The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses, is, as the title implies, a work that encourages the spirits of our young people and shines a more positive light on them. The book also has two subtitles. The first subtitle, The Truth About Ritalin, ADHD, and other “Disruptive Behavior Disorders” signals that the book really brings a lot of attention to the phenomenon of unrealistically high numbers of children being labeled with these kind of diagnoses, and prescribed potentially dangerous psychiatric medication. The second subtitle is What to Do When Your Child is Labeled By the Schools. The book offers a great deal of support for any adult that is caring for and looking to help a child in this type of situation.
This book is divided into three major sections:
Part 1: Recognition and Remembrance
- Since society distorts the reality regarding the experience of children and schools, we need to recognize this and create a realistic picture of the situation to respond effectively.
- Addresses the “Biopsychiatry” approach, which has led to the overmedicating of children with psychiatric drugs like Ritalin in the United States.
- This section works to focus on ideas of who the child truly is and see the schools for what they really are.
- Remembrance refers to training ourselves to be able to remember who our child truly is, which can be easy to forget in times of heightened stress and when the child is having a hard time emotionally or behaviorally.
Part 2: Information and Action
- This section focuses on solutions – what action parents can take to help their child.
- In our flawed society where no one tells us how to be parents, this book guides us on how to respond to these sensitive situations.
Part 3: On Counseling Children
- This section is the heart of the book.
- Does a great job of outlining and unpacking all of the conditioned thinking that has led our society astray.
- Our society lacks support for both parents and children, and helping your children the way that is outlined in this book is very challenging in our culture today.
- This section thoroughly examines important topics like fear, shame, crying and anger.
- The author shares his own personal experiences as a parent.
About the Author
John Breeding, Ph.D., is a psychologist with over 25 years of experience who counsels adults children and families out of his private practice in Austin, Texas, and also around the world. He is the director of the non-profit organization Wildest Colts Resources, which focuses on helping adults working with young people having a hard time to offer non-drug treatment alternatives. He is also the director of Texans for Safe Education, a citizens group dedicated to fighting the growing role of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs in schools today.
Dr. Breeding is also experienced in other aspects of psychiatric oppression, including electroshock and psychiatric drugging of elders in nursing homes. He received his doctorate from the University of Texas. He has published several other books: Eyes Wide Open: Parenting and Life Mainfestos for the 21st Century, True Nature and Great Misunderstandings (On How We Care for Our Children According to Our Understanding, and Necessity of Madness and Unproductivity: Psychiatric Oppression or Human Transformation.
Moira Dolan, M.D. The West News, Fall 1996:
“Are you the parent of a ‘wild colt’? Is your darling child identified as a ‘problem’ in school, or been the target of kindly professionals suggesting Ritalin? If so, you will discover your child in John Breeding’s new book….”
Chris Mercogliano, author of Making it Up as We Go Along, the Story of the Albany Free School and Co-Director of the Free School:
“Authors die for the perfect titles for their work. Well, John Breeding has come up with a doozy here. I wholeheartedly agree with Breeding and share his horror at what we are doing to our society’s wild colts. Breeding elects to focus mainly on today’s most popular designer label for children who don’t fit the mold, “Attention Deficit Disorder.” He emphatically repudiates any and every psychopharmaceutical approach to the behavioral management of children… Breeding knows what he’s talking about. So, parents out there, if the “psychiatric police” show up at your door, there is another way.”