Jump to content

Gotta give BSA some credit

Recommended Posts

ADD, ADHD does exist, therein lies the problem. It does exist, but I have to say not the extent it is diagnosed by "the school system". Our troop has several ADD'ers, having the troop commitee chair be a Pediatrician will do that. We have some kids we can tell when its medication time because of behavior pattern.


Then again, the school system thrives on well behaved kids who sit still and dont move. Anyone outside that model must be ADD and medicated. The problem is, ADD kids are usually highly distractable when bored, but give them a topic they like, an activity they love and they can block out distractions (such as eating or toilet duties for hours). I have always wondered why its the kids fault for being distractable and never the teachers responsibility to present the material in an interesting way to the kids. My son had a teacher who I think is adult ADD, never stands still, he bounces all over the class room, keeps changing locations and speech volume and has all the kids transfixed, they never let him out of their sight because they dont know what he would do next. Funny how all the perceived ADD'ers could concentrate with him.


Sctmom, with all the good you see boy scouts doing for your son, please do not allow him to drop out just yet. There is so much more to do than he has done. You see the benefits, this is worth a huge effort


(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We all know that a real Scouting program provides life skills they probably couldn't get anywhere else at their age -- Sctmom, your son is a case in point.


All kids are different in their maturity rates and in environments where some thrive, others feel held back. I would assert that our Scouts, with their exposure to outdoor skills, leadership, teamwork, responsibility, etc., at a young age, are better able to handle freedom and personal responsibility than many of their chronological peers.


Last year, his last in elementary school, my son did not enjoy what I would characterize as a babysitter mentality on the part of the three teachers whose classes he rotated among...overly controlling, corrective to the point of nitpicking, and worst in my opinion, trying through classroom rules to define their values and how they apply them. For example, no talking in line between classes. When a classmate (who happened to also be a Scout in our Troop) unknowingly dropped a ruler on their way to math class, and had a certain chewing-out coming from the teacher if he didn't have it, my son told him in a stage whisper he dropped his ruler (help other people at all times, right?). Well, he got pulled out of line and written up. I just had to shake my head and give him a pass on that one (and others, too, during the year). He tolerated school last year and did fine, but was definitely not looking forward to this year.


Now, in 7th grade, he's across the street at the high school. Completely different atmosphere and environment. Treated as young adults, given authority and responsibility, not supervised like jail inmates (okay, I exaggerate). He's enjoying himself, looks forward to going to school, and is really tackling the books this year.


Sometimes a change of scenery is all that's needed. All situations aren't that simple of course, but I don't think it's necessarily a case of traditional school or home school. Nothing wrong with any responsible decision, my point is there's more than just a couple possible responsible decisions...



Link to post
Share on other sites

While real ADD&ADHD exist, the cases are much more rare than the instances in which kids are put on Ritalin are. One thing that most of the students involved in school shootings had in common was that they were all taking Ritalin. Causing migraines, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, etc, the medicine should be only by those few rare kids who have ADD. While many believe that only subjective monitoring by a teacher, parent or doctor can be used to diagnose these conditions, it is actually true that a CATSCAN will reveal abnormal brain patterns in an individual with this condition at least 65% of the time. With all of this said, how many of the doctors that diagnosed ADD in your children tried any type of behavior modification program before prescribing this medication? Diet modifications? How many of you have had your children's IQ tested?


Now for the school system---The whole idea is to appeal to the masses. Anything that can not be applied to the group as a whole is unpopular in today's public schools. Individual excellence is not held in esteem as it once was; instead it's bring the lowest kids to the middle and the highest kids to the middle. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND--a nice theory but the way to achieve it is to LOWER STANDARDS. All states have mandates requiring children with disabilities to be taught differently but very few have similiar mandates for gifted children. Gifted children's needs are as real and as important as any other's. Many times gifted children are perceived as "smart alecks" because they will see things differently and express themselves in a manner inconsistent with others of their age level.


SCTMOM it seems with the things you've shared about your son he very well may be gifted. Many gifted children will be extremely high in some areas and will not perform as well in others. His interest in all things mechanical and his engineering abilities may in fact indicate a very high math ability. His verbal or english skills not being as high could make him qualify as learning disabled--a condition not many people realize exists or understand at all (including veteran teachers) It is worth it to have their IQ's tested and then advocate for your child to get the best education possible.




