Author Archive for Dr. Kenny Handelman

Methylphenidate Shortage in Canada

methylphenidate 300x200 Methylphenidate Shortage in CanadaMarch 12, 2014

There has been a recent shortage of the short acting Methylphenidate medication in Canada. This is listed on the website DrugShortages.ca (and you can visit that site to check if the shortage is still an issue).

Methylphenidate is a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD. It is the active ingredient in the following medications: Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Biphentin and Concerta. However, the only form of this medication which is impacted by the shortage is the short acting version. Specifically, the 10 mg tablets, and the 20 mg tablets.

This shortage does not impact the availability of the long acting versions of methylphenidate such as Biphentin and Concerta.

Although it’s generally recommended that the long acting medications (such as Concerta and Biphentin) should be used to treat ADHD, as they work better for individuals with ADHD, there are still occassions that doctors will use a short acting stimulant medication.

These could include:

  • Using a long acting methylphenidate medication in the morning and then taking a short acting in the evening when it has been a particularly long day (i.e. topping up the medication for night school)
  • When a teen sleeps in on the weekend and gets up too late to take a long acting medication, they may take a short acting mid-day on the weekend to have some stimulant treatment
  • There are some patients (in my experience this is very few) who don’t do as well with a long acting medication as they do with a short acting version

If you or your child is taking a short acting version of Methylphenidate, you may have a hard time refilling the prescription. The pharmacist will likely tell you that the product is ‘back ordered’. However, if the pharmacy still has stock on their shelves, then you should be able to fill the prescription.

Here’s what you can do if you are stuck and cannot refill your prescription for methylphenidate:

  1. Ask the pharmacist to call other pharmacies to see if they have stock on their shelves (i.e. they will be able to call other pharmacies in their ‘chain’ (such as Shopper’s Drug Mart) and if another pharmacy has stock, they may be able to get it for you)
  2. Phone other local pharmacies and see if they have stock on their shelves, and then take your prescription to that pharmacy (you would have to take an actual prescription, as pharmacies cannot transfer prescriptions for methylphenidate from one pharmacy to another).
  3. Check if your pharmacy can order in the 5 mg tablet of Methylphenidate. If they are able to, contact your doctor’s office and explain that you need the doctor to change the prescription to the 5 mg tablets because of the medication shortage.

If none of these strategies work, then be sure to see if you can take either of Biphentin, Concerta, or even Ritalin SR to see if they can help you. Alternatively, you may benefit from a trial of an amphetamine medication – such as Vyvanse, Adderall XR, or Dexedrine. That would be an issue you’ll have to discuss with your doctor.

Please share any experiences you’ve had – particularly if you have a strategy which could be helpful to others.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Guilt and ADHD

guilt 200x300 Guilt and ADHD

When you’re dealing with ADD/ADHD, you often experience guilt.

If you’re a parent dealing with an ADD/ADHD child or teen, you may experience guilt in numerous ways, such as:

  • Guilt that you have somehow caused the ADHD…
  • Guilt that you aren’t handling it well…
  • Guilt about the treatment you are giving your child (i.e. medication)

If you’re an adult dealing with ADD/ADHD, you may experience guilt in numerous ways as well:

  • Guilt over impulsive comments you make
  • Guilt over disorganization, or being late on deadlines
  • Guilt over financial issues

Guilt can be a trap, or like an invisible cage which locks you in. If you, however, learn from the guilt, it can be a great teacher, and help you out.

I’ve just posted a new ADHD Podcast episode which discusses how to Overcome ADHD Guilt in 5 Steps. This free episode will help you to overcome guilt, by understanding it, learning from it, and moving forward.

Enjoy!

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , ,

Apps to Help You Sleep Better

AppsforAdultADHD 300x198 Apps to Help You Sleep BetterMany people with ADHD struggle with sleep.

I’ve just released a podcast episode called: 5 Steps to a Good Night Sleep with ADHD. In this podcast, I go through 5 steps to help you to figure out what’s going on with your sleep problems, and I also give you steps and strategies to work on to help out.

One of the things I found which was quite interesting, while I was researching this episode, was the fact that there are some apps which can help you to sleep better.

Firstly, you may benefit from using sleep headphones – these can allow you to listen to your mp3 player, or music which can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. These sleep headphones are flatter than normal headphones, so you won’t roll over onto your headphones and have them pressing into your head or cheek.

