Friday, February 26, 2021

Comments by Alice77

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • Thank for replying, I suspected that this was just a throwaway comment. Sometimes my anger about the situation fuels me to comment where it’s least needed. Looks like I’m found guilting of teaching Grandmother to suck eggs!!

    We are probably looking at needing to homeschool. When he’s in school the pressure to medicate is enormous and the inference is that we are being belligerent and stopping his progression by not medicating! Indeed the assumption by all health professionals is that without meds future outcomes look poor. No one is interested in research like this that shows there is no difference in outcomes (or even worsening outcomes due to both the meds and the loss of agency that comes with meds). They have their doctrine and stick to it fiercely.

    What has shocked and saddened me is that we live in the UK where I thought (hoped) the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD was more nuanced and less driven by trends, ideology and pharmaceutical influence but I was wrong. The ADHD parent group I was sent to recently was sponsored by the drug companies and their literature written by them, with one page about star charts listed as the best behavioural options and when that fails ritalin, ritalin and more ritalin! Not sure whether it’s laziness, wider neo-liberal forces on children to perform or the cash-strapped health system here but ADHD has arrived in force and looks like it’s here to stay.

    Anyway, all the best and thanks again

  • Hi Steve, we’ve not met but I’ve followed MIA for a long time and enjoy your comments. I have a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has many conduct issues. The diagnosis was not my choice but the result of frantically trying to get some behavioural input and services for a child that suffers greatly. I know it is hard to be nuanced at all times but I wanted to pick you up on your use of language.

    To call a child ‘mean and selfish’ is unfair and dismissive of a great deal of pain. While at certain times of stress my child can be both mean and selfish the reasons for this are many and varied. Most importantly, he himself dislikes his reactions more than anyone. In my experience it is the children with conduct problems who most need help and understanding to turn their behaviours around but are also the most likely to be written of as just ‘naughty’, or in this case ‘mean and selfish’, without a future before them. I was surprised and disappointed to find this attitude here on MIA. Underneath all behaviour is someone trying to cope with the world, but sometimes without the skills to get their needs met in a socially appropriate way.

    I could go on about the intergenerational trauma that plays out in my family; about an oppressive school system that demands conformity; or about the crazy advancements in technology and media that leave us all overstimulated and frazzled, all of which add to a fight or flight system that is in constant hyper vigilance and that would reduce anyone’s abilities to empathise with others – but that is not news. For some poor children their response to a crazy world is a ‘fight’ reaction. I agree this is hard to empathise with, but it is just that, a response to the world like any other.

    It has also just occurred to me that calling any child mean and selfish is pretty much calling a spade a spade. Childhood is inherently egocentric, I myself was obnoxious and foul to my brother when we were young, amongst other things. I am no longer mean nor selfish in general although these are among the human traits that make up complex, nuanced individuals. Childhood is for maturing and learning these skills. To say that childhood traits ‘make the man’ is highly problematic and is a major contributing factor to the pathologising and medicalisation of childhood that MIA is critiquing. What stops some people from maturing into more socially acceptable responses is the question? I guess my philosophical position is that while ‘all people are fundamental good’ may be a bit of a stretch, this does not mean that ‘some people are just fundamentally bad’.