Parenting Tips Newsletter
Letter from the author
to letter from Bob Collier, author of ADHD-report.com
Thank you for taking time to sort out your thoughts on this issue. I would do well to follow your example and set aside time each day for simple reflection...
I myself have often struggled with Dr Baughman's hard line stance against
ADHD. Not that I disagree with him,
it's just that his firmness seems... well, rather harsh, especially to
the parent who is struggling to maintain control of a child who is bouncing
off the walls with unconstrained energy.
Let's face it - parents usually take pride in their offspring, and right or wrong, we derive satisfaction from our children who fit neatly into our preconceived notion of what "good", "happy" and "well-adjusted" children should be. When our children don't measure up to the standards we have set, and increasingly these days, when they don't measure up to the standards that others have set for them, we face a conflict.
All of these attempts at understanding why certain children don't quite
fit into the mold that society has patterned for them, all attempts to
bring them into conformity - are really only attempts to resolve that
It is now past time that we organize to dismantle this ill-conceived effort to control unacceptable behavior with dangerous drugs, but even if we are able to accomplish this, we have not addressed the question of what CAN be done to resolve the conflict.
It is time each one of us who cares even one whit about the welfare of children, addresses that simple, yet profound question - what is truly best for the child?
Certainly, drugging a child into conformity is not the answer.
I agree with your statement:
"What there IS, is a range of behaviours of various origins that may or may not be a genuine problem, but where they ARE a genuine problem, do need to be responded to in some (hopefully positive) way."
Children's behavior IS problematic at times - no question about that. When Johnny insists on biting Mark because he doesn't like Mark, when McKenzie climbs on top of her desk, rather than choosing to sit in her seat (and in so doing, encourages Allie to do the same!) well, those are behaviors that most would agree are problematic, and need to be dealt with. But certainly not with schedule II controlled substances!
Careful observation of the child is usually sufficient to understand what is causing the "problem", and interventions can then be used to modify behavior - addressing the overall health of the child (has the child's vision and hearing been tested? Have they been afforded enough time for play?), time tested child development practices (don't say "No", and then give in at the child's resistance or even when your patience runs out), and attention to diet (did you really observe how much sugar was in Chrissy's bowl of cereal?). These are all considerations amongst the many that can lead to positive interventions.
There is no doubt in my mind that if as much time, money and energy were spent on advocating the many time-tested, positive, non-invasive, non-commercial methods of behavior modification that are already readily available, (as compared with how much time, money and energy is spent on promoting drugs as the answer)- with an emphasis on TRAINING THE PARENT FIRST, and secondly on the child, we could banish the absolutely absurd, made-up, 100% fraudulent diagnosis of ADHD, and we'd have a world filled with happy, successful children! (not to mention happy, beaming parents!)
Sooo.... I guess what I've said is that I agree that ADHD does not really
exist in the context that clever marketing gurus would like us to believe,
but rather it is simply a label, fashioned to capture myriad behaviors
that most would agree are problematic.
Best to all,
ADHD-Report.com: The concerned parents' guide to childrens' attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD)