The inability to concentrate, the inability to pay attention, quick temper, verging on cruelty – we’re seeing more and more children for whom this kind of behavior has become normal. “Hyperactivity” – we have defined the problem appropriately. Now we can even treat it. We substitute Dexedrine with Ritalin, going on the offensive against our own children, trying to make sure we don’t miss our chance at the very beginning so that it doesn’t develop, to suppress and defeat it. But can we beat this disease with just pills? Can we beat this disease by fighting its symptoms, and not its cause? Moreover, is it even a disease?
Remember how in the past these kinds of children were few and far between. They were referred to as – just think! – underdeveloped, and they were locked away in special schools. The problem thus took care of itself: it was seldom seen and soon forgotten – and we kept moving boldly into the bright future. Today, however, now that the problem has grown to critical proportions – after all, according to some estimates, up to twenty percent of children between the ages of 6 and 16 suffer from attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity – and since there isn’t enough space for these children at special schools, it was decided to dub hyperactivity a disease.
But not everyone agrees. [Read more →]