ADHD refers to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in which some symptoms arise in children such as impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness. While the condition develops at a very young age in a childs life, its not until the child reaches the age of six to twelve that the disease is capable of being fully diagnosed. With the discovery of various medicines for the suppressing of the condition, however, a problem of over-diagnosis of the condition occurs. The overdiagnosis comes up from the human error in the examination of the symptoms. The mistake happens because the diagnosis of the condition does not require any scans or blood tests to be done but rather an evaluation of the symptoms based on the characteristics of the child in different environments such as school, home, hospital and so on. In this paper, I will discuss why ADHD is over diagnosed and why parenting is more recommended than pills in the treatment of the condition.
Is ADHD over diagnosed?
The existence of ADHD is not a fiction but something that is real. In most children, for example, the disease manifests itself through sleeping disorders, hypersensitivity, and lack of concentration. The condition is likely to be reputable between the age of six and twelve when done under a very competent physician. With the generation of the social media and the internet, however, the search for the ADHD symptoms online has made a majority of the people to believe that they have ADHD something which is not true. People nowadays try to relate the symptoms they get online with their conditions and end up diagnosing themselves wrongly. To continue, however, there is a need for the definition of the term diagnosis, misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis. To begin with, diagnosis refers to the proper identification of an ailment. Concerning ADHD, it means the correct identification of the ADHD disease within an individual. Misdiagnosis, on the other hand, is the error committed by the doctor in the identification of a disease leading to wrongful treatment or delayed treatment. Concerning ADHD, it means the doctor identifies ADHD as another type of disease. Lastly, overdiagnosis refers to the identification of a particular disease which the doctor contemplates that it will never cause any symptoms or death to the patient throughout the lifespan of the patient. The question that arises is therefore whether ADHD is an over diagnosis. To answer the question, a 2011 report by CDC, indicated that about 11 percent of the children who fall in the age bracket of 4 to 17 years were suffering from the disease. The figure represented an increase from the previous 3 percent in the 1980s. The report further categorically states that the increment in the diagnosis of the people with ADHD had risen by more than 35 percent between the year 2002 and the year 2011, something that has sparked fear in many people as to whether ADHD is real or it's simply an over diagnosis.
The argument for overdiagnosis is justified on several grounds. First, ADHD is a hereditary disease, and an increase of 35 percent in diagnosis means an increase in genetic setup to that level which is unreasonable. There is a possibility that there is improper evaluation leading to improper diagnosis as a result of the push by the society to have their children treated and secondly, the families and communities are simply imposing a lot of pressure on the children even during their leisure time. To this extent, therefore, there is an existence of two kinds of diseases mistaken as one. The first disease is the ADHD and the second one is the over diagnosed ADHD. The difference between the two is that in the first one, the symptoms are real such as poor sleeping patterns, lack of concentration and hyperactivity while for the latter, there is no occurrence of symptoms and does not cause any harm.
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Whether Pills or Good Parenting is recommended for the Treatment of ADHD
For most parents, the diagnosis of a child especially below the age of six with ADHD comes as shocking news owing to the medication involved in the treatment of the child. While the drugs have been proven effective in the treatment of the condition up to a level of 80 percent, the side effects are worse. On the other hand, too, good parenting has been found effective in altering the behavior of a child and is also thus very effective in treating ADHD. The goodness of Parenting as a cure for the condition is that it uses therapy and therefore three are no side effects likely to develop on the child. These two options, therefore, leave a lot of parents perplexed about which option to take. Cost, side effects and the duration of healing are some of the factors considered in choosing a treatment plan for ADHD. ADHD Experts, however, warn that while the two methods are good for the treatment of the disease, parents should not perceive the two methods as being mutually exclusive or alternatives to each other but rather should be used together for effective healing.
Use of Good Parenting as a treatment Option
Good parenting involves putting to practice a combination of therapies for a child who has ADHD. The essence of the therapy is to assist in the control of the nervous system in the brain of the child by setting up timelines for the child and regulating his behavior. The option is particularly important for children below the age of six because the intake of drugs as an option may have serious and devastating effects on the child. If good parenting is properly used at this stage, for example, the child may never be in need of the use of drugs for survival. When the condition is however depicted at an advanced age, the combination of the therapy and drugs would be the best option. Good parenting denotes the parent sacrificing his luxury and leisure for the sake of assisting the child in becoming organized and focused on avoiding being controlled by the ADHD symptoms. Another advantage that Good parenting has over Medication is the fact that, the medication only enable a child to cope with the symptoms, but once the child stops using the drugs, the symptoms resume while good parenting makes the child organized and can survive even without the therapy. Due to the stubborn nature of children with the condition, however, several pieces of training such as PCIT or Parent- Child Interaction Therapy, Triple P or the Positive Parenting Program and lastly the PMT or the Parent Management Training are recommended for the parents to be able to handle the children well. Parenting is, therefore, the better option for managing ADHD.
Drugs as a Cure for ADHD
ADHD experts recommend that the drugs be administered to only the children above the age of six. The reason is the body of the child before this age is at a very dangerous development stage and thus the drugs may cause very many negative effects on the child. It is however highly recommended that children who have very serious problems with concentrating in class be subjected to drugs to assist them. What the parents and teachers are advised to do at this stage is to avoid overdosing the children. Some of the side effects include the loss of appetite in some children, delayed growth, moodiness, sleeping problems and severe headaches. The drugs and a parenting combination is, therefore, good, but if the child can respond on parenting alone, then it's better.
From the above discussion, it is indeed true that ADHD has been over diagnosed, but that is not to mean that it does not exist. ADHD is real and affects virtually one child in every nine. The condition is, however, treatable through either drugs or parenting. While parenting is recommended for the children below the age of five years, drugs are recommended for those above six years and suffering from acute ADHD. It is, however, advisable that a combination of the two be used.