My name is Julia Langevin, and I am a Peachtree City native and current student at the University of Georgia.
I am writing in response to “Living with Children: What to Do About Our Son’s ADD Diagnosis?’ written by John Rosemond and posted on June 23, 2020.
First off, I want to commend you for reaching out about your son. I can tell you care immensely about him and want what’s truly best for him. I also want you to know why I am writing to you. I am a Peachtree City native currently at the University of Georgia pursuing my master’s in Social Work with a concentration in working with individuals, families, and groups. My biggest passions within the ﬁeld include clinical work and mental health, so Mr. Rosemond’s response to your letter caught my eye.
The truth is, I cannot tell you what would be best for your son and neither can Mr. Rosemond. Well-known groups such as the American Psychiatric Association have discouraged professionals from giving advice to individuals whom they have not conducted a formal evaluation with. This is exactly what Mr. Rosemond is trying to do, and not only is it unethical, it could also be dangerous for your son.
While I, just like Mr. Rosemond, have my own beliefs on ADD/ADHD and proper treatment, I will not share them with you. What I will say is that there is some controversy around the idea of a “chemical imbalance” causing mental disorders as this cannot necessarily be proven.
However, you can also ﬁnd several sources that show how brain scans of children with ADD/ADHD look different than those without. In addition to this, you can ﬁnd research on how medication can be beneﬁcial to those with ADD/ADHD. Overall, what I am trying to say is that you could ﬁnd plenty of information that agrees or disagrees with Mr. Rosemond.
Once again, I cannot tell you if your son actually has ADD/ADHD or needs medication. What I do know is that this condition, like other mental disorders, is very real, even if it cannot be “proven” like leukemia or another physical illness can.
While navigating all of the information available to you can be confusing or overwhelming, there are resources that can help. I strongly suggest you look at the information the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Resource Center on ADHD have, as those are well-known and respected groups with plenty of research that could aid you.
Mr. Rosemond cannot diagnose or tell you what your son does and does not need. Who can do this is a mental health professional who specializes in ADD/ADHD and can give your son a formal evaluation. Please get multiple opinions if you feel necessary and ask as many questions as needed. Your son seems to be a bright and intelligent child, and he deserves the best care possible.”
University of Georgia 2021
Master of Social Work student