And then these apps may help you as well:

Sleep Hypnosis audios: Here is a sample sleep hypnosis CD from Amazon for $10. You may benefit from listening to a hypnosis CD to help you fall asleep. It’s pretty inexpensive, and it may help you out.

Here are a couple of iPhone Apps that may help you to sleep better:

Sleep – Red Hammer Software – This app has numerous ambient sounds to help you to sleep better. It is like a white noise machine, but it has many different settings which could help your sleep.

Sleep Cycle alarm clock – Maciek Drejak Labs This app helps to awaken you when you are in your lightest sleep, so that you awaken feeling more refreshed and alert. To use it effectively, you need to put the iPhone under your pillow (and I suggest you put it on ‘airplane’ mode. (and although I haven’t tried it, I have friends who swear by it, and there are 2268 Five star reviews in the app store).

Do you have any sleep strategies to help you or your kids with ADHD? Please share them in the comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , , ,

ADHD Podcast

I’m please to let you know that I’ve launched an ADHD Podcast. It is available on iTunes, Zune and Blackberry. Of course, you can just go to the site and listen to the shows right there.

It is a weekly ADHD Podcast, and I aim to bring you tips, strategies and tools to help you to live better with ADHD.

You can find the show here:

1) ADHD Podcast

2) ADHD Podcast on iTunes

Please listen in – sign up to get new episodes delivered automatically, and please join the discussion by commenting on the episodes – we’d love your input!

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Is There a Role For Guns in Parenting?

gun 300x222 Is There a Role For Guns in Parenting?In February 2012, this video was uploaded to youtube. It is a video of a dad expressing his upset with his daughter’s insulting rant on Facebook. He then takes out a gun and shoots her laptop (with hollow point exploding bullets, no less…).

This video went viral. At the time of this post (June 27, 2012) there are over 33 million views of this video. You can watch the video below, if you’d like.

While this dad expresses the frustrations that many parents feel with their teens in this electronic/facebook era, the question is: Is there a role for guns in parenting?

During this video, the dad explains that his daughter has so many things given to her, and yet she complains so much. She complains that she is being treated like a slave, when in fact the chores she is responsible for are quite few and very reasonable. Her comments are very disrespectful to her parents.

Teens today have a sense of entitlement that seems far beyond what generations past had. Even kids in families with financial challenges push their parents to get video games, electronics, music downloads, $200 headphones, etc. And there is often a lack of real appreciation and gratitude.

Of course, not all kids act this way – there are many great teens as well… But that’s not the topic for this post.

And when it comes to teens with ADHD, these issues are often more of a challenge, because of oppositional behavior with parents and teachers, which may increase the defiance they show. And because of social challenges that many teens with ADHD have, they may be more likely to post impulsively on Facebook, and that can lead to more trouble for them later on…

Acknowledging that this teen crossed the line in her facebook post, the question is – is the Dad’s response to her reasonable?

Let’s review what her dad did:

  1. He accessed her facebook and found the offending post.
  2. He recorded a video expressing his disappointment and anger with her – and didn’t show it to her – he posted it to Youtube and her Facebook wall. Youtube let the whole world see it, and Facebook let her friends see it.
  3. He pulled out a gun and shot her laptop to teach her a lesson.

Let’s analyze these ‘parenting strategies’:

1) Accessing Your Teen’s Facebook Account to look at their posts:

This parenting strategy gets the thumbs up.

In the unmoderated world of social media, teens can post things which are self degrading, harmful to others and themselves. And their posts create an online reputation that can follow them forever. Can you imagine this young woman applying for a job in 10 years as an early childhood educator? What would they say when they saw her comments about her parents in her Facebook profile? Material posted online can be archived for a very long time.

So, it is important for parents to monitor and help their kids and teens to be thoughtful and careful about what they post on their social media pages and profiles. So, I support this dad’s approach on this one.

2) Recording a Video Response to Your Teen’s Misbehavior and Posting It Online:

This parenting strategy gets a thumbs down from me.

When a parent is disappointed with his teen’s posting of a ‘rant’ against her parents online, and he wants to discipline her for it – why is he using the same offending behavior? i.e. he is saying it is not right to do that, and yet he is doing it himself back to her…

What message will she get from this act?

She’ll learn that her dad won’t take any crap, and that he’ll find her posts online, so she should be careful. She also learns that if she embarrasses her dad on Facebook, he’ll embarrass her more. And she learns that the way to problem solve when someone is publicly rude, is to publicly retaliate.

