I think there has been too high of a level of diagnoses of ADHD and ADD, but this has been mostly done by schools as people have mentioned before. Parents with their kids still in school are often threatened that they will be reported for child abuse if they refuse to medicate their child.
That being said, these are real conditions. With ADD, a child is unable to process stimuli correctly. The example I read is that the teacher gives an assignment to work on independently. She then proceeds to go around the room checking on various students and answering questions quietly. Most of the kids in the room are able to ignore the teacher and do their work, but ADD kids get confused about whether they should focus on the teacher or focus on their work. The brain can't distinguish what stimuli to pay attention to. They can also get overloaded with stimuli. ADHD kids have all this plus a need to be moving at all times, often while learning, too.
Now, many parents start homeschooling specifically because they don't like medicating their children for school. Many work hard to find ways to teach their children and adapt to their issues without the use of medication. And I'm sure that any homeschooling parent who still medicates their child is doing so because they believe it is sincerely the best option for the child and the rest of the family.
Children are naturally hyper, disorderly, and have short attention spans, but ADD and ADHD children can have it to an extreme that can make things difficult for the child, the parents, and siblings. My older child is just very "spirited" and there are some times when I think how nice it would be to slip her a valium (not that I would actually ever do that), but being a parent isn't always easy and being the parent of special needs children, like those with true ADD/ADHD must be especially trying.
I understand if you have concerns about the high rate of diagnoses of ADD and ADHD, but this usually has very little to do with parenting ability. Schools are likely to label any child ADD or ADHD just because they can not fit the mold that the system of school unrealistically expects. Often kinesthetic learners, gifted children, children suffering from health issues that impede concentration (including allergies) are implied to be ADD/ADHD. And the high rates of diagnoses and medication probably does not hold true in the homeschool setting. So I believe that it is unfair to make a correlation between the high diagnoses rates, homeschooling, lazy parenting, and the use of medication.
And I have seen a lot of lazy parenting in my time. Children of lazy parents are usually aggressive, disobedient to any form of authority, and rude. They are brats who throw fits whenever they don't get their way. They believe they are entitled to do whatever and take whatever they want and believe that the rules do not apply to them (since lazy parents never enforce any rules), and these beliefs go well into childhood past the age where most children have been taught otherwise. Most children with ADD/ADHD would not be described this way.
Woah, your question sounds rather judgemental!
I don't have my kids on any meds. I do know two boys who were on meds for ADD/ADHD when they were in school. When they came home, they were able to get off their meds. Had nothing to do with lazy parenting. These boys were too stressed and stimulated in the classroom and ADD/ADHD behaviours came out.
I know another boy who has always homeschooled and the mom was at her whit's end as to what to do with him because her other children weren't like that. The boy's doctor did the whole checklist thing and said the boy was ADHD and should be on meds. The mom looked to alternative literature and decided first to try diet. It changed everything for this boy. Allowing him to have any kind of artificial colour can send this boy into one of his "moments".
When I was teaching, I had a boy labelled ADHD on meds. When his meds wore off, he wasn't a behaviour problem as much as he literally could not sit still. We're not talking hyper here, like chaotic play or something. As I observed him and got to know him better, I suspected that at the heart of his supposed ADHD was not lazy parenting, but a whole lot of stress that he didn't know how to handle. (His parents were probably heading for a divorce from what I could see.) Combine him with the two boys I mentioned above and some other kids I know who homeschooled who were on meds in classrooms before homeschooling, they ALL had stress or stimulation issues. Had nothing to do with poor parenting.
I tutored a boy once who had been labelled ADD. His parents didn't want him on meds. He wasn't a behaviour problem, but boy, could he not stay focused on one thing--except drawing. Just trying to talk with him, he'd switch topics every 10-15 seconds. I'd never seen the likes of it before. I doubt lazy parenting had anything to do with that.
ADHD actually has little to do with being "hyper" in terms of the type of hyper we see at playgrounds or certain misbehaving children in a mall. It's not misbehaving, it's moving so much you can't focus (hence, the ATTENTION linked with that). It's not don't want to focus, it's CAN'T focus. Big difference. Some kids might exhibit ADHD symptoms due to poor guidance. I suspect that in most cases there is some underlying stressor--food or other sensitivities, environment, family, something. But it's easier for doctors and teachers to label a whole host of issues simply as ADHD than to look deeper.
"Making" somebody want to learn can be difficult. Most teachers aren't successful at getting 100% of their students wanting to learn. And yes, homeschoolers do typically try to find a way that reaches the child well.
As for your nieces and nephews, I guess you are calling your sibling and spouse or you in-law and spouse "lazy parents". They may very well be. But to assume that your nieces and nephews are representative of all kids labelled ADHD is rather prejudicial on your part. The 'lazy' parents may simply have given up because nothing seems to work and they don't realize there are alternative therapies out there for many ADHD symptoms.
