Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the nobody ain't got time for that edition

Hi. I have an hour, so let's do this thing. The last week of the school year is upon us, which means that I have a million places to be at specific, often conflicting times, often at different schools. Throw in a few baseball practices, softball games, boy scouts, girl scouts, the graduation ceremony that isn't a graduation ceremony because they are just moving from the 5th grade to the 6th grade and a shift in my posting deadlines effective this week for Lefty Pop, and you have a woman gone mad.

Mad, I tell you.

Like, if I lose my shit and start laughing maniacally, you should just back away from me slowly. Keep eye contact though. Just in case.

On top of all that, yesterday was a crap day. Craptastic. Crapholish. You know those days that just seem to get worse and worse and worse and so you really should just go home, retreat to the hole and refuse to have human interaction until the next sunrise, but you can't because you still have too much shit to do? That.

Today is a new day, and I'm going to kick it's ass. Carefully. With swollen ankles. Ack.

Anyway. Off we go.

Jacked Up Priorities
I feel like this is becoming a recurring theme around here, my ranting about how little people care about the stuff they should care about and how much they care about the silliest inconsequential things. Even CNN ran a breaking news story this month about Bradley Cooper putting on muscle weight for a movie role. Seriously, CNN??? Don't you have 24 hour coverage of a missing plane that we're never going to find to worry about???

I kid. Sort of.

I've seen this image floating around the internets for a few days now. I'm not sure where it originated from, but it's so spot on accurate.

From Purple Clover FB
While everyone and their brother were totally preoccupied with some fight between two famous people in an elevator, a whole bunch of other things were happening that people should have been focused on. And no, the cat doesn't count.

The tiny little sliver on this scarily accurate pie chart refers to the Antarctic ice sheet destabilizing past the point of no return, which should be the lead story on the news because it is something that will actually affect all of us, but no one cares about it because anytime climate change is brought up in our twisted society, it somehow turns into a political debate.

A political debate about science. Bangs head on wall.

Science is true whether or not you believe in it, so says one of my man crushes, Neil deGrasse Tyson. It doesn't matter whether or not your elected representative believes it, whether or not the commercial on television paid for by industry people posing as objective third parties tells you it's real.

Disrespectful or History? Too soon?
The 9/11 museum opened this week in New York, and the opening hasn't been without substantial criticism. The museum admission is $24 per person, which some people take issue with on its face. Many believe that the museum access should be free to the public since, for many families, the remains of their loved ones were never recovered or identified. To pay their respects, they have to pay. Literally.

More troubling are the gift shop full of trinkets and the themed stuffed animals, which just tends to put a bad taste in the mouths of many people. The museum isn't one that people will go to for fun, to discover new things...it's supposed to be a tribute to those lost.

Perhaps what bothers me, and most people, more than anything, is the fact that there is a portion of the museum housing over 8,000 unidentified pieces of human remains. You know, not far from the gift shop.

Macabre is a good word here, I think.

Maybe it's too soon. Maybe it will always be too soon.

The Most Disturbing Case in the News This Week
Alright, if you don't want to be rocked to your core, then either stop reading or just scroll on down past this section. Seriously. I'm warning you.

Last chance.

It takes a lot to rattle my cage anymore. I've sat in on murder trials, I worked at the DA's office. I've done rounds in the emergency room in a major metropolitan hospital. I've held drug addicted newborn babies whose mothers were hauled off to jail for countless crimes, leaving them in the hands of the hospital staff until the foster system absorbed them. I've sat in on ethics panel decisions to terminate life support for kids abused at the hands of their parents.

I've seen things, you guys.

This case, though...this one rattled my cage. Hard. Mostly because the criminals here are children, children who almost certainly are victims of something unimaginable themselves...and because it reminds me way too much of a case I'm familiar with.

In Oklahoma City, an 8 year old boy raped a 10 year old girl in an elementary school bathroom. His sister helped hold the girl down while he did it. 

She told her mother immediately after the incident, and examinations in the hospital were consistent with sexual trauma.

