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

Della Noche dnoche at mail.wco.com
Tue Nov 21 02:08:53 EST 1995

pppnic at actrix.gen.nz (Nic Cave-Lynch) wrote:
>Della Noche wrote:
>>   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.
>>   The principal backed the teacher up.  My friend went to the school board 
>>   and pointed out that *no* physician or psychiatrist had been involved in 
>>   this decision - that her son was being prohibited from attending public 
>>   school based on a diagnosis and prescription recommendation made by an 
>>   elementary school teacher.  The school board censured both the principal 
>>   and the teacher.
>>   Things had gotten bad enough that the family didn't want their son to go 
>>   back to that school - transferred him and found that the *real* problem 
>>   was dyslexia which was then appropriately dealt with.
>>   He's doing fine now, although reading still requires extra effort for 
>>   him.
>>   Be careful!
>>   Della
>>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.

This was about 5 years ago in an area dominated by Mexican immigrants, 
although my friend and her family are Anglo-descended English-only 
speakers.  Trying to remember the name of the neighborhood - visited her 
there.  Somewhere in East LA.  (The name "Eagle something" comes to mind. 
 Is there an area in East LA with a name like that?)

 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

Yes.  I myself had a college instructor tell me that I was obviously 
having petit mal seizures in his classroom.  Actually I was working 2 
jobs and he was so boring that I kept falling asleep in his class.  Why 
he thought these were petit mal seizures I'll never know. Maybe he 
thought my head jerked oddly when I'd suddenly wake up and realize where 
I was.   I'm almost 50 now and *nobody* else has ever mentioned such a 
thing to me.
>>I suspect you haven't accurately related all the facts in this matter.

I only know what the two (mother and son) have related to me.  I've known 
her since 1969 and have found her reliable.
>>Your characterization of ADHD as a "pop" diagnosis is hurtful and
>>inaccurate.  That's a very disparaging way of putting it.
>>- John Z.
>>John Zuckerman
>>Indiana University

Sorry to be unclear - I meant "pop" in the sense that people can jump to 
it pretty quickly after reading an article or seeing Oprah without 
understanding there are a lot of physical and emotional problems that can 
manifest in similar ways.

Sorry to read about the New Zealand incident below. ]'

>Something very similar is happening here in NZ. A private school with an 
>Excellent reputation in the Wellington area recently refused a place to a boy 
>on the basis of the principal's judgement (based on a single meeting of an 
>interview while the kid was convalescent after flu) that he was hyperactive 
>and wouldn't be considered for admission without a prescription. He's not even 
>remotely hyperactive, by the way. So Yes, I do believe it can happen. Not 
>everyone follows the letter of the law, you know - they rely on us being too 
>cowed or worried about creating an unpleasant situation to do anything.

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