Posts Tagged ‘life parenting’

ADHD; Coffee, Tea or Me.

July 3, 2012

Coffee, Tea or Me was a book about Stewardesses who offered themselves up to serve customers in the airline business in the sixties. Seems the author thought no one was appreciating their efforts to serve patrons and all their customers thought about was their sexual fantasies.  It  is not like I believe anyone should have sexual fantasies about a sixty-seven year old man, I just feel under appreciated for describing  the future of the 11 million children diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.

I never predict a bleak future for those with ADD/ADHD. As a matter of fact I consider my 67 years on earth as fun with an adoring wife who died too young, two lovely successful children and three grandchildren that I adore. The only thing which prompts me to explore the issue at this time is that at least two of the three grandchildren have full blown ADD/ADHD as does my son-in-law. I am not trying to solve the world’s problems nor sell supplements, I am just trying to leave a legacy of information that would allow my family to live drug free and cope in a world dominated by office jobs.

So far, I have my family and a half dozen other followers who want to know the future of a lifetime of unmedicated ADD/ADHD and 10,999,990 who are ignoring their future and twice that number of parents who remain uninformed about the future of their children. Oh well, I still feel compelled to seek the solutions and document the path of ADD/ADHD just for my granddaughters alone as it has been a heck of a roller coaster ride for me dominated by love, romance and a sense of adventure. Some of it has been troublesome, some has been good, some unique but all has been one heck of an adventure.

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Growing out of ADHD: An Erroneous Concept

June 24, 2012

I am pretty much intolerant of junk science, shoddy research and uninformed opinions expressed as fact. Since the web is a total democracy, the banal comments following a well researched intelligent discussion on CNN or other well researched sites drive me nuts because everybody treats them as equally important to the main article and in a web democracy, everybody’s point of view is important even if it is ill informed and the person is a 17 year old cyber bully. However, that mini-rant is not the subject of today’s post.

While researching the current narrow topic of sexual addiction and ADHD, I was delighted to find a paper entitled  “Sexual Addiction and ADHD: Is There A Connection?” by Richard Blankenship and Mark Laaser published in 2004. This paper does an extensive review of scientific studies on the impact of ADHD on victims and the areas where scientific research is flawed or lacking. I believe that every person who has ADHD above the age of reason, every adult with ADHD and every person who has a child with ADHD should read this paper.

Unbelievable as it may seem to many this paper was written by two devout Christians. Blankenship is Director of North Atlanta Center for Christian Counseling, and Vice President of American Association of Certified Christian Sexual Addiction Specialists. Laaser is Director of Faithful and True Ministries, Bethesda Workshops, and President of American Association of Certified Christian Sexual Addiction Specialists. Seems ADHD is not just a problem with poor people who eat nasty food and bad parents, it crosses all socioeconomic and spiritual boundaries.

Of course one of the most comforting pieces of research relates ADHD with above average intelligence, but I already intuitively knew that. Thus, it agrees with my unscientific assessment of me, my family and my friends all peas in the same Mendelian pod.

The slightly less comforting assessment is that ADHD is a chronic lifelong condition which is under treated resulting in a huge loss in adult potential. From their paper:

ADHD if left untreated will metastasize into other disorders. ADHD untreated has been known to become conduct disorder in adolescence and antisocial personality disorder in adult years (Gresham, Lane, & Lambros, 2000). Left untreated, ADHD can also develop into substance and behavioral addictions. A Utah study revealed that 24% of male inmates had ADHD. Other studies have shown that up to 40% of people in minimum security prisons have disorders on the ADHD spectrum (McCallon, 1998).

Perhaps no study has revealed the magnitude of treating ADHD along with co-occurring disorders than that of Dr. Paul Wender. Wender was establishing through his study that ADHD is a lifelong condition and people do not outgrow it. In his study, when inmates were paroled they entered a program for a period of 6 months to 2 years. They were given medication and placed under the care of counselors, doctors, and support groups. National recidivism rates for people released from prison are approximately 60%. The inmates in this study had a two year recidivism rate of only 10%. Only one individual in the study had a new criminal charge while a few had parole violations. Many of these men had been diagnosed as children with ADHD but treatment did not continue past grade school years.

