Is Adhd Overdiagnosed

By: Thomas Greenslade

A Summary Of The Christian Home and ADHD By James Thomas, M.D.

What should a Christian think when you are told your child may be ADHD? This article challenges the outright acceptance of the modern ADHD diagnoses. You are challenged to look at the diagnoses with the Bible with thoughtful questions.


First of all, under "Concerns About the Diagnosis," Dr. Thomas points out that the presuppositions are Non-Biblical. What the Bible says about parenting is not considered and even opposed, that drug therapy is the only treatment. Dr. Thomas points out that leading "experts" don't agree on the diagnosis. One problem is that a "medical" diagnosis is made using only the behavior of your child, and subjectively noted using Conner's Rating Scale or some other similar tool. No blood test or any other medical test is used. The pitfall is that the observer is biased. Your child may be subjected to a "test" using medication therapy, but the pitfall here is that "normal" children respond to the medication in the area of attention so it is inconclusive.

Dr. Thomas points out that the behavioral "symptoms" are Biblical issues. He lists the criteria used for determining Inattention and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity and points out that they are "hardly the criteria of which medical diseases are made." He also quotes that in Britain and France ADHD is rarely diagnosed because it is considered a conduct problem rather than medical. The behaviors are ones the Bible clearly addresses. Just medicating your child robs him of the hope and changes using the Bible will accomplish.


Dr. Thomas raises concerns about the medications that are used to treat ADHD. For instance, it is not known how Ritalin calms the overactive child. Just that it does sedate him. Many parents who have their child on Ritalin have never read the possible side effects it can have: poor growth, stomach upsets, headaches, and insomnia are common. Due to possible liver injury, Cylert treatment must be monitored by testing liver function periodically.


Dr. Thomas points out that unfortunately the focus is primarily on using medication. School teachers are often the ones who start an active child on that path. "Teachers have discovered that in an overcrowded classroom with extremely limited disciplinary options the unruly child can be subdued with medication. The child is labeled, and label sticks for the rest of his life.
Many Christians have replaced Biblical change with this psychological treatment. What the Biblical counselor has is the only real option -?the superior Word of God.

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