There are two of these. This first one is very good. There is some unfortunate noise in the background for the first 10 minutes or so, but you can still hear the parent, and what she has to say confirms a lot of my suspicions about the way corporate-run charter schools with extreme disciplinary policies run. As she put it at one point, children are taught that, “All of your independent thinking is not necessary. All of your creative thinking is not necessary.”
Rev. Anne Grant has an alarming op-ed about the failure of the child protection system to fulfill its mandate to put the welfare of the child first. From ProJo.com…
We have a new chief judge of the Rhode Island Family Court, Haiganush R. Bedrosian, so it is time we banished the ghost of Dr. Richard Gardner, whose coercive tactics in Rhode Island courtrooms have been haunting families traumatized by domestic abuse.
Victims of terror do not present well in court. They are tense, emotional and understandably outraged. On the opposing side, tyrannical controllers can be calm and charming litigants, confident in the damage they have inflicted. Their lawyers, who are often accomplished bullies in their own right, tell astounding lies calculated to trigger a full display of symptoms in the victims.
Even recognizing that there are contentious divorces and false accusations, the picture Rev.Grant paints of Family Court is a comfortable place for lawyers and judges, but a deadly one for victims of crime.
Would Raymond A. Grundy have been walking free if those responsible for justice made him accountable? Would Staria Silva be alive today if Grundy had been prosecuted for every offense he committed against women and children?
Grundy has been in and out of the Adult Correctional Institutions for a variety of offenses. The last time was in early November, when he spent a night at the ACI before making bail on the charge of assaulting Silva.
Although Grundy has the names of his two older daughters tattooed on his body, he also has a record of assaulting their mother, Gail M. Arnold.
Arnold applied for several restraining orders against Grundy in the mid-1990s, writing about his “uncontrollable” temper and her fears for herself and their daughters. But Arnold failed to appear at hearings and the orders were dismissed.
Reading Anne Grant’s account of what she witnessed in court, it’s understandable that victims lose hope of finding justice or protection.
If you, or someone you know, is a victim of crime and needs advice and support, call
Victims of Crime Helpline
There is help.
I don’t watch Family Guy, because even though Seth MacFarlane is local, he seems to have been deeply affected by Garfield cartoons. I just can’t get past that. Sorry.
He’s also offensive. I watched part of one episode and it struck me as creepy-racist-misogynist and I only lasted a few minutes. Sorry– I can’t justify it in an argument, it was just an impression. Maybe I’m wrong. Just an opinion.
We don’t all think alike. Sarah Palin took a recent episode of Family Guy as a slam on people with Down Syndrome. Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who did the voice for the cartoon character, thinks otherwise. She herself has Down Syndrome, but she is an adult and too large to carry around as a prop and old enough to speak for herself. So read what she says here.
You may agree with her or not, but it’s good to remember that people with Down Syndrome are not God’s innocent angels sent here to teach us something about life, but actual people who have their own lives to live. Trig Palin will grow up, and I hope he will have a good life. Sarah Palin better hope she doesn’t pick up the NYT some day and see a best-seller called, ‘Drafted–My Life on the Campaign Trail When Mommy Went Rogue’, or ‘Going Rough–Missed Naps and Noisy Crowds in Days that Made History’. At least it’s not ‘Vice-President, Dearest’ –not yet.
Daily Kos has the startling news that Sarah Palin’s grandson receives health care coverage from socialized medicine.
TOUGH WEEK: Palin came in third runner-up in the Conservative Popularity Awards Convention (CPAC) Pageant. It seems unfair. She has way better hair than Ron Paul, who might want to consider having a little work done– nothing drastic, just a little lift. Mitt Romney is tough competition. I think he’s encased in some kind of impermeable wrinkle-proof plastic. He’d better wear Kevlar under the suit though, because Sarah Barracuda does not forgive or forget. Except for things Rush Limbaugh says or things she needs to not recall in testimony.
EWG’s scientists built Skin Deep to be a one-of-a-kind resource. Take your shampoo or your child’s lip gloss or moisturizer and read more about the danger here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/. Our epidermis is the largest body organ and approximately 60% of what we put on our bodies is absorbing these toxic ingredients. Those who know me know that I am committed to researching and sharing information about potentially harmful facts. We all are trying to attain a healthy lifestyle and yet, we daily sabotage our bodies (through hair, hygiene, and skincare products) with carcinogens so monstrous they are literally harming our future abilities to procreate, fight off cancers and the like.
