Saturday, May 29, 2010

Speed

The pirate is a problem child. Ask anyone. Ask his teacher, ask his parents, ask the kids in his class.

Just don't ask the pirate. He'll tell you he's smart, he likes art, and his mom is really proud of him. He doesn't see himself as a problem child.

The way I see it, I need to keep his self-image where it is and get the rest of him to match it. Progress to this end is notable.

He's learned through a combination of conditioning and experience that he gets away with more when he smiles and regularly employs phrases like "please, thank you, and ma'am." Manipulative, but hey, it works.

As far as his "problem" goes, let me describe:

My five year old boy can't sit still.
He likes to wiggle.
Sometimes he talks without permission.
He doesn't always wait for the teacher to call on him before he blurts out an answer.
If he's bored, he's inclined to play cave by crawling under the table at school.
He's impulsive and acts without thinking.
In art, he likes to paint on things besides the paper.

Clearly, he needs medication. Again, ask anyone. Ask his teachers. Ask his classmates. Ask the school administrator. They told him so. (Well, some of the kids did. The administator asked him if he was taking his medicine. The teacher considered meeting with a social worker on his behalf. The pre-K 4 teacher wanted him tested for every acronym she could think of.)

On the behavioral bell curve, there is no doubt he is not on the bell. I know this. He's further from the bell than he would have been twenty-five years ago because all the kids like him are on meds. Except the ones with parents like his. Two parent households, higher education, enough income that one parent can devote a lot of time to handling problems. Parents with the education and confidence to tell a school system and a pediatrician, "We appreciate your involvement and support. We're not going to go that route. Let us know in what other ways we can help you get him to where he needs to be."

I go to the school on a regular basis so the teacher doesn't have to spend all her time on my child. Because I can. I don't have a 9-5 job that I will lose over this. I'm not backed into a corner or in a position to be intimidated.

Twenty years ago, rich kids were on medication. Ten years ago, all of them were. Must have been a golden age for early education. Now, poor kids are way more likely to be on medication than their luckier counterparts. This is crap.

We are about to see a generation come along where creativity and independence are fostered in the privileged and medicated out of the kids who have no advocate. Their mothers love them just as much but they are more easily influenced by an M.D. and a Masters in Education. Those people most know what's good for our kids, right?

Juvenile brains are developing. Learning pathways are being established at a phenomenal rate. Those pathways laid down under the influence of a scheduled, mind-altering drug are permanently designed to require that drug to function at optimal levels. I'm not raising my kid on speed. (Yes, it's speed. Adderall's primary active ingredient is amphetamine.) Not only am I worried about his brain but his physiology. I can't imagine a growing body subjected to a 60 year old diet pill for ten years is not going to be at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes as an adult.

But what about other people's kids? It's gotten to the point that they damn near need a semester of pharmacology as a requirement for an education degree. I don't propose that there is NEVER a reason to use medication and I'm certainly not okay with telling parents they shouldn't any more than I'm okay with people telling me I should. But there is gross abuse here and as always seems to be the case, the people least able to fight back are the most likely to be victims.

The only thing I can do is be vocal. I explain our decision to the pirate's teacher. I provide documentation. I let her know that I appreciate how much easier he would be on a prescription but the long term risk is too great. And I pray that the love of children that led her to be an educator in the first place will give her the patience to deal with kids like mine and advise another mother, a single mom who's struggling, that medication is faster and easier but not necessarily better.

The guy in this video makes my point better than I can. It's about twenty minutes, but if you're pressed for time start it at 15:41. Watch the whole thing when you have time. He's very funny and really makes you think.

30 comments:

  1. I tip my hat to you for taking a stand. I believe in antibiotics, and I'm not in the anti-vaccine crowd, but I don't think a lifetime of medication is what kids need. My younger son has allergies and takes Zyretc regularly, and I have concerns about that...how will his body ever learn to cope/adjust without it?

    The TED talks are great, I don't have time now to watch this one, but I'm sure I'll come across it again.

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  2. I'm in your camp, Rick. I think there are a few too many vaccines out there (Big Pharma lobbies successfully to get them on the state required lists- i.e.: Merck's HPV vaccine and the Texas legislature) but I don't think it's wise to leave your kids vulnerable to MMR and tetanus, either. Antibiotics with cause, fine.

