Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oprah Features SPD

After 10 years of trying to get Oprah to do a show on SPD, this is a good thing, right?  That's what we are fighting for- exposure, understanding, and to tell our stories.

It would be a good thing if Oprah's show had gotten anything right. The show was about mental illnesses and children.  SPD is not a mental illness; it is neurological, but not a mental illness.  A mental illnesses are  "conceptualized as disorders of brain circuits likely caused by developmental processes shaped by a complex interplay of genetics and experience."  Insel, T.R.; Wang, P.S. (2010). "Rethinking mental illness". JAMA 303 (19): 1970–1971.doi:10.1001/jama.2010.555  You do not "learn" to have SPD.  It is thought to have a genetic basis, but it isn't learned.  There's not a stressor that can cause someone to develop SPD.  There are not social factors that work with biological factors to make a person develop SPD.  

Maybe the child does have SPD, but SPD will not cause the behaviors that were the basis of the show.  This child was so violent that his mother was terrified of him.  While my heart aches for this mother, this is not SPD.  The child may have been diagnosed with something else that causes this violent behavior, but the show did not specify if this was the case.

It saddens me that with the large viewer base that Oprah has, this might be many of their first impressions with SPD.  Mothers of children with SPD have been educating people and fighting for our children's voices to be heard for years and this is a major set back.  

The SPD Foundation is asking for a grass roots effort of 10,000 letters to Oprah with facts about SPD.  You can go here for information on where to write and some ideas of what to write. 


1 comment:

  1. Cari, Bless you for this post. =) Crazy isn't it? OY!!! LOL!!!