We’ve Got Issues-
Children and Parents in the Age of Medication
-by Judith Warner
In this manifesto for change, New York Times blogger Judith Warner (Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, 2005, etc.) examines the argument that Americans are overmedicating their children.
The author wanted to write a condemnation of American parents for hysterically spotting mental disorders where there are none. When she began interviewing parents and mental-health professionals, however, she reversed her position. Only five percent of American children take psychotropic drugs, she writes, yet that many suffer from extreme mental illness, while another 15 percent endure at least minimal illness. Not only has Warner never met a parent who lunged for the medicine cabinet to dope up their kids, but some fought the medication route as long as they could, to the detriment of their child. It’s true that antidepressant prescriptions for children have skyrocketed, but that’s because primitive understanding of the brain left many sick children undiagnosed in the past; we now have more effective drugs for some illnesses; and the stigma of mental illness is blessedly diminished. Warner cites research that girls, minority children and those with less-educated parents are undertreated for ADHD. Careful reporter that she is, the author acknowledges that some experts might dispute parts of her thesis. Other signs of childhood trauma-teen pregnancy, school violence, crime, substance abuse and suicide-have declined, and Warner reports special professional skepticism about exploding rates of bipolar diagnoses in children. Meanwhile, too many laypeople are spooked by drug companies’ ads plugging their latest products, which doctors might not recommend. Curtailing those ads and more insurance coverage for pediatric mental-health screenings are among the author’s welcome common-sense proposals.
Parents of mentally ill children will find this tonic reassuring, while all parents will find it a valuable reminder that it’s not poor parenting to seek medical help for your children.
Hardcover: 336 pages; Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (February 23, 2010)
A groundbreaking guide for parents that combines the latest brain research with the best classroom practices to reveal scientifically savvy ways to improve your child's success in school.
Written by Judy Willis, MD, MEd, a board-certified neurologist who is also a full-time classroom teacher, How Your Child Learns Best shows you not only how to help your child learn schoolwork, but also how to capitalize on the way your child's brain learns best in order to enrich education wherever you are, from the grocery store to the car - a necessity in today's "teach to the test" world.
By using everyday household items and enjoyable activities, parents of children ages three to twelve can apply targeted strategies (based on age and learning strength) in key academic areas, including:
• Reading comprehension
• Math word problems
• Test preparation
• Fractions and decimals
• Oral reading
• Reports and projects
• Science and history
• Reading motivation
Discover how to help your child increase academic focus and success, lower test stress while increasing test scores, increase class participation, foster creativity, and improve attention span, memory, and higher-level thinking.
Paperback: 336 pages; Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc. (September 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1402213468 ISBN-13: 978-1402213465
“Our only goal is to help children and adults fulfill their potential.”
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over 20 years.
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