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Company Claims EEG Scans Can Help Identify ADHD 373

Posted by timothy
from the phrenologists-hadn't-quite-got-the-patter-down dept.
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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Company Claims EEG Scans Can Help Identify ADHD

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  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:25PM (#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.
    • by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:27PM (#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.

      • by everett (154868) <efeldt@@@efeldt...com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:08PM (#28098129) Homepage

        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.

        • 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.

          • Has anyone here not even heard of EEG treatment? I can't believe this article is even on Slashdot. just go to Wikipedia and you'll see this is OLD news. Not only can you detect ADHD with EEG, but you can treat it. Hell, it can even be used to treat migraines, PTSD, and sleep disorders. The applications are almost endless. A quick summary of how it works for the uninformed: there are 4 main oscillations within the neocortex. There is a statistical average for the occurrence of each one, hence a deviation fro

            • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @04:42PM (#28100517)

              Not only can you detect ADHD with EEG, but you can treat it.

              Fun fact: Hungary does not recognize the thing you're trying to treat. It simply does not exist here. Although we do have something similar, we call that boredom, and it's not a disease.

              And most of the parents would personally beat the shit out of you for even suggesting drugging their children.

              I think it's the kind of people who have the authority about these decisions that are different, not the children.

    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:27PM (#28097501) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:46PM (#28097797)

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

        -- gid

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:49PM (#28097841) Homepage Journal

        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.

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @05:21PM (#28101041)
        ...And bring back the paddle.

        I spent split time in public and private schools. I was paddled one and only one time in school, and it was one of the reasons I went back into private schools for a time. I was in the second grade and was given the assignment to draw a man with two orange heads. This was on a day of a parent teacher conference near Halloween and the teacher wanted some art for the walls to make it seem like she did something other than have us work on stupid worksheets all day long, day after day. Well, everyone else in the class drew a man, normal in every way, other than in place of a head, he had two heads, and they were orange jack-o-lanterns. I, however, drew a normal man. He held, in each hand, an orange head. So, for drawing a man with two orange heads, I was ordered to the principals office for a paddling. I failed to follow directions.

        When teachers send kids to get beaten because their directions are followed exactly, but they don't like the result, the system failed. To allow administrators to beat children for such stupid reasons should be illegal. There is nothing that justifies such actions. Oh, and they didn't notify my parents before or after. So yes, please bring back discipline. However, the paddle is not correlated with discipline, not even weakly. It's just abuse, and is abused.
    • by Akido37 (1473009) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:28PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 s

        • 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.

          wow. What school districts have you been in? Around here, new teachers are given a yearly contract, and let go if they're not performing well, and even teachers long in the service are only on slightly extended contracts (usually about 5 years). It's a simple matter of just waiting out the contract, and then trying to find a replacement.

      • 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 p

      • 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 recogniz

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:33PM (#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!"

    • by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04@highpoin[ ]du ['t.e' in gap]> on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:38PM (#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.

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)

        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 so

        • by mooingyak (720677) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:22PM (#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).

          • by blincoln (592401) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:35PM (#28099557) Homepage Journal

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

            In my experience, untreated ADD/ADHD means that while you can *sometimes* do that, it's not something you really have control over. IE it's not just interest (or lack thereof) in something, there is some other quality that determines whether you can do the hyper-focus thing on it.

            I was diagnosed as having ADD as an adult, and I take prescription stimulants to correct for it. I've been overwhelmingly happy with the results - it's no longer a matter of rolling the dice to see if I can keep something (e.g. math, electronics) in my head long enough to get a handle on it. The problem I have now is finding time to study and make use of all the interests I have.

            I have a lot of mixed feelings about whether I should have started taking them at an earlier age. On the one hand, I tend to agree with the people who think giving young people ADD medication tends to turn them into robots when they might have been more creative otherwise. On the other, looking back I notice that I ended up using a *lot* of caffeine anyway (enough to have more of a health effect than the prescription I take now).

            If I'd had access to something more effective at the time, I might have gone in a very different direction, career-wise. Whether that's a good, bad, or neutral thing is more subjective, but there is definitely a window in the late teens/early 20s in which someone with ADD is going to limit or eliminate potential career options by their choice of medication or not.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mooingyak (720677)

              In my experience, untreated ADD/ADHD means that while you can *sometimes* do that, it's not something you really have control over. IE it's not just interest (or lack thereof) in something, there is some other quality that determines whether you can do the hyper-focus thing on it.

              From experience and observation, the hyper-focus tends to come into play more frequently for things the individual in question considers fun, with an especial frequency for video games.

              While it's not controlled, the things it usually snaps into place for have a tendency to become the preferred leisure activities.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              I don't think it is just the late teens and early twenties. Someone with ADHD is going to continually and for the rest of their life be making different depending on what, if any, medication regime, including self-medication, they practice. Some people think children are being drugged willy-nilly just for being rambunctious and I tend to agree. That doesn't mean ADHD isn't real and it doesn't mean that people with ADHD don't benefit from medication - far better prescribed and monitored stimulants than conti
        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          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
        • by clifyt (11768)

          "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."

