Just the title of this post will raise people’s ire, I’m sure. I heard it over and over again as a teacher, I heard it as a parent, and I’m reading about it in newspapers and magazines.
Yesterday’s New York Times posted an article that began, “Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
One in five. One in five???
Full disclosure: My son was diagnosed with ADD years ago (he is now a college student). He exhibits all the signs that my husband – an adult who has been diagnosed ADD – exhibits. It’s blatantly obvious with my husband, not so much with my son, but the signs are there, and I don’t dispute them. There is no doubt that both focus better, are more organized, and more on-task when they take prescribed medication,but my husband never takes his and my son only takes his when he has a huge study session or test ahead of him. My husband chooses to deal with the extra struggle without any help. My son accepts help from medication sparingly. Both probably do so because they don’t like the stigma of having to take medication to concentrate.
But according to the NY Times, there should be no stigma, since so many kids (boys) are diagnosed. What do you make of this? Is this a real, legitimate problem treatable with meds, or have we lost patience with children and become unwilling to deal with those who don’t fit into the traditional mold?