Monday, April 1, 2013

One in Five Now ADHD

Take five kids and now one of them is ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder. And this fifth kid is on either Ritalin, Vyvanase, or Adderall. And that is amazing. Rampant. A plague. An epidemic. Something. But there it is. You know it as a parent because every other parent you talk to their kid is on one of those drugs. And you come to accept that we are a nation where our kids just can't pay attention. But this seems to be the case. Or have we become a nation that cannot accept any deviations from the new normal?

Put this next to the ninety percent rise in autism since 2000 and a scary picture starts to emerge. But lets go back to this ADHD diagnosis that is applied to the fifth kid in every group. The experts say this statistic cannot be true. They point to the drug companies pedaling their wares as a big culprit. But they also point to parents who will do anything to make sure little Suzy or Johnny is getting good grades in school. It's little Johnny who is really screwed.

Boys. They are the fifth kid. Boys are diagnosed at something like twenty percent more than girls. Those darn boys just wont stay in their seat. They wont listen. Give them the drug. And they do. The problem is these drugs have awful side affects. They kill the appetite. Stunt growth. Their addictive. They ruin sleep. They wear off and the kid falls off a cliff. The drugs make kids edgy, temperamental, and worse they become a life prescription.

It is very hard for the parent to fight back against the physician and the teacher or the school that says your son or daughter is ADHD and we recommend this medication. But that is what parents should do. The drug should be the last resort not the first choice. Obviously there are many kids who need these drugs but many are on them who might just be a little edgy, restless. Or maybe they are someone who goes to the beat of a different drummer. You know an individual.

I know I was.

Rocket Man...the American dream upside down,

Books by William Hazelgrove