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Company Claims EEG Scans Can Help Identify ADHD

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the phrenologists-hadn't-quite-got-the-patter-down dept.

Biotech 373

Al writes "Technology Review has an article about a company hoping to expand the clinical use of electroencephalography. Thanks to better sensor technologies, data-processing techniques, and more detailed knowledge of the brain, EEG is expanding into completely new areas. A startup called ElMindA, is developing an EEG system to help doctors diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Scientists have also used ElMindA's system to characterize brain-activity patterns in patients with ADHD, identifying statistical parameters that differ between normal people and those with ADHD." If "normal people" can sit through high-school classes without being distracted and grumpy, count me out.

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get rid of shitty teachers (4, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097457)

As someone who's been 'diagnosed' with ADHD, I can confidently say that the solution to this 'problem' isn't putting kids on amphetamines, it's to fire the horrible teachers that make learning a horrible, horrible chore.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (3, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097491)

As someone who's been 'diagnosed' with ADHD, I can confidently say that the solution to this 'problem' isn't putting kids on amphetamines, it's to fire the horrible teachers that make learning a horrible, horrible chore.

I agree. I was 'diagnosed' with it as well. As long as I had a very interesting teacher I was attentive. Interesting can be replaced with "attractive and female," as well.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (5, Funny)

everett (154868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098129)

I was going to write a well thought out post about how I was also diagnosed with ADHD, but then I went outside to ride bikes instead.

Interrupting activity to ride bikes != ADHD (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098561)

I was going to write a well thought out post about how I was also diagnosed with ADHD, but then I went outside to ride bikes instead.

Let me guess: you realized that it was getting late, and you had to jump on your bike to get to the office.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098651)

You and the parent are fools. Think of all the money you can make selling your prescription speed!

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097501)

it's to fire the horrible teachers that make learning a horrible, horrible chore.

No, fire the higher-ups who insist that schools must cater to the lowest common denominator and teach to the standardized test.

...And bring back the paddle.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097533)

As someone who is in those classes, I say don't bring back the paddle.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097945)

Unless it was my middle-school French teacher who was doing the paddling. Woo-hoo!

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (2, Funny)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098675)

Was he really that hot?

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097657)

No, fire the higher-ups who insist that schools must cater to the lowest common denominator and teach to the standardized test.

No surprise there. Tobacco is legal for sale and it's packed with shit like arsenic and benzene. Of course, you have folks out there [slashdot.org] who are banning hemp because marijuana gets people high. But they should go after the malt liquor industry if they want to catch the low-hanging fruit. There's no way in hell that Miller Lite [wikipedia.org] and Coors [wikipedia.org] are just barley, hops, and yeast. They cause psychotropic effects similar to PCP [slashdot.org] .

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097725)

Hah! You're batshit crazy, Smidge, but I still love you.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097797)

One problem is the "no child left behind" philosophy, which can also equate to "no child too far ahead"

-- gid

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097821)

No, fire the parents.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097841)

Bring back the paddle? I don't think abuse is the answer. Besides, the school can't play disciplinarian if there's no discipline at home. It just won't work. Just kick the kids out if they're not manageable. Let people home school. The results will be depressing in many cases, but at least they won't drag down those in the education system for education. (Sure, it's also indoctrination, but it's still more useful than no education.)

Parental involvement is overwhelmingly what is missing in education today. No Child Left Behind should have resulted in riots in the streets, or at least at PTA meetings.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (2, Insightful)

sheph (955019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098601)

I don't recall anyone saying anything about abuse. A paddle is just a tool. It can be used to play ping pong, and it can be used to correct behavior (to a certain degree). As long as it's not being used maliciously I don't see the problem with it. I like some of your other ideas though. It's true that if there's no discipline going on at home there will be no hope that it would succeed in school. Sometimes though there are kids that will do and say things at school that they would never dream of at home. Perhaps if there were some form of consequeces it might be beneficial to those kids.

I sense that you are mixing home schooling as a punishement with home schooling as a choice. Why would the results of home schooling be depressing in many cases? The only way I could see that being true is if the parents don't care, but if that's the case then it wouldn't matter what environment the child was in. It would be better for those in the educational system if those individuls weren't there.

On the other hand kids who are home schooled by parental choice can become much better prepared to function in the real world. Indoctrination is more indicative of what is happening in the public school system than in those who are home schooled. Independent thinking and tolerance are highly encouraged unless you happen to hold beliefs contrary to the status quo. Then you quickly become educated in just how closed minded and biggoted some of these enlightened folks can be. I've seen it here on /. as well.

As for the topic itself I'm not a big fan of slapping a label on some kid because he doesn't quite fit in with the norm. I often wonder how great minds like Einstein, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln would be viewed through the lenses of today's society. Without their greatness they may have never been given the opportunity to succeed. It seems like the educational system as a whole is just lazy. Both intellectually as well as physically. They don't want to take the time to get to the bottom of things. Slap a quick fix on it, teach assumptions as though they were fact, and beat down anyone that doesn't agree or has a different idea. If you look at the situation honestly it's not hard to figure out why we are where we are as a society.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098715)

I sense that you are mixing home schooling as a punishement with home schooling as a choice. Why would the results of home schooling be depressing in many cases? The only way I could see that being true is if the parents don't care, but if that's the case then it wouldn't matter what environment the child was in. It would be better for those in the educational system if those individuls weren't there.

