The controversy over the existence of ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is forever being discussed in the media. In a recent blog, W. Douglas Tynan of Dupont Hospital for Children, has stated that ADHD diagnoses have gone up by 53% in the last ten years.
One reason is that parents are being told to take their children to their pediatrician regarding these red flags of ADHD. As he states, many are diagnosed by physicians who lack the expertise to diagnose ADHD because they do not follow the necessary steps to confirm the diagnosis. The DSM, the manual written by the American Psychiatric Association, delineates that procedure that produces the legitimate diagnosis of ADHD.
The physician who does not use this information and elects to diagnosis based on one office visit is no better than a layman who would label a child because in one instant, he would not sit still. Why is there no respect for this diagnosis and the documented procedure by which to follow?
As an ADHD coach, I see clients frequently who come to me with a diagnosis. Yet they have not had anyone follow protocol. They may indeed have ADHD but another problem follows them if they are in college: the necessary accommodations for success in college can not be given to them by the institution since they can not document a correct and valid evaluation.
We have parents, teachers, and those of all walks of life who will not accept the reality of ADHD. We cannot see this diagnosis and further, we as a society believe that behavior can be changed if so desired. If you work hard enough, you can succeed. Those so-called impairments do not exist. These are feelings that I see surface consistently. We at least need our medical society to stand up for protocol and use best practices in the field of ADHD. Going down the path of throwing the DSM out of the window will only continue to falsify the diagnosis of ADHD.
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