(Natural News) Take, for example, a child with a hearing impairment. Placing them on a drug like Adderall, which was recently found to be virtually identical to methamphetamine, is only going to compound the child’s problem.
Does ADHD really exist?
ADHD: The Great Misdiagnosis, written by Julian Stuart Haber, explores this phenomenon in depth, as well as the impacts of the “rampantly overused” ADHD label, a disease he questions the very existence of. The following is an excerpt from his book:
If so many conditions display the same symptoms, does Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder really exist as a significant separate entity?
When a child exhibits inattention, increased activity, or impulsivity, or any combination thereof, a clinician must consider these behaviors as symptoms of any number of disorders. In short, these symptoms are to neurobehavioral disorders as fever is to other illnesses.
A person does not have a fever disorder. Rather, the fever signifies that something is askew, and the clinician must determine the cause of the fever.
The symptoms of ADHD may be present in more than thirty other disorders, ranging from problems with the sensory systems, mental illness, or scholastic, psychosocial, and medical problems. It is very important to know the exact cause of the symptoms, since many of these disorders require different forms of medication and remediation (the process of curing, helping, correcting, or overcoming disabilities or problems).
Indeed, some of the medications and techniques used to treat one disorder might make a different disorder worse. Therefore, much as one searches for the source of a fever, the detective work must be aimed at finding an accurate diagnosis for the true problem causing inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in any given individual.
Lekisha Wright, a bright-eyed, happy little girl, began first grade with great enthusiasm and childhood joy. Mrs. Jones, her teacher, seated her in the next to last row in a classroom of twenty children. After two weeks of school, it became obvious to Mrs. Jones that Lekisha was not paying attention, seemed antsy, and could not follow directions. She asked the little girl’s mother to come in for a conference.
Mrs. Jones told Mrs. Wright that Lekisha was very restless, could not follow what was going on in the classroom, was not alert, and just couldn’t do what was requested. “I was at a teacher’s seminar recently,” Mrs. Jones said, “and Lekisha sounds like some children they described. You really need to take her to your doctor and see if she has ADD.”
Fortunately, the child’s physician, a general pediatrician in our clinic, was astute, and one of the first things she did was check Lekisha’s hearing and vision. Sure enough, the child had a moderate hearing loss in both ears. Further testing and examination determined that the hearing loss was from fluid and mild infection behind both eardrums.
After a course of appropriate treatment, Lekisha’s hearing returned to normal, her problem was resolved, and she made splendid progress during the remainder of the first grade.
Any child who has symptoms similar to Lekisha’s should be tested for a hearing or vision problem as a part of any workup. Such problems are frequently mistaken for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, predominantly inattentive. If a child has severe problems with vision or hearing, one would hope that a clinician would find the problem long before the child begins school.
Why wellness checkups are a must
However, a mild to moderate visual or hearing impairment can go unnoticed. If a child with a moderate, undiagnosed visual or hearing impairment gets placed in the back or middle of a classroom, she may eventually be accused of not paying attention or following directions.
Many hospitals now check children for hearing loss from the time they are born. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other national organizations suggest that hearing and vision be formally tested from age three.
Informal testing of vision, hearing, and language development should be done with each well baby and child visit. If your physician does not do this testing, you should request that it be done.
Haber, J.S. (2000) ADHD: The Great Misdiagnosis (Taylor Pub.)