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A student at our school has been having a little trouble and the counselor's only advice was to buckle down. He recently fessed up that a friend heard about adult ADHD on TV. His friend told him that he could get special treatment, like untimed tests and rescheduling of exams if he was diagnosed with ADHD along with free meds. 


My question is do you think a kid can actually fake it well enough to get diagnosed by a doctor? Do you know of any cases where kids have faked ADHD? I would have to think or hope that the tests are thorough enough to weed out fakers. 

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That is such a good question and I look forward to some of the replies. It is an interesting thought. I heard something interesting once and I quote: "ADHD/ADD is the inability to pay attention to subjects that disinterest us." It gave me a lot to think about. I had a lot of trouble staying on task as a kid before ADHD became a diagnosis. I was; however, afraid to bring bad grades home (a little Tiger mom thing going on at our house) and so I came up with all sorts of strategies to get work done in smaller increments. I don't know who actually has ADHD (and I know some kids REALLY have severe cases) and who manipulates our systems to use it to their advantage. I'm sure with everything there are users and abusers. Lets see what everyone else has to say and thank you for raising this issue.

I expect to see the number of abusers sky rocket especially in the teenage set. There are about 5 to 7 million kids diagnosed with ADD. That number is sure to go up because of information on the internet that encourages and teaches abuse (see below)? It just scares me to think that kids can find information like this on the internet.


Study the following sample questions and you’ll be sure to come out with an FDA certified lifetime meth subscription. All for the price of a $20 per month insurance co-payment. And all it takes is one hour of your attention.

* * *

Stick to these sample Q’s and you’ll pass the ADD test with flying colors.

Childhood & School

Q: How did you perform in grade school?

A: Average to below average. Dependant on tutors just to keep up.

Q: Any behavioral problems?

A: Yes. Talking in class. (Add frequent parent teacher conferences to address school performance for extra ADD points.)

Q: How did you do on lectures in college?

A: Poorly. Trouble attending big lectures. Frequently zoning out, doodling and conversing with classmates. (For extra points, mention that you were only accepted into a community college.)

Q: How did you perform on college exams?

A: Poorly. Frequently cheated to pass. (For a bigger punch, mention periodic self medicating with Sudafed – an over the counter stimulant.)

The tests for ADHD are quite subjective, as the diagnosis is determined by a checklist (how many symptoms show up) and the degree to which life (social, school, work) is impacted.  Given the vast number of ways in which ADHD can manifest, it would take a VERY sophisticated child to trick a diagnosing psychologist.  

ADHD is not just hyperactive or inattentive -- there are six major aspects of the complex syndrome that are impacted, and the checklist is pretty long!

The six aspects of Executive Function, by the way, according to Dr. Tom Brown, are: Activation (organizing, prioritizing and initiating); Focus (focus, sustaining and shifting attention); Effort (regulating alertness, sustaining effort, processing speed); Emotion (managing frustration and regulating emotions); Memory (working memory and accessing recall); and Action (monitoring and self-regulating)

One more thing -- the evidence is clear, according to CHADD, that ADHD is in fact not over-diagnosed, it is significantly undiagnosed, especially in girls and minorities.  White boys are the most likely to receive a diagnosis.

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