Why is ADHD so common?

Sara - posted on 04/17/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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When I was in elementary school the whole size of my school 1-6th grade was around 200 students. There was maybe 1 student in each classroom that was uncontrollable that probably had ADHD. I bet 20 years later there would be about 5 kids in each classroom that would have ADHD.

Is there something that we have been putting in our enviroment to cause this problem? Do you think any doctors or anyone has been reaserching that so we can find the problem and hope that in the future less people have this problem? I really do not see anything on this topic other than "Drugs" to help deal with this problem. Is there anyone else who have found reaserch into what we can do to help this problem? Or can they not do any reaserch yet because ADHD was not diagnosed 20 years ago so they do not know if it is a growing problem?

Thoughts Anyone?

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Christine Weinandt - posted on 04/20/2009

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i totally agree with all... i think it has always been there. I look at ADD AD/HD aspbergers etc.... as personality traits.... some just more extreme some less... im convinced my entire family has add....parents grandparents etc.. and even all my add children... it comes out diff in ea.... my youngest for instance... its almost totally in her mouth lol...she may never learn to think before she speaks. I also think it seems more widespread because...... now we undertand its not thier fault...if you think about it the kids in past ... who were not able to concentrate in school ... dropped out.... in social settings... parents punnished alot more... etc... now we try to teach them ways to help themselves... at least i think we should.. my kids doc made me come in and get tested lol he said if you have one add kid one of the parents has it... ( my husband is totally non add lol, and is totally aspbergers) i was like... im 36 i would know if i had it....ohh i have ranked practically off the charts lol.....but i learned early on how to make my personality work for me... and that is what i tell my kids....they are not illnesses or problems.... they are your personality traits you can try to control the more extremes and you can make it work for you... but it is what makes you unique... smiles..... i wouldnt have my kids any other way.... ok maybe i wouldnt have said that while i was going threw my sons 13-16 yrs lol but our entire family has grown.... im totally against labling for anything other than finding the right help etc ...lables let you figure out better paths and meds...that allow your child to suceed easier... i mean come on all teens have crap... try adding to the normal crap with the added issues of add or other... also side note.... non of my kids could really deal well with school until 15-16 then for some reason its like turning on a light switch and they were able to better understand themselves.....and actually get homework done without constant promptin etc and lots of little things.... lol i bet if we tested huge numbers of ppl alot more would turn up add than anyone thinks.... mostly they just think hyper

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With my research & experience, I would say that the same percentage of people have ADHD, but it is society as a whole that has changed, so that we notice it more. All three of my kids (2 girls & 1 boy) have ADD or ADHD, my husband has ADHD, and his father has ADHD. So it is nothing new. The way the school system works now, they expect cookie cutter kids. Boys cannot be boys anymore, not even on the playground. As a society, it's not just electronics, but we are also afraid to let our kids just "go out & play" as we are concerned about predators and drugs. Also, there are less & less jobs for the ADHD type person, while there are more & more desk jobs. My father-in-law never graduated high school, but opened his own business. While my husband was hyper-focused on getting his college degree & is a very hands-on engineer (and always has a project going on at home). However, both my teens are on meds, because without it, they were spiraling in school, while after just a few months, they are doing so much better. My eldest struggled greatly in high school & college, but finally graduated. She was not the hyper-active one, but the day-dreamer that was overlooked. (Girls often don't get diagnosed because their symptoms are overlooked as either day-dreamers or chatty-cathys.) So, to wrap it up, I think ADHD has always been with us & in the numbers it is today, but the kids were just given different lables, such as hyper, day-dreamer, etc.

Heather - posted on 04/18/2009

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WOW! Well said Linda! My brother, who is now 37, has ADD/ADHD. Back then they called it "hyperactive", not ADD/ADHD. I have read many articles on the subject over the years as I have 2 boys with ADD/ADHD. My boys are on meds and function extremely well on them.
The one link that I have determined is that the endless media that are kids are exposed to, video games, TV, electronic gadgets. Our kids are on overload and their brains are constantly over stimulated. When the brain is elevated to this kind of stimulation on a constant basis and the stimulus is removed, the brain is searching for the next stimulant. Again, this is my opinion.

I remember that when I was young, we were outside, playing with friends or playing board games with friends. Not plugged into some electronic device zoning out. The environment for children is extremely different today that what it was 30+years ago.

It has been said that caffiene has the same effect as the drugs used to help with ADD/ADHD symptoms. Coffee, Tea, soda's that are high in caffiene. I have also heard that fish oil can have the same affect, by I cannot say that I've tried these.

I hope this helps. Good luck. :)

Linda - posted on 04/17/2009

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I have been dealing with a ADHD child for 35 yrs now. I also have a grandson 11 who had been diagnosed with it. I was told at first it was caused by food dye red. Then I was told it was sweets. The most believeable one I have hear is a enzyme missing in the brain. It travels from generation to generation. The only thing they have found thus far to treat it is medication. You can add counseling to this to help the child learn to deal with this problem, as well as the parent. The child needs more positive enforcement then negative, as they will hear enough negative from their peers. I found that a child who starts school with this problem and you actually find a teacher who is willing to help you the parent, with positive instead of negative, the peers just take the childs behavior as that is how the child is. If the instructor is constantly giving negative the child will also give negative to the child. My grandson who had the positive teacher in K was fine with peers until he was moved from the school due to relocation and then the new peers because of negative from teachers is now without friends. He is having a really hard time right now, being expelled all the time and being made an example in classrooms, thus the negative from other students. So hopefully if you find yourself in this situation you get good counseling care and try and reach the teachers so they quit this negative and give positive in front of other classmates. If this doesn't happen the child gets angry and then they need to be placed in an anger management class for children. And yes, there are anger management classes for children, you just have to persue and research to find them in your area. Good luck..Hope this has been helpful.

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