Academic journal article Education

ADHD - Diagnostic Decoy

Academic journal article Education

ADHD - Diagnostic Decoy

Article excerpt

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, something relatively new in the market place, has taken on the strength of a bison nationally over the past six years. The symptomatology inherent in this fragile condition or concept in the past was most often a reflection of a more provocative syndrome. The visible display of hyperactivity and distractibility usually helped in the process of diagnosing more complicated and sinister syndromes. Currently, ADHD has been accepted as an "entity" in itself regardless of etiology or "why?" this behavior. It probably is an outgrowth of the "Skinnerian" wave that has washed through select fields of psychology. One might also say ADHD has lended itself well to operant philosophy and procedures and received, therefore, an emphatic push toward recognition in the absence of any thoughts or considerations related to causation. What were visible "symptoms" during past decades brought on by other problems solidified and became a detached disorder standing alone.

Etiological factors then were struck down. In light of this, an ADHD child in the writer's scope of experience would be one who has an average or better IQ, no known pre-existing or existing pathologies, psychogenic or otherwise, and, or course hyperactivity and distractibility. Perhaps these cases can be described as undifferentiated but they are most rare. ADHD is an outcome and generates from something.

"Suspecticians" have been diagnosing these children, i.e. teachers, other school personnel, pastoral people, parents and finally, the physician who sometimes under duress prescribes a medication to "bullet" the behavior based on what he is told by parents. A comprehensive, interdisciplinary study does not occur usually. Results evolve from subjective observations and perhaps a checklist method which evoke only incorrectness because in final analysis the "total" person or child is lost. This is another example of a monosymptomatic diagnosis followed by a faulty label.

A variety of problems or conditions can produce ADHD "look-a-likes", e.g. reading disorder, math disorder, mental retardation, emotional disturbance by way of parental management and treatment, anxiety, petit mal epilepsy or a seizure equivalence. …

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