We Need to Stop Placing a Negative Stigma on Mental Health

We Need to Stop Placing a Negative Stigma on Mental Health

Mental health is a topic we tend to avoid in our society. We avoid it so much that the month of May is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness. Many people are afraid that if other people know they are feeling down or anxious that people will think they are crazy. Many people think of someone living in the streets when you mention mental health. This is not reality. This negative stigma makes it difficult for adults to seek help for mental health issues. This negative stigma also makes it very difficult for children to ask for help when they feel depressed or anxious. They are afraid their friends won’t understand and won’t want to be friends with them. They are also afraid their parents will think they are crazy and be disappointed with them. These ideas are incorrect, but if mental health is overwhelming for an adult, imagine how it can be for a child.

It is very important that children and teenagers do ask for help when they are experiencing mental health issues. The CDC estimates 1in 5 children need psychotherapy for a mental health issue. Furthermore, the CDC has stated that Suicide is an epidemic for children between the ages of 10 and 18 years old. Cutting, self-harming behaviors, are also now at an epidemic rate in children. Most teenagers I work with, as a psychotherapist, have had suicidal thoughts and have cut before starting therapy with me. They also tell me about many of their friends who are feeling suicidal and cutting. According to the CDC, the Suicide rate and the number of teenagers engaging in self-harming behaviors has been increasing every year for the past decade.

While the need for teenagers needing psychotherapy is increasing, the reluctance to attend psychotherapy is increasing. Most teenagers I see for psychotherapy are afraid that their friends would stop being their friends if they knew they were going to therapy. They are afraid it makes them crazy and nothing will help because they are weak. They blame themselves for the feelings they are having. They are shocked when I explain that they are not weak and it is not their fault.

We need to change this stigma associated with mental health. Mental health should be treated the same way a physical health because they are the same. Clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If some one is diabetic, do we call them crazy or weak because their pancreas is not producing the correct level of insulin? No we do not. Therefore, when we have numerous research studies which show a link between physical health and mental health, why do we continue to view mental health so negatively? By doing so we are causing a number of teenage deaths. Suicide use to be the third leading cause of death for teenagers, however now according to the CDC it is the second most common cause. Many teens also die every year from eating disorders. Eating disorders occur in both girls and boys despite the belief girls only have eating disorders. Bullying is a severe problem and many teenagers are opting to commit suicide rather than discuss the pain and torture they are experiencing due to being bullied. This does not make sense that teenagers should be dying because the teen or their family are embarrassed to seek treatment.

I was researching this subject and found a video by the Anna Freud Institute. It is called, “We all have mental health.” It is a short video directed at teenagers and middle school students. It discusses the issue in a very relaxed manner and provides teenagers with options for how they can talk about their own feelings. I encourage parents, teachers and anyone who deals with children to watch this video. You may want to watch it with your teen and begin a discussion about feelings. The link to the video is https://youtu.be/DxIDKZHW3-E.

We need to start to change the negative stigma associated with mental health. Besides causing the deaths of teenagers, this stigma effects an entire family. A death impacts everyone in a family. Not being able to talk openly about a death because it was related to a mental health issue, creates more problems for the survivors. Nothing will change until we start to approach mental health differently. I also encourage you to look at the foundation started by Prince William and Henry, Heads Together. It provides a number of ways we can start to change the negative stigma associated with mental health and save lives.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience working with teenagers and children. For more information about his work or private practice visit his website http://www.RubinoCounseling.com or his Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/drrubino3.

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The Difference between an IEP and 504 Plan

The Difference between an IEP and 504 Plan

WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT AN IEP and A 504 PLAN

By

Dr Michael Rubino

School will be starting soon and many parents will need to decide if their child needs an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) or a 504 plan. Many parents do not know what an IEP is or what a 504 Plan is in regards to a child’s education. Also many parents are not aware of their rights or their child’s educational rights. I receive numerous emails from parents anytime I write about IEPs. Therefore, here is an article describing IEPs and 504 plans for parents.

Parents here is important information about Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 agreements. Besides ensuring that your child receives a good education, you do not need to pay for items such as special computer programs that the school district should be paying for not you. If your child has an IEP the school district is responsible for most educational expenses even a private school if necessary. Please read this article so you understand your rights and your child’s rights.

