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Clinical Practice Points on the Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of ADHD in Children and Adolescents submission

ID: 
25
Personal Details
First Name: 
Rebecca
Last Name: 
Sferco
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Comments: 

Dear Board of NHMRC, 

 

I am deeply concerned and strongly disagree with alot of the information I have read on the CPP draft on "ADHD" in children and Adolescents...... particularly the point suggesting that children be taken away from their parents who are not medicating their children....“As with any medical intervention, the inability of the parents to implement strategies may raise child protection concerns.”  

 Parents are the lawful guardians of their child and should always have the RIGHT  to consent or refuse psychiatric treatment for their child.  Parents should not be forced to put their child on drugs if they do not agree and want to try other alternatives that are just as effective if not more so (such as nutritional dietary changes and exercise etc) and not harmful as are these dangerous mind altering drugs. 


Also since there is still NO medical scientific tests (no blood test, urine test, scan or xray) that can prove that someone has such a thing as ADHD and doctors still don't even know what causes it, many children are being put on these dangerous mind altering drugs which have severe and sometimes fatal side effects....one being suicide and another homocide (many of the school shootings in america the child / teenager were on psychiatric drugs).


There are MANY non -drug alternatives that are natural and don't hinder and derange the childs mental and phsycial development which these ADHD drugs do.  I have also studied Nutrition and Diatetics in Health Science in Public Health at QUT and by simply changing a child's diet to a natural whole foods diet eliminating sugars, and artifical colours and flavours etc  you will see these so called ADHD symptoms drop away. Also the child should have an extensive medical examination as there may be physical underlying deficiencies that need to be addressed that are being mistaken for ADHD symptoms.  So instead of doing a 10-15 minute subjective evaluation of the child and then deciding without any tests that something is mentally wrong with them they should have standard medical examination to rule out any physical disease or deficiencies and allergies etc. 


I was fortunate when i was in grade 2 having some issues that my mother disagreed with the doctor to just put me on drugs and instead she changed my diet and i was back to normal in no time.  I had a physical intolerance to processed sugars, artifical colours and flavours......simple. Then I went on to represent Australia in athletics and study at university and now have a very successful business and life without being labelled and drugged as something mentally wrong with me.  The phsycial intolerance to sugar that I have is so strong that if I even attempt to have a piece of cake I will get a migraine.  So now because kids have allergies....intolerances to certain foods etc and nutritional deficiencies we are going to instead not bother to find out what is really going on with the child's health and just drug them?  

Also a child becomes inattentive to a class or lesson when he/she doesn't UNDERSTAND what they are being taught.   Just takes common sense for one to remember when they were at school and something you didn't understand and then it got worse because new things were being taught but you still didn't get the earier steps because no one took the time to go over it with you to make sure you know and understood all these new terms, nomenclature and symbols.  


And now we are going to call normal childhood behaviour (excessive activity etc) a disorder.... my word......do we want our children numb, quiet and dead? Children are very active and alive and have lots and lots of energy and so they should.... this is NORMAL behaviour. Because if these CPP's are put in place and we don't do something to stop the over drugging of our children we are heading towards disaster for our future generation.  We need to protect our children from this inhumane drugging epidemic, and get back to basics of the tradtional medical doctor treating the patient holistically with nutrition and treating any underlying physical medical condtions and in the class room have teachers be able to take the time to make sure all their students are understanding what is being taught and if not help those who are struggling because they don't understand something. 

Here are my recommendations to the draft: 

Recommendation 1 – The Clinical Practice Points should state that although there is evidence that pharmaceutical interventions may help moderate ADHD symptoms in the short term, there is limited evidence in regard to their long term safety and efficacy. Furthermore the limited long term evidence available suggests significant long term harms and no sustained benefits. Therefore ADHD medications should only be used when extreme inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviours represent a significant risk to the immediate welfare of the child (extreme hyperkinetic disorder) and their use must be restricted to short term interventions (never longer than 12 months).

Recommendation 2- The statement that ‘as with any medical intervention, the inability of parents to implement strategies may raise child protection concerns’ must be removed from the Clinical Practice Points.

Recommendation 3- The statement that ‘children meeting DSM IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD are described as typically having brain development that is inconsistent with age matched peers, for example, slower rates of cortical thinning’is unsubstantiated speculation and must be removed from the Clinical Practice Points.

Recommendation 4- The statement that ‘ADHD also increases the risk of a range of adverse outcomes including educational, social, emotional and behavioural problems during childhood, and subsequent mental health, relationship, occupational, legal, and substance abuse problems in adult life’ is equivalent to saying dysfuntional behaviours cause dysfunctional behaviours and should be removed from the Clinical Practice Points. 

Recommendation 5- The proposition that ‘developing an effective plan also involves educating the child/adolescent and his or her family and carers about the disorder and its impact on various domains of the child’s life’ has the potential to create self-fulfilling prophecies of failure for many Australian children and should be removed from the Clinical Practice Points.

Recommendation 6- The CPPs should retain the question ‘Can pre-school children (under 6 years) be diagnosed with ADHD?’ but change the response to ‘NO. A diagnosis of ADHD is especially subjective amongst pre-school children as ADHD type behaviours are entirely normal behaviours for young children’.

Recommendation 7- The CPPs should include the statement that in line with manufacturer’s recommendations, medications, including amphetamines and near amphetamines, should not be prescribed for ADHD under any circumstances for children younger than six years of age.

Recommendation 8 – Remove the inaccurate and misleading statement ‘the rate of sudden death in patients taking methylphenidate or atomoxetine is below background rates’ from the CPPs.


Kind Regards, 

Rebecca



Page reviewed: 14 September, 2012