“Expand Pre-K, Not A.D.H.D”


Researchers who found that A.D.H.D. diagnoses of lower-income children jumped 59% when public school accountability laws were passed (with no comparable jump in higher income strata or private schools), write in the New York Times that “Over the next few years, America can count on a major expansion of early childhood education. We embrace this trend, but as health policy researchers, we want to raise a major caveat: Unless we’re careful, today’s preschool bandwagon could lead straight to an epidemic of 4- and 5-year-olds wrongfully being told that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. From the article:

    “The American Academy of Pediatrics now endorses the idea that the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. can and should begin at age 4, before problems accumulate. In fact, Adderall and other stimulants are approved for treatment of attentional issues in children as young as 3.”

    This same group then expresses “concern” about the “over-diagnosis” of ADHD?
    They have no credibility to express “concern” for children.
    They sold out to Pharma years ago.


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  2. And notice that the group that bears the real burden of being overdiagnosed are the poor kids! Go figure. Remember the government’s attempt to carry out the Violence Initiatives in the 70’s where they planned to control inner city problems by drugging and shocking kids from the poor sections of cities? They would have gotten away with it too if Dr. Breggin hadn’t gotten after them. The government was saying that poor, minority kids are genetically prone to violence!

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