More transgender kids seeking help, getting treatment

Posted on: February 24th, 2012

When Aidan Key was a little girl, he didn’t realize he had gender identity issues. He simply knew something was off.

“I didn’t necessarily become aware that I was trapped in the wrong body,” says the 49-year-old Bellingham, Wash., native who had gender reassignment surgery at the age of 33. “I became aware that people didn’t perceive me as I felt myself to be. It was just odd to me to have to wear a dress the first day of kindergarten. It didn’t make sense.”

Today, Key might have received counseling — and perhaps even puberty blocking drugs — at one of a handful of U.S. clinics designed to help adolescents with what’s now called gender identity disorder or GID. The psychological diagnosis is used to describe a male or female who feels a strong identification with the opposite sex and experiences considerable distress because of their actual sex (the word “disorder” refers to the distress the person feels, not the fact that they identify with another gender).

According to reports published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics, a small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are now getting support from parents and from doctors who give them treatments that could eventually help them change their sex.

Some estimates say about 1 in 10,000 children may have GID, Dr. Norman Spack, author of one of three reports published Monday and director of one of the nation’s first gender identity medical clinics, at Children’s Hospital Boston told the Associated Press. And that number does appear to be on the rise, experts say.

Continue reading this article from MSN Vitals by Diane Mapes here