Against the Grain

Kids, Autism, ADHD, and Bipolar Disorder

Children are being diagnosed with increasing rates of autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and bipolar disorder.  Theories abound about the spike in these conditions. But what if the root problem is, in fact, a society that medicalizes normal childhood behavior?  Clinical psychologist Enrico Gnaulati makes such a claim.  He discusses kids, psychiatric diagnoses, and the medical profession.


Enrico Gnaulati, Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder Beacon Press, 2014

One response to “Kids, Autism, ADHD, and Bipolar Disorder

  1. ‘The outer edges of normal’: interesting stuff on the medicalisation of neurodiversity, a bit dodgy on ‘true autism’ though, and autism is never a mental illness. Yes, far more services should be available for people without formal diagnosis, but we have a real problem if that comes at the cost of dismissing the autism of people who are less disabled by their neurology. People with so-called ‘mild’ autism may still need accommodations, and we’re a long way from attaining a society where anyone can get them without requiring (dubiously medicalised) backup.

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