How can a child of three need transgender counselling?

first_imgMailOnline 8 April 2015There is a boom in the small but significant number of children below the age of puberty being referred to clinics with ‘gender dysphoria’ — the conviction of being born in the wrong body.There are few things more upsetting than having an unhappy child — especially if, as their parent, you can’t work out what you’re doing wrong.Every parent compares their son or daughter with classmates or friends’ children — you never want to think your own is the odd one out, the misfit.But all children are different, often brilliantly and creatively so, and the progress of the world depends on oddballs.The best advice is: ‘Give it time, support them, love them as they are, listen to what they’re saying.’In today’s world, however, we like neat labels on everything.There can be comfort in slapping a scientific name on your child’s behaviour, as if you were diagnosing an illness. And there is a powerful risk that professionals, fascinated by their own academic discipline, collude in that.We know too many children — improbably many — are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with symptoms including inattentiveness and impulsiveness.Or perhaps it will be another newly-named ‘condition’, such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder — which ‘often involves arguing (‘opposing’) and disobeying (‘defying’) the adults who look after them’, according to the NHS website.In the process, tens of thousands of children are put on drugs to control their behaviour, without sufficient resort to sensible measures such as restricting their screen time, ensuring enough sleep and feeding them sensibly.Others get labelled as clinically depressive, when the reason for their sadness is rational: divorce, bereavement, abuse.And now we learn that there is a boom in the small but significant number of children below the age of puberty being referred to clinics with ‘gender dysphoria’ — the conviction of being born in the wrong body, previously known as transsexualism.The Tavistock clinic and others report ever more children referred to them by anxious parents, some as young as three. Boys who want to be girls, girls who assert that they are really boys. One charity specialising in the condition says it’s being contacted by 20 families a month.Now, I believe gender dysphoria is real. It has been well-known for decades. No one quite knows why it happens.Maybe it’s abnormal development before birth, perhaps simply an oddity of nature — even one to be celebrated, rather than fretted over.In the past, it was unrecognised or condemned as perversion. Today, understanding is greater, and those — an estimated one in 125,000 — who are genuinely, deeply unhappy have the option of ‘transitioning’, both socially and surgically.The question now is whether the acceptance of this rare condition (I repeat, only one in 125,000) is panicking parents into misunderstanding or crazily encouraging young children in their innocent fantasies; and then feeding them to a psychiatric profession hungry for subjects with a fashionably interesting syndrome to study.Some clinicians are quoted as saying that 1 per cent of us ‘have transgender feelings to some extent’ — which is 1,250 times as many as might be diagnosed with the full gender dysphoria.But not every quirk of behaviour is a symptom. Small children, let’s face it, often live in a fabulous, magical world in which they may be a dog, a cat, a rabbit, or even a railway train.My favourite exchange with one child on the subject came when I was asked: ‘Do wishes come true?’ ‘Well, sometimes, darling, if you work hard…’‘No! I just wished I were an elephant, but I don’t want to be!’And often, at that age, you fancy joining the other gender. A small boy plays dressing-up or covets dolls — he may well be expressing a perfectly normal range of male personality, and support you in your old age with his couture designs.That girl in dungarees and spiky hair who desires to be Spider‑man? She may just be rejecting (quite rightly) the boring modern pressure to covet pop‑tarty looks and shriek a lot.Either child may refuse to dress in the conventional way for their sex, and announce that they want to belong to the other gender. It’s often a temporary thing, just a normal phase of childhood.If that goes on and on towards puberty and makes them unhappy at school, then it is reasonable enough to explore, with a counsellor who is not obsessively over-interested, whether — by rare chance — the real condition lies at the root of this behaviour.But we risk falling into the trap of seeing a problem where there is none at all, with children coming under terrible pressure to behave in a textbook way, as their parents’ anxieties about deviations from ‘normal behaviour’ are fed by the medical lobby.Surgery in cases of gender dysphoria is still strictly for over-18s. But, alarmingly, some clinics seem willing to prescribe drugs that delay the onset of puberty because of the ‘distress’ of what is normal development.The drug route should only be a desperate resort. As one doctor at a Canadian gender clinic, Kenneth Zucker, puts it: ‘Suppose a black kid came into your clinic and wanted to be white. Wouldn’t you try to understand what is happening in the child’s life that is making him feel like that? You certainly wouldn’t recommend skin-bleaching.’So, wise psychiatrists will listen calmly, and say: ‘Wait and see.’ As for pre-schoolers, the Tavistock clinic does not ‘generally consider it helpful to make a formal diagnosis in very young children’.There is a school of thought, though, that is more gung-ho and which reckons that, especially with male-to-female transition, you can’t start too early, preventing puberty with drugs to stop a voice breaking and beard growing in adolescence.How horrifying that anxious parents might be encouraging a child in that direction even though, given time, he might later accept that he is male. A happily feminine sort of male, perhaps, with a woman’s sensibility and maybe an attraction to his own sex, but a bloke nonetheless.The problem is that we live in an age of labelling, medical neurosis and extreme parental anxiety, coupled with a trend — weird to us Sixties tomboys — of old-fashioned stereotyping.We see pinkified, princessified little girls being taken to nail bars and makeover parties at five, to be made as vain and prissy as their mums.Boys, meanwhile, are harassed by the need to be a tough-guy, shooty-bang or football-hero stereotype. No wonder some rebel.It might help if schools made their uniforms less specific — trousers and open-necked shirts for all — to resolve morning dress-battles with children who need to work out who they are in peace.Yes, it’s good that counsellors and charities are offering support to genuinely baffled parents.I only hope that they do not act in haste, but say sensible things such as: ‘Let them be. Call them whatever name they favour, keep an open mind.‘Either way, it’s not the end of the world. And, statistically, the odds are he or she will grow out of it.’http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3031217/How-child-three-need-transgender-counselling.htmlRise in transgender kids seeking supportYahoo NZ 8 April 2015    An increasing number of children in the UK are turning to support services for transgender treatment, as they battle with the distressing feeling of being born the wrong sex.The number of children aged 10 and under referred to The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust has more than quadrupled over the past six years.Of the children refereed, 47 were aged five or younger and two children were just three years old, according to the BBC’s The Victoria Derbyshire programme.Two of the UK’s youngest transgender children recently spoke to the programme with the permission of their parents and the support of their schools.Friends Lily and Jessica (not their real names) who are aged six and eight were both born boys.https://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/27013368/rise-in-transgender-kids-seeking-support/lt;img width=1 height=1 alt=”” src=”https://csc.beap.bc.yahoo.com/yi?bv=1.0.0&bs=(134gv1977(gid$2AeWIzI3LjG5jjIyVN0WrQBnMjAzLlUq9JULELoE,st$1428878486325364,si$45561,sp$2022074014,pv$1,v$2.0))&t=JR_3-DR_3&al=(as$1383qt8vu,aid$z6FbSHxsY5w-,bi$236159061,agp$282100949,cr$1301127061,ct$25,at$HR,eob$gd1_match_id=-1:ypos=LREC1)”>last_img read more

