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New American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines Promote Fraud

The American Academy of Pediatrics just lowered the age for labeling and drugging children with ADHD from age 6 to age 4 in its guidelines. As the FDA has not approved these drugs for children under the age of 6 years old, apparently the AAP is encouraging doctors to commit fraud.

The story was covered by the Boston Globe under the headline New ADHD guidelines could increase treatment in preschoolers and high schoolers.

It is reported that the professor who chaired the AAP guidelines committee had serious conflicts of interest with several major drug manufacturers.

([Dr. Mark] Wolraich, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, has served as a consultant to several pharmaceutical firms that manufacture drugs for the treatment of ADHD. Most of the 15 members of the guideline writing committee had no conflicts.)

If the ADHD labeling rate in this country is growing, lowering the age permitted for labeling children is certainly not going to shrink that rate. In fact, this lowering of the age is likely, in all probability, to accelerate that growth. Accelerated growth in the number of kids labeled with ADHD translates over-diagnosing and over-drugging.

An estimated 5 percent of American school-age children have been diagnosed with ADHD or its cousin, attention deficit disorder, and questions have been raised concerning the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of the disorders in those with mild behavioral problems that fall into the normal range of behavior. Two studies last year found that the youngest kids in the class — who are more likely be less mature than their peers — were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Children shouldn’t be penalized for their immaturity. It is in the nature of children to be immature. When adolescents have been drugged since early childhood, the effects of drug withdrawal are often confused for “symptoms of mental illness”. This confusion is often never uncovered.

In a blog posted today, pediatrician Claudia Gold, author of the book Child in Mind, argued that extending the diagnosis down to age 4 is very worrisome. “There is a wide range of maturity rate,” Gold wrote. “A four or five-year-old who is among the youngest in the class is at particular risk for being diagnosed with ADHD for what is in fact a normal developmental variation.”

As I have heard it put before, “All toddlers have ADHD”. Generally they grow out of it without any sort of psychiatric intervention. We call this absence of intervention respecting the differences between children and adults. This is given the uncommon understanding that major problems are more likely occur after psychiatrists are brought into the equation. Major problems that often have a tendency to linger beyond the onset of adulthood.

2 Responses

  1. With corporal punishment out of the picture, the label ADD-to-get-the-drugs is the only way to control the children.
    Invisible damage is okay for the bleeding heart that took corporal punishment away.”Its better to look good than to feel good”Billy Crystal’s caricature of Fernando Lamas.
    IMO the emotional abuse of naming these children as sick-diseased-defective, is worse than physical abuse of corporal punishment.
    How do you wash your soul clean?

    • Yesterday evening some reporter with NBC Nightly News was saying we all have to get on the same page about this matter, and by this she meant endorsing the new guidelines. This is how biased the National News services in this country has become. I have seen pharmaceutical advertisements on the NBC news, and so I wouldn’t rule out conflict of interest in this instance. What utter hogwash!

      The numbers of people on disability rolls for a psychiatric label is growing, and it’s been growing for years. One curious statistic that keeps coming up, from one source or another, is the statistic that says fully 1/2 of all lifetime “mental illness” is labeled by age 14. I would say, straight off the bat, that there is nothing preventative about labeling children “mentally ill”, and you could in fact call the process of doing so causative.

      Another problem is that the ADHD diagnosis often serves as a gateway diagnosis for other and more severe “mental illness” diagnoses. They are giving children speed for this bogus condition. Mania is the typical result of a speed overdose. Children on speed for ADHD are at risk for other diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder for this very reason. They have toxic drug reactions. The prognosis for children given an ADHD label is often not very good. If the prognosis for children given an ADHD label is not very good, the prognosis for children not given an ADHD label is much better. What more need I say!?

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