"Faking ADHD Gets You Into Harvard"

<p>Anybody see this in The Daily Beast? </p>

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

<p>"according to educational consultant Dana Haddad, principal of New York Admissions, “There is definitely an uptick in children who are being given a full-scale neurological work-up at the request of their parents, as opposed to the schools.” Coached by parents, and by some competitive guidance counselors, these students then “fake-fail” the test, are branded as hyperactive, and are granted leniency, ranging from extra days to complete homework to extra time to take the SATs. Since 2003, those scores, which are higher by children taking ADHD medication, according to a 2008 study published by the journal Pediatrics, are not flagged for admissions counselors; doing so would be considered discrimination. In the end, ADHD fakers look like every other college applicant—only with higher scores and grades. "</p>

<p>Hey, I didn't say it.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Tricking a doctor, says Janine Pollack, a licensed pediatric neuropsychologist in Brooklyn, shouldn’t be so easy—and schools should never settle for parent-reported diagnoses. Her assessments include a battery of neuropsychological tests that can last up to 10 hours and cost upward of $4,000. Plus, in keeping with the standards of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, “The child has to have a history from before age seven, he has to have a performance on a neuropsych battery that fits the profile, he has to confirm himself that there are features of ADHD present, and the symptoms have to be present in more than one setting.”

[/quote]
This is exactly why the diagnosis should not be based predominantly by rating scales/checklists and self report alone.</p>

<p>jym, have you seen data in any scientific journals regarding whether "normal" students SAT scores increase on stimulants or with additional time? </p>

<p>I anticipate another "up tick" if DSM V changes the age of onset criteria.</p>

<p>This hasn't been my experience.
My oldest took extended time SATs in 1999. At this time scores were identified as being given extra time. College board allowed this even though she attended a private school & didn't receive an IEP plan as such although she did receive learning support services.</p>

<p>In 2005 my younger daughter was not given extended time for the PSATs, even though she had a 504 plan & had, had an IEP for 6 years previous. It took a great deal of time & energy to provide enough documentation for her to be granted extended time for one sitting of the SATs.</p>

<p>I don't have a problem with test scores being flagged for extended time. Better that you know up front what sort of learning support services will be available than try & be admitted through a less transparent process, then not have the support you need.</p>

<p>Funny, I thought the only cheating in admissions was from students doing SAT tests in China.</p>

<p>lucky kids.. our high school counselor believes there is no such thing as adhd and that the kids are just faking it!</p>

<p>Not sure you could get a study approved that allowed "normal" students to be given stimulants for a research protocol! That said, I saw something several yrs ago (forget where) that looked at the SAT score distributions of students in Scarsdale HS (IIRC) identified as qualifying for accomodations vs those not, on SAT scores. They hypothesized that the students who were given accomodations should have their scores fall on the normal curve, if now they were accomodated per ADA's "average person" criteria. But what they got was a bimodal distribution, with the accomodated students scoring HIGHER. That led to some big blow up and review of the accomodations at Scarsdale. Anyone else remember this?</p>

<p>Perfectly normal friend (in "talented and gifted classes") got extra time on ACT and got a "34." Of course, extra time is all you really need to ace the Science secction on the ACT. Would that we were all so fortunate. How she was able to be placed in talented and gifted yet at the same time need extra time on standardized tests is bizarre. You would have thought the school would have killed her off from TAG classes when she asked them to write the "special accommodations" letter and proof in order to receive the extra time. How can you be "handicapped" with ADHD and still be placed in the best sections in school, where you DON'T get extra time for anything?! This girl's mom was a genius at gaming both systems, evidently!</p>

<p>
[quote]
How she was able to be placed in talented and gifted yet at the same time need extra time on standardized tests is bizarre.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I'll comment about this. I think it is WONDERFUL that some school actually recogized the gifted/talented student despite their need for extra time. Being gifted/talented should not be a race against a clock on some standardized test.</p>

<p>Our elementary school would ONLY ID g/t kids who were brilliant across the board. SO....if you had a literary genius who was not a great math student (or vise versa) they could NOT be in the GT program. That was ridiculous too.</p>

<p>I don't know about add, but my kid gets extra time on tests because of dysgraphia. She had years of occupational therapy, and her handwriting is very difficult to read. And yes she is in all honors classes. And there's nothing bogus about it.</p>

<p>(she gets Bs in gym class (dance) because she's not very coordinated, that's what I have a problem with)</p>

