Fascinating article concerning ADHD and it's (over)diagnosis.

ADHD display at Woodward Library UBC

Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist diagnosed with ADHD himself and has cowritten two books about it, Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction:

We are pathologizing boyhood. God bless the women's movement—we needed it—but what's happened is, particularly in schools where most of the teachers are women, there's been a general girlification of elementary school, where any kind of disruptive behavior is sinful. What I call the 'moral diagnosis' gets made: You're bad. Now go get a doctor and get on medication so you'll be good. And that's a real perversion of what ought to happen. Most boys are naturally more restless than most girls, and I would say that's good. But schools want these little goody-goodies who sit still and do what they're told—these robots—and that's just not who boys are.

As the father of a rambunctious little boy with a preliminary diagnosis of autism, information like this just fascinates me. My kiddo is luckily on the more high functioning end of the spectrum, and I don't see any point in medicating away his quirks even though he can be occassionally disruptive in a school setting. But it always scares me when I see the push to medicate what may be nothing more than being not-exactly-normal.

It's a disease called childhood. — Dr. Allen Frances, professor emeritus at Duke University School of Medicine