Many parents are familiar with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), which are an important part of the school day for children with disabilities. IEPs lay out the specific program of support, services and special education needed to help them succeed. You might not be as familiar with 504 Plans, a similar kind of educational plan but with one key difference. A 504 Plan can be used to help children with mental health challenges do better in school, without removing them from the regular classroom.
When we talk about mental health and wellness in children, we often focus on what adults are doing – being vigilant for the warning signs, getting kids into the right treatment programs, raising awareness in our communities. Sometimes in all our efforts to raise awareness and advocate for our kids, adults forget that young people themselves have tremendous power to change their worlds and the lives of those around them.Sometimes it’s a simple as having someone to sit next to at lunch.
Marijuana use among American teenagers is disturbingly common. According to the CDC, 38% of high school students say they’ve tried marijuana at least once. And the prevailing attitude is that smoking pot is “no big deal.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 71% of high school seniors say they don’t view marijuana as being very harmful. Yet there is a growing body of evidence that marijuana use – especially in kids who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – can have immediate negative side effects, and can lead to more serious mental illness like psychosis, anxiety or depression.
The 85th Legislative Session in Texas was busy when it came to mental health. This was a result of a report by the Texas Select Committee on Mental Health, a year-long review of what was working and what is broken when it comes to mental health care in the state. As reported by the Texas Council for Development Disabilities, several bills related to mental health services passed the Texas legislature and went into effect on September 1, 2017. Here’s an overview on this new legislation:
There are few things in life more nerve-wracking than worrying about your child and her health. In most situations parents wrestle with dozens of questions and struggle to find the answers; this is particularly true when a child is experiencing mental illness.