“The Way of Boys” by Anthony Rao, Ph.D & Michelle Seaton
My five month old son is an energetic, lively little boy already. He’s wide-eyed to the world around him and, as soon as he learns to crawl, will be all over the place.
At some point, his boundless energy may cause a teacher or someone else to suggest he has ADHD. “The Way of Boys” points out how the labels of Aspergers, Austism, and ADHD are too often applied to perfectly normal little boys who are developing along their own timeline as opposed to what society and school expects. The over-medication of children in America is a huge problem, and in many cases it’s completely unwarranted.
Kids grow as kids will grow.
In Dr. Rao’s case files, the reader gets to explore several families going through these issues. Some have bossy little boys, some have painfully shy little boys. Many of these parents have been told to medicate their children, or have them put in special programs, when in fact boys develop in a wide variety of ways – any very differently from little girls, who are classically much easier to handle. One mom even shows up for a parent/teacher conference only to find herself facing a panel of a principal, a school psychologist, and others trying to get her to sign papers regarding her son’s treatment.
(I feel it important to note that Dr. Rao is not always opposed to medication – He absolutely admits that some children do, indeed, do better on certain meds, but in many cases behavioral therapy does more good. It’s a well-rounded approach that I really appreciated.)
Dr. Rao argues that it’s time we stop trying to “fix” little boys. I feel like this book taught me some things as a mom – mainly, what not to freak out too much about. It’s going to live on my shelf for a few years – here’s hoping I don’t ever really need to come back to it.