Book Review: A Disease Called Childhood

photoOver the past 30 years or so, ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) has grown from an inglorious collection of symptoms into a household name. Approximately 11 percent of children and 15 percent of adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD. Each American child is 6 times more likely to receive the diagnosis than a child in France and 60 times more likely than a child in Finland. In her recently published book, A Disease Called Childhood, psychologist Marilyn Wedge set out to find out why ADHD became an “American epidemic.” She concludes with a decisive stance against the medicalization of childhood behavior, rampant prescription of stimulants classified as addictive and widespread misrepresentation of research in the name of ADHD. Continue reading

Freud or Betty Crocker: What’s Cooking?

Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund, was also an influential psychoanalyst and worked predominantly with children who experienced deprivation. She was the first psychologist to recognize the importance of food as a therapeutic tool. Providing food was seen as a “corrective emotional experience” for children whose basic needs had been inconsistently met. This point of view had its detractors and it became suspect to “gratify children’s wishes”.   Hostility to the pleasures of food and eating is a theme that continues today in rigid diet regimens and the constant barrage of food-bashing in the media. Continue reading

From Boys to Men

Dr. JBy Dr. Charlie Johnson

I have worked with pre-adolescent and adolescent males, primarily African-American, but other racial and ethnic groups as well, for more than 25 years. In my 15 years at The Kingsbury Center, I have specialized in working with those who have some sort of learning disability, be it a struggle to read, despite average intelligence; or slow processing, which inhibits the ability to work in “real time”; or internal distractions, like attention or anxiety, which make it challenging to be an effective learner, both in terms of academics and in appropriate social and emotional functioning. My overarching goal is to help these boys successfully transition to manhood. What I have observed in emerging young men over the years leads me to share my personal perspective on a phenomenon that causes me great concern: too many young men are not being successfully “launched.” Continue reading

When a Grandparent Is Ill: 8 Little Steps to Make it Easier on the Kids (and You)

ellenBy Ellen Iscoe, Ph.D.

You may realize it gradually or find out through a dreaded call in the middle of the night. Your mother or father is ill, no longer the healthy family member you and your children are accustomed to. With all the emotions you may experience and details you might need to attend to, you also have to consider how to help your child cope with the fact that Grandpa or Grandma is sick. Here are some things to keep in mind to help your child get accustomed to this unwelcome bit of news. Continue reading