Last week’s Name Withheld letter to the editor titled “It’s Time to Sound the Alarm” (October 6, 2016) was, frankly, ignorant and hurtful. How dare this author dismiss the efforts of parents to help their children function more effectively? How dare this author insinuate that parents do not know what is best for their children? Legitimate therapies for ADHD and related conditions most definitely include medically indicated prescription drugs. The issue of over-prescription of medication affects other medical specialties as well, not only psychiatry.
The author contributes to the stigmatization of mental health issues that still plagues our society, and our community in particular. Would the author not go to a pulmonary specialist for a lung disease? Would the author take a statin drug to lower cholesterol? Of course he or she would. The claim that psychopharmacological treatment is inappropriate for conditions such as ADHD blithely dismisses the efforts of many parents to position their children for academic and social success, often at great financial cost (in addition to already crippling yeshiva day school tuition).
Indeed, we all want to “let our kids be kids.” This includes developing friendships, and learning social cues and proper situational behavior. Untreated ADHD can render these basic goals unattainable. I doubt the author, as a responsible parent, wishes that for anyone’s children.
Instead of looking for conspiracies where there are none, the writer of this letter should look inward and think about the pain his letter caused. He or she should think about that during the Yom Kippur davening.