26 November 2011

My position

Rant Warning: I'm going to blow my lid now.

Sometimes there is a (make-believe) divide between psychiatrists and psychologists such that the former favors medical intervention while the latter would opt for various talk therapies. I would argue that in any area of study when the question is either one choice or another, the answer generally sits squarely between both choices.

As far as medicating children, I don't think that it should be the first line of defense. Before risking the deleterious effects of pharmacological treatment, it's of great value to determine whether other, noninvasive treatments might be just as effective.

I also don't think that it should be the sole line of defense. There are simply no magic pills to cure all that ills. Greater strides can and will be made if the child is treated as a whole person by addressing his cognition, affect, and behaviors and well examining his family and social functioning.

But, yes, there may come a time when medication is necessary and helpful. If the child poses a danger to himself and others to the extent that these dangerous behaviors are unable to be curbed, then this child is absolutely a strong candidate for medical intervention if he is to be mainstreamed with typical peers. I imagine that I will make enemies here (you know...if I actually had readers), but there is no amount of organic eating, holistic remedies, or yoga that will make it okay if the child is still engaging in high risk behavior. I realize that I'm endorsing what is ostensibly chemically restraining a child, but when others' verbal prompts and self-direction are insufficient, the only other path is to isolate the child. And *that* is cruel. Medication, used with adjunctive therapies, is the humane choice. Because, really, allowing a child devoid of the ability to self-regulate and inhibit his own ability to cause harm near my child...that is an unacceptable choice. I do not accept!

Completely unrelated photo of the boys at a recent Chuck E. Cheese birthday party:

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