Mental Illness as a Disability? Thoughts?

31 replies [Last post]
By MommaBear on Fri, 01-09-04, 19:54

For starters, does "mental illness" qualify as a "disability" in the "reasonable accommodation" sense?
What "accommodations" if any, have you noticed?

How are these accommodations, if there be any, recieved/viewed by the public? Yourself?

(edit to correct my "cut and paste" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img])

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited January 09, 2004).]

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By on Sat, 01-10-04, 03:08

Not sure about the accommodations that are made for mentally ill people but in Ontario, again, mental illness is considered a *disability*. My SIL is schizophrenic and she receives disability from the Canada Pension Plan (so, I guess, mental illness is considered a disability Canada wide as far as receiving benefits). In Ontario, a person with mental illness can apply for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and it is a lot easier to get ODSP if you have a mental illness rather than a physical one.

Also, I'm not a fine one to answer this one either for two reasons. My SIL that I mentioned above and also my belief in the work of Dr. Thomas Szasz, the anti-psychiatrist who wrote, among other books "The Myth of Mental Illness". I did a lot of research in my very early 20's for a film on mental illness and did deal with a lot of mentally ill people even back then. Of course, in twenty years even attitudes have changed.

This one I would like to think more about though. To me, it is a disability (well, depending on the type of mental illness and remembering that that gets up-dated every so often as well - what was it, in 1971 it was decided that homosexuality was no longer considered a mental illness in America?) and I would like to think that there are *accommodations* in place for mentally ill people.

However, having lived beside a beautiful psychiatric institution that was closed oh, almost 30 years ago, I've seen how the system has failed mentally ill people.

Actually, I have quite a few stories I could tell.

Yes, to me, it's a disability and I would like to think about the *accommodations* more, only because I'm not sure about the institutionalization or over-medication of people.

Man, did you ever raise some questions to-day that got to me. Hopefully they disconnect my internet tonight! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sat, 01-10-04, 04:55

This is the one I'm going to sleep on, literally. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Yes, mental illness is a disability. What is currently classified as a mental illness by psychiatrists (they have a book on this - cigarette smokers were once mentally ill, perhaps some still are [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] )?

Would my daughter's so called Oppositional Defiant Disorder be defined as a mental illness? Or is it a behavioural thing instead? Then leading from that, are behavioural problems a disability?

Are ADD and ADHD classified as mental illnesses or are they behavioural problems? I don't know the answer, that's why I'm asking.

My SIL does not go out of her apartment door. She steps out, if she is lucky, once a year. So, she's agoraphobic too as well. She has five locks on her door. She stuffs a mat underneath her door. She has lived in the same apartment for the past 20 years and really has nothing to fear but herself.

She is unable to work. She is unable to sustain any type of relationship except one, which I think is odd to begin with, with her husband.

Her mind is disabled. Her soul is disabled. Her mind is so disabled that her body, suffering from neglect, may very well become physically disabled as well. It is very sad.

What *accommodations* would I like for the schizophrenics of the world? I have another friend who is schizophrenic and he has done very well living in an apartment building that has all mentally ill people living in the different apartments. They can share a common lounge and the laundry room so that if they want company they can have it, but if they don't, they have their own great apartment to go back to and close themselves in.

He has done well because he gets a shot once a month that controls most of his behaviour that would be considered not okay by society. My SIL, her meds are controlled by my BIL and not done right. She will never see the light of day again.

My friend also receives Canada Pension Plan disability because of his schizophrenia. However, because his is "controlled" with medication well, he is able, at times, to work as a hair stylist. He is a gentle, caring man who in the twenty years that I have known him, I've never really seen him go off the deep end.

I believe my SIL would do better in an environment like the apartment building situation, where there were other people to talk to. However, it's too late for her. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I have to sleep on this one. It's a disturbing one for me (it's time for me to write my life story to middle age, I think, really, and it's probably all right here ready to copy and paste! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] )

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By KarenH on Sat, 01-10-04, 19:00

Hey MB how about we DEFINE disability and Handicap? They are different, and maybe this would shed some light on your questions.
(from Webster's dictionary)

DISABILITY-the state or quality of being mentally or physically disabled or unable; weakness; impotence; in capacity; inability to hold a certain job because of a physical or mental handicap.

HANDICAP-physically or mentally disadvantaged.

