The ADHD Personality: A Normal and Valuable Human Variation

Great article…

The ADHD Personality: A Normal and Valuable Human Variation
For good evolutionary reasons, some people are highly impulsive
by Peter Gray on Aug 19, 2010 in Freedom to Learn


“The use of stimulants to improve school performance is somewhat analogous to the use of steroids to improve athletic performance. In both cases the highly competitive environment promotes use of the drugs. Teachers, parents, and students themselves see that the drugs improve performance on standardized tests, and all regard that as a good thing. In our school-obsessed society, performance on such tests has become, more or less, the measure of a person’s worth, so anything that improves such performance is worth the discomfort it may produce. Now, as preschools are becoming more and more like elementary schools, with assignments and tests, we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of preschool children–in the age range of 2 to 4–being given the drugs. Nobody knows what long-term effects the drugs may be having on those little children’s developing brains.”

“Given the unknowns and the suggested dangers that come from the animal research, I think we should err on the side of caution in treating ADHD with stimulant drugs. Our first line of attack should be to find alternative means of schooling, so that people can learn in their own chosen ways and are not judged by performance on standardized tests. Then, drug treatment should be reserved only for those few individuals who are so impulsive that they cannot function well or live happily in any of the niches available in our society.”

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