ADD/HD – Did I Miss It?

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ADD/HD – Did I Miss It?

ADD/HD – Did I Miss It?

BY: Howard Chusid Ed.D, NCC, LMHC

A large part of my practice has to do with Attention Deficit Disorder; sometimes including the Hyperactivity component. I see children and adults who have problems and it always surprises me when I have to make the diagnosis. Not that the diagnosis is a difficult one to make, but when I see a twenty-six (26) year old, who didn’t do well in school and is not succeeding in life and is wondering what is going on, that surprises me. I don’t blame the patient, but I do believe that the system is at fault. My question is really, “how could a person go through our free educational system without any teacher picking up that something is wrong”? It is not as if ADD/HD is a hidden problem, it just does not come out on weekends or on vacations, it is there at all times. When a student cannot sit still in class and is always walking around the room, talking to their neighbor and maybe causing trouble in the class that is a sign. Now, it just does not happen in one class, but in many classes. It just doesn’t happen in one term but many terms. So, why does no one put it all together? How could our teachers miss it, or taken another way, why don’t our teachers care?

The next question is not for the teachers but for the parents. I understand that parents may not be academically equipped to make a diagnosis, but we do see our children. We do know when our children are difficult, acting up, or just obnoxious. Now, those issues alone may not be a telltale sign, but put together with bad grades at school, teachers always complaining, our children saying that they are not happy, don’t want to go to school, should be enough of a signal that something may not be correct. So, how are our parents missing it?

I have seen too many adults who have ADD/HD that was completely missed when they were younger. Now they come to me because they are having a problem with their job, (if they have one), they cannot cope, they can’t read well and are afraid to admit that to anyone. They never really graduated high school, since they dropped out rather than continue with the bad educational experience. They can’t maintain a relationship and don’t know what to do. They get married and it is not working out, so they want a divorce. Many times, they have been married more than twice and still do not understand what the problems are; they can’t get along and it is always the other person, never them.

I am sure I could go on and on, but the scenarios won’t really change. The only thing that changes is the ages of the patients, they get older and nothing is being done. They have problems in their workplace, they rarely succeed, the work never is done and they always have problems with their boss. All this is a continuation of their schooling and of how they were raised. So, how do we stop the cycle? What can we do to start these patients on a better path? The easy answer is if they come in, and want to stop the carnage of their lives, we can help.

Our schools need to do a better job identifying these children who exhibit ADD/HD tendencies. I see no reason why a school counselor or teacher cannot review the school record and make an observation that a problem may exist and then kick it up to the next level. At the next level, at least they will start putting it all together, so an evaluation can be done if it meets the criteria. At the worst-case scenario, at least the child will be looked at, and maybe an alternative suggestion will be found to assist this youngster.

If a parent feels that their child is not acting appropriately, they could take the child to a professional for an evaluation. Even a physician can make an evaluation based upon all the information, which would send a child for further study. If a parent sees that their children are not reacting, as other children of the same age would act, then a doctor’s visit becomes mandatory. The only thing to do is follow up to insure that the child is fine.

Not taking care of a child causes all kinds of ramifications in adulthood. They may not be able to make it on their own, they can’t hold a job, they can’t pay their bills, they need to depend on others for assistance, they may have no friends, and they may not be able to take care of their children and may make the wrong decisions that will cripple their children as they are growing up. We are then duplicating the problem and result.

What do we do? If you suspect that your children may have a problem, get them to your physician. You may want to speak to the school and get their views, meet with all the teachers and hear them out. You may want to speak with your child’s friend’s parents, to see if anything strange is occurring at their home.

There is a lot that you can do, you just need to want to do it!


Howard Chusid, Ed.D, LMHC, NCC is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Kaplan University. He also has a practice, The Helping Place, LLC, where he sees children through adults with many kinds of problems. He focuses on ADD/HD in children and adults. Additionally, he is a Certified Mediator in Family and the Circuit Civil areas. He enjoys Family Mediation (Divorces) and works towards a happy solution for a difficult situation.
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