A few months ago I was approached about contributing to an advocacy book for special needs children. When I first decided to take this project on I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what direction it would take me in or what if anything I would contribute.
It started with a few articles I had written that were read and picked up by bloggers and special needs websites. Soon, I began meeting a lot of people that were very passionate about these children and the struggles of their families. They are an eclectic group with different perspectives and theories on the causes of emotional disorders in children. Some have directed their focus on the environmental impact such as food additives, pollution and poor diet and exercise. Others have focused on vaccines and their role in autism. Videos games, music videos and present day stress is considered in learning disabilities. The genetic component is universally accepted. All have done their research and have educated themselves and others on the possible cause of this dysregulation in children. I believe there is validity in all.
I remain steadfast in my belief that some, not all, of these children’s disorders are secondary to a primary medical condition. I began networking in many different venues to seek out parents, caregivers, nurses, adults who had been diagnosed with anxiety or depression as children as well as mental healthcare providers. The response was overwhelming. Within the first week I received over 80 responses to my request for people to be interviewed. I have spent weeks emailing and screening the responses.
To my surprise, I have had a tremendous response from psychologists, psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals. The internet has been an amazing tool for them to share their findings, research articles, case studies and opinions with me. Daily communication through text messaging and social media forums has been invaluable.
What became a striking similarity to me was the fact that none of the parents or adults I have been in communication with were given a thorough medical evaluation before being diagnosed and treated. A routine check-up and often times a blood panel to check liver and kidney function was performed but nothing further. Although a neurological evaluation was sometimes recommended, not one of the people I have spoken with were referred for an endocrine evaluation. It is important to add that the majority of people I have spoken with have either Cushing’s Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or another endocrine disorder. One out of every ten women has PCOS. Eighty percent of woman with PCOS have now or had as a child, some form of anxiety or depression. That is a very large population.
A week ago I decided to ask the mental healthcare providers I have been communicating with to let me know what type of endocrine testing they have recommended for the girls they treat for anxiety related illnesses.
I have not received one response.
Sometimes silence is deafening.
About the Author:
Marianne Russo lives in New York : United States. As President and Producer of The Coffee Klatch and Special Needs Talk Radio Network I have the opportunity to give parents of special needs children a forum to find and share the best resources and information available. She has her own blog site (http://thelifeunexpected.com/blog-3)