Your opinion on diagnosis today vs years ago

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by myeverything04, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    A thought ran across my mind tonight as I'm reading and replying to post and I'm wondering if anyone else has ever thought/wondered the same thing so I would to ask...

    In your opinion, do you think that the reason there are so many more children diagnosed with a learning disability or ADHD, ODD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), etc today versus in the 50's/60's is that we as a society now know more about the "issues" (due to research/studies) or do you think it's because of the change in the way we live? Way we live meaning video games, internet, tv, processed foods, more unsafe world, etc.

    I would like to think that it's because we now understand more about the disabilities due to research studies and such, but I'm starting to wonder if it's more because we are (as a whole) becoming a more 'convienced' type of world. When I was a child, we only ate out when we were on vacation and for the most part, my friends families were the same. But my daughter has friends who have McDonald's 2-3 times a week. Yes, I do understand things come up and there are weeks where it's impossible to cook a healthy meal everynight but years ago it was unheard of to eat out that much. And there was no internet or Nintendo in the 60's. Kids ran around outside playing after school and in the summer. I remember when I was a kid in the 80's and my mom said to be home when the street lights came on. My neighborhood was safe and full of kids. I don't feel the same now though, 20-30 years later.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Some of the "newer" dxes, are showing up because we now know what to look for. For example, the Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) that involves problems with auditory figure ground, is really just starting to hit the front-lines and show up as a diagnosis. Ditto, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

    APDs, in particular, I believe are way worse now than when I went to school, because of considerable additional noise pollution in school - less teacher control, background music, etc. Where a kid with moderate Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) wouldn't have much problem back then - and therefore, the need to even screen for APDs didn't hit the radar - today, even mild cases are a major problem. It doesn't help that teaching methods have changed, too - things that work for some of the kids who used to fall between the cracks (like more group work), are the worst options for kids with APDs.

    Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - has been well known for generations, under a whole sequence of labels. But its only the last 20 years or so that there has been targetted research, and recognition of therapies and interventions and accommodations that help. The increasing incidence of this diagnosis is not due to our environment, but due to greater recognition.

    ADHD... well, that might be tied to the increasing incidence of APDs... because unless you know what to look for, APDs look an awful lot like ADHD. So, I'm guessing that some of the increase in ADHD dxes is mis-diagnosis of APDs.

    Other factors that in my opinion are part of the picture: massive urbanization, heavy reliance on day-care as the childs primary source of care, reduction in extended-family support structures.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I grew up in the 60's/70's and had LDs and depression and anxiety (and I still do at age 58). I probably also have ADHD and I did very poorly in school. The teachers considered me lazy and stupid and called me that in front of class. There was no knowledge at all, not even about ADHD. Autism was only diagnosed as low functioning type and it was considered a form of schizophrenia, due to cold mothers (I kid you not). Even going to see a psychiatrist (and psychiatrists still followed Freud back then) carried a terrible stigma. Nobody took their child to see one, except in private. It was considered shameful and bad behavior on a chlid's part was assumed to be due to bad parenting.

    Another difference was t hat divorce was rare. I remember some kid's parents got a divorce and everyone was horrified and we all promised to never bring it up to the child...however, problems did exist. There was alcoholism, domestic abuse, verbal abuse, the stuff we have today, but it was hidden. There was virtually no such thing as daycare though and kids were not pushed so early. We did not go to nursery school. We were with our parents and we had playdates. Kids did not deal so often with stepparents and stepsiblings and dad one week, mom the next. While I don't think that causes disorders, I think it can make them worse. When kids spend more time with strangers than family, and when they have to go to Dad's house one weekend and Mom's house the next, I do think that messes with children who are not so resilient.

    Just my .02
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well back in the early 60's I dont know if childhood mental health was heard of for most of the so called easier diagnosis like ADHD or depression. I know it wasnt for early onset bipolar. It may have been for childhood onset schizophrenia because that is so severe. The issues such as Down's syndrome and other neurological disorders had to be known about as long there have been these things around.

    I know I saw a psychiatrist in the late 70's....78,79 maybe and took a few vacations to the local private mental hospital because it was a way for me to get away from my crazy mom but that hospital was nothing like the ones that they have now. I wasnt there 2 days before I made it to level green which meant I could leave the hospital in my car from 9 am till pm at night. We also did a ton of things like play with leather crafts and ceramics, some of which I still have to this day. I always just checked myself in and stayed in for at least 30-45 days. I am sure they had to have given me a diagnosis but I never was given it and that really ticks me off now. If I had known that early on that there was actually something wrong with me and that I wasnt just being allowed to get away from my mom, I would have saved myself years of being miserable and not getting dxd until I was 38. I have tried to get my records at this late date but they seem to be missing.