Link to post
Share on other sites

I emailed the guy, Steven Ledingham, who wrote an article about ADD and ADHD in Scouting Magazine. We were having some problems with handling one scout who was a problem. The scout also had oppositional diviant disorder. He gave some great advice. Since all kids are different, I suggest that anyone who might need some help to contact him personnally, Ledingham@aol.com . He also is a scouter and has written at least one book. Hope this helps.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Oppositional Defiant Disorder

ODD is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by two different sets of problems. These are aggressiveness and a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others.


A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least six months during which four or more of the following are present:


1. Often loses temper

2. often argues with adults

3. often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules

4. often deliberately annoys people

5. often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

6. is often touchy or easily annoyed by others

7. is often angry and resentful

8. is often spiteful and vindictive



My son's friend has ODD and is also Obsessive/Compulsive at times. Most of his is related to environment --- dad left mom to marry a friend of the family, mom is still angry 5 years late and constantly talks bad about dad and stepmom, older siblings are allowed to punish (including hitting) young boy, family members are always looking for who to blame.


This kid was at my house one day and accidently spilled something on the kitchen floor. He immediately starts apologizing about "I messed up your floor" and was heading toward an excuse. I just calmly said "accidents happen, let's clean it up." If things don't go his way, he starts looking for whose "fault" it is. Of course it is never his fault. He also starts in with the "it's not fair" routine a lot.


It's funny to see my son roll his eyes when this boy starts with the "it's not fair" because my son knows I have no tolerance for that. I also don't look for blame when something is wrong, let's fix it and then figure out what to do different next time.


The boy's mother blames the teacher if grades are bad. The ex-husband if the kids have any behavior problems. The ex-husband for her money problems, even though she makes more than the ex and she is not living in poverty. If she decides she can't afford something for the kids she tells them that their dad should pay her back (not child support, just other expenses).


Sorry, I digress.


My son is ADHD, the medicine does make a world of difference. Yet I agree that many diagnosis are too quick these days, the same with other problems. I know have the school trying to tell me my son is Maniac-depressive. I have a niece who is Maniac-depressive, so I know some about it. He is not that! Also, it's been discussed with counselors/doctors in the past. The symptoms aren't there. Go with your gut instinct as a parent, being very honest with yourself.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, that was one I never heard of. This 'biz may be getting too complicated for me or maybe we're spoiled. In the troop I serve, we have one Scout with an athsma inhaler and one who takes allergy medicine in the summer time. No other meds, and I've got all the class 1/2/3's. I wonder how much of this is just kids being kids (you know, sometimes ill mannered, unruly, argumentative, etc.) and being portrayed as some kind of sickness? I'm not trying to trivialize anyone's challenges with their kids, so please don't attack me, but the definition of ODD sounds a lot like "teenager".

Link to post
Share on other sites


I also wonder how they diagnosis ODD. Part of growing up is to be oppositional. That is how you gain independence and learn certain life lessons. The school officials have commented that my son has "oppositional tendencies". Yes? In some ways that can be a good thing. As his kindergarden teacher told me "You don't have to worry about someone talking him into doing something he doesn't want to do." This "tendency" can come in handy when someone approaches him about drugs. It means he doesn't blindly follow the teachers.


Link to post
Share on other sites

We reinforce self-reliance, teamwork, leadership, and character in the program. To me, it's no wonder most boys thrive and have a great time in a well-run Scouting program. It can be such a departure from the stand-in-line, no-talking, I'm-in-charge atmosphere in many of their classrooms, at least for the younger Scouts.


I talked with my wife about this (she grew up here), and she said that these diagnoses are virtually unheard of here, and she doesn't know of any Korean kids who are on these medications. I don't remember any such discussion with our Dutch friends and neighbors when we lived there, either. Is this an American thing?

Link to post
Share on other sites



I think it is largely an American thing. America is mostly made up of other countries' misfits, the people who wanted adventure or couldn't stand to be told what to do. That's why we have so many more of these problems than other countries. America was the place to which those that didn't fit escaped. If America hadn't been available, these problems would've cropped up earlier and more evenly distributed among other nations.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...