This is nothing short of a horror. According to the New York Times:
Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the A.D.H.D. diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children.
At some point we need to see that if 20 percent of boys are being diagnosed with ADHD, there’s something wrong with the diagnosis. There’s something wrong with our schools. And there’s something wrong with parents. 20 percent! Think about that.
We are seeing boyhood as a disease that should be medicated out of them. As a father of four girls and a boy I can say…and this may comes as a shock to you…boys and girls are different. I know, right? Who’d a thunk it?
Boys don’t sit still well. They act like toys that were plugged in too long. They get bored easily. Ok, very easily. To me, that doesn’t mean we have to change boys, it means we need to change the way we handle them. It means we have to stop expecting them to be girls with cowlicks.
April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm
I have 4 children, the first 3 of whom are boys and can testify to the reality of the unique makeup of little boys, and the need to parent through it, and not just medicate it away. I say this with an extra-sense of awareness as our second son JohnPaul does have ADHD.
Almost from the moment he was delivered, there was something clearly different about his ability to be attentive. We knew very early on that there were going to be difficulties with him, and the help from his medical team in how we can best serve him has been a wonderful thing.
ADHD is very real, but the ridiculousness with which it is diagnosed, especially in young boys, is insane and dangerous
April 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm
I’m a Mom and I did the math and came up with an even higher known percentage ADHD in my son's 1990's Catholic school class. Pure and simple – the teachers were all middle aged women who accepted annoying "girl" behavior (gossiping /squealing) while punishing annoying "boy" behavior (moving/throwing things). By the time our son made it to middle school we had been advised to medicate him so he would be a "different" child (as if we didn't love the one we had).
Fast forward ten years, He is a successful middle grades English teacher (his worst k-8 subject – reading meant being still too long), and he’s much in demand because so few middle school teachers are male. He understands the "guys" and doesn't equate behavior with grades. He tends to grade on specific subject knowledge rather that “hoop jumping busy work” that boys don't see the point of. He's a responsible married adult which is more than you can say for most of the “perfect” girls he graduated with.
April 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm
If boys could play outside with enough other boys, and run all the energy out of themselves once in awhile, i think some of those diagnoses would be gone.
I am not saying there aren't boys with learning disabilities, but not as many as they say.
But where is the outside and the neighbor boys?
April 3, 2013 at 12:36 am
I recently read a book called "Boys Adrift" which was very alarming and along these same lines. We have one boy and two girls (so far) and boys and girls are very different. It's unfortunate that boys are attacked for just being boys.
April 3, 2013 at 1:13 am
The new DSM 5
Boyhood…disease characterized by behaving like a boy
Pregnancy…disease characterized by creation of new life…like you and me, but were not a disease if we make it to age 25.
Homosexuality…no longer a disordered trait, but a superior quality. All those gay should mock, ridicule or threaten lawsuits.
Sexual deviancy…a hi quality amongst people. If female it means empowerment. If male….still not sure. If its male attraction ok. If towards female…you're sick!
April 3, 2013 at 5:52 am
I've always suspected that not all cases of ADHD is really ADHD. Especially now since my 1st child (a boy) is almost 2 and super active! I can see how someone might want to say he has ADHD, but really, my instincts say he's just being a boy! We're looking forward to seeing the differences between him and our 2nd child (a girl). I would love to hear suggestions/stories from more seasoned parents of how you parent them differently. Matthew, I love reading your stories about your family.
April 3, 2013 at 11:52 am
As a parent of 4 boys, I'm very concerned about this trend. I think "anonymous" at 1:27 nailed it perfectly. My oldest (13) complains about the different treatment by the female teachers. Also, I am a preschool teacher's aide, and see many, many very busy boys who I am sure will be considered ADHD. I hate to blame the parents, but….in the past few years, it's been a parenting trend to not discipline and "reason" with the child. As a result, these parents' children tend to run wild, as they have not been given any boundaries. (We had one parent who doesn't even like to give a 2 year old "time out," but rather reasons with the child). Sorry for my rant, but you hit it right on the nose!
April 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm
I am a registered nurse. For a few years I worked in a large medical practice; I wasn't really surprised at the 'method' often used to diagnose an ADHD child. It generally amounted to listening to a frustrated parent or two list their complaints about the little patient. Then the prescription pad would come out.
I'm a mother of two grown (and successful) sons who I home-schooled. I just knew if they were in a school system they would be labeled. Homeschooling allowed me to work with them, and they both managed to stay on target and finish without difficulty.
I must say, though, that my little granddaughters are nearly as 'busy' as the grandsons!
April 4, 2013 at 2:39 am
My son had ADHD and the school really pressured me to put him on medication so he would behave better at school. It helped but he lost so much weight I had to take him off of it. My son did not do well in school, but when he graduated high school he went to college and studied what he was interested in and did wonderful. He has a really good career and a good job now too. My point is that the school just doesn't want to deal with boys who are bored. My son wasn't studying anything that interested him. We lived in the country and they had him studying agriculture and farming, but my son was interested in computers.
April 4, 2013 at 3:32 am
My 8 year old son has ADHD. We live in a place where he cannot really go outside very much and there are no boys anywhere near his age to play with. His two brothers are much older than him and also are gone at school all day (he homeschools). I truly believe that if he had regular access to outdoor rough housing play with other boys, he would not have as many issues as he does. I pray for a non-medication answer, but right now, we seems to have no choice.:(