Interesting... and yes, I do agree that many times ADD and ADHD are excuses.. usually for teachers (not parents) that don't want to deal with active children and schools that demand that parents put them on medication for a problem they really don't have or will outgrow with maturity. Parents just want what is best for their children and are led by the nose by the so-called professionals. By the way.. teachers are not doctors and should never be diagnosing ANYTHING!
I know many people that have children that didn't do well in a traditional school and are now homeschooled. ADD/ADHD is just one of many situations where parents have decided to educate the child at home in a loving one on one environment. Some families look for alternatives to medication and treatment. Of course, homeschooling is not for everyone or every family.
On the other hand.. there REALLY are children that have a problem with (a real serious problem) with hyperactiveness and difficulty with paying attention and controlling their behavior. (most people have never met a real ADHD child).
I think you are making a blanket statement here that seems a little harsh.
I DO believe that ADHD and ADD are real disorders. I also believe their are a lot of teachers and doctors who label a child with these disorders too quickly, and therefore there are a lot of children on medicine who don't really have the disorder, in those cases the children might need more discipline, or a different learning environment, or a change in diet. Even for the children with the disorder there are often alternate treatments that work better than medication, however that doesn't mean that no children should receive the medication. It would be nice if there was a blood test for ADD and ADHD so that doctors would never wrongly diagnose it, but there isn't one. I think parents are always wise to get second opinions on matters like this, and to move cautiously when it comes to medication.
In a homeschool setting a parent can easily adapt the learning environment and teaching methods to accommodate a child with ADHD. That is harder to do in a classroom with 30 children. So homeschooling often eliminates the need for the medication.
It may be true that some children are needlessly on these medications because their parents and teachers don't want to try to reduce the stress, enforce rules, and alter the teaching methods. Most parents who have their kids on medication have done so because they trusted their doctor, not because they are lazy. In these cases the parents are doing what they are told is best by someone who is supposed to know, they are acting out of love, even if they are misguided. Also, there are also children who do need the medication, even in a homeschool setting.
To be honest, I know of no home school family who has their children on these type of medications; that does not imply however that there are no home school families who do.
More often than not though it is one of the most mentioned reasons why parents are pulling their children out of conventional school, and home school them.
There are other points of view on this issue; with which I can agree.
Well, I have two kids with autism and one with adhd. I could have chosen to medicate them, and have not. It is one of the reasons I homeschool, because school had my two autistic kids so stressed that one was suicidal and the other was self-mutilating. I chose homeschool.
I certainly understand why some people choose meds first, and I'm not going to judge them. It is HARD to live with it every day, and I'm nearly insane and physically breaking down from the pressure. It's a sacrifice I chose, because of the biologic and neurologic dangers of the medication.
It's all a balance though, and I'm not going to judge. There are days when I think I'm done, but as you say, the environment is much less stressful and they are learning wonderfully. Not just academics, but with the social pressure off of them, they are actually learning what is socially acceptable faster. I have thought though, maybe I should enroll them in school for just a month, long enough to get the house clean and sit around for a few hours a day. siiiiigh.but then I'd be undoing all the stress of the day for THEM. Not relaxing from 3pm til bedtime lol!
I know no homeschoolers who have children with ADHD on medication. In fact, I think it is less likely for homeschoolers in general to have "ADHD" due to the following:
1. They watch much less TV.
2. They tend to be more in tune with their kids' natural rhythms and so have them burn energy by playing outdoors instead of having them sit still at a desk for hours on end.
3. They are spending much 1 on 1 (or 1 on 4 :) quality time with their children.
We do work very hard to find a way to teach our children to encourage learning.
I think many public schools are set up unnaturally, particularly for boys, and the elementary schools who have no recess anymore and silent lunches are particularly bad. What young child can sit still for hours and focus? Thus, Ritalin.
Look up "Public Schoolhouse Rock" on YouTube and you'll find some very funny (and sad) videos about this.
I don't think it is lazy parenting. Some children really do have this disorder and respond well to meds. I personally think it is a teacher tool to drug anxious, tired, stressed, or poorly nourished kids into submission. Many children just cannot deal with the school environment and I am so glad that they have the opportunity to learn at home. We grab for the pill bottle too quickly.
Homeschoolers work around the ADHD problems by choosing programs that fit their child's activity and focus level. Public schools drug children in an effort to fit them into a one-size-fits all learning mode.
You seem to be a little uninformed... hyperness is not the only sypmtom of ADHD! ADHD is actually classified as a disability. I am a parent of a child with ADHD and one with ADD and for your information I am not a lazy parent and both of my children are on medication available to them! I think that maybe you should do some research on exactly what ADHD is. .. I could go on and on but from your question you seem to only want to see it one sided. I just have to say that if you could live in the head of a child with ADHD for one day and not be on medication you would change your mind and realize that it's actually an illness and not lazy parenting! Having said that ... there are some parents who just don't want to deal with their kids and label them but there are tests that doctors/counselors conduct to decide whether a child is actually ADHD or not.
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