I don not think that there is anyone in that has not taken, does not take or will not take a medication for something. Regardless whether it is high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate problems, thyroid dysfunction, ulcers, flue, cold, or depression just to name a few. Not to mention that medication is something that is needed by many, just to stay alive. Preventive medicine and post-preventive medicines are part of this group.
Children have always needed medications for childhood illness and some childhood diseases, at larger or at smaller scale. Only within the last 20 years, we have seen school aged children medicated with psychotropic drugs sometimes even as early as preschool.
Children that are hyperactive, can be diagnosed with had ADHD – (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). ADHD might run in families and it is not clear exactly what causes it. However, whatever the cause may be, it seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is developing. Imaging studies show that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. Depression, lack of sleep, learning disabilities, tic disorders, and behavior problems may be confused with, or appear with, ADHD therefore every child suspected of having ADHD should be carefully examined by a doctor to rule out possible other conditions or reasons for the behavior.
In my opinion, poor parenting and the lack of good old fashion discipline have played a huge part in the very popular current trend in society and especially in education, where everyone from school psychologists, social workers, guidance counselors, administrators, and teachers wants to take the easy way out and look for a quick fix to deal with students. As the time passes by, these children are considered disrespectful and irresponsible, no ill.
In our days the society today has raised its for deviance. This very same attitude has found its way into education and has resulted in lower expectations for student achievement and behavior.
Years ago if a person burned the a flag of the country he/she lived in, it was an illegal act and the guilty person or group was held accountable with the appropriate societal consequences imposed. What happens if a thousand people burn the flag and the jails are not big enough to hold them?
What will be the solution: to build bigger prisons, or make it legal to burn the flag?
When I was a student, there were students who behaved in a disrespectful and irresponsible manner. There always are! These students were few and were dealt with accordingly.
But, what happens when the number of students who are disrespectful, irresponsible, violent, bullying and are involved in illegal acts starts to rise? The condition ADHD becomes the excuse for the deviant behavior.
ADHD was determined a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association in 1987. Just to clarify: children and increasing adults, who exhibit behaviors such as inattention, distractibility, trouble in following directions, a tendency to lose things, and difficulty awaiting their turn to speak or participate in activities are now seen as victims of ADHD.
In the past these behaviors were seen as ability discrepancies, or just unruly behavior. Now, both parents and educators seem to be relieved that the problems that exist with behaviors such as disrespect, irresponsibility in the home and at school today, can now be looked at as a type of mental illness that requires a treatment plan, rather than individual accountability and self control.
The medical industry has developed drugs that improve the quality of life to millions of people. In reality, if some of these drugs were not produce some people would not be alive today.
Taking medication does not make anyone any less responsible for ones own health. Because medication is so widely used in education, people often cite the decision of some parents not to medicate their children, as the reason why a kids’ behavior is out of control.
Parents need to discuss with their children the unacceptable behavior. Even a medical practitioner should be involved in the process, and if needed a medication prescribed. The failure to take medication, can be an excuse for deviance, that removes any form of responsibility on the individual for the behavior.
Everyone is responsible for his or her own health with or without medication. Pupils and students are responsible for their own behavior and can not use medication or the lack of it to get off the hook when confronted with the consequences of their lack of self -control.
On the other hand it is very common that parents and educators today see mental illness as a way out for them. Many parents actually request the diagnosis of mental illness for their children, saying, it is not me as a parent, but rather biologically there is something wrong with my kid.
There is no stigma attached to the label mental illness and this is why many parents, as well as educators, are convinced that their children diagnosed with some sort of mental illness are actually smarter, brighter, and more creative than kids who do behave, do pay attention in class, and who are responsible for their actions.
It almost becomes comforting for the parents and the educators to believe that it is not their parenting or behavior management techniques that may have caused the child’s problem. They are convinced that the inappropriate or even deviant behavior that they have been observing and tolerating is a result of faulty wiring in the child’s head that led him or her to throw tantrums, curse his or her teacher or parents out, bully other kids, and engage in violent behavior.
Medicalizing education sends a wrong message to parents, teachers and administrators, that a pupils’ or students’ poor performance or their lack of self control can be clinically diagnosed and eliminated through the use of psychotropic medication.
A model focusing on respect, responsibility, attention and emotional maturity is the only response to the medication model that excuses behaviors and avoids relevant consequences that will provide permanent help not temporary relief.
If the parents are too busy with upbringing their children, they need to reconsider the question of becoming a parent on the first place. Good time management of an adult chores and duties is the key to determined proper child’s upbringing.
Educators should not lean on the side of having the hyperactive children in the class is nothing much that they can do, or the parents need to teach them at home how to respect the peers. The educational institution apart from providing knowledge on numerous topics, should be the place where proper behavior and speech should be introduced and stay for good.
There are several useful online educational tools on both groups where one can read and learn more about this type of behavior abandoning, in the privacy of your home or wherever you have Internet access:
How to treat ADHD?
Treating without medication
The sooner you begin considering the behavior of your child or your student seriously and thoroughly, the sooner you will be making him or her a favor to develop into a healthy individual.