Published in the New Zealand Herald Wednesday 26th November PG B3

 I could not find it online, so I have typed it out.
CHICAGO- Internal company documents suggest Johnson &Johnson, maker of the antipsychotic drug Respirdal, agreed to fund a child psychiatry research center at Massachusetts General Hospital to generate data to support the use of the drug in children, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
The Drug known generically as risperidone, recently came under fire from an advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration after documents submitted to the panel revealed children and teenagers make up nearly 25% of its sales.
An email from an employee of J& J’s Janssen Unit posted on the Jounals Website, describes a series of meetings with Dr Joseph Biederman proposed creation of  joint center for Bipolar disorders in children.
” The rationale for this center is to generate and disseminate data supporting the use of risperidone in this patient population,” the 2002 email read.
The emails, produced in a lawsuit against the company, suggest. J&J’ helped plan and fund the institute, and that company officials even helped to write research done by Biederman and his colleagues, the journal report reported.
US Senator Charles Grassley has accused Biederman of failing to fully disclose payments from drug firms.
Janssen spokeswoman Kara Russell said the company helped fund the institute in 2002 to clarify appropriate use and dosing of Respirdal in children.”
These included treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13 to 17 and irritablility associated with autistic disorder and adolescents aged 5 to 16, uses of the drug that were later approved by the FDA.
According to documents submitted to the FDA panel last week, Risperdal is increasingly being prescribed to children for unapproved uses. These include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
I was saddened by that article, especially after reading the research of Sandra Escher on Intervoice. Her work and documented research suggests a much more empowering and inclusive advice for families. See the full article of her advice  here as listed on the Intervoice site here  “Dont panic if your child is hearing voices its not the end of the world 
Here is the 10point checklist at the end of the article available on the above link at Intervoice
  “What you can do if your child tells you they are hearing voices“
A 10 point check-list 

1. Try not to over react, although you will be understandably worried, work hard not to communicate your anxiety to your child.

2. Accept the reality of the voice experience for your child: Ask them about their voices, how long they have been hearing them, who or what they are, do they have names, what they say etc.

3. Let your child know that lots of children hear voices and mostly they go away after a while.

4. Even if the voices do not disappear your child can learn to live in harmony with his/her voices

5. It is important to breakdown your child’s sense of isolation and differentness from other children. Your child is special, unusual perhaps, but normal.

6. Find out if your child has any difficulties or problems that they are finding very hard to cope with and work on trying to fix these problems. Think back to when the voices first started, what was happening to your child when they first heard voices? When did the voices arise for the first time? Was there anything unusual or stressful that might have occurred?

7. If you think you need outside help, find a therapist who is prepared to accept your child’s experience and work with your child in a systematic way to understanding and cope with their voices better.

8. Be ready to listen to your child if they want to talk about their voices and use drawing, painting, acting and other creative ways to help them describe what is happening to them.

9. Get on with your lives and try not to let the voice experience become the centre of your child’s life or your own.

10. Most children who live well with their voices have supportive families living around them who accept the experience as part of who their child is. You can do this too!

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