Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska
Wow, this one shoots right through the hearts of all of us parents who struggle with children with ADHD. It doesn’t necessarily outright bash medication for the treatment of this disorder, but it sure calls into question the legitimacy of treating this very real medical/educational issue.
The story is about a father, Sean, whose son is enrolled in an elite Manhattan private elementary school. As it turns out, Sean, a recently separated father of this 3rd grader, is pressured by the authorities in his son’s school to have his son evaluated for learning issues, and specifically for ADHD. Under duress, he follows through and the results are nearly disastrous. In the process, the father discovers that he is not the first to be pressured by the school and learns more about the devious practices of the school as well.
It’s a good book — solid characters that the reader can easily like and relate to, and a plot that works its way into your heart. It’s actually hard to put down.
But its message, while ringing a bit true, can put even more pressure on parents who are struggling to make decisions about the welfare of their children. Without giving too much away, there is a lot of bias in this book against medications that treat ADHD. True, these medications are not benign and are probably now the most abused drugs on the market. But they are also a godsend to those who truly struggle to remain attentive in school and can give back self esteem to children when its fallen through its foundation. In truth, the onus is upon the diagnosing physician/psychologist/psychiatrist to abide by the diagnostic criteria and do a proper analysis of all the information available (including formalized testing). Once this is established, the many treatment options must be considered, medication being only one of them. But if medication is deemed appropriate in this ideal scenario, and is carefully monitored and evaluated, it can be a gift to the child who truly suffers. This must be remembered while reading this book…