April 1, 2013

1 in 5 school-age boys have ADHD.

That's the diagnosis anyway.
“Those are astronomical numbers. I’m floored,” said Dr. William Graf, a pediatric neurologist in New Haven and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. He added, “Mild symptoms are being diagnosed so readily, which goes well beyond the disorder and beyond the zone of ambiguity to pure enhancement of children who are otherwise healthy.”

And even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the near future because the American Psychiatric Association plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D. to allow more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment. A.D.H.D. is described by most experts as resulting from abnormal chemical levels in the brain that impair a person’s impulse control and attention skills.
Possible side effects from the drugs: "addiction, anxiety and occasionally psychosis."

Possible side effects from viewing youthful spirit as abnormal: ????

Possible side effects from skewing academic competition with performance-enhancing drugs: ????

118 comments:

Tank said...

One in five boys are boys. The other four are too.

One in 20 or 30 or 50 or 100 has a real problem. So much BS, you can't cut throught it.

Nick Carter M. said...

The longer you take the medications for it, the worse those side effects become too.

sydney said...

Arrgh! I hate this diagnosis. I can't tell you how many people come to my office looking for performance enhancing drugs, thinking they have ADHD because they aren't doing well at college or because they aren't performing well at work. They say they took a friend's pill and found they worked so much more efficiently. Well, yes. The pills are called "speed" for a reason.

Shouting Thomas said...

Normal, hetero boy behavior has now been classified as abnormal and dangerous and femme homo boy behavior is the new ideal.

The problem... feminist indoctrinated teachers hate plain old normal boys. Masculinity is a threat which must be suppressed.

The solution... punishment, incessant "Diversity" indoctrination and drugging.

Gay marriage will fix it all up!

Shouting Thomas said...

Or to translate...

Feminism is soft, compassionate Stalinism.

Always has been. Althouse, you made the wrong choice decades ago. You're compounding it with the gay marriage baloney.

When are you going to recognize the magnitude of your error and come over to the the side of sanity?

carrie said...

Boys can't be boys anymore and I know from my kids that adderall is overused and abused in college. It is all so sad.

Carol said...

hey - it's good news! more benefits, more social services! it's all good!

Henry said...

The other problem with overdiagnosis is that kids that actually have severe ADHD are treated with contempt by people who think that overdiagnosis is the only problem.

Calypso Facto said...

20 in 100 boys are very active and we must medicate them into compliance with school teacher expectations.

2 in 100 boys are homosexual and we must reconfigure all societal norms to accommodate them.

Freeman Hunt said...

Related to the iPad thread:

I know a little boy whose parents keep him constantly in front of screens because he's "so much easier to watch." Screen in the house all day and night, screen out of the house with the parents' phones, screens when visiting others. Now they think he might have attention problems. "It's genetic."

Argh!

Shouting Thomas said...

20 in 100 boys are very active and we must medicate them into compliance with school teacher expectations.

2 in 100 boys are homosexual and we must reconfigure all societal norms to accommodate them.


Thanks for pointing out the sheer mind boggling absurdity of Althouse's peculiar obsession.

carrie said...

Boys can't be boys anymore and I know from my kids that adderall is overused and abused in college. It is all so sad.

SGT Ted said...

"Disability" checks and female chauvinism. Thats what drives this.

Edward Lunny said...

Ahh, socialist nirvana. Use our education system with attached psychiatry to drug our boys, demand that every insurance plan cover it, demand that everyone have insurance. When the education results of our boys tanks, don't blame the forced drug dependence, demand more money since the results indicate insufficient union, erah, teacher/school funding. Drugged and dim peons are easier to control.

CEO-MMP said...

As someone who was diagnosed with the scourge as an adult, and medicated as an adult, I have to say--adderall sucks. First day, maybe two were spectacular. Then--nothing but zombie-ville. Even at half dose.

Kids shouldn't take it. Ever.

Maybe instead there should be an extra recess period, and maybe instead normal boy activity shouldn't be eliminated. One school did away with dodge ball recently because one parent complained.

When I was in elementary school we played full contact football at recess. Kept us quiet the rest of the afternoon. Teachers objected at first, but gave up when we kept it up and when our parents said "they're boys". Of course, teachers weren't such pansies in those golden days of yore.

Read "The War Against Boys".

As ST said: masculinity is a threat which must be suppressed.

CONFORM BITCHES!

Rick Lockridge said...

We agonized for five full years before putting our mildly autistic/significantly ADHD son on drugs. We weren't interested in making him "easier to handle;" we wanted to see if we could tamp down the whirling dervish-level of hyperactivity so he could enjoy his life more. This was an especially difficult decision because he was a very happy, cheerful guy already.
I have to say, it works. It's not a miracle cure, and if I had to quantify it, I'd say it's perhaps a 33% improvement. But in his moments of calm, we feel we can really reach him, and after years of not seeing that look-you-straight-in-the-eye connection, it is both rewarding--and startling--to see him do it.
I would also conclude that too many kids are medicated. But don't judge the parents too harshly until you've been in their shoes.

dreams said...

We need to dope up these little boys just because they're little boys. Not having a live in father and worrying about getting sexually abused or beat up by your mother's boyfriend when you get home from school can't be good for a young boy's nerves either.

Shouting Thomas said...

For the moment, I'm retired. I spend my day living as a free range male.

The feminists can't get their paws on me to deliver the Diversity lectures, demand that I self-censor, insist that I should act like a femme queer, bitch at me about the purported sins of my father, etc.

