The goal is to bring the stigma of neurochemical disorders, developmental delays and mental illnesses in children From the Dark and ensure Bright Futures for ALL students.
When a child with a mental illness, neurochemical disorder or developmental delay demonstrates symptoms in school or a childcare setting, he/she is routinely punished with physical force and/or psychological torment. Parents are blamed, no matter how dedicated they are in having their child's illness(es) diagnosed and treated. No matter how diligently they work to help their child learn to "manage" symptoms--whether with or without medication--symptoms are deemed to be culpable actions.
There was a time when other illnesses were viewed as an indication of demonic possession and, with increased awareness, this changed. It's not all in a person's head. It is time to bring the stigma of mental disorders out from the dark ages and ensure that children who are suffering can access appropriate treatment, supports and education. Failure to do so will short-change the next generation of children, effectively preparing them for homelessness, incarceration or hospitalization. It has to change. We have to change it.
1. Educate Educators--ensure that educators teach symptom management rather than punishing symptoms of treatable diagnoses
2. Educate peers--even bright & popular kids can learn from their peers... about tolerance, acceptance & more, like perseverance (hyper-focus).
3. Promote early, accurate and complete diagnosis to allow earliest possible intervention, guidance and treatment for the best outcome.