Came across the below statement on Facebook yesterday and of course it instantly got my goat up, it is absolute nonsense; Today we have treatments and therapies which ACTUALLY work! With the right help and support these “brats ” can top their class, win awards and drop jaws. To have such an attitude towards pediatric mental health is as abusive as locking a sick child in a house and refusing medical treatment out of fear the bruises on their body will be seen and child abuse discovered. It is Neglect no two way’s about it and it perpetuates neglect of children.
As big a problem is the misconception that mental illness in children mean they were abused.
Absolute Bullshit! Onset can be triggered by Stress yes. But do you know what Stress is?
Stress is not just Bad Stuff. In fact the stress of getting married, having a baby, buying a house are all Chart Toppers.
|Common external causes of stress|
|Common internal causes of stress|
Yes you read correctly the way you THINK can actually cause stress without any external factors at all.
Trauma can be anything from a bully at school, witnessing or being in a Car Accident, to Natural Disasters such as Flooding, Bush fires, and Earthquakes. It isn’t about how dangerous or not something actually was, but how much it scared you. Unless being locked in a room (which is child abuse itself) it is impossible to reach Adulthood without some degree of trauma and stress. We all must learn through trial and error how to navigate the school ground, form and develop friendships. No one gets these things right the first time out childhood is a long series of mistakes which develop into learning.
The best advice I was ever given actually came from a child sexual abuse counselor, echoed by their health nurse, because for quite some time and still do worry that my eldest may have been abused;
- Don’t Panic
- Don’t get Hysterical
- Don’t Overreact
- Don’t Assume
- Don’t fill in gaps
- Believe the child
- Seek Professional Help – for care for the child contact a counsellor, pediatrician or psychologist. To report the offender contact Police they are the ones who deal with reports and disclosures they have a Specialist Unit to handle disclosures.
- Be very careful who you go to for help
- Address Symptoms
My eldest has shown signs of trauma since infancy and while there are multiple events which can be identified she has absolutely no recall of any of them due to her age. including witnessing a fatal car accident and being attacked by her Uncle.
Meanwhile the majority of her symptoms which were previously associated with trauma are concisely rounded up by her Dyslexia and inattentive type ADHD Diagnosis, Ironically those still associated with trauma are those they had earlier declared were not symptoms at all but just normal childhood imagination.
IF the events which lead to our relocation had been put aside and non professionals hadn’t kept directing me to child sexual assault services as if that was the sum answer to everything, she very possibly could have had more help beyond speech therapy and reading assistance before she was 15 years old. Because the ‘trauma’ which little was known completely overshadowed perceptions by all agencies and services and actually delayed help for her. She was safe, she felt safe, it was CPS storming into our house who shattered her perception of safety. As Adults we should show the maturity she did in moving on. Unfortunately inattentive type ADHD and trauma share such a ridiculous amount of symptom ground that didn’t happen til her mid teens. CPS workers had assumed all of the Little Super Hero’s Bipolar Symptoms were Trauma, they have been proved wrong with the symptoms vanishing with treatment! there needs to be something in place to slow CPS down and ensure Psych assessments are properly conducted before their overreactions and assumptions are allowed to kick in.
I really am at the point where the “child abuse” hysterical catch cry can be thrown in the rubbish bin because that is where it belongs. Unless and until you have bruises and witnesses or the child discloses the child is BEST served with a clinical approach, diagnosis and appropriate supports, not hysteric’s and fishing for disclosures, because Children need help not hysteria!
- Forcing Disclosure can completely destroy a person/child. I have seen it first hand don’t even try to tell me it doesn’t, she spent a solid decade in hospital.
- Without disclosure to identify accurately the form of abuse, Child Sexual Abuse counseling should not be provided, it is harmful for children who have not been sexually abused.
- Unless a child discloses go to seek other forms of assistance such as mindfulness CBT, regular counseling, Child Psychologist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
To ASSUME makes an Ass of U and Me
The Irony is the Child Protection System in their methods actually harm kids, they traumatise them in it’s own right, and they know this and yet they continue knowing full well the damage they do.
Refusing to seek help for a child’s mental health issues should be abuse and neglect. That goes for the role of CPS in preventing children receiving access to appropriate care by labeling all symptoms abuse too!
For those who are not already aware, CPS don’t actually “help’ people deal with possible child sexual abuse. If you got out of range of the abuser stay there no need to call CPS there isn’t anything they can do for you now they don’t want to know because the children are “safe”. If you call them CPS Run in and as fast as possible Identify ANY possible threats with or without evidence its basically a point out the males fest, and remove them. Then they walk away with the expectation that the removed threats will stay removed. That is it that is all they do. if the ‘Threat’ returns even if it isn’t actually a threat, they remove the child.
oh and if you say but they funded Child Care and kindergarten, hun that is for the purpose of monitoring the child because they consider YOU the threat.
The truth is sexualised behaviour in children is part of normal development. In children who have been traumatized it can be their way of Self Soothing, self soothing occurs when ever a child is stressed, any form of stress at all, a long distance relocation, changing schools, being bullied at school, NAPLAN Exams for grades 3 and 5.
While it can also indicate Hypersexuality a symptom of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder.
Meanwhile the challenge is not isolated to Bipolar but common among children with ASD.
Special Needs children are over represented among sex offenders,
NDIS Trial for protective behaviours
Take a moment, it can be difficult to take in. This is a horrifying thought for parents, but the truth is in order to protect our children we need to teach them earlier rather than later about what is and isn’t appropriate.if we shy away from the issue our children are at risk of doing something which may actually get them charged because they don’t understand that it is wrong, because we thought it wrong to talk about such an adult topic with them. Sex Education needs to actually start before school with protective behaviours, discussing it at their level, and every year build on it.
The Good news is its just growing up, with some speed bumps, most simply don’t reoffend, but we don’t want to cause them to think sex is just outright bad ok, its a normal healthy part of life.
Do not assume that sexualised behaviour in Children is a sure sign of abuse, particularly for children of special needs it is their normal development and it can scare people particularly when it is translated via their own custom soup of symptoms..
Feel free to use these terms to sift google for further resources…
In the first instance if you witness concerning behaviour don’t panic, explain it is for the privacy of their own room, if another child is involved separate the children send them to do something else, obtain professional advice ensuring the child/children are well supervised until directions obtained.
Where to get actual genuine advice specific to your circumstance:
-Maternal health nurse
-Child Sexual Abuse Counsellor or local sexual assault support center (get past the receptionist before you consider it professional advice)
Lifeline can provide details for local services.
They are the professionals who can give practical advice on the steps you need to take, what you need to do or not do, and can tell you if the behaviour is normal or concerning, and respond appropriately.
They are pretty much the only professionals you are likely to have contact with who are qualified to provide that advice. They also have the training to distinguish concerning behaviours.
I am actually relieved I learned all this when my eldest girls were still toddlers. Discovering 2 of your toddlers pashing on the living room floor was a bit surprising, the maternal health nurse assured me it was entirely normal just separate them send them to do something else most importantly don’t freak out and make sure they learn personal space/consent once able to speak more than a handful of words.
Then having a self soother due to the stress of an interstate relocation. That was the next shock to the system but again, just teach her its for her own time and her own space and teach her to close the door, no it doesn’t necessarily mean she has been abused she is just stressed.