Dear Dr. Bill,
I’ve heard you talk about ADHD in the past. I have grave concerns about the over-medication of children today—it seems like we’re drugging them into submission. Are prayer, discipline and self-control not enough? If more parents—especially dads, were actively involved in the lives of their children, I suspect that the number of ADHD cases would shrink dramatically. What do you think?”
You’re certainly right about the importance of dads being involved in their kids’ lives. There are multiple studies showing that research that kids with absent or uninvolved fathers are at higher risk for a variety of problems.
At the same time, ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is very real. Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Neurologists, Pediatricians, and Family Physicians all agree it’s very real, and that it probably affects 4-6% of all school-age children.
The disorder is believed to be caused on by abnormal levels of activity in certain regions of the brain, and it’s probably genetic.
There has been a great deal of controversy about the disorder and its treatment in recent years. Some believe it is over-diagnosed in children, and if you search the internet you’ll find all kinds of websites that claim there is a conspiracy by doctors and pharmaceutical companies to “drug” America’s children.
Unfortunately, what a lot of folks don’t realize is that much of this information is put out by the Church of Scientology. Due to their beliefs, the Scientologists are vehemently opposed to psychiatry.
One of the best places to go for reliable, scientifically sound information on ADHD is the American Academy of Pediatrics website at aap.org.
Thanks for writing, John.
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