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Pearson ADHD diagnostic test labels kids so they can get drugs to do better on Pearson test prep for Pearson Common Core test

by Susan Ohanian

ADHD is a condition that is central to Pearson's vision to meet the educational needs across a spectrum of individuals.
--Pearson Press Release, Aug. 27, 2013

In Saving Normal: an insider's revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, big pharma, and the medicalization of ordinary life, Allen Frances, MD and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University School of Medicine, warns that "drug companies can be as dangerous as the drug cartels." In 2011, responding to a false ADHD alarm, we spent $8 billion for ADHD drugs. Frances laments over the "overdiagnosis" that the DSM-4 promoted, saying "we should have organized professional and public conferences and educational campaigns to counteract drug company propaganda."

Frances explains:

We now diagnose as mental disorder attentional and behavioral problems that used to be seen as part of live and of normal individual variations. The most convincing evidence of this comes from a large study with a particularly disturbing finding. A child's date of birth was a very powerful predictor of whether or not he would get the diagnosis of ADHD. Boys born in January were at 70 percent higher risk than those born in December simply because January 1 was the cutoff for grade assignment. The youngest, least developmentally mature kids in the class are much more likely to get the ADHD diagnosis. The birthday effect was almost as influential in girls. We have turned being immature because of being young into a disease to be treated with a pill.

Richard L. Morrow and others "Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children," CMAJ, March 5, 2012

S. Boyles. "Study confirms ADHD is more common in boys," WebMD Health News, Sept. 15, 2004: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/news/20040915/study-confirms-adhd-is-more-common-in-boys

K. Bruchmuller, J. Margraf, and S. Schneider,"Is ADHD Diagnosed in Accord with Diagnostic Criteria? Overdiagnos and Influence of Client Gender on Diagnosis," J Consult Clin Psychology 80, no. 1 (Feb. 2012): 128-38; doi:10.1037/a0026582

But now, exhibiting the capitalist sole concern of making profit, we have Pearson stepping in to spread the ADHD diagnosis with claims of "objective measurement." And of course they use the word-of-the-day in their sell: rigor. The Pearson behavioral diagnostic test will apply rigor to label kids so they can get drugged to do better on Pearson test prep for Pearson Common Core tests.

In The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, psychotherapist Gary Greenberg warns, that the kind of 'sell' promoted in the press release below "has infiltrated our self-understanding," convincing us to "describe the habits of our hearts in a pastiche of medical cliches." In their ads, Pearson Quotient ADHD emphasizes Get on track sooner. (emphasis in original)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, joining hands with the US Department of Education, has funded the corporate-political mania for getting all kids on the same track. You can forget marching to a different drummer. . . or stopping to smell the daisies.

On track all the time. They sell it as college- and career-ready.

For certain, every time parents see the word rigor, whether it's in school curriculum or in a behavioral diagnosis, they should grab their kids and run.

Reminder: from Wikipedia:
In the spring of 2012, tests that Pearson designed for the NYSED were found to contain over 30 errors, which caused controversy. One of the most prominent featured a passage about a talking pineapple on the 8th Grade ELA test (revealed to be based from Daniel Pinkwater's "The Story of the Rabbit and the Eggplant," with the eggplant changed into a pineapple). After public outcry, the NYSED announced it would not count the questions in scoring. Other errors included a miscalculated question on the 8th Grade Mathematics test regarding astronomical units, a 4th grade math question with two correct answers, errors in the 6th grade ELA scoring guide, and over twenty errors on foreign language math tests.
And that was just New York state.

Corporate attention deficit disorder?

Pearson Press Release
Bloomington, MN August 27, 2013

Pearson today announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the BioBehavioral Diagnostics Company (BioBDx), the developer and marketer of the Quotient® System, the first U.S. FDA-cleared tool for the objective measurement of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention as an aid in the assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The Quotient ADHD Test provides quantitative analysis of motion, attention and shifts in attention states, bringing a new level of rigor and reliability to ADHD diagnosis and remediation. Focusing on a highly prevalent condition known to pose serious challenges to educational outcomes, this acquisition marks a strategic entry into healthcare markets for Pearson, the world leader in clinical and educational assessment for learners.

The Quotient ADHD Test quantifies the severity of deficits in brain functions related to the symptoms of ADHD and helps clinicians to accurately diagnose and efficiently manage the condition through repeat assessments at critical decision points. The Quotient ADHD Test is currently used in pediatric, neurology and psychiatry offices throughout the United States.

"We are taking immediate steps to strengthen support for current Quotient customers and expand our outreach to healthcare professionals," said Aurelio Prifitera, President and CEO of Pearson Clinical Assessment. "We also look forward to introducing the Quotient ADHD Test to mental health and education professionals in both clinical and school settings."

ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral condition in children, and symptoms persist into adulthood in approximately 60 percent of cases. It affects approximately 6.7 million children and adolescents and nearly 15 million adults in the United States. ADHD makes it difficult for a person to control behavior and may have serious consequences, including failure in school, family stress and disruption, depression, problems with relationships, substance abuse, delinquency, risk for accidental injuries and job failure. Early identification and effective treatment are extremely important. As such, ADHD is a condition that is central to Pearson's vision to meet the educational needs across a spectrum of individuals.

Byron Hewett, Chairman and CEO of BioBDx, said, "As a part of Pearson, Quotient product development, clinical trials and commercial activities will be funded more robustly and the product will be offered to an even broader audience. This will accelerate awareness and adoption, improve efficiency of patient visits and, ultimately, raise the standard of care for ADHD. Our team has deep expertise in the diagnostic world, and we believe Pearson will benefit from that expertise in the years to come."

About Pearson
Pearson is the world's leading learning company, providing educational materials and services and business information through the Financial Times Group. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.pearson.com.

— Susan Ohanian




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