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Blaming parents: What I’ve learned and unlearned as a child psychiatrist

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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The fact that he’d stopped crying scared me. Damn rear-facing car seat. I couldn’t see him as I was driving to the hospital at 3 a.m. Now the hospital construction was making it impossible to find the entrance to the emergency room, let alone a place to leave the car. Getting out of the car and opening the back door, I saw that bubbles had gathered around my infant son’s mouth. His blue lips pushed forward in an odd pucker. His head bobbed violently with the effort of taking air.

"Oh my God," I said, and ran with him – past the guard desk, down the halls. Arriving at the emergency room triage desk finally, I simply held him up to the nurse, saying, "My son." Now limp, his skin was speckled blue and white.

He was wearing one of those one-piece bear suits, with the ears, and looked like a stuffed bear lying placidly on the table. "Get this off of him," said the doctor sharply, a young woman likely just out of training. Unzipping his suit, I felt his skin – bone-cold and soaking wet. "He’s mottled," said a nurse, looking at the doctor. The nurse seemed scared. With my medical training, I knew "mottled" is a word frequently associated with shock – when the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. His heart rate was over 200. He did not cry or move when the nurses stuck him repeatedly with needles, trying to get an IV line into his body. I stood at the edge of the room, leaning against the metal sink while the young pediatrician and several nurses surrounded him.

As a child psychiatrist, I was now on the other side of the doctor-patient line.

He revived quickly once the IV was in and the inhalers had begun. The resident admitting him to the floor, in fact, seemed irritated by the decision to admit him. "He looks good," she said, "He’s moving good air." Since she hadn’t been there, I explained to the resident that he was very sick when he arrived. "That’s what RSV babies do," she said. The respiratory syncytial virus, a.k.a. RSV, sounds exotic. But it’s a virus most of us have had and experienced as an annoying sniffle. In my otherwise normal son’s 3-week old bronchi, though, RSV caused such an intense production of mucus that his respiratory muscles couldn’t cope with all the goop in the way.

Later, only hours before my son was transferred to the ICU in acute respiratory distress, my husband and I sought out the resident to discuss the fact that he seemed to be declining. A different resident, but the same words, "This is what RSV babies do – he’s moving good air." Essentially, I noticed the tendency for the doctors to discount my experience as a mother, looking only at what they were seeing in front of them.

While still in the hospital, I had another peculiar experience. Some well-meaning providers seemed to find ways to subtly blame me for what had occurred. On the medical floor, the attending doctor asked, "Do you feel guilty because you have a cold too?"

"Huh?" I thought. No, it did not occur to me to feel guilty. Comments would often begin with "That’s why I always tell people to…" Or, "See – that’s why I…" In such exchanges, I felt oddly blamed for his acquiring and developing the severe cold that made it impossible for him to breathe.

Was I being overly sensitive? Was I projecting my own guilt onto them? Maybe, but I don’t think so. The experience I had – both with being vaguely discounted and subtly blamed – was not an anomaly or something that occurs only when doctors and nurses are not giving a sick child good care. In fact, the care we received was generally excellent. Rather, the experience highlighted for me what I think may happen all the time to parents with sick kids.

I’m back at work, doing what I do – evaluating and treating naughty kids, sad kids, worried kids, angry kids, shy kids. While things are back to normal, I have noticed a shift in my response to residents’ presentations of cases and in the way that I hear the rhetoric of my colleagues. Even my own treatment decision-making – pausing and forcing myself to think before coming to conclusions about what the parents have or have not done.

A child I will call Tiana to protect her identity showed severely disruptive behaviors in the classroom — throwing chairs, hiding under desks, and even stabbing her arm with a pencil. To be evaluated by the school mental health clinician, the mother must give in-person consent, but she has not shown up twice. Tiana is complaining of a tooth ache, and when she opens her mouth, a large black hole exists where her molar was. I am not under any delusions about "understanding" this mother, but I imagine myself giving her advice – "Come to the mental health visit," or "Take Tiana to the dentist."

Eventually, I did meet the mother at her home. She was profoundly sad, almost unable to move, defeated by years of crack addiction. Ultimately, Tiana went to live with a relative. But I always felt that if I had been successful in helping this mother, or if the system itself had been less punitive and more helpful, maybe this woman could have successfully parented this child – better for her and better for her daughter.