“Disgraceful”: Jose Mourinho launches attack at CAS for overturning Man City’s ban

first_img Source: Daily Mail When asked if City got lucky with the decision, Mourinho added: ‘Maybe they got unlucky. Maybe they don’t deserve to be punished by one single pound and they were punished in eight or nine million pounds. Maybe they were unlucky.’CAS released their verdict on Monday morning, and said: ‘Most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA’S Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred. f Jose Mourinho has launched a blistering attack on the outcome of the Manchester City court case, claiming Financial Fair Play is now dead and that football might as well throw open the ‘circus door’.The Tottenham boss hit out at the verdict delivered on Monday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to revoke a two-year ban from UEFA competitions but still fined City £9million for failing to cooperate.Mourinho was perplexed with why City were fined £9m if they were ‘not guilty’ before suggesting that if they were guilty, then their ban from UEFA’s European competitions should be upheld.“In any case it’s a disgraceful decision,” Mourinho said in his Tuesday press conference when asked about CAS’s verdict.“If Man City is not guilty of it, to be punished by some million is a disgrace, If you’re not guilty you’re not punished,” he continued.“In the other way, if you’re guilty you should be banned.“So it’s also a disgraceful decision, in any case, it’s a disaster,“If you’re not guilty, you don’t pay, I’m not saying Man City is guilty, I’m saying if you’re not guilty you don’t pay.”“You are not punished, even with a pound.“I know that money is quite easy for them but it’s just a principle.“Why are you paying eight or nine million pounds if you are not guilty?” he inquired.last_img read more

Messi inspires Barca rout of Milan

first_imgBarcelona made Champions League history by overturning a two-goal deficit without an away strike to knock out AC Milan and reach the quarter-finals.The Catalans wasted no time and scored in the fifth minute when Lionel Messi expertly curled in from 20 yards.After M’Baye Niang hit the post for the visitors against the run of play, Messi levelled the tie with a low drive.David Villa put Barca ahead with a placed shot from Xavi’s pass and Jordi Alba sealed the win in injury time.The left-back, excellent throughout, showed great endeavour to race up from the back and finish at the far post after he was picked out by substitute Alexis Sanchez’s bouncing cross.For all of Milan’s excellence in the San Siro, that kind of incision had been absent as stand-in Barcelona coach Jordi Roura’s team laboured towards a 2-0 first-leg defeat in which they uncharacteristically registered only one shot on target. Questions had also been raised after that match due to Barca’s successive Spanish Cup and league losses to rivals Real Madrid, as well as a run in which they went 13 games without keeping a clean sheet.But their usual zip returned on the vast Nou Camp pitch from kick-off as they started at a high tempo.This intensity was rewarded immediately as Messi played a neat one-two with Xavi and finished into the top corner with goalkeeper Christian Abbiati rooted to the spot. The goal was the world player of the year’s 52nd of the season, but his first in open play in 10 meetings with Italian sides.In the round of 16 opener, Milan’s tight, disciplined display saw their centre midfielders cover a deep-lying and compact defence which left no gaps for their opponents to run through. Critically, this support was not present on Tuesday as Barca were granted space on the edge of the penalty area.The Italians survived two penalty appeals and a poor Messi header, but the tie’s key moments arrived with just over five minutes of the first half remaining. First, Milan striker Niang struck the woodwork after racing through on goal following a swift counter-attack from a Barca corner.If the France Under-21 international had managed to get an away goal, their opponents would have had to find the back of the net at least three more times to proceed.Instead, Milan’s advantage from the first leg was wiped out moments later as Messi fizzed in an unstoppable shot from 20-yards after Massimo Ambrosini lost possession.Barca continued on the front foot after the interval and went ahead on aggregate for the first time when Villa finished clinically after he was picked out in the box by Xavi. The goal owed much to left-back Kevin Constant’s rash attempt to intercept the pass before it reached the striker.The visitors now knew they had to score to stand any chance of progression and head coach Massimiliano Allegri brought on former Manchester City striker Robinho.This change nearly produced the breakthrough the Serie A side were looking for. Barca youth product and fellow substitute Bojan Krkic put in a low centre that Robinho seemed certain to convert before defender Alba dived across to block the shot.Barca refused to sit back on their lead and a wonderful counter from a Milan free-kick at the death saw the defender further excel at the other end of the pitch when he burst forward to slot past Abbiati and raise the Nou Camp crowd to their feet.last_img read more