Straw that broke the camel’s back for some black homeschooling families

From Baltimore, there was an interview with a mom who saw the future and it was called homeschooling. 

 The breaking point came when Spence brought her loquacious 3-year-old to the public library for a story hour with other preschoolers. When his enthusiastic questions and comments during the story were shushed, Spence had an unsettling vision. She feared that when her son hit school age, he could be tagged as having an attention disorder and unfairly burdened with the sort of negative profile that she believes the schools disproportionately attach to black boys.

"That was the straw that broke the camel’s back," said Spence, 34, a freelance writer and former editor and teacher. "He’s going to be interested and want to learn things, and is going to be told to sit down and to be quiet. I’m not going to have him tracked and medicated."

 Smart mom.  Ran into this Essence article and thought it was interesting

Still, some experts argue that children are often labeled ADHD when other problems exist. Some even deny that such a "disorder" exists. One study suggested that "agitation syndrome," or environmental stress, not attention deficit, may be affecting adolescent Black boys. Meanwhile, the National Medical Association, a group of doctors of African descent, recently sounded the alarm that the rise in hyperactivity-disorder diagnoses has led to disproportionate numbers of Black children in special education. Blacks make up 12 percent of the population but 28 percent of special-ed students.

I know there’s a label for everything now, but "agitation syndrome"??  How ’bout just calling it environmentally stressful (if you must) to expect boys to sit and sit and sit in a classroom. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails….I had a bit of that myself.   Insert pharmaceutical lobbying and marketing power in the past several years and you’ve got drugs for all.

While many African-Americans believe our kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD, the reality, mental-health practitioners say, is that many Black children lack access to proper screening by adequately trained health professionals. The result: Our children are vilified and criminalized for behavior that, when exhibited by White children, prompts calls for treatment and support. "While their White counterparts are seen as having mental-health needs, Black children are seen as acting up and labeled bad," says Annelle B. Primm, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

If that’s the problem African Americans have,  then be glad, be very glad that "proper screening" isn’t applied for "proper treatment and support ".  I’m afraid none of us (from any ethnicity) are free of this "proper screening" anymore without fighting to be left alone.  (I understand where this author is going with this, I think, but I don’t think Robin Stone understands the implications of scams like TeenScreen maybe?)

Primm says we can’t begin to address the problem until we first overcome our own biases. "We need to shift the discussion from concern over our children being drugged to how our children are being treated," she says. "Let’s be sure our kids get the attention they need and aren’t shunted into the direction of the juvenile justice system, because you know what that means for our community."

 I hope everyone focuses on both problems. Being drugged to sit and be "school ready" and how our children are being treated .
 


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