Jesus Christ, thank you! Free from the fucking feminazis!

bpm4532 said...

This is bullshit. These are the way boys are. If teachers had any talent or skill they would be able to channel those instincts and energies. Instead they want docile mush-heads to whom they can spoon feed liberal crap.

On the way to criminalizing the male of the species. After all with technology (largely male developed), who needs them anymore?

AllenS said...

I had AHDH when I was young. I was cured by a ruler to the knuckles.

jr565 said...

I don't want to say there is no such thing as ADHD, but its pretty clear there is some major over diagnosis going on.

CEO-MMP said...

Shouting Thomas said...

For the moment, I'm retired. I spend my day living as a free range male.

The feminists can't get their paws on me to deliver the Diversity lectures, demand that I self-censor, insist that I should act like a femme queer, bitch at me about the purported sins of my father, etc.

Jesus Christ, thank you! Free from the fucking feminazis!

And yet you hang out here, where you get a daily dose of it anyway.

:)

Rusty said...

It isn't normal for your average boy to sit still and pay attention.

Shouting Thomas said...

And yet you hang out here, where you get a daily dose of it anyway.

At least, here I can talk back and stick it in their faces.

Althouse is ready to break from the pack and dump the feminism. She just doesn't know how. And, dumping the feminist indoctrination just isn't done!

I've been trying to relate to her the wisdom of my late wife, Myrna, who wrestled me out of the indoctrination. Myrna was much wiser and more capable than me, but I'm doing my best.

The Drill SGT said...

AllenS said...
I had AHDH when I was young. I was cured by a ruler to the knuckles.


And what wasn't cured immediately was eliminated by Drill SGT Chavez at Ft Benning and Platoon SGT Johnson in the 82nd :)

Bruce Hayden said...

I have to agree with a lot of the posters above. A lot of the problem is most likely an attempt to feminize young boys through drugging them to be more like young girls.

Used to be that in the younger grades you would often get two recesses a day, in order for the more energetic boys to run off their excess energy. And, while the girls sat around and did girl stuff, we played hard. I don't remember everything that we did, but a lot of running seemed to have been involved.

Some lower schools have apparently even abolished recess, or, at least calmed it down substantially, banning running, competative sports, etc. All the stuff that would work all that energy out of the young males.

I am not saying though that there probably aren't environmental hazards involved, ranging from too much TV through too much sugar in their diets. But, I think that addressing the feminization problem first would be the best starting point for addressing these problems.

MadisonMan said...

Thank you Rick for the view from the other side. I come from a family of pill-avoidant cynics and am very grateful my son wasn't the hyperactive one in class.

There but for the grace of God go I.

I do think that some kids are over-medicated by parents who are told that something has to be done, and they just get worn down by all the trips to school. I think if kids were not put in one-size-fits-all boxes this would be less of a problem.

Eddie said...

My experience is similar to Rick's. The medication my son receives allows him to go from being a collection of (mis)behaviors to being a relatively normal rambunctious boy. When we forget to give him his medicine, his teacher figures it out quickly and gives us a call. When he was in his first year of kindergarten, one of his teacher's goals for him was to reduce his number of outbursts during a 15 minute reading session to some number fewer than 30.

And mock screens if you like, but getting my son into computer games at an early age helped him develop focus, a capacity for solitude and self-direction, and problem-solving skills.

My step-father, who was a depression era child, told me many times that he would have been diagnosed as having ADHD and other learning disabilities. Instead, he was labeled as stupid and as a trouble-maker. He was clearly neither, but those emotional scars never healed. Let's not throw out the baby (advances in diagnosis) with the bathwater (over-diagnosis).

Nichevo said...

Possible side effects from viewing and propounding homosexuality as normal: ????

The Drill SGT said...

Nichevo said...
Possible side effects from viewing and propounding homosexuality as normal: ????


seems obvious to me:

- better adjusted gays and more of them
- increased number of stressed out folks who think they are Bi, when previously they would have self identified as hetero

AllenS said...

Ain't that the truth, Drill SGT. They didn't carry rulers either.

Nichevo said...

Also, ADD/ADHD is a spectrum. Some people have a touch of it, some people are ridden, consumed with it. The work of Dr. Harold Levinson identifies this and other disorders like panic and vertigo as linked to cerebellar-vestibular dysfunction, which may be objectively diagnosed with various tests, and treated in numerous ways, sometimes with stimulants, sometimes without.

The popularization and overtreatment is non-negligible as with many disorders, but make no mistake, for some people life is scarcely worth living without relief.

Personally I think amphetamines should be more freely available to adults, why shouldn't it be available as a study aid for instance, but children always require more care.

Patrick said...

We simply had a child who was born with a medical disorder.

Harold said...

Calypso Facto said...
20 in 100 boys are very active and we must medicate them into compliance with school teacher expectations.

2 in 100 boys are homosexual and we must reconfigure all societal norms to accommodate them.

One of the better comments I have ever seen on a blog- and right to the point.

Big Mike said...

In most cases I'm aware of, the ADHD is just boys being boys. As far as I'm concerned, if the teachers can't cope then they should be looking at a different profession.

Big Mike said...

In most cases I'm aware of, the ADHD is just boys being boys. As far as I'm concerned, if the teachers can't cope then they should be looking at a different profession.

sinz52 said...

I'm wondering how many boys who are hooked and wired on caffeine are being misdiagnosed with ADHD.

