Sir Francis Bacon lived from 1561 to 1626. He was a scientist, lawyer, philosopher and author. He was the father of the scientific method, much of which is still influential today in conceptions of methodology. He was also a statesman, being both the Lord Chancellor and Attorney General of England. The guy knew a thing or two. He is credited with the saying “Knowledge is power” although there seems to be some disagreement that he was the author. Proverbs 24:5 says “One wise in strength is an able-bodied man, and a man of knowledge is reinforcing power.” (New World Translation) I don’t know if Sir Bacon said it but Solomon did and that’s good enough for me.
Knowledge is power. ADD / ADHD is no exception.
I have a distant cousin whose son has been diagnosed with ADHD. To my knowledge, the only component of the treatment plan for this child is medication. Over and over again I become acquainted with situations in which treatment is simply a pill. And, over and over again, the situation proves that pills alone do not an effective treatment plan make. ADD / ADHD is a complicated and misunderstood disorder that has a profound effect not only of the disordered person but on all the people around him.
Medication alone no more treats ADHD that does insulin treat diabetes. It is imperative that the diabetic learn about his disease, alter his diet, lose the extra weight, take his medicine and so on and so forth, to effectively manage his diabetes. Wouldn’t we all LOVE IT if simply taking a pill would fix the problem? Can you tell me of a single malady for which this is true?
What disturbs me the most when I become acquainted with these situations is the pain and suffering that is inflicted on the child by this attitude. Children simply can not manage their disorders on their own. Parents and caregivers must assume the position of advocate (coach). An advocate must be informed to properly advocate ie. support (coach). If one is depending on a pill to fix the problem and doing no more, one is only making the situation worse.
There is a wealth of information out there on ADD / ADHD. When my oldest child was diagnosed back in the mid-80’s, the topic was surrounded by controversy and misinformation. Things have changed a lot since then. Get informed. Read the books, subscribe to the magazines and newsletters, surf the blogs, talk to others. Check into the services available to your insurance, your schools and your communities. Be prepared to fight for the treatment and services you need for your child. But, remember that you can’t fight what you don’t know.
The ADD Information Library has a terrific series of articles on the topic of Skills that Pills Cannot Teach. Check out:
Once you’re done with those, just keep going with the whole site as it is loaded with must have information. Arm yourself with knowledge so that you can help your child and do no further harm. By doing so you will help your child AND yourself.