Saturday 28th March 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Keep An Open Mind On ADHD

March 2, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

In the January 23 edition of this column, we featured a discussion of the increased tendency to label students with the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We quoted from a column by National Review editor Rich Lowry, who argued that there has been an over-diagnosis of ADHD “concocted to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels,” that has become “a national disaster of dangerous proportions.” Lowry calls it a situation that “has run wildly out of control on the promise of an easy pharmaceutical fix to the natural rambunctiousness of childhood.” Lowry placed much of the blame on pharmaceutical companies seeking to protect a “$9 billion-a-year business with alluring ads suggesting . . . children will become little angels through the wonders of risk-free stimulants.”
Dr. T.W.V., a now-retired Minnesota physician, writes to suggest we go slow on coming to Lowry’s conclusion. He points out that his generation of physicians “was clumsy in handling schizophrenia and manic depression (bipolar disorder). These conditions apparently are rooted in some organic changes and hopefully some specific treatment is possible. We must keep our minds open to the possibility that ADHD may be in the same category.”
Not that T.W.V. dismisses Lowry’s point of view. This is “a tough one,” he writes. “In 34 years in practice I made a diagnosis once of what we now call ADHD — we called it ‘hyperactivity syndrome.’ My partners may have had one or two diagnoses along the same line. I quit practice in 1989.
“I’m not sure how IQ or socioeconomic status affects the current epidemic of over-diagnosis. The question is how to determine a valid diagnosis. But, no question: The current number of students labeled ADHD suggests over-diagnosis. It must be noted that approximately one-third of students are listed as special education students. I suspect this has more to do with guaranteeing employment for teachers than sound medical diagnoses. This could be the ‘farm club’ for ADHD.”
T.W.V. continues, “It is difficult to avoid a strong cultural influence as the cause of the rise in students with ADHD. Health care is so fragmented that physicians rarely have a complete picture. I was convinced during my years in occupational medicine that ‘low back pain’ was the ADHD of our time, over-diagnosed and over-medicated. The pattern was to give patients a pill (Oxycontin) to get them out of the office, or to refer them to an orthopedist, neurologist, or chiropractor in waiting.”
T.W.V. notes that there “are some enhanced MRI studies that suggest a small percentage of ADHD patients may show some frontal lobe changes. I am not a fan of National Geographic, but in their last issue (February 14) they featured an article titled ‘The New Science of the Brain.’ It highlights the complexity of the brain. Of course, the editors of National Geographic see the complexity as a consequence of evolution. I suspect they have not read Stephen C. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell, which advances the evidence for intelligent design theory. (George Gilder summarizes Meyer’s work as follows: ‘Meyer demolishes the materialist superstition at the core of evolutionary biology by exposing its Achilles’ heel: its utter blindness to origins of information. With recognition that cells function as fast as supercomputers and as fruitfully as so many factories, the case for the mindless cosmos collapses. His refutation of Richard Dawkins will have all the dogs barking and the angels singing.’)”
On another topic: The web site Education News on January 6 (EducationNews.org) offered a new way to attack the tenure system for teachers. Until now, it has been mainly parents’ and taxpayers’ groups leading the charge. The new approach? Students are being put in the lead. Education News reports that “nine public school students are in court this week [early February] challenging California’s tenure system, filing a suit that charges their right to a quality education has been violated by the tenure system, which protects bad teachers and permits them to continue teaching.”
It seems so obvious a thesis: You have to ask why someone didn’t think of this argument before.
“Children have the right to access good education and an effective teacher regardless of their circumstances,” said David F. Welch, the telecommunications entrepreneur who spent millions of his own dollars to create Students Matter, the organization behind the lawsuit. According to Education News, “The group describes itself as a national nonprofit dedicated to sponsoring litigation of this type, and the outcome in California will provide the first indication of whether it can succeed.”
The tenure rules in California are similar to those in the rest of the country. They permit teachers, Education News continues, “to receive tenure, or permanent employment status, after only 18 months on the job, and a seniority system that states the last teacher hired, must be the first fired if layoffs occur.
“Teachers unions say the rules are necessary to protect teachers and to make sure they are not fired unfairly. They also say that without these rules it would be harder to attract new teachers. ‘Tenure is an amenity, just like salary and vacation, that allows districts to recruit and retain teachers despite harder working conditions, pay that hasn’t kept pace, and larger class sizes,’ James M. Finberg, a lawyer for the California teachers unions, said this week in his opening statement in court.”
This California case will be seen as a test case that will affect tenure rules around the country. Education News notes that tenure has already been eliminated in three states and in Washington, D.C. “The case in California is the first legal challenge claiming that students are affected by the employment laws. It also uses a civil rights argument stating that poor and minority students are denied equal access to an education due to ‘grossly ineffective’ teachers.”
The New York Times is following the case with interest. Jennifer Medina, a reporter for the Times, reports that “witnesses are expected to explain many of their basic assumptions about how to create quality schools. The first witness for the plaintiffs was John Deasy, superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, who largely opposes the tenure rules and the ‘last in, first out’ seniority system currently in place. He told the court that these rules make it hard not to place ineffective teachers at schools with high poverty rates.”
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, responded with the overkill that is unfortunately typical of the teachers unions. She said the California case is “yet another example of not rolling up your sleeves and dealing with a problem, but instead finding a scapegoat. They are not suing about segregation or funding or property tax systems — all the things you really need to get kids a level playing field. They want to strip teachers of any rights to a voice.”
It makes one wonder how she thinks that making changes in segregation, funding, and the property tax system will help schools weed out ineffective and incompetent teachers with tenure.

