Be focused. Do your work. Don’t be fidgety. Probably since Socrates taught Plato in ancient Athens, students of all ages have learned these mantras as the keys to success in the classroom. In recent years, though, it seems a new saying has joined the time-honored group: get treatment for ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can negatively affect one’s ability to focus, and leads to impulsive decisions and boisterous behavior, especially in children. September has been designated as ADHD Awareness Month, but it seems hardly necessary to draw more attention to the disorder. In the past few years, ADHD has become a major buzzword in the academic and medical communities, as well as among parents worried about their children’s success in school. The New York Times reports that 11 percent of school-age children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD, including 1 in 5 high school boys. Many fear that the rapid rise in diagnoses is because kids are being prescribed medication “merely to calm behavior or to do better in school.”
What happened to the days when bouncing off the walls and having a wandering mind were just part of being a kid? Now, it seems traits that were once seen as childhood curiosity are now viewed as a disability to be treated with pills.
For today’s prompt, let your hyperactivity run wild. Take a look around you. What stands out? What grabs your interest? Take account of all these images or events, and then mix them together in a stream-of-consciousness medley, moving rapidly from one thing to another and combining them in new ways.