Study: 1 in 5 U.S. kids has a mental disorder - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Study: 1 in 5 U.S. kids has a mental disorder

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  A new report shows 1 in 5 U.S. kids has a mental disorder.

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study focuses on diagnoses in six areas: ADHD, behavioral or conduct disorders, mood and anxiety, autism, substance abuse, and Tourette syndrome.

Acent Children's Health Services in Jonesboro said the most common disorder they generally see is oppositional defiant disorder.

"A child that argues often with adults, talks back, they lose their temper, they're very angry, often blame others for their mistake, vindictive and resentful,"said Natalie Jones, mental health professional at Ascent.

Jones said more kids are being diagnosed because there is more information and awareness centered around mental health.

"There is just more behavioral issues at such a young age given different environmental concerns," she said 

A new study by the CDC shows 1 in 5 kids under the age of 17 has a diagnosable mental disorder.  Amber Hogard is the clinic director and encourage parents to get their kids treated as soon as possible. 

"Mental health services are really important just because it helps children be able to gain those social skills, interact with other children appropriately, express their emotions appropriately.," Hogard said.

Ascent is a day treatment facility and offers a variety of services for kids with mental health disorders.

"We would treat with what is called behavioral modification and they would go through family therapy as well as individual therapy with a therapist," she said.

In treating a child with a mental disorder, Jones says there are factors that can be helpful.

"Kids need structure and they need that family support so that when they have their therapy time and when their going home they are getting the dame consistency across the board for all environments," Jones said.

She said boys and girls are diagnosed very differently.

"Generally boys are more inclined to be diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder is generally diagnosed with ADHD and this is found in about 40% of cases," she said.

And if gone untreated, there can be negative long-term effects.

"Children can be labeled as a bad child or there is a negative stigmatism that is attached to them," Jones said.

"If left untreated though further down the road when they get older they can develop a conduct disorder or be involved with other criminal behavior."

Ascent is also having a summer program for the first time for kids with mental health disorders from ages 6 weeks to 8-years-old.

For more information you can contact Amber Hogard at 870- 933-9528.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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