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adrock3215

Attention Deficit Disorder

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Is she saying here that all children do not have the same potential, due to natural cirumstances?

We are not biologically identical. But that biological factor is only a component (and researchers argue about the degree of it's influence) when it comes to what level of intelligence which is possible to achieve. The amount of effort required to achieve a specific skill does and will vary between children.

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My view is from a layperson's perspective. From the kids I see, I think that the levels of achievement within the below-average to above-average range (say 25 percentile to 75 percentile) are basically "made". The younger the age, the more "adult made".

Second, intelligence is only one side to the picture. Two other important aspects are philosophy and psychology. For instance, you have two kids try to solve some problem and fail; one, gives up while the other tries again. The cumulative effect over years may appear as intelligence when it comes to test-scores, but the root is in motivation. On the other side, a kid may persevere and score well on tests etc., but may have elements of his psychology that hold him back when he has to use that knowledge around the real world and real people.

Outside of the ordinary range, if we're speaking of geniuses or imbeciles, I assume that there may be some significant differences in natural mental processing power. I don't know one way or the other, but I don't find it hard to believe.

Edited by softwareNerd

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We are not biologically identical.

Does this mean that only Einstein had the biological identity to create the theory of relativity, whereas the rest of us do not? If not, would you say that it was easier for Einstein to create the theory of relativity than for another individual, because his "biological identity" provided for it? Either way, in at least one regard, you discredit Einstein's achievement and attribute it to natural causes.

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Even if Einstein could not have done what he did without his brain-power, his brain-power could not have done what it did without Einstein.

That is a point that I have thought of and it sounds reasonable. But the response could be: If you assume his ability to think, i.e. brain-power, was genetically inherent, then why would you assume that his ability to motivate himself was not genetically inherent?

Edited by adrock3215

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After reading this thread I came to the conclusion that a large part of the underlying problem is both the parents and teachers inability to deal with certain children. It's more of a put-off option to say your child has ADD or ADHD then to actually deal with him or her, and find a creative solution to his or her learning problem. It's taking the easy way out. As mentioned above, most of the problems children have probably stem from school system or the child's home, or both. It's hard for a child to pay attention to anything when there parents placed them in front of T.V. for there whole life, with bright flashing colors, rapid movement, and sportaic sounds. It's too much infomation for the senses, I believe, and leads the child to just give up on trying to understand the world around them. Also, a lot of what kids do is for attention.

Growing up, I was amazed at the lengths of stupid stuff my peers and I did just to get people to pay attention to us. I think this problem shares the same two sources -- school and home. At home, I notice a lot of children try to get there parents attention, but depending on the parent, there is something interfering. Some parents have legitamite reasons not to pay attention to ther child, like a busy work schedule or they (irrationally) gave birth to other younger children that requires more attention. The parent could be just sitting around watching soap operas all day and not paying an ounce of attention to the child, which I see more of. This leads the child to to a lot more to get attention or to get it elsewhere, like at school. At school, the lack of attention comes from the classrooms being jam packed with children and as pointed out earlier, an environment that encourages conformity, mindless time grinding and adherence to irrational rules and methods. I, for one, didn't feel like the school system cared about me in the least.

This whole topic interests me because I've been pondering about the way our society as a whole treats it's children. Do we treat them as a valuable assest, an investment to make our own futures brighter? Or do we treat them like an annoying externality, a nuisance that nags us occasionally and we give enough resources too so they will leave us alone long enough to accidently create another one?

I'm leaning towards the latter.

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I am trying to sort out my thoughts on this "disorder." Is there someone who knows anything about ADD? The whole thing seems to be a form of determinism. It appears to me that ADD is some kind of scam created by intellectuals in the West, although I can't figure out who/how/why someone would dream up such a thing. My brother was "diagnosed" with it when he was younger, and was told that he had a "tendency to become addicted to things." What does this mean? Is this reasonable? Was he born with some genetic/biological defect which predetermined him to be an "addictive personality"? (I should note that he was placed on medication to "correct" his attention deficit, and later on in life he did become addicted to other forms of drugs. Although I would argue his dependency on drugs stemmed from his usage of ADD drugs.)