If the professionals involved in this family’s life could have effectively conveyed a sense of openness and lack of blame – would this have made a difference in the mother’s willingness to engage in the care system for herself and her child? Maybe not, but maybe so.

Something as serendipitous as a bad case of RSV is quite different from the severe behavior and mood problems I treat in my work life, but they’re both bad things to have happen to your kid. Likewise, parents with a child who is demonstrating severe mood or behavior problems tend to be blamed – by people at the grocery store, by the grandparents, by each other, and by doctors, too.

Historically, parents have tended to be blamed even by medical professionals when there is a set of symptoms not fully understood by science. According to Lidz in the 1960’s, the "schizophrenogenic mother" provided a "profoundly distorted or distorted milieu" in her family, resulting in her child’s development of schizophrenia Another "proud" moment in the history of psychiatry was the development of the notion of the "refrigerator mother" in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Mothers of autistic children were said to have "defrosted just enough to have a child" Micheal Yudell, an assistant professor at Drexel University, is one of several psychiatrists who have commented on the shifting nature of whom we "blame" for particular illnesses like autism, depending on the current understanding of the pathophysiology (i.e., how the disease works in the body) of the disease. The child guidance field has similarly reflected a tendency to blame mothers for children’s misbehavior. In her book Child Guidance and the Democratization of Mother-Blaming, Kathleen Jones argues that this tendency to blame individual parents allowed policy-makers to skirt the importance of socio-cultural change to reduce juvenile delinquency.

More recently, to counteract these trends, groups of physicians and parents have spoken out about the need for empowerment of families in public policy, developing concepts such as "family-driven care," a term used frequently in the public sector and child welfare worlds.

Child and adolescent psychiatry is one of the youngest branches of medicine and there is much we do not know. Take a disease like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder in which people have difficulty with focus, planning, and sustaining attention. Huge scientific advances have been made in understanding the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Despite all we know, if you asked me a simple question — "What causes ADHD?" — I would simply look at you with a blank expression and shrug.

Any doctor who tells you he knows what causes ADHD is going to try to sell you tincture of goat foot next. But mystery around why people are inflicted with such diseases still shrouds our understanding of ADHD as well as other well-known disorders — Tourette’s, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, oppositional defiant disorder. Such ambiguity leaves a lot of room for mommy blame.

The tendency to resist blaming parents is further complicated by the fact that, at times, parents do make things worse. It doesn’t take 9 years of medical training to know there’s a problem when a mother is yanking her kid around, smacking him at the slightest snivel. Many children have experiences like this, and lead successful, wonderful lives. But take an already sensitive child, or a child who can’t express himself well with words, or a child that doesn’t have other things he feels good at, and you’ve got a kid that’s going to be smacking his neighbor in math class.

In more subtle cases, a child’s behaviors can become problematic when the child’s temperament and the parents’ temperament do not mesh well – known as "goodness-of-fit." For example, if an anxious mother reinforces a child’s fears of separating from her, the problems may worsen and lead to other behaviors. On the other hand, parents may interact with their child a certain way because of forces beyond their control – such as their own mental illness, or because they are sleep deprived from holding down multiple jobs, or because they had no parental role models.

The old nature-versus-nurture split does not make sense anymore – the child’s brain (nature) and the parent’s actions (nurture) have a dynamic relationship, each influencing one another. Parent-child relationships, just like other environmental factors, can impact not only how the child behaves or feels, but also the actual development of the brain.

On the one hand, putting the responsibility entirely on the parents is not being appropriately humble about what we do not yet understand about the brain and behavior. On the other hand, claiming that the child’s emotions or behaviors can be attributed purely to raw biological material is not giving credit to the immensely important role that parents do play in their child’s development.

For example, Tiana had a sister I’ll call Renata living in the same home environment . Unlike her sister, Renata continued to thrive despite her mother’s challenges; she had many friends and received A’s and B’s in her classes.

Among the various problems child psychiatrists see in children, there are differences in the degree to which the problem is "biological" and is "dynamic" (related to relationships between parents and children, for example) or "psychosocial" (related to the environment – like Tiana’s chaotic world). Child psychiatrists themselves differ in the ways that they explain and understand a particular child’s behaviors. An inherent conflict is that doctors who see troubled children are expected to come up with individual solutions. When the solution is not a particular medication, or a specific parent-child relationship, the doctor feels at a loss for how to intervene.

