In a report released 16 May 2013, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 2013) indicated that as many as 13-20% of US children experience a mental disorder annually. The CDC based it’s estimate on the familiar report of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (2009) as well as other data gathered more recently. These are broad-scope data that incorporate a wide array of mental disorders, but they help to capture the range of issues that confront mental health services.
According to the CDC estimates,
Data collected from a variety of data sources between the years 2005-2011 show:
Children aged 3-17 years currently had:
- ADHD (6.8%)
- Behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%)
- Anxiety (3.0%)
- Depression (2.1%)
- Autism spectrum disorders (1.1%)
- Tourette syndrome (0.2%) (among children aged 6–17 years)
Adolescents aged 12–17 years had:
- Illicit drug use disorder in the past year (4.7%)
- Alcohol use disorder in the past year (4.2%)
- Cigarette dependence in the past month (2.8%)
There is much that can be done to help. It can’t be done without the help of concerned adults who lobby, vote, and work hard otherwise on behalf of our children.
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people: Progress and possibilities. Washington, DC: The National Academic Press; 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Mental health surveillance among children – United States, 2005—2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 62(Suppl; May 16, 2013), 1-35.
Are you familiar with the hypothesis that people such as Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein actually had Asperger’s Syndrome? How about Bill Gates? Type these people’s names and “Asperger’s Syndrome” into your favorite search engine (Bing or Yahoo them) to see what you’ll get.
Then go and read Jonathan Mitchell’s “Undiagnosing Gates, Jefferson and Einstein.” Mr. Mitchell, who has some insider scoop, does a fine job of debunking these historical diagnoses. He identifies the diagnosticians, shows the holes in their work, and cites sources.
This is another one of the reasons that we should be wary of those role models people propose for children with disabilities.
Do you ever wonder whether those references to famous people with disabilities really are helpful? Do they actually inspire people with disabilities to achieve more? As I’ve often noted on LD Blog, it’s really common in the world of learning disabilities to tell children about the high-flying people with dyslexia for example. It also happens in the world of EBD.
Well, Mark Brown, who knows a thing or two about mental health issues, published a provocative question in the BBC Website’s Ouch blog 13 May 2013: “Do famous role models help or hinder?” Here are his first paragraphs to whet your appetite:
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week – cue the annual round of lists of “inspirational” public figures. But do famous role models actually make a difference?
If you’re a person who experiences mental health difficulties, as I do, you’ll be familiar with an oft-quoted list of inspirational fellow travellers, such as Winston Churchill and his famous “black dog” or national treasure Stephen Fry and his bipolar disorder.
Continue reading ‘Are famous role models helpful?’
Are some insurance companies slow in providing coverage for behavioral therapies that families deserve for their children with Autism? According to a report by Alan Zarembo in the Los Angeles (CA, US) Times, the problem is great enough in California that a government agency is considering emergency regulations to force insurers to comply with their obligation to provide coverage.
Insurers have been skirting their obligation under recently enacted state law to provide costly behavioral therapies for autism, according to the Department of Insurance, which is proposing emergency regulations aimed at enforcing the law.
Continue reading ‘Are insurers dragging their feet?’