Something doesn't sit right, as I find it hard to accept the fact that he had no control over this; that he was born and had this genetic "problem". Like I said, I have been trying to sort this out for a few days now and would be interested in some others thoughts on it.

Thanks...

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I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I am an RN and have experiences that give credibility to disorders such as dyslexia, ADD and ADHD. Minimal brain damage seems to be the culprit. For instance, during birth, some babies have a more difficult time of it and are deprived of oxygen briefly, but are apparently normal once the blueness is replaced with a normal color as soon as they are oxygenated sufficiently. Some babies with this kind of fetal distress die soon after birth because the damage is so great. There can be varying degrees of learning difficulty if they survive, as they get to an age where they are noticed as somehow different. The brain has to compensate, and parts intended for one function have to be used for another, etc. These children find it very difficult to inhibit themselves from interrupting for instance because they will forget what they were going to say if they don't get it out right away, or they get frustrated to the point of tears or tantrums because they try so hard and keep making mistakes, anyway. Or they can't follow a chain of reasoning to completion because they got lost in trying to process what came before the final part of it because it took a little more time to think about the subject before they could grasp the first few steps of the subject, for instance. A regular classroom situation can be bewildering to them. If time and patience is provided, along with several methods of sensory imput to assist them in understanding, they can do very well. It seems that, say for instance, if the left side of the brain is damaged, the type of processing best done by that side, has to be taken over by the right side. The verbal skills may be poor, but they might be very good at art, which is predominently a right brain function. There are the emotional components that come with this problem too, such as low self esteem, from the way they are treated, because their behavior seems to be deliberately disruptive to an otherwise smoothly operating classroom. Kids like this are just trying to learn too, but they have to go about it in a different way than kids who have the advantage of a well functioning brain. Constant disciplinarian behavior from the teacher toward them and teasing by kids is very painful emotionally, and embarasing, and they can feel bad or inept and generally inferior, and unworthy of respect. A method like the Montessori schools use can make all the differance in how they perform in a learning situation. They are able to catch up and eventually become well compensated adults. If drugged and treated the way they might be if just considered odd balls and dealt with as if they are just an irritant in a "normal" classroom, they might get fed up and rebel and eventually become uneducated brutes trying to survive as criminals. They don't know what their problem is, they don't know how to fix themselves and how to just learn and be at peace with others. Some may be smart enough otherwise to figure out how to teach themselves and to hide their differences so they won't be detected as different. Its a struggle for them to go it alone that way, but with persistence they may suceed. Now, these kids are detected sooner, and special techniques can be used to help them learn, and they can be treated in a way that maintains their dignity. This is not to say, that some children are misdiagnosed, and that some that are a problem in the classroom are not emotionally disturbed instead, nor that drugs are the answer. Amphetamines actually have a reverse effect on some of these kids, in that it tends to calm them and helps them to stay focused better, Stress and anxiety makes their symptoms worse. The addictiveness may be a way of escaping the unbearable emotional pain that they may have experienced, but it can be related to habituation to the drugs they had to take. I myself was a dyslexic kid. I was one who taught myself and hid my problems and persisted, and coped with the emotional issues. I was smart enough to get around the neurological problems that I had to deal with, and I suceeded in compensating well. I have some abilities that other neurologically "normal" people don't have because I've had to use my right brain and cross train my left brain so to speak, so, I have some advantages. Its still a constant nuisance to have to do what I have to do to compensate. If I hadn't had to teach myself to learn in principles, in order to remember what I needed to remember, I might not have been able to learn about and understand Objectivism, for instance. The fact that "normal" people don't understand neurologically different people, doesn't mean that we are just pretending to exhibit a bogus condition. I do believe that these differences can be seen using Cat scans and/or MRIs using various testing methods that show what areas of the brain are active under specific circumsances and the like. The fact that the affected areas have regenerated after a period of time does not alter the fact that brain functions had to be re-routed in order to function well enough. Minimal brain damaged is rarely ever picked up in infancy, because people just don't do diagnostic testing in an "apparently" normal child. If its profound enough, the symptoms are obvious, and treatment begins early, but that is if there is cerebral palsy or something like that which affects the motor functioning as well, usually. The way an infant functions mentally isn't noticable until they don't do something that they are supposed to be able to do at a certain age. But when so minimal that they just do the stuff a little slower, we just see it as normal variences, until it gets to be a problem to us later, as manifested in behavior. Well, one of my problems is verbosity, so I'll just stop myself soon. I hope this was useful in helping you to understand ADD. Actually, an adult dyslexic often tests out the same as one does if they have ADD. A child's dyslexia can be detected on a written test that can be given to diagnose them, but a well compensated adult dyslexic, having already overcome the difficulties that a child would be having, won't demonstrate that they still have those problems. I didn't know that I was dyslexic untill I was already an adult. It was a special education teacher who revealed to me why I was always having these difficulties, such as right/left confusion. (Believe me, I never took a nursing assignment that had to do with preping and sending a patient to surgury if a proceedure had to b done on a right or left exemity.LOL. I stuck to fields such as psychiatric nursing...LOL much easier for me, less dangerous for a patient.) LOL. So, I hope you have learned something, here. But don't expect me to quote my sources, or provide you with a bibliograpy such as I would have to provide if I were doing a paper on this subject. I spent my life either dealing with it or learning about it for my own benefit, not to educate others about it, so I didn't take notes, LOL. Take it or leave it as it is. If you don't believe me, Its of no consequence to me. If you can be more understanding of the person you have to deal with, then your relationship with that person might improve, and you will feel better about the whole thing. MonkeyMiller