It is sickening that the Personal Care Industry is undermining our abilities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cancer has become a common affliction or fatality and will further continue to rise. Science reflects that toxins sit in the fatty cells of our bodies (i.e., breasts). Water, food, air, materials and personal care products all have toxins and this is completely unacceptable when you do the math and see how a combination has violated the EPA and FDA acceptable toxin limits.
I plan to update the blog with information to aid you in making better choices. In doing so, I am hopeful to you will see the damage that is being done and make a lifestyle change. For now, here are some facts to ponder.
Currently 1,100 toxic ingredients which are banned in Europe but we allow them here. I have studied toxins for years and I am sick to death of what has only been available to my children.
I was driving to a patient’s house and saw a handmade sign that said- ‘Cadyscause.blogspot.com cerebral palsy sucks’
Well, clearly there’s a story there, and since a Rhode Island mother tells it better than anyone else could, I’ll leave a link here, to Cranstononline, and recommend you read Cady’s mother’s blog.
Over the years I have treated many children with reactive attachment issues and, while sometimes heartbreaking, there is also a great deal of joy in the work. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a cluster of behavioral and emotional issues that are believed to relate to a child’s lack of appropriate early bonding with a primary caregiver. RAD is often what is going on when a child asks if I can be his mommy during the first session, or when a child makes little or no eye contact and behaves as if he doesn’t want to interact with me. Usually with RAD, there are clear markers in the child’s history — sometimes in utero, sometimes after birth in the first three years — when there was no stable primary caregiver.
It happens a lot with foster children, naturally, if they have been moved around a lot, or if their reunification plans with bio family keeps falling through. I also think there is an argument to be made that reactive attachment can start off in utero, when a child is exposed to high levels of stress hormones. Mark Brady, PhD, has a great post in which he describes the developmental problems resulting from neglect and early stress. He quotes Dr. Bruce Perry, author of The Boy Who Was Raised by a Dog, talking about how the human brain responds to childhood neglect:
“As you grow, the brain is essentially like a sponge. It’s absorbing all kinds of experiences. So if a child is not held, touched, talked to, interacted with, loved, literally neurons do not make those connections, and many of them actually will die.”
“Big, big ventricular spaces (show up in stressed out kids), which will impact sleep, regulation of anxiety, regulation of mood, whether or not you’re very happy or sad.”
“Simple things like eye contact, touch, rocking and humming can make all the difference to a baby. It makes neurons grow, it makes them make connections. Then, it makes the brain more functional.”
One of the most impactful experiences I have had working with a RAD client was working with a little boy who had been raised for his first three years in an extremely neglectful environment — to the point where when he was moved to foster care, he did not know how to play other than to lay on his belly on the floor and put his fingers in front of his face and move them around. There were very few toys in his early home, and even less of a primary person paying attention to his needs and giving him the closeness he would need to understand the world emotionally. He had come a long way by the time I was seeing him, could play and interact with others, had probably quadrupled his vocabulary in the year he had been in a stable home, but he was still a very skinny kid with rotted teeth that had to be capped and lots of ear infections and other illnesses constantly weighing him down.
Part of my message to RAD kids is the constant reminder to them (and to their brains!) that they are growing, expanding, developing, changing, become whole, becoming strong. I say these things not only because they are true but also because they are the mantra of our shared hope — that their growth will now take place, that they will be able to make up for lost time and accelerate fast enough to get the ABC’s and color identification and some decent social skills in before kindergarten starts. And most of all, because I want them to know that I see them. I see them. They are here.
The importance of this knocked my socks off one day in session with this little guy, who I’ll call James. I was giving him the message that he was growing, asking him how old he would be turning on his next birthday, reinforcing that he would soon be in kindergarten, when suddenly James said, “When I was a baby, I was invisible. Now that I’m older, I have skin and bones.”
“Indeed,” I said, to draw out the moment. “And you have your whole body. And you’re growing bigger all the time.” When I had James create himself on “Mi” on the Wii (I did the controls as he was behind most kids on video game skills) he created a person who was as tall and big-boned as possible, with a big head of black hair. He wanted to be big. And compared to how small he had been made to feel in his birth home, he was indeed a big guy now.
We all need closeness in order to know we exist. If no one knows who you are, knows you internally, knows your needs and how to fill them, you grow up feeling invisible. Anyone who has ever been in a situation where everyone around them was deliberately ignoring them knows how awful it is to feel invisible. Imagine this being the world you are born into. Imagine how devastating that would be.
The good news is that most of us are not born into such cruel environments. Even in families where there is physical and emotional abuse, there is often still a sense of attachment for the child — that their needs are still very high on the list of things that get taken care of. It was enlightening, but also frightening, working with James — realizing just how powerfully he was experiencing the arrival of his identity, and how much catching up there was to do.