The beginning of the school year is fast approaching. Besides the mad dash to get ready for school and schools are going to start assessing students to determine if they qualify for an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). I am already hearing from parents how school districts are misleading them and pressuring them to sign an agreement for a 504 before the parents clearly understand the difference between an IEP and 504 plan. The definition for both is further down in this article. An IEP and 504 are not the same. An IEP is legally enforceable and has legal guidelines and time frames. An IEP follows a student from school to school or state to state. A 504 is not legally enforceable and doesn’t follow a child nor are there legal guidelines.

An IEP will not stop your child from getting a job or from getting into college. In fact and college because they still would be entitled to assistance and the State of California may pay for their books. Also educational records are confidential therefore, no one would know your child had an IEP in school.

Many schools say your child must be two grades below in order to qualify for an IEP. If you said your child had a math or reading disability this is true. However, if they have ADHD, Bipolar, school anxiety etc. they can qualify under OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENTS. All your child needs is a diagnosis such as ADHD which would interfere with their ability to fully benefit from their learning experience in the classroom. The 2 grade below level qualification doesn’t apply to this category.

Also if you have a child in private school and they would benefit from additional assistance, contact your child’s public school district. Even though they attend private school the public school district is legally obligated to provide your child with services.

One more issue, never pay for outside testing before the school district tests your child. They have the right not to accept any outside testing until they test the child. If you disagree with the district’s testing then you can request an objective testing from an outside professional and you can request that the school district pays for the testing and you can select the evaluator.

An IEP or an Individualized Education Plan is a document that outlines the specialized education services that a student will receive due to their disability. It ensures the student will receive the assistance necessary so they will receive an education.

When most parents hear disability, they usually think of a person in a wheelchair or a student wIth a learning disability. There are various condItions that can qualify as a disability. Depression, Bipolar Disorder or even diabetes. The disability is any condition that will interfere in the student receiving the same education as other students. The students who qualify for an IEP need accommodations which meet the criteria of needing specialized education. As I stated above their are numerous conditions which may qualify a student for an IEP.

if a student does qualify for an IEP, they also qualify for Special Education. Many parents hear this and are afraid or embassies. There is nothing to be afraid of or embossed about. If a student qualifies for Special Education, if the student needs speech therapy or special computer programs, the school district is obligated to provide the services to the student at no expense to the student’s family.

There is also an option called a 504 Plan. This was established in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The 504 plan ensures that a student with a disability will receive accommodations so they will receive the same education as other students. However, the 504 plan does not qualify a student for Special Education services and It is not overseen as closely as an IEP plan.

Currently, many districts are telling parents that their child does not need or qualify for an IEP and a 504 plan is just a good. This is not true. Many school districts are telling parents that their child does not qualify for an IEP because the IEP is more expensive for the district and most districts are trying to save money.The districts take advantage of the fact that as parents, you do not know all the differences between an IEP and a 504 so they can talk a family into a 504 plan easily.

If you find that your child is having difficulties at school due to a learning disability, health issue or emotional issue, consult an outside professional before you automatically assume that the school is giving you the appropriate recommendation.

I see many parents who have been told that their child is better with a 504 plan and that is not the truth. You can consult an educational consultant or a therapist who works with children. You can contact me at via my website http://www.rcs-ca.com. I help many families at their child’s IEP meeting. The main thing is, do not be afraid to ask if your child should have a 504 or an IEP. Also don’t let the district make you feel guilty because you want time to think and investigate the options. This is your child and you should never sign anything until you are sure it is in your child’s best interest.

I have added a link to a chart that will help you compare the two and understand the differences.

504 Plan vs. IEP – Education Centerwww.ed-center.com/504This pages lists the differences between an IEP and a 504 plan.

I have also added a link to a video which helps to explain the differences between an IEP and 504 plan.

Dr. Michael Rubino has over 20 years experience working with children and teens. He also has over 19 years experience working with children in Special Education and was an Intern for the AB3632 program which works with children in Special Ed and IEPs. For more information about Dr. Rubino’s practice visit his website at http://www.rcs-ca.com or his new website that deals specifically with IEPs, lucascenter.org.

How to Avoid Arguments with Your Teenager

How to Avoid Arguments with Your Teenager

Teenagers at times like to get into power struggles. In addition to power struggles, teens tend to like to argue with their parents. If they get their parents into an argument most parents forget the main point of the discussion and the teenager wins. Since school will be starting soon and parents need to re-establish rules for school or establish new rules because their child is starting high school, there are likely to be a number of intense discussions between parents and teens.

