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And They Call It Help: The Psychiatric Policing of America’s Children

In this shocking and revealing expose, author Louise Armstrong expresses her frustration with how “problem” children and teenagers have become hostages of of psychiatric hospitals.  She gives us a snapshot of how these children are drugged, isolated and held prisoner supposedly for their own good.  Armstrong also examines the motivations behind these hospitals for this abuse of children and teenagers, with greed being at the top of the list.

Going back to the 1980s, Armstrong follows the rapid expansion of juvenile hospitalization and makes a connection to profits that comes from the state and insurance companies.  She points out how the mental health industry has continued to make more and more behaviors, feelings and thoughts that are part of the natural human makeup into psychiatric issues that require treatment.  This, according to Armstrong, leads to institutionalization and drugging of children that are perfectly normal, but are going through a troubling time or living in a stressful environment.   In the book, Armstrong includes conversations with some of these hospitalized children who describe their experiences in these institutions.

About the Author

Louise Armstrong is a writer, feminist and activist, who has published numerous children’s and adults’ books.  The topics she covers in her books range from child abuse, to incest, family violence and sexual abuse.  Her other books include Kiss Daddy GoodnightA Child’s Guide to Freud, and Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism.  She also is a former staff member of the Institute of Children’s Literature, led a committee on family violence for the National Women’s Health Network, and has been a contributor to magazines such as Woman’s Day.

The Myth of the ADHD Child, Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels and Coercion

In response to the rise of ADHD diagnoses and the number of people taking psychoactive medications, The Myth of the ADHD Child: Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels or Coercion really examines the root of where all of these issues are coming from.  Psychologist Dr. Thomas Armstrong addresses what many people believe to be a highly overdiagnosed disorder at the very least, and he even challenges the actual existence of ADHD, based on lack of concrete evidence. He instead explores possible alternatives for dealing with hyperactivity and short attention spans by engaging children’s creativity and vitality, which is often mischanneled.

Armstrong recommends the book be followed along with the guidance of the child’s doctor, and that the parents have an active role in the child’s treatment. Also, the book gives an overview of the history and politics of ADD and ADHD, and Big Pharma’s role in creating such a heavily medicated society. This is the second edition of the book, published 22 years after The Myth of the A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels or Coercion.  Since the first book was published 22 years ago, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people, and children, on psychotropic medication.

About the Author

Dr. Thomas Armstrong has a background in education, and has written a lot of material on parenting and education.  He has also explored mindfulness in the classroom as a way to help children feel calmer and more focused in school, which he wrote about in Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm.  He also avidly promotes neurodiversity, which is an idea that views people with disabilities as having differences from others, including both challenges and strengths, as opposed to only focusing on the weaknesses of the disabled.  You can learn more in Armstrong’s book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleash the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain.


Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and Success Principles:

“Parents everywhere should read this book, not just those with kids diagnosed with ADHD!  Thomas Armstrong presents a wealth of strategies, ideas, tips and resources that will help parents nurture kids who feel good about themselves, who have skills for coping with life’s challenges, strategies that will help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.  I wholeheartedly recommend The Myth of the ADHD Child.”

Alan Sroufe, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Child Psychology, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota:

“…absolutely essential reading for parents. teachers, and others concerned with children who struggle.  Armstrong provides a lucid and comprehensive response to the tragic overuse of medication for America’s children.  Bursting the myths of an established brain deficit, a single cause, and long-term effectiveness of drugs, Armstrong discusses parental options with compassion.”

Buster B. Basset Hound – The Label Buster

Finally a book for families that not only discusses the problems caused by labeling children but also offers explanations and solutions that a child can understand. This entertaining book is written from a child’s perspective and validates a child’s feelings about being labeled. Taking a positive and uplifting approach, the story explains how the labeling is not the child`s fault and what can be done to stop it.