Indigo child

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Not to be confused with "In dingo child", which is what your child might become if you misplace it in Australia.[note 1]

Indigo children are people whose "auras" are indigo in color. Allegedly, they are somehow aliens or part alien or something. And they aren't on the autistic spectrum and don't have ADHD or anything like that, so stop saying that about my precious Indigo baby right now.


The term "indigo child" comes to us from self-described synesthete and psychic Nancy Ann Tappe, a reader of auras:[1]

The Indigo label describes the energy pattern of human behavior which exists in over 95% of the children born in the last 10 years … This phenomena [sic] is happening globally and eventually the Indigos will replace all other colors.

The concept was further fleshed out by businessman Lee CarrollWikipedia and his imaginary friend supposedly channelled spirit guide Kryon. According to Carroll, the indigo children are some sort of next step in human evolution. However, as we blues and violets are unable to recognize them for their true potential, they end up getting classified as attention-deficit instead.

Should you ask any modern adherents of the indigo child movement, they'll deny all of this. None of them are quite sure where the name originated, but it definitely did not come from a bunch of New Age cranks and their invisible guru.

Identifying indigo children[edit]

It used to be that indigos were easily identified by analyzing their auras. As the theorists no longer believe this, they've had to come up with some new criteria. Lee Carroll lists the following traits:[2]

  • They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it).
  • They have a feeling of "deserving to be here", and are surprised when others don't share that.
  • Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents "who they are".
  • They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
  • They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
  • They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don't require creative thought.
  • They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" (nonconforming to any system).
  • They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them.
  • School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
  • They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
  • They are not shy in letting you know what they need.

So, indigo children are entitled, self-important, antisocial, tactless, disorderly, bratty, rigid in thought, very rebellious, and have issues with empathy. Clearly, the indigo generation will herald a new golden age. A less modern mind might see this list as attributes that could be subjectively applied to almost any child with equal accuracy, suggesting very little predictive power. What Forer effect?Wikipedia

Indigo children have had time to grow up into indigo adults and were neither extraordinary nor changed the world.[citation NOT needed]

Crystal children[edit]

Important new arrivals are the crystal children. There is disagreement over exactly what a crystal child is.

Crystal children "have a crystal-colored aura", whatever that means. Anyway, crystal children are more peaceful than indigo children, magic happens around them, they like to play with crystals, and they may start talking late but communicate telepathically. Like indigo children, crystal children have heightened psychic abilities, so it goes on. Crystal children have been around since about the start of the 21st century and will change the world when they grow up. Alternatively, there have always been a few crystals around; Jesus was one of them, that's why the word Christ is like the word crystal (a claim that makes linguists facepalm, since the two words are etymologically unrelated and just happen to sound alike in English). Sources agree there are more of them now,[3] and it's totally not because the idea's trendy in New Age circles at the moment.

There are also rainbow children; again, people can't agree exactly what a rainbow child is. Some say rainbow child is another name for a crystal child. Doreen Virtue disagrees and claims rainbow children are different and even more special than crystals. Others say rainbow children are the children of crystal children.

Fictional precedent[edit]

The concept of a generation of human children transitioning into a "next stage" of human evolution, complete with psychic powers, is (spoilers!) awfully similar to what happens in the renowned 1953 science fiction novel Childhood's End,Wikipedia by Arthur C. Clarke. One wonders whether someone read it and decided to lift the idea and sell it to parents who want to be told their children are special and unique.

More darkly, the idea being popularized in Japan in the form of the psychically gifted "Newtypes" in the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam and its numerous sequels was exploited by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in their recruitment efforts, much to the chagrin of those who worked on the series.[4]


Burden upon the kids[edit]

Telling kids that they have supernatural powers could result in confusing or scaring them, or making them think they're better than everyone else.[5]

Indigo children, encouraged by their parents, may begin espousing frightening paranormal beliefs. For example, one small "indigo child" said she didn't like it "when Satan tries to come in my head."[6] A boy named Boriska Kipriyanovich, claiming to have been a Martian in a past life, told people that 2009 and 2010 would be years of horrible crisis.[7] While some kids are mature for their age, they're still kids, and these scary beliefs aren't exactly good for them.

Disability denialism[edit]

The view in medicine is that ADHD is a defect. It's a disorder. If you're a parent, the idea of 'gifted' is much more appealing than the idea of a disorder.
—David Cohen[8]

Claiming to have an "indigo child" can be one way to deny that a child has a disability like autism or ADHD.[9][10] They may use evidence of a high IQ as proof that the child is not disabled.[11] (Apparently nobody told them that people with ADHD and/or autism can be intelligent too.) Why acknowledge that they're neurodivergent when you can instead pretend they're capable of telepathy and seeing the future?[12]

Recognizing the positives of conditions like autism and ADHD isn't necessarily a bad thing. But denying that the conditions exist, and refusing to pursue diagnosis and support, can leave kids without the help they need.

Notable believers[edit]

Jenny McCarthy used to believe that she was an indigo and her son was an even more evolved crystal child. She even ran a website — Indigo Moms — that served as a meeting place for parents of indigos and crystals. The site vanished in 2007, around the time Jenny got her degree from the "University of Google" and decided that her "crystal child" was vaccine damaged[13] and his autism is definitely not due to genetics the way he had supposedly been a "crystal" by virtue of genetics.

Andrew Basiago claims to have been an indigo child.[14]

External links[edit]


  1. Apparently, "indingo child" is a common misspelling.