Critique Of The Article: Columns: Is ADHS Over Diagnosed?

Submitted By megansqh
Words: 588
Pages: 3

Megan Handley
Ms. Hess
English 9 Honors Period 1
23 April 2013
Article Summary and Critique In the article “Columns: Is ADHS over diagnosed?” MacLean Gander, English professor at Landmark College, argues that ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is being over diagnosed due to misdiagnosis to children who learn differently than the standard. Gander begins his point by stating that doctors have no sure way to know if someone has ADHD, diagnoses are based on subjective impression not biological criteria. He then develops his claim by informing the reader of the social factors that increase need for diagnosis. The school systems are pressured to obtain high test scores which puts pressure on certain individuals to seek legal pathways to get the stimulant medications to help their more hyper-active students. The author closes by citing the annual rate of increase being 3-5% which means that in a couple decades one in five individuals will be diagnosed with ADHD, which defies logic. Gander’s purpose is to inform the reader of this over diagnosis and the need for change in school systems to account for different learners. The author’s main argument that the pressures of acquiring high grades and test scores are leading to misdiagnoses of ADHD is presented appropriately and effectively. Gander describes that “Teachers, under pressure to guide their classes to high-performance on standardized tests, can control the classroom more effectively if they can recommend that the high-energy students be controlled through medication” (par. 13). This is meant to provide the reader with an idea of why some individuals would want to be diagnosed with ADHD even if they didn’t have the disability. Gander also appropriately accounts for his sub-claims, one being that if the annual rate of increase stays consistent, the amount of diagnoses will reach a ridiculously high number. He shows this with the statement: “if the annual rate of increase in diagnosis of ADHD holds steady at between 3 and 5%, a couple decades from now we will have reached the point where more than one in five individuals will be diagnosed with the disorder” (par. 14). The purpose of this is to persuade the readers that ADHD is obviously being over diagnosed to a point where it defies logic. The other sub-claim was also efficiently described, stating that the diagnosis of ADHD is based on subjective impressions of the symptoms instead of