Dec 29, 2010

This is ADHD?!

A woman in an article on describes her 5 year old as violent and aggressive.  He bites, throws things, chokes her, and he does this with a smile or a kiss.  Not surprisingly in today's world of psychiatry, the child is medicated for ADHD.  Mind you, these are NOT symptoms of ADHD but who cares? If you can control him with mind-altering drugs, why not? After all, the alternative would be to actually see what on earth is motivating a 5 year old to act like a vilde chaya.  Was he abandoned in childcare since babyhood? Is there no discipline at home? There is not a single mention of how the parents respond to his terrible behavior! Only how she tried dietary methods and then moved on to drugs.  She says she is waiting for him "to grow up, and to grow into an understanding of greater self-regulation." Heaven help us ...

Dr. John Rosemond the parenting expert would laugh at her description and her medical solution.  He would say make a list of the objectionable behaviors: throwing things, biting, deliberately breaking anything, hurting anyone, and tell her son that the doctor said that this behavior indicates he is not getting enough sleep and that he should be put to bed right after supper, but no later than 6:30 p.m., until these behaviors cease completely for three weeks. If, during the three weeks, the child did a single one of these behaviors, the three weeks have to start over the next day.  In one case, said Rosemond, it took six weeks, during which time the three-week cure started over seven times, mostly in weeks one and two.  Rosemond is a no-nonsense kind of guy, as you can see. He believes in setting down the rules and enforcing them like parents used to do once upon a time.

I would add to Rosemond's "prescription" because his approach only addresses the behaviors with the goal of eliminating them. I would recommend that the parents figure out (perhaps with the help of an outsider) why their child is acting in this way. What message is he trying to convey? How can his needs be satisfied without his having to resort to ugly behavior?

But medicating him? Seems reprehensible to me.


  1. But it's trendy to have a kid with ADHD isn't it?
    heaven help this generation of kids. That medication is poison from what I've heard.

  2. I think you will like this clip.

  3. Arutz-7 reported on Feb 8, 2011 that Ritalin is now approved for sale in Israel without a prescription. The doctor that was interviewed said that it was a very good drug for those who truly need it but could hyper-stimulate those that don't. There have been incidents of psychosis in those who abused the drug. Ritalin use is connected to dependence and addiction.

  4. I did (i.e. like the clip). Thanks! It was definitely not funded by Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer or GlaxoSmithKline!

  5. rosie that's shocking!

    critiquer do you know the story of the boy that snuck his medication into the teacher's coffee?
    presumably a joke but cute.

  6. Yes, I do. I heard it in a shiur and I asked the one who gave the shiur whether it's a Jewish urban legend or has a source and the response was:

    I read it in a new sefer "Vaarev Na," by R. Yitzchak Zilberstein. The question that was asked of him was in this case does the rebbi have to pay the father for the medication.

    (The story was about a boy whose rebbi gave the parents an ultimatum, put him on Ritalin or he's out of the classroom. The system was that the rebbi sent him out of the room to get him a coffee and take his medicine. Two months went by and the child was terrific. When the father sat down with him and asked him to what he attributed the change, the boy said, rebbi tells me to take this pill and make him a coffee so I've been putting the pill in his coffee the past two months ...)

  7. so it's a true story? or a hypothetical one brought down to illustrate a halacha?
    I'd be curious to know what the answer was.

    This reminds me, my daughter in 4th grade who is generally well behaved although a chatterbox was having problems with a substitute teacher that's teaching them for a couple of weeks. She complains the teacher is really mean and picks on her and gets her into trouble for stupid things.
    The teacher claims she was being very silly and distracted.
    My daughter kept denying that she was acting up so I her that I don't have ruach hakodesh to know what's going on but she should behave so well that there is no reason for the teacher to get her into trouble for anything.
    The following week I asked her how things were going in class and if she is behaving better and she said "I'm behaving the same but the teacher is in a better mood"