Psychiatrists and psychologists:
Bromfield, Ph.D., a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.
"Studies show that Ritalin prescribing fluctuates dramatically depending on how
parents and teachers perceive 'misbehavior' and how tolerant they are of it. I know of
children who have been given Ritalin more to subdue them than to meet their needs a
practice that recalls the opium syrups used to soothe noisy infants in London a century
Association of School Psychologists (NASP), with 13,000 accredited members, states in their NASP Communique, Volume
29, No.1: "We believe that the construct of ADD/ADHD
has come to act like a set of blinders. Once an educator observes that a child has a
perceived degree of difficulty attending, s/he tends to ask whether the child has an
'Attention Deficit Disorder.' The many other potential sources of inattention are often
times bypassed and not even considered. For example, has the child experienced any trauma
and/or is s/he anxious or depressed? Could the childs temperament and/or personality
style be the source of inattention? Do the childs nutritional habits support a well
settled and attentive approach to learning? Are there any medical conditions that make it
difficult for the child to focus and settle down? Are there ecological or contextual
factors that may be implicated in attentional problems? Is the childs
learning/interactional environment disordered?"
Dr. Thomas Armstrong,
author of "The Myth of A.D.D." "A child can be hyperactive because
hes bored, depressed, anxious, allergic to milk, creative, a hands-on learner, has a
difficult temperament, is stressed out, is driven by a media-mad culture, or any number of
other possible causes."
Breeding, Ph.D., author of the "The Wildest Colts Make the Best
Horses." "As a psychologist, I was appalled at the fact that we in the
U.S. are placing millions of our school-age children on psychiatric drugs. I wanted to
take a strong stand against this institutionalized child abuse. I also wrote the book as
the father of two children, each wild and spirited in their own unique ways. I am
determined to defend them well."
Breggin, M.D., author of "Talking Back to
Ritalin". "In my practice of psychiatry, I am frequently consulted about
children who are taking three, four, and sometimes five psychiatric drugs, including
medications that are FDA-approved only for the treatment of psychotic adults. The
drug treatment typically began when the children developed conflicts with adults at home
or at school. In retrospect, the conflicts could easily have been resolved by
interventions such as family counseling or individualized educational approaches.
Usually under pressure from a school, the parents instead acquiesced to put their child on
stimulants prescribed by psychiatrists, family physicians, or pediatricians. "
Dan Kindlon, Ph.D. and Michael Thompson, Ph.D.,
authors of "Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys." "In
our experience it is evident that most of what is being called ADD today would not have
been called ADD fifteen or twenty years ago and that much of it falls within the normal
range of boy behavior."
is well-known psychologist with a national newspaper column. "What a wonderful
thing it should be for parents to discover that their ADD kids are normal, don't have a
disease, can be trained to concentrate effectively on schoolwork, can behave themselves,
and best of all, don't need drugs!"
clinical psychologist who worked in California public schools for 20 years as a corrective
interventionist, and a leading author of MBTI Temperament books. "Certain kinds of
children are interested neither in pleasing certain kinds of teachers nor in doing their
assignments. Most of these children are similar in temperament, and very different from
their classmates. Most often they are Plato's Artisans (Aristotle's
Hedonics)concrete in perception and impulsive in action, ever on the
lookout for fun things to do in the here and now. With this sort of temperament it is not
surprising that most schoolwork is unappealing to them."
David B. Stein, Ph.D., is a practicing
clinical psychologist in Richmond, Virginia, Professor of Psychology at the University of
Tennessee, father of two sons who were once placed on Ritalin and author of "Ritalin
Is Not the Answer : A Drug-Free, Practical Program for Children Diagnosed With ADD or ADHD".
"If physical growth is suppressed, so also is
brain size, head size, and the overall size of the nervous system. Suppressing normal
growth, especially during times in a child's life when 'growth spurts' occur, is nothing
short of nuts!"
Dr. Bonnie Cramond is an Associate Professor of
Education Psychology at the University of Georgia and an affiliate for the Torrance Center
for Creative Studies and author of the research paper "The Coincidence of ADHD and
Creativity." "Schools and families can best prevent misinterpretation of a
child's behaviors by becoming aware of those indicative of high creativity and attempting
to sort out the disabling from enabling ones. This is no small task because many creative
behaviors look like those that can result in a negative diagnosis."
Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, a psychologist who says
she is ADD herself. "ADD people are high-energy and incredibly good
brainstormers. They will often happily work 12 to 15 hours by choice. The business
community should not fear ADD. Instead, they should see that they have a potential gold
T. Webb, Ph.D. says that gifted children are at risk for being misdiagnosed
with ADHD. "These common mis-diagnoses stem from an ignorance among professionals
about specific social and emotional characteristics of gifted children which are then
mistakenly assumed by these professionals to be signs of pathology."
Lucy Jo Pallidino, Ph.D., author of
"The Edison Trait", asserts that ADHD is overdiagnosed. "Many
divergent thinkers who function adequately are mistakenly said to have ADD. This
probably happens because ADD is the closest term we have in our current nomenclature to
describe the Edison-trait profile. We call divergent thinkers deficient, when it's
really our vocabulary that's deficient."
