We are so honored to share with you the amazing show we had on Friday, October 7, 2011, as we welcomed Board Chair and Founder of The Flawless Foundation, Janine Francolini. The Flawless Foundation takes a stand for humane, compassionate care for children and adolescents living with mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges. Janine shared with us the different approaches that the Flawless Foundation takes when supporting the perfection in every child.
“I said to my son as I was putting him to bed last night, “ What should I say tomorrow? I am being interviewed about Flawless.” He said to me, “Tell them that your son had issues, and that you had issues when you were a little girl.” Mental illness exists in my family. My son had some major issues when he was in kindergarten. He was 5 ½. He had an absolute miraculous recovery. I was so grateful for that, so I started Flawless right there on my kitchen table.”
We also spoke with Dr J. Stuart Ablon, Ph.D., Director of Think:Kids.org. We discussed controversial topics like medicating children, Dr. Ablon’s opinions on the treatment of children with mental health issues, and his approach to handling children with behavioral problems.
“People want to know–are we for or against psychiatric medicines for kids with severe behavioral challenges, and we are neither. The fact of the matter is that there are many kids who could benefit substantially from medicine and are not getting it, and there are many kids out there who are on several medicines that will never address what’s making them challenging in the first place. It all goes back to, in my mind, another hallmark of this approach. That you have to have an explanation for what is leading to the challenges, to guide your intervention strategies. There are some things [medications] that are causing a child to be challenging that can really help, but there are other things that medicine will never address. We don’t have a medicine for linguistic difficulties. We have medicines for things like anxiety, and depression. It goes back to what’s causing the problem. Pills don’t teach skills. If these kids lack the skills they need to make it in the world, ultimately we’re going to need more than medicine.”
To listen to the rest of the show, please click here.
This article was lovingly assembled and transcribed by #WIMG’s Incredible Intern, Social Media Maven, and Radio Broadcast Expert Jennifer Cusano. Check out more of Jenn’s exceptionally skillful work and wordsmithery on Here Women Talk, elephant journal, and LinkedIn.