Advanced Pediatric Therapies

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Is Your Child at Risk for Depression?

dpression

A recent report on NBC News shared that there are more than 300,000 depressed kids in the United States.  This is an overwhelming number for sure, but there is more to the story.  When thinking of depression, most people think sadness and “the blues.”  While this is sometimes true when talking about kids with depression, it can also be true that kids exhibit other signs which are less readily identified as such.  For example,  irritability may be the first sign of both anxiety and depression in younger kids.  Is your toddler throwing a long tantrum?  1-2 % of toddlers aged 2-5 are depressed.  Depression that goes untreated in younger kids can lead to depression in older kids, too.

Of American kids aged 3-17, 15 million will have a diagnosable mental health disorder during a given year.  Of those, only 20% will receive treatment.  That means 1 in 5 have a perhaps hidden mental health disorder but 2/3 will go untreated.  These diagnoses, as related by the Centers for Disease Control, include anxiety, depression, ADHD and unspecified behavior problems.

Of course, your adolescent can be moody.  This is a hallmark of their age.  However, the tendency to develop a major depression or even bipolar disorder doubles from ages 13-18.  And more than half of all mental health disorders begin by age 14.  In teens, the long term statistics indicate that depression, particularly in girls, is getting worse. This is even more of a reason to keep an eye on your child and report to your pediatrician if you are concerned.  Read the article from NBC News, they will be doing a yearlong investigation into the topic and have provided statistics and hopeful treatments.

For now, signs of depression in kids include difficulty planning/organizing, difficulty concentrating, body language that indicates sadness, forgetfulness, easily hurt feelings, isolation from peers, distractability, complaints of feeling sick/not going to school, crying and forgetting assignments.

For adolescents, symptoms include sulking, self deprecating comments, theft, truancy, sexual activity, alcohol or drug use, isolation, defiance, pessimistic ideas and suicidal thoughts.  

If you have questions or concerns, please speak to your OT or health care provider as soon as possible.  There are treatments that can help!

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SPD Foundation Responds to Adam Lanza and Newtown Tragedy

The following comments are from the SPD Foundation, a great resource for parents and therapists alike:

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Comments on Adam Lanza and the Newtown Tragedy

Reports that Adam Lanza did not feel pain indicates he likely experienced Sensory Under-Responsivity, one of the six forms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), found in virtually all children with an autism spectrum disorder. SPD often goes undiagnosed, but affects at least 1 in 20 children.

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Quote startOur hearts go out to the families impacted by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.Quote end

Denver, CO (PRWEB) December 20, 2012

Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., founder and research director of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, comments on how the reported symptoms in the shooter, Adam Lanza, are a classic indicator of a form of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

“Our hearts go out to the families impacted by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Reports that Adam Lanza did not feel pain indicates he likely experienced Sensory Under-Responsivity, one of the six forms of SPD, found in virtually all children with an autism spectrum disorder. The suggestion that Lanza suffered a rare and exotic condition reflects the widespread unawareness of SPD. In reality, SPD is a common neurological condition that affects at least 1 in 20 children.

“SPD is not included in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), published in 1994, which is typically used by health care providers to diagnose and prescribe treatment options. Unless identified in a diagnostic manual, like the DSM, children rarely get the help they need.

“When diagnosed and treated early, children with SPD are able to function well in society. Typically, treatment for SPD involves occupational therapy with a sensory approach. Unfortunately, lack of a diagnostic code means that treatment is not covered by insurance.

“Without treatment, children with SPD are at high risk for many emotional, social, and educational problems, including the inability to make friends or be a part of a group, poor self-concept, academic failure, and being labeled clumsy, uncooperative, belligerent, disruptive, or out of control. Anxiety, depression, aggression, or other behavior problems can follow.

“Earlier this month, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced changes being made for the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). Despite an overwhelming amount of rigorous data, the APA did not include SPD in DSM-5. There was no explanation given for the decision. The next edition of the DSM is not scheduled until 2025 at the earliest.”

The SPD Foundation, in addition to forty-nine scientists from Harvard, Yale, Duke, and many other institutions, has been conducting and publishing research on the prevalence, etiology, phenotypes, treatment, and diagnostic markers of SPD.

For symptoms, treatment options, and recent research, visit SPDFoundation.net.

Dr. Miller is available for media interviews. To schedule an interview, contact Caraly at (303) 865-7636 or caraly (at) SPDFoundation (dot) net.

ABOUT SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER FOUNDATION
The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation, a Colorado 501(c)(3), offers educational programs, conducts SPD research, and provides resources for parents worldwide. Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, widely recognized as a leader in SPD research worldwide, founded the SPD Foundation in 1979. For more information, visit SPDNow.org or call (303) 794-1182.

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