Skip to comments.Why do kids need Ritalin? Sure, because they’re anxious. But WHY are they anxious???
Posted on 08/16/2013 11:40:14 AM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
Wall Street Journal misses implications of its own story.
---This is an important post if you teach in a school where Ritalin is often prescribed. Or if you have children who are taking Ritalin.---
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about whether Ritalin works. I believe they missed the main point.
Ritalin works if by that you mean it calms children down. Ritalin does not work if by that you mean they will automatically become better students, or that their underlying problems will be solved.
The tendency in the schools is to act as though anxiety is a primary disease, not a symptom. So if they can eliminate the anxiety, all problems are solved, and the schools can go on doing what they were doing, which may be a slavish reliance on the wrong teaching methods.
Its been a recurrent theme for many decades, in books about reading, that when children fall behind their friends, they feel miserable and defeated. They know that their parents and teachers are whispering about them. A year or two later, when the gap is greater and obvious to everyone, these kids become quietly crazy.
Just imagine that you are unable to do something simple that all the people in your social group can do. When you reveal that you cant do it, they smile and joke in a condescending way.
If you dont know the capital of France, you can suggest that you know other capitals. But if your friends are reading a book, there is no way to hide that you dont know whats on that first page.
Long story short, if a child reaches the fourth, fifth or sixth grade and is still illiterate, that child often starts dreaming about dropping out of school... as soon as he is old enough.
Many such children start having imaginary sicknesses so they can stay home. Many pretend they dont like books. A boy might tough it out by saying, Books are for girls. I hate reading.
So we have bad teaching methods leading to unhappy children. These children end up seeing a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnoses them as having ADHD and they are told to take Ritalin. This puts a band-aid over the problem.
So the very first question that should be asked when a child is anxious and unhappy is this: can this child read?? Dont be fooled by empty terms like grade level. Give him a newspaper, find out if he can read a paragraph.
If you cant, first turn him into a reader with intensive phonics, and then see how he is feeling.
A lot of experts (in various books written over the years) mention in passing that these troubled children often become magically better. Their anxiety and dyslexia fade away. These problems, in many cases, were not real to begin with. Thats the story the Wall Street Journal should have reported.
See "In report on children and Ritalin, the Wall Street Journal skips over real story."
CODA: There is an unholy configuration here. Whole Word = poor reading = anxiety = Ritalin. Together these seem to be part of a larger phenomenon called The War on Boys. See "What really happened to boys?"
A high school teacher told me that the primary concern of almost every student is that they survive the day. High school is as bad as prison. (Lockdown...now where do you think they got THAT word?)
its SO under discussed these days...but its broken everything its touched!
this thread is bound to attract a bunch of people with a lot of opinions on medications, but without any practical experience with a kid who needs them. my daughter is going to be starting her freshman year of college next week. She has taken adderall since she was in 4th grade. she is not hyperactive, anxious etc. She DOES have a learning disability, and the adderall merely allows her to focus her attention more acutely on the subject matter at hand. Her mind is scattered otherwise, and she has trouble keeping track of what she is doing. It’s a tool to permit her to pursue her studies, nothing more.
Its really sad that so many kids are being drugged if not for ADHD but any number of other questionable things due to a hypochondriac culture and also the fact that the state encourages it by allowing kids diagnosed with ADHD to be declared disabled.
I know of two boys that fit this mode. Their mother found a Dr. to label them as disabled so as to get social security checks for them. It makes me sick but there is nothing I can do about it but I can make sure my kids grow up without being drugged into submission.
Why are they anxious? Because they take Ritalin.
(I need to go back to primary school again to learn the difference between a single question mark, or exclamation point and three or, as we frequently see multiples of them.)
Kids who can control themselves (self regulate) enough to learn and participate in groups and not be shunned by everyone else who cannot stand their jitters, pokes, blurts, humming, punching interrupting floor rolling etc don’t automatically become better students
but it sure as hell-o gives them a tool to help resolving the anxiety of failing and being shunned!
At around two years of age our son stopped taking naps and continually had circles under his eyes. And yes he was wound up. When he hit kindergarten the public school said we had to do something. If I had followed my gut I would have taken our son off all dairy, wheat and given him a drop of benadryl every night to help him sleep.
Drugs like Ritalin dull the senses to such a degree that children don't learn proper proper social interaction by observation. They teachers/parents, etc don't understand why the children don't know how to interact later in life.
Its about control. Getting bored becomes a disability. Hell you almost need a drug to sit through leftist indoctrination classes. The drugs may help some people but the question is do they really need the drugs to learn to deal with unexciting material. I’m always very skeptical of people that want a drug to fix something that isn’t broken. People aren’t meant naturally to be little non questioning robots that focus for hours on boring tasks but the politicians sure do want people that behave just like that.
And unfortunately growing segments of the population do behave like brainwashed zombies to some extent. They are good at being told what to think or simply not bothering to have an opinion at all.
We gave public roads up to cars and pushed the kids inside to sit in front of the TV.
I was lucky growing up, though. I lived in a rural area without a lot of traffic and could bicycle with my friends safely for miles.