          Wow. Really? You mean all the training I've gotten over the last 4 years was wrong...it is something that one can just naturally tell is wrong?

          "There are, alas, rather a large number of doctors who use it as a catch all for 'a bit hyperactive'"

          And this is where you fail. Very few doctors look at it as 'a bit hyperactive'. For children, there has to be documented pr

      • by rift321 (1358397)

        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-aver

        • I was held back in second grade for refusing to do my homework. It didn't help, the work wasn't hard, it was monotonous, terribly so. The longer I spent in regular school the worse it got. I hated the whole damn thing, I think early on I figured school wasn't teaching me anything, I spent my whole freshman year in High school smoking pot, ditching class, working, and hiding in the basement reading encyclopedias, my chemical rubber company handbook, writing, or playing with math. My freshman year was at a ne

      • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:20PM (#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.)

      • 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 i

    • by SolarStorm (991940) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:55PM (#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?
      • 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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DeadDecoy (877617)
        Actually 50% +/- 1 are below the median. You could have a Poisson or exponential distribution, in which extreme outliers drag the average one way or another. Therefore, you could have a lot of reasonable people and a few extremely stupid ones, or vice-versa. Ah, sorry for nit-picking. I've just been staring at too many math papers. : P
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:56PM (#28097947) Homepage

      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.

      • by Itninja (937614)
        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 t
        • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:37PM (#28098599) Homepage

          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GooberToo (74388)

      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!

    • As someone who's been 'diagnosed' with ADHD, I can confidently say that I would never have graduated high school without both Ritalin and good teachers.

      Some teachers are horrible and need to be fired. Some students have genuine brain imbalances that require medication. Please don't confuse the two problems. Just because ADHD drugs are over-prescribed doesn't mean that ADHD isn't real.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      I think the problem is greatly exacerbated by placing too many kids into each classroom. Any kid that has difficulty focusing just isn't going to learn if placed in a small room with 30 other kids distracting them. The problem with giving kids drugs is that it becomes a crutch that they rely on; when you take them off the drugs, they do worse than when before they started the medication. Giving individualized instruction to these students would be more effective, but unfortunately that costs a lot of money,
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Don't necessarily blame the teachers. You have the school boards/PTAs to blame as well for several factors.

      First, it's practically easier to impeach a senator than it is to fire a teacher. They are nigh-invincible.

      Secondly, we have defined curricula where there is little to no leeway for teachers to get creative in their classroom.

      Third and last, we have tons of standardized tests that are meant to measure progress, but all its doing is forcing schools to "teach to the test" and fuck up anything remotely in

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @03:29PM (#28099483)

      I'm an adult with AD(no H)D.

      It would've been great if I'd been eating sugar or food coloring (had a healthy diet), or not exercising (always did), or watching too much TV (didn't as a kid, didn't have time to as an adult because I was always behind). It would've been great if my teachers were boring, or if my college classes were terrible, or my first jobs out of college were drone-work.

      But they weren't, because ADHD is real. ADHD is what's left after all the denial and blame of external factors (which 99% of your peers can handle just fine, funny that) are removed. ADHD isn't some side-effect of soul-sucking corporate life: it's what might get you fired from the most energizing and exciting job you've found because you can't concentrate no matter how hard you try.

      That's the problem with ADD: you can't concentrate on things you love, even when you're doing everything right. I'd be eating good foods (straight from the farmer's market) and exercising and taking tai chi and have half the concentration of people who lived off of ramen and jelly beans.

      If you're an adult who might have ADD (or parents of a child with it), I encourage you to talk with adults who have ADD and are dealing with it effectively. Yes, I dislike having to take ritalin, but uncontrolled ADD was far, far worse.

      The anti-meds (often scientology) crowd talks about kids being zombies on ritalin. You know what makes a person a zombie? Not having a life because it takes you 3-4 hours to do what fellow students can do in an hour. Putting in 12 hour days to get 8 hours worth of work done. Not being able to sleep for fear of when the axe is going to fall because you're permanently behind on everything.

      Once I started on ritalin, I found what it was like to get a day's work done in a day, to have time to jump on new projects because I could accurately predict I had the time to work on them, to be able to contribute to meetings--to brainstorm not brainfog--rather than feel permanently 10 minutes behind.

      Once I started on ritalin, I actually knew what it felt like to concentrate-- to look at a project and quickly set up planning to get it done efficiently (rather than start off the afternoon looking for a stamp and end the afternoon repainting the table, sans stamp, because everything was distracting and every project has "Priority 1"). Heck, if I forget my ritalin I can get by--not my best but much better than my pre-ritalin days--because I know what concentration and focus is.

