But the report was also criticised by experts for inappropriately “medicalising” unruly behaviour. Based on information from 9,117 children and young people, health chiefs say 5.5 per cent of preschool children now have a mental health disorder.
However, nearly half of these were characterised as “behavioural”, with the single most common form being “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD).
The concept was devised decades ago in the US, but it was not fully adopted by England’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence until 2013.
The watchdog recommends that parents of affected children attend NHS-funded parenting classes.
To be diagnosed with ODD a toddler must display at least four symptoms, such as spite, aggression and disobedience, for six months or longer.
Professor Tamsin Ford of Exeter Univeristy, who co-authored the new report, defended the criteria, saying he behaviour of children with ODD is often so bad it prompts parents to question whether they should let them out of the house.
Never. A bureaucracy would never, ever, widen the definition in order to ensure the growth of the bureaucracy, would it?
We’ve not seen this with the definition of poverty becoming relative poverty, we’ve not seen it with homelessness meaning having a home. Just doesn’t happen, does it?