"Faking ADHD Gets You Into Harvard"

<p>*"...Welcome to the new way to get into America’s best colleges.</p>

<p>ADHD is a chronic condition that includes difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD also often struggle with low self-esteem and poor performance in school and can show signs of the illness through adulthood. Yet a growing number of parents want their kids labeled as having the disorder. All so that they can ace their tests and gain entry into the ivory towers of the country’s best high schools and universities...*</p>

<p>Faking</a> ADHD Gets You Into Harvard - The Daily Beast</p>

<p>The problem with the article's premise is that high test scores alone are not enough to get anyone into Harvard, so "faking ADHD" to get more time on the tests in and of itself will not "get you into Harvard" or similarly selective school.</p>

<p>Nevertheless, the overdiagnosis of ADHD among affluent students is an old and ongoing story. My belief is that high-achieving professional parents sometimes cannot stomach the thought that their offspring might be intellectually average, so they push for an ADHD diagnosis to provide a rationale for the child's relative underachievement that they can all accept. As a former public school teacher in a very affluent district, I saw this happen a lot. </p>

<p>I did laugh at this comment on the original article:</p>

<p>"The Ivy League is full of Psychos, Narcissists, and Social misfits. If you want normal students, go to your local Community college." </p>

<p>Obviously unfair but given the tenor of recent press about Ivy League colleges, it's not surprising to see this view expressed.</p>

<p>The scores may be a small component at some of the Ivies but it is a major component of decisionmaking at a large number of schools. The scores also play a major role in merit scholarships.</p>

<p>Anyone with two functioning brain cells knows that standardized exams are not the gold standard for measuring student ability or potential. All of us would be better off if they were just scrapped because too many people get too bent out of shape about all of this. And going to better assessments would require hiring more people to administer and score the things which means that jobs would be created which in and of itself is a good thing too.</p>

<p>Lots of fun reading on this issue at The</a> National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest</p>

<p>faking adhd is called being a high school student. every kid has adhd haha</p>

<p>Wow. Great topic for an ethics class. The adults complicit in these schemes are professionals, imagine how they conduct themselves at work.</p>

<p>"The Ivy League is full of Psychos, Narcissists, and Social misfits. If you want normal students, go to your local Community college."</p>

<p>I think it might be fairly true. My brother went IVY and he is a narcissist to a degree and I think a bit of a social misfit. My older brother went to U of Del and he neither. They are both incredibly smart with PhD is Chemistry, but are totally different personalities. The older one is much more laid back.</p>

<p>S1 went to community college and I do think he is more "normal' than my brothers, though normal might just =average.</p>

<p>
[quote]
"The Ivy League is full of Psychos, Narcissists, and Social misfits. If you want normal students, go to your local Community college."</p>

<p>I think it might be fairly true. My brother went IVY and he is a narcissist to a degree and I think a bit of a social misfit. My older brother went to U of Del and he neither. They are both incredibly smart with PhD is Chemistry, but are totally different personalities. The older one is much more laid back.</p>

<p>S1 went to community college and I do think he is more "normal' than my brothers, though normal might just =average.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Yea, and that Einstein guy was pretty nutty too.</p>

<p>It's definitely a tricky situation. Being tested outside of school could lead to a bribe to have the doctor diagnose ADHD or could allow the child and parent to fake it. However, being tested by the school usually means the school will do everything in its power to prove the kid does not have ADHD, even if the kid actually does have it (or similar problems) quite severely. So it's good for the general public if a faker is tested by the school, but if it's the real deal, and you are positive your kid has it or a similar issue, definitely get tested by a professional outside of the school system.</p>

<p>I really, really dislike the idea of destandardizing a standardized test for any reason, especially the way the ACT and SAT do it. Giving an identical amount of extra time to every single person with a disability is basically saying they're all the same. This policy ends up raising the scores of borderline cases that would score almost at the mean without the compensation, and worse, lowers the scores of those students with more severe disabilities that affect them more than the compensation. There's really no fair way of allotting extra time, since you're essentially picking winners and losers right there.</p>

<p>IMO the only logical way to handle ADHD and other disabilities' impact on standardized testing is to either remove the remove the standardized testing requirement for those whose academic abilities aren't reflected by the test OR allow the subjective determination of how much a student's score was affected by disability to take place in the college admission process, which is already subjective. Putting that subjective, binary determination into the test-taking process, which is designed to be objective, runs against the very ideology upon which the test is based.</p>

