OMG, They’re Pathologizing Childhood! Cue The Horror!

Nope. Can I just nope all over this statement? I’m so done with this statement. I’ve seen so much of this statement lately on the internet in general as of late.

The different versions of these myths are as follows:

  • “People are medicating ordinary kids who don’t need it. Labels. Labels Labels LAAABELS. Too many. Labels…. Labels!”
  • “If only teachers would teach and parents would parent, then this wouldn’t happen.”
  • ‘Kids just need discipline. Blah blah blah my butt was whipped, give them the belt, kids now-a-days are so entitled and out of line.’
  • If schools brought back recess and had more engaging schooling (hands-on kinesthetic/kinetic learning instead of busywork) then suddenly adhd would cease to exist.
  • “Kids just need more time to mature and are presenting ‘younger than their age’ and are ‘immature’ but will ‘catch up’.”
  • “ADHD is over-diagnosed!”

There are a lot of problems being presented here. The first one, assumes that when people are stripped of their labels that they will cease to realize that they are different than their peers. The folly in this, is that kids without a diagnosis, will assume that they are broken neurotypicals instead of neurodivergent, which is exactly what I thought growing up (I don’t recommend that route, as it’s caused me profound problems, as well as problems for many people I know). They grow up with people gaslighting their entire existence, by being told that they aren’t experiencing the world differently, when they really are, just that people are refusing to acknowledge that fact. In lieu of diagnostic labels, a kid will more than likely do what my generation and earlier did before diagnosis, and pick out substitute labels for themselves… only problem is, that those labels are ableist slurs and they internalize that ableism. Let’s be frank… a kid will benefit to know what their own neurology is, to accommodate their deficits, and to play on their strengths.

The second point, I think teachers and parents have enough on their plates already, and that still doesn’t mean that kids aren’t dealing with adhd. It just is a setup to blame parents and teachers for a kid’s behavior.

Thirdly, I actually was someone who was spanked at home, sometimes with a belt. I’m here to report back, at 32 years old that spanking only gave me one hell of a complex, where I blamed myself, pretty much got swallowed alive by anxiety trying to “behave”, and that, above all, I am still autistic and adhd. A lot of the things I was spanked for included being too hyperactive to sleep and anxious rambling. Even if you think kids that need spanking are NT, can you really risk the possibility that they might not be NT and are possibly being disciplined for something they can’t help? Even if it’s a kid in public acting out, you’re only seeing that kid for 15-30 minutes at a time tops, not 24 hours, so that’s not really an assessment of an assumption a stranger can make that “this kid just needs discipline so whip his butt.”

If schools brought back recess and had more kinesthetic learning? I agree that school needs both of those things because a lot of kids don’t learn the same way. I also hated busywork because my schooling was full of that un-stimulating banal pointless drivel. The issue with that, is that, even if you accommodate a classroom to adapt more towards a teaching style that works for adhd kids, their adhd still exists. It’s just more accommodated for. But it still exists.

The “kids just need time to mature” was what they said about one of my close relatives. The problem with that is… even though I was so hyperactive (as a combined subtype) that I was diagnosed at age 10, this relative (who presents mostly inattentive) evaded diagnosis… until age 30. If she was diagnosed sooner, she couldn’t gotten so much more support than she did.

And that cesspool that “ADHD is so over diagnosed?” The bad thing about that myth is that it actively leads to erasure of populations of people who are chronically under-diagnosed… typically people like, females, adults, POC, basically anyone who isn’t a hyperactive white young male child. The latter just consists of the ones who have access to a diagnosis.



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