That's basically exactly what I read it as GP said. If the parents don't care enough to help the kid do well in school, they're not going to help them do well in home schooling.

On the other hand kids who are home schooled by parental choice can become much better prepared to function in the real world. Indoctrination is more indicative of what is happening in the public school system than in those who are home schooled.

Um... I hate to burst your bubble, but the vast majority of home schooled students are taught so because their parents don't want them picking up "incorrect ideas" such as "evolution," "all races are equal," and more. It's not just religious whackjobs, it's whackjobs period who do the majority of homeschooling, nowadays. The best way to indoctrinate your kid is to make sure you're the one feeding them all the information.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (4, Insightful)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097509)

Is it the teachers that are shitty, or is it an educational system that demands teachers teach a certain way?

Anecdotally, a community college professor in my area (who holds a PhD) was fired because his classes were "too interactive", and he allowed students to "ask too many questions". To me, it sounds like he was doing his job: Helping the students learn.

In his case, the college wanted professors to stick to the lesson plan that had been handed down from the administration.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098485)

I think the biggest problem is thanks to teacher's unions, schools can't kick out the bad teachers, teaching isn't a competitive profession. You get a school you work at, you get the children "zoned" for your school.. I bet if schools had to compete for their money, they'd be a whole lot better.

I'm home schooling my boys for this exact reason. I'm sure they would be "diagnosed ADHD", but I would have been also. So my wife can do a much better job at teaching them what they need to know. Also the fact that she KNOWS their strengths and weaknesses. Like how my 5 yr old doesn't need any help learning to read maps, he learns just fine himself, also WoW and Guild Wars have helped him in that area. But being able to relate to the child is key. Like "Road Trip" guy said, (i'm guessing but you get the idea) "I can teach physics to a monkey, I just have to know how to relate it to him"... Each child relates things differently, that's why teaching a class of 40 kids doesn't always come out best in the end.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098583)

Is it the teachers that are shitty, or is it an educational system that demands teachers teach a certain way?

It's definitely the system. The 40's and 50's brought massive application of B.F. Skinner's methods to the public education system. The less said about the 60's, the better. The 70's gave us the "gift" of "Mastery Learning", which focuses on by-the-numbers learning instead of independent thinking. The 80's continued this disturbing trend with "Results-Based Education" (later renamed to "Outcome-Based Education" to avoid criticism. Ah, semantics.). And the 90's through the millennium saw the application of principles such as "No Child Left Behind", social promotion, curve-based grading, and other bullshit methods for accepting failure and passing it as achievement.

And now, we have an education system that is thoroughly and completely fucked.

American teens' test scores are consistently around the 25th place compared to the rest of the world. (And this is considering the fact that the vast majority of public education is geared towards "teaching to the test", with special prep courses and example tests given out. Even when we cheat, we're still losing. Badly.)

I count myself lucky to have gotten a European education - and a first-hand look at the difference between that and American public education system. Having seen the system from the outside and from within, I can safely say that unless we drop the liberal (not Liberal as in political party, but liberal in the socioeconomic sense, settle down) bullshit of OBE, NCLB, SCANS, and all the other mediocrity-promoting crap, we'll soon be left in the dust.

Of course, this will never happen as long as the teachers' unions are in power, and as long as the politicians can sell the same bullshit to the public year after year.

No, I don't have a solution. And I'm not qualified to offer one, either. Just throwing my opinion out there; mod it as you wish.

P.S. Check out Charlotte Iserbyt's excellent "The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America" (all over Amazon [amazon.com] and a free download at http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/ [deliberate...ngdown.com] (6 MB PDF, about 520 pages).

P.P.S. By the way, Akido37, your local professor isn't the only one who's gotten in trouble for teaching "to the brain" instead of "to the test". There are at least 20 (that I've come across personally) well-documented cases around the country.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098705)

In his case, the college wanted professors to stick to the lesson plan that had been handed down from the administration.

That's a transfer credit acceptance issue.

If that professor deviates too much from the established curriculum, then it is possible that four-year colleges will not accept that course for credit at their institution.

I had this problem; I took three classes at the local community college while in high school, and I had to fight to get my college (after I graduated high school) to recognize the credits from two of the classes.

Sometimes community colleges have credit transfer agreements with state schools -- but this is also dependent on the curriculum.

In short CC professors are screwed when it comes to deciding what to teach -- obligations of the CC to have their credits accepted elsewhere are what defines the curricula.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097595)

It is a million times easier to give kids drugs with harmful side effects then face the teachers union. I am pretty sure the Teachers Union owns the rights to "Won't someone please think of the children!"

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098401)


Not just easier, but more profitable too. Never forget the second motive.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (5, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097665)

ADD isn't necessarily about school; it's about having the ability to pay attention and structure thoughts into actions. I was diagnosed with ADD at a young age and thought it was bullshit until I got to college because I was smart enough that I didn't need to pay attention to get good grades. When the ideas I needed to pick up were complex enough that I couldn't infer them on my own (data structures, anyone?), I noticed that I would listen intently to my professor in a class I enjoyed and come out with no idea what we just talked about.

Now in the "adult" world (it disappoints me that many adult are overgrown children), I know ADD is real because I'm certainly smart enough to write code that implements business rules, but I often lose track of important conversations. I constantly end up asking not for clarification of a topic, but just to hear things restated verbatim because the words went in one ear and out the other.

