Welcome to Planet Katie
Desperate for attention, Katie H is out there spouting her views again – sadly no one has told her of Mr Lincoln’s quote – “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”
Here are just a few extracts from “Planet Katie – population one”’s latest piece de resistance
Prescriptions for ADHD medicines have soared by 50% in six years. I believe we are feeding a worrying appetite that is satiated only by a prescription for a medical condition.
Actually, NHS prescriptions for methylphenidate drugs, including Ritalin, rose from 420,000 in 2007 to 657,000 last year, the Care Quality Commission said. That’s just over a third, not half.
Instead of accepting a problem and agreeing to do something about it, we seek a quick diagnosis (most made in under seven minutes) and a bottle of rattling pills to make it go away.
The official list of symptoms which healthcare professionals use to diagnose ADHD (diagnostic criteria DSM-IV1 or ICD-10)state that: –
The child must display either inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity (or both) and symptoms must have been present for at least 6 months.
- Inattention. Usually at least 6 symptoms are seen.
- Fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless errors in schoolwork, work or other activities
- Has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play
- Doesn’t appear to listen when being told something
- Neither follows through on instructions nor completes chores, schoolwork, or jobs (not due to failure to understand or a deliberate attempt to disobey)
- Has trouble organising activities and tasks
- Dislikes or avoids tasks that involve sustained mental effort (homework, schoolwork)
- Loses materials needed for activities (assignments, books, pencils, tools, toys)
- Easily distracted by irrelevant information
- Hyperactivity-Impulsivity. Usually at least 6 symptoms are seen.
- Squirms in seat or fidgets
- Inappropriately leaves seat
- Inappropriately runs or climbs (in adolescents or adults, there may be only a subjective feeling of restlessness)
- Has trouble quietly playing or engaging in leisure activity
- Appears driven or “on the go”
- Talks excessively
- Answers questions before they have been completely asked
- Has trouble waiting his/her turn
- Interrupts others
- Symptoms begin before age 7
- Symptoms must be present in at least 2 places, such as school, work or home
- The disorder negatively affects school, social or occupational functioning
- The symptoms do not occur solely due to a psychotic disorder (such as schizophrenia)
- The symptoms are not better explained by an alternative disorder (such as a mood, anxiety or personality disorder)
Even with the best will in the world, the most efficient practitioners could not diagnose ADHD within 7 minutes
In many cases, medication seems to be more about making life easier for the parent than relieving symptoms for the benefit of the child. Given this very modern phenomenon for ADHD, I would argue that for some children a lack of exercise, poor diet and absence of parental control is also an issue.
Diet: Research doesn’t support the theory that sugar can cause ADHD. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that sugar intake can affect the size of parts of a child’s brain, as is seen in patients with ADHD.
Parenting: ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. While researchers have been unable to find the exact cause of ADHD, they have discovered a distinct change in brain size and activity in children with ADHD. I am sure however, that Katie can explain how we can change brain size and activity with better parenting.
Lack of exercise: research has shown that the use of body-oriented methods of therapy are more effective in the treatment of ADHD than conventional motor exercises and the majority of parents are not qualified yoga instructors.
These were my personal favourites though….
A medical condition is a badge, absolving the wearer of any responsibility to deal with a problem, requiring in its place sympathy, compassion and support from the state.
For autism, it has become a necessity to have a diagnosis to access special school services.
Having a statement of SEN is essential to access special school services, not a diagnosis.
Don’t tease, Katie. With your infinite wisdom, please share with us in which country a medical condition brings sympathy, compassion and support from the state? In which country are we able to access special school services with just a diagnosis? Here in England, we need to have a statement of special educational needs which takes almost 26 weeks to get (if you are lucky enough not to get turned down) so if there is such a place where this process is unnecessary, then let us know
After reading Katie’s little jaunt into fiction, I stopped laughing and all I could think was that the only accurate part of the piece was that ADHD and Aspergers are special educational needs. They also both start with A.
Other words start with A but for some reason, Katie missed these out – antagonistic, arrogant, awry, assuming, attention-seeking and ass. Go on, take your pick!