Do you have a child that has some kind of learning, behavior or mood challenge? Do you know of other parents, a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, a cousin, sister or brother, who have children dealing with these problems? Chances are that you do know someone because the incidence of kids grappling with these issues is extremely high. One in every five school-entering children is diagnosed with some kind of learning, behavior or social condition. 16 million children have now been diagnosed with attention, behavior and learning problems. The 2013 CDC statistics show an estimated 6.4 million children, ages 4-16 have received an ADHD diagnosis (a 53% rise in past decade); a total of 9 million children with psychiatric diagnoses of one sort or another, on one or more psychotropic drugs, and the trend is expected to get worse. I see these parents every day and I am inspired by their patience and courage and determination to find an answer for their children’s problems, but I also see what a toll this can take on parents emotionally, physically and financially.
Why is this Happening?
It is truly astonishing how widespread these problems are in kids as young as two, all the way through the teens and into early adulthood. Parents ask me: why is this happening? Audiences ask me, why is this so prevalent these days? Different practitioners may answer this question in different ways. My answer, in a nutshell, is one word: Toxins – in the food they eat, what they drink, the air they breathe, the emotions they feel and in the lifestyle they live. These toxins are all precursors to learning, behavior and mood problems. Children (in fact all of us) are bombarded by more chemical, environmental and emotional toxins than ever before. While we can never offer our kids, a toxin-free life, we certainly can consciously reduce the toxins they are exposed to as much as possible.
Toxins are a challenge to healthcare practitioners.
For healthcare practitioners dealing with learning and behavior problems the challenge is that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment solution because different children have different kinds of toxicity and different kinds of toxic effects. In order to identify each child’s toxicity the practitioner needs to get the fullest possible history of the child – from being a fetus in the mother’s womb, to the birth, the diet from day one to today, the home environment, the external environment where they live, the relationship between the parents, the siblings, the school environment, social relationships, type of parenting, food cravings, sleep patterns, the levels of stress at home, to mention just a few aspects of this toxicity history. The practitioner may also ask for blood tests, hair analysis, or stool and urine tests. With this vast array of information which tells the whole ‘toxic story’ the practitioner will then be able to craft a customized treatment plan for the child. This will be a different treatment plan to the next child the practitioner sees.
There are 3 Take-aways I would like to offer you from today’s article:
1. Become a Toxin Guru
When you buy a food or household product, ask yourself: ‘can this be toxic for my child’? I know that some parents feel that this is an overwhelming and also costly issue. My advice is for you to do the best you can without becoming stressed or anxious about this. Every little bit of less toxins can make a big difference.
2. Keep in mind that stress and pressure are toxins too.
We don’t often see stress and pressure described as toxins but they are probably one of the most dangerous toxins our kids can be experience. Each time you interact with your child, ask yourself: ‘Can what I am saying and doing be emotionally toxic for my child’? Check their relationships with teachers and friends and ask yourself: ‘Are any of these relationships toxic for my child’?
3. Find a healthcare practitioner who knows how to follow the trail of toxicity in your child.
Find a practitioner who, not only knows how to identify your child’s toxin load but who also takes the time to do this and who treats your child as a totally unique human being needing a unique treatment plan.
Take a few minutes and share your thoughts about this. As always I would love to hear from you.