Lately, we read a lot about the so-called ‘over diagnoses’ of our children. An increasingly popular view suggests we are medicalising completely ‘normal’ aspects of childhood.
Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Oppositional Defiance Disorder are just some of the conditions we hear about more often these days – and that attract considerable scepticism in some circles.
There is no denying that we have seen an increase in the number of children being diagnosed with mental health disorders, but are there more children with these disorders – or are we just better at diagnosing them? Some suggest our society is labelling children as disordered if they don’t comply with our ideas about the perfect child. You know the one: talking in sentences by eighteen months, playing piano and violin by the age of two, killing their first NAPLAN on the way to their law degree. But is this really what’s going on, or is it an urban myth?