It is important to remember that a teenager’s brain is not fully developed. The prefrontal cortex is still developing in teenagers. This part of the brain is responsible for reasoning and other executive functions such as making decisions. Therefore, while teenagers look mature enough to have a reasonable conversation, their brains may not be mature enough. Therefore, they are more likely to argue or be disrespectful. However, an argument is not always bad. There are ways to have a healthy argument and ways to have destructive, hurtful arguments. Most of us never learned how the have a healthy, reasonable disagreement.

Many people feel that a disagreement or fight is always a bad thing for a relationship. However, this is not true. If you handle a disagreement or argument fairly, it can be a very healthy thing for a relationship. It can help you overcome past miscommunications or help you to resolve a problem.

As I stated above, parents who are dealing with teenagers need to remember that for teenagers their Frontal Lobes in their brains are still developing. Therefore, they cannot always reason like adults and often have difficulties having fair disagreements. I have included a list by TherapyAid.com which explains fair fighting rules.

Yes this might sound odd, but you can have a disagreement that is fair. You do not always need to use insults or not listen to each other. By using these rules, you and your teenager may be able to resolve an issue or at least come to an understanding without saying things that will hurt one another.

Parents what I suggest is that you sit down with these rules with your teenager and discuss that you would like to start to using these rules in your family. Take the time and go over each rule so you both understand the rules. Also make a copy for yourself to keep, your teen to keep and a copy to put on the refrigerator to remind everyone. Remember, these rules will be a change for both of you so don’t be surprised if it takes you some time to get use to these rules and use them on a regular basis. Change usually never occurs over night.

While these rules are beneficial for parents and teenagers, these rules are also useful for couples too. Very few people in our society were brought up learning how to clearly communicate. Just look at how many arguments occur due to miscommunication if you need proof. For couples I would recommend the same steps as parents and teens. First sit down and go over the rules so you both have the same understanding of the rules and keep a copy for yourselves. The next time you have a disagreement practice using these rules. Keep practicing until you become comfortable using these rules. This way the entire family can start using these rules and hopefully improve communication within the family.

Fair Fighting Rules

1. Before you begin, ask yourself why you feel upset.

Are you truly angry because your partner left the mustard on the counter? Or are you upset because you feel like you’re doing an uneven share of the housework, and this is just one more piece of evidence? Take time to think about your own feelings before starting an argument.

2. Discuss one issue at a time.

“You shouldn’t be spending so much money without talking to me” can quickly turn into “You don’t care about our family”. Now you need to resolve two problems instead of one. Plus, when an argument starts to get off topic, it can easily become about everything a person has ever done wrong. We’ve all done a lot wrong, so this can be especially cumbersome.

3. No degrading language.

Discuss the issue, not the person. No put-downs, swearing, or name-calling. Degrading language is an attempt to express negative feelings while making sure your partner feels just as bad. This will just lead to more character attacks while the original issue is forgotten.

4. Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them.

“I feel angry.” “I feel hurt when you ignore my phone calls.” “I feel scared when you yell.” These are good ways to express how you feel. Starting with “I” is a good technique to help you take responsibility for your feelings (no, you can’t say whatever you want as long as it starts with “I”).

5. Take turns talking.

This can be tough, but be careful not to interrupt. If this rule is difficult to follow, try setting a timer allowing 1 minute for each person to speak without interruption. Don’t spend your partner’s minute thinking about what you want to say. Listen!

6. No stonewalling.

Sometimes, the easiest way to respond to an argument is to retreat into your shell and refuse to speak. This refusal to communicate is called stonewalling. You might feel better temporarily, but the original issue will remain unresolved and your partner will feel more upset. If you absolutely cannot go on, tell your partner you need to take a time-out. Agree to resume the discussion later.

7. No yelling.

Sometimes arguments are “won” by being the loudest, but the problem only gets worse.

8. Take a time-out if things get too heated.

In a perfect world we would all follow these rules 100% of the time, but it just doesn’t work like that. If an argument starts to become personal or heated, take a time-out. Agree on a time to come back and discuss the problem after everyone has cooled down.

9. Attempt to come to a compromise or an understanding.

There isn’t always a perfect answer to an argument. Life is just too messy for that. Do your best to come to a compromise (this will mean some give and take from both sides). If you can’t come to a compromise, merely understanding can help soothe negative feelings.

