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Indigo children Terminology
Coined by Nancy Ann Tappe A group of children possessing special traits; Definition beliefs about the traits vary from paranormal abilities (i.e. ESP) to simply being more confident and sensitive. Signature An indigo colored aura Status See also Pseudoscience Auras
Indigo children is a pseudo-scientific label given to children who are claimed to possess special, unusual and/or supernatural traits or abilities. The idea is based on New Age concepts developed in the 1970s by Nancy Ann Tappe. The concept of indigo children gained popular interest with the publication of a series of books in the late 1990s and the release of several films in the following decade. A variety of books, conferences and related materials have been created surrounding belief in the idea of indigo children and their nature and abilities. These beliefs range from their being the next stage in human evolution or possessing paranormal abilities such as telepathy to the belief that they are simply more empathic and creative than their peers. Although there are no scientific studies to give credibility to the existence of any indigo children, or their traits, the phenomenon appeals to parents whose children have been diagnosed with learning disabilities and parents seeking to believe that their children are special. This is viewed by skeptics as a way for parents to avoid proper pediatric pharmaceutical treatment or a psychiatric diagnosis which implies imperfection. The list of traits used to describe the children has also been criticized for being vague enough to be applied to almost anyone, a form of the Forer effect. The phenomenon has been criticized as a means of making money from credulous parents through the sales of related products and services.
The term "indigo children" originates with parapsychologist and self-described synesthete and psychic, Nancy Ann Tappe who developed the concept in the 1970's. Tappe published the book Understanding Your Life Through Color in 1982 describing the concept, stating that during the mid 1960s she began noticing that many children were being born with "indigo" auras (in other publications Tappe has said the color indigo came from the "life colors" of the children
with subsequent conferences the following years in Florida and Oregon. strongwilled. indigo children function poorly in conventional schools due to their rejection of authority. According to Tober and Carroll. The concept was popularized and spread further by a feature film and documentary released in 2005. Indigo children have also been described as having a strong feeling of entitlement. In 2002. who wouldn't rather believe their children are special and chosen for some high mission rather than that they have a brain disorder?" . curious.  Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Many children labelled indigo by their parents are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tober and Carroll's book The Indigo Children linked the concept with diagnosis of ADHD. possess a clear sense of self-definition and purpose. Susan W. They describe the goal of indigo children to be a remaking of the world into one lacking war. being smarter than their teachers and a lack of response to guilt-. Whedon suggests in an 2009 article in Nova Religio." Whedon explains that the crisis is evident in the increase in "diagnoses of ADD and ADHD in American children" and "heightened awareness of youth violence" caused parent to "take matters in their own hands. written by husband and wife self-help lecturers Lee Carroll and Jan Tober. trash and processed food. independent. and resistance to authority. drawing 600 attendees. Robert Todd Carroll points out that labeling a child an indigo is an alternative to a diagnosis that implies imperfection. and also exhibit a strong inclination towards spiritual matters from early childhood. Carroll states "The hype and near-hysteria surrounding the use of Ritalin has contributed to an atmosphere that makes it possible for a book like Indigo Children to be taken seriously. and that they require special treatment rather than medications. that the social construction of Indigo Children is a respronse to an "apparent crisis of American childhood.or manipulation-based discipline. Linking the concept of indigo children with the distaste for the use of Ritalin to control ADHD. damage or mental illness. an inherent intuitive ability. He also points out that many of the commentators on the indigo phenomenon are of varying qualifications and expertise. an international conference on indigo children was held in Hawaii. The promotion of the concept by Tober and Carroll brought greater publicity to the topic. a belief echoed by many academic psychologists." Parent began self-medicating self-diagnosing their offspring as Indigo Children as means of "redeeming" them for their improper behavior stemming for ADD and ADHD. which may appeal to many parents. The idea was later popularized by the 1998 book The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived. a New Age writer.  Characteristics Descriptions of indigo children include the belief that they are empathetic. or "deserving to be here. fear. and often perceived by friends and family as being weird." Other alleged traits include a high intelligence quotient. Given the choice. soon their book became the primary source on "indigo children". Their book makes the case that the children are a new stage of evolution rather than children with a medical diagnosis. both directed by James Twyman.which she acquired through her synesthesia).
