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Join the search for the Top 40 misleading, dangerous or just plain stupid things ever said or written about ADHD.
The catalyst for this search is that in last week’s blog (21 June 2011) I invited Sydney paediatrician Professor Michael Kohn to justify his recent claim that ‘stimulant medication, like Ritalin, helped brain growth’ in ADHD children. (http://speedupsitstill.com/evidence-support-adhd-expert-prof-kohns-claim-amphetamines-aid-brain-development) Unfortunately Professor Kohn has not yet taken up the opportunity to provide evidence to support his astonishing claim.
Subsequently readers have asked me in light of the longstanding evidence that drugs like dexamphetamine and Ritalin impair brain development, is Prof Kohn’s claim is among the most misleading and dangerous assertions about ADHD I have heard? Possibly, but I think it is only fair to give Professor Kohn a little more time to justify his claim.
To date the most outrageous totally discredited statements I have heard or read include;
1- “This [dexamphetamine] is not addictive stuff. In fact, I wish it was a little more addictive so that my younger patients would remember to take it rather than having to be reminded by their long-suffering parents.”– Perth psychiatrist Dr Roger Patterson1
2- “Fidgeting and foot movements (known in our research setting as ‘Wender’s sign’) are very common signs of hyperactivity in adult ADHD patients – so much so that such patients can usually be diagnosed in the waiting room by a knowledgeable receptionist.”– Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Paul Wender.2
3- “A lot of people discovered they had ADHD by accident. For example, truckies who needed uppers to keep them awake while they were driving across the Nullarbor suddenly found that they were driving a whole lot better…when they were taking dexies.”3 – Michelle Toner then Executive Officer of the pharmaceutical company ADHD support group the Learning and Attentional Disorders Society of WA (LADS).4
And another cracker from Michelle Toner in the same TV interview
4- “In order to get a high equivalent to what people are taking [as] street speed, you would have to take close to 200 tablets [of dexamphetamine]. Children take 1 or 6 tablets a day and it is not addictive at all.’’5
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many even more outrageous statements out there (including the American Psychiatric Association 18 ADHD diagnostic criteria see http://speedupsitstill.com/dodgy-diagnosis).
Please join the on-going search for the Top 40, most incorrect, inaccurate, misleading, dishonest, dangerous or just plain stupid things every said or written about ADHD. Send details of statements you nominate to martinwhitely Please include as much detail as necessary to verify the authenticity of the statement. Your name will not be made public.
Martin Whitely MLA