homewatch onlinefour familiesthe drugsadhdbacklashdiscussion
Letter to Viewers from Yolanda and Cyrille DuPerret

We were a bit disappointed that viewers only saw one side of Nicolas-the hyper side reacting primarily to the presence of camera men. This is unfortunate because the Nicolas we know and love is very bright, creative, good-humoured, and sensitive as well as possesses a love for life that most of us can only wish for. Oh yes, our son is active and impulsive which makes raising and teaching him more challenging, but he can focus and concentrate quite well. Just ask his current school teacher.

Which brings us to the second reason for our disappointment in viewing the documentary. It failed to address in more detail that kids in America are over-diagnosed (this was unfortunately discounted by the emphasis on the Scientology zealots). Think about it. Four times more Kids in America are on some form of behavior-modifying drugs than anywhere else in the world. It is a telling and undeniable fact. Are kids in other parts of the world in need of catching up to our level of drug intake? Are kids elsewhere in the world any different than kids in the States? Having a multi-cultural perspective along with the experience of having lived in France,Spain and Germany, we think not.

The problem with over-diagnosis is that teachers and psychologists place most of the emphasis on the child when there is a problem with his/her behavior. We tend to treat our children who misbehave "as problems" instead of "having problems". Naively, we thought that the psychologist would help us understand and get behind our son's behavior. Was it his teacher? Was it the structure? Was he bored? Was he over-stimulated? Why is it Nicolas was "normal" until he started pre-school? These were the questions we were desperate to have answered. Instead, we received a multiple-choice questionnaire, the subjective basis for which our son would have been categorized for life ADD/ADHD and subsequently put on drugs. We're sorry, but our son deserves more explanation than the outcome of one test.

We've learned a lot in the past year and one-half and during that time, we've learned that the type of teacher Nicolas has makes one hell of a difference. His current one, god bless her, is firm yet kind. She likes and accepts our son, and Nicolas knows this. Oh, he can sense this much more than any teacher or psychologist or parent or specialist or all others who claim they know children's behaviors, will ever begin to understand.

home · watch the program · four families · adhd drugs · adhd · backlash
readings · adhd in schools · interviews · discussion · the producers · viewers' guide
synopsis · tapes & transcripts · press reaction · credits
frontline · wgbh · pbs online

pill photograph copyright ©2001 photodisc all rights reserved
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

RECENT STORIES

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS