ADHD Meds Provide No Long-Term Benefits

September 5, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

Laura Grace Weldon, Guest Writer
Waking Times

Want to cause a ruckus? Criticize attention-deficit meds.

Over three million U.S. kids take these drugs. Parents may not be thrilled to dose their children but they are following expert advice.  They typically see results. And they don’t need to be judged.

But it helps to pay attention to what works for parents who don’t put or keep their kids on meds. My son was diagnosed with ADD when he was in first grade.  There was a great deal of pressure from his teacher to put him on medication. As many parents do, I struggled to find ways to alleviate the problem without drugs. We found significant improvement when we changed his diet but that wasn’t enough to make the school setting truly work for him. The way he learned best and the way he flourished simply didn’t fit in the strictures of the school environment. He wasn’t wired to sit still and pay attention for hours. Once we began homeschooling we discovered that without classroom and homework pressure, what appeared to be ADD symptoms largely disappeared.

The newest studies of attention-deficit disorder medications now indicate that the calming effect of these drugs don’t necessarily indicate that those who take them have any sort of “brain deficit.”  As L. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus of psychology at the Universityof Minnesota’s Instituteof Child Development explains, such medications have a similar effect on all children as well as adults. “They enhance the ability to concentrate, especially on tasks that are not inherently interesting or when one is fatigued or bored, but they don’t improve broader learning abilities.”

Research shows the effect wanes in a few years without conferring any lasting benefit. Dr. Sroufe writes,

To date, no study has found any long-term benefit of attention-deficit medication on academic performance, peer relationships or behavior problems, the very things we would most want to improve.

While Dr. Sroute looks for a mental health answer, psychologist Bruce Levine looks to society. In a recent article he notes that rational responses to larger social conditions (depression due to economic crisis, for example) are being suppressed by medication rather than addressing underlying circumstances. In particular, he asserts that non-compliance with authority is labeled a mental health problem rather than a useful response. He writes,

Do we really want to diagnose and medicate everyone with “deficits in rule-governed behavior”?

Albert Einstein, as a youth, would have likely received an ADHD diagnosis, and maybe an ODD one as well.  Albert didn’t pay attention to his teachers, failed his college entrance examinations twice, and had difficulty holding jobs. However Einstein biographer Ronald Clark (Einstein: The Life and Times) asserts that Albert’s problems did not stem from attention deficits but rather from his hatred of authoritarian, Prussian discipline in his schools. Einstein said, “The teachers in the elementary school appeared to me like sergeants and in the Gymnasium the teachers were like lieutenants.” At age 13, Einstein read Kant’s difficult  Critique of Pure Reason— because he was interested in it Clark also tells us Einstein refused to prepare himself for his college admissions as a rebellion against his father’s “unbearable” path of a “practical profession.” After he did enter college, one professor told Einstein, “You have one fault; one can’t tell you anything.” The very characteristics of Einstein that upset authorities so much were exactly the ones that allowed him to excel.

This is a big issue. I am lucky I eluded being put on meds to treat the problems I had as a child. I wouldn’t give up those years of painful churning for anything. That’s exactly what formed me into a person with my particularly intense focus and purpose.

I think we need to widen our focus. The issue asks us to look at how today’s children are restricted in movement, have less time for free play, and are exposed to unnecessarily early academics.  It asks us to look at the quality of the air, water, food, and products in the lives of today’s children. It asks us to support all families as they are, recognizing that one-size-fits-all guidelines don’t embrace diverse ways of being. To me, particular hope lies in research showing that free time spent playing in natural settings significantly improved the behavior and focus of ADHD children. The more natural and wilderness-like the area, the greater the improvement.

Our wonderfully distractible, messy, impulsive children may be trying to tell us something.

For more answers beyond the prescription bottle, check out:

Ritalin Nation: Rapid-Fire Culture and the Transformation of Human Consciousness

The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child’s Problems into Strengths

Dreamers, Discoverers & Dynamos: How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored and Having Problems in School (Formerly Titled ‘The Edison Trait’)

ADHD Without Drugs – A Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD ~ By One of America’s Leading Integrative Pediatrician

Is This Your Child?

Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD

About the Author

Laura Grace Weldon is a non-violence educator and marginally useful farm wench who lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm. She’s the author of Free Range Learning. She edits books, contributes to a Wired site, and blogs about conscious living. Laura invites people to contribute their stories to her next book, Subversive Cooking. Please visit her excellent blog at www.lauragraceweldon.com.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Body, Community, Contributors, Earth, Education, Environment, Family, Guest Writers, Healthcare, Mind, Self, Society

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. jc says:

    These drugs are nothing more than chemical straight jackets for the kiddies. Most of the time they make them all emotional and distract the student with other symptoms.

  2. Joanne Italiano says:

    Went through the same thing with our oldest but prior to giving in to the likes of CHOP and A.I. duPont’s recommendations, I read Doris Rapp, M.D’s book, “Is This Your Child?” we went to her mentor, Dr. Francis Wakeman in Akron, OH for food/allergy testing. Corn, wheat, tomatoes, red dye; phenyol among other things were the culprits that would set my son off but it wasn’t the main culprit. Main culprit that MOM found, not the doctors, the root of all problems was that both my children were born with lyme disease and by the time I found it at 12 & 15 years old both children were dealing with neurolyme (lyme in the brain). Younger son ended up doing cyber school and graduated 2 years ago. Parents need to educate themselves and advocate for their children, and never, ever take one doctor’s (2,3, 4 or 5?) opinion or teacher’s opinion as “the” only answer. Never ignore that little voice, mom’s instinct, it has served me well over the years and it’s there for a reason!

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System

How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Industrial chemical-based agriculture, which produces the vast majority of US food crops, is actually destroying the soil that makes the growing of food possible in the first place.

This is not true in other countries. Worldwide, 70 percent of the food is grown in backyards or … More

August 11, 2014 | By | Reply More
How To Exit The Reincarnation System

How To Exit The Reincarnation System













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

We have all heard about the tunnel of light that our soul follows upon leaving the physical body, but what is the true meaning of the life review?  Why does a life review almost always involve having us continuously looping back into this … More

August 8, 2014 | By | 20 Replies More
Elon Musk Reveals Open Source Design for 14,000 Mile-an-Hour Vacuum Tube Railroad

Elon Musk Reveals Open Source Design for 14,000 Mile-an-Hour Vacuum Tube Railroad













Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Paypal co-creator and Tesla Motors Wunderkind thinks that California just wasted $63 billion on a mass transit rail that only goes 164 miles an hour when a 14,000-mile-an-hour pneumatic railroad could be built for 1/10th that amount … More

August 8, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Grounding Is a Key Mechanism by Which Your Body Maintains Health

Grounding Is a Key Mechanism by Which Your Body Maintains Health













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Have you ever noticed how good it feels to walk barefoot on a sandy beach, or in a forest? There is a reason for that—it’s called the grounding effect. The reason for this sense of well-being is due to the fact that you’re receiving a surge … More

August 7, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
The High Price of Cheap Factory Farmed Chicken

The High Price of Cheap Factory Farmed Chicken













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Demand for food at cheaper prices has dramatically altered the entire food chain. Today, food production revolves around efficiency—the ability to produce more for less.

This mindset has significant ramifications for both animal and human health, and the environment.

Today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including … More

July 31, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More

Activism Works

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site

A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

Shannon Rainey lives in a house that was built on top of a Superfund site in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

“I bought my house when I was 25, and thirty years later, I still can’t get out,” she told DeSmogBlog.

Rainey’s … More

June 23, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy

Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy













Michele Simon, EcoWatch
Waking Times

The East Coast has been getting most of the attention lately on the state by state effort to label genetically-engineered food. Vermont recently passed a bill and New York State’s bill is now moving. But let’s not forget about the western states, which are also … More

June 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More