Diller, author of Running on
Ritalin. "I think Ritalin and other psychoactive drugs for
children will remain popular in this country until the values of our society change. There
is an intolerance of temperamental diversity currently, yet it is that very diversity that
has made our culture rich and worthy."
Dr. William Carey
is the Director of Behavioral Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics at the
Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is the recipient, along with Drs.
Benjamin Spock, T. Berry Brazelton, Anna Freud and Erik Erikson, of the C. Anderson
Aldrich Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions
in the field of child development. According to Carey, almost all variations in
activity level and attention are normal. He argues that ADHD is ...an
oversimplified grouping of a complex and variable set of normal but incompatible
temperamental variations, difficulties in learning, problems in school function and
behavior, and sometimes neurological immaturity. A great variety of childrens
problems is being compressed into a single label: ADHD. Consequently, teachers,
physicians and psychologists frequently offer differing opinions about whether a specific
child has the condition.
Doris J. Rapp,
M.D., a pediatric allergist and author of "Is This Your Child?:
Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies in Children and Adults". "When
ADD or ADHD youngsters have allergic relatives, an allergic appearance, and an obvious
allergy to pollen, molds, dust, foods, and/or chemical sensitivities, they usually have
ATFS [Allergic Tension Fatigue Syndrome] and many respond favorably to appropriate allergy
Mendelsohn, M.D. "No one has ever been able to demonstrate that
drugs such as Cylert and Ritalin improve the academic performance of the children who take
them. The major effect of Ritalin and similar drugs is on the short-term manageability of
hyperkinetic behavior. The pupil is drugged to make life easier for his teacher, not to
make it better and more productive for the child. If your child is the victim, the
potential risks of these drugs are a high price to pay to make his teacher more
Dr. Mary Ann
Block, D.O., author of "No More Ritalin - Treating ADHD Without Drugs, A
Mother's Journey, A Physician's Approach". In this book, "Dr. Block shares
her painful and shocking journey through the dark days of her daughter's doctor-induced
illness. She goes on to shatter the conventional view of drugging children who have been
labeled with ADHD. Instead Dr. Block explains to readers how she looks for and treats the
underlying causes of the symptoms of ADHD and why she offers this rational approach to
anyone looking for another opinion."
Peter S. Jensen, M.D., David Mrazek, M.D. Penelope
K Knapp, M.D., Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., Dynthia Pfeffer, M.D., John Schowalter, M.D.,
and Theodore Shapiro, M.D., co-authors of "Evolution and Revolution in Child Psychiatry: ADHD as a Disorder of
Adaptation" published in the Journal of American Child
& Adolescent Psychiatry, December 1997. "Given the current estimated
frequency of ADHD (3% to 5%), it is unlikely that such a 'disorder' could be as prevalent
in the human species if not maintained within the species by selection forces that
conveyed certain advantages to some ADHD characteristics or other associated traits."
A. Baughman Jr., MD, a neurologist: "What they faintly disclose in
original reports, and hardly ever mention in subsequent review articles, is that virtually
all [brain scan] studies have utilized ADHD subjects on chronic stimulant therapythe
only physical variable. Instead of proving that ADHD as a disease or syndrome, they have
proven, several times over, that the chronic Ritalin-amphetamine exposure they advocate
for millions of children, causes brain atrophy (shrinkage). "
Paul Elliott, MD, from a pamphlet
to patients: "Rather than a disorder, as it has been
previously considered, I believe ADD should be renamed Thought Processing Difference (TPD)
and considered a variation of normal brain structure whose differences sometimes to not
fit well into the rigidly defined, highly integrated and controlled educational and
societal structure in the U.S. In other words, it 'appears' as an abnormality primarily
because of the narrow and rigid structure of our society, including education, workplaces,
job design, the way we structure businesses, and our societal form in general."
Marcia Zimmerman, Certified Nutritionist
and author of "The ADD Nutrition Solution". "When your doctor says,
'Diet does not affect attention deficit disorder,' what he or she usually means is, 'We do
not know which one of these foods or additives will have adverse effects on your child.'
Most doctors are reluctant to try dietary therapy because it is time consuming and
difficult to pinpoint exactly which foods and additives worsen symptoms in most children
with attention deficit disorder."
Ann Landers: "Attention Deficit
Disorder has become a fashionable catchall for children with behavior problems."
To the Other Extreme:
a paid spokesman and researcher for the pharmaceutical giants who profit by selling ADD
medications. Barkley advocates an extreme position that 2-9% of the population
worldwide have a genetic defect, caused by random mutations, and that there is absolutely
nothing at all good about such people. They ALL need medication, are less
intelligent, and are not more creative (despite research by creativity experts to the
contrary). Nearly every article in the press about ADD will have a highly negative
quote by this single researcher. Why? Most people do not realize the degree to
which news stories are written as "press releases" by corporations or
pseudo-grassroots organizations that are actually controlled by corporations. In one
study, a full 40% of all news stories appearing in the Washington Post were nothing more
than news releases that had not been verified in any way by the editors. In lesser
papers, the percentage is even higher. The same is true of TV news. It is
highly likely that much of what you read about ADD was actually written by a
pharmeacutical company. To find out more about how corporations control both the
news and research, usually by hiring a handful of experts willing to support them for
money, read the excellent book "Trust Us, We're Experts."