Sand vests in ADHD diagnosis no substitute for appropriate treatment

The ADHD Conference warns against regular use of sand vests in children with ADHD diagnosis. This can distract from the actual difficulties and further stigmatize the affected children. Pediatricians demand that sand vests should not replace sustainable treatment. This is followed by the ADHD conference.

Unsettled children in schools are attracted to sand-filled, kilogram-heavy vests

More and more restless children in schools are being attracted to sand-filled vests weighing several kilograms in order to calm their behaviour through physical pressure. However, reliable research results on mode of action and benefits are still lacking. At the same time, the question arises as to undesirable health effects in children over seven years of age, such as impairment of respiration or additional strain on the spine.

Children with an "ADHD" diagnosis who do not wear such a vest on their own initiative are visibly marked as "different" and are stigmatized again. This experience can be devastating and shameful for the children. Instead of integrating them equally, they are even more excluded.

Such interventions are based on the false belief that one is dealing with neurobiologically ill children who require some medical, pharmacological or other symptom-oriented treatment. However, this is not an appropriate (curative) educational response to restless child behaviour.

For the ADHD conference, the award of the diagnosis "ADHD" is already a momentous mistake, because it shears a wide variety of children over the same crest and does not permit any understanding of behaviour other than a mechanistic-neurobiological one. The allegedly biological-genetic "disease ADHD" is a construct that does not explain anything. On the contrary: the "ADHD" diagnosis replaces the personal, empathetic consideration of the child in the context of his or her individual living conditions. Restlessness is not a biological disease, but the response of a sentient human being to an inner and outer situation.

The ADHD conference calls for strict restraint in the use of sand vests until certain knowledge of benefits and risks is available. These can be perhaps only in individually accompanied (welfare) educational Settings a creative aid for the changed self-perception and self-regulation of affected children, but no behavior seal in instruction. There are many pedagogical means to make even restless children feel comfortable in the school environment.

The most important questions for all measures should be: Do they lead to more appreciation, increased well-being and attention? Are they individual? Do they divide or unite in the community? Are they absolutely self-determined? Only in this way can stigmatisation be avoided.

From a child rights perspective this and compassionate understanding without a diagnostic perspective is a relevant factor in preserving the dignity of children in school settings.

Source: Conference ADHS

The ADHD Conference is an association of renowned scientists from various disciplines,
who are committed to a critical examination of the topic of ADHD.

For questions please contact:
Pascal Rudin,
General Secretary of the Conference ADHS and
Representative to the United Nations for the Rights of the Child

Conference ADHS
c/o Freies Bildungswerk Rheinland
Luxemburger Straße 190
50937 Köln

*** Translated with (free version) ***
Über die Autorin/den Autor
Marcel Saft ist freiberuflicher Dipl.-Technikredakteur (FH).

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