Huh?

Is that what this dad wants to teach her? That when you are upset with someone, you publicly retaliate and humiliate?

Not the best approach…

3) Finally, Using a Gun to Teach His Daughter a Lesson:

This parenting strategy also gets a thumbs down.

By using a gun to shoot up his daughter’s laptop, he’s using an aggressive way to show that he is in charge. What does that teach her? It teaches her that when you want to get the upper hand in a situation, firearms (or aggression) is the solution.

Not the best parenting message.

This dad does successfully deliver the message that he is in charge, and he’s not going to take it anymore. However, he is humiliating his teen, and solving this issue publicly and with violence (even though he has a seemingly quiet and calm tone when he talks).

My Recommendations:

Here are my recommendations for parents dealing with similar issues (as a Child Psychiatrist and ADHD Expert):

If your child does something like this, and you are very angry – work on finding a parenting approach that gets your message across clearly, and does not use behavior that you don’t want your child using.

If you want your child to learn that it is OK to solve your problems and upsets by publicly humiliating the person who upset you (publicly as in online – or other offline ways of publicly humiliating someone), and using a firearm, then use the approach as demonstrated by this dad.

On the other hand, if you want to use disciplinary approaches which demonstrate behavior that you want to encourage in your child, find approaches that work with your child and model the behavior that you want your child to develop. For example, discussing the issue privately, creating fair but firm consequences and sticking to them, and escalating the punishment for repeat offenses.

If you are struggling to do this effectively, there are many great parenting resources out there. Many people have found the chapter on parenting in my book Attention Difference Disorder helpful to them, and there many other great parenting books out there.

Also, talk to your doctor for help, or access resources from a mental health center, counselling center, or even your church or religious community. There is help out there for parents who are struggling. Remember, even though in our modern western society, we often don’t access our community as much as generations past did, there are people who would be willing to support, help and guide you.

My hope for you is that you find effective parenting strategies that work, and model the behavior that you want your child to learn (so, in 15 years, they don’t parent with a video camera, an internet connection, and a handgun).

What is your reaction to this parenting approach? Do you agree with this dad using a gun to prove his point? Do you agree with me? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , ,

The Individuality of People with ADHD

fingerprint 150x150 The Individuality of People with ADHDWhen you ask someone what they think of when they hear the term “ADHD”, they often say that they picture a boy who is hyperactive. And that’s accurate – there are some boys with ADHD who are hyperactive.

But ADD/ADHD can go far beyond boys who are hyperactive.

There are also boys who are inattentive, girls who are daydreamers, young men who get angry easily, young women who are “too emotional”, and a whole range of other different ‘presentations’ of how people seem when they have ADD or ADHD.

In my office, after completing an assessment, I discuss with a family that their child meets criteria for ADHD (if they do) and I explain more about it. It’s quite a common occurrence for the parent to say something like: “I know about ADHD because my other child has it (or my nephew has it; or I’m a teacher and I’ve had kids in my class with it), and I just don’t see my child having the same thing as the other kid(s) that I know with ADHD.”

I then go on to explain how ADHD can ‘look different’ in different people, and I explain how it is manifesting in their child.

While I’ve always known that ADHD can seem different from one person to another, the extent of the individual nature of ADHD really hit home recently when I was reading to prepare for a presentation to teachers. In the book ADHD in the Schools by Dupaul and Stoner, this point was made very clear. Before sharing Dr. Dupaul and Dr. Stoner’s insights, let me just give a brief overview of how ADHD is diagnosed with the DSM criteria.

The DSM-IV-TR (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) lists 9 symptoms of inattention, and 9 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity. To meet the criteria for ADHD, one has to have at least 6 symptoms on one or both of these two lists (inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity).

If one has at least 6 symptoms of inattention, and fewer than 6 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity, then one is diagnosed with ADHD- Inattentive Subtype.

If one has at least 6 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity, and fewer than 6 symptoms of inattention, then one is diagonsed with ADHD- Hyperactive Impulsive Subtype.

If one has at least 6 symptoms on BOTH lists, then one has ADHD- Combined Subtype.

So, to meet criteria for ADHD Combined Type, one has to have at least 12 out of 18 symptoms of ADHD. Of course, one could have 13 symptoms, or 14, etc.

