- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Education; 1 edition (August 21, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1578867746
- ISBN-13: 978-1578867745
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,610,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Child Left Different (Childhood in America) 1st Edition
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Children in America are being given psychotropic medications at an ever-increasing rate, driven by fashionable diagnoses like bipolar disorder. No Child Left Different charts the emergence of this phenomenon, grappling with the issues in a nuanced and constructive way rather than simply expressing horror. But the bottom line is that the book labels what is happening as a folly in the classical meaning of the word―something that was or could have been recognized to be a mistake at the time it was happening. Follies can be amusing and harmless, but this one has the dimensions of a tragedy. (David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry, Cardiff University, and author of The Antidepressant Era and Let Them Eat Prozac)
[S]ucceeds admirably in alerting the reader to the problems of psychotropic drugs for children....[t]his book raises many potential ethical issues....[o]pens a much needed conversation about the cultural and ethical implications of medical interventions for normalizing individuals. (The Hastings Center Report May-June 2007)
[T]akes a critical look at the promotion and overuse of pyschoactive drugs in children. (Easton's Public Library eNewsletter August 2006)
A group of authors from various disciplines explain why there has been a 300-percent increase in the use of psychotropic medications for children under the age of 20 and why prescriptions for preschoolers have skyrocketed. The authors question the causes, describe the risks and discuss how emotional, social, cultural and physical environments can both damage and heal young minds. The book also looks at the controversy of whether psychiatric medications are safe or effective for children and what is known about their effects on brains that are still developing. (District Administration March 2006)
This work raises important issues concerning the deteriorating mental health of American children. Contributors explore the societal and cultural issues related to this emerging phenomenon, as well as some related theories of psychosocial development and genetics. (Choice November 2006)
[T]hose seeking an introduction to alternative ways to view the problems facing Americas children―and progressive solutions to these problems―will appreciate this collection. Editor Sharna Olfman, whose series "Childhood in America" also includes the volumes Childhood Lost: How American Culture is Failing Our Kids and All Work and No Play...:How Educational Reforms Are Harming Our Preschoolers, is to be commended for making this range of views readily accessible. (Metapsychology June 2007)
No Child Left Different takes a critical look at the promotion and overuse of pyschoactive drugs in children. (The New York Review of Books June 8, 2006)
Over the past 15 years, there has been a 300 percent increase in the use of psychotropic medications for children and youth under the age of 20. This volume traces the emergence of this phenomenon and critically examines the establishment of drugs as the treatment of choice―rather than last resort―for children and teens diagnosed with mental illnesses. (SciTech Book News March 2006)
An important book raising critical concerns about childhood, drugs, and how unfettered corporate interests combine with the romance of a quick fix to undermine children's health. (Susan Linn, Ed.D, author of Consuming Kids and Associate Director of the Media Center of Judge Baker Children's Center and Instructor in Psy)
Sharna Olfman has masterfully edited this extraordinary volume that critically examines our nation's gullible faith in drugs as the treatment of choice for the rising tide of American children and youths diagnosed with mental illness. Through compelling statistics, wide-ranging research evidence, and poignant case examples, a renowned cast of contributing authors expose the clinical, industrial, and social conditions that have led to unwarranted drugging of our children. The chapters offer an incisive reminder that family, community, and societal supports combine with biology and are crucial for the development of every mentally healthy human child. The clarity, passion, and power of the authors' writing strengthen their vital message. A must-read for parents, mental health professionals, and policy-makers, and a forceful call to action. (Laura E. Berk, distinguished professor of psychology, Illinois State University; author of Awakening Children's Minds)
About the Author
Sharna Olfman is Professor of Clinical and Developmental Psychology at Point Park University in Pennsylvania and the Founding Director of the Childhood and Society Symposium.
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Nonetheless, the title does reflect an important philosophy, one that called to me from its title, with which I was not at all disappointed. Its multiple authors critique the prevailing attitudes in mental health and social policy which have led to the sharp increases in psychiatric diagnoses for children, as well as the growing reliance on "medication" to treat the identified "disorders". Their concerns are grounded in the need to accept children (and ultimately adults as well) as they are, with all their quirks intact, if not actively encouraged. They also provide scathing and well documented accounts of the lack of testing of the drugs that are prescribed to children, as well as the dysfunctional responses in the face of predictable side effects--notably the truly frightening trend towards "polypharmacy". Unlike many critical works, this book does not fail to provide alternatives, but does in fact discuss other, safer and more humane approaches to helping children whose behavioral and social difficulties they do not deny. The strength of a multi-authored work is the variety of perspectives and alternatives available. Certainly, some chapters are more compelling than others: Chapter 3, "The Dance of Nature and Nurture" provides answers for those who might otherwise worry about appearing "unscientific"; Chapter 9, "The Rise of Ritalin" highlights specific medication concerns; and, Chapter 6, "Child Psychiatry, Drugs, and the Corporation" attests to the needs of scientists to know more about politics.
The target audience for this book appears at first glance to be professionals, but it is highly accessible, and I think urgent reading for anyone whose life includes children. It needs to reach a larger market.