Sunday, July 20, 2008


As a mother of three and an educator, I have been personally and professionally acquainted with the umbrella terms of ADHD and ADD for many years. I have always been concerned about the environmental aspects of this supposed disease: additives in food, television and computer exposure, etc.

The most recent book I have read on the subject by Thom Hartmann called The Edison Gene focuses on the positive aspects of ADHD and challenges the use of term 'disorder'. He maintains that it is the schools' inability to adapt and individualize pedagogy to channel the inherent energy and creativity in these students that causes the rift between student and teacher and not a disorder per se.

Additionally, he looks to other factors such as loss of nutrient rich soil in today's corporate farming world and how foods are deficient in brain-powerful fuel, as a contributing factor to many children's lessening ability to focus.

And I just ran across this blurb about food colorants in food the reconfirms fears of mine that I have simply been too sidetracked to address with my own family. It looks like Europe may be more ready to objectively deal with the situation of public health than the US:

Europe Manages Risk: USA Pretends It Doesn't Exist.
There's a pattern here. European Union nations phase out the more hazardous of the pthalate plasticizers: USA lobbies against it and resists it in the US. Europe tests animals for Mad Cow disease: USA makes it illegal to test them. Europe takes climate action: USA resists. There are plenty more where these come from. You get the idea: when it comes to protecting children from dye marketed mainly to children, Europe leads.

Now, synthetic dyes are getting a second run. New research indicates the chemicals can disrupt some children's behavior, and activists and consumer groups are asking for bans or limits on the dyes. A prestigious British medical journal recommended that doctors use dye-free diets as a first-line treatment for some behavior disorders; British regulators are pressuring companies to stop using the dyes, and some are complying.

The issue has generated much less attention on this side of the Atlantic. The FDA says the dyes are safe, and has no plans to limit their use.

We know FDA won't act. Administratively Disordered Hypoactive Dysfunction (ADHD) has taken over.

Sounds like a foolish wish, but maybe Wal-Mart will take the lead. These days corporate mavericks can show more common sense than the agencies set up to manage consumer risk.
Via::Balitmore Sun, Color Me Concerned, Activists ask FDA to ban artificial food dyes after research supports possible link to ADHD Image credit::Balitmore Sun, by Algerina Perna


intlxpatr said...

I am SO with you on this. There are sections in many grocery stores with additive free products. Additionally, many children diagnosed ADHD or ADD might just be very very active boys! I am opposed to segregation in schools, but I am for finding different ways to challenge and engage the energy-active males who find school frustrating and humiliating.

Anonymous said...

hi, I had a boy, with ADHD , we went up and down, but thanks God now he graduated from High school, we tried diet, retalin, special school but the best thing was DORE !!!check :
or or go to goole and seach for Dore . good luck. they will change!!

Carly said...

Hey intlxpatr! I wonder if you can find those in KW? Although, if we could all just go back to basics, we'd probably be better off anyway. I agree with you about the boy issues and school. A teacher has to be able to allow and even build in movement in her classroom. It is crazy to imagine that we are all wired the same way, and once the education world starts allowing for these differences, we are in for a MAJOR overhaul! :)

Hey anon,
Thanks for the tip. I am familiar with something similar. Luckily, my own situation is not dire. I have taught many ADHD students, and while they were very active indeed, I always found them to be the top out-of-the-box thinkers and most creative in the class. Love them!