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Mandatory public education is the cause of ADD. Not only do students find themselves forced to study subjects of no interest to them, they are forced to learn things according to the method of a disciplinarian accorded the name of educator. Some of the smartest people I knew in elementary school were diagnosed with ADD; the only reason I managed to slip under the gratuitous drug dispensors' radar, was that I rarely uttered a word in class if not spoken to, due to being absorbed in some other task which was more to my interest.

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Mandatory public education is the cause of ADD. Not only do students find themselves forced to study subjects of no interest to them, they are forced to learn things according to the method of a disciplinarian accorded the name of educator. Some of the smartest people I knew in elementary school were diagnosed with ADD; the only reason I managed to slip under the gratuitous drug dispensors' radar, was that I rarely uttered a word in class if not spoken to, due to being absorbed in some other task which was more to my interest.

I'm pretty for sure that ADD exists (ADHD is more likely to exist though), even if the enviroment was changed. The public school system might foster it but, there are still children in private schools with it. More time and effort spent on studying the kids in question would be opitmal to answering the question here. Also, a complete change in enviroment to notice if there are differences in students in different enviroments.

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I'm pretty for sure that ADD exists (ADHD is more likely to exist though), even if the enviroment was changed. The public school system might foster it but, there are still children in private schools with it. More time and effort spent on studying the kids in question would be opitmal to answering the question here. Also, a complete change in enviroment to notice if there are differences in students in different enviroments.

Youre probably right, in the case of kids who are simply unable to concentrate. I should have been more clear about my statement, in that while schools do not cause a permanent case of the disorder, similar characteristics are observed in children who are not interested in learning in a structured group environment. I think that some teachers/administrators take advantage of the convenient avenue they have to control these children, by suppressing their behavior with drugs, rather than analysing the system they have created.

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Youre probably right, in the case of kids who are simply unable to concentrate. I should have been more clear about my statement, in that while schools do not cause a permanent case of the disorder, similar characteristics are observed in children who are not interested in learning in a structured group environment. I think that some teachers/administrators take advantage of the convenient avenue they have to control these children, by suppressing their behavior with drugs, rather than analysing the system they have created.