My heart breaks for the girl who was raped here, not just that it happened but that it happened at school in a place where she should be safe. The perpetrators here aren't the ones to blame, though. Something terrible has happened to these children to make them believe that their actions were appropriate, and whoever that person is must be found and held accountable for the whole situation. These kids, all of these kids, need to get into therapy yesterday.

It just makes me physically ill. All of it.

Medicating Little Kids
A friend of mine posted a link to this story yesterday and when I read it, I had to manually pick my chin up from the floor. I've written before about ADHD a few times, about how it affects me and my kids, about how some of us are medicated, some of us managed symptoms with behavior adaptations.

I haven't written about Little Boy. Because it makes me curse like a sailor and want to throw things. But...at his first conference this year, his teacher flat out asked me if he has ADHD.

I told her, in my most calm voice for which I should totally get a gold star, that he is a five year old boy and one of the youngest in the class. He needs time to adjust to being in a classroom setting because he missed the last year of preschool. He has trouble communicating with others because of his speech problems. He may have ADHD, he may not. I certainly don't think that there is anything in his behavior outside of the normal range for a child his age with his history in his situation. If and when it becomes obvious that he needs to be screened, at some point when he isn't five and adjusting to school and can communicate properly, I will do so without hesitation. I am not anti-diagnosis. I am not anti-medication.

But I'll be damned if you want to slap a label on my very ordinary child and force me to medicate him because it might make your job easier.

Told you guys. I get a gold fucking star.

My son may have ADHD. He may not. I'm not seeking a diagnosis in a five year old because it is just too early in my opinion, given his behavior (which isn't out of the ordinary).

So, when my friend shared this article yesterday about the diagnosis and medication of 2 and 3 year old children, I was tremendously upset. The fact that children on Medicaid are more likely at that age to be diagnosed and medicated is even more upsetting, because it makes you logically wonder what other factors could be coming into play with those particular kids that lead to these diagnoses and treatments.

Most ADHD meds aren't supposed to be used in children under the age of 6 or so at all. Many are known to cause problems with growth. Some alter moods and can create symptoms of other conditions falsely, when it is just the side effects of the medication. Many children exhibiting ADHD like symptoms may have unstable family situations that appear the same as ADHD on paper, but are caused by something else entirely. There are too many other possible variables, too little information on the safety of these medications, too many concerns about whether children that young should even be diagnosed at the rates they are being diagnosed at.

Are there 2 and 3 year olds who clearly need physicians to make these calls? Without doubt.

Are there really as many who legitimately need treatment that we are seeing? Far more troubling. I fear that many of these kids are, for one reason or another, being diagnosed way too early and medicated way too young for a condition that they may not even have.


  1. This makes me sad and angry. Little kids are hard work, they need boundaries and moulding and shaping and guiding and helping to grow into healthy happy people. With gentle correction and consequences for inappropriate behaviour. What they don;t need is to be put on medication and labelled! Kindergarten kids, especially boys aren't ready to sit still all day 'learning'. It's not developmentally appropriate and yet this is what the school system is doing to them. And if your active, normal 5 yo cant sit still the teacher suggests meds? Fuck that shit! We should all be very afraid of what is happening. Autism and ADHD are becoming an epidemic, there must be a reason or maybe, just maybe humans weren't designed to live the way we do.

  2. Wow. My son has ADHD (he's 22 years old now). His kindergarten teacher suspected it, but because he was only 5 at the time, it was too soon to know for sure. So I totally get why you are ticked when they're diagnosing and medicating kids for ADHD before they're even six or seven years old. ADHD is already stigmatized enough, but this just adds to it and it's grossly unfair to those kids who do need to be on medication. My son had to go through a lot of neurological testing, including an EEG, before they could diagnose him and even then, because he was five, they couldn't officially diagnose him. That happened two years later.

  3. I tried to "like" Molly's comment.

    I'm appalled. Disgusted. Worried.

    Ashamed I brought small people into this fucked up world? Maybe.


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