In their book ADHD in the Schools, Doctors DuPaul and Stoner write:

“There are at least 7,056 possible combinations of 12 out of 18 symptoms that could result in a diagnosis of ADHD-Combined Type.”

7,056 different combinations of ADHD symptoms!

No wonder there isn’t one stereotype for kids/teens and adults with ADHD.

And this only relates to the combined type of ADHD. There would be more combinations if we added inattentive only, or hyperactive impulsive only.

And this is just based on the combination of symptoms alone. If we go a little deeper, and look at the individual, and take into account things like:

  • Ethnic and cultural background
  • Personal life experiences
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Strengths and skills people have
  • Weaknesses and challenges people struggle with
  • Personality traits
  • The society they’ve grown up in…
  • And a whole lot of other varilables

It’s no wonder that not everyone with ADD/ADHD seems to ‘look’ the same, and appear to have the same type of ADHD.

Are there similarities between individuals with ADHD? Of course there are. To meet criteria for the diagnosis, one has to have a relevant number of symptoms, and there are clinical patterns which can emerge.

However, don’t ever dismiss ADHD as a diagnosis just because that one person doesn’t appear the way you think ADHD should look . That person is just an individual with ADHD (with all of their unique individuality).

I hope that after reading this blog post, you’ll share this message with other people about ADHD. One of the first steps to destigmatize and to improve understanding about ADHD in society at large is for people to have the facts. And if we can help people to realize that not every person with ADHD is a hyperactive boy, and we open people’s minds to the fact that people with ADHD can be either gender, they can have a whole range of different symptoms, life experiences and levels of achievement in life, then we can do a lot of good out there.

And once someone has been diagnosed with ADHD, it is important that we focus on their differences and strengths to help them to achieve their best outcomes.

Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , ,

How To Tell The Difference Between Concerta and Generic Concerta

In Canada, there is a generic Concerta available. It’s called: Teva-Methylphenidate ER-C (it was formerly called: Novo-Methylphenidate ER-C). Many people have had trouble with this generic, and it is widely accepted by doctors in Canada and patients that the generic doesn’t work as well as the brand name concerta.

One question which has been sent in to me a number of times is: How do I tell the difference between the brand name Concerta and the generic Teva-Methylphenidate ER-C?

When someone isn’t medically trained, it can be very confusing. I have tried to explain to people over the phone (or in blog comments!) how to tell the difference. And then I thought of the saying: “A picture is worth 1,000 words”. I was able to find an image which clearly shows the difference between the two medications. I was able to get permission from Janssen (the maker of Concerta) to share this image with you.

To tell the difference between the brand Concerta compared to the generic, notice a few features:

  • The brand Concerta has the word ‘Alza’ typed in black on its side; the Generic Teva MPH ER-C does not have this typed word on it
  • The brand Concerta looks more rounded like a little soda can, compared to the generic which is an oval pill
genericconcertacanada 801x1024 How To Tell The Difference Between Concerta and Generic Concerta

Generic Concerta vs. Brand Name Concerta in Canada

Please share any comments below. And feel free to share this with anyone who may benefit from knowing about this.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , ,

ADDA Webinar: Rethink ADHD

addawebinar 300x63 ADDA Webinar: Rethink ADHD

Please join me tonight (June 13th 2012) for a free webinar for ADDA.

My topic: “Rethink ADHD: Changing the Discussion”

Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time:  9:00 – 10:00 pm EDT

Registration link: http://bit.ly/handelman6-13g

Normally these events are for members of ADDA only, but because you’re a subscriber or reader of my blog, ADDA is letting me open up the presentation for you as well.

We are in interesting times when it comes to the public view and the public discussion around ADHD. Stigma, misperceptions, judgement and ignorance abound.

We have an interesting paradox between the research we have around the benefits of diagnosis and treatment, and the challenges that people have accessing these treatments.

And then people have to defend and explain themselves because of the misconceptions that others have. This webinar will discuss the issues of stigma and judgement, and provide some insight into what the discussion about ADHD should be about.

We need to move the discussion of ADHD from: – ‘Does ADHD exist’ to ‘how do we make sure people are getting proper assessments and diagnosis?’

From: ‘Are medications for ADHD safe?’ to ‘Ensuring you have a comprehensive treatment program, including medication, therapy, alternatives, and coaching’. -

From: ‘Is treatment improving inattention?’ to ‘Let’s not just treat core symptoms, let’s treat the whole individual, and ensure that quality of life improves.’