A lot of parents may not know that boys who order computer parts for their electronics hobby, can get their caffeine fix from the same vendors:

http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l1/g32/Caffeine.html?id=ocwiJ2jp

[Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with that website]

Freeman Hunt said...

"And mock screens if you like, but getting my son into computer games at an early age helped him develop focus, a capacity for solitude and self-direction, and problem-solving skills."

I've been using computers since I was four years old. I've played countless hours of video games. Video games teach you to have great focus on video games. They are designed to constantly stimulate, and there is almost nothing in the world outside of videogames that can offer that level of stimulation, thus making it extremely difficult to focus on things that are not video games.

C Stanley said...

The other problem with overdiagnosis is that kids that actually have severe ADHD are treated with contempt by people who think that overdiagnosis is the only problem.

This.

One of my children has multiple diagnoses. I never know whether other people are going to believe that this really reflects a biological realty for him, or if they'll think it reflects on our parenting, or cultural trends that they disapprove of, or trends in the medical/psychiatric community.

Can you imagine if a physical ailment like diabetes had the same stigma and skepticism attached to it? Oh, your child wouldn't need insulin if you'd just stop feeding him so much sugar. See, my child is fine because I'm a model parent.

Meh, it takes thick skin to raise a child with mental challenges.

Nomennovum said...

Yes. By all means medicate boys when they fail to act like girls. Let's hear it for the theraputic society and the advance of pussification!

Forward!

DADvocate said...

Gheeez. It's only boys. Why can't you get that through your head? Who cares? (Besides you.)

TosaGuy said...

"I had AHDH when I was young. I was cured by a ruler to the knuckles."

And what wasn't cured by that was worked out of me after school doing farm chores.

TosaGuy said...

Boys are like a one-year old Labrador Retriever....they need to be run (or worked) hard in order for them to be ready to accept learning about discipline, learning and decorum.

Emmster said...

My oldest was diagnosed with ADHD. While he's a smart little boy, he's currently repeating 1st grade and attending his 3rd school in that many years. We were told he was immature for his age (he was the youngest in his class, he's now one of the oldest). We've been lucky as he's a very sweet kid without the behavioral issues common for kids with that condition. We're now paying a fortune for a private school where he gets PE every single day, has recess at least once every day where the kids play in the woods and play 'war', build stuff with sticks, etc, and can do a lot of hands-on learning. So far, we've been able to avoid medicating him and I thank this school for that.
Many of his friends and my other son's friends seem to have it as well. At this point, I don't know if it's abnormal behavior (I'm a girl, so what do I know?) or if the school system isn't set up the right way for a large percentage of the population.
Having said that, I've seen what the medication can do to kids who really have it. My son's best friend, who's in 4th grade, was diagnosed last year after he switched schools. He had been struggling since KG and his teachers kept saying he just needed to work harder. Once diagnosed, in new school, with medication and a lot of tutoring, he progressed about 2 years in a year's time. The medicine played a large role in this.

John Burgess said...

Possible effects on taxpayers?

Possible effects on students who are not diagnosed with ADHD because they don't have it?

Larry J said...

The Drill SGT said...
AllenS said...
I had AHDH when I was young. I was cured by a ruler to the knuckles.

And what wasn't cured immediately was eliminated by Drill SGT Chavez at Ft Benning and Platoon SGT Johnson in the 82nd :)


Yeah, I used to believe that nonsense about how teenagers need to sleep in later in the mornings because their natural rhythms had changed. Then, on the very first day of Basic Training, I learned just how easy it was to wake up very early in the morning when my Drill Sergeant demanded it. It's called motivation. He was a very motivating individual.

I have three young grandsons and worry that some teacher is going to try and get them medicated for living while male. There are kids who have real problems, but when they claim that 20% of boys have ADHD, I say that the people with the problems aren't the boys.

C Stanley said...

For those who are concerned that ADHD is overdiagnosed (and I agree) and that stimulant medications are overprescribed and inadequate for addressing attentional issues (and they are), please consider supporting mental health basic research so that kids who truly need help due to neurolgical differences can eventually be helped. A medical diagnosis with lifelong implications should not be made by subjective checklists of symptoms.

Again, can you imagine any physical disease diagnosis being made this way? Oh, you checked off fatigue and thinning hair. You must have hypothyroidism, so here is a prescription.

glenn said...

More *BBB

* You figure it out,

drozz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Union teachers don't want to take the time and effort to discipline the more exuberant ones.

Easier to dope them up. this is what they did to one of The Blonde's nephews.

The Drill SGT said...

I had AHDH when I was young. I was cured by a ruler to the knuckles.

And what wasn't cured immediately was eliminated by Drill SGT Chavez at Ft Benning and Platoon SGT Johnson in the 82nd :)


If I was President and had my way,
There wouldn't be a puke in the Army today,
Pack 'em all off to Airborne School,
Turn 'em all in to jumpin' fools.

All the way!

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...


The huge unstated problem is that there perverse incentives to make an ADHD diagnosis. Until those incentives are addressed, the situation will continue and likely get worse.

C Stanley said...

@Abdul- a medical diagnosis should be based on objective facts which can't be manipulated due to perverse incentives. That's why research is important, to upend the status quo of the field of psychiatry. Currently it is a sham.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Boys haven't changed. Society has.

In the olden days, boys with ADHD were useful to society. They became explorers, inventors and were essential to military. Probably some became criminals or got the crap beaten out of them for being annoying to the rest of the town, village or community. But...hey...that's how you do learn things.