Again, this might seem simple to some people, but communication problems are one of the biggest problems I encounter as a psychotherapist. We simply don’t educate children about clear communication, which creates problems when these children become adults and try to talk with each other. So don’t be embarrassed or assume you do not need help in this area. Simply read the rules and try them in your life and see what happens.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience and he specializes in treating teenagers, children and families. For more information regarding his work or private practice visit his website at http://www.rubinocounseling.com or his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Drrubino3 or follow him on Twitter @RubinoFamily.

Helping Children Cope After A Mass Shooting

Helping Children Cope After A Mass Shooting

Our society does not cope well with tragedy or grief. This is surprising with the number of mass shootings we have experienced in the United States over the last 18 years. So far our community has been fortunate with a majority of the shooting occurring on the east coast. However, on Sunday that all changed. There was a mass shooting at the Gilory Garlic Festival. A six year old boy and 13 year old girl were two of the victims shot and killed in front of other children. This will have an emotional impact on the children who were present and those who attended the festival.

These events have an impact on many children. Besides hearing about the shootings and deaths on the news, these events create fear and trauma because children are afraid of losing a loved one in their own lives. Many parents are not sure how to address this subject with children. Many parents ask me how to explain a death to a child or if their child is responding appropriately to a trauma or a loss. I saw a video on CNN which address the issue of children and grief. I think it can be helpful to someone dealing with a child who is grieving.

Children who experience a trauma or the lost of a loved one need to grieve. However, they often need help with the process. Here is someone helping kids grieve in a healthy way. We need more programs like this one more mental health care.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/14/health/cnnheroes-mary-robinson-grief-loss-death-of-a-parent/index.html.

We also need to remember children who hear about the shooting and maybe were there the day before can be traumatized. Children have very active imaginations are are having to undergo active shooter drills at school on a regular basis. A shooting this close to home can emotionally upset a child.

If your child starts to have nightmares, doesn’t want to sleep alone, doesn’t want to be left alone or becomes withdrawn or becomes more active and agitated than usual, these are signs that they may be having an emotional reaction to the shooting. Try calmly talking to them mentioning the changes you have noted and ask if something is wrong. Do not be afraid to talk about it. If you are, your child will feel there is something to be afraid of. It is okay to admit that you have a hard time talking about it too. This usually puts a child at ease.

After talking to your child, if you are concerned about what they are saying or how they are acting, schedule an appointment with a child psychotherapist who specializes in trauma. Psychotherapy is not terrible. Children today are experiencing a great deal of stress and trauma and many children benefit from psychotherapy. If your child has strep throat you would take them to the pedestrian. If your child is experiencing anxiety it is appropriate to take them to a psychotherapist.

Dr. Michael Rubino has over 20 years experience working as a psychotherapist with children and teenagers. He specializes in trauma. For more information about his work or private practice visit his website at http://www.RubinoCounseling.com

You Don’t Treat Me With Any Respect

You Don’t Treat Me With Any Respect

This article is slightly different from my other articles. This article is written for teenagers. School is starting soon and many teens will be starting middle school or High School. Since they have advanced in school they often feel entitled to more freedom. This is a common argument I hear where teens feel they are being disrespected.

Parents while the target audience for this article is teenagers, you may find some of the issues I mention helpful when speaking with your teen. You may be able to use this article as a way to start a discussion with your teen about your house rules and respect.

In my office, I hear daily from teenagers how they feel disrespected by their parents. This is common problem between teens and their parents. Teenagers feel disrespected by their parents and that their parents treat them like children. Sometimes this may be true, but overall teens are expecting too much from their parents.

Yes it is true that as teenagers you are becoming young adults and that you should be able to handle more responsibility. The big word in that last sentence is SHOULD. Just because you turn 13 or 16 doesn’t mean you are in charge of your life. You are a YOUNG adult. Noticed I capitalized the word young. There are still a number of life experiences for you to learn and until you do, your parents are responsible for you.

A number of you have heard your parents say when you are 18 you can do as you like and that is the truth. Prior to you turning 18, any trouble you get into, your parents are responsible for it. If you damage property, your parents are legally responsible. If you get arrested and put in Juvenile Hall, your parents receive a bill from the County for the length a time you were in Juvenile Hall.

You may think that you do not need your parents, but you need their permission to drive and basically for anything you want to do. Even if they give you permission to drive and you get your license, they have the ability to have your driver’s license suspended at any time they want while you are under the age of 18. Also if your parents are divorced, both parents must sign the consent for your driver’s license. You cannot play your parents against each other to get your driver’s license.

