Should We Give Pills To Our Kids Or Demand Schools To Change?


I saw the above question in the Linkedin group The ADD / ADHD Entrepreneur with the subtitle: “The following article is the proof that our educational system is failing us.” Linking to an article in the New York Times titled: Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School

First I thought that the question was ridiculous. The answer is both or neither. It depends on the school and the child. Here is my full response:

This is a complicated issue. The article and the comments reinforce my assessment that most people are uniformed or more often misinformed about ADHD, treatment, causes and learning techniques.

I think your question is wrong in that it asks an either / or question.

I say yes to everything in the appropriate situation. That of course is the hard part: figuring out what the situation is at any given point of time. Then adjusting treatment to match the situation.

The biggest unknown is the unintended consequences of whatever choices we make.

Opinions in the comments of this article were all over the place. Some praising Dr. Anderson and some excoriating him. The truth is, he is doing what he thinks is best in the situation the kids find themselves in. I as a parent may or may not agree with his position and action as is my right. But my knowledge, ideology and history can be just as wrong, carrying the same risk of unwanted consequences.

I see this all around me. I disagree with how other people do things, how Drs medicate, how schools and individual teachers teach and even and more importantly my own behavior. If I know what I’m doing is wrong but do it anyway, how can I judge what someone else does. But I do it anyway.

The fact is that we don’t know all of the details in any one situation, we do what we think is right or knowingly wrong, until we make a new choice based on new information. Unfortunately too many refuse to accept new information as counter counter intuency is just that. I find that so many issues with ADHD are counter intuitive that I am not at all surprised and the results.

How many people don’t even believe ADHD is real? I don’t have high hopes for sudden change. I do believe that articles like this and others more information will be disseminated and knowledge will get better

Please read the article here and and especially some of the comments then come back and tell me what you think.

Featured image thanks to

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