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We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication Audible – Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Format: Hardcover
Judith Warner initially planned to write a book on how American children were falsely diagnosed and over-medicated by thoughtlessly competitive parents seeking a quick fix for their perfectly healthy (albeit quirky) children, for reasons ranging from enhancing their competitive edge (e.g. to raise their "B" grades to "A" grades) to "calming them down" to make parenting easier. She admits she once strongly believed, as many do, that hordes of children were medicated for "flavor of the week" disorders by lazy parents and unscrupulous doctors, and at the recommendation of teachers who needed their young charges to sit still for hours on end at school. What she discovered, however, after seeking such people...is that she couldn't find them. What she discovered instead were parents of sometimes desperately ill children who finally turned to medication (sometimes after years of "denial" about their child's illness) in desperation, more often than not as a last resort, and with great guilt, after trying every other nutritional or behavioral therapy they could identify. To all those adults who ask "where were all these children before when we were growing up?," Ms. Warner notes that they were always there. It's not that there are so many more now -- it's just that now we know what to look for. A kid with what we now know as Asperger's was once just labeled "weird." Similarly, we all knew kids with ADHD in school -- they were the wild, undisciplined kids who couldn't behave (not "wouldn't," but actually couldn't), or couldn't perform, or were labeled "stupid" or "lazy" and for whom the "treatment" ranged from failure to spanking. Ask any adult who lived through ADHD as a kid -- they remember, and they will tell you it exists.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, a BIG GIANT THANK YOU to Judith Warner! As a parent of a child "with issues" this book is documenting not just our journey, but the very similar journeys of many other parents. It is a great relief to read that our experiences were not unique. It deeply sad that we were out there on our own, while others were experiencing these things as well. If you as a parent are just starting this long and difficult journey this book is a must read! Also a great book to put into the hands of those within your circle of friends and family who stand in judgment of you!!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a child clinical psychologist for 28 years and have seen pretty much all the changes in our cultural and medical views of childhood mental disorders as outlined in this book. Finally, someone sees the need to steer clear of all the hysteria and rhetoric and do something which child health professionals have been doing forever--actually getting to know these children and--gasp!--TALKING to their parents instead of condemning them. I'll say flatly that this book is nothing short of heroic. It demands to be read by anyone who is interested in a clearheaded, well-researched, and beautifully written work, stripped of all the ill-informed, judgmental and paranoid nonsense which abounds.
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Format: Paperback
Are kids today over-medicated and over-diagnosed by their hovering helicopter parents? Or, is all the medication and treatment necessary to help kids manage their very real mental disorders? Those are the questions Judith Warner addresses in We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication. As Warner explains, she started writing this book based on the premise that today's kids are over-medicated and over-diagnosed, but as she continued her research, she decided that the media and it's anecdotal evidence were oversimplifying the picture.

As an engineer, I love that Warner actually researched the topic, and allowed the evidence to influence her thinking. I also appreciated that she has such an extensive reference list, over 50 pages for those who want to learn more. As a reader, I appreciated the well written style of the book. But, as a therapist, I thought the conclusions were too simply stated, and the conversational, anecdotal tone was relied on so much it interfered with a more rigorous analysis.

Surely, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Some parents hover, expect too much from their kids, and pathologize normal behavior. Other parents, certainly the overwhelming majority of the families I've seen, are dealing with kids who are clearly struggling, kids who have evident difficulties, and their parents allow medication and diagnosis only with caution and reluctance. But the way to illustrate this truth is through facts and data, and too often Warner relies on examples and stories from the families she's interviewed. A compelling read, no doubt, but ironic in that Warner is criticizing the very type of research-by-anecdotal-evidence that she's using here.
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Format: Paperback
Thank you for this book. I'm sorry Bookgirl, reading medical records all day long is not the same as seeing and working with a child too distracted to even hear his or her name called in a classroom. You have to experience, as a parent or educator, how destructive ADHD can be on early learning. I deal occasionally with parents who feel legitimate medication for an organic deficit is "drugging" their child. It's difficult to explain that the child's system in not in a normal mode and this medication gets them to that state so information can be understood and retained. Insulin for a diabetic child is not drugging them, it is getting their system to normal. My high-blood pressure medication gets my system to a normal level.

Armchair quarterbacks who criticize medication and have never seen the frustration that these children experience when the are unable to keep up and cope with the progress of the other children, are doing a terrible disservice to parents, and perpetuate an unfounded myth of drugging children. I can't tell you how many parents have come into my office a few weeks after their children start medication and in tears thank me for convincing them to look into that option. Those of us who work with these children know the dramatic turn-around that takes place in learning, and how this helps us to teach them strategies to cope with their ADHD so that eventually they can stop medication and self-monitor themselves.
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