Posted by Bob Schueler
on December 03, 2000 at 20:40:58:
Hi folks. I am one of the few who 'fell through the cracks' in early life -- I was born in '64 and the term in the late 60s was 'minimal brain dysfunction'. Now it's called ADD.
I was put on Ritalin and other assorted chemicals; I was tested physically and mentally and I was forced to ride a little yellow school bus, oftentimes to schools an hour's commute from my home -- not to mention that this attention got me plenty of attention at school -- ostracization.
I was put into non-mainstreamed Special Ed, where I spent 9 years. One of those years, 6th grade, I had to repeat because the program I was in was so bad that the experience didn't count educationally.
By the time I went to high school, I was so bogged down in administrative assessments of my predicted failures by Special Ed. administrators that my parents had to relocate me to a boarding school in another state, to escape the burocracy of others deciding what was best for me academically. I might add that I excelled academically and loved it!
Throughout my academic career, I was told I'd never amount to anything as I am a slow learner -- one word, BUNK!! I'm now a successful network engineer making good money -- ALL self-taught, I might add.
Now that I've seemingly endlessly embellished myself, let me expain my point: 1) If you or your child is school age and up against the 'machine'; please don't let them label or categorize you/them. American society has a habit of not accepting people who don't fit the norm but let me ask you this: is Dennis Rodman, formerly of the Chicago Bulls normal? Is Bill Clinton, a US President, for all of his sexual antics done under the noses of the citizens of the US normal?; 2) There are many shades/variations of ADD. You'll have noticed that now that ADD has been coined, with exception of course, teachers use it as an excuse to not have to deal with border-line behaviorally challenged kids. But because the law is written as it is, kids who may be crying out for attention due to record levels of violence and abuse in the home are misdiagnosed and that's where I feel the 'system' has really failed. The question is how often??
Ritalin, Cylert, Zoloft, etc., is presently prescribed in such numbers to the point of where I ought to be a shareholder in any pharmaceutical corp.; 3) Normal -- what does that mean? Who truly is normal?
Of course if your actions fall outside of the law, then there is an issue but my point here is strictly the societal process of diagnosing and downgrading kids/adults with ADD. Gee, think that might give them a complex/attitude or conversely, creates an air of 'victimization' where they go on to blame others all their lives and force themselves to be complacent with the minimum. The list goes on.
We pay taxes and are guaranteed the right for our kids to have an education. The 'system' works, but very inefficiently (just look at the recent election and there's your evidence)
I'm no lawyer and my logic is probably full of holes, but my passion and intentions are true: treat a kid with love, respect and give them lots of attention and they probably won't be deficit of it. Sure, I realize and acknowledge medical conditions as the human body is fragile, but we have just as much a social epidemic as we do a medical, in dealing with ADD.
Thanks for listening, sorry for 'getting windy'