In my work life I continue to struggle to balance a humility about what we don’t know with a confidence in what we do know. I struggle with keeping the tendency to blame parents in check while at the same time calling parents to task about their parenting when necessary. I struggle with identifying what can be changed at the level of an individual and what requires change at the systems level. I struggle to continue to be willing to dig into these systems problems so that I don’t just go home helpless and hopeless about what to do for kids like Tiana. Despite this struggle, at the end of the day, at least I can come home to my curly-haired toddler, kiss him on his warm, soft cheek, and be grateful for the rise and fall of his chest.

About the Author: Justine Larson is a practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  She will soon be leaving Hopkins to become Chief Psychiatrist for a county public health system.  She conducts research on improving access to mental health care for the urban poor.  She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two children.  In her spare time she enjoys riding pretend rockets with her son and singing showtunes with her daughter. This is her first time as a guest blogger.

 The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.






Comments 26 Comments

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  1. 1. Krista 10:00 am 04/15/2011

    Great post. As the parent of a child with an eating disorder, I am painfully aware of the blame ascribed to parents for this condition by some professionals and many lay people. This is despite the fact that no one can say with certainty what the cause of an eating disorder is, and that most families also have children with who do not have one. Furthermore, research is showing that there is a genetic predisposition for manifesting an eating disorder, and that they have a biological basis.

    Parents are the the most important members of the team that is necessary to bring a sufferer back to health, since they are the ones who care the most, who provide the resources necessary to pay for treatment and who support the child at home every minute that the child is not with a clinician or in a treatment facility.

    I urge anyone who has a loved-one with an eating disorder to visit http://www.FEAST-ED.org/ for information about eating disorders and evidence-based treatments for them. FEAST also sponsors a moderated forum for parents and caregivers at http://www.feast-ed.org/Forum.aspx.

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  2. 2. Bora Zivkovic 2:01 pm 04/15/2011

    That is no "respected physician", but an anti-vaccer shilling for the FEAR industry and lining the pockets of snakes-oil salesmen.

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  3. 3. Bora Zivkovic 2:09 pm 04/15/2011

    Why are you allowing yourself to be bamboozled by people selling you anti-science, fear, and potentially dangerous "remedies" (including those, like refusing vaccines, that affect the whole community, not just the individuals that made the choice)?

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  4. 4. Bora Zivkovic 2:11 pm 04/15/2011

    The guy is a mild case, seems reasonable (allowing for SOME vaccines) but still, his language is framed in a way that is designed to elicit nervousness and fear in parents – that is the goal.

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  5. 5. Bora Zivkovic 2:12 pm 04/15/2011

    But anyway, this post is NOT about vaccines, so let’s get back to the topic of the actual article. I will consider all future comments on vaccines as "off topic" and will delete them according to our Commenting Rules.

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  6. 6. Bora Zivkovic 2:18 pm 04/15/2011

    This is not the topic of this article. This is the last warning.

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  7. 7. Bora Zivkovic 2:20 pm 04/15/2011

    No. Parenting is the topic. Also, attitude by physicians and society toward parents. Read again.

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  8. 8. Josie Johnston 3:16 pm 04/15/2011

    Thanks for this really honest and nuanced post. I think you did a great job of explaining that various factors, including genes, relationships, and environments, can cause or exacerbate problematic moods and behaviors and of illustrating the barriers facing some children and parents. We explored many of these same topics and challenges in our report, Troubled Children: Diagnosing, Treating and Attending to Context, which you and your readers might find useful: http://childpsychiatry.thehastingscenter.org.

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  9. 9. Bops 3:55 pm 04/15/2011

    You are just like my neighbor.
    She knows an apple orchard killed her husband because he died of lung cancer. Yes, they both smoked. AND other family members had cancer too.
    BUT…she doesn’t care what anyone thinks…that apple orchard did him in.
    Your thinking is wrong by choice… not facts.

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  10. 10. formerlymarcus 4:08 pm 04/15/2011

    Oh this is wild! A doc needs care from another doc and discovers, get this, that the docs that "treat" her child are arrogant, elitist, know-it-alls and their bedside manner generally sucks!

    Welcome to reality sister, the rest of us have been dealing with this for decades.

    One(of many available) brief anecdote: After being on the wrong side of a car wreck, I told a doc that I had broken ribs here, here, and here(pointing with my uninjured arm to sternum, spine, and mid-rib under my arm. He then had the audacity to tell me that I couldn’t be certain that my bones were broken because bones don’t have nerves! I told him to get out, and that he shouldn’t come back unless he had my x-rays in hand showing that I was wrong about which ribs were broken and where. I didn’t see him again and I scratched him from the hospital bill afterward.

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  11. 11. lwatcdr 5:00 pm 04/15/2011

    But isn’t it really the parents fault? Nature or nurture the parent is the source of the DNA, they pick who they have kids with, and they raise the children. Now they may not know of any genetic problems but still I see how it is natural to feel guilt. I think that is what drives parents of Autistic children to find a villain to blame. They are so upset that it might be their gene’s, diet, or parenting that caused their child to be Autistic that they make up a fantasy that they where the victims of a great conspiracy involving the medical community and the drug companies.

    For many the guilt is over something not in their control. But give me a break, a mother that uses crack and doesn’t take care of her kids? Let me guess she is also a single mother and a drug addict? Yet you shift the blame for those actions to society? I am all for helping people but no one makes you pick up a crack pipe. Having sex with people that you are not in committed relationship is also a choice. Really? A kid not doing well in school and with a rotten tooth because her mother isn’t taking care of her and you infer that it isn’t her fault? Good heavens just what level of bad parenting and terrible life choices does one have to reach before it is their fault? Sorry but yes parents do need to take some responsibility for their choices and how it effects their kids.

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  12. 12. jlarson 8:12 pm 04/15/2011

    The vaccine issue relates to blame, too. There are some scholars writing about the idea that all the vaccine rhetoric out there (like about vaccines causing autism, for example) might be coming out of a need to find "blame" somewhere – One author talks about how the public frenzy about vaccines was a shift from blaming parents to blaming science. I think when terrible things happen, people want to blame someone or something.
    Vaccines save lives, though.

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  13. 13. jlarson 8:18 pm 04/15/2011

    And to respond to lwacdr’s comment, what I’m trying to say is more nuanced than simply that the mother doesn’t have any responsibility. The fact that often parents have some responsibility makes interacting with parents in child psychiatry all that more complex. On the other hand, my belief is that the system is quick to punish, and that is not helpful to anyone – especially the kid.

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  14. 14. blindboy 8:34 pm 04/15/2011

    As a teacher I constantly hear the blame the parents mantra from my colleagues. As a parent of a difficult child ( now grown into a healthy happy adult) I know just how shallow and self-serving that analysis can be. If the parents are to blame then the school can wash its hands.

    My personal view is that all of us have far less control over our lives than we would like to believe. The interactions between genes and environment, or nature and nurture if you prefer, are complex and ultimately deterministic. There are no other inputs to the human system. Blame therefore, in the traditional sense is pointless. The only constructive approach (short of genetic engineering) is to modify the environment to produce better outcomes. In this regard, if we must blame something, blame the culture; this shallow consumerist cult that devalues everything that cannot be bought; this moronic plutocracy that concentrates power in the hands of the most mercenary. Change that and you will have less dysfunctional adults breeding dysfunctional children into a culture that considers both adult and child as disposable. Mere economic units that have no value.

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  15. 15. bernardpalmer 6:36 am 04/16/2011

    Hey Bora

    You lost round one sport. And you know it.

    Here’s an excerpt from my website ‘What is the Primary Fundamental Right?’

    "It’s probably fairly well known in some medical circles that crib/cot death is possibly caused by the tongue acting as a valve in the process of ‘diving reflex’. This reflex is apparently used by sea mammals when deep diving to protect the animal from high pressured water entering the body cavity when they open their mouths to catch prey and is activated by pressure and cold on the trigeminal nerves located on their face. This possibly explains why the tongue is the strongest muscle in a mammal’s body. Unfortunately it appears that the SIDS child is suffocated by their own tongue which then relaxes leaving no evidence except the body of a suffocated child. Therefore SIDS could be classed as a ‘cold air drowning’.