<p>And frankly, why do we give extra time (and thus, higher scores) to one group of students that scores lower but not others? If we think it's fine to adjust scores and make one disadvantaged group score better, why don't we do the same thing for disadvantaged minorities?</p>

<p>OMG! The lack of knowledge here of what ADHD is truly astounding. First of all, if you have it or have a child with it, it is NO picnic. Secondly, time and again research shows these kids are brilliant, not ordinary. The problem is their focus, not their intelligence. One needs focus to maintain good grades, so while these kids can grasp any concept (better than me!) they lose focus to do all the steps required to complete and assignment or stay focused on an important quiz. Within that, if it is a subject they like, they are hyperfocused, also no fun because there is room for little else - hence Sheldon on Big Bang.</p>

<p>
[quote]
research shows these kids are brilliant, not ordinary

[/quote]

That's contrary to the studies I've seen quoted in which IQs don't vary from norms. Can you link them?</p>

<p>I do think that ADHD exists, only that it is very overdiagnosed for reasons such as these.</p>

<p>Interestingly, the military academies will not accept any students who have taken ADD medication within two years of applying.</p>

<p>I know plenty of people with ADHD. Some are very bright, others average, others below average, just like the rest of the population. Kids with untreated ADHD are probably brighter than they seem, because the lack of focus makes studying and retention harder. That doesn't mean they're all particularly bright, however.</p>

<p>It's remarkable how many projections of anger, confusion and misinformation a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD engenders, especially when coupled with relaxed test-taking standards.</p>

<p>I think that for people who don't understand the concept, it seems like if you're the least bit scatterbrained, you get a special privilege. The issue really comes down to how to determine what degree of ADD qualifies as a true disability. And that is really the issue up for debate. If and when is it a disability warranting time extensions that other kids don't get? </p>

<p>Although one post above implies that diagnosticians can be "bribed", this is quite unfair to assume. The criteria for diagnosis are fairly loose and there is a great deal of variability. </p>

<p>I guess the anger that arises is that kids who appear "normal" seem to get a special privilege at test-taking time, and whether this is fair to others. This is not a debate about whether ADD exists or whether it has negative effects on the individual - just on whether this practice should continue. But don't blame the folks with the disorder or the people who diagnose them.</p>

<p>Wait, ADD gives you extra time on the SATs?</p>

<p>I don't really need the extra time, I'm going for 2300+ anyway, but this means I could technically get extra time because I was diagnosed (against my will) at 13/14?</p>

<p>Neerod seems to be confusing ADHD with certain forms of autism.</p>

<p>Honest question here, not trying to poke a bear: if a child is on medication for ADHD (and thus presumably it is controlled) do they still get extra time for the SAT or ACT?</p>

<p>"That's contrary to the studies I've seen quoted in which IQs don't vary from norms. Can you link them? "</p>

<p>I'd like to see that to. In fact, depending on how you conceptualize ADHD ( the current diagnostic lable, whether combined, hyperactive/impulsive, or primarily inattentive),<a href="http://www.continuingedcourses.net/active/courses/course003.php%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.continuingedcourses.net/active/courses/course003.php&lt;/a> having this disorder might indicate "minimal brain dysfunction", which suggests the symptoms might be more common in those who ALSO larger degrees of brain dysfucntion as well. Perhaps we have a neuropsychologist can tell us how often attentional difficulties and such, occur in isolation from the other things that makes one "brilliant".</p>

<p>Here's something!
Differential Brain Development with Low and High IQ in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder</p>

<p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3335015/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3335015/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>In our affluent area, 'test anxiety' is apparently considered a reasonable justification for a diagnosis that gets you extra time on the standardized tests. I was astonished when kids we know with good grades throughout school were suddenly given extra time on their placement tests because, according to their parents, they had 'test anxiety' diagnoses in sophomore year of high school.</p>

<p>Maybe these kids had real underlying issues and their parents didn't want to discuss it. Maybe the anxiety was so debilitating that the kids really couldn't function without getting self-destructive. I don't want to judge my friends. But I also have to say that our own experience with local experts who evaluate kids for learning disabilities seemed to be an exercise in self-diagnosis: They asked 'what the problem?', we said 'seems disorganized and stressed' and they said 'fine, do you want an accommodation?' It was so blatantly unprofessional that we were disconcerted. Felt like a scam for which we were paying very big dollars. We decided we didn't need this kind of 'help.' As a result, I'm highly cynical about this process.</p>