Behavioral-developmental pediatrician Lawrence Diller continues his investigation into the widespread use of psychiatric drugs for children in America, an investigation that began with his first book, Running on Ritalin. In this work at hand, Diller delves more deeply into the factors that drive the epidemic of children's psychiatric disorders and medication use today, questioning why these medications are being sought, and why Americans use more of these drugs with children than is used in any other country in the world.
There is relentless pressure for performance and success on children as young as three, Diller acknowledges, but his analysis goes further, and his conclusion is both surprising and ironic. In the name of preserving children's self esteem, American society has become intolerant of minor differences in children's behavior and performance. We worry so much about how our children feel about themselves that struggles once within the realm of normal are now considered abnormal - indicative of a psychiatric or brain disorder, requiring diagnosis and treatment wth psychiatric drugs, often for years. The Last Normal Child also addresses the role of drug companies in the advertising and promotion of both disorders and drugs. The pharmaceutical industry has garnered incredible profits and power in influencing the way we view children today. Diller illustrates through vivid and poignant stories of real patients, how he, together with families, make informed decisions about using psychiatric drugs for children. Parents, educators, pediatric and mental health professionals will gain valuable insights, tips and tools for navigating what has become a truly perilous trip of childhood for children in America today.
About the Author
Lawrence H. Diller, M.D., is a pediatrician who specializes in child behavior and development.
What People are Saying About This
"We are all caught in the whether-to or whether-not to medicate children who are on the ADHD spectrum. Some children profit from medication, and most don't deserve it. This book may help you sort out when and whether. I liked the stories and the approach to medication that they convey. It is a convincing book."
"This splendid set of essays provides much the most balanced discussion of the issues involved in using medication to treat children's behavioral problems. Unlike most writings on the topic, this book does not set out to defend or attack medication. Rather, it lays out the medical and ethical considerations, using the best available evidence, in an even-handed way that clearly brings out the complex mixture of risks and benefits. Very readable and very thought-provoking."
"Dr. Diller is a sensitive, thoughtful and dedicated physician who cares deeply about his patients and their families. Drawing on his clinical experience, he shares his perspective and concerns about the contemporary treatment of children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Although challenging and provocative, the book is also encouraging and empowering. I'm sure it will prove to be a welcome resource for parents and teachers."
"This book is obligatory reading for anyone who wants to make sense out of the present confusion about medicating children to improve their behavior. Dr. Diller is a rare voice of moderation in this disputed area. He agrees that a few children are greatly improved in the short term by such medications, but he decries the excessive labeling, the unreasonable pressures from schools and parents, the aggressive advertising by the drug companies to parents and physicians, and the neglect of the essential psychosocial management of these children with such traditional techniques as effective discipline."
"This book is a gem. A book I can imagine both those pro and those anti pills for ADHD agreeing with enthusiastically across a range of points. I can also imagine both camps disagreeingand disagreeing on exactly the same points. In the ADHD and Ritalin Wars, Larry Diller stands out as a voice of sanity and this book contains a great deal of illumination flooding through the shafts of insights he has driven through the ADHD edifice. In piece after piece dealing with gender or discipline, Diller strikes a note of extraordinary common sense. Extraordinary and common should not be adjectives that go together but in this area common sense is extraordinary and needs celebrating. Parents, teachers, clinicians and policymakers will find these essays thought-provoking."