August 18th, 2014
11:10 AM ET
Childhood mental health disabilities on the rise
Over the past half century, the prevalence of childhood disabilities in the United States has been on the rise, possibly due to an increased awareness about these issues. Now a study published in this week’s online issue of Pediatrics suggests the nature of those newly diagnosed disabilities is changing.
The report, “Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 2001-2011" found the number of American children with disabilities rose 16% over a 10-year period. While there was a noted decline in physical problems, there was a large increase in disabilities classified as neurodevelopmental conditions or mental health issues, such as ADHD and autism.
“We found that that physical disability health conditions in children were down 12%, but the disabilities related to mental and neurodevelopmental health went up 21%,” said lead study author Dr. Amy Houtrow, chief of the Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Researchers looked at data collected from the well-known National Health Interview Survey between 2001-2002 and 2010-2011. In the survey, parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire indicating if their children had any health disadvantages such as speech and language disabilities, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and/or emotional and behavior problems.
They found, not surprisingly, that children from poorer families still had the highest rates of disabilities overall. But they also found that children living in more affluent homes reported the largest increase in disabilities: 28.4% over the study period.
“The disparities were interesting and not really expected," said Houtrow. “But the steepness in the rise (of disabilities in affluent children) makes me think there has to be different stresses, environmental experiences and or other risk factors in these families. All this needs to be studied.”
Houtrow said the changes could be due to a number of things. For instance, people in higher economic groups are often more comfortable dealing with children's disabilities, both mental and physical, she said, so they're more likely to seek help from their doctor. This could lead to more accurate reporting from that income bracket.
"Poorer families have other things to worry about first, including putting food on the table," Houtrow said. "Their children’s learning disabilities are of concern, but they need to deal with other things, like hunger, lack of good health care and other factors.”
This is certainly not the first study to see an upward trend in mental health disabilities in children in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study in 2008 that saw a significant jump in ADHD and learning disabilities. And earlier this year, the CDC released another report saying 1 in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.
Houtrow hopes the study’s findings will open up further investigation into why these trends are happening. The authors concluded that documenting these changes in childhood disabilities is a positive step in developing better prevention methods, and treatments and services for these children.
“I think it’s a call to action," said Houtrow. “It’s a call to action to the health care system and a call for additional research. And it’s a call to action to parents to be concerned about their child’s development. ... Healthy children grow up to be healthy adults. Knowing how to better treat our younger generation is important to this country’s future.”
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
1/2 of all Mental disorders have there inception before 14 years of age. Any student that drops out of school should be referred to professional mental health professional for an evaluation and possible treatment.
But it will never happen as mental health care is very expensive. America has unlimited money for War, death and politics and every other cause in the world. It’s way past time America concentrated on helping its own Citizens and stop ringing its hands about the rest of the world as America is not doing well, too much poverty, too much unemployment and too much sickness.
America spends a billion dollars a week in the Middle East while the American Mentally Ill roam our streets barking at the moon. Enough is enough. Take care of America!
Unlike physical medical problems, mental health problems can be more open to interpretation as opposed to factual testing. Here, we have self-reporting by parents. Perhaps a reason for more reporting of mental illness is because you have parents happily diagnosing their kids based on what they read on-line. If their kids don't act according the way "experts say they should" the parents immediately assume a mental health issue. There's a wide variation in human height, weight, hair color, eye color, skin color all of which are considered within the range of normal. Similarly, shouldn't there be a wide variation in behavior that's considered normal? Are all these increased cases of reported "mental health problems" found only in the US? If so, that's a definite clue that this is based on cultural expectations and has nothing to do with real mental health issues (which, yes, do exist).
Well stated! Narrow expectations for child behavior today leaves a culture, with media and over saturation of information at their fingertips, looking to explain away–via self-diagnosis–why they're child isn't within their parameter of normal.
I echo Shawn's sentiments: well said, kakilicli! The American psychologist, Kenneth Gergen, has written extensively on the exponential spread of the self-diagnosing of mental conditions and it's relationship to the internet and to the work of therapeutic professionals (see, for example, Gergen's essay, "Therapeutic Professions and the Diffusion of Deficit").
