Sunday, January 29, 2012

Children's ADD Drugs Don't Work Long-Term

In today's NYTimes, Ritalin Gone Wrong.

I was glad to see this article, which confirms some of my skepticism about the ADD epidemic. But it fails to mention what seems to me the most important feature of ADD — it is a disease of school, as discussed in this article by Peter Gray.


  1. I don't like these meds, and I think the drug companies are driving the train as far as creating and treating "disorders," with the help of schools. That doesn't mean the "disorders" don't exist--because after all we don't have the option of living in paradise where everyone gets to just be themselves wherever they are. I have an autistic son (no ambiguity about that) and a son who meets the criteria for ADHD, though he was homeschooling when he was tested. We were unschooling and he had tons of free time to do all the things Peter Gray talks about. He still went into long trances when it was extremely hard to get his attention, was wild and impulsive, and had quite serious working memory difficulties. Hard to distinguish learning disabilities, subtle cognitive developmental patterns, and anxiety from a huge dog's breakfast label like ADHD. What you find when you accept a diagnosis, though, if you avoid the meds, is that there is a world of help and good advice out there that can save your sanity and your child's happiness. When my autistic son was not yet talking at 2, people kept trying to convince me that labels were harmful and that he would talk when he was ready. I don't know what my son would be like now if I had taken that attitude. I needed the label to find the right kinds of therapies.

  2. Rosemary, if you've found a world of help and good advice, I'm happy for you.

    In my journey with Younger Daughter, I've found a world of specialists with their hands out, of whom all but one (a speech therapist) have been worse than useless. Not that I'm bitter or anything ...

    1. I'm sorry to hear that! She's lucky she has you, though. You're teaching her to read (and lots of other things too, of course.) There's a great deal of bitterness on this journey. I know that, too.