Label Nation

10 Dec

As a nation we are so into labels, whether it be on our jeans, cars, or coffee cups. As of late we seem to be obsessed with the idea of labeling our children. While some children are “gifted” or “high achieving” others may be “remedial” or “special needs”; we spend so much time concerned about the labels or naming of each of these and no enough time concern about what exactly it is we are giving a name to.  One of my favorite quotes from none other than Albert Einstein goes like this: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Lets come back to that. What I really want to focus on in this blog is what I believe to not only be a label nation but a nation that feels the need to diagnose and medicate so many of our children. Let me start by saying that this is not referring at all to those who have a clear need for it but rather a cry to psychiatrists to slow down.  Lets look at the statistics: 10.4 million children in 2010 had been diagnosed with ADHD a 66% rise since the year 2000. Why is this? There is no universal test for ADD or ADHD, sadly what it comes down to is that the diagnosis meets the needs of the parents and not always the needs of the child. For those children that do need the medication prescribed for someone with ADD or ADHD it is helpful in focusing and getting work done that needs to get done however, there are some serious side effects for children who do not need these medications. So take a tip from Einstein, a child who would have been diagnosed with a myriad of things in today’s world, lets take a breather from feeling like we need to label everything and let children be children. 

– Sara 

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