Reichenberg-Ullman, Judyth and Robert Ullman. "An Epidemic of ADD or a Matter of Overdiagnosis?" http://184.108.40.206/libaray/books/ullman/chap3.htm
The article, "An Epidemic of ADD or a Matter of Overdiagnosis?," was also located on the World Wide Web using altavista. As stated above, many institutions are making the net more accessible to many people. The limitations to the usage of the internet are personal limitations rather than availability issues. This article can also be found in the book, Ritalin-Free Kids: Safe and Effective Homeopathic Medicine for ADD and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. The presence of the article in this book makes it even more accessible to a greater population since the book can be found in many local bookstores or public libraries.
"An Epidemic of ADD or a Matter of Overdiagnosis?" is presented in a way similar to that of a case study. The article initially introduces the group - homeopathic physicians, which includes the authors of the article. These physicians believe that it is not appropriate to lump so many differing symptoms into one syndrome and treat them with similar drugs. In other words, they believe that each child's symptoms should be treated individually. In developing this belief, three individuals, each author of a book, are introduced. The first of these doctors is Thomas Armstrong, author of The Myth of the ADD Child. He believes that ADD is a diagnosis aimed at forcing children to conform to behave according to society's expectations. The next person, who believes that no evidence exists that says the symptoms associated with ADD constitute a diagnosis or mental disorder, is Dr. Peter Breggin, author of Toxic Psychiatry and the War Against Children. The last person to be introduced is Dr. Stanley Greenspan, author of the Challenging Child. He believes that attention problems are due to visual, auditory, motor, and special processing difficulties - individual difficulties that are often misdiagnosed with ADD. After establishing the grounds for their group, the authors begin to examine other groups, such as the general group of physicians and mental health professionals. This group attribute ADD to an imbalance in transmitters within the brain. The authors quickly disengages the possibility of such a belief by presenting a group of researchers from the University of Georgia. This group says "A neurotransmitter imbalance is an impressive way to explain ADD, but remains questionable," (Reichenberg-Ullman, Judyth and Robert Ullman, p2). The authors proceed to explain what they believe is the cause of ADD by introducing yet another generalized group - highly technological society. Within this section, they talk about hi-tech gadgets, such as beeper, phones, Nintendo. They speak of our society as being overstimulated; "our society places little emphasis on tranquility, quiet, solitude, and the simply joy of being in nature " (Reichenberg-Ullman, Judyth and Robert Ullman, p3).
Throughout the remainder of the study, they mention several generalized groups. Teachers, being the first, are blamed for restricting children freedom and creativity. The authors support this with research from Drs. Armstrong and Breggin. Next they introduce the "precocious" children. The authors highly defend their characteristic behavior throughout that section. Finally, the generalized groups of parents and children are presented to determine the hereditary versus environmental factors of ADD. Within this section the authors also make mention of an abnormal gene associated with ADD discovered by researchers at the University of California.
The article, as stated above, basically follows the structure of a case study. However, it appears to be a slight conspiracy because the authors are represent ing a group about which they write, unlike any of the above articles. The reader knows that the data will be manipulated in such a way to prove the initial point - children need to be treating individually. Basically, the article starts by presenting the view of homeopathic doctors being that ADD is not an accurate diagnosis for many children. The children have individual difficulties which need to be addressed differently. They proceed to discuss three possible causes of ADD: neurotransmitters, an overstimulated society, and diet. Then, they tackle the political issue of controlling children in the classroom. They seem to think that teachers use ADD as a method to control their classroom in the wrong manner. The teachers are reducing creativity and imagination, but rather increasing similarity. They then address the issue of gifted children versus hyperactive children followed by the environmental-hereditary issue. They end with an unsurprising conclusion that each child or adult with ADD is an individual. After the reader has finished the article, he/she realizes that it was more irony than conspiracy because the authors admit at the end that their results are not surprising given their position - homeopathic doctors.
Due to the strong presentation of the article, I definitely believe that each child or adult diagnosed with ADD should be consider as an individual. The authors did an excellent of showing how each issue could be seen from several perspectives - leading to their belief that the is no right or wrong answer; no answer is set in stone. I think that if I had ADD I would be extremely supportive of these authors because when you are sick, you want to be seen as an individual, not just clumped into some random group of people, who may or may not have similar symptoms as you. On the other hand, I don't think that I would be so quick to support this article if I were a doctor or researcher on either side of the fence.
Reviewer: Lekisha Jackson