Jul 22, 2011


I was pleasantly surprised to read in a May issue of Hamodia's magazine a little note appended to an article.  The article referred to ADD and this acryonym is followed by an asterisk and a note which says:

Attention deficit disorder or ADD/ADHD, is a psychological term currently applied to anyone who meets the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for impulsivity, hyperactivity and /or inattention.  The diagnostic criteria are subjective and include behavior that might be caused by a wide variety or factors, ranging from brain defects to allergies to giftedness.  ADD as currently defined is a highly subjective description, not a specific disease (http://www.borntoexplore.org/).

How refreshing! And how daring to include this when it was likely to result in letters screaming about the author's insensitivity.

For those who want to believe that normal children's inattention and behavior are medical disorders which often require medication, this definition is quite an affront.  After all, it says:

1) it's a "term" - not a medical diagnosis
2) "currently" - implying that we don't know for sure and the next DSM might not include it
3) "subjective" - as opposed to a real medical problem which can objectively be observed
4) it is a behavior that can have numerous reasons to explain it
5) it's not a disease

1 comment:

  1. I think that for most kids, ADD can be simply a personality trait. Some of us are not cut out for desk jobs or academia. Some people are happier doing something with their hands or physical labor such as farming.
    Then there is the other side of ADD. Some of us need to be cooking rather than on the computer. Some of us are better off not shopping with a credit card. Still, when we know that our personalities are of the easily distracted kind, we can work around that and use that trait to our advantage.
    I think that there is a range within the easily distracted group from those who have smaller attention spans, to those who would cross a street without looking both ways. Then there are other issues that can accompany the lack of attentiveness. Some children can also be physically aggressive and that is a bigger issue.