is it just me or does it seem like more children have ADHD now then when we were growing up. It seems like parenting is so much harder than 20 even 10 years ago. I have noticed so many children with special needs or is this just the phenomenom like when you buy a red honda then all of the sudden you see red hondas everywhere. As soon as my dd was diagnosed it seems like I am meeting more and more children who are also ADHD
Well, Im 41 with a 13 yr old son with ADHD and also an 8 yr old son. I know when I was a kid, you never heard about ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc. in kids, and when you heard about anything like this in adults, it was usually if that person was very ill. As kids, we NEVER heard about kids, whether we knew them or not, that took meds or saw psych drs. Was it that these problems have been there all along but just kept quiet? Was it like a taboo thing to take your kid to a psych dr? I know when I was little, off and on for almost my whole childhood I did odd things, and my parents knew too, I was later diagnosed at 19 with Tourettes Syndrome, but I just thought I had some very wierd habits and my mom has since said her and my dad just thought I was kinda odd, well not me, but the behaviors. They just thought I was going through some wierd stage. When I.was a kid, parents just didnt take their kids to psych drs. Now it seems EVERYONE is on some kind of med. So I kinda think that since its become socially
Dang phone cut me off. So now its more socially acceptable and parents DO take their kids to psych drs, we constantly hear about it. I dont know, your question is a good one. I DO also think some parents, NOT ALL, are taking their kids in for meds that dont truly need them. Parenting is very hard, also, I would NOT want to be a tween/teen in these times. Good question mama to get us thinking.
There weren't so many named conditions back then. You just knew that some kids were weird. These days there's a label and a medication for everything. My DH was diagnosed with ADHD in the 70's and treated with Ritalin. The ADHD I think has always been around, just without a name. It's autism that I think has really exploded.
by Nicole1357February 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM
by jalexFebruary 2, 2013 at 6:50 PMYes and my son has apergers. It feels like 1 in 10 have one of these. Environment?
I think the increase in the autism spectrum it is due to environmental damage of the mother's eggs. Remember she has the same ones her whole life. There are pollutants everywhere! Even people who live off the land in Africa have been exposed enough that their blood has heavy metals and plastic toxins.
A lot of people feel that it is overdiagnosed compared to historically. While that is possible, it does seem as though there are simply more children who have these issues. I have many friends who deal with this.
Several things go into this.
One - people are simply more aware. It isn't like ADHD, Autism Spectrum Dissorders, and Childhood Mental Illness are new inventions. People have always had them, but because there wasn't a name for them, they weren't as easily recognized as being the "same kind of thing". Just think about us in here... all our ADHD kids have some similar things, but they are different in many other ways, so someone who hasn't been trained to identify ADHD traits would not necessarily think about them the same way.
Two - The world is "safer" and less children die. Let's face it, an impulsive child in 21st century America can get into lots of trouble, but that child is generally supervised and care is taken to keep them away from things that could cause them serious harm. Two hundred years ago, our kids would have been the ones that would walk over ponds that weren't truly frozen yet, or run up behind a horse and get kicked in the head! And Autistic children... well, I don't even want to think about how many of them may have been killed via child abuse that was considered "discipline" because parents simply didn't know how to cope. Considering the strong genetic components in these types of dissorders, if the children who carried the traits died young, the traits wouldn't be as commonly passed on. In this way, it is probably true to say that more children have the dissorders now, simply because the genetic markers that predispose kids to ADHD/Autism/Mental illness are not curtailed by the carriers dying in childhood, or being institutionalized before they can breed.
Three - The world these days is, in many ways, harder for children with even mild forms of the dissorders. 50-100 years ago we used euphimisms like "good with his hands" to describe a child who had difficulties in school, and yet was quite smart at practical tasks. Many of these people were ADHD or Dyslexic or Autistic. As long as the dissorder was not so severe that they actually managed to kill themselves, they could actually succeed quite well and have valued places in society. Tasks they weren't good at, like ADHD kids and classroom focussing, weren't all that important. There were plenty of ways to succeed without that, so being ADHD was not particularly problematic.
On the other hand, being born with even moderately poor eyesight was a huge problem 100 years ago, but this day in age, it hardly makes any difference at all unless the loss of sight is profound. The same thing is true, to a lesser degree, of things like asthma, club feet, various allergies, etc. As society changes, the dissorders that are considered real problems also change, and that shift in focus can make it seem like something has just "shot up out of the blue".
It isn't just over-diagnosis. There are specific gene mutations that are found in people with autism, but how can it be genetic? Are severely autistic individuals getting married and having children? I live in NYC and am an ABA therapist. Trust me, there is a HUGE amount of families with children with autism and ADHD. I am only in my 30s, and when I was a child, there was nothing like this. I believe it's caused by our food being contaminated with chemicals, pesticides, artificial flavors, etc AND the overload of toxins from the massive amounts of vaccines. Plastics could possibly play a role as well.
by jaclyndFebruary 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM
I agree with DDDaysh for the most part. I think it's a combination of factors from the way society looks at it and the "stigmas" changing, to environmental and genetic changes. I've read a lot of different theories and I dont' know which one is right, or if it's a little of all of them, but you're right, it seems like things are on the rise.