I am a firm believer that mental illnesses are designated based on cultural norms. How else can something lose disease status, like homosexuality did. Whereas coronary artery disease is still an illness. Which makes me think the designation is the result of the measurements, all the different factors used to decide there’s a problem. That’s really the issue with ADHD, it’s not the kid but the adults who don’t want to deal with kids who demand attention.
Cultural norms and expediency. That’s what makes a difficult person (like me) “crazy.” We have a notion that if someone is difficult he is a problem. Struggle, effort, work with no end in sight, these are no longer character builders. It is now unacceptable to go out of one’s way. Difficult kids are called difficult for a reason. It’s true that today, in the year 2020, people will not wait longer than 3 seconds for a web page to load. By 2.5 seconds researchers discovered people are poised to hit “back” to go to a faster loading site. But it was true in the 1990’s. Based on my experience then as a newly minted adult I propose evaluating the people who have a problem with the kid on meds. We should medicate the people who have a problem with him. Tag them with “excessive tendency to label kids.”
ADHD LESSONS FOR ME AS A TEACHER
I taught middle school in Manhattan right after I graduated college and met people smoking something out of a glass tube. There was a disruptive kid who sat quietly with his head on his desk when he took Ritalin. I was 21 years old and hadn’t a clue how to handle people. I let him be. It was so much easier for me as a brand new adult and teacher when he was incommunicado. I know from staff meetings that the other teachers, who I secretly thought of as real grown ups, felt the same. I wouldn’t do this now, gratefully ignore a kid who wad making my life difficult. When I say medicated kids reveal a problem with their supervising adults, I know whereof I speak! I guess it wasn’t such a quick fix because I still feel guilty all these years later.
IT WAS EASIER FOR ME WHEN THE KID WAS NON DISRUPTIVE THANKS TO Ritalin
Back in my day, yes I am old enough to day that (!) kids got slapped not pills. I am not a fan of abuse but I do believe in a swat or two on the bottom of a small child to establish who’s in charge. Otherwise the kid gets bigger than the parents call the police to put their hands on the kid.
Controversial Conclusion: Chairman Mao might have been right when he said all power flows from the barrel of a gun
Maybe physical force or the possibility of being subjected to it must be used to keep people in line. Parents can judiciously spank to establish their authority, or they turn to drugs to dope the kids into submission (and puzzle over mysterious addiction epidemics). Or the police can step in and physically exert their control. Maybe everyone has to be physically controlled in the absence of self-control, which may or may not come in the future. Shame, bribery, blackmail and rewards are more subtle means of social control for older kids. Some outside force will tell your kid what to do, you’d best make that outside force you.