Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Attention Deficit Brains Deficit? Not So.

Researchers have long debated whether ADHD, the most common psychiatric diagnosis given to disruptive children, is due to a brain deficit or to a delay in development. A recent study provides strong evidence that ADHD is more of a delay and not a problem with an abnormal brain.

National Institute of Mental Health and McGill University researchers, using imaging techniques, found there there is nothing deficit about these kids' brains. They are simply a little slow in the development department. This report, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains why many children outgrow their ADHD diagnosis in middle school or later.

Experts say the findings of this study could change the way parents, educators, doctors and scientists view and treat disruptive children. Stimulant medication will rev up the brain but is that the best possible treatment we can offer our children? They just might need to grow up a little and time will take care of that all on its own.

Maybe, just maybe, the real problem is the inappropriate maturity expectations place on young children as soon as they enter classrooms.

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