Parenting Tips Newsletter
Letter from the author
ADHD International Consensus StatementJanuary 2002
We, the undersigned consortium of 75 international scientists, are deeply concerned about the periodic inaccurate portrayal of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in media reports. This is a disorder with which we are all very familiar and toward which many of us have dedicated scientific studies if not entire careers. We fear that inaccurate stories rendering ADHD as myth, fraud, or benign condition may cause thousands of sufferers not to seek treatment for their disorder. It also leaves the public with a general sense that this disorder is not valid or real or consists of a rather trivial affliction.
We have created this consensus statement on ADHD as a reference on the status of the scientific findings concerning this disorder, its validity, and its adverse impact on the lives of those diagnosed with the disorder as of this writing (January 2002).
Occasional coverage of the disorder casts the story in the form of a sporting event with evenly matched competitors. The views of a handful of non-expert doctors that ADHD does not exist are contrasted against mainstream scientific views that it does, as if both views had equal merit. Such attempts at balance give the public the impression that there is substantial scientific disagreement over whether ADHD is a real medical condition. In fact, there is no such disagreement --at least no more so than there is over whether smoking causes cancer, for example, or whether a virus causes HIV/AIDS.
The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), among others, all recognize ADHD as a valid disorder. While some of these organizations have issued guidelines for evaluation and management of the disorder for their membership, this is the first consensus statement issued by an independent consortium of leading scientists concerning the status of the disorder. Among scientists who have devoted years, if not entire careers, to the study of this disorder there is no controversy regarding its existence.
Next, ADHD International Consensus Statement Part 2
ADHD-Report.com: The concerned parents' guide to childrens' attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD)