Flee from ADHD Protocol

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QUESTION: Our son is seven years old and in the second grade. His school went virtual this past spring and we see no end to it, not in the near term at least. When he was going to a brick-and-mortar schoolhouse, he did very well. Close to the top of his class, in fact.

Ever since last spring, however, he’s been in a slow decline. I have to stand over him to get him to do anything. His work is sloppy and his attitude is careless. When I brought this up to his teacher, she got the school psychologist involved. She says he’s exhibiting signs of ADHD and needs to be tested. I don’t like where this is going. Should I let them test him or not?

ANSWER: I strongly advise against it.

You and your son are in grave danger of becoming ensnared in The Protocol, which consists of a sham process that almost invariably results in a sham diagnosis that almost invariably leads to a medication that has never reliably outperformed placebos in clinical trials. Test, diagnose, medicate — that’s The Protocol, and the diagnosis in question is ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Although the mental health establishment claims that ADHD is a neurologically-based disorder involving such unproven things as biochemical imbalances and brain differences, the standard diagnostic test battery includes neither a neurological exam nor an analysis of the child’s nervous system chemistry.

The diagnosis of ADHD is made strictly on the basis of behavior, which essentially means the tests are superfluous, given in order to create the false impression that the diagnostic process is scientific. The fact is that once a child has been identified, the diagnosis is all but a given.

No one has ever conclusively proven that ADHD is – as claimed by nearly every online medical narrative — a “disease.” The behaviors – short attention span, impulsivity, etc — are certainly verifiable, but the connection between the behavior and a disease has never been established.

The disease model is invoked so as to justify prescribing medications that, to repeat, have never reliably outperformed placebos in clinical trials. In effect, the medications in question are costly placebos with unpredictable side effects including appetite suppression, anxiety, and depression. In the long run, “treatment” often consists solely of changing and adjusting said medication on a regular basis.

Once a child is placed on the merry-go-round that defines The Protocol, there is likelihood that he may never get off. I personally know folks who were diagnosed in elementary school and are still taking meds in their thirties. Furthermore, once a child has been identified, the pressure to get on the merry-go-round can be relentless.

I encourage you not to go there. Hire a tutor. If you’re able and feel up to it, pull him out of school and homeschool him. Enroll him in a private brick-and-mortar school. Move to the Fiji Islands.

Even if there was scientific validity to the diagnosis, the fact that your son had no problems in a three-dimensional classroom means he is suffering from nothing besides a combination of boredom and screen fatigue. He doesn’t need a diagnosis. He needs a classroom.

[Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com. Copyright 2020, John K. Rosemond]

3 COMMENTS

  1. ADHD is absolutely a real thing and getting medication for it helps people with it immensely.

    “I personally know folks who were diagnosed in elementary school and are still taking meds in their thirties.”

    You say this as if it’s a bad thing, ADHD is the result of people’s brains not making enough dopamine. From healthline.com

    “Dopamine allows us to regulate emotional responses and take action to achieve specific rewards. It’s responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward.

    Scientists have observed that levels of dopamine are different in people with ADHD than in those without ADHD. Researchers believe this difference is because neurons in the brain and nervous systems of people with unmedicated ADHD have lower concentrations of proteins called dopamine transporters. The concentration of these proteins is known as dopamine transporter density (DTD).”

    ADHD isn’t a curable disease, it’s something that people have to learn to live with. Some people need to take medication their whole lives to manage the symptoms, others don’t need to and find ways to workaround their symptoms. ADHD is not one thing, there is a sliding scale of severity. Medication is not always the right answer, but it shouldn’t be disregarded entirely.

    There is no harm in getting a test done to see if someone has ADHD, at the very least after you know what you’re dealing with. It is entirely possible that your son does not have ADHD and it’s just that not being able to see his friends and having school at home is having negative impacts on his ability to learn.

    There’s nothing wrong with having ADHD and there’s nothing wrong with taking medication for it. That’s not to say that everyone with ADHD needs medicine, medicine is only one part of managing ADHD. Tutors and organization systems can be very helpful as well.

  2. This is stupid. I live with two very wonderful adhd people; one is my stepson, and the other is his father. It runs in the family. I have witnessed the day and night difference between this child going to a brick and mortar school and bring unable to concentrate, sit still, or otherwise function in school, and him doing great when medicated. He’s expressed relief after getting his medication. His father has just gotten on medication for the first time in his life, and has also expressed intense relief. Mental illness are illnesses that need to be medicated your whole life long; there is nothing wrong with being on medication at 39. You don’t tell a diabetic that they should try to wean off their insulin just because they’ve been taking it their whole life. Is every depressed kid dealing with the pandemic adhd? No. But for the ones that genuinely are, leave them alone to improve their quality of life!