    We haven't had to use allergy medication yet but I'm sure we probably will. The risk of a fatal asthma attack is real and irreversible, though, as opposed to the inconvenience of wiggly kids when we've cut recess down from an hour to fifteen minutes. Plus, I never heard of anyone in rehab for Zyrtec.

    ADHD scripts are routinely forged and sold and there are people who have required inpatient treatment to come off of that kind of medication.

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  3. "Flowers are red, young man, and green grass is green."

    Yeah. Stifle the inconvenient lot and ignore the fact that they're going to be in charge when we're all too old and tired to change the world.

    Stepford children, one and all.

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  4. Oh, Sarah, they ARE stepford. It is creepy. There's a detachment that is visible in kids on ADHD meds. And I saw just yesterday a headline about current college students "lacking empathy". It's our first generation of better living through mind control meds growing up.

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  5. When our oldest was in 2nd grade, we actually brought him to a neuropsychologist (not covered by insurance) because we thought maybe he had nonverbal learning disorder. The neuropsychologist said he was wired properly but that he was just a very, very anxious kid. He had zero behavior problems, but he just couldn't absorb anything in the classroom. Ask him one-on-one any question, though, and he got it just fine.

    Meanwhile, we had an IED (no, that's not right... IEP?) with the school. Us, the teacher, the principal, and a district psychologist who had never met our child. The first thing she asked was, "Has he been diagnosed with ADD yet?" Turned my stomach to hear that.

    Fortunately, my wife is an elementary school teacher and a real detail oriented web-based hypochondriac, so she knew where to do the research and how to talk to the authorities. We had him repeat 2nd grade, and he has been doing terrific ever since. Plus, he's a totally creative kid and a very good artist. My heart quails to think what he'd be like today if he had been forced to advance in grade and go on medication.

    I agree with what you're saying, Laurel. I also think a lot of parents just want a diagnosis. When really the diagnosis should be that we're giving too much stimulus to our kids all day long. TV, video games, movies, texting, fifteen different sports or activities... no wonder they need speed to stop freaking out.

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  6. When really the diagnosis should be that we're giving too much stimulus to our kids all day long. TV, video games, movies, texting, fifteen different sports or activities... no wonder they need speed to stop freaking out.

    Amen, Pete. We get their brains completely wired with no physical expenditure of energy and wonder why they can't be still.

    I also notice a pattern with my blog buddies. I can't name one of us with children who hasn't had this issue come up. Partly it's the age we live in but the flip side is creative kids (either by nature or nurture) struggle more with an assembly line approach to education.

    One of the key "symptoms" for ADHD is excessive daydreaming. Uh, yeah. I'd lay good money that my kids will be prone to that.

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  7. Just call me Walter Mitty Jr. (Type A)

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  8. That's great you've taken a stand. And you are going to school to help. Most kids at that age can't sit still, etc. My daughter, who is really smart, is still fidgety at 13. I don't think she'll ever sit totally still. Hopefully as you support your son, you'll find other techniques, other than medicine, that will help him with his challenges. Because hopefully that's what they are and when he's grown up, dealing with these challenges will make him a better person.

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  9. @ Sarah: I think we are cut from the same cloth, sister!

    @ Natalie: Thanks! I have the unique luxury of knowing what the difficult part of my boy's behavior turns into as a grown up. I have borne my sister's child. I knew him for 30 years before he was ever conceived. I know how the story ends...if I do as well as my parents did.

    My sister was one of the first candidates in the country identified by Duke's gifted program. The pirate scored so high on the first round of gifted testing in our state that he qualified before he completed the testing. (He is not Go-To-MIT-for-free, Beautiful Mind/Good Will Hunting smart, just smarter than your average bear.)

    My sister is in outside sales (classic career choice for ADHD). Not just any, but surgical, which is the pinnacle of outside sales jobs. She was promoted to regional manager in under two years of assuming a position in her current company. She is leading her national sales force in every category she is eligible for.

    Every. Single. One. of her "issues" as a kindergardener through third or fourth grade are strengths in her current job.

    Stubborn=persistent. Easily distracted=takes an interest in her environment and others. Easily bored=she would rather put 3000 miles on her car in one week than be in a cubicle.

    The pirate is her clone. I need to protect his confidence and teach him to play to his strengths. I'll steer him away from an accounting degree if at all possible.

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  10. Oh, Laurel,

    Boy are you speaking my language here. I was in MIddle Child's classroom much of the time, too.

