Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ritalin Nation Book Report

The book I chose to do my report on was Ritalin Nation, by Richard DeGrandpre. The reason I chose this book was because I have two young children and I am very curious about the diagnosing and treatment of the popular ADHD. After reading this book I realized that it was more about the creation of what he calls a "rapid fire culture". DeGrandpre starts the book off explaining what he means by " rapid fire culture", its about us growing as a society and the demands for more and better increasing, which therefore restricts our down time. He explains how are advancements in technology are in most cases unnecessary and tend to be changed quickly. DeGrandpre uses the example of the television, when it first came out people were happy with what they had, they didn't miss the color or the remote control, now we couldn't image a t.v. without a remote it would be to much of inconvenience and it would slow us down. That is the major point of DeGrandpre's argument that as a society we are constantly creating new ways to make things go faster, even if they were fine before.
Now what we are seeing is the product of this fast paced life. Children are being entertained all the time, wether it be video games, computer activities, t.v., or the music playing in the background. The constant stimulation of just our surroundings is overwhelming and people are surprised that when their kid is bored that they act out. Its our own way of life that has created ADHD we live to multitask and when something gets boring get rid of it and do one of the million other options. DeGrandpre doesn't really argue the disorder but more the treatment. As he continuously states throughout the book it is the lack of rest and relaxation that create this disorder. So it's not a drug that might suppress some of the symptoms that is the solution instead it is slowing down. DeGrandpre sates that it is important to, "Redefine the bottom line. Spend less time at work; parent more and parent better. Learn more effective life skills and pass them on to your children. Do these things by being less worn out, stressed out, and distracted by the perceivednecessity of material wealth."
I enjoyed this book and found most of it to be very interesting, even though it was a basic and simple ending solution. I think that the beginning chapter was my favorite, I liked how he changed my thought on the growth of our society. Before we thought we would be developing new technology to create more time of leisure, now its new innovations are being created t give us more time to do more things at a faster pace. He really stresses that we are constantly moving and doing, for example he asks if you are still when brushing your teeth or are you brushing your teeth and moving around at the same time? That simple question really hit home to me, I am never standing still when brushing my teeth, I am either putting something away under the sink or walking into my room to get something ready. Then I thought about it a little more, when my daughter is brushing her teeth I am getting her shoes on, brushing her hair, or walking her down the stairs to hurry her up. It is these actions that are are teaching her to constantly be on the go. Though there is no evidence to support his way of treatment, I will be slowing things down a little and making sure there is some time of quietness for my children so that they can learn to enjoy boredom.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting post and approach to ADHD. I wonder how Degrandpres position on ADHD is being recieved by his peers and the medical community? It would be interesting to see an experiment done if possible to test Degrandpres theory. I would be interested in the findings of such an experiment.