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The Last Normal Child: Essays on the Intersection of Kids, Culture, and Psychiatric Drugs [Hardcover]

Lawrence H. Diller

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Book Description

Sept. 1 2006 0275990966 978-0275990961 annotated edition
We live in an increasingly fast-paced and high-demand society which pressures children to excel and prepare for college and career from an early age - and pressures parents to assure their offspring compete and meet the high-achieving norm for youngsters. Psychiatrist Larry Diller gives us a reality check. The author questions why psychotropic medications are increasingly being used on children, and reviews the dangers and side effects, and the psyche of a culture that feels they are so often necessary. He is not opposed to all use, but offers through vignettes, history and his own observations intriguing and troubling insights into what he sees as the overdiagnosis and overmedication of our children. The author describes both the development and current application of psychiatric medications for children, whose parents are now seeking the drugs for offspring as young as eight. He examines the marketing techniques being used by industry to "sell" acceptance of diagnoses including ADHD to parents and educators. Diller illustrates the issues with compassionate and vivid stories from rooms where he has treated children who later face the consequences of being labelled and drugged, even when they appeared normal to the psychiatrist.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers; annotated edition edition (Sept. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275990966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275990961
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #931,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The author is a behavioral-developmental pediatrician with over 20 years of experience in treating problems of behavior and learning in children at home and at school. His previous books on drug use include "Running on Ritalin" (1998) and "Should I Medicate My Child?" (CH, Oct'02). In this work he identifies and discusses problems associated with the increasingly widespread use of Ritalin--not only in children with suspected attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but also in young adults (primarily college-age students, before taking the SAT or other tests), and even in adults who wish to improve their intellectual performance. (The Ritalin production rate has increased an astounding 1,700 percent in the US in the last 15 years; the US consumes 80 percent of the world's Ritalin.) The well-written chapters are short essays, each reflecting the author's experiences. Readers will encounter no forced preaching; Diller lets his audience draw its own conclusions....Highly recommended. All levels." - Choice

About the Author

LAWRENCE H. DILLER, M.D. is a paediatrician who specialises in child behaviour and development.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars a balanced approach June 27 2013
By researchnut - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was a little hard to read for a layman as it had a lot of educational information presented with higher level scientific jargon, but well worth reading and rereading. That said, the more difficult language is mixed in with high interest case studies which give the brain a break. The author objectively exposes the impact of the pharmaceutical and educational industries on our children. It gives us that "follow the money" connection. While he points out some rather disturbing practices, he remains highly realistic in his view that we must work from where were are and not throw the baby out with the bath water. Dr. Diller's book would be a marvelous starter for round table discussions. This book will remain in my reference library. It gets a top spot along with Jane Healy's Endangered Minds.

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