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Jodi wrote:

  Dr. Baughman:

    My son was diagnosed with "ADHD" when he was in first grade.  He
  has struggled in school all of his life so far, and he will be fourteen
  in March.  He has been tested, re-tested, tutored and tested again and
  because he is a bright child and does not qualify for "resourses" in the
  public school, has been on a path of failure since he is six years old.
  My husband is now a retired chiropractor but we have always subscribed
  to more natural means of treating pathologies

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
The struggles of childhood and life are not pathologies. I
do no criticize you in saying this, but this is exactly what psychology,
psychiatry, the pharmaceutical industry and the schools want the public to
believe. That gets the schools off the hook and makes 'patients' of all the
failed children] .

  Therefore, although advised to, we never wanted to medicate our son.
  However, after independent psychologic testing in the 4th grade, we
  decided to go the "medication route".  It was a nightmare...loss of
  weight, unable to sleep and maybe a tiny improvement in school for a
  while.  I subsequently stopped the medication and my son has never
  returned to that treatment

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Jodi, good for you, good for him].

  However, the problems do not go away.  He is impulsive, inattentive in
  school, has a lousy attitude and the list goes on.  I attribute much
  of this to the constant failure he has endured

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
You are probably right.
Sooner or later there has to be success. In the meantime, the whole gets
deeper and deeper, and in the teens, can be hard to reverse].

  Frankly, the school system has done little or nothing to help him
  and I am at my wit's end

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Sounds like
they have never done their part to prepare him so that he might have some
successes. There are two parties to do this--parents and teachers]

  I guess my question to you is this.  If ADHD is not a "disease" (and I
  am in agreement with you that it is not) then what is it?  What causes
  these wonderful children to fail repeatedly and have no "academic"
  self-esteem.  Fortunately, my  son is a wonderful athlete which gives
  him many positive attributes But he just can't seem to get on a positive
  path in school.  Any input or ideas from you would be greatly appreciated.



[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Sports are great, all that some kids find as a source of some success.
Think of minority kids in football, basketball, boxing. That they lag
academically, vocationally, economically is the fault of the school, not
their fault. With no awareness of you race, ethnicity, I suspect the
schools have failed your son educationally. At 14, with failure ingrained
the hour is late. It will take a very special private or parochial school
and/or tutor (with no belief in psychology or psychiatry as education) to
throw the life-saver of academic progress and success to your son. There is
no way around it. Go find it/them--now. Depending on where you are I may
be able to help with this. Call me...]

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