Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder

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In 1987, a support group called Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD) was founded. Ten years later, the organization--now called Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder--had 650 chapters around the country and had attracted some unwanted attention for the fact that part of its expenses are paid by Ciba-Geigy, the pharmaceutical giant that manufactures Ritalin. That company's interest in depicting jumpy kids as having a disease (which is how most Americans already see things) is as unsurprising as are its deep pockets. (Alfie Kohn, What to Look for in a Classroom, 1998 at 131)

Kohn goes on to note that CHADD and the popular press widely trumpet even the smallest bit of evidence that ADHD is biological in origin while studies finding strong correlation with environmental factors are buried.

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