Firstly I wish to express extreme outrage at the guidelines as drafted.
They manifest the ultimate in vested interest and illogic well past the point of insanity.
The person or persons who drafted these guidelines should be barred from ever having anything to do with children ever again!
Point 1 There is no scientific basis for the Diagnosis of ADHD
ADHD is an invented disease voted in by a show of hands at the American psychiatric Association ion 1987. The inventor of the term was fined for contempt of court in Germany when he ate his research notes rather than be exposed as a fraud.
In October 2004, The Western Australian Government completed their Inquiry into ADHD. One of their findings stated: “There are no tests that identify the existence of ADHD in a biological sense.”
Point 2 There is no chemical imbalance in the brain that causes ADHD
No research has ever resulted in identifying a chemical imbalance or hormone deficiency or genetic source for the characteristics misidentified as ADHD.
The Netherlands Advertisement Code Commission (Reclame Code Commissie) has ruled that the country’s Brain Foundation cannot claim that the controversial psychiatric condition Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disease or brain dysfunction. The Commission ordered the Foundation to cease such false claims in their advertising.
In its decision handed down on 6th August 2002, the Advertisement Code Commission found that the Brain Foundation had falsely advertised and solicited funding by publishing ads in newspapers, magazines, flyers and on TV that stated ADHD is an “inherent brain dysfunction.”
The Advertisement Code Commission decision stated, “The information that the defendant presented gives no grounds for the definitive statement that ADHD is an inherent brain dysfunction…. Under the circumstances, the defendant has not been careful enough and the advertisement is misleading.”
Point 3 No medical doctor or psychiatrist has ever been able to prove a diagnosis of ADHD
The fact is that many typical childhood behaviours are misclassified as ADHD. Some of these behaviours are caused by food intolerances, some by excess sugar, some by environmental restimulators and some by just being a boy.
“…[T]he search for a biological marker is doomed from the outset because of the contradictions and ambiguities of the diagnostic construct of ADHD as defined by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I liken the efforts to discover a marker to the search for the Holy Grail.”
Lawrence Diller, M.D.?University of California
While “brain scans” purportedly show brain differences in the brains of “ADHD” children or sufferers of other mental ills, Dr. Fred Baughman, Jr. says the drugs the person has already taken probably caused the changes that appear to be in the brain. All drugs, whether cocaine, heroin or a psychiatric drug are brain altering.
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in September 2001 noted that although gross differences in size or symmetry of brain structures can be quantified with neuroimaging, individual cells and cell layers cannot yet be visualized. This means that, although the volume and shape of brain structures may be determined, the underlying cause of any differences cannot.
In other words, brain scan pictures are knowingly and fraudulently used by mental health experts to sell the idea of scientific evidence, and therefore justification, for the diagnosis of an ADHD disease or disorder.
Even the DSM itself states on page 88, “There are no laboratory tests, neurological assessments or attentional assessments that have been established as diagnostic in the clinical assessment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.” This fact is rarely told to parents and teachers despite the DSM being the main manual used to diagnose ADHD in Australia and many checklists used by teachers and parents to screen children for ADHD are based on this manual.
If there were such verifiable brain scans, or in fact any medical/scientific test that could show a physical/medical abnormality for ADHD For indeed any psychiatric disorder, the public would be getting such tests prior to being administered psychiatric drugs.
Point 4 The recommendations are destructive
These recommendations, if followed, would result in destroyed lives and child deaths. These results cannot be unknown to the guideline drafters.
Children on these drugs have an increased risk of suicide.
That means some of them kill themselves!
Do you actually duplicate that statement?
Children kill themselves as a direct result of being on these drugs!
Maybe if I say it a third time it might actually impinge.
Children on ADHD medication take their own lives as a result of taking this medication!
NO NATURAL HANDLING HAS THAT RESULT!
That means that the drug handling for the problem is worse than the problem.
No child EVER died from fidgeting in class or too short an attention span that was not catered for by the regimented education system or any of the other “ills” misdiagnosed as ADHD.
So, let me spell it out so you will not be distracted by the destructive spiel of the drug pushers.
