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ADHD common among adopted kids: study

Published: 06 Aug 2009 09:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Aug 2009 09:26 GMT+02:00

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is much more common among children adopted from abroad than among those born in Sweden. Those at highest risk for the disorder have been adopted from Eastern Europe, according to a new study.

Researchers at Uppsala University and the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare have studied the incidence of medication for ADHD among children adopted from abroad and children born in Sweden.

The use of medication is much more common in the treatment of boys than girls, but even among girls, ADHD occurs more often in those adopted from abroad than those born in Sweden, reported Upsala Nya Tidning newspaper.

More than one out of every 20 boy adopted from abroad between the ages of 10 and 15 was at some point in 2006 medicated for the treatment of ADHD. Among boys of the same age born in Sweden, the occurrence was one in 70. More than one in eight boys from Eastern Europe were treated with medication for ADHD.

“The foremost explanation for this is that these children received neurological damage because their biological mothers abused drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. Substance abuse by the mother is often cited as the reason that the children were put up for adoption,” researcher and child psychologist Frank Lindblad told the newspaper.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:43 August 6, 2009 by Rebel
Poor kids. In my travels in Russia I have noticed tht Russian kids like to show off, are loud, sociable and outspoken. Put them in a culture like Sweden and of course they are going to stand out. Problem is, the drug culture of the USA and England, promoted by a dangerous marriage of mega-corporate capitalism and psychobablers, is coming to Sweden now. Salvation in a bottle of stimulants -- ofr all that fit the criteria of a condition that is so vague that even many Swedish kids could fall into its trap.
11:39 August 6, 2009 by A_Goner
Yeah Rebel, those sound like typical genetical traits.
16:50 August 6, 2009 by byke
I really wonder if these results are skewed due to schools looking for problem children and receiving extra cash to "help them" ?
17:10 August 6, 2009 by Tim Harrison
I disagree with the child psychologist's comments about the reason many adopted children have ADHD as well as substance abuse being the reason for adoption.

Eastern Europe is composed of so many different countries and therefore have different reasons about both the number of children with ADHD as well as the reason for a child being "put up for adoption".

The above statement from the child psychologist might be true for many old Sovietunion countries, but not for all of Eastern Europe.

For example: Bulgaria is a great example that does NOT fall into the above arguments. Many of these children are available for adoption due to that the biological parents are poor OR the biological mother is unmarried and became pregnant due to lack of funding for birth control.

ADHD occurs in many institutional children (ex. from an orphanage) due to neurological damage from lack of one-on-one care from a single or a few care givers, i.e. not always substance abuse!
17:17 August 6, 2009 by Puffin
So why would schools be more likely to seek extra cash only for children adopted by Swedish citizens from the former eastern Europe?
17:22 August 6, 2009 by Puffin
I agree with what you are saying about the institutional care.

There has also been research to show that ADHD children are more likely to be be premature - there has also been some debate about the effects of maternal preeclampsia

I also think that oxygen deprivation during delivery and birth can have an effect - many ADHD children have required special care after birth
17:28 August 6, 2009 by byke
@puffin

I dont think schools would knowingly target eastern european children.

But its very easy to spot or target immigrant children as needing extra help, and in turn help generate more cash for the schools.

1 thing I do wonder is if astma is more prevalent to children from foriegn countries when them come to sweden? as certain asthmatic drugs can cause symptoms similar to ADHD
17:34 August 6, 2009 by Puffin
But all of the children in the survey were adopted into Swedish families - you wouldn't be able to easily tell the background of a blonde, blue eyed child called Jonas Svensson who has lived in Sweden since the age of 10 months and speak fluent Swedish.

The medical review prior to a diagnosis of ADHD by a peaditrician at Habiliteringen/BUP would rule out symptoms caused for example by the use of Bricanyl
19:06 August 6, 2009 by Rebel
Oh please, I dare people here to look up some of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Anyone with testosterone and an active imagination and sociability will pretty much score as ADHD. These criteria read like cheap horoscopes.
23:05 August 6, 2009 by Nemesis
Years ago Sweden had Eugenics units in its universities. They have since been renamed evolutionary psychology in the universities.