Boys (and everyone else) had space to live in, room to roam, physical outlets for their activities to vent off the frustration of ADHD...or whatever they called it then. I think they called it "boys will be boys".

No one expected boys to act like girls and vice versa. Today, children are unnaturally forced to be physically still and unnaturally forced into the prisons that we call schools. Instead of being allowed to be boys, girls, children, they are drugged into submission and forced into roles that are unnatural to their genders and their temperaments.

Boys haven't changed. Society has.

ricpic said...

The drug companies push this crap on very receptive doctors who jump at the chance to practice take this pill medicine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When he was in his first year of kindergarten, one of his teacher's goals for him was to reduce his number of outbursts during a 15 minute reading session to some number fewer than 30.


When my brother was in Kindergarten, he was a problem just like this. Distracted and flitting around the room. Disturbing the teacher and creating chaos. They wanted to discipline him or keep him back another year in school. My mother said no effing way and took measures.

THANK GOD, they didn't have the policy of drugging kids at the time, since the "problem" turn out to be that he was bored out of his effing mind. At that age he was already reading at at least a 5th grade level. They did some 'testing' and determined that he wasn't a 'retarded' kid (that was the term they used then) who couldn't pay attention....he was bored bored bored and.... gasp....a BOY.

The answer was to skip him from first grade the next year to 3rd grade. They would have skipped him more grades for the course work needed, but because of his youth they worried about being picked on. He graduated from high school at barely age 15. Was this a good solution. Probably not. But this was the 50's and there was no such thing as advanced placement.

At least they didn't drug the life out of him. He is now a systems analyst for a major computer company and was integral in designing and maintaining the software for NASA for some of the Mars landings. When you use your credit card on line and feel safe....thank my brother.

They looked at me as well that year and wanted to skip me from 2nd to 5th grade, but I guess I was better behaved, or better at hiding my boredom...so they decided not that year. Thank goodness.

Never trust the teachers. They have no idea what they are doing.

wyo sis said...

There is a lot of assuming going on here.

The schools in my district have two 15 minute recesses and a lunch recess every day. Children are expected to go outside except on below zero days when they have a choice to stay in or go out. They also have a PE session of 45 minutes once a week and daily 10-15 minute exercise workouts with supervision where they do cardio type exercise.

The cardio workout was instituted after the district PE specialist tried doing cardio every day before our state testing. The kids scored measurably better on their tests and they liked the exercise.

I know we have an outstanding district, but I don't think we're all that different from most districts in our part of the world. Maybe it's different where liberals rule the world, but here in conservative hell we still do things right.

Palladian said...

Oh Jesus, yet another thread where the dried-up, erectiley-dysfunct old men can whine and bitch about how put-upon they are, and how the gays, even though they are so abnormal and weak and femme, are destroying the universe, and how the barbarous, abusive, tribal upbringing of one of their late mail-order brides saved them from being intelligent, interesting, well-balanced men and turned them into pathetic husks that sentimentalize endlessly over some long-gone or never-had glory days of Ol' West-style masculine vigor.

Just as our friend Cedarford sees pernicious Jews peering out of every dark corner of human culture, our resident girly-whiners seem to see armies of tiny gay men constantly attacking and trying to hack off their wizened little balls.

Basta! said...

sydney said: "Arrgh! I hate this diagnosis. I can't tell you how many people come to my office looking for performance enhancing drugs, thinking they have ADHD because they aren't doing well at college or because they aren't performing well at work."

I have an acquaintance from a very wealthy family, who's never had to do much. He eventually got a couple of degrees, after flipping majors about 8 times (his parents could afford it, and the hoped-for degree would be a sign that he *achieved* something). He kept insisting to me that he just COULDN'T do x, y or z because he had ADHD, but I wasn't buying it. So he dug through his medical papers so he could shove the official diagnosis in my face, and was shocked to find it had never been made by any of the many shrinks he'd had up to that point in his life.

That discovery didn't hinder him from once again claiming he has ADHD a couple of months later, and thereonafter.

n.n said...

Economic profit and political leverage.

Soon all people will be diagnosed and require oversight provided by the "best and brightest" in government and their crony unions throughout society.

Does psychosis lead to mass murder events and other sociopathic behavior?

AllenS said...

A lot of the ADHD extra energy was spent by boys having to push a lawn mower around and during the winter, shoveling snow.

roesch/voltaire said...

I don't think paying attention for more than two minutes, or completing a math problem is feminist indoctrination, yet my last year teaching at the high school level in a class with seven boys with ADHD, I found this group could not stay focused longer than two minutes. It is a complicated issue; this year at the college level, I have two students in the same class who claim to have ADHD-- one does fine on medications, and the other stopped taking them in his senior year in high school, gave up obsessing on lining up things,made friends and is able to function at the college level. He says the struggle to stay focused is worth the effort.

Alex said...

Wasn't Adam Lanza medicated?

Howard said...

Freeman and Allen are correct. Parents aren't raising their boys right, not giving them enough chores and they become behavior problems in school.

The whole screen addiction destroys kids minds and social skills. They can learn to use these tools later. Basic real-world skills must be hard-wired by 6-years, or you will have a messed up teen. I am mild ADHD/dyslexic, my daughter is mild ADHD/dislexic. She was a challenge, but with lots of love, activities and discipline, she channeled her energy into productive endeavors.

Mild and common ADHD and dyslexia are gifts from God that foster creativity and a joy for life. We are drugging and shutting down the creativity and motivation of our next generation of entrepreneurs and artists.

