Super Guest Post on ADHD Issues by Melissa Hathaway

What Might Be Happening

  • If younger children are diagnosed more often than their older peers – and that certainly looks like what’s happening – then what we might be looking at is a culture-wide pathologizing of childhood itself. The list of ADHD symptoms contains many items which could be applied to almost any child: a short attention span, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, fidgeting, and acting without thinking. The difference is theoretically in the severity and the impact it has on the child’s life, but in many case, possibly a majority, the problem may be with the schooling system rather than with the child.
  • The instinct of all young animals, including humans, is to learn about their world through play and activity. Instead, children are expected to become miniature scholars at younger and younger ages. They must sit still for long hours, stay quiet, and focus their still-undeveloped attention spans on work which would bore even an adult. With even elementary schools now focused on test-based results, education has become standardized and rarely takes into account the needs – both educational and social – of children. In the face of this, children who can’t be reined in properly suddenly stick out like sore thumbs, even though their only problem is the failure of their community to recognize how children naturally behave and learn.
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