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Opinion
Special Education Opinion

Why So Many Boys With ADHD?

By Richard Whitmire — July 08, 2010 1 min read

Failure to adapt to an abnormal environment is why one in eight boys ends up with the diagnosis, argues psychology professor Peter Gray in Psychology Today.

How convenient that we have this official way of diagnosing kids who don't sit still in their seats, often fail to pay attention to the teacher, don't regularly do the assignments given to them, often speak out of turn, and blurt out answers before the questions are finished. They used to be called "naughty"--sometimes with a frown, sometimes with a smile of recognition that "kids will be kids" or "boys will be boys"--but now we know that they are, for biological reasons, mentally disordered. And, wonder-of-wonders, we even have an effective treatment. We can give them a powerful drug--a preparation of methylphenidate or amphetamine, both of which have effects on the brain similar to those of cocaine (but without the euphoria) and are, for good reasons, illegal to take unless you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder and given a prescription. The drug works. The children become more tractable and classroom management becomes easier.

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