ADD / ADHD Advocacy

FDA and ADHD Stimulant Medication. Science or Stigma? Part 1

What a dog and pony show.

First the FDA has a committee that did a report in Feb 2006 that calls for a black box warning for ADD stimulant meds by an 8 to 7 margin over concerns that stimulants may be linked to heart problems in kids. Unfortunately they provided no evidence that showed that people who take ADD stimulant medication have a higher degree of cardiac problems vs. what’s called the background rate, namely, what’s the incidence of the same problem in the general population.

Health Canada pulled Adderall XL last summer because of concerns over cardiac problems.

Problem was

1. The data was based on US not Canadian data.

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Pete Speaking on Adult ADHD at West Vancouver ADHD Conference. Wed, March 29, 2006

For those of you in the Vancouver area, I’ll be speaking on adult ADHD at the West Vancouver ADHD Conference, Supporting the ADHD Student At Home – At School – In the Community.

The West Vancouver School District invites parents, teachers, administrators, and members of the medical and mental health communities to join us for a dynamic look at issues facing students struggling with inattention, or inattention combined with hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Medical and mental health experts on ADHD will provide current information about causes, treatments, and supportive strategies to improve classroom learning, social relationships, and behaviour -at home, at school, and in the community.

It will be at the Kay Meek Studio Theatre, which is at 1700 Mathers Avenue, West Vancouver, B.C, from 4 to 8pm, Wednesday, March 29, 2006. The conference is free, you just need to register online

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The Upside of ADD Thrill Seeking

Douglas Cootey at The Splintered Mind has a good post on the upside of thrill seeking, one common traits of ADDers.

One byproduct of seeking out the new thrills continually is increased creativity. Old ideas are abandoned for exciting, brand new ones. If tapped, that can be a valuable resource for the person with AD/HD. In addition, an unquenchable thirst for new information makes one well suited for the tech industry which is in a state of constant flux and development. I’ve heard it said as well that these types of individuals excel at sales – people who love the thrill of closing the deal. Personally, I’d rather continue my exciting life as a beta tester for the pharmaceutical industry. Oh, boy. Thrills galore…

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Does ADD Really Exist? How to Answer this Question, Part 2

In Part 1, I gave some suggestions on how to deal with those people who claim that ADD doesn’t exist, it’s not a real condition, you know the people who pretend that they can make prouncements of the validity of a medical condition without a medical degree or background. Can you imagine saying to someone

“Well Bob, I know your background as a carpet installer makes you an expert on the human body and mind, so tell me, is diabetes a real condition, or just a drug company conspiracy?”

I also gave a list of medical, psychological and governmental organizations that say ADD does exist and is a real conditon. In this section I’ll give links to online articles giving clinical evidence of ADD as a real condition. Warning scientific jargon ahead.

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Women and Girls with ADD are Often Undiagnosed.

A study, reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, suggested the major symptoms of ADHD appear similar in both genders, but girls with the disorder are less likely to have accompanying disruptive behaviors. That may be one reason for their lower rate of diagnosis

It’s a common myth that ADD is mainly a condition that occurs in boys and men. Not true. It’s often more noticed in males because they are more likely to have the hyperactive impulsive version of ADD that’s more easily noticed than the inattentive version of ADD that women usually (though not not always) have.

“There are three to five boys picked up with ADHD for every girl,” said Robert Resnick. He is professor of psychology at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., and former president of the American Psychological Association.

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Chris Pirillo Discusses ADD with Pete on His Podcast

Chris Pirillo was here in Vancouver with Ponzi recently to speak at the Northern Voice blogging conference. He also did the Chris Pirillo show at the Take 5 Coffee shop downtown the night before Moose Camp. Chris talks with Vancouver blogger Will Pate, Scott Beale from Laughing Squid and Identity Woman, and myself.

Chris needs no introduction to those of you involved in the high tech world. For the rest here’s a line from his bio

The geek among geeks: technologist, television host, magazine columnist, blogger, author, and entrepreneur.

He’s the #1 search for Chris on the internet. He runs the Gnomedex conference, the Lockergnome content network, a podcast show, and his own blog and more.

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Seattle ADHD Conference for Parents, Young Adults and Professionals March 4-5

ADD Resources is having a 2 day conference in Seattle (Tukwilia a suburb of Seattle) March 4th and 5th.

It’s focused on parents, young adults ages 15-25 and ADHDprofessionals.

ADHD professionals can earn CME credits

Featured presenters are Peter S. Jensen, M.D., researcher and clinician, and author of Making the System Work for Your Child with ADHD and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children’s Mental Health at the Columbia University, and Chris Zeigler-Dendy, M.S., author of Teenagers with ADD: a Parents’ Guide, and Teaching Teens with ADD and ADHD.

There are several breakout sessions. ADD Resources is a non profit organization with a large ADD resource website.

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Does ADD Really Exist? How to Answer this Question, Part 1

UPDATE: Part 2 with the clinical evidence of ADD as a real condition is here

Does ADD/ADHD Really Exist?

I’ve had a great response from my Top 10 Advantages of ADD in a High Tech Career blog post, 30,000 plus unique hits so far, 78 comments so far and lots of links and comments on many of those sites that blogged it. Still trying to digest it all. Thanks to everyone that Digged it,’d it and blogged it.

Most of the responses on my blog and other blogs were very positive, there were a few same old stale unoriginal ADD jokes, and a smaller number of ones claiming ADD doesn’t exist ones, usually rudely and self righteously. One comment on my blog said “I need scientific facts.”

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Top 10 Advantages of ADHD in a High Tech Career

ADHD is an allergy to boredom. If we ADDers are interesting in something, ADHD is generally not a problem. For those of us who like the online world, it’s rarely boring.

I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (which I find is more of a surplus really). I coach adults with ADHD, have an ADHD resource website with over 150 pages of information, and an adult ADHD blog. So, I’m fairly familiar with ADHD. I’ve been using Mac computers for 20+ years, sold them for 7, and have spent thousands of hours on the net. So, I’m fairly familiar with the high tech world.

I’ve noticed there are many similarities between the two worlds.

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What’s the #2 Genetically Inherited Condition in the World?

ADD. Height is #1.

At an ADD conference I attended here in Vancouver last June, many presenters had slides showing that ADD was the #2 genetically inherited condition in the world at 80%. Height was #1. Here’s one article on Medline that talks about it.

Although medication works well in many cases of ADHD, optimal treatment of ADHD requires integrated medical and behavioral treatment. The family plays a crucial role in the management of children with ADHD.

Often adults find out they have ADD because they slowly see that they have many of the symptoms there ADD children do. In my unscientific experience, men take longer to realize this than women do, or at least longer to come out of denial. As one attempt to counter such denial, I’ve blogged about this issue before under the subtle title “Parents Of Children With ADD Are 24 Times More Likely To Have ADD Themselves Study Says”.

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