One wonders what is happening in the minds of educators such as those who have just "tortured" - the word is not too strong - children hyperactive, a little too turbulent. Barbarian methods from another time, but which illustrate the puzzle of the hyperactive child. A recent study claims that French children are the most likely to suffer in Europe, but doctors continue to question the reality of this disorder.
It's the Guardian, English newspaper, relayed by the site Slate, who tells it: German schools wear jackets filled with sand, heavy from 1.2 to 6 kg, in the hope of calming their hyperactive students! To "change the behavior of the children who wear them and make them calmer". And why not handcuffs and gags!
Fortunately, psychiatrists and doctors have reacted violently to this barbaric method that would still run in nearly 200 schools in Germany.
"My child is a hyperactive" ... The temptation is strong, in front of a difficult child, turbulent, to stick to it this label very fashionable rather than that of "dirty kid". However, hyperactivity is only one symptom that contributes to a high-profile psychiatric disorder: ADHD, for "Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder". A diagnosis that would affect 3 to 5% of school-age children in our country, one to two per class, or 400,000 aged 4 to 18 years. The mediatization of hyperactivity masked the importance of other symptoms that belong to three families: agitation but also impulsiveness (lack of patience, anger) and especially attention deficit.
Invention or American particularism, overvaluation? These accusations are not new, nothing typical of our time, or of our modern way of life: medicine has been talking about it since 19e century, and in societies that have not benefited from our development, we find children suffering from the same symptoms.
No responsible area has been identified in the brain; it is more likely that the circuits are maturing, which explains why one-third of the children recover without treatment, thanks to the ripening process that has to be followed.
Is education involved?
Most families of patients seem to lack consistency in the requirements of daily life but this brings back to genetics: its importance is such, found in 70% of cases, that it is not uncommon for a parent to be affected of the same disease; even both ... which does not facilitate the treatment!
The absence of abnormality of the brain or detectable chemical modification leads some doctors to speak of invention to justify the prescription of drugs, psychostimulants, considered by some as drugs.
A world of paradoxes
The treatment of ADHD is the world of paradoxes: use of video games to stimulate attention, while there is still little said aggravators, and especially use of a drug close to amphetamines. Prescribing a stimulant seems at first sight paradoxical in a hyperactive. In fact, we use its action on the deficit of attention, which has the effect of calming the agitation. A quick tour on the internet shows the passionate atmosphere surrounding these drugs, which some people do not hesitate to call "kiddy coke", the children's drug. A highly controversial treatment, probably effective, but too prescribed in nearly eight million children worldwide.
In France, only 5% of ADHD follow this drug treatment which is reserved for serious forms and in case of failure of other approaches. Our doctors prefer the techniques of rehabilitation, the education of the child certainly but also of the parents, the work with the teachers; real solutions but much more restrictive than the use of a simple pill ...
All tracks must be explored.
There is no link between ADHD and intelligence, and the academic difficulties most of these children experience are related to behavioral or attention deficit disorders. Yet, as we age, 50% of children retain their symptoms, which explains the figure of 7% of the adult population reached, according to the most recent study.