Re: The Myth of the ADD Child

KleinCon (KleinCon@aol.com)
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 20:14:17 EST

In a message dated 98-03-25 16:56:12 EST, you write:

<< I've been thinking of ordering the book, "The Myth of the ADD Child" from
Holt
Associates (The Growing Without Schooling people). As a staff member at LVS
I
get a lot of questions from parents with children diagnosed with ADD, and I
was wondering if this was a worthwhile read. Has anyone out there read this
book, and if so, what did you think? >>

Melissa,

I haven't read the entire book, but I have heard of it, read reviews of it,
and have heard the author interviewed. I agreed with what I read and heard so
I tentatively give the book a "Third-hand Thumb Up".

My bias is that ADD, ADHD, etc. are, except in the most extreme cases,
school/parenting derived "ailments". They basically strive to make the case
that, instead of creating an environment capable of accommodating the wide
range of human behavior and emotions that kids exhibit, we should force the
kid to mold to the environment (which is set up to reward quiet, subservient,
regurgitive behavior.)

I am reminded of a Smith Family cartoon of a while back. One of the Smith
boys is talking to another boy. The other boy looks all bleary eyed and
slack-jawed. The other boy says, "I run around all the time, can't sit still,
yell a lot, and make a nuisance of myself. They call it 'hyperactivity' and
make me take a pill."

The Smith boy responds, "Oh, I do that too, only they call it 'being a kid'
and make me take a powder!" (Although I am hesitant to explain a joke, I have
heard from some folks that the expression "take a powder" isn't as widely
known as I thought. For those who haven't come across it, it roughly means
"get out and don't bother me".)

I know that some parents struggle mightily to help their kids get a handle on
their lives. Some describe the despair that the kids feel being out of
control. There may be a (very) small minority of cases of truly pathological
ADHD/ADD and I suppose that medication may be appropriate in those (very few)
cases. My strong belief is that in the vast majority of cases, the kid is
being medicated for the sake of convenience - the convenience of a rigid
school system, a rigid home system, or both, which are unwilling to make
necessary changes that would allow kids to be kids and to grow up in their own
time and manner.

Alan