Welcome to my blog, which speaks to parents, professionals who work with children, and policy makers. Through stories from my behavioral pediatrics practice (with details changed to protect privacy) I will show how contemporary developmental science can be applied to support parents in their efforts to facilitate their children’s healthy emotional development. I will address factors that converge to obstruct such support. These include limited access to quality mental health care, influences of a powerful health insurance industry and intensive marketing efforts by the pharmaceutical industry.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Letter in NY Times refutes Warner's book

OK- Just one more. Here is a letter published in today's New York Times Science section. The 150 word limit helped me present a clear and concise argument!


To the Editor:

Re “Doing an About-Face on ‘Overmedicated’ Children” (Books, Feb. 23): The myth of the overmedicated child is no myth. The morning of the day Judith Warner’s book came out, in my pediatric practice I saw three children for refills of their medication for ADHD. One’s mother was an actively drinking alcoholic. Another’s father had recently been deported. A third told me of chaotic scenes of yelling among siblings and parents.

None of these issues were being addressed. Our culture’s condoning of use of medication to treat complex problems merges with parental resistance and lack of access to quality therapy to create this situation. Certainly medication may protect the brain. But being understood by the people who love you can also protect the brain. Over-reliance on medication leads our culture to shirk responsibility for listening to both parents and children.

Claudia M. Gold, M.D.

Great Barrington, Mass.

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