial support of the treatment that creates the diagnosis.
But this is not the whole cause for the medical problem. Medicine is largely focused on the diagnosis of disease. Our interaction with learning styles comes in with the diagnosis of learning disabilities and the use of the IQ test as our tool to measure them.
Unfortunately there is no accepted standard for a kinesthetic IQ test. Without any way to measure it, the medical world, like any other science, is blind to its possibility and its problems.
As a doctor, I can tell you that the medical community is blind to the kinesthetic learning style.
"Kinethetic learners are tactile in nature and not suited for the visual world of school," says author and founder of HowToLearn.com Pat Wyman.
"Kids with ADHD often simply have different learning styles that schools don't recognize."
For you to make the best choices for your family, this book (Does Your Child Really Have ADHD? will give you an understanding of the importance of learning styles in education and the medical viewpoint of ADHD and why medicine is blind to the kinesthetic learning style.
We will then discuss how opening our eyes to learning styles can provide new solutions and insights when kids are diagnosed with conditions like ADHD which gives schools money as long as the children are two or more grade levels behind.
Finally, we can use the research on ADHD to predict the kinds of problems that are likely to occur, gain understanding and learn practical solutions to everything from teaching penmanship to keeping your child alive until he gains the wisdom to avoid life-threatening activities.
We welcome your comments on our blog below and Pat Wyman, founder of HowToLearn.com and a University Instructor advises parents to seek help on such legal advocacy websites as Wrightslaw when their child has ADHD. Parents can then determine which services are available to their children.
Stephen Guffanti, M.D. is the founder of ADHD or Active Child blog, author of Does Your Child Really Have ADHD, The Purpose of Passion and Rocket Phonics. He speaks throughout the country on ADHD and the Kinesthetic Learner.
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