Posted by: trashee | March 12, 2008

Tiny tots are terrorized – apparently

There was a piece in this Globe and Mail article about anxiety disorders being surprisingly common among children. The piece goes on to describe little Cody who has this unnatural fear that is described in the following way:

“In the waiting room at the anxiety clinic at Montreal Children’s Hospital, Cory cheerfully draws, hums and skips like any other preschooler.

But when he is led into an observation room and spots 10 strangers – a team of doctors, medical students and therapists here to assess him – he squeezes his eyes shut and ducks behind his mother, pressing his face into her back.”

I don’t know about you, but even my middle-aged fear would kick in if I was in the same situation! I mean, what do you expect?! A team of 10 strangers in white lab coats? THIS is unnatural anxiety?

It seems like the poor kid was assessed for autism because his 10-year-old half-brother, Connor, has the genetic cognitive disorder. After autism was ruled out, two other experts suggested he had selective mutism, an anxiety disorder in which children refuse to speak in social situations.

Selective mutism? Aren’t ALL kids selectively mute? And especially in new situations? But happily, the conclusion that has been reached is that the kid may have separation anxiety disorder along with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The telling few sentences are the following:

“Ms. Mercier, a researcher at a medical company, says the label doesn’t matter as long as treatment comes with it.

“For me, it’s like, label him with something so we can help him,” she said.”

So. Let me get this straight. The parents are freaked that this 4 year old is shy in social situations and especially when surrounded by a large group of strangers in white coats and who are likely using words that the kid doesn’t even understand. And all of this is coming about because the well-meaning parents say they “just want Cory to feel good about himself in public. They want him to be able to order pizza, join a swim team or dial 911 if he’s in trouble.”

Order pizza? My four year old can’t order pizza either! Nor can my teenager! But hey, as long as the experts can label them – it’s all good because then we know what medication and or other therapy the kid should be subjected to.

Man, I, along with most of the kids I knew growing up should have been on meds at a very young age! I’m sure an expert – be they a psychologist or a teacher – would have labelled me as rebellious, out of touch with reality as I daydreamed quite a bit – and obviously as an obsessive/compulsive due to my pencil chewing habit!

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