Monday, October 02, 2006

Last Normal Child


Q: Why did you call your book
The Last Normal Child?

A: Because I had this fantasy, as more and more normal kids get psychiatric medication, that eventually the last normal child in the world finally would be brought to me for a prescription.

Q: What are some of the key reasons that more parents are bringing in normal kids to see if they have ADHD or another disorder and should be medicated?

A: For one thing, academic standards are getting increasingly rigorous and ridiculous — at ever-younger ages. Teachers start to complain about the children, especially boys, who can't get with the program.

I used to think parents worried only about kids being good students, getting good jobs and making money. But now there's also this tremendous worry about children's self-image, their self-esteem. And the kids do feel bad, because they know they're disappointing their parents and teacher.

Sometimes children have undiagnosed learning disabilities, not ADHD. Or, they might not be motivated to do academic work. Not every kid is academic, and that can be hard for high-achieving parents. There may be problems at home, or parents may not be disciplining properly, so kids are acting out.

Hat Tip: Marilyn