Interesting TV tonight on PBS! Josh Sparrow is Dr. T. Berry Brazelton's right-hand man and an excellent doctor, researcher and author on children in his own right. This two-part series will definitely be interesting and may be especially helpful for any of you with children with behavior/psych issues. See copy below.
The Medicated Child
PBS FRONTLINE program to air January 8th -- To help families sort through a range of medication-related issues and to team up with their children, doctors, and teachers to face these issues, FRONTLINE, PBS public affairs series, consulted Joshua Sparrow, M.D., Brazelton Touchpoints Center Faculty. FRONTLINE presents “THE MEDICATED CHILD” Tuesday, January 8, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS. Dr. Sparrow’s Parents Guide as it appears in the New York Times Syndicate Families Today column has been provided below.
DOES YOUR CHILD NEED PSYCHIATRIC HELP? DR. JOSHUA SPARROW EXPLORES THE ISSUES AND OPTIONS
In a two-part series of special New York Times Syndicate Families Today columns pegged to the program "The Medicated Child" on Frontline on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m. ET, on PBS, Dr. Sparrow guides parents through the choices -- medication and otherwise -- that can help a troubled child.
“If you have concerns about your child, you deserve honest answers to your questions," writes Dr. Sparrow. In straightforward terms, he outlines when extra attention may be warranted and explains how to make the most of the treatment possibilities.
More than 6 million children in the United States are taking psychiatric drugs -- the result of a dramatic recent increase in the number of children being diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders. The drugs, which are often not fully assessed in children, can cause serious side effects, and little is known about their long-term impact. Reporting on the phenomenon, the PBS program FRONTLINE is scheduled to air "The Medicated Child" on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. To help families sort through a range of medication-related issues and to team up with their children, doctors, and teachers to face these issues, Frontline asked Joshua Sparrow, M.D., a child psychiatrist at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, to contribute to a Viewer's Guide to accompany the program.
Q&A: MEDICATED KIDS: A PARENT'S GUIDE, PART 1
FAMILIES-TODAY-COLUMN -- Psychiatric medication can rescue a child from a desperate future, and sometimes even save a child's life. But such medication's effects on children's developing minds and bodies are largely unknown. Even the diagnosis that may occasion the drugs is challenging since "normal" behavior in children varies widely. Symptoms like impulsivity or hyperactivity may suggest a host of diagnoses. Parents are bound to wonder whether psychiatric drugs will really help. Even when a psychiatric diagnosis is appropriate, parents worry about the price the child will pay. Identity and self-esteem take form in the vulnerable childhood years but last a lifetime. Taking psychiatric drugs is a tangible symbol of a diagnosis that children often misunderstand to mean they are defective. However, when treatment helps children manage more effectively at home and school, it can bolster fragile self-esteem. By Joshua Sparrow, M.D.
Q&A: MEDICATED KIDS: A PARENT'S GUIDE, PART 2
FAMILIES-TODAY-COLUMN -- When a child is troubled and needs help, it is crucial that parents, the child, doctors and teachers work together as a team. An unfortunate but avoidable consequence of diagnostic labels and medication treatment is that these may lead children to believe that their future is no longer in their hands. But they can be helped to understand that even though their struggles are not their fault, their actions remain their responsibility. This can be presented to the child not as more pressure, but as a form of respect that will help them fight for their own role in their recovery. Parents too may feel that as they entrust their child's psychiatric care to a professional they themselves can do little to help. Yet of course parents remain children's most important caregivers and advocates. By Joshua Sparrow, M.D.
Joshua Sparrow, M.D. is a child psychiatrist at Children's Hospital, Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. He is co-author, with T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., of the Families Today column and eight books on child development and parenting, and has recently revised the 15-year anniversary edition of Brazelton's Touchpoints Birth to 3: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development," published by Da Capo Press, a member of The Perseus Books Group.
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