I really think that the way they drug some of the kids up someday borders on child abuse, and the parents are mad to allow it. I'm not a parent but I may be in a few years and you basically won't convince me to put anything into my kid like that unless they'll die without it (ie if my kid is a diabetic, obviously I'll give them insulin).

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I don't think there can be any argument that different people have different levels of attentiveness. The big questions that I have yet to see answered in anything but an anecdotal fashion are: is it a *disorder*, and if so, how do you know? The diagnosis method in many cases seems to be "child is annoying", which means it's totally subjective based on the adult dealing with said "annoying" child. That's a no-good way to prescribe medicine.

I've been given antidepressants and similar drugs in sort of a "well, we'll just throw everything we've got at you and see if something helps" spirit. I don't think that this is an appropriate way to approach subtle and complex psychological issues. Delving into the *root causes* of those issues would help a great deal more. However, this also takes a great deal more time, and thus is a great deal more difficult and expensive.

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I've met one child in my life who was diagnosed with ADHD and was in fact pretty impaired. I watched her for a summer when she was 7 and again briefly at the end of the summer when she was 9. She was a very sweet kid to deal with, the toughest thing about her being her literally constant need for attention. (This was a little hard for me in particular to swallow because even though as a child I was demanding of attention I could also be left alone for hours to my own devices and have been perfectly content. The demand for attention would come when I wanted you to see my drawing/high score/jail cell for my action figures/whatever.) I don't actually know if what she had was ADHD but she certainly had something going on. This child, however, was adopted from Russia when she was a toddler and undoubtedly experienced some extreme forms of stress at young, formative ages. There is also the strong possibility that her mother drank during pregnancy. The other problem is that the girl's mother, although extremely caring and loving, is a very busy lawyer and adopted the girl on her own so there is no second parent. So she doesn't get much parental attention no matter how well-meaning her mother may be on this score.

The kid would be about 12 now. I wonder how she's doing.

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I was diagnosed at a young age with ADHD, so I have a pretty good grasp on what the condition is. The problem I have with the term "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" is that it paints an inaccurate picture of the condition. At it's root, it's more of an impulse control issue, versus a lack of attention. Most ADHD people have interests which they hyperfocus on. They can spend hours upon hours oblivious to all other stimuli with their hyperfocus, but with anything else they have a difficult time paying attention to it, due to the impulses distracting them.

For example, a student in class with ADD/ADHD has the impulse to get up and look at something across the room. He does it, while another student without ADD/ADHD has the impulse doesn't do so. It's not necessarily bad parenting, because the parent can discipline the child every time he does such a thing but it doesn't do any good.

Now, I will say that I suspect it has been grossly overdiagnosed in this day and age. When I was diagnosed, it was still pretty uncommon to hear about, but today every class has a few students who have it...or so it seems. Many teachers use it as a crutch, and many parents use it as an excuse for not disciplining their child (oh...he can't help it). However, it really hurts the students who really DO have such a condition, because there is doubt as to whether it exists since it IS treated as such.

As for diagnostic criteria, here's the DSM-IV criteria (via Wikipedia...I don't have a copy of the DSM-IV myself)

DSM-IV criteria for ADHD

I. Either A or B:

A. Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:

-Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.

-Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.

-Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

-Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).

-Often has trouble organizing activities.

-Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).

-Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).

-Is often easily distracted.

-Often forgetful in daily activities.

B. Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:

-Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

-Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.

-Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).

-Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.

-Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".

-Often talks excessively.

-Impulsiveness

-Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.

-Often has trouble waiting one's turn.

-Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.

III. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).

IV. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).

While many of these are subjective, it's not that different than any other psychological disorder where symptoms are subjective.

Also, I'd like to point out that I don't think medications should be mandated (as I've heard they have been for some students in different school districts), nor should they be the primary treatment method. Instead, they should be a last resort. Therapy teaching an ADD/ADHD child should be attempted to instruct the patient on coping skills, rather than a reliance on chemical treatments.

However, I'm also not a professional in this field. I'm just a guy who has lived with this for his 34 years of life, for whatever that is worth.

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