    Bless you for being the kind of amazing mother you are. Pirate is a lucky guy!

    wish I had more time...maybe later...much to say on this topic. Maybe Margery will have to address it one day as well.

    As always, thank you for the support.

    You make me feel safe.

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  11. Hey, Kim! Thanks for stopping and leaving a footprint. I'm all wriggly with happiness at the notion of making anyone feel safe, much less someone in such constant flux!

    And I anticipate many hours to be spent in the pirates hallowed educational halls. Pitching in, lending support to his teachers, and basically being on hand to keep an eye on his felonious self.

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  12. put him on meds? HELL NO! he's a normal 5-yr-old boy... allow him to become who he's meant to be, not some drugged out zombie cuz no one had time to be with him GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    consider meds: when he's in danger of hurting another, or himself... and even then, on a temporary basis, under constant medical observation for the duration...

    what kids need is full time love and guidance!

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  13. I think that sitting through a full day of school is a prescription that some of our kids don't need, as well. Traditional school was designed with such a narrow personality and learning style in mind.

    I'm tired of the easy fix-based society that has made us have to fight to allow our kids to be who they are. To not medicate.

    I'm tired of "experts" who, having spent five minutes with my child, tell me what is best for my kid.

    I'm extremely tired of people judging other parents for the choices that they make.

    I salute you for knowing your child through and through, and for knowing what will be best for him. For taking the long road, and knowing that there will be bad days, terrible days, but that it is best in the long run. I'm glad that you are able to do and be what your child needs. I'm glad that you are his mother.

    Go, Laurel, GO!!

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  14. Good on you for doing the right thing. The actual right thing, I hate that people can get a pill for anything nowadays, it's so very wrong. I know your boy will turn out well!

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  15. @ LW: Absolutely. I really do believe there are situations where medication is appropriate. It is extremely rare, however, that outside of epilepsy you will find a child who needs long term brain medication before adolescence, when things like chronic depression or manic depression begin to manifest. In those cases an early diagnosis can prevent negative pathways from developing. But a five year old who channels Tom Sawyer? I don't think so.

    @ Heather: Your comment dovetails with the video I embedded. Education models attempt to funnel kids into a model of behavior and knowledge base. If you fall outside the parameters, you're going to struggle. Mine is capable of functioning "in the system" and I'd like for him to learn how since it will make his life easier. But I'm not going to drug him to make him do it.

    @ Nicole: Thanks!

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  17. I was an elementary school teacher for 34 years (1968-2002) and I am now retired. I do not know your child and I am not giving advice pertaining to him regarding medication. That would be impossible. I am speaking from only my own experience as a teacher.

    To my knowledge, I never taught a child that was on medication. I always had classes of 32 students. Each child needed special attention for all sorts of things. Many children were active and then it became almost impossible to get through a lesson because of disruptions like calling out. Parents do not realize behaviors are copied and the result can be noise and chaos and classes that are out of control.

    It is hard for a parent to understand the difficulty of classroom management or how hard it is to handle large classes especially when a few children disrupt the class. Parents usually have a few children at home. They cannot understand the concept of handling a group of 32 students and educating a large group and the skill that involves.

    Quite honestly, most teachers do not care about "medicating" children. They are not invested in that particular route. They care only about being able to do their job and to provide an education for all of the children in the class. They do not care what decisions parents make as long as the result is that the child is no longer disruptive.

    Teachers are not invested in pharmaceutical companies. It is my opinion that administrators recommend medication so the staff can provide instruction in a learning environment where accountability is key.

    All children in a class need attention to their needs. But, with classes of more than 15 children, the teacher cannot spend great time with a variety of disruptions. She has to teach.

    I applaud you for not going the "medication" route... but having made that parental decision what plan or recommendations or suggestions do you have in place for the teacher when he behaves in ways that the school wants addressed? Tell the teacher: "when he does this, we suggest you do this." Address all of the concerns and make suggestions how to handle. See if a plan can be put in place (when he crawls under the desk... tell the teacher how to handle it... but remember she may also be handling another child standing on a desk, another child throwing crayons, another child scribbling on the chalkboard, another child who has just vomited....)

    Teaching is a hard job. So if you decide not to medicate... work with the teacher on a plan that you feel will be effective.

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  18. Hi, Marjorie!