    Over the years many parents have been found guilty of the murder of their child because of the evidence of suffocation. If the child survives a SIDS encounter then it’s possible there will be brain damage similar to cerebral dysgenesis which is usually a symptom of Autism. Apparently the incidence of SIDS has been reduced by putting children down to sleep on their back, a practice that probably also helps reduce the number of ASD victims. The amount of government funded research grants allotted and money received by fund raisers like ‘Red Nose Day’ charities is probably a nice little earner for the select few still supposedly busy looking for the cause of SIDS."
    http://www.primaryfundamentalright.org/index.php?pageName=pfrWhatIs

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  16. 16. nancyhallatr 4:12 pm 04/16/2011

    I’m the parent of a child with bi-polar disorder, so the phenomenon you describe is not unfamiliar. He’s barely out of his teens, so the humiliation and the frustration are still fresh. It was most evident in educational settings and especially in his middle school years, when an arrogant assistant principle told me, point blank, that I was the cause of my son’s problems in school.

    This mindset extended to my son who was aware that most, though not all, of his educators believed that he was faking problems in order to get over on me. I was seen first as a perpetrator, the cause of his wild mood swings and hyperactivity; and later as a dupe and an enabler. My son was seen as a troublemaker and a manipulator at least until he had access to the supports he needed in order to succeed in an academic environment.

    I could have accepted their condemnation and disdain if it had been helpful to my son, but it wasn’t. Mental health providers were kinder, but who knows what they wrote about me in his medical records.

    I’ve also observed the phenomenon in my long career as an art therapist, working primarily in psychiatric hospitals. It makes me cringe every time I hear parents dissected in staffings, solely on the basis of their children’s symptoms and behavior; or when I read admission notes describing parental behavior in cold, clinical detail and dismissive terms.

    Some of my work has been done in the community, where I did in-home psychotherapy with a range of clients from toddlers to people who were nearing the end of long, full lives. In some cases, I was privileged to meet several generations of particular families and it helped me understand the cumulative effects both of genetics and of decades of poverty, hopelessness and the absence of opportunity. I saw neglect and abuse, to be sure, but also plenty of affection and concern even among the most troubled, limited of parents.

    As a psychiatrist, you’re in a position of considerable authority in my world as well as that of my son. I’m glad both that you’ve had the opportunity to see what it’s like to be "the parent" and that your trip to the other side was brief and ultimately happy. I’m also pleased to see that you’ve taken the leap into public health where I hope your insights will be put to good use.

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  17. 17. denysYeo 1:52 am 04/17/2011

    A thoughtful article. As an Educational Psychologist, who works with with children and their families, I appreciate the tension between being a professional working with other people’s children and being a parent raising your own children. I do not think we can "silo" these two aspects of our lives, rather we need to recognise and acknowledge the impact each can have on the other, and then get on and do our best in both roles.

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  18. 18. okwhen 8:14 am 04/17/2011

    Firstly let me say, if any doctor or health care provider insinuates the parents are at fault they are required by law to report this to the authorities. Otherwise, they are careless in their assessment and parents should report them to their superiors.

    This seemed to take on different paths beyond the original scope of this article. For instance, the subject Tiana outcries and physical disruptions may have very well been due to her severe tooth pain and infection. However, Justine Larson is now comparing her to the sister that seems normal. In my way of thinking this is comparing apples to oranges. Does the other sister have pain ridden teeth complicated with infection. Even so, comparing these two makes no sense.

    As a psychiatrist her believing the possibility exist that earlier intervention may have prevented the removal of these children is dumfounding. I have only know two crack addicts and a few heron addicts and early intervention for these people is merely a pipe dream. We all probably know families with similar problems and are all to familiar with the long drawn out process of intervention treatments. Do not misunderstand, I believe everyone either asking for help or are indirectly in need should receive treatment. If we view addicts living on the street one will soon discover the severity of the disease and know intervention in the majority of these cases is unwanted. These are two of the hardest drugs to kick and the majority of the people encounter many failed attempts to stop if at all.

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  19. 19. Happyalways 1:02 am 04/21/2011

    I enjoyed reading this Justine. With my first child I laboured for quite some time before I had a c/section much to my relief! The next day the specialist came into to my room to see how I was doing. I was holding my beautiful baby, over the moon that she was heathly and huge. The specialist asked me if I felt like a failure. There I was holding my baby with such love and joy and I get asked this! I screwed up my face and said, "what?" She said, "oh you know some women feel like they have failed if they have had a c/section." I replied by saying, "the thought never entered my head and never will, that’s ridculous!" In retrospect, I see that She thought I should guilty for something I had no control over.