Your psychiatrist may be an irresponsible dirtbag that just throws stimulants at everything that comes through his door; incompetence is rampant in every profession. This does not mean that the body of established evidence for the existence and treatment of ADD is wrong.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (2)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098101)

That doesn't sound like ADD, it's just the results of stress. My wife was diagnosed with stress and those are the *exact* symptoms.. she'd be in the middle of a conversation and forget how it started. She really hated the effect when raiding... she couldn't hold enough information to be able to remember tactics.

I've seen the proper clinical form of ADD and you wouldn't need an EEG to diagnose it - those with it are, to put it politely, 'socially disfunctional' to the point that if you saw it you'd know something was wrong immediately. There are, alas, rather a large number of doctors who use it as a catch all for 'a bit hyperactive' leading to the widespread impression that it doesn't exist at all.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098325)

That doesn't sound like ADD, it's just the results of stress. My wife was diagnosed with stress and those are the *exact* symptoms.. she'd be in the middle of a conversation and forget how it started. She really hated the effect when raiding... she couldn't hold enough information to be able to remember tactics.

The major difference being the the ADD/ADHD folks can focus fantastically well on something that interests them (like raiding for example).

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098593)


It also sounds like he was done a bit of a disservice at school. I also didn't have to work very much to learn until I reached university level. Consequently, University hit me hard as I spent far too much time partying and socialising not realising that I couldn't coast through most of my units anymore. If I had been pushed further at school, I might have had a less rocky first year. The same might be true of the GP that if higher standards had forced him to focus more as a child, that ability would have lasted into adulthood. I agree it doesn't sound much like ADD, but then most diagnosed ADD doesn't sound like ADD to me, just a conn to sell drugs to kids and something that over-concerned parents can hang their worries on.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (2)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098139)

I think that you have a good, pragmatic take on ADD diagnosis and treatment, but on the flip-side, how much more productive are you than many of your non-ADD co-workers simply due to your intelligence and ability to easily grasp concepts and problem-solve? And how many times were you penalized for being a "bad listener" and having "poor self-control" in your educational environment? Do you think that there are better ways to treat and guide people with ADHD as youngsters? Remember that a higher-than-average IQ is also a symptom of many people with ADD.

My feeling is that billions of dollars of productivity is lost in our system because people don't take the time to properly understand or educate those with ADD early-on in their lives. I think you know as well as I how well people with ADHD can focus on something when they're properly motivated to do so.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (5, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098303)

My own anecdotes.

I do think that it's getting over diagnosed these days, but I was diagnosed with it "back in the day". I thank my parents when I can for not putting me on anything.

Even when I'm running the meetings I will find I will stare directly at the person talking and have no clue what they were talking about because in the last 30 seconds my mind has been on 50 different subjects, mostly about other work I'm doing.

ADHD is akin to having a little buzzer in your head that tells you you have to switch tasks or at least what you're thinking about. Some (good) days the timer is set to a nice 5 minutes. Meaning I can get in a solid 5 minutes of programming. Worst case days it's set at 30 seconds. Meaning every 30 seconds I have to switch what I'm either thinking about or doing. If I'm in the middle of a line of code. I have to check my e-mail. Go to the bathroom. Look around the room. Wonder why the light in that socket is out. Read the posters in my cube. Look at other peoples posters. EVERY 30 SECONDS. Having concurrent 'things' going helps. (Watching movies, etc) because I can listen to the movie and still keep working on what I'm working on.

I agree, it's hard for even 'normal' people to concentrate on boring stuff. The difference is that there are times that there are things I enjoy and should be concentrating on. Worst case scenario is sex. (And this should trigger some +5 Funny's at my expense) But there are some times where my mind is jumping to what is that noise downstairs, did I switch over the laundry, what am I having for dinner, etc. And trust me, it's not fun.

I'm looking at going back to grad school, and I honestly don't think I'd be able to do it. I'm going to talk to my primary care physician and see if I can test out some of the ADHD drugs. If they improve my concentration at work. I just don't want something that takes a while to 'build up'. I more or less want to be able to say "this is a concentration day" pop a pill in the morning and concentrate at work, and on the weekends be able to do my own thing.

(Since starting this post. I've responded to 2 business & 4 personal e-mails. Checked when the best time to plant garlic is (came up this weekend). Updated the mysql pages for a website I run. Opened 3 other php files. Opened the Facebook API page. And launched 2 instances of Matlab. I have 3 rows in my Windows task bar full.)

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097685)

Rather than turning this into the standard ADHD/education discussion, might we come up with ways that educators can use the early data on brain patterns to better educate those with ADHD? Everyone with ADHD (including myself) knows of the HUGE shortcomings of our education system for ALL students, not just the ones with high IQs and an attention span of 0.2 seconds.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (5, Insightful)

SolarStorm (991940) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097927)

As a former teacher, I can agree that there are some poor teachers, but there are also poor mechanics, ditch diggers, and doctors. Remember 50% of the doctors (or teachers) are below average. That being said, 50% of the PARENTS are below average. My point is that a teacher only has a child for a max of 6 hrs per day or 30 hrs per week. In today's world there are so many couples that spend the "required" 6 weeks at home to qualify them as a parent and then get daycare, grandma, etc to raise their child. Then are disappointed when the child has no direction. ADD becomes a quick solution. By labeling ADD parents are relieved of their responsibility because now their child has a disease. Some actually do! Many don't. So before we hang the education system I ask: Are you willing to spend more on education to attract better quality teachers? And, are you willing to take more responsibility for your own childs actions and development?

