Q: Our son, age 8, has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. His IQ is well above average but his actual performance in the classroom is problematic. He has difficulty paying attention and finishing his work. We got him a tutor an older retired teacher this year. He worked well with her, but that really didn't solve the classroom problem. The tutor said he was easily bored with third-grade work and needed more of a challenge. She recommended moving him out of public school or even homeschooling. At home, he's respectful and obedient. When we ask him to explain the problem to us, all we get is "I don't know." We don't want to put him on the drug that's been recommended, but we've been told it will correct his biochemical imbalance and help him concentrate. What should we do?

A: As a leading psychiatrist has admitted, the term "biochemical imbalance" is, in his very words, "nothing but a useful metaphor." In other words, it has no basis in scientific fact.

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