<p>I don't really see what is wrong with flagging tests. My s is taking time and a half on his standardized testing and has all through elementary standardized tests, etc. He, too, takes difficult classes but is dyslexic and reads very slowly. This becomes a handicap on timed tests when reading against "normal" kids. His testing extends every three years over several days and has been fairly consistent for 12 years. I would have no problem if his standardized test scores were flagged. He will most likely always read slowly and will need to plan is college classes accordingly. I'm on record of saying too many parents and kids are putting amphetamines in their kids who really might not need them. I shudder to think what it might be doing to these kids over the long haul of life. Only time will tell since the fad is pretty "new" in the medical world.</p>

<p>One of my kids has an LD and had extra time on the SATs. Her score was statistically very similar to her non LD siblings. FWIW.</p>

<p>How she was able to be placed in talented and gifted yet at the same time need extra time on standardized tests is bizarre.</p>

<p>You can have tested IQ of over 160, but have significant learning/processing difficulties.</p>

<p>My son was "diagnosed" by his teachers as having ADHD when he entered kindergarten. They continuously urged me to get medical diagnosis, but we resisted until end of 7th grade. There were several times when he was denied educational opportunities at his school because teachers did not want to deal with him. At the end of 7th grade I was tired of the situation and we obtaiend medical diagnosis and my son took various ADHD medication throughout 8th grade. His grades improved dramatically (from being C and D student he became A and A- student). We had to discontinue medication because of the side effects it had on him (we tried different formulations until we gave up). </p>

<p>I would like to note that it is pretty clear to everyone around him that he does have ADHD. While we managed to teach him to actually sit during class, I still constantly have to remind him to stop moving while I talk to him (he literally gives me a headache sometimes). </p>

<p>I believe the 8th grade experience gave my son confidence that he is capable of obtaining higher grades. He is now freshman in high school and has around 3.7 unweighted gpa taking more then full load. All his classes that can be Honors are honors, one of the classes is AP and one extra class is at the local flagship (college honors calculus). Next year, he is planning to also take AP classes in the subject areas that are available to sophomore, while continuing taking honors classes in which AP is not available.</p>

<p>He never had IEP and we never requested extra time on any tests (our choice). Last year (as an 8th grader) his score in Math SAT II was 720 and in Math SAT 700. While his gpa and SAT scores (so far) are definitely not Harvard material, I think he should be proud of what he achieved given the circumstances. </p>

<p>I would never want to ask for special treatment for him, because when he is an adult nobody is going to give him breaks just because he has ADHD. Instead, we constantly work with him on helping him to cope with his condition. After going through so much (believe me it is hard on both parents and the child), all I can say is that I am appalled by people who would try to fake ADHD to get special treatment.</p>

<p>I would never want to ask for special treatment for him, because when he is an adult nobody is going to give him breaks just because he has ADHD.</p>

<p>actually-you have a legal right to ask for workplace accommodations.
Americans</a> with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)</p>

<p>I understand why people with dyslexia get extra time. What is the logic behind ADHD people getting extra time? Is it that they have a harder time concentrating or focusing on a task for a long period of time, so they lose time when they get distracted and therefore need extra time?</p>

<p>Emeraldkity4,</p>

<p>you are absolutely right, that he has every right to do that. </p>

<p>However, he has big dreams and I feel that if he wants to achieve them, relying on that right might hinder him more than not using that right. The reason for my thinking is that regardless of the laws, the decisions (admissions, promotions, hiring, etc.) are made by humans. Therefore, all factors being equal, another candidate (without request for accommodation) will have an edge over my son.</p>

<p>It is my (as a mother) personal choice. Other parents of children with ADHD or LD obviously make different choices - and they have their reasons. I am not saying I am right and they are wrong (the choice we make are best for our kids, so we all are right I suppose). My post was more about disdain towards those faking disability.</p>

<p>Folks....you don't get extended time JUST because you have ADHD. There are many folks with that diagnosis who do NOT get extended time. You get extended time because there is data that supports that you NEED extra time for testing tasks. Where I am, extended time is not just provided for standardized tests. Evidence MUST be presented that shows that the student must have extended time for all assessments. In other words, there has to be data to support that the student was given extended time on tasks in order to complete them, and that without this extended time, he/she would not be able to demonstrate what he really knows.</p>

<p>Collegealum314,</p>

<p>when my son started taking ADHD medication he told me that 30 minutes after he took the pill it was like "everything calmed down in his head". This year, without medication, he has comments on report card from his teachers that say something like that: "easily destructed", "does not pay attention in class", "looks in the window". He also had similar comments throughout school before he started taking medication. As I said in prior posts, he only took meds for a year.</p>

<p>^Would people on medication, and who respond well to it, need extra time?</p>