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097993)

Great comment. Could you suggest a better way to educate children with broad-spectrum ADHD?

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

SolarStorm (991940) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098225)

The biggest problem we have with our education system is funding. Education costs money. I left because of the BS, parents willing to blame me for their childs issues when I taught them for all of 2 hrs per week?, and the fact that I could earn two to three times as much as a software developer. Simply wasnt worth it. A better way... I dont have the training to fully understand the disorder. I believe before I give advice, I should have a SOLID understanding of the issue. I taught high school, my wife taught elementary and junior high (middle school for the US readers). I can tell you the the Teachers Aides that were assigned to any of the handicapped students were in over their head 50% of the time. Quite often, under trained and overworked. Again it comes back to funding. Someone has to pay the bill, for qualified trained help. Failing that, a teacher can only do so much and then it is upto the parent to take over and get the training themselves. Not an easy solution, but the only one I know of...

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098411)

I remember reading (The Economist?) that there is a clear correlation between the respect shown to teachers in a society (generally linked to salaries) and the performance of children in international tests/competitions.

Maybe that's why my teacher brother can make 90K (CDN) a year, while I get 2/3 that as a software developer.

(I was making more at a much more stressful job; I took a $15K pay cut for the quality of life. Regardless, he still out-earned me.)

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098445)

Funding **is not** the problem.

Schools have received more and more and more money over the years, with the results either A) no improvement or B) little improvement.

To repeat, funding is not the problem.

It is the methods of teaching and what is being taught.

Schools have turned into little more than indoctrination clinics compared to what they were in the 60s, prior to "New Math" and the like.

I was in grade school in the transition period to "New Math" and the like. It always made me wonder what was wrong with "Old Math", so to speak.

We need to teach the basics and the reason(s) why these are being taught to the people that are learning, amongst other changes. One big change, les money for school administrations (and their administrators) and more into teachers and materials to teach with, would be a good start, then tackle the rest.

ADHD is nothing more than a voted on condition that psychiatrists and school systems (money for disabled or special education children) to be a cash cow for them. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098479)

So before we hang the education system I ask: Are you willing to spend more on education to attract better quality teachers? And, are you willing to take more responsibility for your own childs actions and development?

Yes and especially yes.

What parents need to realize, as obvious as it should be, is that the way you raise your kids affects them for their entire life after they've become adults. You can bet your ass I'm going to do everything I can to ensure they absorb the right information to shape them into well-mannered, productive people in society (including spending the money to send them to a school that isn't just a glorified daycare). That's you're responsibility as a parent and if you fail at this, you've failed your children.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097939)

As someone who's been 'diagnosed' with ADHD, I can confidently say that the solution to this 'problem' isn't putting kids on amphetamines, it's to fire the horrible teachers that make learning a horrible, horrible chore.

cool...let's ride bikes!

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097947)

I used to work extensively with kids, mostly in summer programs. I described the effects of ADHD as follows:

A kid with ADHD will tend to run around like crazy screaming their head off, will have a short attention span, and may not notice when you tell them something. A kid without ADHD, by contrast, will tend to run around like crazy screaming their head off, will have a short attention span, and may not notice when you tell them something.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098175)

I used to work extensively with kids, mostly in summer programs. I described the effects of ADHD as follows:

A kid with ADHD will tend to run around like crazy screaming their head off, will have a short attention span, and may not notice when you tell them something. A kid without ADHD, by contrast, will tend to run around like crazy screaming their head off, will have a short attention span, and may not notice when you tell them something.

Its really great that you're so understanding towards people with ADHD. People like you really are great to have around if you have ADHD.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098421)

My point was that ADHD often is really an issue of adults expecting kids to behave like adults rather than behave like kids. For instance, kids attention spans are naturally shorter than adults, they naturally tend to move quicker than adults do, and tend to make a lot of noise and be a bit clumsy. All of which are considered important traits in ADHD diagnosis.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098453)

The tricky part is ADHD is a clinical diagnosis. There is no authoritative test to determine if someone has it or not (at least not yet). So people tend to just read Wikipedia and diagnose themselves. But back before being ADHD was, for lack of a better word, 'trendy' it was pretty clear which kids had the problem.

Those kids were not simply running around and not paying attention, they were incapable of doing so. With a non-ADHD kid you could entice them with treats, or threaten them with punishment and they would behave (at least for awhile). But the ADHD children simply could not do it. No matter what the consequence. Even if you said 'I will buy you a new [insert highly coveted toy here] if you just be quite and sit still for 15 minutes', it was just beyond their ability.

But these days, parents will convince themselves that it's not their poor parenting or terrible home life making their children act up. Their children must have this ADHD they have heard so much about. Yeah that's it. See? It's not my fault....my kid's special. So they will go to doctor after doctor until they one who will give them the diagnosis (and the drugs) they are looking for.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098599)

Those kids were not simply running around and not paying attention, they were incapable of doing so. With a non-ADHD kid you could entice them with treats, or threaten them with punishment and they would behave (at least for awhile). But the ADHD children simply could not do it.

