I am writing to elaborate on "Think twice before medicating kids" [Opinion, Oct. 11]. Our teenage son, who is in 10th grade, is doing astoundingly well, despite the fact that for two years in a row when he was in elementary school, I was called in several times for meetings with the school psychologist, who was concerned that my son had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. School officials suggested doctor's visits, medication, etc. I would sit there in tears, never believing it. I always resisted, confident that my son would grow out of it with time and maturity.
I agree with Ross Rosenfeld's opinion that some children need more structure. I also believe diet plays a part; less sugar, more protein, which is said to be "brain food."
Well, now my evaluation of my son has been validated. I knew the advice sounded exaggerated and overly diagnosed. After all, kids from kindergarten to 7 or 8 years old are still somewhat babies as I see it, and especially boys. They're immature, with "wild" energy -- or something is wrong with them, right?
I understand the teacher's frustration with having to discipline students while trying to teach the required curriculum, but I do believe that too much is expected of young children. Perhaps the education system needs to be addressed. Why must so much be crammed into a young brain, not developed enough to absorb information on a permanent, sustainable level? Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on developing structure and concentration techniques.
Sports, music lessons and the like are fundamental in helping train the brain to focus. Our son has been taking guitar lessons for two years, and his grades have improved significantly.
Donna Ricci, West Islip