Why aren't we addressing the real issue. I agree with kakilicli's comments regarding these results being reported being subjective, parents reporting information being influenced by what they've heard/read. Its only in the United States that our children go into schools and shoot their classmates and teachers and then turn the guns on themselves. Has anyone read about the number of these cases where the shooter is hopped up on all these meds that we are putting our children on for ADD and ADHD? Why are people looking at the fact that we are overmedicating out children and the side effects of these meds are what's causing them to go into school with guns to commit these heinous crimes. Why don't we talk about the fact that children are not being allowed to be children in school and parents are being pressured by educational professionals to take their children to talk to someone and that someone is usually a referral to a psychiatrist who will perform a subjective test and then medicate the child whose brain is not fully developed yet. The medical community still is not clear on the long term effects of these drugs on a fully developed adult brain never mind a child's brain that is still not fully developed. I can't even get started on the foods that we eat which are so heavily dosed with artificial ingredients and additives and preservatives. Why doesn't anyone stop to ask the question why we didn't see these problems with the baby boomers or Generation X? There are so many factors that play into this dangerous game we are playing with our world most precious resource...our children the worlds future. Parenting skills have diminished despite the increase in information and resources on how to parent. Sense of community has practically vanished being replaced by self-centered goals and the family unit has deteriorated to the point where the blended family is the new norm. What are we teaching our children? What are they seeing at home? Is anyone measuring the effects of what we are teaching our children by the examples that we live each and everyday? I've volunteered for many years working with children of all ages, ranging from age 6 to age 18 and the common voice I hear from all these children is that they are scared of the world and look to their parents for guidance on how to handle and make their way in that scary world...they are looking for structure, order and guidance. Instead we are giving them pills as if somehow that is going to solve everything. America please wake up...will someone one wake up to truth and start to make a change to protect our children?
It is possible to increase in more affluent families, is that they are more educated, meaning they probably delayed having children until they were pushing 40. There are numerous studies showing that the womans eggs, and mens sperm age and can lead to chromosonal disorders, and other issues.
I think it is more likely that affluent families have better access to information and tend to diagnose their children based on their own findings from the internet. I think it is a pretty broad generalization to say that most afluent families delay having children until they are pushing 40. My husband and I are both college-educated and have good, steady jobs and we're pregnant with our first at 27.
I was thinking along a similar path, though my thought process leaned more towards fertility treatments. The use of fertility drugs, IVF, and other medical procedures has skyrocketed in recent years. You have to wonder what the long term effects of some many men and women, who would not naturally have conceived, having children will be. And it very dependent on wealth and insurance availability.
I think people are way more likely to false diagnose their own thesedays in hopes of getting a hand-out... this is a load of bull stuff.
This is either from all the poisonous fast food or doctors are lying to push out more pills for more $$.
Both cases are a horrible crime against humanity that need to be stopped.
We are what we eat and drink.
Pump us full of toxins, pump us full of medications and here's the result.
I wonder how many kids in the hunter/gatherer tribes of the Amazon have ADHD and autism?
We live in a middle class neighborhood. My husband and I had our children when we were in our 20's. We were both healthy, active, fit, were on no meds, ate only organic foods (no packaged ever), etc. We had none of the so called "risk factors" except that we lived near a highway when they were conceived. Two of our children have autism. Our school only has 400 students. When our oldest entered this school 6 years ago, he was 1 of 2 students with autism. Today, the school still only has 400 students but 10 of those have autism. When he was young, we knew noone whose child had autism. Now we now a few. You would go to the mall and think your child was the only one, now you recognize 2 or 3 other kids as having autism every visit. It is definitely rising and society really needs to open their eyes on this matter. If it continues at the rate the CDC is reporting, that could mean 1 in 9 children by 2022. Thankfully, there are genes being discovered, but what do you do with those genes? It is a medical problem that really needs to be figured out before these kids become adults. In regards to disgnosis: people need to understand that it is not "parents diagnosing their own children". In order to be diagnosed there is a very strict criteria that is examined. Pages and pages of developmental reports need to be filled out not only by parents but also by doctors, pediatricians, speech and language therapists, teachers. etc. It takes days of observations and reporting by a psychologist to diagnose your child with autism. In fact, where we live, a parent either pays thousands of dollars to diagnosis this privately or their child is put on a publicly funded waitlist that is almost 2 years long. Somehow I do not think parents would be putting themselves through that stress unless there were very serious concerns about their child's development.
