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When my brilliant youngest child was 5 a doctor (okay, he wasn't REALLY a doctor, we didn't know it but he'd moved to our state from another state where he'd lost his license to practice medicine) met with my busy boy for half an hour and declared him to be hyperactive. He prescribed ritalin, which, twenty years ago, was just coming into popularity. A year later, my son passed out. He'd quit eating, of course, because he was on speed. We took him off the ritalin.

My son just graduated from college. Top art school in the United States. His senior year, he had a one roommate, a beautiful, brilliant kid who could do just about anything if it had "creative" labeled on it. He looked awfully thin. He never slept. He was pretty disorganized. He was addicted to ritalin, which he'd been on since . . . oh, about the same age we took my son off the stuff.

The dumbing of America. The loss of our beautiful, brilliant children. Whose idea WAS this, anyway?

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