August 17, 2010

Diagnosed as ADHD?

Maybe you're just the youngest kid in the class.

73 comments:

Pogo said...

Whatever the problem, teachers clearly need raises. And public school administrators. And the SEIU guys that do maintenance.

It's for the children, especially those goddamned disruptive ones.

lemondog said...

Finally this ADHD-Ritalin crap is coming round full circle.

My gut feeling is that the drug is used to control energetic kids thereby crippling potential creative genius.

Quayle said...

And how much subsequent misbehavior is a direct result of the 'diagnosis'?

ADHD is what we call the outlier space on the curve after we arbitrarily decide that acceptable behavior must fall within the first standard deviation not the second.

Because remember, kids were made for school and must be forced to comply to its needs and demands.

Scott M said...

I was diagnosed as "hyperactive" (circa 1975) when I was younger and was put on Ritalin.

Later in life, when I was doing afternoons on a rock station (doing quite well in the ratings), I decided to give it another try because I felt like I was having trouble concentrating on the purely mundane off-air parts of the job.

My show took a nose-dive, creatively, and I wasn't even really aware of it until my PD pointed it out. I quit immediately and things seemed to get back to normal.

Turns out...I was just being lazy about the mundane things in my job. The Ritalin was a pox on my off-the-cuff creativity and definitely hampered my ability to write good bits off-air.

Big Mike said...

If only the poor teachers didn't have to put up with kids!

Jennifer said...

A predictable outcome if Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers" made sense to you.

As he notes, on the flip side, the vast majority of gifted students, professional athletes and other standouts are the oldest in their respective groups. Maturity mistaken for talent.

In this case, immaturity mistaken for disorder.

My daughter misses the American kindergarten cutoff by two weeks this year. Thanks to "Outliers", I see that another year of German kindergarten and a headstart on all of her classmates is not a setback, but in fact quite the opportunity.

Jennifer said...

Also, yet another reason to wonder if the new multi-age classroom fad is actually an intelligent return to historical schooling. (And pretty similar to home schooling, come to think of it.)

Hagar said...

I think kids are often diagnosed with ADHD when they are simply acting as kids and not responding to the teacher as the teacher's college texts said they should.

Particularly the bright ones who get easily bored, and, of course, boys who just naturally will act up in a 85% feminine environment.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, yet another reason to wonder if the new multi-age classroom fad is actually an intelligent return to historical schooling. (And pretty similar to home schooling, come to think of it.)

Yes, I wonder that too. I'm beginning to think that one room schooling might actually be an ideal worth readopting. Just let each kid go at his own pace. Everybody's in the same room, so if ten year old Johnny is doing ninth grade math and ten year old Susie is doing first grade math, that's okay. Plus, everyone is constantly hearing either review or things to come in the background while working independently. Seems like a pretty good system.

knox said...

I see that another year of German kindergarten and a headstart on all of her classmates is not a setback, but in fact quite the opportunity.

Unfortunately, around here at least, everyone seems to have the same idea. Many people hold their kids back, even ones that make the cutoff date by months. If you send your kids on schedule, they can still be up to 2 years younger than other kids in their same grade level, whose parents hold them back too long.

David Baker said...

Re: Although the studies clearly show that younger kindergartners have higher ADHD rates, the studies don't explain why, says John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The why: Teachers.

In a separate, unpublished study, the trait of perfectionism was/is overrepresented in teachers, particularly K-12. This trait tends to dissipate as you ascend grade-levels, the highest incidence occurring in K-6.

Perfectionism is the control trait, primarily meaning the control of others. The younger the person (child), the easier the control.

In 99% of the cases, ADHD is a misdiagnosis, undertaken by the perfectionist teacher. Simply stated, if you can't control 'em, drug 'em.

In the perfectionist environment, the slightest teacher-perceived misstep devalues and stigmatizes the child for life. Mainly boys, of course, for whom ADHD was invented.

Freeman Hunt said...

knox, it's the same thing around here. Everyone is holding their kids back.

Hagar said...

And some young children are diagnosed as hyperactive, when what is wrong with them is that their systems do not distinguish between artificial food coloring - particularly the red and orange ones - and amphetamines. They grow out of it when they get to be 10-12 years old, but by then have met with a lot of rejection for behavior they cannot help.

And the Ritalin and other drugs that the school systems prescribe for them come in such nice red sugary pills to make them look and taste good for the kids!

But it is like giving them "uppers" and "downers" in combination.

I do not think that public school personnel should be authorized to prescribe medications under any circumstances, and certainly not in order to control classroom behavior on teacher referrals.

Chip Ahoy said...

Speaking of ADHD, the little darlings were adorable at the Tut exhibit this morning.

Three boys joined hands and twisted around in circles within an area that opened up right in front of the golden burial mask of Psusennes. The girls saw the fun and joined in. And I'm all, "aw, bless." Right then anxious mum intervenes and breaks up the harmless fun, "Not here, Kids, not here."

John Lynch said...

And I bet they are mostly boys, too.

When you have a "disorder" that seems to be correlated with age and gender, you might want to look at it more closely.

If you have THAT many children diagnosed with a disorder, how out of the norm can it be? We seem to have gotten by just fine for centuries without it being a big deal.

AJ Lynch said...

This reminds me - I heard once that you can predict which youth hockey players will be best by the month in which they were born relative to the age bracket birth date cut off. IOW if the players can not be older than 14 before 10/31/96, those born closest to that date seem to be the better players perhaps cause they re the oldest and more mature! Who'd of thunk !

And Pogo - you are too funny as usual!

lewsar said...

My son was diagnosed with ADHD. His first grade teacher mentioned he had problems concentrating and staying engaged with the rest of the class. While he did end up on Ritalin, it took quite a while for that to happen. My wife and I observed our son in the classroom, consulted with our pediatrician multiple times, browsed the intertubes, hit the public library, etc. We made the most informed decision we could.

I have no doubt that medications are over proscribed, but some children (and their classmates) do benefit from from their use.

The thing I remember most about my classroom sessions were how my son would vibrate when class was in session. He never did anything like that at home

AJ Lynch said...

Jennifer- thanks, your memory is better than mine. Now I remember that Gladwell is where I heard the story about the youth hockey players.

Freeman Hunt said...

The thing I remember most about my classroom sessions were how my son would vibrate when class was in session. He never did anything like that at home

I've heard of many six year old boys being diagnosed as ADHD. Couldn't that be because they are six and perhaps not yet mature enough to sit still in class? What's the hurry to have six year olds sit still at desks? Maybe some kids like to move around.

therealronbo said...

And some kids are diagnosed with ADHD because that's what they have. My younger son has what's called "ADHD inattentive type", which means he has trouble focusing and staying on task but isn't hyperactive. He's a sweet, happy kid but it isn't fun to be "different" - especially in middle school. Stimulants help, tutoring helps. A good team at school helps. Pretending he doesn't have learning disabilities doesn't help.

About his birthday? Yes, quite late: mid-August. We planned on holding him back for another year of pre-school but his neurologist suggested starting him in Kindergarten in order to get him into our district's special ed system as early as possible. I'm not sure whether this decision, which was purely tactical, was really the right one. But if we had done otherwise, he would have been one of the oldest kids in his class - but still have ADHD.

I don't doubt that some parents (and teachers and doctors) are too quick on the diagnostic trigger, especially when what looks like hyperactivity is involved. But please don't assume that the diagnosis always involves self-interested parents, teachers or doctors. It just isn't so.

prairie wind said...

As more and more parents hold their kids back before sending them to Kindergarten, the K curriculum becomes more and more academic. Kids are expected to know numbers and letters before coming to Kindergarten. I didn't go to Kindergarten, so perhaps my 'memory' of kindergarten is whacked...but I don't think it was always that way. As the K curriculum becomes more academic, the younger students will suffer.

I'd like to see what would happen to education if the Dept of Ed were dismantled. Imagine if all the federal mandates were to vanish...what would local school districts do? I think they would do marvelously well.

I'm not a teacher but I play one on Althouse.

edutcher said...

The old 'Sad Sack' cartoon was about guys who really had ADD (or whatever it's called this week), but I'm willing to bet a lot of kids doped up with Ritalin are what used to be handled as discipline problems (i.e., spoiled at home) or, as lemodog says, simply energetic and creative and required a little guidance from people who see teaching as a calling, not a paycheck.

This didn't exist really until the teacher unions were inflicted on us and the rank and file therein were interested in money, not necessarily educating children.

knox said...

Couldn't that be because they are six and perhaps not yet mature enough to sit still in class? What's the hurry to have six year olds sit still at desks?

And to make things worse, they are moving towards "all day" kindergarten.

Kindergarten has been a half-day forever for a very good reason: all day is too long for young children to be in school. And then, of course, there's year-round school, which hasn't hit my district yet, thankfully.

I am also against anything but reading homework and occasional "science project" type things for gradeschool kids.

In general, we are being too hard on our kids, too easy on our teachers.

SarcastiCarrie said...

I'm a mom of a kid going to kindergarten in TWO DAYS (hyperventilate). He's going to be the youngest boy in his classroom, sometimes by almost two years.

I thought about "the gift of time" and holding him back, but he's academically so ready. The district is almost all full-day kindergarten, but I've elected to send him to the one half-day option.

The K curriculum is basically old-school first grade, but his K teacher has three boys of her own who are still young, so I am hoping she's used to typical 5 year old boy behavior.

Wish me luck.

wv: bilegal - really!

Ralph L said...

I went to two all boys schools for 1 & 2, and 8-12, well before ADHD was popular. I don't remember anyone being disruptive repeatedly in class. In second grade, I had to put my nose against the chalkboard for talking in class, ONCE.

Things could get rowdy if a teacher wasn't present, however. Junior year, I tossed a paper airplane that went out the door, into the hall, and landed at the feet of the Headmaster. He said, "Well, pick it up."

the vast majority of gifted students,... are the oldest in their respective groups

I must be the exception, but I would have been the bottom of the heap in sports, regardless of age.

Pogo said...

What we need is a little town called Sparta to send young men for training until they hit mebbe 16 or 17.


But not Sparta, WI.
It's best to drive past it, fast, like at 70-72 mph or so.

Freeman Hunt said...

But please don't assume that the diagnosis always involves self-interested parents, teachers or doctors. It just isn't so.

I think it's pretty rare that the diagnosis involved self-interested parents. I think that nearly all parents really want to do whatever is best for their children. As for the doctors and teachers, I'd say "misguided" rather than "self-interested."

I would be extremely skeptical of any diagnosis made prior to elementary school. Children vary too much in their maturity, especially boys. What looks like an inability to concentrate may just be simple immaturity; ability to concentrate may develop later.

I didn't go to Kindergarten, so perhaps my 'memory' of kindergarten is whacked...but I don't think it was always that way. As the K curriculum becomes more academic, the younger students will suffer.

I remember Kindergarten very well. We learned a new letter each week. I hate this new emphasis on reading in preschool. Your child does not need to read before school starts. There is absolutely no long term benefit from pushing early reading. Studies do not support it. It's pure, bureaucratic "let's look like we're doing something" silliness. (And I write that as someone whose three year old can read fluently.) Pushing early reading is a complete waste of time.

And to make things worse, they are moving towards "all day" kindergarten.

Yes--ugh! That's nuts. Have five year olds spend all day in school. That's insanity.

Pogo said...

What was the topic again?

Freeman Hunt said...

I am also against anything but reading homework and occasional "science project" type things for gradeschool kids.

Same. Again, where is the data showing long term positives from extra homework? Why do they push these things?

Also, must we leave the children no time to explore their own interests? Must everything relate to the institution of school? That gripe could be applied to all grades.

prairie wind said...

Both of my kids would have been terribly disappointed if they had only half days for kindergarten. Whadya mean we have to go home? The other kids are staying! As for all-year school, it isn't really all year. Those schools will have more two-week breaks than the August-May schools. When my husband was teaching, he would have loved the chance for a fall vacation or spring. Same with families, I suspect.

traditionalguy said...

The massive use of Control Drugs is transforming schools into a near cult status of child abusers. Meet a home schooled child and you meet a good person with all needed life skills. Meet a government schooled child and you usually meet a skill short changed person who expects the government will fix everything.

Andrea said...

I started school early and as a consequence was always the youngest in my class. However, I was quiet and rather timid. I did have trouble concentrating for a while in the fourth grade, but one day I just decided to quit daydreaming and pay attention in class, and my trouble concentrating went away. Drugs were never spoken of; you didn't give kids pills anyway if he was healthy, except for aspirin if they had a fever (up until Reyes Syndrome; then Tylenol came out). The idea of tranquilizing children to make them behave was unheard of -- kids that didn't behave got punished in a variety of ways, up to and including getting paddled. Somehow getting your butt smacked by a piece of wood seems kinder than permanently damaging your child's metabolism with drugs.

AJ Lynch said...

I have attention deficit whenever someone tries to explain how stuff works. I just zone out and nod my head while thinking [I could give two shits how i.e. my car engine works]

Ralph L said...

SCarrie, I didn't turn 5 until November of my kindergarten year. I caught a schoolbus at the end of the street from Middletown to Newport, RI. Age wasn't an issue.

The most mortifying experience of first grade was having to carry my lunch in a Mary Poppins lunch box (what was my mother thinking?).

Freeman Hunt said...

Remembrance from elementary school:

Got in trouble every year for having a messy desk. A very big deal was made of my messy desk. In fifth grade a teacher even dumped it out on the floor during class. I still have a messy desk. So did my last three bosses when I worked. Real life, it seems, doesn't care whether or not you have a mess desk.

Freeman Hunt said...

How much of ADD is really "You are forcing me to sit here nearly losing my mind from boredom."? A whole lot, I'll bet.

traditionalguy said...

My granddaughter, who is 3 years and 1 month old, started in a private Episcopalian School that will only take kids they want, in its 5 day a week kindergarten from 8:00 to 2:30. Wow! The son decided that she only needs 3 days a week at that age The school first refused, but then called back and agreed as long as the full time tuition got paid. The grandgirl is scary intelligent to the point that teachers at the school doubted her age. Pray for us that we ordinary people don't mess her up.

prairie wind said...

tradguy, you're contrasting the best of home-schooling with the worst of public schools. I've seen home-schooled kids who didn't get much schooling at home, and I've seen excellent scholars in public schools.

Again, I'd like to see full control of schools at the local level. Let us decide what we want our schools to be like. Do we want scholars or athletes or both? Do we want a focus on science, reading, religion? Do we want our kids to learn about recycling or to read the Federalist papers? I think we'd end up with a fine end result in most cases. And less expensively, too.

At one time, I wanted to home school my kids, so it's funny to hear me defending public schools. Not hard to do, though, after seeing some excellent schools out there.

Pogo said...

One reason the kids are so fidgety and unruly these days is daycare.

My daughter works in a "preschool" (read: "daycare"). It's an expensive chain.

And they are not permitted to discipline the children in any way. No time out, no physical restraint, no harsh words, no angry looks, no "no". They are supposed to 'reason' with the little barbarians, whatever the hell that means.

My wife reminds me the rules were the same in a different daycare she worked in when she was my daughter's age. So a whole generation of untrained undisciplined brats ends up wild in PS 264. No wonder they're getting drugged. You can't even touch a hair on the little angels' heads, might as well just slip 'em a roofie so they're compliant for class.

Freeman Hunt said...

The clock, tick... tick... tick, counting down the creeping seconds until the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the month, the end of the school year, the end of school. Sometimes you might torture yourself even more by doing the math to figure out how many until the end of the whole lot of it.

Tick... tick... tick... Old people always say time goes faster the older you get. What a tremendous suffering for the young to endure locked away as they are!

"Someday I will be older, and I will not have to sit here. No matter how slow these seconds pass, they will pass eventually. Wait. Wait. Endure. Endure. This will not be forever. It will end."

Do you know that that is exactly what it is like for some children? A constant despairing at the slowness of time, at the imprisonment in idle boredom. Surely at least some people can tap back into the shocking memory of that horror.

Scott M said...

Perhaps if the ADHD edifice comes crashing down, history will see it as the first step in throwing of the "pussification" of the American male.

Hopefully it will happen before my youngest boy, now 1, hits grade school.

prairie wind said...

Freeman, I sure hope that's not the way it was for you. I know there are kids for whom that is the way it is, though. I suspect that some of those kids come from homes where books and learning is not part of the day.

I loved school, even when the teachers were less than lovable. And now, when my kids complain about a boring/strict teacher, I tell them that their job is to learn from each of their teachers, even the ones they don't like. Even the ones who don't like them. I don't think it is too much to ask of children.

Homeschooling is an excellent way to make sure your kids get the education you want them to get. It isn't always best though it is rarely worst.

Freeman Hunt said...

A child might even think that it must be like being a prisoner in a jail and amuse himself by imagining that he is exactly that. "How would I escape from a jail? I could do it, I bet. Yes, if I went to prison, I would definitely escape. First..." But he is not a prisoner in a jail, and so he cannot escape lest he disappoint his sweet parents, so he sits and he sits and he sits, waiting out the sentence.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, I sure hope that's not the way it was for you. I know there are kids for whom that is the way it is, though. I suspect that some of those kids come from homes where books and learning is not part of the day.

That is precisely what it was like for me in school. I went to an excellent public school, liked most of my teachers, and got along well with my classmates. But I was learning almost nothing. Or perhaps, I was learning it, and then we'd work on for an entire month! It was an awful, crushing boredom.

Books and learning were part of everyday at home. Sometimes my Dad, knowing my frustrations, would even let me skip school and spend the whole day at the library.

I think that there are probably many so-called ADHD children out there who share my experience but who weren't so concerned with behaving nicely. Had I not wanted so much to be good, I'd have been an unmanageable terror.

prairie wind said...

What a cool dad you had! Even though I would have loved a day at the library, I would still have missed being at school. Maybe it's because I lived in the country and didn't have next-door neighbors to play with. School was a social thing for me. My school was not excellent; it was good. Some teachers were stellar, others were awful. Parochial schools in small towns are extremely lucky to get an excellent teacher who doesn't want to move on to bigger and better things after a year or so.

I remember first grade as an awful bore. All those kids learning their alphabet?? Where had they been all their lives? Second grade made up for it, though, with one of those excellent teachers who lasted a couple of years.

former law student said...

A fellow I used to work with (he'd be in his early sixties now) told me was diagnosed with ADD in junior high school. He was prescribed speed to help him concentrate. So ADD treatment goes back to the late 50s.

Freeman reminds me: why is the ability to sit still and pay attention thought of as maturity? Isn't there a place in the world for adults who always have to be doing something?

Louis said...

lol, This comes a day after learning that my older brother being the first born was supposed to be smarter than me.

I always took some pride that being born on the last day I was always the youngest kid in the class. (and at that time that last day was Halloween)

Pogo said...

I loved school 'cuz there wuz girls there that weren't my 5 meddlin' sisters, 2 of whom could beat me silly.

Plus, my 5th grade teacher wore a miniskirt. I even made it when I was sick that year.
***sigh***

Pogo said...

What was the topic again?

Pogo said...

Man, that never gets old.

ndspinelli said...

Many teachers have an itchy trigger finger, "Have you considered ritalin for Justin?" It's usually a female teacher and almost always a male student. I'm certain a high energy genius like Edison or Einstein would have been drugged into compliance to accomodatee the teacher's union.

prairie wind said...

What never gets old? (Hey, you're right!)

A.W. said...

Well, i have ADD, but not ADHD. the difference is i am not hyperactive and... squirrel!

What was i saying?

Okay joking aside, what the article points to is a difference in diagnosis rates. but it assumes that all the people not being diagnosed don't have it. that is a false assumption.

Now there is a false belief that ADD or ADHD is a BS diagnosis. that is because people flip open the DSM IV (the manual for identification of mental disorders) and they mistake what they read in a book for the whole story. but reading a book will no more prepare you to diagnose ADD than a book can prepare you for brain surgery; in fact less so.

ADD and ADHD is a real condition. it runs in familties, it runs in twins on a level that frankly, homosexuality does not.

Are there people faking it, too? Of course. that is to be expected when people mistake accommodations for special treatment and think that its a made up condition. ignorance breeds all kinds of idiotic behaviors. but the presence of abuse does not justify providing equal opportunity to those who genuinely have it.

A.W. said...

oh, and btw, ritalin and adderal are rubbish. i have never used either.

HT said...

I don't know about creative genius, but controlling yes. And, lack of discipline (or conveying of comfortable but appropriate behavior) at home.

What's informing me these days: Toxic Psychiatry and Medication Madness both by Peter Breggin (psychiatrist).

I admire Freeman H for sticking to her guns before the barrage of agreements that Ritalin is overprescribed, but MY kid really needs it.

David Baker said...

I must say, this is a rather incurious group, and for the most part too willing to accept what passes as a reliable, ADHD diagnosis.

I recall the very first ADHD case I was asked to verify - a boy, who was also suspected of being mildly retarded by his teacher. After my evaluation, I suggested another school.

The boy was 8-years-old at the time, very talkative, and immensely curious. Ironically, he had difficulty with math, although his handwriting sample indicated just the opposite.

After changing schools, his grades improved, but math remained his weakest subject, essentially managing to just get by with an average "C". This continued until about the time the boy turned thirteen, when he began to break out, to excel. By the time he encountered calculus, math was second nature, as his handwriting had predicted.

Now in his latter twenties, he heads up R&D for a high-tech, cutting-edge defense contractor.

So, it wasn't "ADHD," but rather an insatiable mind simply waiting to break out. A boy who questioned everything, that is, until the day he realized he would have to find many of the answers for himself.

I'll add that it's generally a bad idea to put boys and girls together for certain classes, especially math and science. Their minds work differently, and the combination stunts a boy's intellectual growth. Which some boys eventually manage to overcome, but at a high cost. Not to mention that unisex classes are of no particular benefit to the girls, either.

D.D. Driver said...

As mentioned above, the trend is towards all day kindergarten. Not only that, the trend is towards four-year old kindergarten. My son is a July baby and began K-4 last fall. Think about that, barely 4 years old and attending school all day long.

My wife and I attended numerous meetings his teachers the school psychologist about my son's behavior. All sorts of idea's were thrown out on the table from Asperger's Syndrome (which if you knew my son is comically off-base), to ADHD, and Sensory Integration Disorder (google this one, it's the hot new diagnosis for little boys).

We have even taken our son to an occupational therapist. Nothing seems to fit. And we continue to search for a diagnosis for a little boy who can't sit still and remain quiet in school.

Anyhow,

Pogo said...

"I must say, this is a rather incurious group, and for the most part too willing to accept...etc."

Huh?
Are you reading something else on the internets?
We ain't incurious at all.
Some of us are outcurious, bicurious, heterocurious and some are jes' curiouser and curiouser.

NTTAWWT.

HT said...

Thanks for your story, David Baker. I wonder how tied to pharmaceuticals diagnoses are? Probably it's a stale question, having been debated before on this blog. But I believe it. On the other hand, a diagnosis like Celiac is often discounted by physicians. There's no corresponding drug. And yet the presence and effect of Celiac can be scientifically proven.

knox said...

The only way I'd ever homeschool would be if I could do a co-op type thing with a couple other mothers. The notion is otherwise totally overwhelming for me. I admire the ones who do it.

HT said...

Knox, I admire home schooling parents too.

knox said...

Again, I'd like to see full control of schools at the local level. Let us decide what we want our schools to be like. Do we want scholars or athletes or both? Do we want a focus on science, reading, religion? Do we want our kids to learn about recycling or to read the Federalist papers? I think we'd end up with a fine end result in most cases. And less expensively, too.

Yes! That would be my ideal.

My kids' school is going to hate me. I am going to be the meddling mom.

Lucien said...

I bet that kid who got slapped on the airplane was the youngest passenger, too. Just to think of all the times I've wanted to slap someone's kid on an airplane ...

Is there any support out there for imposing a two drink minimum on passengers under 12?

David Baker said...

HT said...
On the other hand, a diagnosis like Celiac is often discounted by physicians.

HT, are you saying said doctors encourage the outright consumption of gluten? If so, very strange indeed, although some physicians may recommend increasing gluten-tolerance levels gradually.

Back in the direction of ADHD, the teacher-evaluated condition may often be traced to diet, such as caffeine-laced beverages. Plus an overabundance of sugar, although I suspect the chief culprit is caffeine.

Thankfully, kids are very resilient, but overcoming a diet of soda and McDonald's makes life at school difficult. It's particularly challenging in one-parent families, especially when the one parent is perpetually obsessed with losing weight.

Over the years, I've looked in their cupboards and refrigerators, and what I found would give my mother and grandmother heart attacks. For example, fat-reduced 1% milk, plus items loaded with salt. Vegans tend to be the worst, a clear and present danger to their (growing?) children.

Frankly, I think the public school system would be far better off if they were seized in a hostile takeover by the Food Network.

HT said...

HT, are you saying said doctors encourage the outright consumption of gluten?

Nooooo

What I'm saying is that some doctors don't believe that such as Celiac disease exists. But many docs are catching on, and some of the younger ones understand it and study it. So I'm saying they would say not necessarily to increase gluten, but that eating it doesn't ever make a difference. (And I'm saying there's no corresponding drug out there as a cure ... it's all diet) And psychiatrists! Don't get me started. They really don't believe it.

HT said...

David Baker, did you see the special with that british chef in a west va school district?

Agree with you about diet and low fat everything. I never eat and buy low fat. Hate low fat milk and yogurt and would never eat low fat ice cream. I know we all know this, but fat's not necessarily bad.

David Baker said...

HT, children tend to be gluten-free until about the age of 6-12 months, when they're hit all at once. Mainly bread. So, it seems a little at a time would go a long way.

And no, I didn't catch the chef, but I can imagine. Because I've looked in a mother's cabinets. Lord, one had nothing but Campbell's soup cans piled floor-to-cieling, like an alter to Andy Warhol. And the frig wasn't any better. Two kids and a daily diet of fat-free milk, caffeine, soup-salt, and sub-shop leftovers loaded with nitrites and nitrates (salt).

Talk about enlightenment, when they learn how easy it is to bake a potato, a piece of chicken, and boil a string-bean. More than one mother told me their kids wouldn't eat vegetables. And no wonder after I witnessed what they did to them (the vegetables).