    I wonder what that nurse would have said if you had have said, "No I don’t feel guilty" Would she have said you were a bad mother "because YOU have to feel quilty, afterall that is the utmost feeling a mother should have!!!"

    Furthermore, I think mothers, especially new mothers get a raw deal. Most professionals think they are neurotic, I spent three months attempting to get my daughters silent reflux to be taken seriously only to be told that it was ME who had the problem, this doctor said I had post-natal depression. She even refused to return my phone calls when I was concerned as she would not feed. She soon ended up in hospital as she was starving herself, it was found that she yes indeed had silent reflux as found from the testing they did. I returned to that doctor for an apology and exclaimed how frustrating my experience was with her trying to get her to believe me, I stated that her actions even made me start to doubt myself, she was sheepish but NEVER apologised. I have such ill-feeling towards her for refusing to apologise for her mistake and allowing my daughter to continue to be in such pain for three months, I gave her the sack.

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  20. 20. yurala 6:36 am 04/22/2011

    I could not agree more with this comment!
    It reminds me "ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD" a little.
    The values of our society are a bit artificial and to some extent even anti-social. Family is no longer valued and parenting becomes very hard, even "non-profitable undertaking". I think it is a terrible accident that our culture developed this way. We need to "install an update" and "restart" our operating system for it to accommodate us better.

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  21. 21. bucketofsquid 10:58 am 04/26/2011

    Very well said but just a tad bit on the extremist side.

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  22. 22. bucketofsquid 11:08 am 04/26/2011

    I’ve known a few drug addicts, only one of which survived and quit using. The others eventually died due to cumulative effects rather than directly from overdose. While I have no background in Psychiatry I do read a lot about the various issues. Drug addicts need extreme intervention that lasts years. Usually they aren’t interested in changing and when they are it is primarily due to fear. If society is really interested in a meaningful "war on drugs" we need to attack the illness and not the addicts. Unfortunately our society doesn’t get that concept and instead of trying to cure the addicts we punish them.

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  23. 23. bucketofsquid 11:17 am 04/26/2011

    I have a "disturbing the peace" conviction. My wife and I had gone to the highschool to work with my son’s teachers to figure out why he would do his homework but not turn it in. We wanted to know why he scored very high on tests but was failing most classes. One particular teacher stated quite bluntly that there were so many students that he didn’t bother to learn their names. That offended but wasn’t the problem. It was at the parent teacher conferences where this same teacher was complaining that parents just don’t get involved and expect the teachers to work in a vaccuum. I punched him in the face.

    It seems that the city attourney downgraded the charge after getting the details.

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  24. 24. kidslove 12:18 am 12/16/2011

    all the things you have mentioned are very well. Agree that parenting becomes very hard now days. Children are more inclined towards drugs addiction and eventually died at the end. Our society need to make strict law against rules violators and need to to punish them very hard. Surely it will gradually change our society into drugs free world.

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  25. 25. 7375martind 3:55 pm 04/4/2012

    Thank you for writing this post. I really just stumbled onto it but it struck quite a few chords with me. I work at a school for behaviorally challenged children as well as kids with autism as a teachers aide. I’m just recently graduated from college and finding that I love these kids and love working with them but sometimes find myself at a loss knowing their lives at home are much of the reason they have so much trouble on top of their already hindering learning and mental disabilities.

    it also really bothers me when coworkers spend so much time talking about and placing blame on one thing or another. Of course finding the antecedent or cause is important in identifying but when it isn’t clear I get frustrated when blame is placed irrelevantly and rashly instead of moving onto a treatment plan or IEP. I don’t think blaming anyone without really knowing the whole story is ever helpful, but it happens all the time. Just because you think they should have done something differently doesn’t mean you would if you were in their situation, and i can say definitively that no one i work with has ever been in any of the situations our clients have.

    reading your post was rather inspiring. I was already planning on it but I look forward to going back to school and getting a degree in counseling so that I can really make a difference for these kids and their families. Theres a lot of good coming from where I work but I want to do better. So thanks for showing me a good example of someone who is.

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  26. 26. TonySwanson 12:28 pm 09/16/2014

    So – Bernard, does this mean you won? If so, what did you win?

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