The Moscow City Duma deputy told Kommersant why the family should be compelled to see a doctor
The main freelance children's specialist of the Ministry of Health for medical rehabilitation, Moscow City Duma deputy Tatyana Batysheva suggested punishing parents who refuse to send a child with symptoms of mental disorder to a doctor. In her opinion, they should bear legislative responsibility for this. This statement was made during a conversation at the international scientific congress "Mental health of a person in the XXI century." Ms. Batysheva told Kommersant the details of her initiative. According to Tatyana Batysheva, we are not talking about deprivation of parental rights or fines - but society must decide how to force parents to send a child to a doctor on time.
- Tell us why introduce responsibility for parents who refuse to take their child to a specialist when they find developmental deviations?
- We must understand that when we talk about a child, then, unfortunately or fortunately, the main responsibility here is with the parents. And they sometimes refuse to treat a sick child, having some motivation of their own. This is especially true for children with mental disorders, where early assistance is important - the sooner a diagnosis is made and specialized care is provided, the greater the effect will be. Therefore, doctors work with parents, but sometimes it happens that the parents simply do not hear us. Teachers are especially painful when such special children interfere with ordinary children, but parents categorically refuse to examine children and provide them with assistance. And it seems to me that it is very important to introduce the zone of responsibility of the parents for not providing the necessary assistance to the child. To begin with, I would like to hold a round table in the Moscow City Duma and invite all interested persons - this is the parent community, as the most important participant, and representatives of the departments of education, social protection, health care and public figures in order to make the problem more public. Today the time has come when the public must raise the question of what should be the area of responsibility of parents for untimely provision of medical care to children.
- In what form should this be implemented: fines for parents, deprivation of parental rights, or something else?
- I will not tell you now in what form it can be. It is necessary to discuss this issue at all levels, to involve specialists in this problem. Explaining to parents the necessity and importance of medical examinations of the child. And such drastic measures as fines and deprivation of parental rights are a road to nowhere.
- But it is impossible to introduce responsibility for parents only at the Moscow level.
- Of course, but our Moscow City Duma could initiate and further pass this baton to the State Duma.
- How critical is it to seek specialized help on time? And when is the best time to do it?
- I have a story: I met a woman, she once had a very difficult pregnancy. The boy grew up hyperactive: at first he fought all the time with his classmates, then there was a police room, and this ended with the fact that he killed a man at the age of 26. And she came to me as a doctor, crying, told the story of her son and asked me: "Why did this happen to me?" I say, it happened because you did not apply on time - after all, a child diagnosed with hyperactivity, with proper rehabilitation, correctly selected treatment, could be absolutely healthy.Here you have a person who, at the age of 26, ruined his life and the life of another person. And there could be an absolutely healthy happy young father, husband.
The most important period is the first year of a child's life, when the neuroplasticity of the brain is absolutely unique. It is during this period that it is possible to correct the problems with which the baby came into this world. You see, when I see a seven-year-old child with a severe form of the disease, but the baby has never been seen by a specialist, tears well up in my eyes. Of course, in our center (Scientific and Practical Center for Pediatric Psychoneurology. - Kommersant) we are doing everything to improve the quality of life of such a patient, but, unfortunately, it happens that time has already been lost.
- How many parents refuse the help of a psychiatrist?
- Nobody will give you such statistics. But, unfortunately, often in our country a referral from a pediatrician to a psychiatrist or a neuropsychiatrist is regarded by parents as something very scary - that children with a psychiatric diagnosis are deprived of a future. But believe me, these are absolutely wrong judgments that need to be fought. Indeed, in addition to genetic diseases and other mental disorders, confirmed by specialists, there is a category of children who are, so to speak, in a borderline state, who also need professional help. Unfortunately, parents often confuse this condition with the developmental characteristics of their child. In this connection, precious time is missed.
- So you still need educational activities?
- Of course they are. It is necessary to conduct public opinion polls on this topic, as well as involve the media. Where does everyone generally get their information now? On TV or on the Internet. It is important that the information parents receive is professional and accurate. Now there are a huge number of sites where you can find advice on how to treat a child. You read them, and it becomes scary what they write there at all. But mothers believe them and even use many of these "tips", which is absolutely impossible to do. After analyzing a large number of materials in the media, I decided to go my own way in educational activities. We have launched our own Youtube channel called "Big Mom". We get the themes of the issues from the parents themselves, that is, the most popular queries in the search engines become the themes of our programs. It seems to me that the area of personal responsibility of every doctor is to go online, so that as much as possible there is a professional community that answers parents' questions.
- How can mental disorders manifest in a child? When should parents think about the baby's condition immediately after birth?
- We live in an age of high speeds and, probably, environmental problems also affect the likelihood of mental disorders, and the psychological state of parents, chronic stress, difficult pregnancy and many other reasons.
Our great teacher Levon Oganesovich Badalyan (academician of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences - “Kommersant”) said this: if the resuscitator just looked towards the child during childbirth, this means that there may be neurological disorders, and the mother must definitely turn to a neurologist so that both preventive treatment and rehabilitation could have been prescribed earlier.
- What is the difference between autism spectrum disorders and autism?
- Autism is a severe genetic disorder that leads to severe disability in children. Autism spectrum disorder, on the other hand, is a syndromic diagnosis. The causes of this syndrome in 40% of cases are neurological diseases, so it is very important that neurologists and psychiatrists work in close collaboration. I want to emphasize that this is a syndrome, not a disease, everything can be corrected. And children from the borderline state can add to the lists of perfectly healthy children, and those who need lifelong supervision of a psychiatrist.
- If we talk about mental disorders that manifest themselves in adolescence or adulthood? - Is their cause primarily in the environment? Or is there still an influence of the media, the Internet on consciousness, which is now being talked about so much?
- It is impossible to say so unambiguously. There are various reasons. We conducted a poll and asked this question to parents: "Which of you breaks down, relieves your stress on children?" 35% said “yes, that’s so,” the rest did not say anything, but I think all one hundred percent take it out on their children. And right education and the absence of aggression towards children are very necessary. Today, childish aggressiveness comes first. There are many problems here, including suicide - this is also a form of aggression, only it is directed within oneself, auto-aggression. And the number of such children, including adolescents, is growing. The most important thing is the attention of parents and love in the family. Ability to speak, "feel" your child.
- Remembering the story of the so-called death groups, where children were allegedly called to jump from the rooftops. Could such communities be the real cause of suicide?
- You know, children are very emotional now. Today they are at risk: huge workloads at school, additional circles and classes. Children live at a tremendous temporal pace. And parents are now less and less at home. Hence the lack of communication between them.
In fact, children are left alone with the Internet, and the absence of a loved one nearby, the inability to conduct a dialogue sometimes lead to the fact that the role of a good friend begins to play a computer, the Internet. This is especially true for children in puberty: from the age of ten, the child undergoes serious hormonal changes, when the processes of excitation in the central nervous system prevail over the processes of inhibition. Here the guys are very vulnerable, they join some organizations, something else. But all this, again, from the lack of warmth and closeness in the family.
- So, will the ban of such groups on social networks and the ban policy in general be effective?
- Of course not. We must form such an attitude in society so that we would be ashamed not to take care of our child, so that we would be ashamed not to go to the doctor. You know, this is how a healthy lifestyle is: some time ago we all went with a cigarette and a bottle of beer, but now the situation is changing and it is becoming fashionable to be healthy. And prohibitive measures are certainly inappropriate here, but the attitude in society, with which we always reckon, we need to form.