KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

ADD Is Over Diagnosed In Kids



Bookmark and Share

ADD is a term we're starting to hear more often these days. Chances are, you probably know someone who has Attention Deficit Disorder but, some physicians say the disorder isn't becoming more prevalent. Instead, children who don't have the ADD are being diagnosed and medicated anyway, and it's a problem that's growing.

With her book bag in tow, 16 year old Grace Fjellanger looks like your average teenager, and for the most part she is.  Only, she's faced with a struggle we can't see.

Grace Fjellanger says, “You have to pay extra attention and tell yourself to focus so you don't get side-tracked.”

Diagnosed with ADD, Grace says there are ups and downs. While she always has energy, she says it's easy to get distracted in class.  And, there's something else she's started to notice, ADD has become a popular term with some of her classmates.

“Some people use it as an excuse... like if they don't get their school work in on time they'll be like I have ADD, I can't do that because it's hard for me to focus. but, I don't think of it like that, I don't like to use it as an excuse,” says Fjellanger.

It's estimated only 3% of people actually have ADD, however 10 to 15% of kids in schools are medicated for the disorder.

Dr. Edward Mailloux, with Sanford Health says, “Some children are just physically hyperactive, that's not Attention Deficit Disorder, that's just being hyperactive.”

Dr. Edward Mailloux, a pediatrician who specializes in ADD, says most of the blame can be placed on doctors.
To diagnose ADD, doctors use two tools. One, one is a behavior rating scale which asks both parents and teachers a series of questions like: is the student forgetful, are they fidgety, and do they talk excessively? The second tool, is to get a detailed history of the child from the parent. Combining information from both tools results in the most accurate diagnosis, says Mailloux.

 Dr. Mailoux says, “The disconnect comes with us, the physicians, are over-medicating children without getting a real diagnosis, so that's a problem.”
 
He feels the best form of treatment begins with medication coupled with behavioral therapy. The end goal is to eventually wean kids off the meds.   If you use one without the other, Mailloux believes we're setting kids up for failure. 

And, for students like Grace Fjellanger, failure is not an option. She doesn't think of ADD as a disability, she's focused on the possibilities.

“It is a struggle, I think once I get into college I will have to apply myself a lot more. But, other than that, if I just keep that mindset it'll be no different than someone who doesn't have it,” says Fjellanger.

Dr. Mailloux says in many cases, he's conducting evaluations not because parents are concerned, but because teachers are the ones concerned.

ADD is also passed down through genetics, so if a child is diagnosed there is a good chance a parent may also have ADD.

< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

Airline CEO Has High Hopes In Pierre-Denver Flight

A regional airline based in Ohio has high hopes for a Pierre to Denver ...

Rice Wins Appeal, 'Suspension Vacated'

Ray Rice has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension by the NFL, which has been ...

Two Men Arrested For Auto Shop Beer Theft

Two men are facing burglary charges after police say they stole beer from a Sioux Falls auto ...

Police: Man Put Clerk In Choke Hold And Struck Her  Nov. 28

36-Year-Old Man Dies In Rollover Crash In SD  Nov. 28

Red Cross Volunteer Returns From Helping In NY  Nov. 28

Man Charged With Murder In SF Woman's Death  Nov. 28

Cash, Credit Or Debit This Holiday Season?  story with video  Nov. 28

Pierre, Fort Pierre Grocery Stores Being Sold  Nov. 28

Kern Brings Experience To SD Supreme Court  Nov. 28

Nebraska, South Dakota To Devise Zebra Mussel Plan  Nov. 28

Growers Grateful For Higher Christmas Tree Prices  Nov. 28

Man Accused Of Having Sex With Minor Sentenced  Nov. 28

Good Holiday Shopping Season Expected In SD  Nov. 28

Laura And Brian Preview This Weekend's Movies  story with video  Nov. 28

23rd Annual Parade Of Lights Hits DTSF  Nov. 28

The Do's And Don'ts Of Holiday Shopping  story with video  Nov. 28

The Daily Scoop 11-28-2014  story with video  Nov. 28

SMSU Volleyball Player Battles Cancer  story with video  Nov. 27

Smooth Start For Black Friday Shoppers  story with video  Nov. 27

KDLT News Archive
     

Burke Woman Killed In Crash Near Gregory

A Burke woman died in a one-vehicle roll-over crash near ...

Man Charged With Murder In SF Woman's Death

A transient man is facing murder charges for the death ...

Local Store Hours For Black Friday Shopping  story with video

Black Friday deals are starting earlier and ...

Pair Arrested For Drugs After Theft Of Headbands  Nov. 27

The Race To Get In Black Friday Shopping Lines  Nov. 27

Smooth Start For Black Friday Shoppers  story with video  Nov. 27

Shoppers Grab Last-Minute Thanksgiving Items  Nov. 27

Maker Of Thanksgiving Parade Balloons Hits Record  Nov. 27

KDLT News Archive
     

Mustangs thrilled to be headed to Elite 8  story with video

The Mustangs of SMSU are headed to the Elite 8 for the first time ...

Augvie women win in Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Augustana women's basketball team kicked off the ...

Butler loves Jacks chances in playoffs  story with video

Defense might be the difference in Saturday's playoff game in Bozeman. And Jackrabbits ...

Robinson inspires her teammates and coach  story with video  Nov. 27

Stampede win at Fargo  Nov. 26

Bos leads Coyotes to win at Dome over Wayne State  story with video  Nov. 26

Jansen, Richter lead Vikes to 7th straight win  story with video  Nov. 26

Wilber's DWU Tigers unbeaten after 9 games  story with video  Nov. 26

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top