KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, December 14, 2007

Going Too Far to Make a Point About Disabilities

What the hell were they thinking? Do the people who created these ads, and the people who approved them, have any children with disabilities?

NYU Child Study Center ad about ADHDMy gifted 13-year-old son with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and depression is not a "detriment to himself and those around him"! And my beloved husband, who also has AD/HD, is a shining example of just what a benefit to society someone with AD/HD can be.

Yes, the New York University Child Study Center ad campaign is meant to grab viewers' attention and make them realize that psychiatric and neurobehavioral disorders in children are serious and require treatment; they're fake ransom notes to parents that are "written" by the disorders who are holding children "hostage."

The ads are attention-getting. But will they also achieve the study center's goal of "generat[ing] a national dialogue that will end the stigma surrounding childhood psychiatric disorders"? No; they will perpetuate that stigma. Take a look at the ads for autism, Asperger syndrome, bulimia, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. And are AD/HD, autism, and Asperger syndrome psychiatric disorders? No; they're neurobehavioral disorders.

But what's really important is how the hell children who have any of these disorders will feel if they see the ads. Will adolescents—whose emotions are already strong because of hormonal changes and because they're busy trying to fit in—who have one of these disorders think that their life prospects are so bleak that they should just stop the pain now and kill themselves?

You can implore the study center to stop its misbegotten ad campaign by signing this petition.

If this is the best our society can do to "help" children with disorders and disabilities, we've got a long, long way to go.

Hat tip to Redneck Mother



Anonymous said...

Katharine, I signed the petition. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. ADHD runs in our family and none of us with it are a detriment to anyone - in fact, we are an asset!

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thank you, Little Miss Sew N Sew!

Anonymous said...

NEXT STEPS - they are not hearing us

They have not responded to our requests to pull the campaign and it sounds like we are really emboldening Harold Koplewicz and his boss, Robert Grossman, appears to be letting Koplewicz see the campaign through. I found some contacts that are over both of their heads and we need to promote a major emailing, writing and phone calling campaign to Medical Center Board Chairman Kenneth Langone, NYU President John Sexton, and NYU Trustee Chairman Martin Lipton. Here is their contact info; PLEASE help get the word out.

Kenneth Langone, Board Chairman
New York University Medical Center
(212) 421-2500
375 Park Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10152

Martin Lipton, Board of Trustee Chairman
New York University
(212) 403-1200
51 West 52nd Street, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10019

John Sexton, President
New York University
(212) 998-2345
70 Washington Square South, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10012

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thanks very much, Anon. Readers, start writing and calling!

Anonymous said...

I love the advertisements, conditionally: They SHOULD NOT be used as public advertisements. Instead...Be used a direct mailing tool instead.(because too many people can take these adverstisements the wrong way)
They should be mailed out to ignorant parents who have been advised that their kid (who has been diagnosed at the school) needs help, but the kids mother and father failed as a parent to help their child.
Redneck and dumb yuppie parenting are the biggest danger to our kids, mainly because most yuppies and rednecks are ignorant. And they lie themselves into thinking: "The school will take care of this problem with my kid, that is what my tax dollars are used for."
What can you say? Sometimes you need to drop a 1000 megaton "hint" on the ignorant to make them take on their parenting responsibility.
I think they need to make other variants of these letters, like ones to be sent to the victims of bullies parents who do not take an active role is defending their kids. And one for the bullies parents as well so they can see they other side of the coin.

-Year Zero
Ignorance: End it today, so our kids can have a...tomorrow.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Yes, Year Zero, parents in denial about their children's disorders and disabilities do need waking up. But I don't think this ad campaign was the way to go about it.

Anonymous said...

I hope you didn't miss my point.
These letters should be sent out, in certified mail to dead-beat people who suffer from "diminished parenting." Yes, that's right...The yuppies kids (like the fine products of columbine) and the redneck kids (bullies and tormentors, in general)
The underfunded US education system needs to use these low cost notices as a wake up call to the dead beat parents, whose own kids destroy our own kids lives.
But in no way should they be used as a public awarness campaign.

Diminished Parenting: Help end it today, so our kids can actually... learn at school.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Ah, now I get you, Year Zero. I'll have to disagree with you on this point. I don't think that unkind scare tactics will do anything but close the minds of parents who don't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

Now that I think more about it, That is true about the scare tactics back firing.
Some recepients of these letter's will respond, some will not, some will just grab the nearest lawyer. And some, will do the redneck thing, and grab a firearm and go visit the school principal.
We need what they have in Iraq, an Awakening Council" for ignorant parents. I can see no problem with it being funded by celebrities and corporations who get caught breaking the law in one form or another. And make the fines very, very expensive.
I can see a whole galaxy of new laws that needs to be developed to force ignorant parents into taking care of their kids needs. Not just food, clothing etc...I'd like to see their psychological needs taken care of, as much as a broken leg would be taken care of.

Ignorant parents: As dumb as suicide bombers.

-Year Zero

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