I had a fairly sure-fire way of getting ADHD kids to behave: get them focused on something that was interesting to them. And yes, that something may not have been what you originally had planned for them to be doing.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (2, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098171)

it's to fire the horrible teachers that make learning a horrible, horrible chore.

Thanks to the "No Child Left Behind" program, their current goal is to fire all teachers who are not creating a horrible learning environment.

If a school receives federal education dollars, its impossible for them to do anything other than teach how to take a test.

Don't blame your teachers, blame your government!

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098283)

ADHD is real. I know.. I have it... tons of kids are misdiagnosed.. but it's real and it can be tested for using tests simliar to IQ tests.

I've been on ritalin since 2nd grade (I'm 32 now) and it literally changed my life... I became a straight A student almost overnight and graduated with an engineering degree from a top 5 engineering school....

I will say that my wife didn't believe ADHD was real either until she met me

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098315)

Rubbish! You have never been diagnosed with ADHD. Maybe your teachers were bad, maybe you were an obnoxious asshole - I don't care. I do care about my present pupils, though. This year, of 120, only two are diagnosed with ADHD by doctors. One of them is very intelligent, unable to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time, and unable to control his impulses. He does not use amphetamines, but maybe they would have helped this intelligent young man to learn something others believe would be beneficial to him in adult life? I don't know. I teach, I don't diagnose or prescribe. The other one is not very intelligent, in fact quite childlike - socially several years behind his classmates. He uses amphetamines, and this has helped him no end. He says himself: "I don't want to become the baddest boy in school ever again." Oh, and learning _is_ a chore, so shut the fuck up.

Re:get rid of shitty teachers (0)

TooMad (967091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098559)

Or you could take responsibility for your own problems. I don't mean drugs, that is just as bad. Each individual is going be different and needs to be taught how to focus if they don't fall within the norm.

Overdiagnosis... (3, Insightful)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097467)

If enough people are diagnosed with ADHD, when does it become "normal"?

Re:Overdiagnosis... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097669)

When they can't make money selling drugs for it.

Everyone knows the most accurate ADHD diagnosis (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097479)

...is made by kirlian photography.

Normies (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097531)

...normal people and those with ADHD.

The last normal person was born a decade ago. Since then, every child born has either ADHD or some other kind of learning difference preventing them from being able to pay attention. It has nothing to do with the education system or the fact that it has failed to reach out to modern yo--Ooh! A puppy!

I dont get it? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097553)

If "normal people" can sit through high-school classes without being distracted and grumpy, count me out.
So you don't want to be happy and focused? When you grumpy and distracted you are in no ways focusing on learning material. And probably distracting others from learning too.

Re:I dont get it? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097627)

The problem is most high school courses are courses that have no point in the real world. No one especially not at 16, 17 or 18 cares to know about something that doesn't matter, especially when its taught by an uninteresting teacher who can't teach.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098039)

To paraphrase the great Walter Biship, "It only doesn't matter, until it does."

Re:I dont get it? (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098119)

Well, here's the real problem. You don't know what point anything has in the real world. Never. Particularly, not at the age of 17. But even at the age of 47, or 77. Because the real world changes, and the most interesting changes take directions you can't even fantasize about, let alone accurately predict.

So, to write off any knowledge as irrelevant is short-sighted and foolish. When you ultimately need to know it, you may not have time to learn it.

Learn everything. There's no good excuse not to.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098237)

But if someone is good at one thing, does it well throughout life, they will usually have a job when their current industry is destroyed because a second industry often larger emerges from the ashes of the first.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098565)

You live in a modern, technologically advanced society. Science has a point. Biology has a point. Knowing how government and the financial and legal systems work have a point. Knowing how civilizations rise (and, more importantly, fall) has a point. Math skills let you do more than count change at McDonalds. English and communication skills have a point no matter WHAT you plan to do with your life.

Education allows you to have MEANINGFUL opinions on subjects that matter.

Ignore it, and you wind up being an ignorant, easily manipulated savage who doesn't know what to do when the magic button on the remote control stops working and the voice stops whispering in his ear...

Haven't... (5, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097559)

Haven't people realized by now that ADHD is nothing more than a symptom of our education system and not a syndrome in and of itself?

Re:Haven't... (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097801)

Yes, in fact, many policymakers and educators already know this, but lack a practical alternative that can be widely implemented.... unless someone knows more about this...

Re:Haven't... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097929)

Practical alternatives: Less general education and more specialized education. Most people who are diagnosed with ADHD have a certain field that they really care about and can really excel in, be it woodworking, computers, certain branches of science, history, etc. Our education system does not let students really customize what works for them. An ADHD student who really wants to be a welder and is amazing at welding isn't going to care too much about things that aren't related to welding such as history. That student then does poorly in history. Put that student in a shop class and they will do amazing. We try to have far too generic classes that are mandated in education, allow students to pick what they want to be in and learn that rather than things that they don't care about and the ADHD program will slowly fade away.

Re:Haven't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098083)

And when all welding is taking over by machines, what then will that student do? Mooch off the government? School is supposed to be used for learning how to learn imo. Things change.

Re:Haven't... (1, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098189)

When (if) all the welding is taken over by machines the student can simply go to the next thing. Be that repairing the welding machines, welding smaller hand crafted things that machines can't/won't do, or running the welding machines.