I've looked into some private schools for kids with autism and the cost per year was more than what I paid for my college tuition. My son is on the spectrum as well and I agree with everything you said here. I had my son at 27 and my daughter (who's not autistic) at 30. Both pregnancies were normal and I did nothing different with my 2nd pregnancy than I did the 1st time. I pray that researchers find the cause and that it would lead to a cure really soon. Some comments on this post are so ignorant, autism is so much more than having fits or temper tantrums. My son didn't speak until he was 4 yrs old but we knew by the time he was 2 that he needed help with not only communication but sensory and cognitive skills that we "normal folks" take for granted. You're right, that ratio is changing every year and it's not for the better. My son was born in 2006 and I believe the ratio was 1 out of 110 children, now it's 1 out of 68.
Well said, Lynn. I'm always floored by the people who suggest that it is easy to get a diagnosis or appropriate care and supports for disorders and disabilities which are not readily apparent to a lay person. They should try walking a mile in our shoes, or at the least read some of the blogs by parents raising kids with such disorders, before they spread such nonsense. Thanks for speaking up!
Have you tested your autistic kids for MTHFR through your doctor or a genetic service like 23andme? Over 90% of kids with autism have mthfr- it's a mutation that interferes with folic acid processing. Diet and the proper folate (not folic acid!) supplements can help them LOT! Look into it please- for their sake.
As it is swept under the rug, income has a major impact on your childrens mental health. Poor communities dont have access to good parental programs that teach different approaches to mental health and are handed drugs that are not properly/long term tested. These drugs than effect the nervous system and/have an additional side effect the parent has to deal with. to schedule an appointment it takes a waiting period of 3 months or more, and depending on your insurance, they will suggest what "test" can be run to better conclude an evaluation. As a parent and patient; i was given depression pills at a young age; wasnt given the choice to seek therapy. As a parent my son is still waiting. I also was suffering from dizziness and the doctor didnt run test due to my limited insurance; how do i know this? I had to pass out to find out what was wrong with me to be taken to the ER..My sister who has better insurance than me was having little dizzy spells as well she was sent to a specialist, taken blood work, even saw ENT, blood work was low on iron. My friends daughter was on a waiting list of one-three weeks., same hospital. Someone has to test these drugs....guess who is subject A ( drug given) and subject B ( no drug )?
I have a young child who throws some pretty intense temper tantrums. When I was a kid in the 70's, the prevailing wisdom was she's a toddler, they throw tantrums. Today in my upper middle class community the wisdom is you should have her evaluated for ADHD or autism or any number of other disorders. Half the kids I know have IEPs in school. I don't think kids have really changed much in the past several decades, just our thinking on the matter and what we do as parents to deal with it. I also think many parents I know are hypersensitive about their children to the point of perceiving things as much more serious than they are.
None of this should come as surprising. Our children are compromised. Of course it's numerous things that can cause mental illness, but really look into Lyme Disease. Look into the gut. Children should absolutely not have mental illnesses. What can cause them? Actual infections. Doctors simply want to prescribe psych meds. It's shameful. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/mind-and-body-scientists-identify-immune-system-link-to-mental-illness
Interesting that there is no mention of the poison that is in the food. Pesticides have been in the food supply and lo and behold illnesses have been increasing.
Pesticides. GMOs. Neurotoxins in our medications. Neurotoxins in our vaccinations. Fast food. Processed foods almost daily, if not daily. Most not meeting the 5-9 servings of fruits/vegetables a day.
