Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ritalin-A School boy's Perspective

Ritalin--The New Solution To All Your Problems
By Jack Lepiarz
May 2, 2005
It seems that more and more, Ritalin is becoming the solution to every child's problems. Bad grades, poor behavior, whatever. Ritalin is being handed out as if it's candy. People embrace it like the Second Coming of Christ, but what exactly does Ritalin do? And is it really needed?
For starters, I'm not going to say that Ritalin doesn't work. In many cases it helps young children focus in classes that have no point anyway, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Suddenly they're able to succeed in math, history, whatever it may be. However, the side-effects of Ritalin, such as insomnia and depression, are most certainly things that ten-year-olds should not have to deal with. Why, why, why are you giving this to your children? Little kids don't need to deal with insomnia or depression or any of the other side-effects of Ritalin.
Ten-year-olds never concentrated on school. I remember being ten years old and hating school. No offense to my fifth grade teacher, who was a wonderful instructor, but at that age, school was the bane of my existence. No child at that age, or any other age for that matter, really enjoys school. Even in high school they'd rather be at home sleeping.
I myself am living proof of the uselessness of Ritalin. Early in my school career, arond first or second grade, several doctors and teachers advised that I be put on the drug. They cited that I was in detention nearly every, that I acted up in class, and that my grades were horrible. Thankfully, my parents refused. Now, let's compare that with the current Jack Lepiarz: I haven't been in detention in over five years, I'm consistently on the honor roll (high honor roll if I actually make an effort in my classes), and I rarely act up in class. I do not have Attention-Defecit-Disorder. The doctors and teachers my parents consulted were merely out of touch with what actually goes through a six-year-old's head.
If my example doesn't work for you, let's look at a slightly more historic figure assumed to be an idiot--Thomas Edison. Yes, the famous inventor was considered by most of his teachers to be a stupid idiot that couldn't focus. Why? Because he asked questions.
The children that allegedly have ADD are nothing more than normal first and second graders that hate math or history, or whatever. It's normal! We don't need to subject children to depression and insomnia just to make them succeed in first grade math. Giving them pills now will only make them think that they really need to take pills to be happy, successful adults.
Enter Prozac, Zoloft, Levitra, Viagra, Lipitor, and, of course, Ritalin.
Allowing children to focus on their own power and make an effort will build much more character (wow, I sound like someone's father) than giving them pills to take away their pain. Believe it or not, there was a time when people succeeded without a pill for every little problem.
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About the author: Jack Lepiarz is a student at Madison High School in Madison, New Jersey.
Email: Jackwuzhere42@aol.com

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