You can draw your own conclusion whether certain things are a disability or not, the definition is very broad. My dh is a psychologist...I have lived with some mentally ill teens over the years and gained maybe a little knowledge of what it is like to have family members who are mentally ill. Yes, I consider being mentally ill a disability. It was something that my foster kids could not control or help having, and it affected them in their daily lives.

Accomodations? How about just simple treatment? There is very little for teenagers with mental health issues here.

Cindy-ADD and ADHD are not considered mental illnesses, or even learning disabilities. They fall under behavioral disorders. (that's not to say that kids with ADD/HD don't have learning issues or learning disabilities as well) ODD is also a behavioral disorder. In DS's school district, she would fall under the special needs category as well.

[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited January 10, 2004).]

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By California Mom on Sun, 01-11-04, 00:03

I think that ADHD qualifies as a psychiatric disorder. I wouldn't think is a "mental illness" per say, but it is deeper and more complex than "just" a behavior problem. It is considered a disability in the U.S. and falls under section 504. In fact, I think my dd's 504 plan is about to get [b]a[/b] [b]lot[/b] longer!!!

As for ODD, I think I think it may also qualify as a psychiatric disorder, but I'm not certain.

Miriam

p.s. the walls in my glass house keep getting thinner.

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By MommaBear on Sun, 01-11-04, 00:42

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]Hey MB how about we DEFINE disability and Handicap? They are different, and maybe this would shed some light on your questions.
[/b]

[i]Good Idea.[/i]

(Are we talking the noun or adjective?)

*****************************************

Interesting:

[url="http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/504.html"]http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/504.html[/url]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy content or currentness of the link in this post.

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By on Sun, 01-11-04, 02:16

California Mom, you and I are ALWAYS going to be on the other sides of the fence when it comes to psychological/psychiatric/emotional "stuff" I think.

Do I personally think Ember, labeled Oppositional Defiant Disorder is mentally ill? No. Do I even believe that such a disorder exists? You know what? I'm not sure.

I understand that you feel comfortable with Leah being labeled with the different diagnoses that she has from the psychologist of ADHD, ODD, etc. For me, and only me (and I guess my child), I'm NOT comfortable with that labeling.

I am not against talk therapy for my daughter to figure out why she is lashing out the way she is, but there is no one that is ever going to convince me that Ember has a bio-chemical imbalance in her brain (those serotonin levels again) that makes her behave the way she does. Even the behavioural ped we saw must have had second thoughts because he referred us to someone else.

I understand what comfort you found when Leah was officially labeled and that's certainly okay for you, and I guess, for Leah's 504 Plan. I'm NOT okay with what I consider behavioural problems (and that's why I asked to extend the question to - are behavioural problems a disability, recognizing that they are separate from mental illnesses) being stamped on my child's head when I believe she can be helped through talk therapy.

I just saw a program, it was a drama, but it was about how we over-medicate our children with psychiatric meds that we don't even know the long term side effects of. I don't believe in it. I do believe in medicating my children, obviously, for whatever physical thing they have going on, like environmental allergies and asthma, but no, no meds for what I do not believe are psychiatric disorders.

Will behavioural problems develop into psychiatric disorders (mental illnesses)? Who knows?

California Mom, it's the same as we are about meds for depression. You believe in your meds. I don't believe in mine.

We will always, I believe, be on totally opposite sides of the fence on this one, and hopefully respectfully so.

For those wanting to know (I'm not American, so it's not that important), where in the Americans with Disabilities Act is ADHD now listed as a *disability*? How does one get a copy of this Act? What other things are listed as disabilities that *most* of us wouldn't consider?

Someone must know what I'm talking about about a desk reference book that psychiatrists have that tells them what different things are considered to be mental illnesses. As I posted above, homosexuality was just removed from that list in I believe 1971. Does anyone know what it's called so I could see the current list of mental illnesses?

Okay, so, California Mom, were you saying that Leah's vast diagnoses, are they behavioural issues that are considered disabilities or are they considered mental illnesses that are considered disabilities (again, why I asked for that differentiation in one of my early posts)?

I think it would be very interesting, with all of the labels that we seem to have at our hands nowadays, if we just all sat back and put labels on all of our own heads as well as those of our children. PA, sure. But you're not stamping a behavioural problem on Jesse's head and calling it a mental illness or even a disability. To me, that's a crock of sh**.

