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The ADHD Overdiagnosis Epidemic Is a Schooling Problem, Not a Child One

  • Freeing young people from restrictive schooling and allowing them to learn and grow through their own self-directed curiosity can lead to happier and healthier families and children.
  • Related: How America Outlawed Adolescence
  • Related: The Value of a Self-Directed Summer for Kids

Kerry McDonald, Intellectual Takeout

April 25, 2019 | Childhood exuberance is now a liability. Behaviors that were once accepted as normal, even if mildly irritating to adults, are increasingly viewed as unacceptable and cause for medical intervention. High energy, lack of impulse control, inability to sit still and listen, lack of organizational skills, fidgeting, talking incessantly—these typical childhood qualities were widely tolerated until relatively recently. Today, children with these characteristics are being diagnosed with, and often medicated for, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at an astonishing rate.

The ADHD Fallacy
Marilyn Wedge, author of A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became An American Epidemic, sounds the alarm on ADHD overdiagnosis.

While ADHD may be a real and debilitating ailment for some, the startling upsurge in school-age children being labeled with and medicated for this disorder suggests that something else could be to blame. More research points to schooling, particularly early schooling, as a primary culprit in the ADHD diagnosis epidemic. / Kerry McDonald is a Senior Contributor for Intellectual Takeout. She has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and a Master’s degree in education policy from Harvard University.

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How America Outlawed Adolescence, Amanda Ripley, the Atlantic / André Chung

  • At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?
  • Related: From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools?


The Value of a Self-Directed Summer for Kids, Kerry McDonald, Intellectual Takeout

  • are feeling more pressure to achieve, more pressure in school, and are more worried about making a living than in previous years.
  • Related: What America Has Done To its Young People is Appalling ~ James Ostrowski