We often have retreats at the Catskills B & B and Spa. Recently at a retreat of visionary thinkers the subject of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) came up. ADD is a very complex concept. I don’t deny that someone somewhere has it. It is just that most of those that are told they do…don’t!. Many who are diagnosed this condition are simply creative geniuses with a short attention span and expansive and creative minds. It is likely that Einstein, Edison and Tesla all might have been diagnosed with this condition if the wrong school counselor had gotten their hands on them.
The mental health profession has decided that there are many categories and sub categories of ADD. A more recent creation is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI). The ‘Predominantly Inattentive’ form is similar to the other subtypes of ADHD except that it is characterized primarily by inattentive concentration or a deficit of sustained attention, such as procrastination, hesitation, and forgetfulness. So someone decides that a child has ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive – a condition that has everything in common with ADHD except that it has fewer hyperactivity or impulsivity symptoms and has more directed attention fatigue symptoms.
Of course there may not be any problem other than a particular child has hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), sub-clinical nutritional deficiencies that have not been properly tested for, or has a particular learning style and or a strength in a particular intelligence (see Multiple Intelligences Theory). So what is the solution? Where well-meaning incompetence has set in a dysfunctional, rigid educational environment it is medicate the child rather than explore said child’s unique gifts and learning style.
The diagnosis process is of course anything but scientific. In fact different countries have used different ways of diagnosing ADHD-PI. For example In the United Kingdom, diagnosis is based on quite a narrow set of symptoms, while in the United States uses a much broader definition of the term ADHD.
I don’t want to go into a statistical analysis of this issue here other than to say that the great majority of these children do not have this condition. Any serious mental health professional who cares about children and sees the falsity in most ADHD diagnosis needs to study the work of Howard Gardner and other pioneers in the field of developmental psychology, education theory and multiple intelligences.
I heard the trickster film maker John Waters say “If your kid comes home and says I’m gay and I want to be a tatoo artist; teach them about healthy relationships, sign them up for a course on small business and lend them the seed money to open a tatoo parlor!”
Do you think Alice Cooper had ADHD or just an interesting take on reality?
Watch this music video and decide.
For Cooper’s “Graduation” you may find the induction ceremony into the Rock n’Roll Hall of fame for his band frightening or enlivening.
I would have loved to have been a Rock Star but my attention span was too short to seriously study a musical instrument so I ended as a polymath writing 30 books at a time.
Enjoy Your Life. One second at a time.