The ADD Excuse
Many children, and even adults, are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD(Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder… hereafter referred to as ADD) every year. Some would argue that there is an epidemic. While others, such as myself, debunk it as a load of bull. Yep, this rant is about the ADD excuse as I like to call it. Now, that being said, I have been diagnosed as having ADD and I have noticed odd difference between those with and those without this supposed disorder. The main difference is that stimulants and depressants work backwards on us. Most of the medications prescribed to those with ADD are actually amphetamines. I can’t imagine giving a hyper kid a stimulant would make them any easier to deal with… however, that is the case. For instance, drinking caffeine will make me lose consciousness fairly quickly whereas Benadryl will make me jittery and fidgety. So I recognize that there is a fundamental difference between those with and without this supposed disorder. Studies have actually shown that people with ADD actually have decrease levels of activity in the parts of their brain that govern impulse control. However, I don’t think it’s a disorder at all, nor do I think it’s a learning disability. However, the entire country is using it as an excuse. Students, teachers, and parents are all saying “it’s not their fault… they’ve got ADD”. It’s all garbage.
If you’ve got ADD and can’t sit through reading all of this, scroll down to the bottom, I’ve got a nice summary for you. :P
In no other country in the world does ADD exist. Yep, it’s entirely American. How is it that only Americans are affected by this? Probably because the FDA and pharmacologists just made the whole thing up to sell pills. The teachers jumped on it because if they had any trouble students, they could always just suggest that their parents dope them up into becoming conforming zombies
I’m going to go through the symptoms of ADD really quickly:
* Often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated.
* Having difficulty remaining seated.
* Having difficulty awaiting turn in games or group activities.
* Often blurting out answers before questions are completed.
* Having difficulty in following instructions.
* Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
* Often shifting from one uncompleted task to another.
* Having difficulty playing quietly.
* Often talking excessively.
* Often interrupting or intruding on others.
* Often not listening to what is being said.
* Often forgetting things necessary for tasks or activities.
* Often engaging in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences.
* Being easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
Obtained from here on 9.11.07
A glance over all of this shows that I could have easily stated “… symptoms of being a child…”
The fact of the matter is that everything that makes a kid a kid, is listed there. Kids are impatient, they are adventurous, they don’t like to sit still, they have boundless energy, and they aren’t going to understand or play by a great deal of the adult rules. That’s what it’s all about, people label a kid as having ADD when that child does not conform to the adult expectations that are being forced upon them. When we can’t brainwash or discipline the kid out of them, we decide to dope them up so we can control them. It’s just insane is what it is.
An Academic Excuse:
The fact of the matter is that yes, people with ADD are chemically different from “normal” people. However, I argue that this is a natural deviance. The brain simply operates in a different way than the average person. In fact, the so called “attention deficit” seems to only concern things that are boring. These same children could probably play video games for hours on end and name all of the Pokemon by memory… and tell you a little about each one. These are not children who cannot pay attention. They are simply bored with all the things we’re trying to get them to do. People with ADD learn a little differently, lazy teachers do not attempt to teach these kids as best as they can, they dope them up so that their flawed teaching methods will work on them well enough for them to pass standardized tests (another rant best saved for later). In other words, these teachers need to learn how to teach these children. Additionally, these children need to be taught how to learn. That’s about it. Also, I’ve found that the discipline found in martial arts is a great way to help teach these kids self control.
An excuse for bad behavior:
I have heard far too many people proclaiming “It’s not my fault, I’ve got ADD”. I was actually in a chat room once where someone was typing like a moron, being very rude, and when confronted they responded with “shut up, I got ADD. U cant descrimate against meh!” If I where able to reach through my monitor, through cyberspace, through their monitor, and slap them, I WOULD!
When I was young, I was diagnosed with ADD. After being diagnosed everyone let me slide through school without even trying because as everyone had pointed out to me “something was wrong with my brain.” So I did whatever I wanted to, caused a lot of trouble, and when they asked me why I was acting out, I told them that I forgot to take my pill that day.In fact, I rarely took my pills, I would hide them inside the water fountain. ADD became an excuse for bad behavior. The point is, I was capable of controlling myself, but I didn’t because I found a way to get away with it. I had no idea, at the time, what kind of damage this would would do to me.
I learned, years later of course, that my treatment and behavior caused a great deal of damage to my self esteem. Imagine this from a kid’s point of view:
1) there was something wrong with my brain
2) it made me stupid
3) I was so stupid that I had to take pills to fix me
4) people treated me like I was stupid
5) I came to the conclusion that I must be a mentally handicapped moron who would never amount to anything.
Yep, that’s the train of thought. Lucky for me, I snapped out of it. As soon as I learned that I could actually get help on my schoolwork I decided that I was not stupid and took it upon myself to do whatever I had to in order to get by. Yes, I had to DECIDE that I wasn’t stupid. It took years and years before I was able to think of myself as an intelligent person.
I have also heard people use ADD and dyslexia as an excuse for bad spelling and grammar. Now I actually do have both fairly badly. However, I have learned to work with my shortcomings. Right now I am using Mozilla Firefox, which has it’s own built in spell-check feature. I also read and reread everything to make sure my point comes across the way I intended it to. In other words, I’m not lazy about it.
Treatment: learning how to cope with ADD
One thing that really helped me was martial arts. It taught discipline in a fun and engaging way. I was able to pay attention to it because I had a man with a big stick threatening to hit me if I didn’t do what he said. Just kidding, it was fun and challenging and I really enjoyed getting to fight and not get in trouble for it… or have to be angry to do it. I also had to learn how to apply myself and I had to learn how to learn. I figured out, eventually, that if I wanted something bad enough, I had to do whatever it took to get it. If I wasn’t willing to do whatever it took, I just didn’t want it bad enough. I am currently enrolled in online classes with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Online Chapter. It takes quite a bit of discipline to apply myself and get my work done. But I do it. Why? Because I want to design games for a living, I want it so bad that I’ll overcome any obstacle, including the ones in my own brain, to get there. Pills only treat the problem, they do not solve or cure anything. There may not be a cure for ADD but you can learn to cope with it to the point to where it becomes second nature. Once I overcame my need for the pills, I was able to function as a somewhat normal individual.
ADD is not a disorder but rather a natural deviation of the human mind.
ALL CHILDREN need to be taught how to learn
ALL TEACHERS need to learn how to remain interesting enough to keep the attention of these children.
Children can learn discipline well from martial arts
Treating children with ADD differently than normal kids will damage their self esteem
Treating children for ADD by medicating them will damage their self esteem and make them into zombies
ADD is a Fictional American Fad that is being used as an excuse to dope kids up so that we can control them
In other words, get them off the pills, be interesting, teach them discipline in a fun way, let them know they are smart and give them the chances to prove it, encourage intelligent/academic endeavors, but do not discourage so called childish behaviors, let them have fun, let the kids be kids and stop doping them up!
Type to you later,