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

Leah Courtney
This was an extremely interesting book to read. When I was an elementary school teacher in a traditional school, I was alarmed at the number of children diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Autism, and Bipolar Disorder. I was especially alarmed at the way medication was casually handed out to children on a daily basis. I interned in public schools for two semesters as a senior in college, and when I found a job, I went to work at a small Christian school. I expected that the numbers of diagnosed and medication children would be much less at the small Christian school, but, in actuality, there was the same percentage of children taking medication.

At one point I was tempted to jump on the "no such thing as ADHD" bandwagon. But after years of teaching experience, I saw that there were some children who seemed to have some legitimate problems with attention and behavior. So my opinion slowly shifted. I do think there are children who have some legitimate issues that need to be labeled. But I also believe that pasting on labels and prescribing medication have become far too common. And I think there is a great danger in this casual labeling and resulting medication.

In Back to Normal Dr. Gnaulati, a psychologist, explores this issue. He gives quite a bit of information about three common "disorders" that seem to be coming more and more common. He takes a look at why these disorders may be diagnosed more frequently now that in years past. He examines symptoms that can be mistaken for disorders. And he discusses the danger of casually labeling and medicating children.

I thought this was very interesting and well-written. I agreed with much of what Dr. Gnaulati had to say. I think parents who are concerned about the behaviors that their children may be exhibiting would do well to consider the information in this book before accepting a label for their child. Dr. Gnaulati emphasizes that these disorders- ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism- are real and serious problems. But he recommends caution in seeking answers for your child.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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