Instead of drugs, children need a good dose of parenting
The targeting of preschoolers by the academy is an integral part of a disturbing tendency to advocate medical and pharmaceutical intervention as a legitimate option for the management of childhood behaviour. The campaign, which has as its premise the conviction that children’s behavioural problems represent a marker for mental illness, implicitly assumed a coercive and intrusive form. In Australia, draft guidelines being considered by the National Health and Medical Research Council threaten parents who refuse to medicate children diagnosed with ADHD with being referred to child protection authorities. The proposed guidelines assert that “as with any medical intervention” the “inability of parents to implement strategies may raise child protection issues”.