Just in time for Autism Acceptance Month, the Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center (ABC), which offers lifelong learning for people 18+ with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, reopened its expanded doors in late March, rolling out in-person classes for the first time since the COVID pandemic began.
The 2022 Washington State Legislative session concluded in mid-March, after a whirlwind 60-day session. This was a historic session for many reasons, especially for child and youth behavioral health. There has been a growing focus on the national youth mental health crisis over the past year, and we are thrilled at the investment and commitment demonstrated in the legislature. Read full post »
Admiral Rachel L. Levine, MD, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, made a rare visit to Seattle Children’s on Tuesday. Her visit included a tour of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU), Emergency Department and the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic.
Levine first met with PBMU leaders to discuss the national mental health crisis among adolescents. PBMU leaders described the significant increase they have seen in mental health-related visits to the emergency department, as well as an increase in youth suicide attempts/ideation. They told Levine how Seattle Children’s has developed innovative programs like the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Clinic to address the need we see every day in our Emergency Department. However, even with these innovations, the team can’t keep pace with the numbers of youth and families coming to our Emergency Department with mental health concerns.
For the past 15 years, Seattle Children’s Research Division has been at the forefront of breakthrough innovations. From new drugs to treat cystic fibrosis, to first-in-the-nation use of laser ablation for epilepsy and brain tumors to remove unwanted cells, the research division is advancing our mission to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.
Here, we take a look at some of the achievements of the past decade-and-a-half.
Seattle Children’s Education Department provides free services for students who will be in the hospital for at least one week. The teachers are certified by the state of Washington in both general and special education. They’re experts at supporting kids and their families when children and teens are suddenly out of school and as they transition back into school after an extended absence. Scott Hampton, manager of K-12 Education Services and father of three, sat down with On the Pulse to share advice to support families in the community as they settle back into in-person learning in this new school year. Read full post »
Whether you’re in the “I need school to start now!” camp or the “Summer just started” camp, the fact is that the new school year is approaching quickly. Every year, back-to-school time is met with emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness or fear, but this year that’s even more true for students and families. Dr. Kendra Read, director of the Mood and Anxiety Program at Seattle Children’s, offers ways to reduce back-to-school worries as you support your child’s return to in-person learning.
“Uncertainty is often hard to tolerate and times of transition in the midst of uncertainty are that much harder,” Read said.
Here is some advice from Read to help navigate these trying times: Read full post »
Dr. Gina Sequeira Discusses Gender Identity and Explains How Caregivers Can Support Gender-Diverse Children
This week, JAMA Pediatrics published an article by Dr. Gina Sequeira, co-director of Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic, about gender identity. In the article, Sequeira discusses what gender identity is, explains gender related terms, and offers recommendations to caregivers to help them support gender-diverse children.
Gender identity is unique to each person and is used to describe a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some of both or neither, Sequeira says. Terms like transgender and gender-diverse, may be used to describe individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Recent estimates suggest as many as 10% of high school aged youth have a gender identity that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Read full post »
Thanks to wider availability of vaccines and declining local rates of COVID-19, we’ve entered a new period in the pandemic. Parts of life are returning to what families were used to before coronavirus temporarily disrupted so much. As we increasingly return to obligations and pleasure outside of the home, it’s important to be aware that youth and adults alike will be learning to cope with emotions and feelings related to the experiences of the past year.
On the Pulse spoke with Dr. Yolanda Evans, an adolescent medicine physician at Seattle Children’s, about what kids and teens have experienced and how best to support them through this new period of time. Read full post »
For many of us, the past year has been uniquely stressful. Have you felt especially exhausted, struggled to focus or been more irritable than usual? Maybe you’ve found yourself wondering why you can’t cope with the stress better.
“There are very real, biological reasons why we’re finding it harder than usual to perform,” said Dr. Shannon Simmons, a psychiatrist at Seattle Children’s and medical director of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit. “Under today’s stressors, it’s common to feel fatigued, have a shorter attention span, have a harder time planning things or be more easily irritated and frustrated.”
On The Pulse asked Simmons and Seattle Children’s Autism Center, what parents, caregivers and other adults should know about the stress they may be experiencing and how they can best cope with it., a psychologist and executive director of
When Reese Patterson was in sixth grade, she experienced vicious cyberbullying from several of her peers.
“Every day I would get texts from people who would tell me to kill myself,” Reese said. “When you are told to do that every single day, you actually start to believe it.”
Reese’s mother, Val, recalls trying to work with her school to get the bullying to stop.
“We tried to work with the school, and they said it was out of their hands since it happened outside of the school day,” Val said. “We reported it to police after she overdosed, which became a big joke by some of the kids at school. From there, things got even worse.”
Reese began self-harming through cutting.
“Her school called me when they noticed her cutting,” Val said. “The school suggested I contact Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, and we went straight there that afternoon. The social worker felt that Reese’s situation wasn’t serious enough and that she’d learn more dangerous behaviors while inpatient. All we were left with was a list of therapists to call.”
Things continued to unravel, as Reese’s cutting became more severe.