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View Diary: A Reflection on Mental Illness from a Former High School Teacher (140 comments)

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  •  I too find it dificult (2+ / 0-)
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    Noor B, worldlotus

    to figure out exactly what to say to a parent or guardian whose child I suspect might have a mental illness--depression, anxiety, eating disorder (not sure if that fits under mental illness), or schizophrenia--or might be on the autism spectrum or might be using drugs. Any of those conversations can lead parents or guardians to reject what I say for a variety of reasons: embarrassment, denial, or even money (can't afford treatment).

    I am getting a little more forward, though. While I used to just say "Here's what I see (list details from class); I recommend seeing a doctor," now I list the symptoms, and then recommend a doctor because those symptoms match those in students I've taught who have depression/anxiety/drug problems/etc. I am not trying to diagnose, but I've found that parents/guardians move faster and with more purpose with greater specificity on my part.

    And just to clarify: I do not want to suggest that autism is a form of mental illness. But like mental illness, I've found parents and guardians reject diagnosis and services for ASD in a way that is similar to the rejection for mental illness or drug treatment.

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