Should either of my children inherit schizophrenia (because it is *supposed* to run in families), then yes, stamp mental illness on their heads.

I'm sorry, I said this was a hard one for me for a few reasons.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Sun, 01-11-04, 02:21

Karen H., feel the need to be really clear. I hear what you're saying about learning disabilities. My above *rant*, if you will, is about behavioural problems and the labeling thereof.

What is the difference between a psychiatric disorder and a mental illness?

Is depression a psychiatric disorder and not a mental illness?

Anyone ready to slap labels on their heads? I'm game (to slap them on my own) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By cathlina on Sun, 01-11-04, 03:23

Personality disorders and mental depression are all considered mental illnesses.

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By California Mom on Sun, 01-11-04, 06:20

Cindy, well - I will try to shed light onto my thoughts/feelings about the subject: for my own daughter, I do very strongly believe that her brain chemistry is different from the norm. I don't actually think of it as a "disability" in day to day life; but there are times when I see it as such. For example: the area of her brain (and other kids who have ADHD) that controls impulsivity and frustration is under developed and immature. Therefore, when she is disruptive in class and the teacher is upset because she expects this bright, verbal child to behave like a bright, verbal, 3rd grader ought to; the teacher is apt to reprimand her and give her the same consequences that she would to any child in the class who is disruptive. This is where the issue of disability comes in for me: as much as we all would like dd to [b]behave[/b] like a [i]normal[/i] bright, verbal 3rd grader "ought to"; she is actually not capable of doing so. Her impulse control is like that of a much younger child. As much as I wish it to be different, it isn't and won't be. This is an area where the school needs to make modifications for her.

I will now copy some information I was given by our child psychiatrist to answer the question about ADHD and section 504:

"Children with Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) are guaranteed a free and appropriate public education by two federal laws - the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Children with ADD must receive access to special education and/or related services when needed; this education must be designed to meet each child's unique educational needs through an individualized education program (IEP) under IDEA, or in a comparable 504 plan tailored to child's specific needs. These two federal laws may require a multidisciplinary team evaluation of a child with ADD to determine when and whether special education and/or related services are needed.

...In 1990, Congress ordered a U.S. Department of Education "Notice of Inquiry" to solicit public comments about how schools throughout the country were serving children with ADD. ... This Memorandum, which legally binds all public schools and all private schools receiving federal funds, made clear that children with ADD may qualify for special education and related services [i]solely[/i] on the basis of their ADD when it significantly impairs educational performance or learning."

I hope that answers any questions about Federal U.S. law. If not; I can pull more out of the article.

As for medication: we have now tried all three standard ADHD medications for dd and have had very negative results with all three. So, she is not being medicated for her ADHD.

In our case: I know that dd has had a lot of behavioral difficulties since she was very little. I do not believe that this is due to any environmental causes. Sadly, our three year old ds is actually surpassing our 9 year old dd in terms of following directions and contributing in the home.

I have to go now, but will come back in later...

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By MommaBear on Sun, 01-11-04, 13:30

Miram,

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

MommaBear

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By MommaBear on Sun, 01-11-04, 13:44

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
[b]Accomodations? How about just simple treatment? [/b]

Is such ever one and the same? Similiar? Boolean, even?

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By California Mom on Sun, 01-11-04, 15:15

MommaBear, I'm glad you appreciated my contributions. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Did you know you would finally get me hooked into one of these discussions?! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] LOL

Karen H., I don't mean to pick on you, but I am confused: what is [b]simple[/b] about treating mental illness? (Actually, now that I just wrote that I'm wondering if you really meant that first someone has to recognize that these kids have "mental illnesses" - I find myself shuddering with that term - and get them into some treatment before we can even start to look at accomodations?)

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By MeCash on Sun, 01-11-04, 15:21

Quote:Originally posted by California Mom:
[b]As for medication: we have now tried all three standard ADHD medications for dd and have had very negative results with all three. [/b]

This is a little off topic, Miriam, but have you had her tested for sensory issues and/or high functioning autism? I only ask, because I've been down a similar road (medications did not work, made things worse) and further indepth testing came up with Asperger's, not ADHD. Different treatment plan, indeed. Just a thought...

************************************

Back to the main topic: In the US, to qualify for disability coverage or benefits, you must meet at least one these qualifications:

A physical impairment is defined by the ADA as:

"Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine."

