Our school professionals are under constant pressure to help funnel children into the mental health system and ultimately—and tragically for many—toward psychotropic drugs. So we designed a professional development symposium to address alternatives.
My eight-year-old son has trouble paying attention in school. He's always been very active and easily bored. The school had him evaluated by the school psychologist, who thinks he has ADHD. They are pressuring me to get him on stimulants and threatened to call Child Protective Services if I don’t. I feel very uncomfortable with this, but they seem to think it's the only answer. What should I do?
Parents encounter many obstacles when trying to secure adequate educational, medical, psychological, and social supports for their children. These “dense bureaucracies” hurt not just families, but everyone.
School-based strategies such as the “talk to your doctor” campaign about any childhood problem have been extremely effective in helping the pharmaceutical industry to marginalize traditional child-rearing practices and replace them with advice from mental health “experts” and the use of dangerous drugs. These campaigns are reminiscent of now-illegal vintage tobacco ads in which doctors endorsed cigarette smoking.
Imagine being a parent at a meeting with educators to discuss Johnny's academics or behavior. Suddenly, your child’s teacher is telling you that he needs to see a doctor for an assessment of a suspected “mental disorder,” which usually leads to a prescription for medication. Warned of “the risks against failing to intervene,” you will likely acquiesce.
Part two of a Mad In America investigation into the expansion of psychological screening and electronic surveillance of children and youth. Experts point to mounting evidence that scientifically dubious mental health screening programs are just one part of an international governance shift towards creating all-pervasive surveillance systems for diagnosing 'pre-crime' and managing 'at-risk' children and youth. And not only is this not helping kids, critics argue, it’s demonstrably harming them.