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Attention Deficit Disorder

Melvin D. Levine, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(1):44. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460010044020.
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As part of the series Dialogues in Pediatric Management, Drs Sleator and Pelham have surveyed the seductive subject of what they and others call Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This volume reflects the rich clinical experience of its authors in dealing with this common, elusive clinical challenge.

The first several chapters of this monograph deal with a series of philosophical and definitional issues. There is an eloquent defense of the "medicalization" of the traits subsumed under the rubric of attention deficit disorder. From this point onward the book becomes confused—at least to this reader. In a commentary at the end of Attention Deficit Disorder, Dr Carey aptly pinpoints the problem when he comments that the authors have acknowledged that no "homogeneous syndrome" of ADD has yet been identified. Nevertheless, virtually all of the remaining text presupposes the existence of a distinct disorder for which a specific diagnosis should be made and


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