Bill Harshaw said...

Typical of modern media writers to be unable to deal with numbers: the Times story says"nearly one in five", which gets converted to 1 in 5 in the blog. Buried deep in the story is a figure of 15 percent, which is more like "over one in seven".

Levi Starks said...

Translation: 20% of boys are a pain in the ass.
Something my mom and dad knew only too well.....

Tom said...

I got diagnosed with ADHD as a kid. Here was my situation. 137 IQ and my Myers-Brigg personallity is Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Percerver (INTP). I went to pubic schoool. I learned things I was interested in (science, history, politics, literature -- basically anything that has a system present) very well and usually on my own and did not learn things where I had little interest (spelling, handwriting, math). This is true for much of school, but especially for elementry, my teachers had no idea what to do with me. Eventually, I thought I wasn't good at school. The first thing that saved me was playing football -- it gave me something systematic to focus my energy. The second thing that saved me was going to college and being in an honors program where I had a lot of freedom to focus where I wanted to focus (I only got into the honors program because of my ACT scores).

In junior high, I got put on drug (tofranil and ridalin (sp)). The first drug helped but ridalin made me very sick. Because I didn't do well with things like assignments, I dealt with a lot of anxiety with school. Which made things worse. What sucks is that I now have 2 masters degrees and am very successful in my career -- and nothing about my elementry, junior high, or high school experience would have predicted that -- in fact, many of my teachers called me lazy (as a note, I completed two masters degrees why working full time and commuting 4.5 one way on the weekends -- really, lazy?) It's as if all that time in putlic school was wasted. Oh, and drugged up.

Let boys be boys and let them learn the way we're supposed to -- by doing and playing games and sports.

Methadras said...

Girls once again trail the boys in this regard as well. Sigh, guess they are just going to have to buck up.

Methadras said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Or to translate...

Feminism is soft, compassionate Stalinism.

Always has been. Althouse, you made the wrong choice decades ago. You're compounding it with the gay marriage baloney.

When are you going to recognize the magnitude of your error and come over to the the side of sanity?


She'll come over when her son declares he's a heterosexual. That'll teach her.

Gahrie said...

Union teachers don't want to take the time and effort to discipline the more exuberant ones.

As a union teacher in California, let me just say I would love to discipline them, but the laws/administration doesn't allow me to.

The staff was informed last month that we can no longer remove openly defiant students from our classrooms anymore (including a student who says "Fuck you, I ain't going to do my work", and puts his head down to sleep) without attempting "other means of correction" first.

Tari said...

I'm joining the "arrrgh" crowd on this one. Good Lord above, 99% of boys diagnosed with ADHD are just being BOYS. And no, they don't sit still or pay attention on command or talk softly: part of parenting is to civilize the little lunatics to the point where they can do those things most of the time. But offering drugs is just like giving a child a screen to play with whenever you take him out in public: more likely that not, it's just a cop out.

And yes, there are kids who really, truly do have something (is it ADHD? I have no idea) and sometimes medication may be what is needed. But honestly, I'd like to think that I'd quit my job, move to the country, home school, and let my boys run wild over a score of acres to wear them out each day, before I'd shove a pill in them. Because that's my job as a parent, as much as it may get in the way of how I'd like things to be.

As an aside, a psychologist told me once that my now-13 year old had ADHD. Shrinky had been seeing my son for some time because we needed to placate his school for his sometime-bad behavior; they told us he had "impulse control problems" and needed help (eyeroll). So several thousand dollars later, the Shrink decides that my neuro-typical, slightly nerdy 5th grader needs drugs. I almost fell over laughing, especially when he "explained" that the symptoms could come and go, allowing my son to read a 1,000 page book in his free time but still be bored and fidgety at school. Needless to say, that was our last visit, and my son's "symptoms" cleared up when he moved to middle school and took up tackle football. Quelle surprise!

Inga said...

ST, I'll speak for myself here, I don't want to shut you up, by all means keep on posting your heart of hearts. It's a fascinating view into the mind of ST. It's amusing, I enjoy every comment, I may shake my head and roll my eyes and groan out loud, but I would miss you if you didn't comment anymore.

So there. Still wanna fight?

Inga said...

I even miss Crack.

lgv said...

Now the scale has shifted, with 20% ADHD. Now, if your boy is comatose, he is slightly below average attention wise.

It's a gradual decline in how we raise children and teach children:

1) Lack of physical exercise. No recess, PE. Electronic games rather than outdoor activities. (we roamed the neighborhood doing things until dark)

2) Teachers no longer allowed to deal as strictly with students.

3) Parents not training children to restrain their behavior.

4) All leading to teachers who's easiest path is to get the boys on meds.

Erika said...

If you read Bill Bryson's incredibly enjoyable A Short History of Nearly Everything, it is impossible not to notice that virtually every visionary, groundbreaking, great-leap-forward scientist working in the 18th and 19th centuries was a gigantic weirdo. It makes me so sad that we no longer tolerate weirdness and insist on filing off the rough edges of everyone. It makes me as sad as the fact that the "best and brightest" in our universities are often so obsessed with closed-mind PC "social justice" crusades that they literally shut themselves off from ideas they don't already hold. I predict we are entering an era of scientific stagnation.

Inga said...

My son, the youngest, with three older sisters was one of those high powered boys. He behaved well at school, had no learning difficulties, but at home became Alpha male extraordinaire. I found the best way to deal with his high energy and assertive nature was to give him his head, within reason.

