Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Next Big Thing

As the school year started, I spent time thinking about the trends in special education. To be specific, I was thinking about how certain diagnoses become the de rigueur diagnosis; it seems like everyone is seeking the diagnosis during each evaluation. During 90's, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) was diagnosis that everyone was getting, and still is. Last decade, we saw an increase in students getting a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and those continue to grow. Some figures estimate that 1 out of 160 children born have Autism. Now as we move into the '10s, there is a diagnosis that has gotten some press recently and I predict it will increase in prevalence. We'll be talking about over the next decade.

Drum roll....

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This will impact schools in the coming years, especially as parents and physicians become more aware of the symptoms and implications of having the disability. The media and sports have become more aware of it. Concussions are now a major concern for the NFL and the NCAA. This will trickle down to high schools, junior high schools, and Pop Warner football in the coming years, if not sooner. Also, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to more soldiers returning with TBI and doctors are now correctly diagnosing it. Before, it was thought to be PTSD, but doctors are starting to see the subtle differences. One distinction is the cognitive impairment that results from TBI. This will be a big diagnosis, and I expect school psychologists will be dealing with it more in the coming years.


1 comment:

SP in Training said...

Oooh, I wouldn't gave guessed TBI. Your rationale makes complete sense thought.
I was thinking childhood bipolar because the districts near where I'm in graduate school have seen an increase in that diagnosis this school year.

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