Why are so many boys on Ritalin?

Here’s a fascinating — and troubling — read from Glenn Sacks:

According to the Washington Post, 10% percent of 10-year-old American boys are on Ritalin or similar drugs. From my experience as a teacher I can tell you that there are some kids for whom the drugs are useful–I’ve seen it firsthand. On the other hand, for most boys it is useless and counterproductive…

The problem is not our boys–the problem is that our schools refuse to adapt and accommodate boys’ educational needs and learning styles … This can be seen from the time boys enter school, when many of them are immediately branded as behavior problems. The line of 10 kids who had to gather every day after school in my son’s first grade class for their behavior reports–all boys. The names of kids on the side of the chalkboard who misbehaved and would lose recess–all boys. The kids as young as five or six who must be drugged so they will sit still and ‘behave’–almost all boys…

According to this recent Reuters article, “Children from broken marriages are twice as likely to be prescribed attention-deficit drugs as children whose parents stay together.” I don’t believe there’s one easy answer to explain this phenomenon, but it’s interesting that nobody in the article sees the most obvious possibility–the kids (largely boys) have in most cases had their fathers removed from their regular lives.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a real problem for millions of children, and Ritalin can help. But ADHD drugs should never be the first option when addressing behavioral issues — the causes of which are often complex.

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Comments (4)

My opinion about children medicated with mind altering drugs? Because parents refuse to admit thier own shortcomings as parents, and therefore thier children have a disorder, since parents view themselves as infallible, just like teachers. Doctors and schools don’t help either, and facilitate this process. But it will negatively affect the mental and physical well being of these children as they age in a negative way

I’ve been in a custody battle for seven years, it draws towards an end. Now they have my son on ritalin and sleeping meds, he’s 10. I’m trying to fight this, any suggestions?

I was personally a child with ADHD, and I can definitely recommend that medicating children with this type of disability has major advantages. I recommend adderall and a computer, children will soar with learning! check me out kidcomputers and see for yourself!

I have ADHD, and i really need ritalin, if i don’t use it… well let’s say that my friend and family won’t like me ;). thanks for the post and keep up the good work!

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