06 June 2013

NoCo90: Sinful Children? The World Has a Pill for That

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Additional Resources
NoCo90: Donate Buttons and Christian Begging
NoCo90: The Myth of Free Will
A 'No Compromise' Conversation

7 comments:

  1. There is some truth spoken here; there is too much overmedicating of children. But to declare that ADHD doesn't exist? That is the error.

    I'm not talking about cases where the child isn't obeying, but cases where the child's mind is misfiring slightly and he cannot focus. Will he next argue that clinical depression is just sin as well?

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  2. Thank you, a very needed topic..

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  3. Good word and right on the money

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  4. I couldn't help but think of this sermon by John MacArthur as I listened to Pastor Mike discuss this. An excerpt:

    Now in case you want to look at the diagnostic list, I'll give you a checklist. "Professionals base their diagnosis of ADHD on the following guidelines." And they give a whole bunch of them, there might be twenty of them and they say if any six of these applies to you, you've got it. You can pick your six.

    "First, pays little attention to details. Makes careless mistakes. Has a short attention span. Doesn't listen when spoken to. Doesn't follow instructions. Fails to finish tasks. Has difficulty getting organized. Avoids tasks that require sustained effort. Loses things. Is easily distracted. Forgets things during the day. Fidgets. Squirms in seat. Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected. Runs about. Climbs excessively. Has difficulty playing quietly. Acts as if driven by a motor. Talks a lot. And blurts out answers before the question is complete."

    You know who they're describing? All of our children. Don't kid me, that's all of my children. That's all of my grandchildren. That's me. I don't have a disease. Every kid is like that if he's not taught self-control. Every report card I got the first few years, and I'm telling you the deep secrets, folks, every report card I got as a little kid in my early years of school said the same thing, "Johnny doesn't pay attention. Johnny talks too much. Johnny won't stay in his seat. Johnny fiddles and makes noises with his pencil. Johnny lacks self-control. Johnny doesn't do his best." And every time I took home a note like that, I got spanked. I had a lot going on in my head and I couldn't concentrate on just one thing because I was busy with a whole lot of things. God made me a certain way, wired me to be able to deal with a lot of stuff. And that's my life now. I'm glad my parents didn't turn me into a drug addict. I didn't have a disease or a disorder, that was just me. My parents had a tremendous challenge, teaching me self-control, because I had so much mental energy and so much physical energy. I still have a lot of energy, even now. And you can only imagine what I was like before I was twelve. I was a rocket going in every direction. My parents worked very hard to harness me. I'm so glad they took the effort to do that so that God could use the abilities that He gave me. They loved me and they spanked me. They taught me God's truth all the time by instruction and example. And when I didn't abide by it, they disciplined me. And I learned self-control.

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  5. ADHD is not a behavioral disorder. It is a neurological disorder of executive functioning, memory and attention, believed to be in the same family as autism and Tourette's Syndrome. I should know, I have it. I also have a son with Asperger's Syndrome (high-functioning autism), Tourette's Syndrome (believe me, you can't say this one is a fake disorder!) and severe attentional difficulties (ADHD, or whatever you want to call it). He is 9, loves the Lord with all his heart, and tries hard to behave with love and respect towards others, particularly at school. My daughter also has Tourette's Syndrome and the same attentional difficulties. She is also a Christian, is loving, respectful and does not have a 'behavioral disorder'.

    The more I have learned about real ADHD, the more I can see how it provides similar cognitive challenges to those on the autistic spectrum. I spent my whole life thinking that there was something terribly wrong with me compared to others around me(apart from the shared problem of sin). Clearly I was very intelligent, loved God and wanted to do the right thing (and felt awful when I didn't)...so why couldn't I just sit still, remember important things, be more organised, not talk so fast and all of the other things people incessantly told me I was doing wrong. I knew I was a sinner, but I loved and trusted Jesus Christ from when I was a young child. Yet I could never fix this stuff, not even as an adult. I

    My kids and I are still genuine Christians who love God, follow the Lord Jesus Christ and are blessed by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives every day. Our ADHD is not an excuse for sin. If my brain can't retain information you told me 10 minutes ago, even when I care deeply and am trying really hard to remember...that is not sin. We know the difference, even if others don't. Understanding our neurological differences has been a blessing to our family. It means we know our sensory systems get overloaded easily, so we live a quiet life. It means that we know we have trouble with organizational and planning skills, so we use a whiteboard and to-do lists, but live in a very messy house. It makes us all the more dependent on the Lord and his grace.

    Call it what you like, but all of us in this fallen world suffer and it is not biblical to say it is always the direct result of our own sin. The triad of autism, ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome are genuine genetic neurological disorders, and have presented enormous challenges for many in my extended family (including genuine, mature believers). Sin is sin. Learn the difference and you will be able to show compassion towards others. If my kids are physically incapable of sitting still when overwhlemed by the many overstimulating environments this world expects them to be in (e.g. a busy school room), it is unbiblical and indeed, quite cruel to suggest they are just being disobedient. You clearly have not seen my children's pleading eyes when they look at me at times for help, because they cannot do what is being asked of them, no matter how hard they try (and they ask for God's help regularly too...and he gives it generously, hence no 'behavioral disorder'). They sometimes ask why God won't take away these challenges, which makes for great conversations about God's love, sovereignty and perfect goodness. But they still trust him.

    It disturbs me greatly that the source used by a Christian to refute the legitimacy of ADHD as a neurological disorder is the opinion of a secular French psychologist criticizing Americans as if they are the only ones to claim ADHD as a disorder. Please be careful...a secular psychologist is as about as anti-Christian in their views as you can get. What can we have in common with his godless opinion? Without the fear of the Lord he does not have wisdom.

    I hope this provides another perspective in this discussion. This is a great blog, and to be honest this piece surprised me. I am always open to feedback from fellow believers. :)

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  6. Very true! I have seen it first hand and it is sad as the parent just brushes the topic under the rug or thinks you are the silly one for saying anything. Ultimately, it is the child who will suffer. ~Becky

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  7. Spend some time working in clinical research and you'll see how (sadly) prevalent the diagnosis of ADHD is in children. Given the subjective means by which a diagnosis must be made, this is incredibly unfortunate.

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