A colleague of mine recently pointed out a study by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) about mental health care for children. Among their findings was this: Almost 50 percent of children enrolled in Medicaid who are prescribed psychotropic medications receive no identifiable behavioral health treatment. This is a disturbing, though not surprising, statistic given that these medications are commonly prescribed by primary care clinicians. Children living in poverty often experience greater environmental stress ...

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iPad on the potty: A violation of infants rights? I was contemplating writing a blog post about the movement by the Boston-based advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood urging Fisher-Price to recall the baby bouncy seat with an attachment for insertion of an iPad. When I then received an email from a colleague with a link for another product -- a potty seat with an attachment for an iPad ...

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When the American Academy of Pediatrics changed the guidelines for ADHD to expand age of diagnosis to include children from age 4-18 (from 6-12), that number of cases would rise was, by definition, inevitable. The recent survey by the CDC, published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, indicating that one in 11 children in the US carry a diagnosis ...

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Authoritarian parenting, as in "my way or the highway," and its opposite, permissive parenting with lack of limit setting, may be linked with difficulty with emotional regulation in children. In contrast, an "authoritative" parenting style is associated with an enhanced capacity for emotional regulation, flexible thinking and social competence. An authoritative parenting stance encompasses respect for and curiosity about a child, together with containment of intense feelings and limits on ...

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A paradigm is a way of thinking about things. For the past 60 or so years, our thinking about mental health and illness has been dominated by what can be referred to as the "DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) paradigm." What this looks like in everyday practice is that when a child is referred to my behavioral pediatrics practice for say, anxiety, the questions that parents, referring ...

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We do not have medical records or diagnoses. The news is filled with speculation. What we do know is that Miriam Carey’s one-year-old daughter lost her mother, and that because the incident occurred in Washington, DC in front of the White House, it is shining a spotlight on the subject of mental health and motherhood. And the message should be simple. Diagnoses don't matter. As part of our nation's health ...

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Recently, I "launched" my oldest off to college. As anticipated, it was an intense emotional experience full of joy, sadness, and many things in between. (I have to tip my hat to Beverly Beckham for her piece I was the sun, the kids were my planets that was very helpful. However, I might have written that my child was the sun, a burst of light in our household, and the experience ...

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study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics showing a connection between hours of sleep and childhood behavior problems has received a lot of media attention. Children who slept less than 9.4 hours of sleep had more impulsivity, anger, tantrums and annoying behavior. The obvious conclusion-more sleep, better behavior. If only it were that simple. If one takes the time to look closely, one will discover that what ...

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Patricia Wen's front page story, "Children's Access to Mental Health Care is Growing," in which she describes the "co-location" of mental health care services in pediatric practices, brought me back to the summer of 2011 when I attended a meeting of a working group of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of 
Pediatrics (MCAAP.) The task of this working group, a subgroup of the MCAAP task force on mental ...

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Sam burst into the office, a two-year-old wild bundle of energy. Squealing with delight -- or was it distress; it was hard to tell -- he ran from toy to toy not looking at me or his mother, Jane. He was unable to engage with anything. Jane had brought him to see me in my pediatric practice because, “he hits me, has explosive tantrums, and I can’t take him anywhere.” ...

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