I have often been dismayed when hearing about chilren as young as 6 being given the psychotropic drug Ritalin because they have ADHD. So when I asked a good friend of mine who tutors young kids for a living what this was all about, what she said about this made me even more perplexed as to why such a potent drug is still given out freely to kids just because they have some differculty in learning.

How she overcomes these differculties is impressive. Also, in her opinion, many factors are overlooked, if not looked for at all, and basic missing rudiments are mistaken for inherent learning differculties such as ADHD or Dyslexia.

Here's what she has to say:

I have been tutoring a little 7 year old girl, Katie, because she had been having difficulties with her maths at school. I found out that she had never understood units, tens and hundreds, and since clearing that up she has been doing much better, and is quickly catching up on her times tables and other basic maths. She has always been a good reader, and her result on her initial reading test was that her reading was average for her age, so although we have done some reading in the last few months, it was never a problem.

Last week her mother told me that her daughter had been diagnosed as being dyslexic. I was greatly surprised and asked her mother how it had come about. She told me that the teacher said that she had been told to write an essay about the Roman army, and that she had written a story about her best friend instead. Her teacher said that she sometimes does not concentrate in the lesson, and that therefore she was dyslexic. The mother was quite upset about this. I showed them both a chart which shows what happens if a person reads or hears a word which he or she doesn’t understands. In particular, it showed that the person loses concentration, and that it is followed by a feeling of blankness.

I asked Katie if she knew what ‘Roman’ means. ‘No’. Did she know what an ‘army’ is? ‘Not really’. We found a nice book with a map of Europe and we found where Italy is and where Rome is. ‘Romans come from Rome.’ “Really, is that all it means?” ‘Yes, and here are some pictures of Roman soldiers and a lot of them together make an army, and the Roman army fought in a lot of countries.’ (Short discussion about where they went, using the map of Europe, and what she thought about armies fighting.) Katie now feels able to write something about the Roman army. (Although being a 7 year old girl, she would prefer to write about her best friend) No lack of concentration, no inability to understand. No sign of dyslexia.

In my experience, any person of any level of intelligence can get a feeling of blankness and lose concentration after going past a word they haven’t understood. Try reading a document with some legal terminology you do not know, or are unsure of, and see if you lose interest, can’t remember what you have just read, or feel a bit stupid at the end of the page. This is not dyslexia. And the sooner our young children stop being diagnosed as such for no good reason the better. Let’s just teach them the meanings of words and all be brighter and happier!

There is also had a similar story about a child diagnosed as ADHD at CCHR London|ADHD

Author's Bio: 

Searching for reasons why the most unreasonable and/or dubious occurs in society. Human rights, education, green energy and mental health to name just a few topics that although get reported, escape proper scutiny of causes or effective remedies.

ADHD is something that most seem to have heard of or know about, but have very little fundamental understanding of. Children deserve better than this from those they rely on for their development.

Paul Fletcher LLB (Hons)