What do the Generation X’ers, Generation Y’ers (also known as Millennials), and Generation Z’ers (also known as the new Silent Generation) all have in common?
No, it’s not their exceptional prowess in technology; it’s not their “gotta have my space” tendencies, it’s not even their different work ethic. Do you give up?
These generations all have been medicated and vaccinated in ways that no other generation has ever been.
So what? Well, do Autism, ADD and ADHD, Depression, and Mental Health Issues have any significant meaning to Baby Boomers? Not likely. We rarely heard of these things; gosh, Dyslexia was challenging to even be diagnosed since doctors in those days didn’t have enough cases to recognize it. It was dreadfully difficult for people though since many who were diagnosed with dyslexia were considered incapable of getting much out of their education.
Just last week a study was published in the online journal Pediatrics that suggests that more parents are reporting that their children have a physical, developmental or mental health disability. The actual number of non-institutionalized children age 17 and younger with disabilities rose 16% between 2001 and 2011, with nearly 6 million children (8% of the population) reported as having a disability.
What was interesting about this study is that disabilities due to any physical condition such as asthma and breathing conditions, hearing problems, and bone or joint problems actually declined by 12% during the decade, while cases related to any neurodevelopmental, mental health condition or emotional problems increased by 21%.
Autism was not included in these figures but everyone knows that it has been on a steady incline for the last decade. According to information released by the CDC in 2010:
- Autism now affects 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and girls are 1 in 189)
- Autism prevalence figures are growing
- Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
- Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
- Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
- There is no medical detection or cure for autism
- Autism is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups
- About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and autism.
Nearly half of children with an autism spectrum disorder have average or above-average intellectual ability — an IQ above 85 — compared with one-third of children a decade ago.
If you ask a specialist they will say that we now know this is not a rare disorder, and it’s important that each individual gets the help they need to have the best quality of life.
All agree that a comprehensive national strategy that includes the research community, policy makers, educators and caregivers is necessary to find solutions for people who live with autism.
But, there is virtually no discussion on the causes of autism. They are more concerned about finding funding to help people get their medical treatments than finding the cause that would begin the reduction of cases.
Between 2008 and 2010 there was a 30% increase in the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) resulting in the 1 in 68 figure mentioned earlier. Noting that this data is for 2010 and calculating a similar 30% increase between 2010 and 2012 and another 30% increase between 2012 and 2014 the current rate for 2014 would be 1 in 41 children with ASD. If this trend continues for another ten years (2024) the rate of children having ASD would be 1 in 12. Talk about scary!
Nearly 30 percent of young children with autism also have symptoms of ADHD— a rate that’s three times greater than the general population, according to a new 2013 study published in the journal Autism.
ADD and ADHD
- Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
- The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.
- Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
- Prevalence of ADHD diagnosis varied substantially by state, from a low of 5.6% in Nevada to a high of 18.7% in Kentucky.
- Parents of children with a history of ADHD report almost 3 times as many peer problems as those without a history of ADHD (21.1% vs. 7.3%)
- Parents report that children with a history of ADHD are almost 10 times as likely to have difficulties with relationships and conversations.
- Having this disorder will interfere with friendships (20.6% vs. 2.0%).
The figures showed that an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 had received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis at some point in their lives, a 16 percent increase since 2007 and a 41 percent rise in the past decade. About two-thirds of those with a current diagnosis receive prescriptions for stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, which are reported to drastically improve the lives of those with A.D.H.D. but can also lead to addiction, anxiety and occasionally psychosis.
Data also indicates today’s children seem to experience a significant amount of depression. According to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008.
Finally, let’s see just how many of our kids are on some form of medication today?
Data from the National Health Interview Survey, 2011-2012
- Seven and one-half percent of children aged 6–17 years used prescribed medication during the past 6 months for emotional or behavioral difficulties.
Mental health problems are common chronic conditions in children. Medication is often prescribed to treat the symptoms of these conditions. Few population-based studies have examined the use of prescription medication to treat mental health problems among younger as well as older school-aged children.
Use of prescribed medication during the past 6 months for emotional or behavioral difficulties varied by sex, age, and race and Hispanic origin among children aged 6–17 years.
Figure 1. Percentage of children aged 6–17 years prescribed medication during the past 6 months for emotional or behavioral difficulties, by sex and age group, and race and Hispanic origin United States, 2011–2012
While historically, children living in less advantaged housing have always scored higher in disabilities, this is the first study to indicate that even children in more “advantaged households” cannot escape the health issues that have become so prevalent in our youth.
There are few studies that identify how food dyes, parabens, BPA, BPS, phlthalates, radiation, and the hundreds of other toxins known and unknown can impede the normal neurological growth of our young children.
These numbers should be so alarming to everyone in this country that a massive upheaval should be happening. The country’s future leaders, researchers, parents, and teachers are slowly and steadily allowed to be poisoned with unknown chemicals, dyes, and toxins –-is it through the air, the water, the food, the vaccines, the clothing? No one knows and not many seem to care enough to want to find out.
This constant overmedicating to maintain the status quo is killing our children. Why would young babies be placed on an antibiotic before they are 4 months old and told they must stay on them indefinitely? Yet this is a story that is near to us and breaks our hearts each time we hear it. Why are overactive children who fidget and cause disruption in the classroom allowed to eat and drink caffeinated and sugary beverages but their parents are being forced to medicate them so they “behave?”
There may well be many legitimate reasons for children to have medications. This is not meant as a blanket abomination towards that. However, if the statistics are any indication of the future, we are virtually guaranteed–that the future supreme court justices will likely have some serious mental health and neurological issues—and the civil engineer that designs that bridge that you drive on, and the mechanical engineer that designs that car you are in, and even the medical doctor you go to get guidance from,…
As Matthew West says so poetically in his recent song, “Right Now, It’s Time For Us To Do Something! If Not Now, Then When?”
The movie God’s Not Dead had a powerful phrase in it that we must abide by: “The door is wide open. Til one day, time runs out, and the door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.
For the future of our children and their children, please, don’t let our desensitization slam the door. If we aren’t their advocates, then who will be? The time to act is now!