What do Autism, ADHD, and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) have in common? All three are 'fashionable
' diagnoses - 'catch-alls' for unfortunate, very real conditions of unknown etiology.
So why don't we hear much about CFS these days? After all, it was 'all the rage' in the late '80's/early '90's. Turns out that 90% of the cases were of psychological, not physiological origin. What about the remaining 10%? That, they are studying further.
These days we seem to have Autism and ADHD epidemics: like CFS they are "one size fits all
" diagnoses. As an educator I have had, over the years, 100's of those so diagnosed in my classes. I can only shake my head and, as an economist, only behold with wonder the tens of billions of dollars involved in 'treating' them with 'one size fits all'
powerful psycotropic medications that often do more harm than good, oft times even exacerbating the symptoms!
Finally, an esteemed researcher and physician
in the field is calling the "ADHD Emporer" naked. It seems that, as with the formerly 'in vogue' CFS, there are many valid diagnoses not made
in the physicians', parents', teachers', and counselors' haste to hammer these pegs of varying shapes into round ADHD holes - very much to the detriment of the children and adults who present one or a few 'classic symptoms'.
Dr. Saul passionately urges his colleagues to return to Medicine 101 and perform differential diagnoses on their patients before just prescribing the 'one size fits all' drugs and 'seeing what happens'. This approach makes sense to me and is certainly consistent with what I have observed.
It's more than about time for ADHD to go the way of CFS. Edit:
Autism is, however, a very real
condition. Nowhere in my original post did I say that it is not, though I perhaps made such an implication in mentioning this condition along with ADHD and CFS. Properly, I should and could have avoided such an inference by saying 'Autistic Tendency'
, not Autism.
However, Autism is a great deal more rare
than one might be led to believe from 'public service' announcements by the sincere and well meaning - e.g., golfer Ernie Els and retired MLB pitcher Curt Schilling.
Unfortunately, there are many children today who, upon presenting even a transitory, developmental symptom or two, receive a permanent diagnosis of 'autistic tendency' and are pegged into an educational track that both harms them and diverts scarce resources away from those who are truly Autistic.
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2014/03/02 12:15:55