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Trauma from unchecked child abuse/neglect typically results in the helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it acts as his/her starting point into an adolescence and (in particular) an adulthood in which its brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. In short, it can make every day an emotional/psychological ordeal, unless the mental turmoil is doused with some form of self-medicating.

Meanwhile, general society perceives thus treats human procreative rights as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs. I find that mentality — however widely practiced — wrong and needing re-evaluation, however unlikely that will ever happen.

Proactive measures may be needed to avoid later having to reactively treat (often with tranquilizing medication) potentially serious and life-long symptoms caused by a dysfunctional environment, neglect and/or abuse. And if we’re to avoid the dreadedly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention — that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments — maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Child development science curriculum might be one way.

Also, mental health-care needs to generate as much societal concern — and government funding — as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable.

I wonder how many instances there have been wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received, as high school students, some crucial parenting or child development education by way of mandatory curriculum? After all, dysfunctional and/or abusive parents, for example, may not have had the chance to be anything else due to their lack of such education and their own dysfunctional/abusive rearing as children.

For decades, I’ve strongly felt that a psychologically and emotionally sound (as well as a physically healthy) future should be all children’s foremost right — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter — and therefore child development science should be learned long before the average person has their first child.
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While a high score on the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) questionnaire is bad, there can be a counteracting effect if one also scores high on the Resilience questionnaire. [The two questionnaires can be accessed at: www.irenegreene.com/wp-content/uploads/ACEScoreResilienceQ2.pdf]

Resilience is a formal measure of one’s emotional/psychological strengths. For example, one may have had an uncle or grandmother who was a stable, strong and loving presence always available when one’s parent(s) was/were dysfunctional or abusive. 
 
Society tends to perceive thus treat human procreation like we will somehow be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs. I find that mentality — however widely practiced — wrong and needing re-evaluation, however unlikely that will ever happen.

What it essentially comes down to is, proactive measures in order to avoid having to later reactively treat (often with tranquilizing medication) potentially serious and life-long symptoms caused by a dysfunctional environment, neglect and/or abuse. And if we’re to avoid the dreadedly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention—that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments—maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Secondary high school child development science curriculum might be one way.

Also, mental health-care needs to generate as much societal concern as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable.

____

“It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practicing medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.228).
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Notable adverse childhood experience (ACE) trauma — especially when its effect is amplified by an accompanying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — suffered by adolescents can readily lead to a substance use disorder. This, of course, can also lead to an adulthood of debilitating self-medicating.

The greater the drug-induced euphoria or escape one attains from its use, the more one wants to repeat the experience; and the more intolerable one finds their sober reality, the more pleasurable that escape should be perceived. By extension, the greater one’s mental pain or trauma while sober, the greater the need for escape from reality, thus the more addictive the euphoric escape-form will likely be.

If the adolescent is also highly sensitive, both the drug-induced euphoria and, conversely, the come-down effect or return to their burdensome reality will be heightened thus making the substance-use more addicting.

As a highly sensitive child, teenager and adult with ASD—an official condition with which I greatly struggled yet of which I was not even aware until I was a half-century old—compounded by a high ACE score, I largely learned this for myself from my own substance (ab)use experience. The self-medicating method I utilized during most of my pre-teen years, however, was eating.

Meanwhile, in many straight and NT minds such addicts have somehow committed a moral crime. But serious life trauma, notably adverse childhood experiences, is typically behind a substance abuser’s debilitating lead-ball-and-chain self-medicating lifestyle.

Generally, there’s a formidable reason why a person repeatedly consumes and gets heavily hooked on an unregulated often deadly chemical that eventually destroys their life and even that of a loved-one. It all really doesn’t happen out of boredom.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I now strongly feel that not only should all school teachers have received ASD training, but that there should further be an inclusion in standard high school curriculum of a child development course which in part would also teach students about the often debilitating condition.

It would explain to students how, among other aspects of the condition, people with ASD (including those with higher functioning autism) are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent, when in fact such behavior is really not a choice.