    Thanks for chiming in. What you suggest is exactly what we did. In fact, you echo my words to the pirate's teacher at our first conference this year. I told her that she had seventeen students, each equally deserving of her time and attention, and I didn't think it was fair for her to spend all her time on mine. I told her what strategies worked for us at home. I gave her my cell number and made sure she knew I could be at the school within fifteen minutes if she needed me. I got more than one phone call and went to the school on several occasions. Any action she imposed at school would be enforced at home.

    We were very lucky to have a teacher that worked so closely with us. We made sure she knew that we were aware of this.

    My point, though, is that we are in a better position to do this because of our economic situation. I elected to stay home because I knew my little boy was going to require a very invested full time parent. I am not a single parent and my husband has a secure, stable job that supports a family of four.

    The kinds of medication we are talking about permanently alter brain pathways in a developing brain. Permanently. It's not surgical, but after several years in the developmental stage it is no more reversible than a lobotomy. Ask an addiction specialist about the advisability of putting a child on one of these medications.

    It is brutally unfair to have kids from a less advantaged background further burdened by the practice of medicating them into pliability. And that, unfortunately, is the current trend. Among my socio-economic peers, nearly every one has a child who has been "evaluated" for ADHD. None of their kids are on medication. The older ones aren't having trouble anymore. It took time and effort, but their kids are fine.

    The kids who are most likely to be on them at this time don't have a parent with the luxury of being as available as I am. We have to recognize that in a quest to "control" a classroom of fifteen or more children there are limits to what is moral, ethical, and healthy. Drugging someone else to make your job easier isn't any more excusable than drugging yourself to make your job easier. Especially if that person is six years old. We made it work without drugs until about twenty-five years ago so there is little reason to think that drug-free kids will cause the collapse of the classroom.

    We have cut recess, music, and art to the bare minimum. We feed our kids steroids and hormones through the dairy and meat that ends up in their cafeterias. Caffeine, video games, and round-the-clock cartoons stimulate their brains while providing no outlet for energy expenditure. Why don't we start there BEFORE we put them on prescription drugs that activate addictive pathways in their growing brains?

    Teachers cannot control a home environment so there is little they can do to come at behavior problems from that angle. I get that. But the harm to a child because of lax or even just overwhelmed parenting doesn't justify an easy fix that has such dangerous long term implications.

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  19. Lauren, you write: "It is brutally unfair to have kids from a less advantaged background further burdened by the practice of medicating them into pliability. And that, unfortunately, is the current trend. Among my socio-economic peers, nearly every one has a child who has been "evaluated" for ADHD."

    And then you say that schools want disruptive students medicated to make the teachers' job "easier."

    That is the flaw in your thinking. Teachers do not want students medicated to make their job EASIER. They want students under control so that they CAN DO their job. A teacher's day in not supposed to be spent handling these types of behaviors with strategies. Her job is to provide instruction. And a teacher does not want students "pliable." She does want behavior not to disrupt the class and drain her energy and time with handling disruptive behavior.

    Accountability is huge today. If a teacher is accountable for what children learn, she cannot provide excellent instruction when her time is detoured by calling parents about behaviors. So "pliable" is the wrong word. A teacher wants no disruptions. She is not there to handle behavior with strategies; she is not the social worker, the psychologist, or the personality enhancer. She is the teacher. Now of course you could argue and say the excellent nurturing teacher cares about the whole child and wants to develop all of a student's creativity and potential. Of course, in an ideal setting that is true. If a class had 5 students it would be possible. With accountability in place now and with classes of 22 children or more... it's wishful thinking.

    Parents complain schools are "terrible." I think one of the reasons the schools are "terrible" is because there is no longer an emphasis on what my friend calls "decorum." There is a child-centered approach which has allowed the learning model to morph into a "loosy goosy" setting.

    In NYC, math tests are no longer even graded by what is the correct answer but by the problem solving strategy implemented. Basal readers have been replaced with leveled libraries where books area grouped by genre. Phonics instruction is all but gone. "Productive noise" is the new buzz word. And students cannot do the basics.

    Teachers do not want their job made "easier." They want to be able TO DO their job. And if so many children have been evaluated with ADHD, I am not surprised schools are deteriorating. No teacher is supposed to spend her time in strategies all day handling acting out behavior. She is supposed to teach. And having students who are not disruptive does not make her job "easier," it allows her TO DO HER JOB.

    No teacher I ever met cared about having "pliable" students. We are not in the business of indoctrination. We do not want "Stepford" students. We do want to be able to do our job regardless of the personalities in front of us. And if a student shows remarkable creativity and insight and talent, we celebrate the potential of individuality... as long as it does not disrupt the class in negative ways and hijack the class.