It all adds up people. Autism increasing. Alzheimer's increasing. Cancer increasing. I lost 2 friends this month alone to cancer. It's time to take back our health. Don't support pharmaceutical companies. Don't support Monsanto. Support your local farmer's market. Exercise. Eat right.
Child Mental Disabilities up 21%.
Parental Mental Stability Down 100%. Parents can't deal with "bullying" (that has been around since time began), with their own prescription drug issues (Xanax?)....etc.
Raise a demon, live with demons.
Obviously the writer is not educated to know the difference between Mental and Nuerological since he included Autism as a mental disorder which it is not but it is a Nuerological disorder, therefore, I don't believe the writer of this article is credible.
Reblogged this on Bipolar Mom, Authoress.
Today, It appears to me that if youngsters don't fit the "normal" behavior criteria at a certain age, they are immediately diagnosed as having a ADHD or Bi-polar disorder.
In other words, if any child behaves differently or stands out in any way from the rest of the pack, there is something wrong with them and then usually medicated to return them to "normalcy". This is so wrong, and just "another brick in the wall". Unless there is overriding evidence that a child defines the "Special needs" criteria, our differences should be seen as human characteristics, not defects!
Interesting article on childhood mental heath disabilities. You may find some interesting articles here: http://www.kidschoicedental.com/blog-98th-st-albuquerque-nm-87121
Must be in the water because I'm nuts too! I'm 32 and have to swallow 3 psych meds every night. Risperidone being one of them.
It just feels like everyone is being diagnosed with something and that the autism spectrum is so broad. My husband and I are eccentric people with some social issues and had the spectrum been so broad when we were kids I bet we would both be on it.
I think we just need to relax and let children be children.
Recently the name of a CDC whistle blower was made public. he is a PhD and along with other PhDs colluded to withhold information on the MMR vaccine causing a large (320%) increase in autism in the black male child recipients. It is stated that blacks reacted at twice the rate of others so we can guess that other races are affected at about a 160% increase in autism. This cover up occurred 13 years ago. Since that time one of the other PhDs involved with the study actually sat before a congressional hearing and lied about the evidence. The whistle blower feels guilty, but that is much less important at this point in time than getting the information out. he knows his professional career is over, at the very least. He just wants to get this information out. We need this information in order to stop the damage. He is threatening a very profitable business line. His information tells us that we cannot trust the CDC and the individuals who purport to work to keep us safe. See what Jon Rappoport has to say. This whistle blower's reputation is at risk, his life is at risk. That is how it works when one threatens big business and big bureaucracies. He was escorted off the campus of the CDC 2 days ago. So they now know who he is. It is important that we get this information and in order to do that William Thompson's name needs to be known, and he needs to be kept safe. There is a video available:http: //vimeo.com/user5503203/review/103711143/91f7d3d4d8
Reblogged this on Sex and Relationships.
This unfortunate news only makes since when you think about all the toxic chemicals that we come into contact with. Our children are introduced to their first toxin with in 6 hrs of life. (aka hep b vaccine) Then every few months until they are 18 yrs old they are continually exposed to their 75 doses of recommended vaccines. This system doesn't seem to be working so well for the USA health system. Just go back and read this article again if you don't believe me. Good Luck!!
This is all about corruption. The ingredients of these vaccines alone lets you know the corruption extends from the manufacturers all the way to the approving government agencies. What do poor people and rich people have in common with regards to the autism epidemic? the same vaccines! Many of them contain neurotoxins, mercury, formaldehyde, animal and human viruses...what do those ingredients have to do with the human body? Most cases of ADHD, eczema, allergies, autism have to do with vaccines. Who paid to make sure a law is passed so we cannot bring the kids to school unless they are vaccinated? We are being treated like animals. This is why they use the term "Herd Immunity"
This story is literally on the same CNN web page as a story about a CDC scientist admitting in writing that a previously discovered significant link between autism and vaccines was deliberately deleted from a major scientific study. 20-50 years from now people will wonder how we couldnt see what was so obviously right in front of us under our noses.