While some other school curriculum is controversial (e.g. SOGI, especially in rural residential settings), it nonetheless was implemented. The same attitude and policy should be applied to teaching high school students about ASD, the developing mind and, especially, how to enable a child’s mind to develop properly.
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Health and Safety / Re: root canal for my son
« Last post by patriciaucker on February 21, 2021, 04:41:50 PM »
I would recommend you go through with it by visiting your dentist and take the option of the root canal. There are possibilities if late to take care of your teeth, there are chances for the damage to be worse. As your son is young, getting immediate dental care would be helpful to maintain his oral health. Please do consider the factors for a root canal before going ahead with the procedure.
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Family Outings and Excursions / Disposal bins for party
« Last post by christy bently on January 27, 2021, 01:31:29 AM »
Hey all, My son and I have been thinking about having a small gathering for our nana's birthday party. As it is the time of COVID-19, there are certain restrictions on the gathering and social interactions with social distancing.  This has resulted in the decision to invite only close family and friends to the party.  All the needed arrangements are to be made, the main thing that bothers us is the need for waste management after the party as there would be many arising. I was thinking about renting disposal bins for garbage disposal and would really appreciate it if someone could help and advise me on this if it is a good idea.
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Health and Safety / root canal for my son
« Last post by mary_mcc3 on January 15, 2021, 04:06:47 AM »
My son has a craving for sweet and salty products. Lately, he has lost his appetite. I am a little worried about his oral health. He has been experiencing toothaches for a while now. We went to a dentist, and he made us aware that he might have cavities because of his eating habits. He recommended that a root canal was necessary as there was a severely bad and damaged tooth infected. This is the first time we visit a dentist as we don't have a family dentist. I am having some concerns if we should go through it or not. Could someone help and advise me on this?
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Child behaviour / Encouraging eating behavior
« Last post by archanamanish on December 25, 2020, 12:43:33 AM »
Hi everyone.

Our 4 year old is not very interested in food and tends to take a long time to finish her meal and also needs frequent promoting to eat. We have been gently encouraging her to eat faster and with less prompts and see slight improvement. She has been wanting a toy and my husband and I told her that she can have the toy when her eating improves a bit more. Although she has taken it seriously and is working towards it, I wonder whether this approach on our part could harm her in any way.
Please advise.
Thank you.
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Babysitter / nanny wanted / Childcare needs in RM of Springfield Survey
« Last post by ElizabethMiller on December 17, 2020, 09:09:38 PM »
Hi there! If you live or work in the RM of Springfield would you take 2 minutes to respond to a survey about the need for childcare in the RM of Springfield? I am proposing to open a new centre in the area and need some feedback about the area. I appreciate you taking the time! Thank you.

Elizabeth

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TJ7Y5NK
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In his book The Interpretation of Dreams, Dr. Sigmund Freud states: “It is painful to me to think that many of the hypotheses upon which I base my psychological solution of the psychoneuroses will arouse skepticism and ridicule when they first become known. For instance, I shall have to assert that impressions of the second year of life, and even the first, leave an enduring trace upon the emotional life of subsequent neuropaths [i.e. neurotic persons], and that these impressions—although greatly distorted and exaggerated by the memory—may furnish the earliest and profoundest basis of a hysterical [i.e. neurotic] symptom … It is my well-founded conviction that both doctrines [i.e. theories] are true. In confirmation of this I recall certain examples in which the death of the father occurred when the child was very young, and subsequent incidents, otherwise inexplicable, proved that the child had unconsciously preserved recollections of the person who had so early gone out of its life.”

Contemporary research tells me that, since it cannot fight or flight, a baby stuck in a crib on its back hearing parental discord in the next room can only “move into a third neurological state, known as  a ‘freeze’ state … This freeze state is a trauma state” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.123).

This causes its brain to improperly develop; and if allowed to continue, it’s the helpless infant’s starting point towards a childhood, adolescence and (in particular) adulthood in which its brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines.

I also now know that it’s the unpredictability of a stressor, and not the intensity, that does the most harm. When the stressor “is completely predictable, even if it is more traumatic—such as giving a [laboratory] rat a regularly scheduled foot shock accompanied by a sharp, loud sound—the stress does not create these exact same [negative] brain changes.” (pg. 42)

Decades before reading Freud’s theories or any others regarding very early life trauma, I’d always cringe at how producers and directors of negatively melodramatic scenes—let alone the willing parents of the undoubtedly extremely upset infants and toddlers used—could comfortably conclude that no psychological harm would result in the baby ‘actors’ screaming  in bewilderment.

Initially I’d presumed there was an educated general consensus within the entertainment industry on this matter, perhaps even on the advice of mental health academia, otherwise the practice would logically compassionately cease. But I became increasingly doubtful of the accuracy of any such educated consensus.

(And why even designate them as ‘actors’, when true actors are fully cognizant of their fictional environment?)

Cannot one logically conclude by observing their turmoil-filled facial expressions that they’re perceiving, and likely cerebrally recording, the hyper-emotional scene activity around them at face value rather than as a fictitious occurrence?

I could understand the practice commonly occurring within a naïve entertainment industry of the 20th Century, but I’m still seeing it in contemporary small and big screen movie productions.
As just one relatively recent example, in the movie Hustlers (with actress Jennifer Lopez), a toddler is clearly actually distraught, wailing while caught in between a screaming match between mother (“Destiny”) and father characters.

Within the last two years, I’ve emailed, and left a voice message with, the Union of British Columbia Performers numerous times on this matter, all to which I  received no response.
Meanwhile, in January of 2017, a Vancouver dog-rescue organization cancelled a scheduled fundraiser preceding the big release of the then-new film A Dog’s Purpose, according to a Vancouver Sun story, after “the German shepherd star of the film was put under duress during one scene.”

