Saturday, November 17, 2007

Latest skirmish in "The Ritalin Wars"

Judith Warner writes the "Domestic Disturbances" column each Friday in the New York Times. On Nov. 15, she wrote about the new study that shows that the brains of some children develop more slowly than others. People seem to be reading a lot into this study, inferring that it finally explains the cause of attention and behavior problems.

Ms. Warner's column addresses several aspects of the issue, but one paragraph really caught my eye:

Facts don’t have much sway when you’re in the grip of a religion. And the beliefs underlying the Ritalin wars (I am using “Ritalin” here as shorthand for the whole practice of diagnosing children and treating them with psychotropic drugs) have truly now become like a creed. They’re only superficially about diagnosis and medication. For most people, they’re more profoundly about a sense of menace bearing down upon the world of our children.

As a battle-hardened veteran of "The Ritalin Wars," I've written extensively about the experience. You can read two essays on my web site at Go to the sidebar and click on "On ADHD."

The name of this blog is taken from one researcher who described his own ADHD as having a "hummingbird mind."

The give-and-take over these latest study results is only a skirmish in the long war. More later on the subject...

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