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Simple test for ADD????? Just a theory

John B. Zuckerman johnz at cs.indiana.edu
Mon Nov 20 09:20:12 EST 1995

In article <48n8m3$gau at ixnews2.ix.netcom.com> rlsrls at ix.netcom.com (Robert Searfoss ) writes:

   >In article <48dcdj$hsg at news.wco.com> Della Noche <dnoche at mail.wco.com>
   >You want to check out everything you can rather than just accepting a 
   >"pop" diagnosis....  A friend of mine was told by her son's fourth
   grade teacher at a Los Angeles public elemntary school that he would
   not be 
   >allowed to come to school unless he had a Ritalin Rx for what *she* 
   >thought was ADD.
   >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

   Preliminary research indicates that SOME individuals presenting ADD
   behaviors have a problem that may be called "constricted visual
   performance field".  This may be described as being something like
   tunnel vision. 

   More research is needed on this.  However it seems that some
   individuals being diagnosed as suffering ADD may have a vision field
   problem that can be easily shown.  Of course the visual field problem
   may be a result of the ADD, however there are a growing number of cases
   where, when the fields are expanded with various methods, including
   proper eyeglasses, the individual experiences considerable improvement.

   In summary:  Some of the individuals being treated for ADD are likely
   to have an easily shown visual field problem.  If it is only one in a
   hundred, it is worth taking five minutes with all of them to find out
   for that one.

I think it is highly unlikely that any significant number of children
diagnosed with ADHD owe their symptoms to this eye disorder.

In the first place, one would not expect to see developmentally
inappropriate signs of hyperactivity in these children, evidence for
which often goes back to _infancy_ in children diagnosed with ADHD.

Sure, it is unfortunate for the few individuals who do have this
problem (or a problem with gluten intolerance, other food allergies,
hypothyroidism, autism, etc.) to be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

But all these other causes combined can not explain the ADHD
phenomenon in the _vast majory_ of those who present the symptoms.

Finally, if the prevalence of the disorder you're desribing is
anywhere near 1:100, I think it would have been recognized long ago.

- John Z.

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