The founder of Thank Dog I Am Out (Dog Rescue Society), Susan Paterson, was quoted as saying, “We are shocked and disappointed by what we have seen, and we cannot in good conscience continue with our pre-screening of the movie.”

(This incident created a controversy for the ensuing news week.)

While animal cruelty by the industry shouldn’t be tolerated, there should be even less allowance for using unaware infants and toddlers in negatively hyper-emotional drama—especially when contemporary alternatives can readily be utilized (e.g. a mannequin infant or digital manipulation tech).

P.S. The actors guild has yet to reply to my query (sent multiple times, over the last two years or so), a copy of which is included below. That indicates to me that either I have a point, or I'm way off and not worth their time.
Dear Sir/Ms.,
Are infants/toddlers who are not aware they're in a fake environment still used in the production of negatively melodramatic or hyper-emotional small and big screen entertainment?
I'd think the practice would've been discontinued by now, due to current knowledge about the susceptibilities of the developing infant/toddler brain, but I'd like to know for sure.
Thank you for your time.
Frank Sterle Jr.
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“I remember leaving the hospital thinking, ‘Wait, are they going to let me just walk off with him? I don’t know beans about babies! I don’t have a license to do this. We’re just amateurs’.”
—Anne Tyler, Breathing Lessons

“It’s only after children have been discovered to be severely battered that their parents are forced to take a childrearing course as a condition of regaining custody. That’s much like requiring no license or driver’s ed[ucation] to drive a car, then waiting until drivers injure or kill someone before demanding that they learn how to drive.”
—Myriam Miedzian, Ph.D.

____________


A 2007 study ("The Science of Early Childhood Development") has found that, “The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the health and well-being of the next generation. Stated simply, today’s children will become tomorrow’s citizens, workers, and parents. When we invest wisely in children and families, the next generation will pay that back through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship. When we fail to provide children with what they need to build a strong foundation for healthy and productive lives, we put our future prosperity and security at risk … All aspects of adult human capital, from work force skills to cooperative and lawful behavior, build on capacities that are developed during childhood, beginning at birth … The basic principles of neuroscience and the process of human skill formation indicate that early intervention for the most vulnerable children will generate the greatest payback.”
file:///F:/CHILDPSYCHESScienceEarlyChildhoodDevelopment.pdf

Although I appreciate the study’s initiative, it’s still for me a disappointing revelation as to our collective humanity when the report’s author feels compelled to repeatedly refer to living, breathing and often enough suffering human beings as a well-returning “investment” and “human capital” in an attempt to convince money-minded society that it’s indeed in our best fiscal interest to fund early-life programs that result in lowered incidence of unhealthy, dysfunctional child development.

In fact, in the 13-page study-report, the term “investment(s)” was used 22 times, “return” appeared eight times, “cost(s)” five times, “capital” appeared on four occasions, and either “pay”/“payback”/“pay that back” was used five times.

While some may justify it as a normal thus moral human evolutionary function, the general self-serving Only If It’s In My Own Back Yard mentality (or what I acronize OIIIMOBY) can debilitate social progress, even when it’s most needed; and it seems that distinct form of societal ‘penny wisdom but pound foolishness’ is a very unfortunate human characteristic that’s likely with us to stay.

Sadly, due to the OIIIMOBY mindset, the prevailing collective attitude, however implicit or subconscious, basically follows, 'Why should I care—I’m soundly raising my kid?' or 'What’s in it for me, the taxpayer, if I support child development education and health programs for the sake of others’ bad parenting?'

I was taught in journalism and public relations college courses that a story or PR news release needed to let the reader know, if possible in the lead sentence, why he/she should care about the subject matter—and more so find it sufficiently relevant to warrant reading on.

It’s disheartening to find this vocational tool frequently utilized in the study’s published report to persuade its readers why they should care about the fundamental psychological health of their fellow human beings—but in terms of publicly funded monetary investment and collective societal ‘costs to us later’ if we do nothing to assist this (probably small) minority of young children in properly cerebrally developing.

A similarly disappointing shortsighted OIIIMOBY mindset is evident in news reporting and commentary on other serious social issues, in order to really grasp the taxpaying reader’s interest.

I’ve yet to read a story or column on homelessness, child poverty and the fentanyl overdose crisis that leaves out any mention of their monetary cost to taxpaying society, notably through lost productivity thus reduced government revenue, larger health care budgets and an increasing rate of property crime; and perhaps the most angrily attention-grabbing is the increased demand on an already constrained ambulance response and emergency room/ward waits due to repeat overdose cases.

As for society’s dysfunctionally reared thus improperly mind-developed young children, make no mistake: Regardless of whether individually we’re doing a great job rearing our own developing children, we all have some degree of vested interest in every child receiving a psychologically sound start in life, considering that communally everyone is exposed (or at least potentially so) to every other parent’s handiwork.

Our personal monetary and societal security interests are served by a socially functional fellow citizenry that otherwise could or would have been poorly reared—a goal in part probably met by at least teaching child development science to our high school students.
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