Indigo children is a pseudoscientific 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 some 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 (and generally pharmaceutical) pediatric 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.