Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Raising the Ritalin Generation"

As both a parent and a Chiropractor, I highly recommend that you read this opinion piece, published today in the International Herald Tribune and originally published on August 18 in the New York Times.

The author, Bronwen Hruska, relates her and her son's personal experience with the misunderstood diagnosis of ADHD, and Hruska deftly points out the various problems with said diagnosis, as well as the side effects of the addictive drugs commonly prescribed.

For her son, " was a matter of growing up, settling down and learning how to get organized...We might remind ourselves that the ability to settle into being a focused student is simply a developmental milestone."

In my own experience in my clinic, I have seen many children prescribed Ritalin, and about 15% of those kids who actually have a chemical imbalance that justifies its use.  Teachers, doctors and parents must learn to be more selective, rather than blanketing the entire generation with drugs.

Or as Hruska writes, "We're also ensuring that down the road, when faced with other challenges that high school, college and adult life are sure to bring, our children will use the coping skills we've taught them.  They'll reach for a pill."


tesyaa said...

I don't think true ADHD is due to a chemical imbalance; rather, it's due to brain development. Many kids do outgrow the worst of their symptoms as the brain matures.

Maybe you just used the term "chemical imbalance" as a colloquialism and not a scientific description.

Doc said...

My doctor once explained to me that ADHD comes partially from a chemical imbalance and partially from brain structure; the communication between left and right brain.