The rise is attributed to the looser and more encompassing classifications of many mental illnesses – especially ADHD and on the Autism spectrum. The way they classify them now is different and has a much wider range (spectrum) than before. It also allows for identification at younger ages than before. That is why there is an increase int he numbers.
"Which part of our body is not explored much by us Humans?" or let me put it this way "Which part of our body is our medical system is Clueless about?" It is our Brain. I have a Child with CP and she is 7. We have struggled to find out why this has happened? "It can be this or that or both or we may not know". This is the answer we get from the system.
But the doctors have been kind, they have prescribed therapies when we ask them "OK now what can we do to make her life better". But unfortunately early intervention is funded mostly by Government as it will not suit the private health insurance providers' business model to make profits. Because it requires comprehensive and more importantly more frequent early intervention. With the economy on the downward spiral, expenditure on war on terrorism, etc Governments have been struggling to provide the necessary funding to provide the "REQUIRED" amount of therapy. The policies vary from county to county, school districts to school districts. Parents spend enormous energy/resources to findout which therapies work which county to settle down (sometines they cant afford as the COL is very high), etc.
The early intervention and special needs care requires a total rewamp to standardize evaluation, Theraphy protocols to ensure "REQUIRED" theraphy is provided, and more importantly more fnds are pumped into research.
Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines!!!!!
Neuro problems are increasing among our children. The number of vaccinations we are giving our children is also increasing. Wake up people and smell the correlation.
What is your opinon/postion/suggested resolution? How do you feel / think after reading this article? Explain your reasoning
Exactly @ James...along with all the preservatives in processed foods! And a HUGE OMG YES @ Patty! My son who will be 35 next month is severely mentally impaired from....yep you guessed it....a vacine! 27 hours after recieving his first DPT shot he began to have seizures!!! They started out to be pet i t mal and increased to 30 to 40 a day! This continued for 9 days when he had his first grand mal seizure. It took his doctors years to figure out the right combo of medication to minimalize his seizures. By then the damage was done.
I should add i have 2 children older than him that had all the childhood vacines with no problems, so there were no indicators prior to him!
These days there may be a massive range of ATV might be exclusively created meet the requirements within virtually any riderYou pick this application style, type, panel, sleeve plus put colour, guitar's tonsils style in shades, cuff appearance plus pigments, this custom customised guitar's throat, sleeved stripe including shape colouring, and your sleeve solutions Into premier choosing jerseys' backdrop appeared to be easily chapter that will offered activities treatment options,?mod=space&uid=1
Hi. my name is laura myers.I live in wv,and I will pray for all the kids that have ADHD.
There is a huge over-diagnosis in this country, not under diagnosis. The Unites States makes up 5% of the population of the world but takes 80% of these head meds. If the drug companies had their way, we would all be medicated. There's a disorder now for every mood variant. And what are doing to our children by drugging them to death is appalling. Women on these drugs during pregnancy, also causes children at birth to have problems. We need to cool our jets with all these drugs and let kids be kids.
The stigma that comes with mental illnesses has mitigated over the past decade, but it is still prevalent. I have encountered many instances, especially in the Asian community, where parents try to overlook mental disabilities seen in their children, no matter how severe or slight, because it is seen as shameful. This stigma has prevented those with mental illnesses from getting the treatment they need. There are potential dangers serious mental illnesses pose if left untreated because—like a physical illness—if ignored, it gets worse. However, there has been a recent boom in accepting mental disease and getting treatment for these diseases. Growing acceptance to seek help for children can especially be seen in upper income families. Because of this, there has been an increased awareness of the prevalence of diseases, such as ADHD and autism. From my experience, younger generations are becoming more aware of the consequences of leaving these illnesses untreated, even in communities where mental illnesses are highly stigmatized. In your article, you state that this increased awareness is possibly what caused an increase in childhood mental disabilities, leading people to accept that their child has a debilitating illness, especially in higher income families; however, this increase “could be due to a number of things.” And while I agree with this argument, you fail to elaborate on the other things that might be causing this upward movement.