As I started off, now that you are a teenager you SHOULD be able to handle more responsibility. This responsibility is not an automatic gift you receive when you turn 13. This respect you so desperately want is something you have to earn. How do you earn it? You earn it by respecting the rules that your parents have set and by taking care of your responsibilities – for a teen, your primary responsibility is school. This means going to school on a regular basis, doing your homework and turning it in, earning decent grades and not making poor choices such as drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, marijuana or vaporizing. You may say this is unfair, well welcome to the adult world.

Ask your parents how many times they have to do something at work they feel is unfair, but if they want their job they have to do it. Ask your parents how many days they get up tired or not feeling well and they would prefer to stay home from work, but they still go to work. They go to work because the have a family to support and bills to pay. Your parents want you to succeed in life. If you feel they really are not giving you enough freedom, then ask your parents if you can discuss this issue with them. However, ask in a mature, respectful manner do not demand a conversation. When you discuss the issue with your parents have some things you have been doing, e.g., your homework, respecting curfew, that demonstrate you can handle more responsibility. Do not just demand it because your friends have it.

Remember the respect and maturity that you want, you must earn. You earn it by respecting your parents, other adults and recognizing that you have responsibilities. You do not get it because you turned 13 or because your friends have it. This can be a difficult time of life, but it can be a time when you learn a lot about the world and yourself. If you remember you need to earn your parents trust and you actively try to do so, your parents will work with you and start to trust you. The choice is yours, you can make your teen years difficult or make them easier by working with your parents – you decide.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist who specializes in treating teenagers. He has over 20 years experience working with teenagers. For more information about Dr. Rubino’s work with teenagers or his private practice visit his websites http://www.rcs-ca.com, http://www.RubinoCounseling.com or his Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/drrubino3.

Dear Mr. President, I am afraid

Dear Mr. President, I am afraid

Dear Mr. President, I am in my therapy appointment and my therapist suggested that I write you a letter. He suggested it because I am afraid. I heard that you got mad at some people who work in Washington and told them to go home. You said they were bad people and should not be living here.

I am afraid because sometimes I get into trouble for not doing my homework and sometimes I do call my parents and teachers names. Are you going to tell me to go home? I’m really afraid if you do because I don’t know where I would go. I always thought my home was our house. I know you said the other people did not deserve to live here. If I don’t live in America, where would I live?

I am also afraid because my parents get mad sometimes and say bad words. Will this make you mad and want to tell them to go home? I don’t know what I would do without my mom and dad. I always thought their home was our house too. Where would you make them go? Would I be able to visit them? Who would I live with?

Sometimes people get mad and say mean words. I do that sometimes. If I say I’m sorry and if my mom and dad say they are sorry, can you forgive them and let them and me live in our house? I love our house. Thank you.

The above letter is from an 8 year old, Caucasian, boy who is going into the third grade. His family has lived in the United States for several generations. However, I have many children in my practice with the same concerns and anxieties. They over hear the news and adults talking and because they are young they have very active imaginations, their fears can become very overwhelming. However, many of these children go to school with children who are Hispanic. Many of these children and their families are very concerned for their safety. All of the families are here legally or have been here for four generations. However, with the threatening tweets and comments made by the President many of these children and families worry about their safety.

Since Trump has become President, I have seen in my practice and it has been documented by the CDC, anxiety disorders for children have increased significantly. Many children are too afraid to leave their parents at home and are having to be put on the home hospital program where a teacher goes to their house. This is occurring in children who are Hispanic and also in children who are Caucasian. I am having children ask can the President make us leave. No child in the second grade should have to deal with this type of anxiety.

I watch the news and I hear commentators refer to all the rhetoric as politics. It is not that simple. The words that are being said or tweeted matter. Children in elementary schools are hearing this rhetoric and it is terrifying them. No child should have to worry about their parents being taken away from them.

The anxiety and trauma children are experiencing now at such a young age can impact how their brains develop and impact their behavior as adults. Many research studies have shown that children experiencing anxiety and trauma such as many children are now, develop mental health issues as adults. As teenagers they are more likely to become involved with drugs. In fact, teenagers are also showing signs that the rhetoric is taking a toll on them too. According to the CDC, suicide was the third leading cause of death for kids 10 to 18 years old. It is now the second leading cause of death. I hear many teenagers tell me with the tweets they hear from the President, they do not see much of a future for themselves. Many believe Trump will start a war at some point.