Children who fidget, get distracted, don’t pay attention when they are supposed to or exhibit any of the other manifestations misdiagnosed as ADHD never die as a result of those manifestations. Put on drugs to suppress the symptoms, some of them suicide.
Doesn’t that automatically exclude drugs from ever being a part of the proposed solutions?
If not, what the hell am I missing here?
How any person can live with themselves knowing that data and still recommending not only their use but their use to the exclusion of natural, harmless and more effective remedies boggles my mind. If I were guilty of a crime of that magnitude against children I would be removing myself from their environs poste haste!
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has reported 863 suspected adverse reactions to ADHD drugs. These include the sudden death of a 7 year old and a 5 year old that suffered a stroke after taking Ritalin. Clara Pirani, “Children on ADHD drugs hit by heart attacks and stroke,” Weekend Australian, 27 Mar. 2006.
Dr. Fred Baughman Jr paediatric neurologist who flew to Western Australia to give evidence at WA’s Tri-partisan Parliamentary Inquiry into ADHD in 2004, observes: “Once methylphenidate hydrochloride or any psychotropic drug courses through [a child’s] brain and body, they are, for the first time, physically, neurologically, and biologically abnormal.”
Indeed, as early as 1986, Henry A. Nasrallah and colleagues performed CT scans on 24 young men who had been treated for “hyperactivity” since childhood, and found “a significantly greater frequency of cerebral atrophy” in the hyperactive group than in controls. Noting that all of the hyperactive patients had been treated with psycho stimulants, the researchers suggested, “Cortical atrophy may be a long-term adverse effect of this treatment.”
Then in 1994, G.J. Wang and colleagues researched the effects of methylphenidate on the cerebral blood flow of five healthy males and reported “decrements in cerebral blood flow were homogenous throughout the brain and probably reflect the vasoactive properties of methylphenidate.” In plain English, the drug appears to cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict significantly.
Point 5 The Drugs Don’t Work AND They Stunt Growth
In 1998, Dr. James Swanson asserted that the brains of ADHD subjects were, on average, 10% atrophic (smaller) compared to normal control subjects. He stated there were no ADHD studies in which the subjects were drug-naive—virtually all ADHD subjects had been on stimulant therapy. According to paediatric neurologist Dr. Fred A. Baughman, Jr., “This being the case, stimulant therapy, not ADHD, is the likely cause of the brain atrophy.”
A team of American scientists researching what is called the “Multi-Modal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD — MTA for short – found that the drugs are useless over long-term. The drugs used to treat ADHD such as Ritalin and Concerta are useless. They have no benefits whatsoever after three years and even though they may show some short-term benefits depending on who is watching, and depending on their judgment of the child’s behaviour, the truth is there is no long-term benefit whatsoever. But here’s the most important part.
They found that these drugs stunt the growth of children. “They were not growing as much as other children in terms of both their height and their weight,” said the report’s co-author, Prof. William Pelham from the University of Buffalo. “I think we exaggerated the beneficial impact of medication in the first study,” he added in reference to a study they did a few years ago where they declared that these drugs were helping children.
“We had thought that children medicated longer would have better outcomes. That did not happen to be the case. The children had a substantial decrease in their growth rate,” he continued. The second point was that there were no benefits to children taking these drugs whatsoever.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/023334.html#ixzz1exFef1Mg
A study published in 2002 in the American Medical Association by Castellanos etc al, claiming to prove that ADHD not Ritalin/amphetamine treatment was the cause of brain atrophy was investigated by Dr Baughman. He found that the control group was an average of 2.6 years older than the unmedicated group and said, “2.6 years older and bigger, having brains that are 2.6 years older and bigger than the brains of unmedicated subjects! Hardly a “matched’ control group!”
A close inspection of all ADHD theories reveals their unscientific nature.
Point 6 The guidelines attempt to outlaw the use of more effective therapies than destructive drugs
“In view of the relatively harmless intervention of eliminating colorings and preservatives, and the large numbers of children taking drugs for hyperactivity… an appropriately supervised and evaluated trial of eliminating colourings and preservatives should be part of standard treatment for individual children.”
