Thursday, March 27, 2014


i have a kid in my life that i'm not going to name. or identify, really. just know that he's 10 and he loves art and he's not my son.

over the past year, he's tried my patience.

he couldn't sit still. never got more than a few words down at a time before buzzing around the room knocking things over. laughing at everything and nothing. ripping paper apart when forced to sit still. making up nonsense jokes just to try to make the kids around him laugh and lose focus.

he was that kid for the majority of the year.

today he was...different.

he stayed at his desk, pencil moving. doing what i was asking. asking questions that were relevant instead of talking just to keep me by his desk a little longer.

there was a prize up for grabs, so he concentrated extra hard and constantly asked for my feedback.

but he was...different.

more than once, i asked if he was okay.

was he sad? was something bothering him? was someone mean to him during lunch? was he sick?

no, no, no and no.

i mentioned to his teacher how much he'd concentrated on his work and how different he seemed and she nodded.

"medication," she said.

that's all she said. she didn't approve of it, she didn't condemn it. she simply stated fact and went back to the chaotic business of being a teacher.

for the entire ride home, my mind's been circling around the change in him and what's caused it and no matter how hard i try, i can't find entry into the puzzle or how i'd react if he were my son.

i can't decide how i feel.

is it better now that he's not a major disruption for the class? was he better when his personality was larger than life?

i don't know.

i don't know.

i am just grateful that i've never had to make a decision like that and i pray for the ones who do--the parents and teachers who must decide who needs to be less "you" and more "us" and how much.

what dosage yields enough "us" with plenty of "you" left?

do they miss the energy? are they grateful that now they can concentrate on the quieter students who weren't so demanding?

i don't know.


i pray for them.

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  1. I know just how you don't know how you feel.

  2. I think it will one day be looked at as barbaric just the same as we look at lobotomies. It's a savagely selfish thing to damn someone else into being just like the others when they aren't able to understand the effects of the drugs. I know that it becomes crazy difficult to teach with an unruly child or to even have a conversation with one, but I don't think it's a fair thing to do. It's taking someone's personality away before they've even fully formed it.

    As a child I was quite the spastic little bastard (not saying much has changed) and were it not for my family being financially incapable to afford the zombie making medication I wouldn't have most of what I have in my life now. I learned through social cues how to compose myself in certain situations and that is a very important life lesson.

    Ultimately it feels like lazy parenting/teaching and a way to fill the coffers of the pharmaceutical companies.

  3. I am absolutely with ohshirtpodcast... the reality is that forcing kids to conform isn't the healthy solution... EVER... This is so sad... I used to work in a group home where the kids were heavily medicated and when a medication would no longer work the way they wanted it to, they would switch meds and the ENTIRE personality of the child would change. TERRIFIED me. It was a huge wake up call. I have a (now) 15 year old girl who has a strong emotional impairment, is defiant and VERY strong willed and she takes ZERO pills to control her...