My kid's diagnosis was nothing short of liberating. Don't get me wrong. Hearing those four words, "Your son has autism" were accompanied by an emotional tsunami. But mostly what I felt was relief because finally, finally, my gut hunch had been confirmed.
In this impossible situation, what can parents, caretakers or other adults say to their children? How do they explain the wreckage of addiction to someone who, at a young age, has already been overexposed to some of the darkest potentialities of life?
Not only are NRA-affiliated spokespeople ignorant about mental illness, but they deceptively use the issue to fool people into thinking that they have broader social concerns. In any real "national conversation," about mental illness and violence, the NRA and its proxies would be mute.
As parents, our children's health ranks among our top priorities. When fall arrives and flu season begins, we notice every cough and feel for signs of fever. But how attuned are we to mental health symptoms in our kids?
A recent blog of mine described how unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the "success" of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
It's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week -- and with it, the opportunity for parents, teachers, coaches and troop leaders to make a difference in a child's life by keeping on the look out for signs that a child is struggling with a mental health issue.
Today we need to acknowledge that too many children in our nation are left to struggle with a host of stressful circumstances--violence, divorce, poverty, war, to mention just a few, without effective supports.