Ten years ago at my pediatric clinic in San Francisco, teachers, social workers and parents were bringing me child after child with concerns of ADHD.
As I examined my patients, I noticed that the highest rate of behavioral problems was occurring in the kids whose parents had drug addictions or mental illness, or those who were subject to violence at home.
When I dug into the science, what I found was that for most of these kids, the problem wasn’t run of the mill ADHD. For most of my kids the real problem is what the American Academy of Pediatrics now recognizes as “toxic stress.”
Toxic stress affects white kids, black and brown kids, rich, poor, urban, rural … it can affect anyone and it can happen anywhere.