a University of Iowa professor specializing in the education of gifted children. Others have stated that many of the traits of indigo children could be more prosaically interpreted as simple unruliness and alertness." Dusk said. and James Twyman. The lack of science is acknowledged by some believers..[t]he Indigo Children movement is not about children. ” Readers of the Dallas Observer later wrote in to inform the newspaper that the child's response appeared to be taken from the storyline of Avatar: The Last Airbender.. i. It is about adults who style themselves as experts and who are making money on books. stated that the first indigo book should not have been published. "I'm an avatar. "I can recognize the four elements of earth. Virtue has been criticized for claiming to have a Ph. Nick Colangelo. a then-unaccredited institution sometimes accused of being a diploma mill. The next avatar won't come for 100 years. so vague they could describe nearly anyone. wind. states that concerns regarding the overmedicalization of children are legitimate but even gifted children with ADHD learn better with more structure rather than less. Mental health experts are concerned that labeling a disruptive child an "Indigo" may delay proper diagnosis and treatment that may help the child. including Doreen Virtue. a reporter recorded the following interaction between a man who worked with Indigo children. the New Age movement has yet to produce empirical evidence of the existence of indigo children and the 17 traits most commonly attributed to them were akin to the Forer effect.e. Many labeled as indigo children are or have been home schooled. and it is not about the color indigo.Stephen Hinshaw. author of The Care and Feeding of Indigos. even if the structure initially causes difficulties. a professor of psychology at the University of California.  Criticism According to research psychologist Russell Barkley. a sham diagnosis that is an alternative to a medical diagnosis. Berkeley. and a purported Indigo child: “ "Are you an indigo?" he asked Dusk." . and that ". presentations and videos. water and fire." The man seemed impressed.D. an animated series showing on Nickelodeon at the time of the interview.  In a Dallas Observer article discussing indigo children. though this was awarded by California Coast University. with a complete lack of science or studies to support it. The editor of the Dallas Observer later admitted they were not aware of the possible connection until readers brought it to their attention. who produced two films on Indigo Children and offers materials and courses related to the phenomenon. The boy looked at him shyly and nodded. Many critics see the concept of indigo children as made up of extremely general traits.
2. 3. 6. http://skepticreport. 2006-03-16. Retrieved 2009-04-15. ^ "Letters to the Dallas Observer". RT (2009-02-23). "Indigo child". Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Dallas Observer. The Skeptic's Dictionary. Retrieved 2009-04-13. clothing.html? ei=5088&en=277fb750ad762ed9&ex=1294722000&partner=rssnyt&emc=rs s&pagewanted=all. "Little Boy Blue". "The Wisdom of Indigo Children: An Emphatic Restatement of the Value of American Children" (PDF). http://caliber. ^ a b c Tober J & Carroll LA (1999). belief in indigo children has significant commercial value due to sales of book. Light Technology Publishing. "Indigo kids: Does the science fly?". 8. CDs and movies. ISBN 1-56170-608-6.2009. ^ Tappe. Dallas Observer.60.com/2 006-03-09/news/little-boy-blue/. 9.wikipedia. films. Understanding your life through color: Metaphysical concepts in color and aura.org/wiki/Indigo_children . (2009-02). and one-on-one counseling session for children. Commercialization According to Lorie Anderson's article at Skepticreport.com/2006/01/12/fashion/thursdaystyles/12INDIGO.  References 1. J (2006-01-12).1525/nr.com. Nova Religio 12 (3): 60-76. ^ Tappe. Retrieved 2009-08-08.12. Retrieved 2007-10-23. The New York Times. "All About Indigos . ^ a b c d e Leland.12. ISBN 0-940399-00-8. The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived. "Are They Here to Save the World?". who sells a variety of indigo-themed courses. Skepticreport.dallasobserver. Retrieved 2009-04-15.^ Anderson.net/doi/pdfplus/10. summer camps and conferences that are aimed at parents who believe their children are indigos. 7. 5. ^ a b c d e Whedon.com/. http://www.allaboutindigos.archive. NA (1986). J (2006-03-09).com/indigo. Starling Publishers. ^ a b c d Jayson.com/news/religion/2005-05-31-indigokids_x.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-25. "Indigo: the color of money". ^ a b c d e f g Hyde. http://web.usatoday.nytimes. 10.2009.html. Sarah W. 4.1525/nr. S (2005-05-31).60.com/sr/?p=508. http://skepdic. as well as in donations and speaking engagements.ucpress. Retrieved 2007-10-23.com. The two films produced on the subject were both by James Twyman. video.A Nancy Tappe Website". USA Today. NA.dallasobserver. books. ^ Carroll. http://www. doi: 10.org/web/20071226065516rn_1/www. There are now a wide variety of books. L (2003-12-01). http://en.3. http://www.3. http://www.com/2006-03-16/news/new-age-mumbo-jumbo/full. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
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