From: ‘Judging adults with ADHD’ to ‘moving toward compassion, support and understanding.’

ADDA has a special surprise for you this evening, too. So I hope to “see” you Wednesday night.

Warmly,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , ,

Britney Has ADHD

britneyspearscropped Britney Has ADHD

Britney Spears has ADHD (picture from Wikipedia.org)

It has just been reported that Britney Spears has ADHD. The Grammy winning pop star, who holds Guinness World Records, and has her own Star on the Walk of Fame has now shared that she has ADHD.

Britney has taken on the role of a judge on the singing reality show “The X Factor”, and she is now currently filming for the show. During the filming of auditions, Britney reportedly needed to take breaks, and the explanation was that she has ADHD, and that she had to take breaks during the long filming sessions.

The reports also go on to explain that Britney was diagnosed with ADHD when she was young, and used to take medication for it. Her doctors apparently have now forbidden her from taking ADHD medication for reasons related to other mental health concerns. Here is a link to one of the news reports about this story.

Now that Britney has come forward and shared her diagnosis of ADHD, she joins other celebrities like: Howie Mandel, Ty Pennington, Adam Levine, Michael Phelps, Karina Smirnoff and many others.

I personally view this as a brave and helpful admission. Millions of kids and teens get diagnosed with ADHD, and they feel that they are disordered, and they wonder if they will have a positive future because of their “Disorder”. Having celebrities come forward to share their diagnosis helps kids to realize that they can be successful even though they have ADHD.

While I view Britney’s disclosure as a positive, I have come across some comments on social media sites (which I don’t want to support with a link right now…) who say that Britney is “blaming” her behavior on ADHD, and how awful is that. They are suggesting that she is acting like a diva, and using ADHD as an excuse.

Before responding to this, I’d like to share that I have no direct knowledge on Britney’s diagnosis or medical care – I only know what I’ve read online. And saying that – here’s my response: Britney apparently disclosed to her employer (Simon Cowell) before signing on for the show that she has ADHD, cannot take medication for it, and needs to take breaks at times because of it. Simon apparently agreed to this before hiring Britney. Britney can’t take medication for ADHD, and instead she is using strategies to help herself to function well. And let’s remember – although an ‘audition show’ makes it seem like 1 hour for each city (i.e. the LA auditions only seem to take 1 hour), in fact, they are filming for very long days… (and of course there is much more involved – make up, lighting, direction, breaks, etc.) They just edit it to seem short for us – the viewers.

In my understanding of the situation, Britney is acknowledging her challenges, putting strategies and supports in place, and working to function in the best way that she can. I think that is a great model for others to learn from and to emulate. I would not try to tear her down for being a diva and blaming it on ADHD.

The reality is that ADHD medication is helpful for Adult ADHD, and it is not the whole solution. There is some research that shows that most of the time, ADHD medications do not fully treat the symptoms of adult ADHD. So, it is very important to use strategies and to develop skills to improve functioning with ADHD. This is even more important if someone is unable to take medication.

Why can’t Britney take medication for ADHD?

There aren’t any reports that I’ve read which explain this in more detail. One news report said that she can’t take medication for ADHD because of mental health issues. While I don’t know what these are for Britney, it is possible that she has had one of these challenges: intolerable side effects from ADHD medication; mood instability from ADHD medications (i.e. depression or induction of hypomania or mania), sleep disruption, significant decreased appetite, etc. In other words, I’m guessing. I’m sure she has expert and capable doctors.

The take away I encourage you to get from this is: Britney is a talented star, who has ADHD, is using strategies to manage it because she can’t take medication (on doctor’s orders). That’s a great example for all of us.

What impact do you think this admission will have for you, or your kids with ADHD, or the people you work with (if you’re a professional working with people with ADHD)?

Please share your thoughts or comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

ADHD and Post-Term Births… Don’t Believe Everything You Read

sleep 300x200 ADHD and Post Term Births... Dont Believe Everything You ReadA new study just came out in the International Journal of Epidemiology, called: “Post-term birth and the risk of behavioural and emotional problems in early childhood”. It was published online on May 3, 2012.

The press have widely reported that this study shows that when a pregnancy goes beyond 42 weeks, then a child is more than two times more likely to develop ADHD in early childhood.

You can find many media references to the study, and here is the link to a BBC article entitled: Overdue babies: ‘Risks for those born after 42 weeks’.

