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Why French Kids Don't have ADHD


The blog I wrote for Psychology Today titled "Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD" now has 16 million viewers worldwide, 2 million "likes," and more than 1100 comments from readers. It has been translated into French, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Czech and a host of other languages.It is the most popular article in the history of Psychology Today. I have expanded the article in a book, A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD became an American Epidemic. To read the original article, click here


To read the article translated into French, click
here


On this page, I will be posting some of the ideas that readers have written to me in emails or in comments, as well as media responses to the debate generated by my blog.

This email is from an American pediatrician:

Dear Marilyn, thank you for your article in Psychology Today about French and American children and ADHD.  I wholeheartedly agree with you and the French assessment as to the social, dietery and other causes of perceived hyper-activity in children, including the view that much of the behavior is either normal childhood behavior or a response to the above-named factors, and is not an inherently biological condition (e.g. sitting still in a chair for so many hours a day does not take into account the child's needs to move and play). 

I deplore the use of psychoactive drugs in children, and feel everything should be done to prevent this practice in the US. 
Thank you for speaking out about this issue, and helping bring US culture more in line with natural views and also with sanity in general." 

Here's another interesting point of view from a reader:

"Quand on lit le DSM, on se trouve surpris d'avoir l'impression de lire une revue d'astrologie, dans laquelle pratiquement toutes les descriptions correspondent à tout le monde." In translation this means: "When one reads the DSM, surprisingly one has the impression of reading a review of astrology, in which virtually all the descriptions correspond to everyone."


Here is an article from the Windsor (Ontario) Star that relates my article to a young man's experience of overcoming his own ADHD:
"What we Can Learn From the French about Coping with ADHD"


An interesting take on the
"Natural Moms" blog and a nice endorsement for Pills are not for Preschoolers:

"I read this book last year and thought it was excellent. It touches on many different issues that kids experience, not just ADD. Depression, bipolar, cutting, anxiety, etc – many times these are reflections of issues within the immediate family or larger family circle. It was an excellent read and if your child is experiencing any of these problems I highly recommend it. Dr. Wedge is not quick on the script pad draw when it comes to kids, which I admire."

An American school teacher writes:

...after teaching French for 45 years and traveling to France 77 times since 1969, you are right: The French children are indeed more well-behaved.