He didn't break any bones, amazingly, in his outdoor adventures. He learned to put together dirt bikes and motorcycles and later rebuild cars all on his own. He used up extra energy outside of school and the family room. My garage was his domain, he managed to not burn it down or blow it up, lol. My car didn't see the inside of it for years, until he grew up and left home.

As an adult, he channeled that high energy and alpha male tendencies well and has made a good life for himself.

Howard said...

Erika: Fortunately you are wrong. Our universities and engineering businesses are still attract of the best and brightest. One of the problems is that the very best get sucked up by Wall Street to invent math programs to legally steal trillions.

The worst and dullest are majoring in PC social studies, become planners and regulators and join environmental groups to use bureaucracy and politics to stop or hold back our technical people.

Palladian said...

And just to follow up on my previous comment: it may sound overly harsh and nasty and personal, and I try to refrain from directing such comments at other commenters who aren't "trolls", but Shouting Thomas in particular, and some others in general, have written so many graphic slurs and have directed such animus towards gay men (such as myself) in the last few weeks, that I thought it only fair to strike back with vigor. You don't get to repeatedly use words like "fags" and sling all manner of disgusting blood libel against gay men without expecting push-back from me.

Inga said...

Palladian,

Your comment to ST wasn't out of bounds, IMO. The constant barrage of insults does deserve pushback. I know neither of us want to impinge on his first amendment rights though. :)

Shouting Thomas said...

Silly stuff, Palladian.

I don't have any animus toward gays or toward you.

I don't work in the office anymore, so I can say whatever the fuck I like. If I want to say "fag," I'll say fag.

If you don't like it, go fuck yourself.

You're adopting the extortion tactic. People who won't kowtow to your political ideas hate "gays" or some other political group.

Shove it up your ass.

Shouting Thomas said...

Inga, I don't give a fuck whether my political view are out of bounds, in your opinion.

Shouting Thomas said...

Just spent the holiday at a number of different family affairs where blacks, gays, Filipinos and whites were all present.

The constant topic... the attempt to censor people's speech and dictate to them what they can say about various groups.

The anger at this is about to boil over the top.

Freedom of speech. Fuck you assholes if you don't like it. You can't punish me for it, assholes. Choke on it. I hope it tastes like shit.

Inga said...

I didn't say your political views were out of bounds, ST. My comment about boundaries was directed to Palladian regarding his comment about you.

No one is trying to control you.

Shouting Thomas said...

Bullshit, nobody's trying to control me!

I'm telling you, nobody can control me anymore.

I earned my freedom through a lifetime of hard work. Fuck anybody who thinks they can silence me with PC bullshit again.

Howard said...

Shrieking Tommie is just over-compensating to suppress his inner Nancy-boy. A true homophobic thinks all gays are effeminate like him. He goes off on the gay thing when he has run out of starfucking namedrops and is feeling so low, does not feel pretty enough to tell everyone how pumped and handsome he is. I guess you can't retire from narcissism.

Inga said...

ST, don't you know the difference between pushback and attempts to control your speech? You push back, even when there is nothing to pushback against. When Palladian or I or any commenter pushes back you misinterpret it as controlling. We all get to say what we want, don't we?

Do you really expect to say the shit you do and no one will push back, ever? That's not realistic.

What do you want? Do you expect everyone to nod and agree with everything you shout?

Shouting Thomas said...

The "blood libel" that Palladian is talking about is the factual statement that I made.

The sexual behavior of gay men in the bathhouses of San Francisco and New York City caused the AIDS epidemic.

Yes, it did, Palladian. That's the unhappy truth.

I witnessed this with my very own lying eyes.

tim in vermont said...

As someone with an ADHD diagnosis who cannot take the "speed" because of heart rhythm problems, I wish I had been diagnosed at an early age and taught coping skills. I wasn't even a problem child, I was never in trouble in school since it was generally possible to keep up with my schoolwork by paying attention for about two minutes at the beginning of the class when the concepts were explained and zoning out for while the normal kids struggled through it.

Of course the fact that I got zeros on every scrap of homework to balance my 90s to 100s scores on tests and quizes meant no elite school for me, despite elite school level SAT and ACT scores. In retrospect, it was kind of unfair.

One thing though, the medication I am able to take for it, a drug that alters dopamine receptors and is used also to treat cocaine addiction has stopped my nearly incessant blog commenting. I have one web persona that I now use maybe five times a month that has a history of about 5,000 comments. I rarely comment here anymore and there are sites I used to comment on every day that I just can't think of anything to say anymore.

Alex said...

ST is so angry he could go "postal" any day I'm afraid. Good thing he's a senior.

Palladian said...

Fuck anybody who thinks they can silence me with PC bullshit again.

I don't want to silence you. I just don't want to listen to you.

Shouting Thomas said...

Howard,

You are so confused.

I have children and grandchildren. I've lived in NYC and SF, and I've been involved in just about every kind of sexual behavior you can imagine, except for gay sex, because I'm just not built that way.

I was in favor of the great gay liberation when it occurred in SF. I was there. I hoped that the vision of ecstatic liberation would be a reality.

We discovered that reality was a little different than we expected.

I am not at all concerned with whether or not I'm macho. I've taken my gay hairdresser Filipino friend, Ricky, with me to dances in the Catholic Church basement. He dressed in full drag and I danced with him.