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford CT 06492.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Cardinal Burke says confusion spreading among Catholics ‘in an alarming way’

LifeSiteNews: Since the extraordinary synod on the family, we have entered a period of uncertainty and confusion over several “hot-button” issues: communion for divorced and “remarried” couples, a change of attitude towards homosexual unions and an apparent relaxing of attitudes…Continue Reading

Bishop backs Catholic school’s removal of teacher over pro-marriage Facebook comments: cites Pope Francis

SOMERVILLE, NJ, March 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic school has decided not to rehire a theology teacher who rejected the argument in favor of gay “marriage” on her private Facebook page, her family has announced. The controversy began last…Continue Reading

Creepy Catholicism.

Martin O’Malley is the latest Catholic politician to come out as a duplicitous “Catholic.” Deacon Kandra posts an excerpt here from an interview in which O’Malley displays some amazingly twisted thinking to support homosexual marriage–even though he’s a Catholic. As far…Continue Reading

Polish Bishops’ Conference rejects Holy Communion for divorced and “remarried”

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has issued a communiqué firmly rejecting the proposals that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be admitted to Holy Communion without amendment of life. The communiqué, published on 12th March, includes the following statement: “In view of the…Continue Reading

Celtic Catholic priest and friends pile on archbishop

On Monday March 16, KALW radio’s City Visions will host a program “Can Bay Area Catholics and Archbishop Cordileone find Common Ground?” Scheduled guests are the Reverend Vincent Pizzuto; Most Holy Redeemer parishioner and teachers’ union representative Ted DeSaulnier; and…Continue Reading

The Traditional Case for Capital Punishment

A group of Catholic publishers recently issued a joint statement urging an end to capital punishment. I have great respect for all of them – I have written for all of them at one point or another. I disagree with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: Pope Is Not Above the Word of God and the Catholic Faith

Edit: Rorate tends to understate things.  They want a sober response.  We’d like to offer this translation of Giuseppe Nardi’s appreciation of their take on Cardinal Müller’s recent letter appearing in the Osservatore Romano and additional commentary from other important Italian…Continue Reading

Is the Synod Secretariat Stacking the Deck Again?

The Vatican today announced that the vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family will be a consulter to the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Professor José Granados‘ appointment,…Continue Reading

Gay activist: Of course our goal is to ‘indoctrinate children into LGBTQ agenda’

TORONTO, March 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A homosexual activist has candidly admitted that gay-themed materials and policies pushed in grade schools across North America are for the sake of “indoctrinating” children into an unquestioning acceptance of homosexuality. “I am here…Continue Reading

Pope . . . giving holy Communion to remarried divorcees “won’t solve anything”

On the second anniversary of his pontificate, the Holy Father gave a lengthy interview to a Mexican television journalist. – CNA/Bohumil Petrik VATICAN CITY — In a new, wide-ranging interview published Friday on the second anniversary of his election, Pope…Continue Reading

Cardinal rebukes head of German bishops: We can’t ignore Christ’s teaching on marriage

German Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, who headed the Papal Council Cor Unum until 2010 and was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, has publicly opposed the words and direction of the German Bishops’ Conference. In a Letter to the…Continue Reading

Catholic dissenters’ convention keynoter: A pornographic sex columnist?

Seattle, Wash., Mar 12, 2015 / 02:31 am (CNA).- Dan Savage coordinates an annual pornography festival. He has made obscene tirades about Pope Benedict XVI, denigrated the practice of monogamy, insulted high school students and publicly harassed politicians he opposes.…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Mass at Santa Marta- Ode to joy

2015-03-26 L’Osservatore Romano Joy and hope are Christian traits. It is sad to find a believer who knows no joy, fearful in his attachment to cold doctrine. This was the very reason for Francis’ ode to joy during Mass at Santa Marta on Thursday, 26 March. At the beginning of Mass, the Pope acknowledged the Carmelite “Hour of Prayer for Peace”. “Dear brothers and sisters”, he said, “the day after tomorrow, 28 March, will be…Continue Reading

The exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin

pope741

(Vatican Radio/VIS) A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office on Wednesday to present the upcoming exhibition of the Holy Shroud of Turin (Turin, 19 April – 24 June 2015), on the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of St. John Bosco, which will be specially dedicated to the young and to those who suffer. The Pope will also make a pilgrimage to Turin from 21 to 22 June. The…Continue Reading

Pope calls for renewed prayers for Synod on the Family

(Vatican Radio) At a rain-soaked General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis called for renewed prayers for the upcoming Synod of Bishops in the Family. After meeting briefly with a group of sick people gathered in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square. The Pope began his reflection by noting that March 25th, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, marks a special stage in the journey of catechesis on the family, a…Continue Reading

Pope: “Where There Is No Mercy There Is No Justice”

pope740

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday warned against righteous hypocrisy and urged Christians to be merciful. During his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope reflected on the Gospel readings of the day and on another Gospel passage pointing out that “where there is no mercy there is no justice”. Referring to three women in the Bible, Pope Francis said they represent three allegorical figures of the Church. The women he…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . A Spiritually Sound Approach To Depression

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The Catholic Guide to Depression, by Aaron Kheriaty, MD, with Fr. John Cihak (Sophia Institute Press, 228 pages). Visit www.sophiainstitute.com or call 1-800-888-9344 for more information or for ordering. + + + This book has a lengthy introduction, and is then divided into two parts. The first is entitled “Understanding Depression,”…Continue Reading

What If Hillary Doesn’t Care?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if Hillary Clinton’s emails were hacked by foreign agents when she was the secretary of state? What if persons claiming to have done so are boasting about their alleged feats on Internet websites and in chat rooms traditionally associated with illegal or undercover activities? What if this is the sore…Continue Reading

In Defense Of Economic Freedom

By JOHN YOUNG I believe in complete economic freedom. An extreme position, it will be said, and one not only against Catholic social teaching, but also against common sense. It implies, surely, that I have a heartless disregard for the vulnerable, or at least a naive trust in capitalism — the unrestrained capitalism that Pope…Continue Reading

Some Thoughts About Catholic Care Homes . . . The Old, Weak, And Suffering Are In The Forefront Of Our Spiritual Battle

By PHILIP TROWER (Editor’s Note: Philip Trower, The Wanderer’s longtime correspondent from the United Kingdom, recently moved into a care home. The home’s superior, Sr. Hannah, asked him to write about why he chose to move into Nazareth House. Below is his letter to her.) + + + Dear Sr. Hannah, As I understand it,…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “What Does The Church Teach About Sterilization?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + Some people refer to sexual sterilization as “Catholic birth control.” This erroneous term, and the misguided assertions of a number of well-known dissenters, has led to significant confusion regarding the Catholic Church’s…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Message From Cardinal Burke

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: As readers of this column know, we like to quote Fr. George Rutler from time to time because his weekly bulletin columns at the Church of St. Michael in New York City are sources of both information and inspiration. After starting his March 22 column by noting that history is “replete with the failures of famous figures,” such…Continue Reading

We Have Been Raised With Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR B) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Peter and John entering the Lord’s grave after they had been informed by St. Mary Magdalen that Jesus had been taken away. We are told that when the Beloved Disciple saw the burial cloths there and…Continue Reading

Nothing To Toast Between China And The Vatican

By FR. BERNARDO CERVELLERA (Editor’s Note: Fr. Bernardo Cervellera is a member of PIME [Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere], a society of apostolic life. He is the editor-in-chief of AsiaNews, a news service of PIME. (In the essay below, Fr. Cervellera noted China’s willingness, at least in words, “to enter into dialogue with the Vatican,” but decried its refusal “to compromise…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Why My Parish Is Facing “East” Together This Lent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The futile closed circle of therapeutic naval-gazing hangs on like an overused joke in a few places still, one of them being the Church. The priest and people facing each other during the entire liturgy is a vestige of the illegitimate seizure and subjection of 2,000-year-old liturgical development by primitivist vandals in the post-Vatican period.…Continue Reading

Is Mary The Mother Of God . . . Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics: On the day of the Annunciation and the Incarnation, the Archangel St. Gabriel, “who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19), inspired by the Holy Spirit, said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Divine Mercy Chaplet had never been one of my favorite devotions until my aunt died. As she lay in the hospital during her final hours, I sat in the room, visiting with the endless stream of visitors who stopped in to see their fellow volunteer. By six o’clock, the room was quiet. I decided to read…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN In our time, it is common to hear parents bemoan the fact that their child is impulsive, or strong-willed, or irresponsible. Even the Holy Family suffered when our Lord, at the age of twelve, stayed behind in the Temple. How Mary and Joseph must have agonized over the missing Child Jesus. How do you tell God you…Continue Reading