Think Before You Drug A Toddler

You get an object lesson on how not to raise children with a recent article in the New York Times, Child’s Ordeal Shows Dangers of Psychosis Drugs.

Kyle Warren was 18 months old when he was put on a neuroleptic drug for his temper tantrums.

You, me, and everybody else is going, “Whoa! Kid’s parents can’t even wait until he gets past his terrible twos before resorting to desperate measures.”

I suggest his parents look up a couple of words in any handy dictionary. The first word I’d have them look up is child, and the second word I’d have them look up is abuse. Throw the two together, and what have we got: child abuse.

Thus began a troubled toddler’s journey from one doctor to another, from one diagnosis to another, involving even more drugs. Autism, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, insomnia, oppositional defiant disorder. The boy’s daily pill regimen multiplied: the antipsychotic Risperdal, the antidepressant Prozac, two sleeping medicines and one for attention-deficit disorder. All by the time he was 3.

Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?

His mother goes onto say he was doped up, obese, and drooling.

Now 6, and getting high marks in the 1st grade, he’s more outgoing, and he’s lost weight.

Ms. Warren and Kyle’s new doctors point to his remarkable progress — and a more common diagnosis for children of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder — as proof that he should have never been prescribed such powerful drugs in the first place.

If I remember correctly a certain bipolar disorder boom started when kids who would have been labeled ADHD were labeled bipolar instead. Wow. You could clear up a lot of bipolar disorder by relabeling people with bipolar disorder ADHD.

What’s more, I imagine you could clear up a lot of ADHD by not labeling children at all.

Now rather than having him on 5 drugs, he’s on 1 drug. That’s got to be an improvement, but giving even 1 potent drug to a child of 6 is still child abuse in my book.

I think the best response to this situation came from a comment to answers the child’s psychiatrist was giving readers in a fielding session, A Child Psychiatrist Responds… Brooklyn Reader writes:

Simple test for psychiatrists that prescribe medications to young children.

“Can you honestly say you would prescribe the same medication(s) to your own children if they had the same problems? If not, don’t prescribe them to someone else’s children.”

Post this on your desk; tape it to your bathroom mirror; print it out and put it in your wallet. Stop playing pharmaceutical roulette with other people’s kids!

There, that wasn’t difficult, was it?