The Tragicomedy of That Behavior Deemed Inappropriate

I have to laugh sometimes. How about you?

As a toddler, Ian Barrier got expelled from day care.

So begins a CNN story, ADHD: Who Makes The Diagnosis?

This non-existent disease 50 years ago, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is climbing higher and higher on the chart of the pops.

Many parents begin their struggles with treating their children’s ADHD the way that [Amy] Barr did: with a suggested diagnosis from a school or day care setting. That’s a problem, doctors say, when there could be many other factors contributing to a child’s behavior.

Ian is one of 2 sons Mrs. Barr has, both of whom have been labeled with ADHD.

At no place in this article is any mention of a Mr. Barr made. Hmmm. Could this be part of the problem?

For a teacher to suggest that a child has ADHD is “inappropriate and dangerous,” says Dr. Elizabeth Roberts, child psychiatrist in Murrieta, California. Depression, anxiety and abuse are all possibilities in a child’s life that could lead to attention problems, Roberts said. That means that many children are receiving medication for the wrong problem.

True, and it must be remembered we’re talking minor depression, and minor anxiety here, at least until the child turns 18. Abuse of minors is a different matter sometimes requiring the intervention of law enforcement officers and child welfare officials.

Attention deficit? I don’t know, but it seems to me like these kids are coming up with many and ingenious ways of drawing attention to themselves.

Roberts wants to say to all educators: “There are many, many diagnoses that cause these problems, including abuse and depression and anxiety. So please, withhold your judgment.”

Say the psychiatrists to the educators.

Experts agree that ADHD does exist as a real disorder, and that some children really do benefit from medication. Studies have shown a biological basis to the disorder and a genetic component, suggesting it can be passed down in families.

Parenting experts, education experts, or psychiatric experts?

I have to be a little scoffing about all this pseudo-scientific validation of a mental disturbance. Studies have shown that there are study results that dispute study results. Additionally, many of these studies were designed to serve the premises of the researchers doing the research, researchers who often are in the hire of the pharmaceutical industry. The basis, biological or otherwise, for any emotional disturbance, let alone ADHD, has yet to be pinned down to anybodies complete satisfaction.

Alright. Perhaps there is a third expert you should have consulted. Perhaps this third expert could have gotten rid of both of Mrs. Barr’s sons’ ADHD with a differing opinion.

One thing this article doesn’t look at, one thing maybe it should have looked at, is the dismal long term outcomes found for children labeled with ADHD. Many of these children either develop other mental disorders, and become lifetime mental patients, or else they become entangled in the criminal justice system.

I’d say there are other career paths out there to be pursued. Why don’t we look at these kids’ talents instead?

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