Schools do not teach you how to learn, at least not the public schools in the USA. They teach you how to fill in a blank, how to guess the right choice, how to cram for some useless test, how to score high on a standardized test, etc. We must remember that societies, throughout all time are like a pyramid, at the base are the people who can't do anything, above them are the people who do a lot of things but can't do them well, then above them are the people who can do a lot of things but do them well, above them are the people who do one thing and can do it well. Our education system was designed to move people up the pyramid, sadly we stop at giving a lot of varied education but no one does it well. Most people who are diagnosed with ADHD don't fit into that, they do one thing and do it well. If there is one thing history has told us it is that things change, jobs are destroyed but even more are created and those who do well at the job that was destroyed will find their place easily in one thats created from the destruction.

Re:Haven't... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097991)

I think you need a vacation. Remember, one cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments.

Re:Haven't... (5, Insightful)

yali (209015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097987)

Haven't people realized by now that the fact that some people are misdiagnosed with ADHD doesn't mean that the condition isn't real?

The problem is that there is a gap between the fairly extensive diagnostic procedures that should be used [nih.gov] and what sometimes happens in practice (5-minute office visit where general practitioner hands out prescriptions on the school's or parent's sayso). I don't blame people for being skeptical, but that doesn't mean there aren't real kids (or adults) with a real disorder.

Re:Haven't... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098037)

Haven't people realized by now that ADHD is nothing more than a symptom of our education system and not a syndrome in and of itself?

I can tell you I have ADD. Whether that last D should be "disorder" or something more along the lines of "that may be normal but I still don't like" is up to people who care more about semantics than I do. It may be within normal variation, but I still don't like being able to focus less than my colleagues. I don't care what constitutes a disorder, if taking adderol when I need to focus is corrective or elective, it still helps.

It's also worth pointing out that I'm not talking about sitting through high school lectures, not that high school lectures are unimportant.

Re:Haven't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098143)

The parent statement-in-the-form-of-a-question is absolutely false.

Do not mod it up as informative.

And the simpler solution is . . . (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097581)

develop an EEG system to help doctors diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

errr or just talk to the parents . . .

Re:And the simpler solution is . . . (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097771)

...And the parents will say that they are clearly ADHD! Because they don't like eating vegetables, they would rather play outside then sit through church, they would rather play video games than read and they don't particularly like school. CLEARLY the answer is that its ADHD and not just the fact that most kids observe most of the ADHD symptoms. And of course the answer is never to improve the education system or just let kids behave as kids but its obviously to drug them up!

Re:And the simpler solution is . . . (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097951)

of course I was being facetious and I agree with what you say up to a point. But just like it is important to let kids be kids it is also important to respect what parents have to offer in the assessment of their kids' behaviour - after all they are [often] the closest to them and have the most empathy with their foibles.

Can it identify Jesus-crazy dry-drunks like Hemos? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097591)

No surprise there. Tobacco is legal for sale and it's packed with shit like arsenic and benzene.

Of course, you have folks out there who are banning hemp because marijuana gets people high. But they should go after the malt liquor industry if they want to catch the low-hanging fruit.

There's no way in hell that Old English 800 [wikipedia.org] and Steel reserve [wikipedia.org] are just barley, hops, and yeast. They cause psychotropic effects similar to PCP.

Re:Can it identify Jesus-crazy dry-drunks like Hem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097779)

Nice copypasta... now go shake dicks with Smidge207.

Follow up study (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097611)

Missing from TFA:

Researchers had planned to perform a follow-up study and compile a much more comprehensive report of their findings, but were distracted by a tub of lego blocks with those cool electric motor modules.

APA's "Disorder" (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097619)

I disagree with the APA's classification of broad-spectrum ADHD as a "disorder." I also disagree with the use of amphetamines as "treatment" for ADHD, and as you may have guessed, I'm speaking from experience.

I hope that early diagnosis of ADHD will not lead to the disclosure of the "disorder" to the children themselves, but rather an individualistic approach of treatment by different classroom experiences, school placement, a better diet, and giving them more time for physical activity in school, rather than sitting them at a desk for indoctrination for 7 hours a day.

Re:APA's "Disorder" (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097683)

Our school system was designed to produce obedient factory workers and soldiers. It was not designed to produce well-educated individuals. The USA has always had to attract the majority of its star scientific talent from other countries (and has always successfully done so, until recently.)

Re:APA's "Disorder" (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097749)

Our school system was designed to produce obedient factory workers and soldiers.

Yes, I agree. Please see my reply to the "shitty teachers" thread. I'd love to see this discussion to become more solution-oriented than every other ADHD discussion that has ever taken place. Notice my use of "indoctrination."

Re:APA's "Disorder" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097803)

Start by working to get rid of "no child left behind". (Yes, they intend to put them all in the military...) Work your way down. Personally though I think the answer is to form home schooling guilds where you trade kids around between rotating groups of three or four parents per class, and just stop using the public school system.

Re:APA's "Disorder" (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098687)

> the answer is to form home schooling guilds where you trade kids around between rotating groups of three or four parents per class, and just stop using the public school system.

That's what we did. I started skeptical but the results have been fantastic.
My kids sit in front of workbooks no more than 2 hours a day. The rest of the day they play with 10-20 other home schooled kids. Their play includes digging up clams, playing soccer, playing violin, making models, painting, sculpting, doing experiments, building things, writing stories, performing their stories, reciting poetry, and sometimes just doing whatever kids want to do without guidance.

