Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Kids Teach Us

On the one hand:
The way we treat our kids tells us at least as much about ourselves as it does about them.

So what does this story tell us:

New York Times, Oct. 9, 2012:
Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School
 Drugs that are normally used to increase focus are in some cases being prescribed simply to improve struggling, low-income students’ academic performance at school.

Relevant quotes:

Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools. 

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.” 
It is not yet clear whether Dr. Anderson is representative of a widening trend. But some experts note that as wealthy students abuse stimulants to raise already-good grades in colleges and high schools, the medications are being used on low-income elementary school children with faltering grades and parents eager to see them succeed.  
“We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,” said Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a child mental-health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in prescription drug use among low-income children. “We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.” 
On the Rocafort family’s kitchen shelf in Ball Ground, Ga., next to the peanut butter and chicken broth, sits a wire basket brimming with bottles of the children’s medications, prescribed by Dr. Anderson: Adderall for Alexis, 12; and Ethan, 9; Risperdal (an antipsychotic for mood stabilization) for Quintn and Perry, both 11; and Clonidine (a sleep aid to counteract the other medications) for all four, taken nightly.  
This barely touches on the disturbing info presented in this article. As usual it is left to us to wonder and research for ourselves the roots of what is evidently a trend. How is it that prescribing stimulants, anit-psychotics and sleep aids, some if which are known to be addictive and have serious side effects, has become an acceptable thing for doctors to do to children? The government fosters the idea by providing complete prescription coverage through Medicaid. A school system may end up approving the use of such drugs because even though they may be ripped by funding cuts, they are still expected to get their students to perform better and get better grades.

Frankly this makes me ill.

But on the other hand:

The honesty, sincerity and simplicity of a child has a huge amount to teach us about what kind of people we could be:  

September 7, 2012
8-Year-Old Starts Lemonade Stand for Freedom; Raises $50K in Two Months


Vivie was inspired to take a stand against slavery after seeing an installation on slavery by Lisa Kristine, a photographer who captured these authentic, haunting, gut-wrenching snapshots of modern-day slaves around the world....
Vivie was inspired to take action. Watch how she quickly garnered tens of thousands of supporters from the local and worldwide community and raised more than $50,000 dollars in just under two months.

Certainly the parents probably helped with logistical matters, but it was the child who had the idea, and the simple belief, based on the simple principle of compassion, that she should do what she could, and that it would be worth doing. It was her motivation and persistence that inspired others to help her and spread the word, turning her dream into a plan into reality. What we can learn from this child is much more powerful and positive for our lives than the disturbing news presented above.

1 comment:

  1. Another good one Ben, Isn't it ironic how much of a pill popping society we have become and drug dependent now even down to the youngest of ages. Doctors are always eager to prescribe pills to control kids just being kids. I do not believe that there is an epidemic of A.D.H.D in this society as you are constantly being told. It is just another excuse to medicate a child because of some perceived behavioral problems that are again just kids being kids.If they take away the distractions such as video games and texting cell phones and encourage the children to focus on academic achievement through hard work and studying this is what will help them succeed in the adult world that they will soon enter. You can't really blame the children because the school system is horrific these days. The schools have become liberal indoctrination centers instead of center of learning the skills that will help them achieve success in the real world. It seems important these days to teach the children to understand why Heather has 2 mommy's instead of learning the 3 r's. This is all part of the dumbing down of the society, convincing the children that everyone is equal and what once was considered perverted and taboo has now become the norm.

    Carl Marx quotes:
    “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
    ― Karl Marx

    “The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”
    ― Karl Marx

    One from Adolph Hitler:

    "He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future."
    Adolf Hitler

    Sound familiar?