Ritalin, and the American Medical field in early 80's & rec.

Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 03:12 pm
I wish to put here a topic for discussion, all feed back is welcome. I must be honest with you all I am not very old, though have strived for knowledge since birth.

I just want to ask those of you out there to shed some light into your thoughts and beliefs dealing with treating people with this drug.

Also I wish to see any responses on someone who popped out during the Ritalin boom, and was persay misdiagnosed and used as a guinea pig to use this controversial drug.

I would like any resources or comments, on Ritalin, misdiagnosis, and especially your views of the recent use in some states where School systems force children to go on this drug, to partake in their education through their school system no matter what the parent feels.
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 03:58 pm
I had a stepson who was put on Ritilan when he was 8 years old. His behavior both in and out of school improved enormously.

The family could go for a week and more without spilled milk all over the dinner table.

Before Ritilan this child had a number of nervous habits--twisting his hair, thumping his feet on the furniture and slipping his hand down inside his pants to caress himself. These stopped.

His school grades went from D's and F's to B's and C's.

Unfortunately, hyperactivity was only one of my stepson's problems.

On the other hand, he had an older brother who was not diagnosed until he was 19 by which time he had become accustomed to self-medicating with alcohol and other downers.

I think Ritilan has a place in treating hyperactive children.

I also think a great deal of the "teachers just want to drug the kids into conformity" is a new form of traditional anti-intellectualism. The anti-Ritilan lobby is also (in many cases) part and parcel of a culture that allows parents to threaten to sue the school if their child is punished for breaking school rules.

I have taught all ages from nursery school to college students. Believe me, one twitchy, wiggly kid--defiant or not--takes learning time away from the rest of the class.

Instead of waving No Ritilan signs, some parents should spend their time helping their children learn self-control. Many two career families make a great fetish of "Quality Time"--and strangely enough, this Quality Time usually entails parent and child having fun together.

Playmates are playmates. Parents are--or should be--character builders.

Thanks for the soapbox, Mellow Gemini.
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 04:16 pm
The Ritalin 'controversy' has been fueled by the church of scientology more than by any medical or scientific concerns. This has involved a large investment of monies and a multi-sourced PR attack (eg your local newspaper). The motivation is a doctrinal position against all 'drugs' (coffee, nicotine, alcohol not included).
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 04:21 pm
Seriously, blatham?

Noddy has made some really excellent points. I DO think there is a general willingness in America to medicalize childhood, though. While I can't speak to percentages, in my time teaching I have definitely come across children who were exuberant and easily bored, and more difficult to teach, but still eminently teachable. I found discussions of whether Ritalin should be administered to these kids disturbing.

I have also definitely seen children whom Ritalin helped enormously, though.
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 04:39 pm

Yes, it is a huge campaign they've been waging for some twenty years now, mainly through their activist sub-organizations (such as Citizens Commission on Human Rights) which purposefully are not easily identifiable as scientology organizations.

That being said, it doesn't necessarily follow that all their claims are false, but the 'controversy' is mainly of their doing.
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 04:51 pm
Thank you all, I would just like to add something that might interest you, I was diagnosed at age 4, by age 6 was placed on adult dose Ritalin so I would sit down instead of leaving the room, persay I found myself staring at a ceiling all day like a zombie, they did not care about my education they cared about a child that would just stay in his seat, that also put me on sustained release where I lost all my hair. See I did not get up because I could not pay attention or was distracted. It was because while they were there reading doctor Seuss, I was at home reading books like the Terminal Generation, studying the human brain, and etc. I got up because I was bored, the stuff they were trying to teach me I already knew. I taught myself to read by the age of 4, My mom used to bring me to College with her because the teachers and students in her classes fell in love with me. This went on and on being held back by my school system. While other kids were out spending time playing catch with there dad I was either with my head in a book, or being brought to this doctor, lets try this med, lets do this, I never had any real friends as a child due to the pressure and stripping away of these doctors.
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 05:08 pm
How about this..
I again thank you for all opp. Though if you were to study deeply enough there have been several kids that were missdiagnossed, as ADD, when they were actually gifted and either suffererd from Aspergers syndrome, Hyperlexia, or High Functioning Autism. this is just a view please continue to share with me. I recently had an Evaluation which states an I.Q of 147, and of Genius capacity. It states what my school system and doctors put me through was absurd, and I should have been placed with Gifted and talented. PLEASE CONTINUE TO SHARE
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Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 06:55 pm

It certainly sounds as if you were misdiagnosed, and there is no arguing that it happens. As a much more benign example, at a teacher's request, I was tested for hearing problems in my early grades and the doctor concluded that I simply was bored and wasn't listening.

As sozobe would likely verify, designing an educational system (even a single classroom) which can accomodate the variety of skills and talents and interests of thirty different humans is not an easy task. Kids like you and I can fall through the cracks. And yes, some teachers rather too easily look to solutions for the random child which really only work to decease his or her workload. It doesn't help that funding to schools both in the US and here in Canada is on the decline.

I really only hit my stride as a student (other than the odd great course or teacher) when I returned to university in my thirties - then I had a ball as a student. What are you up to educationally at present?
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