there is no such thing as ADD or ADHD, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. if you ask a school psychologist if there is a physiological test that indicates this “disorder,” and if you ask for a simple yes or no answer, you’ll hear “no.”
yes, there are children who demonstrate behaviors such as a short attention span, inability to stay at one task for a sufficient length of time, being easily bored with school. sure this happens. and yes, there is a chemical imbalance that is the likely reason – but the real question is, “what has caused this imbalance?” here’s what parents do not want to hear about – Sometimes – not always of course – it is the parents that are the cause.
from birth until pre-school, ADD and ADHD are being created by parents. not all situations and cases, of course. here’s how: they take the kids, sit them in a room with a bunch of toys strewn about, put a tv on that shows either PBS (sesame street, tele-tubbies, etc.), and they leave the kid there all day while the parent is on the phone, on the computer, having coffee and cigarettes with friends, anything other than paying attention to the child. and what does the kid do during this time? glances at the tv, maybe watches for a minute when there is singing or loud noise. pick up a toy, bite it, bounce it. they can’t really figure out what to do with a plastic boat at 9 months, so they drop it and move on to the soft plastic picture book. they don’t know what those things are, so they drop that too. they basically move from one thing to the next, getting bored easily, and not really paying attention to anything for very long.
doesn’t that seem exactly like the ADD and ADHD kids in school? and where did they learn these behaviors? right, at home. and where did the parents learn these child-raising habits? from their parents. and this is why people think ADD and ADHD are hereditary, because it seems to be passed down to each generation. but that’s not what’s passes down. it’s the style of parenting that’s passed down, not a genetic illness or disorder.
now these kids go to school and disrupt the class because they are behaving exactly the way they were trained during those early years. and to stop them, we give them drugs that do not at all address the real problem. instead, the drugs just slow the kids down and makes them zombies. they don’t act out as much, but they won’t make it out of the building very quickly during a fire either.
what’s the real brain issue? what’s this about a chemical imbalance? yes, it’s true, there is one. there are brain connections that are created in infants and toddlers when someone sits down with them, reads to them, talks to them, plays games with them, and laughs with them. and when the kids get older, it’s helpful when the parent takes out ONE toy, plays with it, has the child help to put it away, and then takes out another toy. one at a time, not just a mess of colorful plastic everywhere. and these are the behaviors we want our children to demonstrate in school. drugs won’t do that. only parenting will. and the ADD and ADHD kids do not have those brain connections, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still GET them, even in teen years. the right interaction between parents and children can still create those connections and it can still produce those needed chemicals all during elementary and middle school, possibly high school as well.
when i was a middle school baseball coach, i had a great second baseman – sometimes. it depended on when he took his medication. before, he was alert, ready, good glove, quick feet. after, a steady breeze would have knocked him over. he fell asleep in the dugout. when his father asked me why he wasn’t playing, i said, “because i don’t want him to take a line drive to the face.” the kid was good, but not when taking his ritalin or whatever it was.
it only takes time and attention – and those are two of the very few things that money can not buy. drugs? sure, money has that covered.