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Real or Myth Childhood Disorders vs. Over-reactive Parents and Professionals
Childhood Disorders Why are children in today’s societies being called out and put on medication more than children 50 years ago? Have children really changed that much, or rather the parenting techniques that changed? Little or no information is available to determine why some children suffer from childhood illnesses like ADHD and others don’t. Could ADHD and other childhood disorders be caused and brought on by poor parenting choices rather than medical diagnoses?
Childhood Disorders Cont’d… Children like this all over the world are diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, or some other kind of childhood disorder. Whether or not any of the ‘illnesses’ could be handled without medication is still up in the air.
Factors to Consider “The usual suspects—too much television and video games, food additives, bad parenting, a lack of discipline, and single mothers—feature prominently as potential contributors to the spiraling rate of ADHD diagnosis in Western industrialized nations, especially the USA and Australia” (Graham, 2008).
It’s okay to be different… There are no two parents or children alike, so just because one child is more active or hyper than the one next door, does not mean they have to get tested for any kind of disorder like some parents do just because they worry too much. It is only natural to worry about our kids, but we still need to let them be kids.
Medication and ‘Treatment’ “School administrators and many doctors insist Ritalin and other drugs like it are given out responsibly to children with severe behavioral problems” (Parker, 1999). Its cases like this that causes people to ask questions: Are schools pushing these ‘drugs’ to control students? Why are parents and doctors so willing to go along? How safe is Ritalin and other drugs used to treat ADHD and other childhood disorders?
Medication and ‘Treatment’ Cont’d… When ADHD and other childhood disorders are appropriately diagnosed and the treatment was clearly thought and well-planned, there can be monumental success. “There is a consensus in the medical community that ADHD left untreated can hinder emotional, social and intellectual development and sometimes leads to alcohol and drug abuse and criminal activity. School officials, teachers and some parents and doctors maintain Ritalin administered in the right dose can help ADD children improve their academic performance and social lives” (Parker, 1999).
No Concrete Evidence “There is no blood test or brain scan that allows doctors to confirm a diagnosis. They observe the behavior of the child, conduct interviews, read reports from teachers and parents, and make their decision” (Parker, 1999). It is understandable that there is no concrete way to tell if a child has ADHD/ADD, but that does not mean that there isn’t an underlying cause for the unruly behavior and being distracted.
Other Considerations To fully understand why a child acts and behaves the way they do, we need to look at their life through their eyes. “Parental problems usually precede the development of problem behavior in children, the psychiatrists say” (Eikmann, 1991). Medication can change a child’s mental and physiological state the longer that it is in their system.
Conclusion In conclusion, parents, educators, family, friends, should take the time to really understand a child’s behavior and not jump to conclusions. There is absolutely nothing wrong if a child is found to have some type of childhood disorder, but it should not be the first thing to come to mind and to automatically be put on some kind of medication. As a parent, you would want to take all the precautionary measures and try anything available from interventions to therapy to redirection of behaviors to special education classes before putting a child on mood-altering medication for long periods of time.