Important contributing factors include possibilities of over-diagnosing or self-diagnosing. The Internet and pop psychologists provide more exposure to illnesses in general. WebMD could take the common cold and diagnose you with a rare cancer, or Dr. Phil could persuade you to believe you have multiple personality disorder because you argue with your parents often. With the recent boom in knowledge about diseases, parents might overstate their child’s symptoms, and, without question, be more willing to accept that their child is not “normal.” Although it is the health care professional’s job to provide an accurate diagnosis, they can sometimes be misguided. The DSM is a book allowing psychologists to diagnose people according to a set of standards; however, past DSMs focused on Western cultures. Therefore, they could have easily misdiagnosed a person of a different cultural background under old DSM guidelines. For example, Western culture does not associate panic attacks with joint and neck pains, while Cambodians do—which is why the DSM-5 was released in 2013. The new DSM allows professionals to diagnose within the proper cultural context. It also focuses more on cultural differences, preventing misdiagnoses due to cultural misunderstandings. As a society, we are so focused on finding and fixing imperfections if we do not fit into the three by three box society provides as “guidelines” for us. The DSM is a perfect example. When we fail to adhere to the “norm,” we are labeled as society’s misfits. Instead of embracing and adapting to differences, we automatically label children with ADD if they have a shorter attention span than most, or conduct disorder if they act out more than other children. What we fail to realize is that the act of labeling children further separates them from normalization. Labeling causes mental and even physical distress if the child takes medication. Anything can be diagnosed as a mental disease, but we should not advocate labeling a child if they are a little “out of this world.” We should shine a positive light on receiving help for and accepting the truly mentally ill, but labeling a child who is not mentally ill is harmful and misguided.
My contention is that mental health issues, be they in children or adults, are also medical issues. the brain, after all, is an organ, just like the heart or the lungs. i feel like one of the problems regarding mental health stigma and treatment is that the two are seen as separate issues and I think this affects how we approach treatment.
I've notices kids who get hit as punishment, have higher chances of developing a mental disorder later on in life. kids don't deserve to get hit.
I need to go to church and repent. Clubs are not for me.
Step One: Folate Deficiency in mom affecting the brain and immune health of her baby (mitochondrial dysfunction); Step Two: Vaccine injury resulting in chronic immune dysfunction and an autoimmune attack on brain receptors. If each and every pregnant mom in America was tested for Folate Receptor Auto-Antibodies and MTHFR, and appropriately treated with proper amounts of Folinic (not folic) acid or Methylfolate and B12, then the vaccine schedule for at-risk children was spread out, our statistics for autism/ADHD cases would drop significantly. There is already a test available for FRAs by a company called Iliad NeuroScience and hopefully this will be a requirement for all pregnant moms in the near future. The beautiful thing is that it is a condition treatable for both mom and unborn infant resulting in a future of health for the child.
viprsgolds.com, as a Runescape gold online retailer, should be a honest, and reliable place for players to buy various Runescape items, like Runescape accounts, RS gold, equipment, powerleveling etc.http://www.viprsgolds.com/
Thanks for the information, just hope people will learn from this.
Interesting article! Thanks for sharing with all.
What if I could show you studies proving this nutritional supplement is better than pharmaceuticals for many, many people? Well, I can. http://try.gethardy.com/compare/
This is not only the concern belongs to America. But also belongs to childhood state of those children who are suffering with depression & anxiety or another health issues. Mental disorder is a chronic health condition that continues through lifetime. But if it happens with children then it can be a great problem which continues into adulthood. If children are suffering from such disease then they should to be referred for a better diagnosis & comprehensive medication otherwise they can suffer against their healthy development.
Fall seven times get up eight.see more
Are you certain about the supply?
Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for info about this subject for
I just couldn't go away your website before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info an individual provide in your guests? Is gonna be again ceaselessly to check out new posts
outlet hogan http://nvrenosolar.com
outlet hogan http://www.slypage.com
scarpe vans ragazza http://www.water2010.org
outlet nike http://www.viljin.com
nike air max outlet http://www.viljin.com
scarpe vans ragazza http://www.water2010.org
scarpe vans http://buildchickencoopz.com