Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder of the neurodevelopmental type. It is characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity or difficulty controlling behavior which is not appropriate for the person’s age. These symptoms may begin by ages 6 to 12, are present for more than 6 months’ problems in at least two settings. In children, problems paying attention may result in poor school performance. Although it causes impairment, particularly in modern society, many children with ADHD have a good attention span for tasks they find interesting.
The American Psychiatric Association states in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-,) that 5% of children have ADHD. However, studies in different areas report higher percentages.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend behavior therapy as the first line of defense when confronted with an ADHD diagnosis.
Behavioral therapy from a licensed provider is a fine idea. Behavioral therapy in a united form from parents in the form of discipline is ideal and the best alternative.
This disorder was initially recognized in 1902, and called “impulsive disorder.” It has morphed into several different names to arrive at Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder.
Ritalin came on the market to treat ADHD in 1957 and reigned as the go-to drug until 1996 when Adderall was approved for treatment of the disorder.
In 1998, the AMA announced that ADHD is of the most researched disorders, yet no cause can be found for the problem.
Dietary changes have effect on the disorder. The elimination of sugar from the diet has shown improvement. With today’s foods containing sugar at every level from ketchup to salad dressings, high fruit corn syrup or corn sugar, this can be a daunting task. It is of little wonder that the effects of white sugar are detrimental to the young as aggravating ADHD, later causing diabetes type II in adults.
The question remains of why in the last 30 or so years the diagnosis has risen so dramatically? Is it due to the change in the American family?
Or it due to the changes in the Public School System? Perhaps both are to blame.
Isn’t it just easier for a parent or a teacher to blame the mostly normal, riotous behavior of childhood on a disorder, rather than applying discipline for infractions of conduct?
Educator and school psychologist, Dr. Umar Johnson thinks it is a convenient crutch that came into play when “hyperactivity” was added to the diagnosis. He feels that with this one word, it is one way the school systems deal with bad behavior. It is easier to medicate.
The disorder is more commonly found in young males. To this Dr. Johnson states, “97% of public school teachers – charter, independent school teachers are female, so you have to look at the female culture of the school house and how when boys cannot adjust adequately to female expectations, they are marginalized.”
Dr. Johnson feels that this is especially directed at black boys, but he is not the only one with the theory that American males are being targeted for extreme change in their natural growth and gender role by the school system and society.
Christina Hoff Sommers a psychology professor and author, has long theorized about the damage feminism has done to the male in our society.
Professor Sommers an advocate of equity feminism, which ensures that the right against coercive interference is not infringed. Sommers has contrasted equity feminism with victim feminism and gender feminism, arguing that modern feminist thought harbors an irrational hostility toward the male gender, and has an inability to accept the possibility that the sexes are equal but different.
In her book, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men, Sommers advocates that the myth of “shortchanged girls” and the new and equally destructive theory that “boys as a group are disturbed” is the reason that the male gender is being forced into unnatural change. She begs society not to ostracize boys, but to understand them. She asserts that, “We are turning against boys and forgetting a simple truth: that the energy, competitiveness and corporal daring of normal, decent males is responsible for much of what is right in the world.”
Any mother of a son or sons will be glad to agree that boys are boisterous, daredevil and loud. This is not abnormal behavior, this is normal. If boys are not allowed to play, fight, and experiment and take the lead in their actions in a natural way, they cannot develop properly.
Another factor in the deficit of the raising of good, decent young men (and also good, decent young women) is the lack of fathers in the home.
In 1960, only 11% of children lived away from their fathers, by 2010 that number had risen to 27%.
Effects of a fatherless home cited directly from the National Center for Fathering are poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and emotional health, education achievement, crime, sexual activity and teen pregnancy.
Fatherless homes also create a vacuum in both sexes about the reality of a married relationship. When a child has no good example of how to be a lifelong partner, how can they be expected to form a lasting bond with another?
A study in the United Kingdom found that of the young girls and boys who had viewed pornography, whether by accident via pop up ads or on purpose. 53% of boys felt that the images were truthful representations of a sexual relationship while 39% of young girls felt the same way.
Dr. Ellen Martellozzo Middlesex University and co-author of the study said,
If boys feel that pornography provides a realistic view of relationships, then this may lead to the inappropriate expectations of girls and women. Girls may feel pressured to live up to these unrealistic and perhaps non-consensual interpretations of sex. This is clearly not positive for developing healthy future relationships.
Both men and women who chose to have children, have to take a strong role in their development in the home, and at school. There is no substitute for this guidance and all parents cannot allow the school system and society to dictate the ways their children develop.
Parenthood is a lifelong, taxing, difficult commitment filled with hard work, tempered with love and beautiful memories.
If both are not up to the demands, it would be better to sit it out.