Professor Andrew Kemp
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
Children’s Hospital West Mead NSW
According to this survey, 78% of ADHD diagnosed children responded favourably to changes in diet: http://www.adhdenvoeding.nl/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Pelsser-The-Lancet-2011-Publication-INCA-study.pdf
In the INCA study, the restricted elimination diet had a significant beneficial effect on ADHD symptoms in 32 (64%) of 50 children, and reintroducing foods led to a significant behavioural relapse in clinical responders.
The Australian Food Intolerance Network is unequivocal in its conclusions that food intolerance affects behaviour.
In a letter to the managing director of the Australian and New Zealand Food Authority, psychologist and nutritionist Sue Dengate states: “About 50 widely-used food additives affect health, learning and behaviour on a daily basis,” and “The use of these additives is increasing, both in range of foods in which they are found and in the total daily intake. Therefore there is already evident an increase in health, behaviour and learning difficulties in the Australian population that is requiring increased public funding to manage.”
Dengate noted that research “shows that effects are dose-related and that almost everyone will react if the quantities ingested are high enough. Children, women and those who consume the greatest quantities are likely to be the most affected. Several overseas studies suggest that nearly all children will do better in performance and behaviour if they eat an additive-free diet.”
Dr. Doris Rapp, author of the New York Times best seller, Is This Your Child? Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies in Children and Adults, says that “…the brain functions of children could be influenced by a food or other environmental factors, for example dust or mold, in such a way that the children would develop so-called hyperactivity or behaviour and learning problems. A wide variety of complaints, including over-activity, fatigue, bed-wetting, inappropriate behaviour, and even epilepsy, in some children, may be due to allergies. Allergic infants can be so hyperactive that they rock their cribs about the room or bounce them off the walls and begin to walk earlier than normal. By isolating and correcting this, the child can be helped so that there are no symptoms and no need for drugs.”
Here are some of Dr. Rapp’s examples:
“At 15, Betsy was depressed and suicidal each year in the late summer when ragweed pollen was in the air in northern Michigan. During her first visit to our clinic she appeared normal until we tested her for an allergy to ragweed. Then she crawled into the office bathtub and refused to come out. She screamed, was untouchable, and complained of so much abdominal pain that she pulled her knees to her chest and held her stomach. After we gave her a neutralizing allergy treatment, she felt entirely normal within a few minutes. Betsy was a persistent school failure until her allergies were recognized and treated, and her academic work and demeanor in school improved dramatically.”
“Karl was a darling 3-year-old youngster with a charming personality—until he ate sugar. His mother noticed that when Karl ate party food or candy, his total personality quickly and dramatically changed. We videotaped Karl as he gleefully devoured eight cubes of sugar. Just as the mother had predicted, within less than an hour he switched from Dr. Jekyll to a Mr. Hyde. At first he stopped playing quietly and began to whine. Then he became more irritable, stomped his feet, wiggled in his chair, tossed his toys over his head, and threw pieces of a puzzle at his mother. When he was given the correct allergy treatment, within a few minutes he was transformed back into his adorable self. His mother was in tears. She realized she was not a bad mother and he was not a bad kid.”
More at http://fedup.com.au/
Stress. The number of stressors in our children’s lives is unprecedented and seems to increase with each generation. Think about it: soccer practice, body image, loud music, math exams, peer pressure, disturbing images and events that occur every day – our children are being hit with stress from every possible angle. And children who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD deal with a level of stressors even more difficult to face.
This never ending stress, with its accompanying flood of adrenaline, drains the body of magnesium because this mineral is essential to the release of hormones like adrenaline. Since magnesium is used to calm the nervous system, the more stress children experience, the more magnesium their bodies use.
Poor nutrition. Children’s diets today are filled with processed foods, refined sugars and food additives. This type of diet depletes children of magnesium in two ways. First, this diet is extremely low in magnesium to begin with. Secondly, refined sugars and food additives can actually stress the nervous system, causing the body to use up magnesium supplies as it tries to counteract this effect.
