Attention Deficit Disorder is being overdiagnosed and underdiagnosed. Overdiagnosis is a by-product of rising academic expectations. American children are expected to sit longer, concentrate more, and read and write earlier than ever before. Children are rushed from one activity to another. All these factors contribute to a child not focusing and paying attention. Underdiagnosis results when a youngster is labeled as a “bad child” and the accompanying ADD behaviors are seen as purposeful and under the child’s control. It’s the unfortunate “if only he would try harder” mantra.
The experts I’ve spoken with concur that the most important sign that medication might be warranted is that immediate results are evident when the child begins the medication. These experts add one other simple yet important nugget of information: Medication makes life less hard for ADD kids. There were no new ADD drug releases in 2010. Like them or not, 90 percent of children treated with psychostimulants – the pharmacological agents of choice for ADD – elicit a positive response.