I have been writing about improving processing skills and behavior without medication since the early 1990's and have gotten a lot of great feedback and conversation from many parents I have connected with about this over the years. I am sad to say that looking back at that time, it was less of a problem than it seems to be now. With consistent commercial advertising of medications to the general public, something I might add, that used to be between Doctor and patient in the office, medication has become a common, daily thing for many people. We need to ask ourselves what benefit there has been to children using these products and has success been achieved or just the addition of lots of side effects.
I found this article which interested me as a person who has worked for several decades improving processing skills in kids without medication. It's not that I didn't work with kids who were already on meds. Just that they did not have to be on them to get the benefit of improved kils and focus. I thought you might find it interesting. After this article, you can get my take below.
Major Study Reveals ADHD Drugs Have Never Been Proven Safe or Effective
By Kelly Patricia O’Meara
November 13, 2014
"As if it isn’t bad enough that there is no science to support the reported brain abnormality, ADHD, further proof has recently been made public that reveals the bogus research used to sell dangerous and even life-threatening ADHD drugs.
A recent study lead by researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and several other institutions, concludes that the clinical trials for drugs approved as “treatment” for ADHD were not designed to assess adverse events or long-term safety and efficacy.
Literally millions of children have been prescribed ADHD drug “treatments” with virtually little to no understanding of the long-term safety or efficacy of the drugs. According to the information given in the study, two thirds of the 6.4 million American children (including 10,000 toddlers) diagnosed with the alleged ADHD are nothing short of a fraudulent life-threatening drug experiment.
These ADHD “treatments,” Methylphenidate (Ritalin) and Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine (Adderall) have long been known as “kiddie cocaine.” According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), ADHD drugs “produce discriminative stimulus effects similar to cocaine…; will substitute for each other and for cocaine in a number of paradigms…; and chronic high-dose administration of either drug in animals produces psychomotor stimulant toxicity including weight loss, stereotypic movements and death, and in clinical studies, they produce behavioral, psychological, subjective and reinforcing effects similar to cocaine.”
Other known serious, even life-threatening effects of these ADHD “treatments” include: abnormal heart rate/rhythm, depression, hallucinations, homicidal ideation, insomnia, irritability, hostility, mania/psychosis, seizures, stunted growth, stroke and sudden death to name a few.
This information has been known for years. There are 44 drug regulatory agency warnings issued by eight countries, warning that ADHD drugs/stimulants cause harmful side effects and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (MedWatch) reveals more than 17,000 adverse reactions connected to ADHD drugs between 2004-2012.
Ritalin pills and warning label.Knowledge of this information makes it even more questionable that only now has a study been conducted on the safety and long-term effects of ADHD “treatments,” especially in light of the study’s findings. Researchers identified 32 clinical trials used to obtain approval of ADHD drugs and found the following:
1. Eleven drugs (55%) were approved with less than 100 participants.
2. The median length of time that the drug was tested prior to its approval was only four weeks.
3. 38% of the drugs were actually approved with participants studied less than four weeks.
4. The median number of participants studied per drug was 75.
The study of clinical trial data for all approved ADHD drugs is important for two simple reasons. First, it is an admission that there is no medical or scientific proof that ADHD drugs are effective or safe. Secondly there is abundant evidence to prove that these drugs are dangerous, with 44 international drug regulatory agency warnings citing serious and even life-threatening side effects.
And lastly, but most importantly, there is not now, nor has there ever been, any medical or scientific test to show that any child diagnosed “ADHD” is suffering from a medical condition requiring drugs to “treat” it."
Kelly Patricia O’Meara is an award-winning former investigative reporter for the Washington Times’ Insight Magazine, penning dozens of articles exposing the fraud of psychiatric diagnosis and the dangers of the psychiatric drugs—including her ground-breaking 1999 cover story, “Guns & Doses,” exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed book, Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.
Link to the original article here
My take...Below are some of my older articles on this subject and my "take". Keep in mind that back when these were written, all the current information was not in yet. I was always a non meds treatment option, but did work with people who chose to medicate their kids. As I have evolved over the years, I studied much on how things like diet, sleep, exercise and happiness effected the symptoms and currently believe that these are physical things that definitely contribute to the genesis of symptoms called adhd. I continue to believe that habit change around diet, sleep, exercise, happiness and processing skill correction and training can be very effective in combating those symptoms. Click on each article to make it bigger.
Playing a musical instrument is one way to create better brain connections and better processing skills. It works by the same process as my exercises do to build a stronger brain, stronger processing skills and through that, less frustration and avoidance of school work and homework. Any time you combine senses and use more than one at a time, you are strengthening your skills. In a program like mine which uses similar tactics as playing a musical instrument, visual, auditory and motor skills are combined to create better processing skills like multi tasking, memory, speed, organization, distraction and frustration tolerance and analysis. I have been recommending playing musical instruments as a brain builder for decades to my clients. In the same way, those who want better musical skills can benefit from exercises that I do to help the brain connections be faster and better. This video explains nicely why that happens and I was excited to find it.
Fact: girls, both in the U.S. and around the world, do better in school than boys.
Girls earn higher grades in every subject, even ones like science where boys are conventionally thought to be superior. Using U.S. Census data, the Pew Research Center found that college enrollment rates for young women don’t just surpass those of young men, they’re climbing. While enrollment rates for young men have stayed flat since 1994.
The performance gender gap begins in kindergarten. As reported on The Atlantic, the children who do best in today’s academically oriented kindergarten classrooms (oh, how I wish my son could have a more play-oriented experience like the one I had!) demonstrate strong self-control and regulation. They raise their hands before they speak. They wait their turn. They listen to and follow the teacher’s instructions. They remain in their seats until told it’s time to stand.
A researcher at the University of Virginia found that the kids who had these skills were praised by teachers for paying attention, completing their work, and staying organized. The same researcher discovered that, on the whole, kindergarten-age girls are almost a full year ahead of boys when it comes to this kind of self-regulation.
Their advantage continues into young adulthood. Studies have found that in middle school, girls begin their homework earlier in the day and spend almost twice as long working on it than boys. Girls are more adept at reading and following directions. They are, in general, better at planning in advance for assignments.
In today’s education system, students need these traits to succeed. Portfolio-based assessments means that work is gathered and graded over time — kids can’t just cram for the final exam, they need to submit quality assignments on-time throughout the semester. In writing and reading workshops, teachers grade on process; students must demonstrate revision over several drafts of an analytic paper, for example. The cumulative failures that come from missing homework assignments or not participating in discussions pull down boys’ grades, which can have a negative effect on their overall engagement in school.
What works, in general, for boys? Taking tests, which fires up their competitive nature. The stress of high-stakes testing weakens girls’ performance, but it strengthens boys’. (Though this wasn’t the case for me. I hate test-taking! I’d much prefer a long creative assignment.)
The Atlantic reports that, in an effort to address the strengths of both girls and boys, one school in Minnesota changed it’s grading system. Students now get a “knowledge grade,” based on performance in tests, and a “life skills grade,” based on work habits, participation, and classroom behavior. They also stopped counting homework toward the final grade.
I like the sound of this, but this is just one example of how a positive change could be made. Another would be delaying the intense academic curriculum for a few years, until both boys and girls are able to complete it with success. We should not expect our five-year-olds to be able to sit at desks (or on a rug) for five hours a day practicing their letters and literacy. Nor should we be asking them to complete homework assignments. My son has encountered both of these things in his public school classroom.
Furthermore, boys need to be taught the advance planning and organization skills that seem to come more naturally to girls. When I was a middle school teacher, and later, as a tutor, I did just that. I instructed my students directly in how they should keep their work organized and neat, and how to move step-by-step through a project. It is unfair to expect students to do these things, but not educate them on how to do them.
What can parents do? Provide encouragement, especially when your boy is struggling, so that he doesn’t give up. Too often we raise our boys with a sense of privilege, as if everything will be alright for them even when they aren’t being their best selves, or working as diligently as they should be. We need to stop coddling our boys, and actually give them the help that they need. Besides direct instruction, they sometimes require gentle correction, and, more importantly, positive coaching, so that they don’t get frustrated.
I think that boys, more than girls, tend to want to destroy what they can’t understand, and they tune out when they feel they’re not able to be successful. I certainly see that in my own little boy. It’s important we keep our boys engaged and feeling good about school, and that we help them develop the work ethic that they’ll need to succeed academically and in life. Otherwise, these alarming trends will never reverse.
By Brian Gresko, for Babble.com
Link to original article here
My take: I have been saying this for decades. It is bad enough when they ask boys to fit into a system that is completely geared towards the way girls process things, but now it is even worse as they have begun to do away with all of the physical outlets that a boy has. Less time in Gym class. Recess times being shortened or taken out completely. Boys are wired to move and need physical activity. It is not fair to strap them to a desk and force them to process in ways that are less natural for them and then expect them to achieve. Worse yet, to punish them when they don't. You can also read my article "Is the Educational System Fair to Boys?"
Additionally, helping boys to learn to process information in ways they are not used to can be helpful as well. Contact me for more info on that.
What do you think?...
No electronics when we hang out as a family. That is our rule in our family and it is very strictly adhered to.
I get very sad when I see a family together out in the world and while we are goofing around with each other, they all have their faces lit up by the blue light of their electronics and no one is talking to each other. I know it is a fact of life in our world now, but I have serious concern about what this is teaching our children in terms of communication skills and being with other people.
Many of the kids I meet today seem more able to interface with a machine than with other kids and when they do meet other kids, electronics becomes the central theme.
I have no research to cite right now, but when I see horrible crmes perpetrated by kids in the news, that seem to have no humanity to them whatsoever, I cannot help but wonder about this. When someone acts more like a machine than a person, that isn't something that is inborn. For kids who play point of view shooting games with no real consequence, where the killing is random and fast, it just seems there could be a connection there. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.
I am happy that there do seem to be a growing number of families I am encountering now who are rejecting this and requiring more old fashioned kinds of activities that involve being with other people without electronics. Electronics have definitely been a help to modernize our lives. I just think that we need some balance with more humanness and communication through face to face and person to person contact.
Let me know what you think and if you agree with me here or maybe you don't and you think that electronics are the best thing ever. Let me know:
Does Your Child Get Stuck on Simultaneous Processing or The Ability to Handle More Than One Thing at a Time?
Simultaneous processing is the ability to handle more than one input at a time. This type of processing is used when a person needs to interrelate parts of a task to arrive at a correct solution. An important characteristic of simultaneous processing is that the parts do not have to be done in linear order—their position in the whole do not matter. Also the brain has a limited capacity as to how much information it can process at one time. Therefore, the number of operations that can be performed simultaneously is restricted. Simply…good simultaneous processing is the ability to handle more than one thing at a time and practicing the skill can improve it.
Many kids and adults get stuck or lost while trying to process too many things at the same time. It can create avoidance, frustration, anxiety, depression and a whole host of other problems. Practicing how to do it by starting slowly and then increasing amounts can not only make you feel more successful, but also make you feel better about yourself and any work you take on.
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How have you helped your child's processing today?