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ADHD Nation: Treatment And Prevention Through Music

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I will be discussing the facts, statistics, and misunderstandings regarding ADHD in the U.S., and how music can play a role in lowering the number of diagnoses.

You’ve heard about it in the news. You’ve read about it in the newspapers and it can be found anywhere on the Internet. It seems like there is a little nation of young people living within The United States Of America. As of August 2010, there have been 4.5 million children diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. You’ve heard the term ADD, but it actually doesn’t exist. I just want to clarify that when we use the acronym ADD, we are actually talking about Attenion Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

So does your child have ADHD? Do you know someone that has a child with the disorder? I’m sure you do. We all seem to know someone. It feels like the numbers of people diagnosed with the disorder are growing and that doctors are increasingly willing to prescribe medicine for it. In fact, there is a big discussion going on in the medical world about how many of the diagnosed children actually have ADHD.

One study by Todd Elder, economist at Michigan State University, argues that many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD simply because they are the youngest in their class. Using a sample of nearly 12,000 children, Elder examined the difference in ADHD diagnosis and medication rates between the youngest and oldest children in a grade. The data comes from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Cohort.

Elder’s study says that the youngest kindergartners were 60% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the oldest children in the same grade level. When those kids reached the fifth and eighth grades, the youngest ones were over twice as likely to be prescribed stimulants. In all, the Elder study discovered that about 20% of the 4.5 million kids currently identified as having ADHD have been likely misdiagnosed by doctors. Wow! That’s a lot.

If that’s true, then that means teachers, parents, and doctors are jumping to diagnose simply because the child shows the common symptoms. So let’s looks at the possible symptoms of ADHD:

1) has a hard time paying attention
2) tends to daydream a lot
3) does not seem to listen
4) is easily distracted from schoolwork or play
5) forgets things
6) is in constant motion or unable to stay seated
7) squirms or fidgets
8) talks too much
9) is not able to play quietly
10) acts and speaks without thinking
11) has trouble taking turns
12) interrupts others

As you read the list, you may even start to think that maybe you have ADHD! You can see from the list that a normally healthy child could have any number of these symptoms. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have the disorder. In fact, some of these symptoms aren’t really symptoms at all in my opinion, but simply misbehavior. In fact, Elder said that part of the reason why the children had these “symptoms” was because they were the youngest children in kindergarten and were emotionally and intellectually less mature than their slightly older peers.

So there are two types of children: the diagnosed and the misdiagnosed. And both are part of the ADD Nation. If this trend continues, we will have a population of people who cannot concentrate and achieve any goals or objectives. How will our nation compete against the rest of world when we become distracted by distractions? There must be a solution to first end the misdiagnoses and then to find a solution for preventing diagnoses. There’s got to be several solutions to this epidemic.

About The Musiconomy

  • http://www.addresources.org Kevand Topping

    Just read your article, very thought provoking. We just retweeted it to our organization ADD Resources, thanks for the piece.

  • http://www.TheMusiconomy.com Tony Margiotta

    Thank you! I’m glad people are finding it useful. We’ve got to stop this growing trend of diagnosed and misdiagnosed people. The more people that are aware of this, the better. I have a free information resource at The Musiconomy website for more. I can also be found on twitter so thanks for the retweet too!

  • Heidi Andersen

    It’s interesting to read about the other side of ADHD – I can’t believe that children are misdiagnosed when it comes to ADHD – let’s eliminate this tendency.

  • Leroy

    Bravo! Excellent article. IMO you are exactly right. Learning music and an instrument are powerful influences in a childs learning skilss and their ability to learn. And it is a big social advantage.

  • avds

    very great, nice article! Hope it will be beneficial for parents having adhd children

  • http://sound-add-adhd-treatment.com/ Torquoise

    ADHD natural remedies are gaining in popularity. This is because adults and children who take psychostimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall for ADHD experience mixed results and troubling side effects. As a result, there is an ongoing search for techniques or treatments that are effective, safe and life-changing. Moreover, music therapy for ADHD is an inexpensive self help technique backed up by strong scientific evidence.

    It seems rather unconventional, but music therapy is a legitimate health profession backed up by scientific research and practice. Everyone knows that music helps people relax. It is because music actually affects the brain. Music consists of sound energies of different frequencies. These different frequencies release healthy neurotransmitters which help you relax, be calm, focus,