A mental impairment is defined by the ADA as:

"[a]ny mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities."

An impairment under the ADA is a physiological or mental disorder; simple physical characteristics, therefore, such as eye or hair color, left-handedness, or height or weight within a normal range, are not impairments. A physical condition that is not the result of a physiological disorder, such as pregnancy, or a predisposition to a certain disease would not be an impairment. Similarly, personality traits such as poor judgment, quick temper or irresponsible behavior, are not themselves impairments. Environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages, such as lack of education or a prison record also are not impairments.

[i]Personally, I think that if your physical or mental state makes it impossible to meet the [b]basic[/b] needs in life, such as feeding, bathing, clothing one self, then they would qualify for disability benefits. Of course, there is also the time test (has this been going on longer than six month, etc.)

From reading what both the social security website says and from my knowledge in the insurance industry, my son probably would qualify for some kind of disability compensation. I would never consider it, though, because he IS capable of doing the basic things needed for survival and in my opinion, QUITE capable of working, too.

A disability, as stated by the insurance industry, is a marked inability to provide for at least one of five basic life needs for a period lasting longer than six months.

I concur. If you can feed yourself, clothe yourself, bathe yourself, you don't need government assistance.

Just my thoughts...[/i]
~Melanie

[This message has been edited by MeCash (edited January 11, 2004).]

__________________

Melanie

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By California Mom on Sun, 01-11-04, 15:37

Thanks for your reply, Melanie. I really do think my dd's diagnoses are correct. She fits the symptoms of ADHD to a "t", and I don't see any signs of Asperger's. However, I would definitely be interested in what types of behaviors I may be overlooking, etc.

Apparently, medication works for 85% of kids who have ADHD. I think that my dd has just fallen into that narrow category of kids whom it doesn't work for. She does have anxiety, which seems to actually be a contra-indication for the stimulants; so in my mind it's no wonder they didn't work. However, Straterra didn't work, either. *sigh*

But truly, just because I feel like I know what's going on in her case doesn't mean I'm not open to other ideas/information.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By on Sun, 01-11-04, 17:21

California Mom, thank-you for your very long explanation (which involved typing out of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I believe) of why ADHD is considered a disability in America and can be accommodated by a 504 Plan.

MeCash, I also appreciated your response as well.

Interesting stuff. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Why is everyone afraid of the alcohol/substance abuse thread? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By KarenH on Sun, 01-11-04, 19:25

Okay [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I posed some of these questions to my DH (who is a psychologist) and asked him to clarify for me a few things. These are his answers.

(neither of us are offering advice, he's only answering according to his training and expertise. He is NOT a practising psychologist at the moment)

There are two types of disorders (which many things fall under), which many people get confused, and in fact they are VERY different.

Psychiatric disorders.....
A psychiatric disorder and a mental illness is the same thing. These are BIOLOGICAL and can be cured with drugs, such as schizophrenia, manic depression, etc. People who have psychiatric disorders cannot distinguish right from wrong, and do not live in reality.(they hallucinate, are delusional, etc)

A Psychological disorder....is NOT a mental illness. It covers things like behavior or personality disorders (ADHD/ADD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc). These are not biological, people CAN tell right from wrong, and they do live in reality. (they don't have delusions or hallucinate)I asked DH about the meds for Ritalin, and he said that it doesn't cure the problem, only manages it for a short time. (unlike meds for a psychiatric illness)

When I said "simple" treatment, I didn't mean that the treatment itself is simple. To me, after seeing kids develop things like bi-polar, maniac depression, and schizophrenia, it seems unbelieveable to me that there is nothing (that we could find) from mental health to treat them before they developed a full blown case. It seems so logical to have treatment for people that it blows me away how hard it is to actually GET it for them. (especially teenagers, which is the age when mental illness does develop)Prevention is a good thing-I don't see why there aren't programs that target this age group.

From those definitions, from what I can see, kids with ADHD and ODD do not fall under the mental illness category. However, I believe that, like my son's learning disability, they require special services though from the school system. (hence me earlier saying that they would fall under the "special needs" category).

I have worked with kids with ODD, ADHD, and many other personality disorders. It is highly stressful, and I can so relate to what you go through.

Does that help to clarify things a little bit?