But today, who would let their kid out the door without constant supervision? It's easier to warehouse them in a school drugged up all day.
I have twins with autism who take ADHD medications (not Ritalin per se, but similar) - in their cases, it helps them calm down enough to focus on the moment instead of obsessing over some other detail. We keep the dose as small as we can get away with, but especially with our daughter, there’s no denying the difference that it makes.
Funny thing is, these drugs are actually stimulants - they essentially “wake up” the section of the brain that helps them regulate themselves. If you’re dealing with a child who has minor attention issues, try getting them to have a caffeinated drink before a time they need to concentrate.
As I understand it more Boys get ritalin lobotomies than do girls.
Boys tend towards more Active Boredom....
Boys in the New World Order must learn thier place
Under the heel of Big SIs!
PASSIVITY is to be the order of the day!
Some kids have the opposite problem.. My daughters are both smart, but had trouble concentrating, talked alot, didn’t pay attention. Teachers were saying add/ADHD. I said “they’re bored.” Teachers told me I was an idiot.
Spent some time with them working on stuff harder. So I started working with them.. They’re both at least 3 grades ahead of their classmates in reading and math and still learning. Hardest problem I have is teaching them to at least pretend to pay attention in school to stay out of trouble.
That is a good point. The best thing to get my 5 boys to be better behaved is to let them burn off energy at the park, fishing, or swimming. My kids also have chores like gathering the trash, vacuuming, washing dishes, cleaning their rooms, and laundry. We also have them involved in martial arts which has did wonders for them where discipline is concerned. I think some people have just simply forgotten what being a kid is. They don’t come pre-programed to sit still but many seem to expect that or they expect little boys to behave like little girls though some little girls don’t behave like little girls are expected either.
Also kids are individuals. My daughter (16) is low maintenance high responsibility. She has always been that way. She is a self starter and self learner and always eager to live up and exceed expectations. My oldest son however is happy to just squeak by even though he is capable of more. Both are very smart but they each learn differently and approach things differently. My son has never had a confidence problem where as my daughter had to learn to be more assertive while my son had to be reigned in.
Children have attention deficit in school because they have a deficit of attention at home. In my case I was unable to focus because I was trying to get from my classmates the attention and affection that I could never get from my father. Students could subconsciously perceive that and they didn’t like it. So they ignored me which made me try even harder. The trauma of neglect and rejection shatters the psyche so that one becomes mentally and emotionally disoriented and unable to do normal things like fall asleep at night or pay attention in class. Another word for it is being a spaz. Attention deficit = deficit of attention. Ritalin turned me into a zombie which my father was okay with. But it made me withdrawn and even more dysfunctional. When I started taking desipramine or imipramine I went from one semester as a D and F student with an F in conduct to the honor roll. As I understand it, the stimulant/antidepressant promotes transmission between the two hemispheres of the brain. Something better than doping your kids, though, is for fathers to take full responsibility for the consequences of their love for pleasure. Welcome your offspring into the world. Take an interest in their talents and passions. Show them how those two work together to form the purpose of their life. Be a mentor, not just a reluctant bread winner who escapes from your wife and children with your job and Monday night football.
You are exactly right boys are prescribed it more but the number of girls being prescribed has been increasing. The standards though for diagnosis is so wide that almost anyone could be diagnosed as ADHD.
I think that’s a big part of it. When I was a kid, we would pretty much do as we pleased without constant supervision from any adults. Just don’t do anything to embarrass the family and be back home before dark. Use our imaginations, make up our own games, act out some of our fantasies and burn off all that nervous energy. If they had Ritalin back then, someone would have wanted to put me on it for sure.
You certainly got that right!!
When my son was in elementary school not so long ago, the (very overweight) teacher and (very overweight) aide believed that children should NOT have recess if they were struggling readers — so recess was canceled for the entire class and PE was honed down to a bare minimum of minutes, just three times a week for a very short time.
As the mother of a young son, I know how restless boys can be and sitting for that long for him was pure torture! Boys (and girls) need to run around, play, climb, yell, ride bikes, run — every single day. I told the teacher that PE and recess were just as important as anything she was doing in that room — and that’s why one of the reasons I believed my son was struggling with reading.
That and he was NOT ready to read until he was older — like around eight, which I found out runs in my family (of scientists, mathematicians and chemists).
Of course, he picked up reading by the 5th grade — after numerous tests to see “what was wrong” — done WITHOUT my knowledge or permission. Fortunately, a wonderful school psychologist tested him — said he was the highest kid she’d ever tested (he just couldn’t read!!). — the recommendation was to leave him alone and that he’d get it when he was ready, which is exactly what happened.
He spent time in a reading lab with a great teacher who was 100% phonics all the way and that’s what worked. The first book he read was Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy from our home bookshelf.
It would have been over MY DEAD BODY to prescribe him ritilin.
As a high school teacher, I’ve seen firsthand what ritilin does to kids — turns them into affectless zombies.
I was an excellent reader, but had anxiety every single day at school for any and every reason. It’s not about the ability to read.
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