All posts by Dr. Steven Kurtz

About Dr. Steven Kurtz

Dr. Steven Kurtz is a Board Certified Child Psychologist. He specializes in providing evidence-based treatment to children and families struggling with a number of issues including ADHD, oppositionality, selective mutism and other disorders. Dr. Kurtz is also certified by PCIT International as one of only 22 Master Trainers in PCIT - a gold standard, evidence-based treatment for young children with defiant behavior. Dr. Kurtz was the Founding Senior Director of the Center for ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders and the Founding Director of the Selective Mutism Program at the Child Mind Institute. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Chid Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine and NYU Child Study Center. Dr. Kurtz's research and clinical work have been published widely in professional journals. He has been a featured presenter at numerous professional conferences. Dr. Kurtz has been featured on ABC Nightline, NBC Today Show, CBS Early Morning Show, on several PBS and TLC shows, as well as in numerous newspaper, magazine and internet news outlets.

No child left behind?

It seems a crying shame that in 2014, in a country so rich with resources, that the average child with a psychiatric disorder still waits years – literally years – between the onset of first symptoms and when they start to get professional help. As I’ve said to so many pediatricians and teachers over the years, “While you tell the parents wait, they’ll outgrow it they are increasing the time of experiencing being anxious, not making friends, being unable (not unwilling) to speak or separate.”

While that may be true for some problems of some children, so many more – literally millions more – have symptoms that fester and they lose precious windows of opportunity to get help. So my hope in the new year of 2014 is that we get better as a society in reducing the stigma of getting help for mental health issues.  We would never tell a child with cancer or diabetes to wait because they may grow out of it.

Here’s an important study you may want to take a look at documenting the sobering statistics: Wang et al. (2005) Failure and Delays in Initial Treatment.  Among other findings look how long at takes for individuals to get help:

  • Only 3% of people with social phobia make treatment contact within 1 year
  • Only 1% of those with separation anxiety make contact in the first year
  • Only 7% of those with ADHD make it to treatment within the first year

Screenshot 2014-01-04 09.31.10