      Some ADD kids can get by in high-school or even community college without medications because their anti-meds parents follow them around to keep discipline, or because they're really smart and high-school never asks that much of you. But what happens when you're at college and everyone else is just as smart, and doesn't have (untreated) ADD? What happens when you've got a dream-job and your parents can't be whispering encouragement every half hour?

      At some point everything external is what it should be, and you're still not able to focus. And it'll be time to deal with the reality of ADD. It's a brain thing, and modern medicine can help. Talk to your doctor, but before that talk to people who've been through this.

  • Overdiagnosis... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Akido37 (1473009) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:26PM (#28097467)
    If enough people are diagnosed with ADHD, when does it become "normal"?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...is made by kirlian photography.

  • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      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.
      • To paraphrase the great Walter Biship, "It only doesn't matter, until it does."

      • Re:I dont get it? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by idontgno (624372) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:07PM (#28098119) Journal

        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.

        • 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.
      • by shmlco (594907)

        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 i

        • As someone with a BS and MS, the most important classes in high school were the ones that didn't fit what I eventually made my career in: English. The best skill I picked up in high school was the ability to do research and write papers, that came out of my English classes. I certainly wouldn't have been the same without all my science course but I don't think I could have made it through my undergrad much less my Master's without the foundation in writing.
  • Haven't... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:30PM (#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... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by yali (209015) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:59PM (#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.

    • 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

  • 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.

  • by seroph (414622) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:38PM (#28097663) Homepage

    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.

  • 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.
  • disorder? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:48PM (#28097827) Homepage

    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.

    • Yes, disorder. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HappyEngineer (888000)

      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.

      Yet sitting at a desk day after day is what most humans need to be able to do. If they can't do that then they can either fail at life or they can take steps (including medication) to modify the evolved behaviors to fit the way the real world requires.

      Education is sometimes fun, but not everything can be made to be fun. Sometime you just have to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by atraintocry (1183485)

        address their natural ADHD

        Newsflash: Red Bull, coffee, and Coca Cola are medications for ADHD.

        You do not understand what ADHD is. People getting tired, or not wanting to focus on things that are unpleasant...you're right, that's normal, and Red Bull is fine for that.

        It's not ADHD.

  • by panthroman (1415081) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:50PM (#28097843) Homepage

    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.

  • jesus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @01:53PM (#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)

  • 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.

  • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:02PM (#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?
  • 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?

  • 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.)

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

  • 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 misunde
    • by Phasma Felis (582975) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @02:58PM (#28098969)

      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.

      You have no idea what you're talking about. You also don't know what "neurotoxin" means.

      Please research the issue and report back to the class.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cheros (223479)

      Sadly, I have to disagree from simple practical experience. However, where I would agree with you is the enthusiastic administration of drugs, especially because they don't SOLVE the issue, they just convict the child to being a lifelong provider of profit.

      For what it's worth, my son (you could call him a "light" case) was helped by neurofeedback. Not for everyone, sure, but in his case it worked. Ritalin is really about the last thing I'd do to him, so I'm immensely grateful it worked. ADHD is - as far

    • by atraintocry (1183485) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @05:04PM (#28100817)

      I'm an adult. I have ADD. For years and years I denied it because I thought people like you knew what the fuck they were talking about. I'm almost 30 now and I have nothing to show for it, because instead of treating something I just berated myself for being "lazy."

      I'm sick of you armchair quarterbacks. Stick to what you know, don't pontificate about what you don't.

  • The amazing thing about these ADHD kids is that they can spend hours at a time sitting intently focused on a difficult video game. People will focus on and retain things that they perceive as important to their daily life. Couldn't ADHD also be cured by making the instruction more relevant?
  • All children are not created equal, but should be given an equal opportunity.

    Offer them interesting classes with engaging teachers teaching things that will be useful in their adult life, or useful in preparing them for their adult life. Fire any teacher that hands out busy work, or large volumes of rote memorization work.

    Those that pay attention and learn will continue to do so. To those that prefer to goof off and fall behind the curve, hand them a shovel or burger king hat. At least that way both will

  • Got me a great story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GF678 (1453005) on Tuesday May 26, 2009 @09:52PM (#28103979)

    When I was in kindergarten, my parents were called up to attend a meeting with my teacher. The teacher had noticed I was being particularly irritable, twitching my head a lot, unable to keep still, and so not being able to remain focused on what I was suppose to be doing. I was being continually distracted and annoyed by something the teacher couldn't work out, so his diagnosis was that I had a learning disability and required medication/therapy.

    Fortunately, the parents were suspicious of this, and so they asked me why I was having trouble keeping still. My answer? The little tag on the back inside of my shirt was annoying me by always flicking my neck. They cut the tag off, and the problem went away.

    So this teacher, who didn't even bother to try and simply ASK me why I couldn't keep still, jumped to the conclusion that I had a learning/behavioral disability and needed treatment through drugs and therapy. I believe this was before the era of ADD/ADHD (or at least before they invented a name for the condition), but the conclusion was the same. I'm proud of my parents for not listening to this idiot.

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