Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and its Effects on Society

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is without a doubt one of the largest social problems facing the Baby Boomers in the 21st century. The last two to three decades have seen this disorder labeled many different titles. As stated by Donald J. Brown in his article Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), 1996: “What is apparent is that ADHD is a collection of symptoms or criteria.” Labeling a child as ADHD creates a large potential for error.

The traditional approach of putting children on long-term usage of stimulants such as Ritalin, Centedrin, and Rubifen might allow a child to better concentrate because it somehow slows down the otherwise hyperactive student but it does nothing to help improve their social skills. These drugs might make one less easily distracted. They might also make one less impulsive and help to improve one’s memory. Medication for ADHD does not replace family therapy, special education, and other possible treatment for ADHD. According to Noel Peterson, N.D. in Hyperactivity and ADD, “The long term side effects of having a child on daily medication has not been established.”

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown. It has not been decided yet what exactly contributes to this problem, possibly prenatal toxic exposure. There is sometimes a history of injuries to the central nervous system. There is frequently a family history of school problems, behavioral disorders, or other psychosocial problems. The majority of symptoms of ADHD can be addressed with medication but it could possibly lead to a generation of zombie-like robots. These medications are potentially harmful and act merely to mask symptoms without getting to the core of the problem.

It is this zombie-like, robot behavior that the Baby Boomer teachers and administrators are seeking to make their jobs easier and classroom behavior more tolerable. Public schools receive a kick-back of sorts from their local governments for every child that is diagnosed with ADHD as it is labeled a disability and requires added funding in order to accommodate the disabled child. As stated in Attention Deficit Disorders and/ Hyperactivity, “This disorder must be treated biochemically, and resolved early in childhood. Otherwise, there is an increased rate of expulsion from schools, greater involvement in drug and alcohol abuse, higher motor vehicle accidents and greater tendency to crime.

When these children reach their teenage years and begin to get into serious trouble then the question arises where did we go wrong as a society and a community. We need to look at the problem for what it really is. I saw a story on the television program 60 minutes about a month ago that talked about a kid who had grown to a teen with ADHD, they showed footage from his earlier years until the time of this report when he was 16 years old. This kid was totally out of control, he was recently expelled from a public school and his mother was fighting to get him re-instated. The school system resisted and told the mother she had to put the kid into a private school, and he was no longer welcome in their school system. She was noticeably upset with this decision, if this was not her child I am sure she would not have wanted a kid of his disposition around her children. The story leading to the expulsion was the kid threatened to kill other students and blow up the school. We were not far removed from the Columbine Massacres in a public school in Colorado. I have no doubt this tragedy played a part in this administration\'s decision to expel the student. What we have is an epidemic of many faces in this one situation, parents are afraid to send their children to what is supposed to be a safe place to learn “school”. Teachers and Administrators have to walk on eggshells with their respective teaching tactics, not knowing if something they say will trigger one of their students to turn violent. Realizing that the government funds public schools every student of their respective jurisdiction should have the right to attend their local school. In this case the city was justified in their actions, this kid was a walking time bomb ready to explode. Staying with this kid, once he becomes