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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

I got to read Pills are Not for Preschoolers: A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids by Marilyn Wedge this summer and WOW. Love it. A quote by Publisher’s Weekly on the cover says “Wedge proves that the road to a child’s healing can often be successfully navigated without the use of labels and potentially harmful meds.” They’re right.

Here’s a quote from the book

The risk of these drugs has been amply documented. The largest study so far of the use of antipsychotic drugs, including Risperdal and Abilify, on children and adolescents produced ominous findings.

She does on to describe the findings in an October, 2009 study showing increases in weight and increased blood levels of cholesterol or triglicerides. In a separate study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, published in February, 2009, researchesr found that drugs commonly used to treat ADHD and ADD can cause symptoms of psychosis and mania in children.

Dr. Marilyn Wedge is a family therapist. I didn’t know it, but there are several different kinds of therapy and approaches. In family therapy, the doctor looks at the whole picture and then creates a strategy to solve the problems in a safe way that makes the child feel understood. Many times, simple changes on the part of the parents help the child get back on a healthy track.

In our culture of reaching for the nearest pill so easily, we’ve turned to an alarming trend of medicating children. Frequently they don’t need it, and also frequently the meds that are prescribed are “black box” medications. They’re dangerous, with all sorts of warnings. And they’re even more dangerous for children.

According to Dr. Wedge, many tough situations can be solved quickly with under 10 sessions. She shares her approach in the book, and it involves strategies that any parent can use. If you’ve got a child who is struggling in an area, I strongly suggest reading this book and finding a local family therapist. How much better would it be to get your child’s life straightened out without medical intervention? If it doesn’t work, you can always try the pills later.

I bet this way works though.