Friday, March 24, 2006

Drugging the Children

I was reading in the paper today that some anti-hyperactivity drugs for kids have some small side-effects, like headaches, nausea, dizziness, and really really frightening hallucinations of things like snakes and bugs crawling up their little arms and legs. The article mentioned some names like Ritalin and Adderall and some others I can't remember. Because of my own former use of anti-hyperactivity medication I'm sure.

How hyper does your kid have to be before you say to yourself, "well, this might cause Jr. to gouge out his own eyes with a dull spoon after he sees winged demons coming for his soul, but on the other hand, it will slow him down."? As I recall my own childhood, my parents had their own anti-hyperactivity drug. It was called "Quit that crashing around and GO PLAY OUTSIDE!!!" And the weather didn't matter either. Raining? Tough. Snowing? Here's a sled. Hot? Put on a hat. If we were lucky we got bug spray. And then we'd go outside and run around until the point of exhaustion, come staggering in for dinner and fall asleep face first in a plate of mashed potatoes. And I don't ever remember hallucinating about winged demons, except that one time in 5th grade, but that was Sister Sebalda's fault. Gotta love parochial school.

Now, I am not someone like Tom Cruise, who runs around and says no one needs medication and anyone on it is going to die and by the way, look at me, look at me, I knocked up my girlfriend, everyone look at me, I had sex, lookie, lookie lookie!" Xenu knows, there are plently of kids who probably do need some sort of medication to get through the day without causing some kind of grade-school riot. You know how you can tell which kids really need the medication.

They're the ones whose parents won't put them on it.

We have one pair of friends, who for obvious reasons shall remain nameless. Let's call them Tom and Katie for fun though. They have a child. This child, as far as I can tell, never stops moving. Or screaming. Not in pain, just yelling whatever point he's trying to communicate. When he sits he squirms. When he doesn't sit he runs. When he watches a movie on TV he bounces. One time we were at their house and the kid is running around, with a bat, (plastic), chasing my son. I have given my son standing permission to hit this kid if he won't listen, becuase the kid doesn't listen to anyone, including his parents, and short of a quick shot to the jaw, won't take no for an answer. Anyway, Ritalin Boy is running around the yard going "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" and we're talking and suggesting that maybe we could get the bat away from him and ("eeeeeeeeeeeee") his mother is talking about what a handful he is and how the school ("eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"), recently called and suggested that they might want to ("eeeeeeeeeeeeeee"), (hey, they had a small yard and he kept coming back), consider medication to allow the rest of the kids to ("eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee") actually learn. But his parents didn't think this was necessary because he really ("EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE") was a good boy and just had a lot of energy.

First, he isn't particularly good, as I noted above. We won't let the kids play with him unless we're watching. Second, saying he had a lot of energy is like saying John Holmes had a lot of sex. And third, if he's as disruptive in school as he seems to be in the backyard, it's not really fair to all the other kids that are trying to do what they should in school. So for those kids, I say the hell with the risks, shoot their little butts up with Thorazine and get on with it. But the rest of the kids should be given sleds or bicycles and sent outside.

Let's save the hallucinating for the adults. Pass the peyote.

7 Comments:

Blogger eclectic said...

That was absolutely hilarious! My brother-in-law is an anesthetist and often jokes about opening a daycare for children like "Tom & Katie's" son. Verced: it's not just for surgery anymore.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

amen...

5:42 PM  
Blogger Ranea said...

Maybe he didn't need ritalin. Maybe a little hand tea as my mother called it.
And I had flashbacks to when I was a kid. If you stayed in the house too long or dare say you were bored, Mom found you something to do. My mom only saw me at meal time. The rest of the day we were out playing. We didn't need video games, we had imaginations.:)

6:19 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

My father gave us "attitude adjustments" and it didn't have shit to do with drugs.

Nice post.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Pud said...

I'm with you!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

The use of behavior modifation drugs has been debated as long as I have been social worker. Let’s say about 35 years. When I managed at group home for what were then called “emotionally disturbed” adolescents, one of our procedures was to reduce the medication a child was taking under a MD’s supervision. That was because almost all of the kids came to us from institutions and we usually found the kids to have been over medicated.

I learned a major lesson from that experience: 90% + of the kids didn’t need the medications they were prescribed or required reduced dosages. The other 10% or so had such serious problems they would probably be on medications all of their lives. It’s important to recognize the difference.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Madame D said...

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"
I love those kids.
Maybe if you took the plastic bat from him and beat the parents about the head, it might clarify things a little bit.

2:14 PM  

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