Youth Services Law

Normal Childhood is Not a Medical Condition

PillsDr. Allen Frances has written several excellent articles noting that we are over-diagnosing ADHD. I don't agree with his claims elsewhere that the entire problem is drug company advertising, but there is no doubt that doctors and educators are over-medicating children. The incredible rise in ADHD diagnoses should be a warning sign to educators and parents that we are turning normal childhood into an ongoing medical condition. As Dr. Frances notes, "[W]e shouldn't want to transform our kids into well behaved, well medicated little zombies. The 2-3% of kids with severe inattention and hyperactivity will require more extensive behavioral treatment and some will require medication – but most hyperactive kids will do just fine with good enough parenting."

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