What has triggered it as an epidemic? Look at technology. Kids today are sensory bombarded with sounds, flashes, special effect TV that we as kids did not have. These events in a damaged processing system can trigger some very overwhelming self preservation signals within the brain. The kid can be playing say a video game having fun but when he's through he may be wound tight OR he may be very agiated tossing down the controller and walks away.
Take the same kid to the ball field and pitch a few balls to him to swing at. You say kep your eye on the ball and swing. The kid consistently swings early, late, or ducks aay. They can not control that it is the brain correcting what it sees as danger. The kid lacks the coordination ability to hit the ball consistently.
Next is reading. Have the kid read a couple of pages. Listen closely for skipped words and even a sentence. Have them try and copy something from a book or blackboard and see the difficulty they have. Look at what they wrote and tell them to correct errors. Don't be surprised if they make the same mistake several times. It's difficult. But once they do get something in their head into permenant memory they know it. There is an issue at the point of hearing or seeing and getting it into the portion of the brain that is permenant storing.
Tell a kid three words for example an apple, a dog, and a pencil. Give them a task to do and say now remeber those words. Don't be surprised if the task becomes difficult and done wrong or the words forgotten. It hits multi-tasking hard and as a result that is where the behavioral or Cognitive issues occur.
I'm 55 now. At age 12 upon recommendation of several professionals such as an eye doctor and occupational therapist I was placed for two years in a special education school. Not class but school that was set up to treat all aspects of childhood issues from Polio to blindness. Without that help I would not have pased my Navy or my Army NG physicals later on. I am also one eye functional another issue that kept me in hot water. Teachers said I was looking off not paying attention. Truth is only one eye at a time functions. Given a standard eye chart test I can pass easilly. Test for both eyes such as depth perception? Nope.
Watch for inappropiate responses to noises and visual events. A child for example who see's a snake and stops up his ears is not being cute and it's not a tanturm. It is the brain translating the danger incorrectly. How do I know? I would do it. By the way most of it doesn't stop in childhood.
i had severe sinus allergies as a very young kid. Serious enough to require shots. That will damage the Inner ear. Some as well I was born with. What youand others are missing is that much of these things were not with us in previous generations. The technology of today for some is triggering ADD ADHD type symptoms but this is not ADD nor ADHD is what I'm saying. It's not junk science and has little pharmacutical influence because to treat it usually requires learning enviroment modificaions and understanding the kids limitations and productive window related to books then utikllizing it. Use the other time for hands on learning.
Now reason this out a litle if a child has damaged sensory processing system what are drugs like Ritalin, Zoloft etc going to do? I know what they do adults with this. It is so serious that it can be as bad as LSD especially antidepressants. Again I have seen it.
Up till the time I was about in my early 30's I functioed OK in my work. Actually I was a darn good electrical trouble shooter as long as absolutely nothing distracted me like a pager etc. Then it hit.
Suddenly unexplainable things started happening to me. I'd start up stairs and be very weak after the third step or so. I would have to say to myself CLIMB and wait a couple of seconds and I had energy. I began having trouble doing simple task at one point I could not sign my name. Other things were I was not remembering task I had done or worse did not do. I was also a boiler operator and this was in a very large nursing home.
I tried to cover my tracks and just thought it was stress as I had been putting in some long hours. I took a weekend trip to Gatlinburg then to a place near Chatanooga with my wife. Coming home on the interstate I lost complete awareness of whee i was at, where I was going, why, how long etc and I was in a location I normally knew. This lasted 30 minutes or so. By the next night I was weak and that turned into a month off undergoing testing including brainwave and MRI all were negative. But I was doing something I had not done before. Cartain sounds would make me shudder violently in the shoulder bladesas would certain visual events. No real rhyme or reason at first. I went back to work and had a promtion coming.
One evening I recieved a trouble call in the retirement center anotherbuilding away about a loud machine noise. I went to the apartment and heard nothing unusual. I saw the woman who lived in it and she was distraught almost in tears and she normally was happy go lucky. I asked he what was wrong? She said that noise make it stop I can't handle it no more. I said OK take me to it. It was her A/C unit. I turned it off and she was happy. I told the nurse and she said it's odd she came back from the hospital like that earlier in the day.
I went down to my shop to kick back and eat my supper. I was leaned back in a chair agaisnt a dould door and someone behind the door yelled. i about went through the ceiling. Then it hit again the where was I, what was I doing. I could barely talk. I called my wife and said it hit me again. She said OK hang on I'm calling your dad to come to get you don't you drive. My wife is confined to a wheelchair. I told the switchboard operator who was my dispatcher to hold the tickets I had to leave as soon as my relief got there and I had called him in. For two days I stayed like that.
Doctors had no answer and said see a shrink. The shrink said Atypical Anxiety Disorder. I resigned my job as it was the right thing to do. I filed for disability and the examiner said he'd seen it but it had no name and I could not work again. The shrinks started me on antidepressants and they made the spasms worse and me agiated. The only medication that would help was Xanax but not all the time. I was also diagnosed as PTSD which for some life events I have gone through one would expect. but they could not pin this down especially the reaction to noises and visual effects.
