Thursday, December 27, 2007

Is Childhood a Disease?

"Ritalin! So much easier than parenting!" -- anon

The teachers union said: “Schools will become clinics whose purpose is to provide individualized, psycho-social treatment for the student, and teachers must become psycho-social therapists.” (NEA magazine, Education Today, Jan. 1969) Do you want your child to attend a psycho-social clinic for their schooling? Do you want your child’s teacher to be an amateur “psycho-social therapist”? Schools don't seem to care that such practice is against the law.

Is childhood a disease? The public school system and the psychiatry industry want us to think so. Does growing up produce mental illness? Yes, according to many in the psychology business -- especially those in the public schools -- growing up is definitely a disease that they--only they--must treat at taxpayers' expense. In fact, it is such a serious disease that they say it needs to be treated by--guess what--drugs. And those drugs just happen to be manufactured and sold by--guess who--the companies that pay kickbacks to the psychologist and psychiatrists who recommend them (you can look it up). Thus, the people who tell us that our children need to be drugged because they act like children have financial incentives to drug them.

Think about the words, “Learning Disabled,” that we hear so often. Suzanna Sheffer, author of Everyone Is Able, says, “Is that what we really mean to call so many children (around ten percent of the kids)? Is that how we hope they will think of themselves?” Or, is the term really a school alibi or convenient excuse for their own failures to teach? The so-called "symptoms" of "disabilities" are often the natural behaviors of healthy children.

There is a drug-pushing program that is making the rounds of public schools across the country. It's called "TeenScreen." It pretends to be a screening program that is trying to prevent teens from committing suicide. That's the scare tactic it uses to get its foot in the door of public funding. What this program really is looking for are all children who can remotely qualify as "at risk" or “disabled” or simply sad -- signs of maladjustment of any type that the promoters can use in order to recommend prescribing their drugs. An editorial in the Post-Standard of Syracuse, NY says: "Nine out of 10 children who go to see a psychiatrist leave with a psychiatric drug prescription."

"Ritalin -- It's so much easier than parenting!" says the tagline for a picture of a smiling happy family with Dad holding up a pill container. In this drug-crazed culture, have we given up on ourselves as parents or have the schools simply convinced us that they know better than we do? Statistically, the average parent is both smarter and better educated than the average public school teacher, especially administrators.

Then there’s the other problem: our country is becoming “A Nanny State.” We are under government surveillance and “care” from cradle to grave now. But is that making the country better? Quite the opposite: we are getting weaker, more dependent, less educated, dumbed down. The school system has extended our childhood in order to give too many unnecessary employees something to do. The schools have invented childhood disabilities in order to create “services” for them. Children are being over-diagnosed and drugs are being over-prescribed.

In sum, government has created a prolonged childhood for us in order to create an empire of “care” at taxpayers’ expense, while they call it “education.”
The biggest cause of psychological problems in today's children is simply attending a public school. The very routine of school -- its boredom, its dull classes, its coerciveness and stress, its dictatorial power, its blatant unfairness, bullying, etc.-- work against children's basic happiness and self-worth. As a result, far too many children qualify as “at risk” and “disabled.” It is not because they are those things, but it is because that is the way the schools want to see them.

Ned Vare is an architectural designer, artist and author. He is a former private school teacher, rancher, businessman, elected official.


Judy Aron said...

My daughter went on a sleepover a few nights ago and was stunned at how many of her public school friends are on anti-psychotic drugs. And they are already addicted to this junk or believe they must have it to be normal.

She came home an hugged me for raising her the way we have and thanked me for homeschooling her. I damn near cried.

I am so sad to know that her generation is so screwed up. How can those parents do this to their kids? They bought into the medical establishment's line about this stuff. It is incredibly alarming to me. We have a generation of kids who cannot cope with problems and rely on medication.

Crimson Wife said...

My brother has an IQ that places him in the "highly gifted" range, is a kinesthetic learner, and is high energy. To keep him from bouncing off the walls at the highly traditional government-run school he attended, he was labeled "ADHD" even though he had no trouble focusing for hours outside of school on subjects that interested him (music and technology). He took Ritalin for years but once he finished high school, he was able to get off the drug with no problem. He excelled in a demanding college program in audio engineering and computer synthesis and now has a successful career as a digital music engineer.

Makes one wonder how many other kids are misdiagnosed with a learning disability when the problem is simply a mismatch with the school environment.

Invisiblegirl said...

As a child in public schools, I must agree with a lot of this. It explains a lot. Some of my closest friends have been on these kinds of drugs for years, and labeled with all kinds of problems. Yet they are very bright kids who can stay focused for hours on anything of their interest. Kind of makes you think.

endy smith said...

The problem of bullying is familiar to the majority of children and, unfortunately, it is not the thing to be proud of as aggression at such a young age arouse anxiety about the fate of those children behaving violently towards others