Junk sugars and food additives are known to contribute to ADD and hyperactivity because they stimulate the nervous system and cause blood sugar fluctuations. Improving the diet is one of the most effective ways of dealing with ADD and ADHD in children. By replacing junk foods with nutrient-dense alternatives, you can naturally increase your child’s magnesium intake in addition to giving all of the important benefits of eating a balanced diet.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/026782_magnesium_food_adhd.html#ixzz1exHD1rY9
Sleep Disorders Australia reports that sleep apnoea (difficulty breathing during sleep, resulting in significant loss of deep sleep) causes behavioural changes during the day. They state, “Older children may have behavioural problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, learning difficulties and poor concentration. Sleeplessness can cause personality changes, poor school performance and interpersonal relationship problems.”
Dr. Arthur Teng of the Sydney Children’s Hospital also raised the alarm about possible mis-diagnosis of children. He says the majority of children who have fragmented sleep from sleep apnoea become hyperactive and irritable and can be incorrectly diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder.
Perth Audiologist, Brad Hutchinson says that children with central auditing processing disorder (the inability to hear in the same way that others do, which leads to difficulties in recognising and interpreting sounds, especially sounds related to speech) struggle to make sense of verbal instructions, especially in noisy classrooms. This makes them appear non-compliant and fidgety- symptoms mistaken for ADHD. “At least 50 percent of kids (with behavioural or learning problems) coming in to our clinic have some auditory processing problems. “
According to Dr Linda Graham Senior Researcher at the Faculty of Education and Social work at Sydney University, resources would be better spent on giving teachers the skills and support to deal with a variety of children’s behaviour rather than singling out disorders. A letter to the Education Minister by 14 researchers including Dr Graham criticised moves to instruct teachers to look out for ADHD, stating that this could cause teachers to miss signs indicating other difficulties at home or with learning. “The diagnostic criteria for ADHD over the past 15 years has been expanding and it is now possible to diagnose one of my cats” said Dr Graham to the Australian Newspaper.
Sydney University’s Dean of Education and Social Work, Derrick Armstrong said, “… children have been given the ADHD ‘label’ to cover a multitude of problems that had not been addresses and given drugs to ‘basically quiet them down’”… And he added that it was still debatable whether the condition actually existed or has been promoted by ‘hype and vested interests.’’’
Education has regressed with the introduction of psychological concepts into the curriculum. For example, in some areas phonics are ignored and children have been forced to memorize nearly every word without understanding the logical sequence of letters or their sounds. Over the years it has had different names: “Look-Say” in the 1940s and 50s, “sight-word” method in the mid- to late-1960s, to “psycholinguistics” and “Whole Language” in the 1980s.
Consequently, students simply don’t understand what they are being told to study.
In 2002, the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education (USA) found that 40% of children being labelled with “learning disorders” simply hadn’t been taught to read.
Therefore, educational basics and tutoring should also be tools to address “challenging behaviour.” If a child is behind in a subject, tutoring on that subject should also be considered.
Furthermore, in many cases the child is inattentive in school because he is extremely talented and is bored. Former US President Bush’s 14-year-old nephew, Pierce, is an example of this. In 2000, he appeared on Larry King Live with his father, Neil, who explained how Pierce was told he was ADD and needed a stimulant, which the boy refused to take. Instead, he was given 3 1/2 days of assessment and was found to be a “gifted and talented kid.”
Point 7 The guidelines violate the rights of parents to determine what is right for their child
The guidelines attempt to usurp the rights of parents to determine what is best for their own child.
A parent is the individual ultimately responsible for the health and well being.
A responsible parent can and does observe what is going on with their child just like we did with ours.
They can do so much better that some quack psychiatrist in bed with a drug company who has no knowledge of or interest in the individual child.
25+ years ago when our son was observed to behave in a frantic fashion such that our friends called him “hyperactive” (that was the fashionable label back then) we observed that he was more inclined to behave like that directly after ingesting sugar or artificial colours and flavourings. SO WE TOOK HIM OFF THEM! We removed them from his diet. The change was instant and dramatic.
As a result of NOT being on mind altering and emotion numbing drugs he was bright enough to attend a selective school.
He left school at age 14 to do volunteer work and resumed studies 6 years later to do a Tertiary Preparation Certificate.
He was the first person ever at Ultimo TAFE to attain a perfect score in his TPC, 100% for English, Mathematics and Calculus.
He attended Sydney University doing Civil Engineering and Commerce and this year graduated top of his class in Engineering.
