I just saw this on a friend’s Facebook status and had to write something…
Before I offend anyone with comments, I want to acknowledge I am not a parent, an educator, a doctor, in the psychological/psychiatric professions or a child. As such, I have no basis for my opinions…
I really like the message behind this video. But of course I have caveats.
IMO, kids shouldn’t be put into boxes. If they don’t fit into boxes we should not force them into boxes. We should not use drugs to make them fit into a box. I’m not a big fan of drugs.
I believe that telling someone what they are can influence what they will become. With or without bringing drugs or other treatments into the picture, we have to be very, very careful putting a tag on someone. I think that message was portrayed well in the video. Even some positive labels are harmful. For instance, telling someone that they need to grow up to be a doctor or lawyer, that they’ll make a good dentist or librarian or priest… even these labels we need to be careful with. [Not that we should coddle them into their 30s either… make up your mind at some point. Just not too early.]
A bureaucratic/legal power system likes labels. The longer a bureaucracy lives the more it will try and organize everything. (Other power systems being charismatic and traditional – for reference see Max Weber). The problem is that while there are trends and norms there more individuals. Getting someone fitted into all the right boxes is both impossible and harmful.
My caveat is that taken at its face the video also goes too far. Some people do have legitimate disorders and require special treatment. Take the last label – ADHD is a symptom of being a kid. I’ll give that too many kids are likely diagnosed. Of that too many that are diagnosed too many are medicated. How do we balance the other way? There is a remnant of a remnant that do require aid. I don’t think we can say that it always bad to give drugs. It is usual bad to give drugs, but they are rarely required. If we are opposed to labeling, how do we identify those who require legitimate help?
Hitting the other end of the spectrum, often a child has a legitimate need for help, but to get them into a program or to get funding requires jumping through slightly more than 1 million hoops. Getting access to these programs needs to be easier not harder. If we follow my logic that all kids are just individuals than we might assume they’ll all just mature into adults without any special attention… that is no good either.
What bureaucratic societies have a really hard time doing is dealing with things on a case by case basis…
But what the heck do I know?