I am jealous because *I* had to spend 12 years sitting in a tiny uncomfortable wooden chair while bad teachers droned on and on without enthusiasm about topics they were forced to cover by the administration.
My "3rd grader" is doing 7th grade math and finds it fascinating. His group has performed plays in front of real audiences. He has played violin at Carnegie Hall (and has no idea how special that is).

What is he missing? He doesn't get teased for excelling at academics. He doesn't sit all day in one spot, come home and sit all evening in front of the TV. His friends don't have bad attitudes, don't curse at their parents (much), don't whine for the latest electronic gadget. There are no drugs in his "school". He has no idea who Hannah-Montana is.

I'm sure some replies will say he needs to deal with "real life", but what does school have to do with real life, unless you are preparing your kids for prison - the institution that most resembles school.

I let him wield a hammer, and get hurt sometimes. I listen to his opinion and it's often quite sound.

better diagnosis reduced the number of cases (4, Interesting)

seroph (414622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097663)

There have been countless studies that indicate that ADHD is a neurological disorder the problem is when no physical tests are used in diagnosis people can more easily get labeled as having it when it is in fact a product of the education system.

On another note some cases of ADHD do not go away after adolescence and can impact work performance and social interactions. Also, the more popular illness for students currently is autism since it is not as easily identifiable as actual ADHD.

Re:better diagnosis reduced the number of cases (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097853)

I have to ask how the APA is deciding that the broad spectrum of ADHD cases are classified as a quantifiable disorder. I do agree that the EEG diagnosis could be a huge advance, but could you punctuate your comment a bit better?

getting through high school (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097711)

1. Sit in the last row.
2. Get out homework, TI calculator loaded with games, or a thin book.
3. Enjoy 50 minutes of quiet time before moving to a new room.
4. Realize that eventually you'll have to learn something to get by in the world and you'll be completely unprepared for it.

Re:getting through high school (0, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097859)

Realize that eventually you'll have to learn something to get by in the world and you'll be completely unprepared for it.

...And how many high school classes really prepare you for the world and day to day living? Sure, history is nice to know and the basis is almost necessary in order to make political choices, but does that really affect your day to day living unless you are a historian? Math beyond basic geometry is useless to those who aren't in a math based career field (unless you are engineer, programmer, etc. you aren't going to need to know the sine or cosine of anything). Chemistry is useless unless you become a chemist, sure the basis is used for a lot of things, but you don't really have to understand the reactions. Biology beyond basic anatomy is borderline useless unless you go into a science based discipline. Etc. Most high school classes are worthless in retrospect for most students, yet we still keep making them take more classes than ever before. Its no wonder many students don't pay attention in class, they won't use the material being taught.

Re:getting through high school (2, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098077)

It's important to understand the basics of chemistry and biology so you know when you are being lied to by the media.

Re:getting through high school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097901)

5. Profit!

ADHD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097713)

Ah, yes. Attention-Deficit High-Definition.

Wait, what?

disorder? (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097827)

Humans did not evolve to sit at a desk, day after day, for most of their lives. Children being active and energetic is natural and healthy; it is not a disorder.

we should welcome this objectivity! (4, Insightful)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097843)

Many people here are (correctly) deriding ADHD as being an ill-defined "disorder" vaguely attributed to recalcitrant students. That seems to be exactly the issue the EEG scans are trying to address.

From TFA: "...hopes will help doctors diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) more objectively..."

To use a polemical and simple example, imagine a time before trisomy 21 (aka Down's Syndrome) was understood. Then instead of understanding a cause (trisomy 21), we had to rely on symptoms (mental retardation). You can't take a symptom and pretend it's a cause. Mental retardation is ill-defined and has many potential causes, and lumping all "mentally retarded" people together is disingenuous. If mental retardation were treated like ADHD is today, then anyone who did poorly in school would be labeled mentally retarded and given a prescription, some pills, a stigma, and a glass ceiling.

We should welcome even small steps towards objectivity and causation for ill-defined diagnoses like ADHD.

Re:we should welcome this objectivity! (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097935)

To expand on your idea, could people suggest a better educational pathway for people with objectively-identified ADHD patterns?

Also, I'd like to know how much the statistical analysis discerns between different degrees and types of ADHD symptoms.

jesus (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28097891)

do i really have to read bullshit comments like "Darkness404" here on slashdot?

by reading here i always got the feeling ppl are more openminded.

im a 27 year old adult and finally got last year ADHD diagnosed. my life was hell before that, altho able of many many things failing at all of them. falling behind everyones and mine expectations. fail fail fail fail.

do you people really believe ADHD only happens in schools/class ? it affects our social life, work , etc, basically everything.
So i got this super high IQ, but because of my ADHD (till now) i never had any work better than a bullshit clerk job, forced to be surrounded by stupidity every day and even failing at those retarded jobs. thats a very nice feeling, and doesnt hurt at all, really. when i hear parents talk that they try to "heal" their kids without ritalin (or whatever) i would love to take them their kids away, they have no fucking clue what they are ruining.

so fuck you people who think ADHD is just a symptom of the education system or just a hype, or whatever. really. educate yourself, try to talk to people who suffer.

you cant imagine how much more i am accomplising now that im on ritalin.

