Add and adhd

This essay has a total of 1585 words and 7 pages.

add and adhd

Although American culture has changed over the years, parents today still want what is
best for their children. Why then, are parents allowing their children to be put on
medications that may have an adverse effect on their children? Attention Deficit Disorder
(ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) have increasingly been diagnosed
among young children today. Parents should become more informed about the over diagnosing,
side effects, results of the medication and all other pertinent information before they
allow their children to become treated. In this research paper we are first going to look
at why ADD and ADHD diagnosing has become so widespread. Then we will look into the side
effects of Ritalin; the number one drug prescribed for ADD and ADHD. Finally, we will
consider the results of the treatment.

ADD and ADHD have had a dramatic rate of increase since it was first "discovered" 25 years
ago. "This "epidemic" has grown from 500 thousand in 1985 to between five and seven
million today." (Baughman) ADD and ADHD have become popular for many reasons. In today's
American culture and fast paced society it is likely that both parents will work. This
breaks down the traditional family where only one parent would work and the other would
stay home and take care of the children. This leads to a tremendous breakdown in parental
supervision and involvement in their children's academics. This lack of involvement by
parents puts the burden onto the school system for a child's lack of achievement. When a
child academically performs poorly or has a problem at school, parents want corrective
action to be taken no matter what the cost, as long as, it is a fast remedy with little
involvement by the parent. In some cases, when a child is labeled with ADD or ADHD because
he/she is doing poorly in school, the corrective action that needs to be taken is for the
parent to simply spend more time with their children and tutor them in academic areas
they' re lacking in." Children feel the loss, (quality time spent with parents) and they
take action for attention. They misbehave, they cry, they become defiant, aggressive. The
parents seek answers and relief to the family turmoil. The school, which is also
experiencing the child's defiance and aggression, seeks relief. Enter the school
psychologist who provides the convenient answer. The child has ADD." (DeWeese)

Schools are looking for answers as to why students are doing poorly. These schools are
also looking for a "quick fix" to the problem. Due to new federal programs and funding,
(in 1991 federal education I grant were changed to provide schools with $400 per each
student diagnosed with ADD) schools are now allocated with in-school clinics and
psychologists to help determine if students have learning disabilities. As a result of
these new federal programs, and funding, schools today are no longer held responsible for
a student's lack of performance. Now schools have a new "efficient" system to protect
themselves. It works like this: if a child has trouble in math, he is deemed to have a
mental disorder under code number 315.1 - "Mathematics Disorder," if a child can't write
literature composition he/she must be suffering from code 315.2 - "Disorder in written
Expression." (DeWeese) The list goes on and on and it is quite obvious that schools are
well protected.

Teachers also play a key role in the over diagnosing of ADD and ADHD. Teachers today,
although they only receive education up to a master's degree to teach in K-12th grade,
have become psychiatric doctors. Teachers are given lists of symptoms and unacceptable
behaviors and instructed that if a student fits into the category they are to be marked
and labeled, and the paperwork should be written up to begin their drug treatment. This
may seem too outlandish to believe, but, I assure you this is how we have allowed are
school system to become.

Finally, I think that we need to look at the economical side of diagnosing children with
ADD and ADHD. Parents who are presented the option of putting their children on Ritalin
face many questions and concerns, therefore they look for answers. CHADD (Children and
Adults with deficit disorder) is the organization that parents turn to. What most parents
are unaware of is that the makers of Ritalin sponsor CHADD. "Since 1988, when CHADD and
the Ciba-Geigy (now Navartis), the manufacturer of Ritalin, began their financial
relationship, Ciba has given almost a million dollars to CHADD, helping it to expand it's
membership from 800 to 35,000 people." (Merrow) In 1996, CHADD was given $750,000 to
produce a video, Facing the Challenge of ADD, this video does not only mention the generic
name of Ritalin but goes so far as to call it Ritalin, this is paid advertisement for
Navartis by U.S. taxpayers.

The Swiss pharmaceutical company Navartis is also soaring on the stock market, with
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