After a couple of years I found a book at a second hand store called Phobia Free. When it comes to those type of books I am super skeptic. Many are written by well meaning persons but resolve nothing. This book though went into case histories and most sounded like mine including my childhood allergies. The problem is not chemical it is neurological damage in the Inner Ear and Cerebellar portion of thwe brain controlling sensory processing. Myshuddering or spasms are violent and last less than 5 seconds each time. I now know what they are. They are sensory induced Myoclonic Seizures. My Atypical General Anxiety Disorder is not that at all. It is a secondary condition of a primary condition caused my my semsory processing system being damaged.
Within a couple more years I developed Meniers Disease. I'm also now over 50% hearing loss in both ears. The antidepressants? LOL I finally after about the 5th one said you aren't giving those to me I won't take them I want Xanax. The doctor said no I said your fired and found another.
New doctor tlked to me and he said yea I've seen it and here is what helps. Where before I took 2MG of Xanax tice a day he said try .5 or a half MG four times a day. It helped but 18 years later I still have seizures sometimes usually a few times a day.
Now remeber the woman in the apartment with the loud noise in her room? If I were a betting man I would placed a weeks wages on either an Inner Ear infection or Inner Ear Disorder.
Not everyone get this bad. But I was born in 1957 and even in my childhood the sensory triggers we have today most weren't there but even the ones that were looking back were triggering me.
I can spot adults who have milder forms of this in Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes etc when the P.A. or an alarm goes off or if it's crowded. They wantthe hell out of there yesterday LOL.
Here is a pretty unbaised buy educational read that explains more COGNITIVE ASPECTS OF VESTIBULAR DISORDERS
I don't discount the fact some kids just lack discipline. Lord knows I had my share LOL. But an real issue in kids that carries on into adulthood is not being mentioned but ADD ADHD is. Again C.A.P.D. generally requires no medication except treating the allergy etc doing the damage to start with..
I did not spell check but did proof read my post. How many errors do you see? A child with this will have problems correcting or for that matter spotting mistakes to start with.
What you are saying is some children have a diagnosable physical issue with hearing. Sure, that can happen, no doubt, and if suspected the child could easily be tested for hearing loss and interpretation disorders. What I am saying is that the massive number of kids with supposed medical conditions is unreal. Your condition seems to be a physical issue. As a pilot I have trained in various flight physiology classes and know the strange yet very real issues with vestibular confusions. It wouldnt be funny at all if they happened during normal life due to a physical ailment. The affects can be very disturbing and cause a person to be completely dysfunctional.
When I was 7, in the 3rd grade, instead of working with me as a troubled child the system wanted to discount me, so they deemed me mentally retarded. Those skipped words when reading, the excessive talking, the lack of memory, the lack of attention, the apparent dyslexia, the hyperactivity were all normal in a kid of that age, but they as adults simply wanted me to sit still, be a genius and learn through some kind of osmosis. In other words, they didnt want me to be a kid and they didnt want to be adults.
Turns out I have a high IQ and was simply bored to tears with the school system. Thank God we moved from California and into other school systems that worked with gifted children. I have had a great career doing what I do because I could tap into those gifts. Had we stayed in Kali they wanted me on Ritalin, to drug me into stupidity. Another thank God, my dad was in the Air Force medical field and knew about Ritalin and would have no part in it. He had Air Force docs test me, they found I wasnt retarded and kept Kalis diagnosis of mental retardation out of my records. They knew the Dr. Spock treatment for hyperactive intelligent kids wasnt Ritalin, it was to stretch their minds with advance subjects and good physical activities in school and it worked perfectly.
I am still hyper, still get into anything and everything, still skip words when reading, still type various characters in reverse order, still get bored inside 5 seconds with most things as I already know the answer, but I can study anything, intensely solve any problem including the supposed impossible, still spends hours concentrating, and work with people at a social level. I learned those skills; they certainly werent natural for me, or really any kid. A number of great teachers and mentors spent their time to teach and train me.
Another nasty side effect of telling every kid they are not normal: Everyone now has an excuse for bad behaviors and that excuse is used often in their adult lives to the point they become dysfunctional.
I married a great woman that is the clinical director in a psychiatric hospital. She routinely sees patients that are misdiagnosed, especially the younger crowd, even those in the military, which have been told their whole lives that their perfectly normal behaviors are not normal and they need medical help. They are extremely confused and just dont know how to act. Deprogramming is the usual solution, to teach them that they are normal and do not need medications. We have screwed several generations of people telling them they are abnormal and need medications or medical intervention, when what they really needed was an adult in their young lives. They are taught at a younger age that there is something wrong with them and she sees them later in life to tell them there isnt.
There are people that truly have medical conditions beyond their control and need help, but not the 10% of this nations children that are given psychoactive drugs for perfectly normal behaviors.