The numbers keep going up.
According to an article by Bloomberg News, the number of children with ADHD has risen 33% in the past decade. Autism has risen nearly fourfold. In total, about one in six children in the United States has a developmental disability, which is an estimated 10 million kids.
With those numbers, the article raised these concerns: How will we provide enough services to help that many kids? What is it going to cost?
There were no answers. So, maybe it’s time to look through a different lens to help these struggling kids.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of kids who had developmental disabilities when they first started the Brain Highways program. Yet, many (if not all) of those disabilities dwindled and disappeared once the kids started organizing their brain. Every time.
But here’s what I also know: Despite the fact that thousands of kids have changed how their brain functions, we’ll continue to see more doom and gloom articles in the very near future.
So something has to change — like maybe right now.
There are just too many kids with brilliant minds and compassionate hearts that we’re overlooking. Who knows? The next incredible inventor, musician, writer, or mathematician may be sitting right next to us—and we don’t even know it.
So I’m asking parents who have participated in brain organization programs to “pay it forward.” Write your newspaper’s editors. Tell your doctors and classroom teachers. Revisit prior therapists. Shout it from the rooftop: We don’t have to sit, helpless, and watch the numbers rise. The brain can change. Best of all, we can teach parents how to help their kids do this.
Of course, the naysayers will say: What? You’re giving parents false hope. Where’s the research?
Count on that last question. It’s often asked as a way of silencing those who are doing something new and different. It’s also meant to remind parents that there are charlatans and snake oil out there.
And yes, there are. But this is also true: Many kids have participated in researched-based programs that yielded little or no notable improvements.
So that also needs to be said, again and again: Researched-based programs don’t necessarily guarantee results for your child. And programs without research aren’t all snake oil. (Why do I think those comments just made me a target and arrows are flying my way?)
But I’ve decided to stick my neck out there.
Let me clarify. Am I against research? Of course not. It’s important to document results. But it’s also possible to do so without published research.
For example, the Brain Highways program has concrete, objective ways to measure success, but we lack formal published, scientific studies. Why? Well, those studies cost a lot of money. They also require unbiased, qualified people to do the work (if the study is going to have true merit), as well as time to track long-term results. Couple that reality with how many people need help right now . . and we’ve chosen to go straight to the latter by teaching parents how to facilitate their kids’ brain organization—today. It’s today that Tommy or Susie or Trevor needs help.
So, here’s what we can do. Let’s start our very own Brain Changing Awareness Week. Why not? The goal: Use Twitter, Facebook, email, and personal contacts to send this simple two-part message to as many people as possible: The brain can change, and parents can learn how to facilitate their kids’ brain organization.
There are millions of kids waiting and hoping that message is heard.