Saturday, February 24, 2007

Where is the Deficit in Attention Deficit Disorder?

Although I have no real scientific basis for saying this, experience indicates to me that children with attention deficit disorder require attention, not ritalin. The kind of attention that they need is not patronizing attention but diligent attention to see that they do what they are required to do and meet standards of courtesy and good behavior. In short, they need regimen and attention to every detail of their lives that comes under one's purview. They need help--mostly encouragement, enforcement, patience, and one-on-one companionship--to work. Once the resistance to doing work is broken down through patient insistence on the part of the adult and the work is accomplished, however, the child, who has been suffering under the stress of not doing the work, begins to relax and become sober. Since avoidance is no longer a necessity--the work being accomplished, the child no longer has to act out the obnoxious symptoms of avoidance. The more the child shows the signs of stress of "attention deficit disorder" the more disciplined the adult must be for the child until the child begins to feel stronger and more confident on the basis of the accomplishments that the child has been patiently but persistently forced to achieve.

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