The ADD/ADHD Epidemic

Photo: It's time to #wakeup

One of my friends posted this graphic on facebook this morning. While I know we see these things all the time, something about it really triggered my thinking. Could it be true? and if it was that would mean – yet again – that money speaks louder than anything else. Sad… very sad…

As my brain was running through these wild and depressing thoughts, I began to click on a new tab and google it. (Well, isn’t that the answer for anything we don’t know these days? Β ) What I found was that apparently it is true. In 1991 legislation was passed that included ADD/ADHD in the funding for special education. Of course, the more special education children you have in your school the more special funding your school receives, in addition to any grant money. Though, from what I understand over the years the government has become more particular about what that money is spent on. I believe that it has to be spent on the special education department, so at least the money stays in the correct department. (I’m not sure if that is any consolation, though.) Anyway, this occurred in 1991, the numbers for ADD/ADHD rose dramatically since then. We aren’t talking hundred of thousands, we are talking millions! So, of course, I began to google to find out just how high the cases of ADD/ADHD have risen since this legislation was passed. …And for your viewing convenience here is a neat little graphic that sums it all up!

Jamie Turner Gaddy's photo.

So, yes… I would say that the numbers have drastically risen since that legislation was passed. So, the evidence is in… however, I have to admit I don’t think it is all “filthy lucre’s” fault in this case. You see, I believe that there are two issues at play here. Yes, the misdiagnosis of many children across the U.S., but also the rise in use of technology. Don’t get me wrong… I love technology (as I sit here on my laptop with my ipad and phone beside me…) I just believe that our children are suffering the effects of sitting too long in front of the television and playing too long with video games. Teachers just can’t compete with the amazing graphics, interesting plots, and super sound that comes with all that technology. So, in all honesty I believe that there are two evils at play here.

1) Money – I think every American would admit that most American public schools are often more concerned with the budget than with the individual child.

2) Abuse of technology – I believe that there is a right way to use technology. That is for educational purposes and as tools for productivity. Letting television and video games babysit our children is a big mistake and we (our children) our beginning to pay for it!

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4 Comment

  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    Interesting !! It’s sad but numbers don’t lie. Thankful to be homeschooling my precious ones.

  2. Cheyenne Anderson says: Reply

    I totally agree with you! πŸ™‚ Nice post…love it! πŸ™‚

  3. Interesting info! I hadn’t known about that particular law. Although, I don’t think it’s quite fair to blame the larger number of diagnoses on just a money grab and technology. After all, in the 80’s there was probably a lot less awareness of ADD/ADHD than than there is now. The new law, along with a lot more publicity for the disorder, probably caused many children who actually have the disorder to be correctly diagnosed instead of just being treated as “problem children” or “stupid kids.” I do think that there are a lot of children being mis-diagnosed. But I also think that ADD/ADHD is a real disorder that plenty of children DO have who DO need treatment. As a person with an attention disorder myself, it can be severely damaging not to have this issue addressed in any way, as it was not when I was homeschooled.

    For the record, I don’t think that medication is necessarily always the best treatment either. There are mental therapies that proved very helpful to me that I discovered on my own after struggling for years and years with being the “dumb kid.” They probably won’t work for everyone, but I do find it troubling that so many children are put on medication that they might not need or want in order to treat a disorder that they may or may not have. Long story short, I have pretty mixed feelings about the whole ADD/ADHD thing, but the one thing I can say for sure, is that it’s not a simple problem that can be boiled down to one or two causes or solutions.

    Anyway, that’s just my two cents as a former homeschooling graduate with ADD. Thanks for the interesting info! πŸ™‚

  4. I used to believe this. No longer.

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