Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ADHD

Warning: Opinions of the author may vary from your own, it's my blog remember! I'm not a parent, nor a doctor....but a semi-informed teacher with 8 years of experience and a child development degree under my belt. These are just my thoughts, no scientific data......
ADHD...It's one of those things that's much debated in the field that I work in. Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder, that's what it stands for. (Hypersensitivity/Hyperactivity..both terms are used in different circles) I've read several books, a ton of information online and spoken with many families who have a child that are diagnosed with it. (Including a few close friends whose children are dealing with it, or the diagnosis of it anyway) Interesting stuff.... I have mixed feelings about it. I've had 4 children in my classroom over the years that were diagnosed with dealing with it. All 4 children were on medication. In my opinion, several of those families were looking at ways to calm down a very over active child. I'm not a doctor, but 3 of those children were continually doped up and I couldn't find a reason that they needed to be. They were with me 8 hours a day and I developed strong opinions. The other though, the fourth child. That's her up there, beautiful girl huh? Took that picture on the playground one afternoon. She was something in my classroom, sure kept us on our toes. I took a year out of the classroom after meeting this little beauty. What more can I say? I don't have a picture of a meltdown and her hurling chairs across my room. She was a joy though and she taught me alot about dealing with special children. Of course, in my 8 years of having my very own classroom...she's not the only special case I've come across. I know a family that is having behavior issues with their child right now and they are thinking of medicating him. I've been around this child....alot. The doctors seem to be very easily handing out the diagnosis of ADHD these days. This child is a handful, but no more than many little boys his age. I'm just sad today thinking that he may spend years being drugged up, because his parents want a break. Made me think about the little beauty from years back, a child who was benefiting from medication and the care of a doctor. Just wondering today how much easier it's getting for people to slap a label on a child & drug them up .. than to try to figure out another way to work with a child and their needs. Just thoughts from a rambling preschool teacher who loves children....

11 comments:

Larilyn said...

I AGREE!

There is an epidemic of prescribing medications to children that aren't necessary.

I have parents come to me all the time telling me, "Oh, we ran out of medication, we're waiting for a refill, Johnny will be a handful." And he's completely fine....no problems. Oddly enough, the day the kid starts acting weird again, the parent comes in to tell me, "Oh, we got our prescription refilled." o_O

Parenting, for the most part, is becoming a much different animal. I have many strong opinions on all this, but I will conclude my rant now. ;)

monica said...

Oh feel free to rant on. I told my boss just the other day.. that in my 8 years of preschool (plus several more in daycare) I have seen a HUGE decline in common sense parenting skills and involvement. If it continues to decline, I don't know what will happen. Scary! Believe me, the soapbox is much used. This was just on my mind today and I want to shake two parents! Grrrr.....

Larilyn said...

It just frustrates me how more and more, children are just becoming another possession...another step in life.....they don't want to be a parent to their child, they just want to be able to say they have children. It's all about being selfish and fulfilling their own wants....they don't actually care about filling their childs wants and needs.

There are definitely exceptions, but I see it so much, it's so sad.

I could rant forever.....

nfrogirl said...

You know I agree. It seems like most of the time the parents are so wrapped up in their own lives they don't teach or play with their child. That is all they want some times is attention. Stupid doctors are sop quick to hand out the meds it's scary even with adults.

monica said...

People don't take time to talk to kids, you're right...Drives me insane! I have some that go on field trips and don't get off the cell phone the entire time. Don't spend a second talking with the child. See Mom's who are on their phone picking up there kid and never get off...never bother to say "how was your day, tell me about it".... People that don't enjoy their children don't know what they're missing! Sad-

Joanne said...

I have a cousin who used to be a teacher and she got out of it for just this reason. The percentage of kids who are diagnosed is so high, perhaps we should check out the water supply to see what's in it. ;) It seems highly unlikely that all those children have ADHD.

Traci said...

I agree with you also. I have always thought this. And this was when I too was a preschool teacher way back when. I haven't been one in 16 years, and even back when I was they were medicating children.

Not that I'm trying to put myself on a pedistal by saying this, but what I have noticed of parents when picking up their children when I am picking up Dexter is the lack of them even getting down to the childs level and hugging them hello. I am always at Dexter's level. That is one of the major things I learned in Child Physcology.

It's truly sad.

Ker-Bear said...

I think there's a huge difference between a normal hyper child, and one who has a problem. There are definately too many people being dx'd as add that aren't. That's my opinion.

Then there are kids like my friend's son. He went way too long without a DX and suffered in school.

When Mitchel was first Dx'd as Autistic (and they also said he was ADD but if you can't understand what people are sayiing to you, are you going to pay attention to them? NO) I had a hard time putting him on meds cause I didn't want to just rely on meds. But then I thought long and hard about it that he has a real medical condition and needed help.

I also said that if it didn't help we would take him off it immediately. For him, he was able to calm down long enough to concentrate and listen to what people were teaching him. And for hte first time he began to speak. Like real sentences. Not big ones, but when you've never put three words together spontaneously before in your life, it's huge.

So I guess i'm on the... Yes it is overly DX'd not everyone needs medication. But when necessary it really is a life saver table.

monica said...

Exactly- The little girl in the picture, needed meds and couseling tips...helped her. The rest I've come into contact with, I think could have done better without. IMO...

Autistic though, another ball game. I have had 3 children who are dealing with that in my classroom, different degrees of it. That's a whole 'nother blog for another time....

And interesting Kerri that he has both, that .. I haven't been witness to.

Ker-Bear said...

I would think at the time it made sense. He didn't really have any language, he only would only mimic certain words. He'd just stand at teh cupboard and scream if he was hungry. If he heard no he'd fall apart and scream. He didn't have the language to communicate with us, and he didnt' understand most of what he'd heard. So I would think with those things, you wouldn't have the capability to keep your attention on any one thing for too long.

monica said...

The little girl I had 2 years ago who was autistic did that. Came into my classroom at late four years old and didn't speak a word. NOT A WORD- However by the end of the year she was putting 3 word sentences together. NOT A TRIBUTE TO ME at all though, she learned from the other kids, it was amazing!! I have lots of detailed stories about her, but it was an awesome journey that I was priveledged (sp) to be a part of. Maybe she should be my next blog topic.