So I was reading this story and I think it’s rather easy to see what’s going on. Quite simply doctors have made the umbrella or the catch all classifications far far too wide. It seems like today you run into more and more kids who have to be on medication for ADD, or claim that their social interactions are bad because of autism or aspergers. While there are some people who truly do suffer, it seems like there are plenty who just need a push in the right direction.
For example, when I was in Public School they continually tried to force my mom to put me on medication. It was mostly because I was a handful to deal with. For that matter I was a handful to deal with my whole time in school, so that isn’t too surprising. It actually got to the point that during 3rd grade they wanted to switch me over to Special Ed. My mom had gotten tired of dealing with them and made the decision to switch me over to the Catholic School. Of course while I was still there I took a literacy test and scored on a nearly adult level in 3rd grade. Since it actually made the school look good, they ended up begging my mom to keep me in the school. She laughed.
One girl I used to date, her brother supposedly had really, really bad ADD. But amazingly the kid could sit down and play video games for every waking second he was out of school. But the second you’d try to tear him away from playing a game to do some homework, he would freak. If he was just doing whatever he wanted, he would normally be fine. But the second you tried to force him to do something he would freak out. By saying he was doing what he wanted, it was normally just playing video games.
Another girl I knew took the cake though. She was the perfect example of Munchhausen syndrome by proxy. You see she had a daughter with a maniac from West Virginia while she was in college. So for the first year of the girls life she was basically locked in a playpen. When she finally moved back home, she almost immediately got the kid diagnosed with autism. All of the suddenly she had the huge autism awareness bow on her car, she wore the autism awareness bracelet everywhere. Whenever the kid was out of control it was always because of autism and not bad parenting.
Of course what she more then likely failed to ever tell any doctor is how the kid basically had no development at all for at least the first year of her life. Meanwhile whenever I dealt with the kid she was fine, and nothing that she did seemed so far out of the realm of possibility for a kid that was 4-5 years old by then. For example, what kid growing up didn’t get in trouble for biting (or supposedly biting) another kid? It’s a bit worse if your 12 as compared to 5 when it happened.
I realize that these are just my experiences, and some kids really do suffer. But even the experts are willing to admit that autism in all it’s different forms have been over-diagnosed because it’s easier. It’s a lot tougher to help a kid out when he’s suffering from anxiety, poor development, or any of a number of issues that might truly be the root cause of the problem. Especially with schools pushing for any and all trouble makers to be immediately diagnosed with ADD and put on Ritalin.
It’s almost as if someone read “Brave New World” and decided that it was a good guide on how to cure most of the problems in a school. Drugging kids who might not even be suffering from what you’ve diagnosed them with is one of the things that worries me most in this society. It’s always a run to the quick fix and the drugs, instead of actually trying to fix things. I really hope as mentioned at the end of the story that they start tightening up and changing some of the diagnoses. Maybe then we’ll see a drop in the number of internet users claiming that they have Aspergers.