Some were told that they would outgrow ADHD after the teen years. None were being treated into their 20’s. 18% had discovered crystal meth from the meth labs that now exist in abundance. The methamphetamine had given them the ability to remain calm and focused. 20% were medicating with marijuana and heroin. More severe discipline will not change ADHD.

The guilt and shame families feel as they visit relatives in prison is incredible. Way too many were advised by people in the school system, counseling, and psychiatry that ADHD was a condition they would outgrow. Or, in the words of Dr. McCallon, medical director in the Colorado department of corrections “if he outgrew it, what is he doing in my prison?”

I know I couldn’t have said it any better even though I took the liberty of breaking this up in to shorter paragraphs so those with ADHD could take the time to read it.

The Definitive ADHD Sugar Experiment on Children

June 14, 2012

What would I consider a definitive experiment on the effect of Sugar on children with  ADHD?

As previously discussed in Part 1, much of the work on sugar and hyperactivity is flawed and does not translate to real life parenting. In Part 2 of this series, I discussed my 65 year relationship with Sugar, Me and ADHD. My proposed experiment on Sugar, Children and ADHD is based on real scientific evidence of the effect of sugar on the body and the way children with ADHD really behave. It is based on my 65 years of ADHD and my reaction to sugar of any type whether it’s honey, high fructose corn sugar, refined sugar or brown sugar when I binge on sugar, it is the same results every time.  (see the previous post.)

First I would select 30 controls who ares clinically screened for ADHD and do not have any symptoms of ADD or ADHD. Next I would find 30 kids who definitely have ADHD and are being medicated for the disease. All would be in the same age group, probably 10 to 12 years olds because they are naturally the wildest. Finally, if possible, I would try for a third group of kids who are clinically screened as having symptoms but the diseases is either undiagnosed or untreated.

Now the design of the experiment would be double-blind with groups split in half. Neither the observers nor the children would know which group would get sugar candy or the non sugar candy. The observers would also not know which children had ADHD diagnosed or not and which group was normal.

The experiment would be run in an area set up as a playground with swings climbing stuff etc. Each child would be fitted with a heartbeat monitor, a wrist blood pressure monitor and a number on their back and front to quickly identify the children. It would be explained to the children that they are free to sample any of four to six candies and eat as much as they want and they would be asked about which ones were their favorites.  When the children were not sampling, they could play as much as they wanted or just eat more candy.  The would be free to drink soda (sugar or sugar-free depending on the group) or water as they saw fit. This would be also monitored for each child.

There are no rules or constraints.  Some of the observers should focus on the amount consumed by each child and others on the behavior of the children.  All should act normal as some are medicated into normalcy, some have undiagnosed symptoms because they are apparently normal and the rest are normal. About every 30 minutes, the children should be seated and their blood pressure and pulse rate checked. Then they should be directed to the candy table  where they are asked which ones they tried and what their favorites are and encouraged to recheck. After that, there are again no rules and the children are free to sample more candy or play. After a couple of hours, all candy would be removed and the children would be monitored for blood pressure and heart rate for three half hour intervals and have access to water only. 

About two weeks later, the same experiment would be run again with the groups reversed so all are tested for sugar sensitivity.

I am not sure whether the ADHD children would all be hyperactive, but I would guess that for those who binged, there would be phases of increased energy, and hyperactivity without problems, followed by a crash and either passive or cranky behavior. (Can I go yet? Huh? Huh?) I am also not sure whether the Parents of the ADHD sugar group would have enough trust in scientists to return their children for the second half of the experiment.

The other possibility is for my Granddaughters to skew the test. I have ADHD and her husband does too so the probability is both girls do and depending on circumstances, there symptoms can be severe.  Both are unmedicated, but my daughter is careful about their sugar consumption and what the eat.  They have both been programmed to avoid sugar and all carbonated beverages.  The oldest one is obsessive about following the rules and when together, the little one follows her lead.   If together for this experiment, both would play until every drop of energy has been expended and then they would get disgustingly cranky on a sugar low as they would hot have eaten or drank anything but water during the experimenta period.

Not all humans are the same and not all children with ADHD are the same.