Conventional wisdom says that children and families with visible disabilities - in a wheelchair - find it most difficult to fully participate in church. But a groundbreaking study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion states that children most likely to be excluded from church are those with autism spectrum disorders and common mental health conditions. Dr. Grcevich breaks down the study results in this post. Click here to read the full entry
Adoptive and foster parents know about trauma and attachment, so their churches should too. Shannon lays out an argument in this post for why churches need to become trauma- and attachment-informed in order to serve adoptive and foster families well. Click here to read the full entry.
In this post, Dr. Grcevich looks at Scripture passages describing four of the godliest men in the Bible – King David, Elijah, Jeremiah and Paul. He concludes that when so many of the giants of the faith struggled with hopelessness and despair, a lack of faith or trust in God is probably not a primary cause of depression. Click here to read the full entry.
This post examines the decision in the DSM-5 to redefine the diagnostic criteria for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and the shift among professionals to view what had been defined as attachment disorders as manifestations of trauma. Click here to read the full entry.
Ed Stetzer helped develop studies examining attitudes and beliefs about mental illness in the church. Dr. Grcevich comments here on an article Ed authored questioning the common perception common among many Christians that prayer and Bible study alone can cure genuine mental illness. Click here to read the full entry.
Dr. Grcevich reviews the prevailing theory that executive functioning deficits represent the core neurodevelopmental impairment seen in children and teens with ADHD. He discusses five key executive functions associated with ADHD and shares a from a world-renowned ADHD researcher who explains the theory in detail. Click here to read the full entry.
Disability ministry leaders frequently claim an 80% plus divorce rate in marriages where the parents are raising a child with special needs. This post reviews the available research examining the relationship between having a child with a special need and risk of divorce. The findings of the review were very counterintuitive - exploratory analyses suggested that having ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders and Internalizing disorders (anxiety, depression) are more strongly related to the probability of not living in a traditional household than seen in children with autism spectrum disorders. Click here to read the full entry.
This post focused on a 60 Minutes report examining the stigma associated with raising a child with mental illness. It references an interview with a parent who contrasted the level of support provided by their church when her daughter was in the hospital for surgery to repair a broken leg to the absence of support when the same daughter was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Click here to read the full entry.
In this post, Dr. Grcevich shares a series of hypotheses to explain why recent research suggests over 20% of U.S. kids meet criteria for at least one mental disorder. Click here to read the full entry.
Oren Mason is a highly respected physician and author who lectures on ADHD to professionals, educators, patients and families across North America. He serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Family Practice at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. In this blog post, Dr. Mason shares a first-person account of his personal experience of taking medication for ADHD. Click here to read the full entry.
Awareness of PTSD is growing. Churches have begun talking more about adults with PTSD: soldiers returning from war, victims of natural disasters, children and teens who experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. But very few churches talk about the babies, special needs babies, who also suffer from PTSD. In this post, Jolene Philo writes about the long-term complications of medical trauma in newborns. Click here to read the full entry.