Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reflections on Class, 1/5

 Watching "Changing Paradigms" opened my eyes to a world of education I had never quite explored. Something that really stood out to me was the part about ADHD and medications prescribed for the "disorder". I was a hyperactive, accident prone child and young adult and was heavily medicated by physicians to keep this "problem" under control. My parents started digging deeper for information on Adderall and Rhitalin and other similar medications and quickly took me off of them after finding out information the doctors never told them. Did my grades improve after taking said medications? Nope. Did my attention span improve? Nope. Did I get in trouble less or hurt myself less? Sure didn't. So what's the point? I did some research of my own and found some interesting, if not saddening, information.

Below is an excerpt from a government funded website for health and medicine.
       Early amphetamine treatment has been linked to slowing in height and weight growth in some               children. Because the number of prescriptions for amphetamines has increased several-fold over the past decade, an amphetamine-containing formulation is the most commonly prescribed stimulant in North America, and it is noteworthy that amphetamines are also the most abused prescription medications. Although early treatment does not increase risk for substance abuse, few studies have tracked the compliance and usage profiles of individuals who began amphetamine treatment as adults. Overall, there is concern about risk for slowed growth in young patients who are dosed continuously, and for substance abuse in patients first medicated in late adolescence or adulthood.

I also found this bit to be interesting:
            Boys are diagnosed with ADHD 2−4 times as frequently as girls. The frequency of diagnoses increases steeply from age 3 to about age 8, and increases at a slower rate or plateaus through the teen years. In a study of almost 10,000 Australian children taking medicinal stimulants, the highest prevalence of ADHD was 5.5%, and was found in 14 year-old boys .

Did we ever consider that it just boys being boys and kids being kids?
The above website helped change my perspective and make me more aware of the drugs doctors prescribe. Always do you own research!

On  lighter note, I found this website:
and was sucked in for hours. Check out
All pretty interesting. Could spend days on that website....

1 comment:

  1. Georgia,
    I am keenly aware of the debate that has been ongoing over ADD and ADHD for several decades now. I had a brother that was treated with ritalin, the drug of choice in that day, and he ended up shorter and smaller,shaky in using his hands and as a result of that has poor handwriting today. I do think there's a lot to be said about the way we almost institutionalize our children for the sake of educating them. I had 2 children of my own who would have been classified as ADD or ADHD but I refused to accept medication as the only alternative to modifying their behavior. I found that giving them something to do with their hands when they were expected to sit still- such as lego or clay play- helped them stay focused better when we were doing reading or listening together. Even better, was having them sit on an exercise ball for the "still times". When I combined these things with frequent breaks that allowed them time to run outside (kind of like when schools used to have several recesses where the kids ran and played) this helped them be ready to come back inside and focus on the next lesson or subject or unit of study. I loved teaching class outside when the weather was good when I worked with my boys and they seemed better able to focus just by being outdoors.
    I also found that reducing/cutting sugar consumption was a big deal for these children. This often meant that I had to prepare food from scratch because there is so much hidden sugar in our processed foods, but I learned to enjoy that process and especially enjoyed the results.
    There are a lot of ways to help children who are wired differently without medicating them (as I'm sure your parents found when they investigated further) but these methods don't make money for anyone- least of all the drug companies- so they are generally overlooked as solutions.
    Enjoyed reading your post and your research!