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By California Mom on Sun, 01-11-04, 23:39

Karen H., Yes, your explanation helps, [b]but[/b] I'm not sure I agree with it. I will try to do a little research and see what I come up with.

Miriam

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By California Mom on Mon, 01-12-04, 00:08

O.K., specifically for AD/HD: the best information I could find indicates the AD/HD is a "neurobiological disorder". I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it certainly does indicate a biological basis for ADHD. This goes along with other information I have read.
Miriam

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By KarenH on Mon, 01-12-04, 00:26

Learning disabilities are biological too-but they are not considered mental illness. I think dh's point was that it has to fit all three of the criteria-you know, the hallucinations, delusions, not living in reality, etc.

I'm not offended if you don't agree with it, but dh has been a clinical psychologist for 20 odd years...so I tend to go with what he says.

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By California Mom on Mon, 01-12-04, 18:00

Karen H., I'm mostly having trouble with the idea of mental illness/psychiatric disorders only being applied to those who "cannot distinguish right from wrong and do not live in reality". IMHO, there are certainly people who have psychiatric disorders who fit into that category; but I think their are others who do not. I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist; I "just" have an MA in child development.

I will actually be seeing dd's child psychologist and child psychiatrist today; so I will try to get one or both of their takes on the terminology, if I can.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By KarenH on Tue, 01-13-04, 02:50

lol [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I believe that it's a good thing when a parent questions. "just" an MA in Child development? You have a lot on me! I don't have a degree in anything, just a lot of work experience and a smart hubby. :P He "just" has an MA in social work and psychology. But labels are no matter.

I'd be interested in what your daughter's docs say.... let us know [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

(Ps...I hope that nothing I've said has offended you either, I'm not trying to tell you I think you're wrong or anything like that.)

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By California Mom on Tue, 01-13-04, 04:21

Karen H, no - I'm not upset at all! I didn't end up asking either of the doctors, today. It just seemed a bit out of the blue to start asking about terminology when we were in the middle of discussing specific issues relating to dd. I guess we can just move on from this unless anyone else decides to jump in.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

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By momma2boys on Tue, 01-13-04, 16:17

I dont know much about ADHD and am not offering any advice. I found this at DrGreene.com and thought you may be interested in reading it.

A Must for Children with ADHD
A recent study has changed my thinking about ADHD, and I hope it changes the way that all children with ADHD are evaluated and treated. And that parents are treated. Parents deserve better understanding and support than they traditionally get. Dr. Andrea Chronis and her team at the University of Maryland make a compelling argument that whenever children have ADHD, getting help for their parents should be thoughtfully undertaken. ADHD tends to run in families. In the Maryland ADHD Program study of 214 children, the parents of children with ADHD were 24 times more likely to have ADHD themselves than were parents of children without ADHD. These results were published in the December 2003 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. As is often the case, many kids in the study also had Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CD) in addition to their ADHD. Their parents had higher rates of depression and other psychological problems, including alcohol and other types of substance abuse. Is this genetic? Or might it result from the increased stress of dealing with ADHD? Both are probably true to some extent. Significantly, all treatments for ADHD tend to be less effective when the parents have their own psychological issues. It makes sense that parent with ADHD might be less able to make needed environmental changes. Even medications, however, are less effective when the parents

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By MommaBear on Tue, 01-13-04, 16:31

Hmmmmmmmmmm. I'm beginning to see some "circularity" here. When recognized, a good thing?

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By California Mom on Tue, 01-13-04, 16:56

Momma2boys, thanks for posting that. Dh and I both have depression and anxiety; I am being treated - he is not. The more I learn about ADHD the more I think that I had it as a child. dh and I see dd's psychologist regulary, too; sometimes as a family and sometimes in various "dyads". It does seem that treating the child in a "vaccuum" would not be as effective.
- Miriam

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By California Mom on Tue, 01-13-04, 21:25

I found a great link that defines mental illness and also discusses "reasonable accomodations".

