Untangling the Knot: How Do We Best Serve Those with Complex Mental Health Challenges?

In 1958, Ruth Birch, frustrated that her son — who struggled with dyslexia — wasn’t being provided an adequate education, began homeschooling him at her kitchen table. In a matter of weeks, three other students with dyslexia, similarly underserved in public school, joined them. Fast-forward 60 years; public schools today do an excellent job in teaching children with dyslexia. Our system has evolved to address a once unmet need.

Children with complex mental health challenges or developmental disabilities, however, are a different story.

In the last several decades, various factors have impacted the education and behavioral health landscape, leaving a very vulnerable population — children and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as other mental health challenges — in limbo.

Recently, Kaiser Health News published the shocking story of young people with severe autism left to languish in hospitals because proper care was not readily available. These individuals were sometimes sedated, restrained or confined to mesh-tented beds for months at a time.

Read the full article on the Psych Central website.