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Thursday, August 19, 2010

I don't need a study to tell me that 1 million children are misdiagnosed with ADHD

I don't need a study to tell me that 1 million children are misdiagnosed with ADHD.  My daughter could have easily been one of those children.  This post written a year after we started homeschooling tells what she was like at the time. If the Kindergarten and first grade teacher got their way, she would have been put on Ritalin to make their lives easier.

Sure, she was a handful.  She was certainly the youngest in her class, which the study pointed out was the main reason for misdiagnosis.  A child who is a full 11 months younger than the oldest child is going to act a year younger.  They are going to be baby-like in comparison and more physically active.  As we had moved from NY to Atlanta, she had started school at a younger age than most children and her summer birthday allowed her to squeak into a Kindergarten class younger than most kids.

Her immaturity read as hyperactivity and inattention.  But I knew better.  Even if I was wrong, I knew I could handle the issues one-on-one that a teacher could not handle in a full classroom.  By working with her one-on-one, I also learned that  she didn't learn like most kids.  She was truly a Right-Brained Child in a Left-Brained World. Giving her ritalin would have never "corrected" this.  It wasn't meant to be corrected, it is meant to be worked with. 

I am so glad I never accepted the diagnosis and that my beautiful teenage daughter was allowed to mature on her own, without medication.

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1 comment:

Catherine said...

Homeschooling is perfect for potentially ADHD kids. I'm an MD, and I believe the diagnosis is real, but I also know that it's over-treated. My son has dyslexia and is a wiggly 12 year old. I'm sure someone would have recommended evaluation for ADHD if he was in school. Here at home, I just have him run around the house then drink a cup of coffee if I need him to sit down for more than 10 minutes at a time. Besides, that teaches him that he can control his attention issues. He knows he has a short attention span, but he's learning to take responsibility for it. (If things were severe, I would definitely use medication, but they're not.) You can't do stuff like that in a school setting, which is a shame.

Thanks for your thoughts on this topic. And best wishes for your daughter this year!