[url="http://www.bu.edu/cpr/reasaccom/whatis-psych.html"]http://www.bu.edu/cpr/reasaccom/whatis-psych.html[/url]

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By ElleMo on Sun, 01-18-04, 04:50

Quote:Originally posted by KarenH:
Psychiatric disorders.....
A psychiatric disorder and a mental illness is the same thing. These are BIOLOGICAL and can be cured with drugs, such as schizophrenia, manic depression, etc. People who have psychiatric disorders cannot distinguish right from wrong, and do not live in reality.(they hallucinate, are delusional, etc)

This is last sentence is not correct. What you describe is merely the most SEVERE forms of mental illness. Not everyone with mental illness is delusional or unable to tell right from wrong. For example, MOST people with depression or manic depression are NOT delusional. The "unable to tell right from wrong" is really more of a legal term used in the courts to determine whether someone is "guilty" or "not guilty be reason of insanity".

According to the National Association of Mental Illness:
[url="http://www.nami.org/"]http://www.nami.org/[/url]
"Mental illnesses include such disorders as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and other severe anxiety disorders, autism and pervasive developmental disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder, and other severe and persistent mental illnesses that affect the brain.

These disorders can profoundly disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, moods, ability to relate to others and capacity for coping with the demands of life."

__________________

Elle
Allergic to Shellfish
Mom to Jesse 2001, allergic to peanuts, legumes, chickpeas

Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."

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By California Mom on Wed, 03-17-04, 21:57

Well, I have been told that my dd's ADHD does not qualify her for a 504 plan. (She [b]does[/b] have one for her pa.) The school's rationale is that the disability must interfere with her learning in order to qualify her for a 504 plan. Since she is performing well academically they will not let us include her ADHD in the 504.

I must say, I was [i]positive[/i] she qualified on the basis of ADHD, alone. It is almost laughable (except that I am too frusturated and mad to laugh) that the school gave us no problems about a 504 for pa, which has turned out to be pretty much of a "non issue" in the classroom (thank goodness, of course!). But then, this [b]huge[/b] issue that impacts her [b]every[/b] [b]day[/b] in the classroom is not covered!!!

Somehow I feel like a big fool. I told them that I could go home and spend five minutes on the internet and find tons of information showing that she is eligible for a 504. Now I realize I can't, because they will just say that her "learning" is not being interfered with.

They are working with us, and I do think they are doing a good job handling dd's special needs at this point. So, I can't really complain about that. It just irks me that they are refusing a 504 plan. Even her psychiatrist told me that she should have a 504 plan!!!

Miriam

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By cooper on Thu, 03-18-04, 01:36

Hi Miriam, In Massachusetts (where I live) there are ed. specialists who can be hired by parents as advocates to work with school systems. They are experts in state ed. law, know when the school is coming up short, and are strong but diplomatic. When the Office for Children was discontinued, private resources sort of cropped up to carry the torch. Our state psychological association refers parents to qualified people. I know you're not complaining, but if you should want to ( [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ), I wondered if this might be an option in California. I think kids with attentional problems have to work so much harder, it just doesn't seem right for the school to say, well her learning isn't suffering. But, if they can accomodate without a 504 and you are happy with their work, then that's what counts. Not trying to stir up trouble, just commiserate. Best of luck!!

__________________

**Allergy Eliminator**

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By California Mom on Thu, 03-18-04, 03:37

Thanks cooper; I really appreciate your comments and your insight into the situation.

As it turns out: the school psychologist called me this afternoon and told me that after talking further to the principal and dd's teacher she felt that we [b]could[/b] write up her behavior plan as a 504. She also offered the option of continuing on without a 504 but being ready to write it up in the fall if we have any problems with next year's teacher. I decided that I actually felt O.K. with that second option.

They really [b]are[/b] working with dd and they [b]do[/b] recognize all the issues she is dealing with. So - that's the way we're going to do it for now. Somehow I feel a lot better that I was "heard". I really don't want to make waves, although I will do so if/when needed!!! The school psychologist is really such a strong advocate for dd, I do feel that I can trust her. So, that's it for now...

Miriam

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By KarenH on Thu, 03-18-04, 18:26

Miriam, I am so glad to hear that. Ds's school didn't want to write anything about DS being gifted, because it didn't show up at school as well. We demanded that they put it on his IEP, because we wanted to make sure that there was documentation of it.

Your daughter's ADHD may not affect her learning now (she may be able to compensate), but down the road it may and you are smart to fight to have the option of a 504. Good for you! However, if next year's teacher protests it, could they change the psychologist's mind?

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough in my earlier posting about mental illness, etc. I was trying to paraphrase what my husband was reading to me right out of the DSM4. (Obviously didn't do a very good job lolol)

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