I am largely annoyed with the difference between what the study reports, and what the press are saying.

What The Study Reports:

First of all, this study is very interesting from the perspective that we often think about prematurity as a risk factor for ADHD, as well as other medical, learning and emotional issues. However, we don’t really think of a baby being ‘post dates’ as an issue for ADHD or other emotional or learning issues. The researchers point out that as a pregnancy goes beyond 40 weeks, the placenta may not be able to meet all of the needs of the baby, and thus going past dates may cause problems too.

This study followed the pregnancies of 5145 children in a large population-based prospective cohort study in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Mothers enrolled between 2001 and 2005. Of the births, 382 (7%) were born post term. The researchers had all of the mothers complete the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at the ages of 1.5 and 3 years old. This questionnaire has parents rate a wide range of symptoms in their children, and then the software calculates the scores, and provides a rating (based on parent report) on several different scales of emotional functioning – such as: anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, ADHD, aggressive behavior, etc.

Please realize that questionnaires do not diagnose ADHD. Questionnaires can provide data, which can help an experienced clinician to conduct a more detailed assessment to see if ADHD (or any other condition) is actually there.

The research report says: “post-term born children had a higher risk for overall problem behaviour [odds ratio (OR)?=?2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI)?=?1.32–3.36] and were almost two and a half times as likely to have attention deficit / hyperactivity problem behaviour (OR?=?2.44, 95% CI?=?1.38–4.32).”

Let me highlight an important point there: “two and a half times as likely to have attention deficit / hyperactivity problem behaviour“. The questionnaire doesn’t diagnose ADHD, rather it points out that these children have more ‘ADHD problem behavior’ compared to babies born at term.

As an experience clinician and expert in ADHD, I know that it can be very difficult to diagnose kids with ADHD at a young age. It certainly can be done at 3 years old, but I am very cautious about a diagnosis at that age, and I certainly put a lot more work into it than just having the parents fill out a questionnaire. Personally, I would find this information more reliable if the researchers were able to provide follow up at school age – i.e. at 6 years old. That would give us a better idea of how the child was doing (of course I do understand that there are big issues with funding, timing, etc., but I still would love to see data at 6 years old).

Furthermore, I am left wondering: “is the relationship between post-term birth and ‘ADHD problem behavior’ truly a causal relationship?”
In other words, if we accept that the behavior ratings at 3 years old are accurate (i.e. there are more ADHD problem behaviors), then do we know for sure that this was caused by post-term birth?

Maybe there was another variable at play here.

In a cohort of over 5000 women, approximately 4% of them would be expected to have ADHD. That works out to about 200 women. It would be much more likely for these women to have children with ADHD problem behaviors irrespective of when their child was born (premature, on time, or post-dates). And what if they were more likely to refuse intervention from the doctor, and wait for nature to take its course? Then we may believe that it is going ‘post dates’ that is causing ADHD type symptoms, when in fact, we are just screening out for moms who have ADHD symptoms. Now, I have no science to back this up, and I do not believe that the mothers were screened themselves for ADHD. So this is complete conjecture. But, I think it’s an interesting theory.

Before I get flaming comments here, I’m not suggesting that women who refuse induction of labor, or who want to let nature take its course all have ADHD. Far from it. I’m just putting forward a theory which may refute the theory that it is a causal relationship between post-dates birth and developing ADHD.

What The Media Is Reporting:

The media is reporting that kids born post-dates (i.e. after 42 weeks) are over 2 times as likely to have ADHD. I read one report which went so far as to suggest that mothers should consider having a C-section before 42 weeks to help to prevent ADHD (I can’t find the exact news report to link to here, but trust me, I read it).

In Summary:
As you can see based on what I wrote above, I believe that these claims are over-simplified. I am not convinced that post-term births increase the risk of ADHD. This study has opened my eyes to the possibility that post-term births may be a risk factor for ADHD, or possibly other learning or behavioral issues, but it is by no means conclusive research. It’s my opinion that the media are over-simplifying this, and it may create more backlash and stigma for ADHD patients and their moms (like the mother-in-law saying: “I told you you should have listened to the doctor and had an induction of your labor at 41 weeks. The fact that you waited too long caused my grandson’s ADHD…”).

What do you think? How do you respond to the research, and the media reporting of it?
Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Best,
Dr. Kenny

Technorati Tags: , , , ,