“It is all too easy for an adult to slap the book shut when misbehaviour occurs and declare that the child needs a visit to the doctor for a diagnosis. We should first look at solutions that have served generations of parents, and more importantly children well: a mix of firmness, understanding and two way communication.”
Judge Paul Conlon
NSW District Court Judge
There is no question that at times children have problems and sometimes these problems can be severe and they need help. This is not in dispute. What care each and every child receives is what needs to be looked at. The cause of the problem for each and every child needs to be found and the child then helped with the cause so that it is rectified and they can live happy normal lives again.
With a biased approach towards defining classroom problems as “disease,” children are too often presented with access to chemical and behavioural treatments only, without equal access to non-chemical treatment for conditions.
Parents are not being informed about the alternatives: that their children could suffer underlying physical problems manifesting as symptoms of “ADHD,” that the child may need to be assessed for special talents and gifts, or that exercise, communication, diet or discipline might be lacking or they may need tutoring if they are behind in school.
Children, indeed all of us, must be provided with proper and effective medical care. Sound medical attention, good nutrition and a healthy and safe environment can prevent the stigmatizing and discriminatory effects of psychiatric labels and treatment.
Children have every youthful right to expect protection, care, love and the chance to reach their full potential in life. Psychiatry’s labels and drugs deny these rights.
Point 8 The children put on these drugs for ADHD are far more likely to continue destructive drug usage with illicit drugs
Joe Tucci, President of the Australian Childhood Foundation said when speaking about Australia’s Draft ADHD Guidelines ( not been finalised as of March 2011 due to conflicts of interest and subsequent congressional investigation in the US of psychiatrist whose studies were used to write Australia’s guidelines) , “It’s dangerous to believe medication is the only answer”. And , “The guidelines could push drugs on children before exploring what else could be wrong. The symptoms of ADHD are also the symptoms of many other childhood experiences and by putting drugs as the first line treatment you are going to increase the reliance on medication.”
Many of the children medicated with ADHD drugs move on to illicit drug use as a result of coming to rely on drugs to solve problems. This is grossly non-optimal. This result should come as no surprise as ADHD medication is in the same class of drugs as speed and pharmaceutically similar to cocaine.
1. That educational policy is implemented preventing psychiatric or psychological assessment of schoolchildren using any edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the “Mental Disorders” section of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). That teachers and all school personnel educational duties do not include suggesting or coercing parents into placing their child on psychiatric drugs, no matter what pressure these personnel may receive from practitioners within the mental health system to do so. This includes rejecting any proposal or recommendation that uses “teachers and other school personnel to be trained to identify ADHD and other psychiatric disorders and to be able to contribute to the treatment which has been implemented….”
2. That government-funded information pamphlets be placed in all state and private schools, as well as issued to Parents and Teachers’ Associations, providing parents and teachers with full information about the diverse and conflicting medical opinion about “ADHD” and “learning” or “behavioural” problems; that this opinion includes scientific evidence that allergies and toxic reactions, and sleeping problems, can manifest as so-called ADHD and should be tested for by a competent doctor preferably trained in environmental medicine. Also, that a child may need educational basics—acknowledging the value of the phonetic-based method of teaching reading, and thereby the value of defining key words—and/or tutoring.
3. That therapies other than drugs be used wherever possible with children, so long as these alternatives are non-abusive and are given with the fully informed consent of the youth, parent, or appointed representative. The information must include advantages, disadvantages, the side effects and known risks as well as available alternative treatments.
4. That on admission to a psychiatric unit, the child or youth must have the right to a full and thorough physical and pathological examination performed by competent personnel to determine whether or not the presenting symptoms are, in fact, due to organic conditions such as vitamin, mineral or blood sugar irregularities or any other undiagnosed medical condition.
5. That severe criminal penalties be implemented (if not already available) by governments for any psychiatrist prescribing stimulants or other psychotropic drugs to children or young people, without the full, informed consent of the young person, parent or appointed representative. Informed consent should include information about all alternatives.
6. That given the increasing youth drug abuse, Federal and State Governments seriously review the monies to, and lack of results from, funding of all mental health programs, tests, research costs in schools; additionally, to review how these funds could be re-appropriated towards proven non-psychological/psychiatric teaching methods and extra teachers and tutors.