The point is that words do matter! The political rhetoric needs to stop. We should not be subjecting children and teenagers to this amount of stress. Some people will say I have no right to be speaking up and saying anything about the current administration. The truth is I am the person who needs to speak out. I am providing psychotherapy to these children and teenagers. I hear daily about their fears, what is creating these fears and I see how they are being impacted by these fears! Bottom line the political rhetoric needs to calm down. There are many in Washington D.C., who have a responsibility in stopping it. However, as the President, Mr. Trump has an ethical and moral responsibility to take the first step. He is suppose to be the leader of the United States. Therefore, Mr. Trump do your job as President and set a better example for the children of the United States.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist who specializes in treating children and adolescents. He has over 20 years experience working with adolescents. For more information about his work visit his website http://www.RubinoCounseling.com or Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/drrubino3.

Dear Mr. President, I am afraid

Dear Mr. President, I am afraid

Dear Mr. President, I am in my therapy appointment and my therapist suggested that I write you a letter. He suggested it because I am afraid. I heard that you got mad at some people who work in Washington and told them to go home. You said they were bad people and should not be living here.

I am afraid because sometimes I get into trouble for not doing my homework and sometimes I do call my parents and teachers names. Are you going to tell me to go home? I’m really afraid if you do because I don’t know where I would go. I always thought my home was our house. I know you said the other people did not deserve to live here. If I don’t live in America, where would I live?

I am also afraid because my parents get mad sometimes and say bad words. Will this make you mad and want to tell them to go home? I don’t know what I would do without my mom and dad. I always thought their home was our house too. Where would you make them go? Would I be able to visit them? Who would I live with?

Sometimes people get mad and say mean words. I do that sometimes. If I say I’m sorry and if my mom and dad say they are sorry, can you forgive them and let them and me live in our house? I love our house. Thank you.

The above letter is from an 8 year old, Caucasian, boy who is going into the third grade. His family has lived in the United States for several generations. However, I have many children in my practice with the same concerns and anxieties. They over hear the news and adults talking and because they are young they have very active imaginations, their fears can become very overwhelming. However, many of these children go to school with children who are Hispanic. Many of these children and their families are very concerned for their safety. All of the families are here legally or have been here for four generations. However, with the threatening tweets and comments made by the President many of these children and families worry about their safety.

Since Trump has become President, I have seen in my practice and it has been documented by the CDC, anxiety disorders for children have increased significantly. Many children are too afraid to leave their parents at home and are having to be put on the home hospital program where a teacher goes to their house. This is occurring in children who are Hispanic and also in children who are Caucasian. I am having children ask can the President make us leave. No child in the second grade should have to deal with this type of anxiety.

I watch the news and I hear commentators refer to all the rhetoric as politics. It is not that simple. The words that are being said or tweeted matter. Children in elementary schools are hearing this rhetoric and it is terrifying them. No child should have to worry about their parents being taken away from them.

The anxiety and trauma children are experiencing now at such a young age can impact how their brains develop and impact their behavior as adults. Many research studies have shown that children experiencing anxiety and trauma such as many children are now, develop mental health issues as adults. As teenagers they are more likely to become involved with drugs. In fact, teenagers are also showing signs that the rhetoric is taking a toll on them too. According to the CDC, suicide was the third leading cause of death for kids 10 to 18 years old. It is now the second leading cause of death. I hear many teenagers tell me with the tweets they hear from the President, they do not see much of a future for themselves. Many believe Trump will start a war at some point.

The point is that words do matter! The political rhetoric needs to stop. We should not be subjecting children and teenagers to this amount of stress. Some people will say I have no right to be speaking up and saying anything about the current administration. The truth is I am the person who needs to speak out. I am providing psychotherapy to these children and teenagers. I hear daily about their fears, what is creating these fears and I see how they are being impacted by these fears! Bottom line the political rhetoric needs to calm down. There are many in Washington D.C., who have a responsibility in stopping it. However, as the President, Mr. Trump has an ethical and moral responsibility to take the first step. He is suppose to be the leader of the United States. Therefore, Mr. Trump do your job as President and set a better example for the children of the United States.

Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist who specializes in treating children and adolescents. He has over 20 years experience working with adolescents. For more information about his work visit his website http://www.RubinoCounseling.com or Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/drrubino3.