Bob Green Innes,

.... as your new ......

Trustee, Ward 4, Public System.  

.... for a return to sustainable, traditional, family based values and education.....

Dealing with ADD, ADHD, dislexia

From talking to people and absorbing media stories over the years, it appears that both parents and teachers have great difficulty dealing with students afflicted with ADD, ADHD, etc. with the result that parents are "encouraged" to take their child to a doctor to get 'fixed'. They know that every good doctor is also a good pill pusher (sorry CMA but the evidence is mounting) and will end up prescribing Ritalin which is supposed to calm the child down so classes are not disrupted. What else can a good doctor do - I guess there is no other remedy known to modern medicine.

So is this a case of not having a problem until a new word for it was discovered? Did we always have folks with these 'problems' that were never considered problems as Dr. Meller suggests in his Evolution Rx? Or is it a case that children are being born under new conditions such as unnatural fluoridation, environmental pollution, or the opposite (environments too clean - which is known to cause Asthma), new social stressors, too much inactivity or foods, perfumes, creams, etc. laden with unhealthy chemicals, residues or GMOs? Or is it case that schools have changed with more emphasis on academic (more passive sedentary classes), more feminised (the majority of dropouts is now boys instead of girls), teachers more restricted (spare the rod), teachers less patient, less understanding, more pressured, more legal liability concerns or some combination of all of the above. Surely it is a complex situation.

A story
I was fortunate in not having to cope with the problem but also in having a ringside seat over many years as some friends grappled with their situation. They fought with teachers constantly and refused to allow medication. One thing they told me that will forever stick in my mind - that 90% of kids in this situation end up in prison, 10% end up in the boardroom (a much higher percentage than for normal kids). I don't know if the percentages are correct but I'm sure it leans in the right direction. One thing for sure, parental strength and wisdom is crucial. What they did for their kid was phenomenal - doctors, specialists, examinations, moving to a new neighbourhood, private schools, and of course, the constant effort of dealing with the child's special needs. I never saw such dedication and stamina. Their kid is now in university and coping well enough with having to read complex subjects in special ways. I'm sure there is a boardroom in his future.

My own sense is that overdrugging kids has to be wrong in the long term. All drugs have side effects. The side effects of Ritalin over such a large population over such a long time may not be known for decades. You can be sure the drug companies are not looking for problems and may not be telling us what they already know (I'm sour on that band of manipulators too!) Whether the incidence can be reduced by changing the environment, physical or social, who knows. I doubt that this is a new phenomenon. We used to have special schools for delinquent kids, slow kids, etc. and we had more kids leaving school at a much earlier age to help parents on the farm. Thus there were more paths to productive adulthood, now we are insisting on just one. We are going off the rails. No child should have to take drugs to survive.

What to do

Nobody seems to know the answer and the bureaucracy seems to not be able to think properly. The antidote in my opinion is to allow more choice and flexibility so that multiple teachers will try a multitude of approaches. Sooner or later, someone will figure it out. My own layman's instinct would be to try increasing physical activity levels for these kids. Dr. Meller's video prompted me to think we should instead label such people as 'sentinels' for the service they provided to our distant forbears. Surely a better label than ADD! Helping these kids try physical or a myriad of artistic pursuits such as drumming, may also be helpful. But society also has a responsibility to ask why we are so uptight about demanding excessive credentials for every little occupation - I pursue the topic of credentialism further on this page. Certainly we must do everything possible to keep kids out of prison in favour of making the most of their lives.

Heres's a podcast to listen to on the subject.

Further reading: DEA Report

Comments, Requests.

Updated Dec 2011