Which tends to prove that single-parent, high-achieving careers and children don't go well together. At least diet wise. I've seen upper middle-class children literally starving. One mother was perplexed because her 12-year-old, athletically-inclined daughter would often binge on Haggen Dazs ice cream, and then taught herself to bake seven-layer chocolate cakes. Good, too! And her fiscally-minded, high-powered mom barely able to boil water.

"How does she stay so thin with all that ice cream and cake," the mother would ask. It's as if the mom never had a childhood, never consumed a glass of whole milk. And keeps her diet "balanced" at the Olive Garden.

But I should talk, like one big bulb of garlic laced with linguine. And just enough olive oil. A little salt plus the faintest whiff of oregano. Hey, time for dinner!

(I dare any kid to get ADHD on MY diet!)

AJ Lynch said...

Prairie Wind:

"Local school control" is a great idea and I loved the short but excellent way you said it!

knox said...

Don't get me started on diet.

Pediatricians tell you to give your kids water only. One glass of skim or 1% milk, and one *small* cup of juice with breakfast.

All the people who let their kids eat carbs all day long and make them obese are skewing the dietary recommendations for the rest of us. I'm convinced of it.

Tina said...

What an interesting article and great conversation. There's a lot to learn from the experiences being shared here.

D.D. Driver, your post caught my prismatic attention... I have 3 sons. The middle one walked at 8 months, jumped on his older brother's first bicycle at 4 and rode away - he leapt, danced, slid, ran, bopped, skipped and moonwalked through his fun days. He was happy and energetic.

In private Kindergarten, had a young teacher who basically complained about him all year and wanted to "hold him back" at the end. She had only sisters and daughters (and her sister had only daughters). The following year in 1st Grade at the same school, he had an experienced teacher who had raised a houseful of boys. At the end of a great and happy year, the last thing she said to me was "If he ever has trouble in school, it's the teacher's fault. He's a wonderful and smart kid."

In second grade, age 7, now at a public school, his teacher - nice young woman who liked him - began complaining about his being disruptive. I asked for details, about what he did, when he did it, what the class schedule was like... it turned out that he was being expected to sit still from 8:45 am until 11:00 am. You know, *I* cannot sit still that long even now. Anyway, I suggested she let him stand in the hall and do jumping jacks for 3 minutes every half hour, or send him on an errand or to run around the building once each half hour - anything to allow him to move because movement is how he releases tension and energy and calms himself. She took my advice and found ways to get him on his feet in class more often and the trouble stopped.

A 4 year old who *can* sit still for an hour would concern me deeply! If your boy simply must be in school, maybe a compassionate teacher would allow him to move about every 15 minutes? Or if necessary maybe you can find a wise doctor who would prescribe "active play" every little while? ;-)

Also, I know teachers tend to avoid touching children nowadays, and I understand why that may be necessary, but my family is affectionate and my children were constantly being patted and hugged. A pat on the shoulder or tousle of the hair also has a calming effect on most little boys that may go unnoticed.

prairie wind said...

Shoot. If I had realized we were going to discuss the cause of attention deficits, I'd have climbed on my anti-TV soapbox much earlier. Get rid of TV, video games, and severely limit computer time and see if it makes a difference. I'd bet it will.

lemondog said...

I suggested she let him stand in the hall and do jumping jacks for 3 minutes every half hour, or send him on an errand or to run around the building once each half hour - anything to allow him to move because movement is how he releases tension and energy and calms himself.

Excellent suggestion and learning experience for the teacher but why aren't teachers of young children, and particularly boys, instead expecting all to quietly sit with hands folded for extended periods, properly educated on recognizing and handling different temperaments and energy levels?

Seemingly the first things that pops into their heads is 'disruptive' or 'unruly.'

Jennifer said...

I was unaware of that trend, knox and freeman. How completely lame.

Sort of explains why my son went from towering over all the same aged kids we knew to being about average in his kindergarten class.