    We are in the business of teaching the steps to find the answers to multiplication. You do not need "pliable" students to do that, you need a quiet room where students are paying attention. It's a basic need.

    I taught in NYC's Hell's Kitchen during the 1970s. At the end of my career, I taught down on the "D." You can go to my "marjorie-digest" and see photos of the schools if you scroll down. One school literally was on the other side of the tracks and I can recall on a few mornings walking over the dead bodies on those tracks to get to the school. I was the teacher all parents wanted because I had the reputation of being able to handle a class of sometimes 42 6th grade students.

    I had a job to do and I did that job. And I did it without beginning each lesson with a song and dance.

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  20. One more thing. Lauren, you write: "We made it work without drugs until about twenty-five years ago so there is little reason to think that drug-free kids will cause the collapse of the classroom."

    THAT is nailing the issue right there. Twenty-five years ago a different learning model was in place. Students sat in rows and teachers were allowed to do "teacher directed lessons" at the chalkboard in classrooms that were so quiet you could hear a pin drop. There were no options other than to sit quietly and pay attention in class.

    Now, the teacher is the "facilitator" and the learning model encourages cooperative learning in discussions. So the style in place encourages all this behavior and leaves room for this behavior. It was rare for teachers to observe this kind of behavior before in a more structured classroom setting. Go back to the old way of teaching and I guarantee you will see less students diagnosed with ADHD.

    I blame the learning model in place now for this situation.

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  21. OMG, I am sorry i watched that video because now I am angry and I have a headache. I hear a lot of theoretical verbosity from a man who never walked the real walk. He talks a good talk.

    I was an old fashioned "strict" teacher. And I celebrated creativity and loved imaginative students. Imagine that.

    Today, I celebrate my own creativity and imagination in a cartoon blog. Go to marjorie-cartoons to view my work. The link is in my profile.

    The solution is to go back to basics. Within a structured setting where expectations are defined... the schools and behavior will improve. How can students who were diagnosed with ADHD function in these "strict" settings? I am here to tell you that I accepted the most disruptive students in to my room, and as soon as they sat down in my quiet room, they were able to function in totally different ways.

    Now it all comes flooding back to me. I accepted a student named Christine (in about 1975) to my class after she had great problems in other classes. She actually tried to push her teacher down a flight of stairs and would provoke other kids to fight with her all day. She loved my class. She loved the rules and the structure. And I yelled at her to "stop" when she acted out. Today, yelling is considered corporal punishment.

    And that summer of 1976, I bumped into her on 9th Avenue and she was so happy and said to me: "Miss Levine, my social worker told me you were the best thing ever for me."

    She needed no medication; she needed a strong dose of Miss Levine. I was THE CURE. (I actually told the disruptive students that, and I think now sometimes the laughs within the structure that I brought in to the room helped as well)...

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  22. Woo-hoo! I'm controversial!

    Srsly, Marjorie, I'm not arguing against decorum in the classroom. I'm arguing against making medication the first choice to achieve it. At the elementary level, 2-3 kids in the school might be good candidates for a script, not 5-6 per class.

    If five year old boys who don't like to sit still are too much for someone to deal with, elementary education may not be the best choice of career. I certainly couldn't do it. I can't perform brain surgery, either, but that doesn't mean that if I require it I don't expect the best in effort and decision making from my surgeon.

    Teaching is hard. I know because I was a teacher for a year. I'm not good at it. (Read: I sucked.)

    I was in pharmaceutical sales for a lot longer, though. I was good at that. I can tell you with certainty that these drugs are grossly and deliberately overwritten. I heard multiple times the justification, "Well, they're going to write a script anyway. Might as well be my drug." Same applies to antibiotics. The entire focus is on growing market share and to that end Big Pharma spends millions of dollars figuring out how to do that. We knew everything about the demographic most likely to rely on a script, the doctors most likely to write them, and the reasoning that goes into the decision to use one. Pressure from educators is high on the list. Make a parent afraid that their child will be hampered academically if they don't take something and they are much more willing to go that route.

    You made my point beautifully:

    She needed no medication; she needed a strong dose of Miss Levine. I was THE CURE. Exactly.

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  23. Lauren:
    I am against medication as well. And I am certain you hate hate hate a teacher who "yells." Having said that, how do you expect a teacher to do her job effectively and handle students who do not like to "sit still" and whose behavior severely limits the teacher's ability to do her job? In many instances this behavior creates chaos in the classroom.

