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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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Best of all, Rachel, our son was evaluated as being remarkably well adjusted, especially in light of his deprivation. Had we capitulated to the school’s demand to have him put on meds, a child with wonderful potential and a great disposition would have been relegated to the status of “dysfunctional” and “learning-disabled” — and we would have in effect sentenced our son to a life of illiteracy. Oh, but we mustn’t forget that he would have “behaved” in class.

The scary part is that over fifty percent of the student body in this elementary school is on meds.

Count us lucky

Dear Count,

Luck certainly plays a part in everyone’s life, but by virtue of choice we can end up chasing our mazel away. Good for you that you chose to pay no heed to mindless opinion and instead allowed yourselves to be guided by your parental instincts.

Before proponents of meds for kids get all worked up, let me add that there are instances when diagnosed behavioral disorders require medication intended to treat symptoms such as poor concentration and hyperactivity. Still, a school with half their students on medication just doesn’t add up.

Your experience will hopefully alert parents not to be so quick in bending to the will of a school’s random determination that may be driven in part by a lack of tolerance to deal with the atypical student. Even in the event that a trained health professional with expertise in the field – recommended by the school – makes the call, parents would be wise to seek a second opinion.

Had you agreed to have your son placed on medication for his inattentiveness, his whole future may have been jeopardized — to say nothing of the personality change he’d have undergone as a result of messing with his mind for no good reason.

Way to go! May you continue to shep nachas from all your youngsters.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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