(posting as coward because of no account)

Old tech (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097937)

I really don't see this as breaking news, I had a doctor use an EEG in the timeframe of 1988-1990 to diagnose me with ADD.

When I was a kid (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097975)

We used to call ADHD kids "Kids with parents too lazy to control them."

Re:When I was a kid (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098309)

It's all part of the pussification and nanny-statification of America. Leveling the playing field only stifles the desires of those who are better and sets up the weaker individuals for huge disappointment later on in life (or it would if the rest of us didn't have to keep propping them up).

Lame? Crippled? Handicapped? Handicapable? Disabled?
DIFFERENTLY ABLED.

Stupid? Moron? Idiot? Simpleton? Retard? Slow? Dunce? Challenged? Developmentally Disabled?
SPECIAL NEEDS.

Problem child? Acting up? Bad parenting? Acting Out? Attention Seeking Behavior?
ADD/ADHD.

Bastard? Child of a broken home? Single mother?
SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE.

F? Red ink? Sad face?
EVERYONE GETS A GOLD STAR FOR TRYING.

Math? Science? Girls not testing as well as boys?
TALK IN GROUPS ABOUT HOW MATH MAKES YOU FEEL.

Reading? Spelling? Grammar? Kids don't speak English?
LANGUAGE IS ALWAYS EVOLVING, WHY TEACH IT?

Hard? Difficult? Unfair?
CULTURE AND GENDER BIAS IN TESTING.

Obligatory South Park Reference (1)

sudotron (1459285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28097977)

Okay, so kids, to see if you have attention deficit disorder, I'm going to start by reading you "The Great Gatsby", by F. Scott Fitzgerald...

(Several Hours Later)
--So we beat on, boats against the current, bourne back ceaselessly into the past.

So children, who can tell me the kind of car that Gatsby drove in chapter three? Anybody? My god, these kids all have ADD!

Now we have another HD format? (3, Funny)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098027)

WTF? I thought BluRay won, and was welcomed with a luke warm "meh" from consumers. Is this the new HD format to replace it?

Re:Now we have another HD format? (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098061)

Yes, it is made from "special" children.

Lets start a new anti-health meme (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098087)

I blame the Flu Vaccination.

I'm sure someone can run numbers to compare the trends of flu vaccinations and the number of ADHD diagnoses made every year. I bet someone could even win some prestigious awards for doing so.

It would be total fabrication, of course. But when has that ever stopped activists before?

Really? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098113)

A map of the electrical activity of a brain can be used to identify an electrical problem in the brain?

Not surprising at all. Headline fails.
(The method used to interpret the scans and identify ADHD IS newsworthy. The fact that they're using EEGs is totally not headline material.)

Excercise... (1)

ghostis (165022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098115)

In my experience, making sure kids get enough daily exercise really helps with ADHD symptoms in the classroom.

Re:Excercise... (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098215)

Thank god someone else realized that. Please tell me you're a teacher.

I'd prefer they spend less time (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098337)

scanning to find who has ADHD and ADD and more time finding out which kids will end up being a serial killer who eats people.

Of all the things in the world that parents teach their kids, like how to go to the bathroom instead of shitting themselves, how to tie your shoes, learn right from wrong*, etc. parents simply aren't taking the extra 3 seconds to sit their kid down and tell them, "Don't eat people."

A brain scan that can identify these kids would be far better than telling who has ADD/ADHD.

*(at least some teach this)

ADHD is REAL (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098399)

I know, I have it. I've been on ritalin for over 20 years... I take the same small dose now that I took in 2nd grade.

ADD can be tested for... they have standardized tests and I've seen my results from childhood compared to non ADD kids and it's completely obvious. Granted my doctor has often said I'm a "textbook case". Ritalin is a safe effective way of treating kids that have had proper testing/diagnoses... in fact ritalin is very old and very widely tested and is very, very safe. The problem is that lazy people misdiagnose kids with ADD all the time because they have behavior problems or whatever.. without getting proper testing.. that is a problem and I'm against all the un-necessary medicating of our youth.

In summary, proper diagnosis and treatment changed my life. I became a straight-A student almost overnight after starting medication... and I've never needed an increased dose (another sign that I actually need it... kids without ADD will need more and more drugs)

My wife didn't believe ADD was real until she met me.

There is no such thing as ADHD. (1, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098525)

Seriously. Kids are all different. People are all different. ADHD roughly translates to "Teacher doesn't understand this kid and can't get through to him/her so we're going to use this made-up diagnosis to put him/her in a box and then pump him/her full of drugs to make the problem appear to have gone away."

Administering neurotoxins to healthy children is child abuse and should be treated as such.

The funny thing is, so many people say "oh yes, you're right, 99% of ADHD diagnoses are really just misunderstood children" but then their "ADHD" child always seems to be part of that last 1 percent. Nope, sorry, doesn't work that way, no exceptions. If you label a child "ADHD" you are an incompetent parent or teacher. Period.

Again? What is the new take this time? (1)

neurophys (13737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098629)

One of the biggest and best attempts to diagnose psychiatry by EEG-measures was R. John in the 1980-1990. His methods failed in practical use.

There are no publications sited by Pubmed on this, but EImindAs website and the linked article gives an impression of this being the same again. Don't hold your breath.

PGL

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