I'm not interested in sex with men, but I don't have anything against men who do. The health issues involved, however, are much different than the health issues involved in hetero sexuality. The relationship issues are much different, too.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm not angry at all, Alex.

I just returned from a ten mile bicycle ride.

I'm quite happy.

I'm in a position to put my foot down, refuse to eat shit, refuse to believe lies and speak the truth.

If that seems like anger to you, you're welcome to it.

Inga said...

....."The anger at this is about to boil over the top."......

4/1/13, 2:01 PM

Shouting Thomas said...

I was speaking, if you'll notice, Inga, about the people I encountered at parties over the weekend.

Not about myself.

Am I angry about PC censorship?

I've passed the stage of anger. I'm at war with any fucker who wants to fight with me about that. War is a state of calm. If you've had any experience with fighting, you would know that calm focus is the best state for fighting.

No, anger is ineffectual. I've reach the state of calm determination necessary to destroy those who want to pull the PC shit on me.

Shouting Thomas said...

I was surprised at my relatives this weekend.

I was relating stories about PC hell to them 5 years ago, and they were shrugging their shoulders and saying it had nothing to do with them.

Now, every one of them has a story to tell above over reaching bureaucrats, nosy agents, stupid bullies, etc.

Alex said...

ST - all I hear from you is anger and more anger.

Shouting Thomas said...

Well, good for you Alex.

I'm enjoying the good fight.

Anger is a good thing when expressed by those feisty leftists.

So, I claim it's just good feisty fighting the good fight when I do it, too.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've reach one of the most enjoyable periods of my life.

Don't have to go to a job I don't want. Playing music in a wide variety of situations. Grandkid coming.

And, I'm free to tell the PC jail wardens to go fuck themselves.

I plan to do so fervently and frequently.

Alex said...

ST - GET OFF MY LAWN!

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm writing a song called:

"Get Offa My Lawn."

You'll be surprised over time at how effective this old man proves to be.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

ST is so angry he could go "postal" any day I'm afraid. Good thing he's a senior.

At what age do you suppose that people are unable to use a gun? After 86? :-P

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm quite happy today.

Cubs 3 Pirates 0

Watching the game on WGN-TV.

Go Cubbies!

ndspinelli said...

Female teachers are a leading cause. "Justin should be evaluated..he doesn't kiss my ass like the girls or compliant boys."

Roux said...

All normal little boys are ADD.

Methadras said...

And Inga secretes her rectal discharge on another thread.

Inga said...

What a disgusting person you are Meth, seriously, do you think that commenters here think you are being witty or intelligent? There is seriously something deeply disturbingly wrong with you.

Inga said...

ST looks positively well adjusted next to Meth.

David said...

Without doubt I was (and am) ADHD. It made my adolescent and teenage years extraordinarily difficult in some ways, but also presented me with an immense challenge. I had to learn to function in spite of the disability. (I did not view it as a disability, nor did anyone else. I was "fucked up lazy irresponsible wasting all this talent.") I did learn to be productive and sort of organized in spite of the attention issues and then at some point in my 40's my defect had become a diagnosis and I agreed to try adrenal. It worked and in many ways I felt like a different person. I did not like this different person so I dropped the drug and have muddled along more or less happily ever since.

wyo sis said...

We call one of our most effective principals the ADHD principal. He fits the description. We get a lot done in that school. No one wants him to go on medication either. Except maybe the teachers who don't want to work hard.

Rusty said...

Shouting Thomas said...
I'm quite happy today.

Cubs 3 Pirates 0

Watching the game on WGN-TV.

Go Cubbies!

I'm not much for religion, but I have absolute faith that they will choke sometime before the playoffs.

FredwinaD said...

So much ignorance on this thread, it's hard to address it all. I don't know how or where people get the idea that teachers are the ones who "get children on medication." Only a medical doctor can prescribe medication. A teacher can't even legally *suggest* medication of any type for any child.
Also, ADHD is a real diagnosis. Most of you who are throwing around "statistics" about the percentage of boys diagnosed with ADHD who are "really just being boys" or who "really just need more recess" just parading your ignorance and simple mindedness.
I'm a special education teacher who has taught countless boys (and some girls) dignosed with ADHD. In the most severe cases, these children have almost zero ability to attend or focus for more than a second or two at a time. They have serious difficulty forming and maintaining peer friendships due to their poor impulse control and lack of social awareness. It's very sad.
At the same time, I have a college-aged son who has always teetered on the edge of ADHD (he definitely has ADD), and I have never medicated him. At times, he asked me to get him medication because he got tired of trying so hard to focus and tired of making careless mistakes. It was a difficult decision, but I felt like he was intellectually capable of compensating for his attentional difficulties, and he was socially adept enough to maintain friendships. I'll tell you one thing, though, if he misbehaved in school, I sure as hell didn't blame his teachers or that fact that he was "bored." No shit, he was bored. But I expected him to behave, to be respectful and to follow the rules - no excuses. He didn't do as well in school as he should have or could have, considering his high IQ. But that's the choice we made.
So, I've seen both sides of the coin with ADHD. It's not some fake diagnosis. It's not just "boys being boys." It can't be "cured" by recess or gym class or physical punishment. Sometimes medication is the only thing that allows a child to function in any type of normal capacity and to have a good quality of life. ADHD medication can be as necessary for a child with ADHD as insulin is to a diabetic. Anyone who claims differently has no personal experience with it.

C Stanley said...