    Meds are not recommended for children who simply cannot "sit still." They are recommended for children who have exhibited a great pattern of severely disruptive behavior for which there is a great deal of documentation. They are recommended for students when a teacher has a list of many many things the student has done during one school day that seriously disrupted the class and which she had difficulty handling AND which took an unusual amount of time away from the rest of the class and instructional time.

    I once recommended a student for another classroom setting. Before the team in the school would even consider the change and the testing involved, I had to present pages and pages of documentation. My records were impeccable and in place. "The student did this, and I did this." The administration wanted to know what individual behavior plan I had in place to try to address the concerns at the first level, my room. I had to provide enrichment activities for the student. He loved gym and sports. I arranged to have him join another class for extra gym. He loved sports books. We went together to the school library to select special books. I had to involve the parent etc. Well, it did not work. He did not go on "meds" because it was the 70s, but he was eventually placed in another class in another school a few blocks away (the parent had to give consent).

    The school must be able to show strong and copious documentation before they go ahead and recommend meds. Meds are the last level.

    You say "exactly," but you would not have liked my traditional style of managing a class. Of that I am also certain. You would have hated me more than meds. "Don't yell" would have been your issue with me. I had a job to do and teachers do not have magical powers or the time to spend during the school day coaxing students out who are under desks while perhaps other 31 children also need attention because they are standing on desks.

    You are not controversial, Lauren. I have written about these topics and my opinions have been published in a NYC newspaper. "Back to basics," after I retired, was a topic Andrew Wolf wrote a lot about. I got involved.

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  24. Ah, Marjorie, how little ye know me. I'm not anti-yelling. I'm not even anti-spanking. In fact, in one of the conferences we had this year I recommended that his teacher ratchet up the strict. The little tyrant was banking on "second chances."

    It sounds like you've had bad experiences with non-supportive parents and are confusing me with that.

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  25. Ah, I neglected to mention that his teacher didn't want to hurt his self-esteem by being too demanding. The kid thinks he's the fastest, smartest, bestest everything. His self-esteem is quite healthy.

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  26. Well then Lauren... You just may have loved me. I can say this: My class had old-fashioned structure you may actually have loved.

    One strong and stern "Stop chasing and get back to your seats" from me worked wonders. But, today did you know that yelling is corporal punishment and child abuse? I am not talking about the content of the yelling... just loud yelling.

    My experiences at the end of my career were with administrators who would no longer allow me to do "teacher-directed" lessons or to seat the students in rows. So, in 2002 at 55... I retired.

    OK... good luck. I wish you the best.

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  27. Ack. Administration. And that, mon ami, is its own whole BLOG.

    My personal favorite experience was a class that went "on strike" and refused to take an exam. I gave them all 10% (The school would not allow a 0%) and the school told me I had to readminister the test.

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  28. Hi Laurel, Wow. What a tough row to hoe. But from what I've seen, you're up to the task. I am quite concerned with how medicated our society is as a whole. And so many 'cases' ADD/ADHD is disturbing. I think if I had been born later, my mom would have had me medicated big time. She's all about a pill to fix any conceivable ill and doesn't understand why I'm not. We joke about her Elvis pill case. It's not really funny though.

    I guess I could go on about what's wrong with our education system, but what it boils down to is this. I believe whatever school my kids are in will be a better school because a) my kids are there and b) my husband and I are there, too, as parents volunteering in whatever capacity we can. I know my kids' teachers, and I'm there often enough that not only do they know me, but all the kids in the classroom know me.

    Thank the Lord I work part time so I can be at the school that often.

    And that's funny about your sister. Good for her for finding her niche. Must have had some good parents supporting her. Way to go, family!!!

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  29. Hey, Jennifer!

    Amy would have been on meds, too. Mom feels totally different about that now than she would have then but when we were little she fully embraced better living through pharmaceuticals.

    That's a great attitude about how your family impacts your school. I hadn't put my own thoughts in quite such a concrete way but that's my goal. I'm at the school a lot in part to take some of the pressure off the little man's teacher. I can keep him in line. But obviously I feel pretty strongly about any child being medicated without trying every other option first. Some of them have moms who can't be at school, they HAVE to be at work. I hope that in reducing the overall workload for the teacher I might reduce the chances that a kid who needs another year or two to settle down will get it.

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