Why so many kids are being diagnosed today

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Why so many kids are being diagnosed today

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A lot of kids are receiving psychiatric diagnoses these days. And I'm often asked - why are there more challenging kids? Why are there more kids getting diagnosed. And it's actually a rather complicated answer, but I'll start with the simple answer. A lot of kids are getting diagnosed because not enough mental health professionals are viewing their difficulties through the prism of lagging skills and unsolved problems. And diagnosis is the currency. It's the language of the mental health professionals. It's the way most mental health professionals are trained. That's going to set the stage for a lot of kids to get diagnosed. But here's another reason. We are placing demands on kids earlier and earlier in development. Here's a truth. The earlier in development you place demands on kids, the more are going to fall off the apple cart. Kids who wouldn't have fallen off the apple cart if the demands were more reasonable are falling off the apple cart now. We are demanding that kids pay attention for extremely long periods of time, sit still for extremely long periods of time far earlier in development than we ever have. Now is that because there are more kids who have ADHD, or is that because we've ramped it up on the expectations and are expecting things from kids earlier and earlier in development? Like I said, it's more complicated than simply we're recognizing it more and we're recognizing it earlier. There's a lot of things that are contributing to why there are more kids that are getting diagnosed these days and why there are more kids with behavioral challenges than ever before.

Watch Video: Why so many kids are being diagnosed today by Ross W. Greene, PhD, ...

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Ross W. Greene, PhD

Psychologist, Author & Researcher

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the author of the well-known books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and the originator of a model of care (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions) emphasizing collaboration between kids and adults in resolving the problems contributing to children’s behavioral challenges.  He is also associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Hospital, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and senior lecturer in the graduate program in school psychology in the Department of Education at Tufts University.  Dr. Greene founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance to provide free, web-based resources on his model and to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.

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