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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Getting childhood mental health care right

Getting childhood mental health care right

Although it was not her choice, Pat, a southeastern Massachusetts mom, has become an expert on children's mental health.

Each of her three sons has been diagnosed with mental or behavioral problems, ranging from autism to dyslexia. Pat said that because teachers only receive minimal training - what she refers to as a "vanilla disability list" - in special education and mental health, it's been tough getting adequate services and help from teachers.


  1. Childhood mental health care, autism, dyslexia and other learning disorders are a problem right across the North American grid. No matter where you are, most parents have problems accessing the proper help for their special-needs children at the school level. One just have to go on any learning disability sites, to read the horror stories.
    As a parent with a child who has a milder form of dyslexia, I have experience the lack of basic knowledge on LD, and dyslexia and how it does affect learning inside the classroom. I have seen children, and even mine sometimes developed behaviour problems. Often the behaviour problem is a symptom that is cause by the inept teaching methods and lack of knowledge regarding neurological brain disorders such as dyslexia or autism. Would you not think a special needs child, be at a higher risk for depression or behaviour problems when the schools are not providing the proper help?
    As far as I know, the IDEA laws for American schools - schools, teachers and even parents can request an assessment or a request to have a medical assessment. Teachers have every right to approach the parents, if they feel something is wrong. The state is in violation of the IDEA laws, if in fact teachers cannot make suggestions.
    If you go on the GreatSchools site, and under learning disabilities - you will find a wealth of information. Another site to go on, for your legal rights is the Wrightslaw site. This should become your bible, for issues relating to schools and states. This site will give you pointers on how to overcome the system, parents legal rights, and the typical violations that are ongoing throughout the U.S. states.
    I believe the increase in mental illness in children, is being directly cause by the lack of knowledge of children and how they learn.

  2. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Seems like a LOT of parents have to become an expert for their child because the supposed experts don't.

    We have to keep re-inventing the wheel for each child.

    All these mental issues get lumped together an no single profession is taking the responsibility for comprehensive care.

    And often, the child has medical problems that are not being addressed. And when they are, the doctors seem to have blinders on when it comes to treatment and don't even use the most current research.

    Here are some unique perspectives on some of the health-related issues that often get side-stepped by the "experts" who are supposed to be helping our children: and


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