Some New Jersey parents have observed certain irregularities in the way their child behave. Erratic behavioral traits could include how the child speaks, the child’s ability to learn new things, how that child handles emotionally charged situations or even how the child plays. These unusual symptoms can start as early as the first few years of the child’s life and continue to develop throughout the teenage years. In these cases, the child may have some form of mental illness disability.
According to research conducted by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, it is estimated that as many as one fifth of children from all racial, regional and socio-economic backgrounds are diagnosed with a mental disorder in a given year and as much as $247 billion is spent on treatment for these disorders which include attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, behavioral disorders, mood and anxiety disorders and Tourette syndrome.
Usually, these issues are identified by the time the child reaches school age but often the diagnosis may happen much later, sometimes because of ignorance or inability to diagnose the condition. If a mental disorder is detected, parents should be aware of the many treatment options available to control and manage these disorders.
Mental well-being is as important as physical health, if not more, and therefore, timely medical intervention is a must. If untreated, mental disorders can plague a child for a lifetime. The child’s difficulties can begin at home or school and can hamper the ability to form lasting relationships. It can also affect the healthy physical development and continue to have detrimental effects well into adulthood.
Despite the emotional setbacks that the diagnosis of a mental disorder may cause, parents need not panic because resources are available to help disabled children lead healthy and successful lives. As discussed in an earlier blog post, one such resource is the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income for children with mental disabilities. These benefits usually continue until the child reaches 18 and in some cases, 19-years-old.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Children’s Mental Health,” Accessed on Nov. 7, 2014