Fredwina,
I agree with much of what you wrote but from my own parental experience and from listening to many other parents, i can assure you that parents frequently feel enormous pressure from teachers and other school staff members to get a medical diagnosis. And then medical professionals readily diagnose ADHD without any objective criteria, and based in part on the teachers' responses to the Conners rating scale of the child's behavior. So although what you stated is technically true, teachers do have a lot of influence on the process. Not all teachers abuse this, of course- perhaps not even most- but some certainly do. Even in cases where teachers aren't deliberately trying to apply pressure, their biases often affect families who choose not to diagnose or medicate.

FredwinaD said...

I can understand where you're coming from, C Stanley. My son was hardly ever a teacher favorite, and sometimes teachers would make subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) comments about him. I guess I was lucky because I've seen so many levels of ADD and ADHD that I could keep my son's issues in perspective. Also, I did discuss the issue with my pediatricians a few times, but they never suggested or encouraged medication. In fact, they discouraged it.

I just get tired of teachers being belittled and blamed for all of the evils in the world by many of the posters on this site. I know there are bad teachers, and there are some teachers who would too readily encourage medication, but they are not in the majority. The constant disdain for my profession gets a little hard to take sometimes.

I also find many of the assertions about ADHD and the medicating of children to be disrespectful towards people who have felt the need to medicate their children (or themselves). People shouldn't pretend to be experts about things with which they have no experience, whether it be ADHD or teaching.

Theranter said...

Bullshit FredeinaD. 

MY SON IS DEAD WITHOUT INSULIN YOU ASS. 

DEAD. 

How dare you, or are you so ignorant you are one of those that thinks all forms of diabetes are from overeating? Type 1 is completely different than fat-assed type 2. 

Oooo i wish i just made my post without seeing yours, all i originally wanted to was many years prior to the onset of Type 1, when my son was in the 3rd grade, public school said put him on Ritalin or don't bring him back. Now having 3 brothers, I knew how boys are. My son was calm compared to my bros! There was no way I was going to medicate his developing brain. Found Waldorf school, where kids MOVE while learning (FLOTUS may want to look into Waldorf!) and he flourished. 

And since I am so mad about your ignorant post, i will reiterate something else re insulin--a stfu to all you helpless women that want your free effing birth control. You are NOT dead without it. My kid, however is, and there is no generic fucking 7.00 a month version. You young women today mewing for your free bc are pathetic and a slap in the face to the generations of strong, capable women before you. 

Goodnight ignoramus, and I pray your children nor grandchildren ever get Type 1. 

Nini said...

The condition exists.

If parents are bothered too much about their children's behaviour (to have talked about their children's behaviour at length), will it hurt if they consult with a specialist?

Surely the parents can disagree with a specialist, can't they?

I assume Sydney is a medical doctor. If you are not a specialist in this field I assume you will refer them to the specialist.

stlcdr said...

An issue that has not been addressed [here] is the increase in artificial (and natural) additives such as colorings, flavors and preservatives. Europe has an 'E' number scheme to identify such additives.

One of the side effects of some of the red food colorings is hyperactivity in children. While this by no means categorically identifies a cause of such problems as ADHD, the increase in diagnosis tends to implicate these chemicals that are being fed to children.

C Stanley said...

Fredwina- glad you can see my perspective, and I do understand yours as well. I have much more experience from the parental side and have done some advocacy, so I tend to see the worst side of the schools and also see the consequences of the power differential, when parents don't know their legal roghts or are simply not assertive or they are also overwhelmed by their child's behavior and don't know how to choose the best path. In other words, I've seen a lot of families get railroaded. Complicating things further, sometimes it's the school administration that prevents parent and teacher from finding appropriate interventions, usually due to bureaucratic and/or funding problems.

Personally I do try to keep perspective on the very difficult circumstances that teachers face, and I've always approached these situations assuming the best intent of all of the professionals involved.

Agree 100% with your last paragraph, as I also commented upthread. People should at least distinguish between their perception and theories of overdiagnosis, and the reality of the diagnosis for a subgroup of kids. Suggestions like increased exercise and decreased screentime are wonderful for kids with normal brain development, and helpful to some extent for kids who aren't neurotypical- but clearly (at least to those of us who are tasked with raising an affected child) these things are not curative.

My son's primary issue turns out not to be the typical ADHD syndrome after all, but childhood onset bipolar disorder. And if people think ADHD and meds is controversial, it's nothing compared to this diagnosis (even the medical community is split on whether or not it exists.) one thing that helped my conviction that this is real and not something we could fix by fresh air and avoidance of electronics, were some studies done on Amish children. These kids had symptoms identical to my son, despite being raised on farm chores and no tv or video games.

So when people make ignorant comments, I shrug it off. I would love to have more support from society....Lord knows we need it. But I also know that I didn't get it before I was living it either, so all I can do is try to educate people.

EMD said...

My son has been diagnosed and treated for the past 3 years. We were both very reluctant to give him medication for this, but he was extremely hyper at home and wasn't doing that well at school.

He's 10 now, and can probably get off the Adderall.

Deirdre Mundy said...

ADHD is real BUT the medications don't give permanent solutions. These kids (I was one) need to be taught coping skills.

The thing is, many of the things that come 'naturally' to the non-ADHD need to be explained to the ADHD. It takes us actual MENTAL EFFORT to sit still and not interrupt. We need help learning to manage time and large tasks.

The big problem is that we throw medicine at these kids to avoid teaching them the skills they need. It's like if you drugged a dyslexic instead of teaching him to read....