As for ADHD. It is a diagnosis that allows lazy parents who can not be bothered to be good parents to drug there unparented, so out of control child. This allows the parents to have a braindead, unquestioning drone so they can go out and party and present there child as well behaved.

The drugs used for ADHD should be banned. The parents should either be parents or have there children removed if they can not rear them properly.

It is not the childrens fault. It is bad parenting being encouraged by psychologists, psychologists and pharmaceutical sales representatives.
00:30 August 7, 2009 by Puffin
So are you saying that adoptive parents are significantly "lazier" that other parenting groups? It seems to make no sense that this group woh have dedicated years of time and effort in getting approved to be adoptive parents by

- going through the long srutiny and approval process - where all aspects of their eprsonalities and parenting skills are scrutinised

- spending approx 200,000+ kronor to organise the adoption

- attended the compulsory parenting classes for adoptive parents

-tend to take longer parental leave

Why would this particular group of dedicated parents suddenly become lazy parents. All the evidence point to the exact opposite - yet it is children adopted from abroad by Swedes who are more likely to have ADHD

Personally I know that ADHD definitely does exist - have seen hyperactive special care babies that were later diagnised - however I think that there is a tendency to over diagnose in some areas.

I definitely believe that the genuine cases has to do with brain chemistry and little to do with the "lazy parenting" rehetoric - I see no logical reason that giving amphetamines (speed) would be calming to a hyperactive child if it was just a parenting issue
10:13 August 7, 2009 by Da Goat
Do not for one minute that ADHD does not exist it is real I am almost 40 and hate it well it is more ADD now not that hyper now

there is a fix i have just found out and am trying it now

look here www.fedup.com.au

funny question is why imports are more intolerant to Swedish food

OR

do adoptive parents feed adoted kids more junk food??
14:11 August 7, 2009 by Hgfree
As mercury, a known neurotoxin, has been banned from use in dental amalgam in Sweden is there an influence at hand from mercury exposure in countries where mercury fillings are still in use?
22:11 August 8, 2009 by Tim Harrison
Nemesis,

Your post is very untrue as well as hurtful for many affected people.

Before you make anymore postings, I wish you would get more education about ADHD, adoption and parenting.
00:35 August 9, 2009 by Rebel
Did anyone take any of the tests? Come on, I dare the people who fall for this ADHD thing hook, line and sinker to check out the tests themselves.
00:42 August 21, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
A REBEL COMPLETELY without a CLUE! And then along comes his EQUALLY CLUELESS NEMESIS!

People with their own agendas frequently have problems understanding facts!

It is so easy to blame the parents, but anyone with a CLUE would see the medical studies that show ADHD is an imbalance in the neural transmitters! FACT! The stimulants help rebalance them! FACT!

Surprising thing happens when an ADHD person takes speed. They calm down! VERY VISIBLY calm down! FACT! Much better impulse control and so much more - it IS a miracle drug for those affected! FACT!

Give speed to normal people and they get HYPER - NOT CALMER! Give a non-ADHD hyperactive kid speed and they will become EVEN MORE HYPER - NOT CALMER! So that blows the "nice kids because they are DRUGGED out of their minds" theory!

In Sweden, after testing, the PSYCHIATRIST is the only Doctor allowed to prescribe it. Dosage is so small, good luck trying to get high from it! Personally, I just don't get tired for 12 hours ;-)
19:15 September 28, 2009 by Satanic
Immigrant, ADHD should not be treated with drugs. Drugs should be taken for medical problems. ADHD, as described in the DSM-IV-TR, does not include a single symptom that deals with neurotransmitters (go to the library and pick it up if you don't believe me). It may be a fact that people identified as having ADHD can be tested and shown to have an imbalance of NT's, but look at the history of this wonderful NT theory. First it was serotonin, then it was another one I can't recall at the moment, and today it's dopamine. The question still remains to be answered: *WHY* are these transmitters unbalanced? And the fact of the matter is, whatever the answer, if they became that way through non-psychopharmacological interactions, then they can be treated that way as well. And the new literature has been increasingly showing that psychological treatments are at least as effective as drugs, and in some cases more effective.
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