Hats off to Dr Hallowell for his new podcasts on a brand new website that launches tomorrow. I listened to the one on music and focus, where the author and neuroscientist interviewed spoke for five minutes about music and focus. It appears that the ADHDer and psychiatrist Dr Hallowell is unusual because he likes to write and listen to music. Most perform worse when listening to music because it stimulates the mind-wandering mode.
I liked the idea that listening to music helped our “mind-wandering mode”, and how this mode is valued to help us solve problems that the “executive function” aspect, ‘ the planning aspect, wasn’t able to do. This is perhaps the “Thinking Outside the Box” tag that is often given to ADHDers, who are celebrated for being able to make brave and bold decisions that more cautious planners might shy away for.
You can guarantee that these podcasts will attempt to focus on the positive wherever possible, something that was perfectly illustrated by the giant laugh that he leaves us with.
Thank you to Emily in the comments section on this piece in the Daily Mail a few days ago. Emily points out that ADHDers have a hard enough time being believed for this condition, without the gleeful note of scepticism raised in the Mail every time the latest study on ADHD appears.
This one from Taiwan, involving just under 400,000 school children entering school in the Far East, implies that the higher percentage of August babies to September babies carrying an ADHD diagnosis shows that ADHD is just down to immature behaviour.
As Emily in the comments section points out, the statistical difference 1.8% for September babies too 2.9% for August babies is not that great anyway, and even the article points out that it is perhaps not that significant. “So why write the article then?”, asks Emily.
Here, here. And when you consider that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and some children – around a third – are said to grow out of it, perhaps even a whole year in age can make a difference when there is a borderline diagnosis for a child who may then grow out of it (particularly if helped with tools for keeping on track in school while on medication).
Particularly malevolent is when the Daily Mail uses words to describe the increase in prescriptions for children’s ADHD medication as having “soared” since the 1990s. This “soaring” statistic is better explained by a simple increase in diagnosis- and because at last, slowly, there is a better awareness of the symptoms and treatment for the condition.
This is to be celebrated. But the Daily Mail seems to want to blame the condition on poor parenting. Do other mental health issues have this moral stigmatising?