There's been another explosion in our newspapers lately about the prevalence in ADHD in our kids. I read one staggering figure, that one in ten boys in the US is taking some kind of medication for ADHD symptoms. That's a lot of kids. That's a lot of medicine. That's a lot of money.
Anyway, I believe this was brought on by a recently released study showing the academic acheivement of children with ADHD, which is below the 'typical' child at the start of elementary school, generally catches up to the general population by 6th grade. This is interesting on so many levels, and encouraging for me on many others. Principally, it promotes the view that ADHD is not necessarily a mental illness, but a developmental delay. A maturity delay. For me, that worldview is a big deal. That the medical community is catching on to this and may change methods of treatment is exciting.
Reading around about the issue, I stumbled upon this op-ed/article in The Times out of the UK. The thesis, basically, is that we have forced our children into structure so early, that some are incapable of handling it, hence, ADHD. She comes at it from a kind of anthropologically Marxist kind of view, that as culture has become more technological, and as our culture has become an environment to excel and succeed in skyskrapers rather than as hunter-gatherers or even as farmers, we have alienated the boys of the world from access to what they need most: a good wrastle, risk-taking behaviors away from the eyes of overanxious moms, and a day spent less fearful and more exhuberant. It's an interesting way to see things, mostly because it is the antithesis of the message I get as a mom of one of these 'disturbed children' (you should be more stern with him, he needs more structure and discipline). Instead, her point of view says, boys will be boys. Let them be boys.