On 18 Nov 1995 14:46:14 GMT,
John B. Zuckerman <johnz at cs.indiana.edu > wrote:
>Your report of your friend's experience is troubling. It is well
>known (to experts, that is) that ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion and
>that many other problems should be considered first, including LD and
>>But it is also almost unbelievable to me that an LASD school principal
>would behave that way. In this age of school psychologists, special
>education, teacher sensitivity training, etc., why would a principal
>not follow "correct procedure" and urge an expert assessment?
>Teachers (or principals) who diagnose are absolutely acting out of
>>I suspect you haven't accurately related all the facts in this matter.
>>Your characterization of ADHD as a "pop" diagnosis is hurtful and
>inaccurate. That's a very disparaging way of putting it.
Believe it or not, this sort of thing goes on more commonly than you
might imagine. It's easy for an elementary school teacher after
seeing a few similar cases to fall into the trap of believing that
they can spot ADHD a mile off. And because they are the ones who
tend to be the most directly affected, they can become pretty
insistent that the child be treated. Also, don't forget that almost
all people in education have at least some background in psychology,
including the psychology of abnormal personality.
Though it's widely believed that ADHD in children is a specific
medical syndrome, it's also an area of medicine and psychology in
which great controversy abounds. Part of this controversy is its
recent extension to adult behavior, where it has indeed taken on the
nature of a "pop" diagnosis. More widespread use of functional brain
imageing techniques such as rCBF, PET, SPECT, and fMRI might go a
long way to eliminating the more unsatisfactory aspects of diagnosis
based solely on symptomatology.