Because the process of separation and divorce leads to the end of a nuclear family, family therapy for divorcing families strikes many as an oxymoron. What would be the purpose of helping a family communicate and function better if the family is ending? But while loss and endings are inherent in separation and divorce, the process is also one in which families families reorganize, establish new patterns of relating, and find new roles and tasks for individual family members. Family therapy can be a powerful tool for families to attend to these tasks. [Read more…]
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
As families who have teens and adults with developmental disabilities like autism and Down Syndrome endeavor to launch their children towards adulthood, one of their biggest tasks is accessing services to help maximize their children’s independence. Many organizations provide excellent programs which offer residential, educational, therapeutic, recreational, and vocational services, as well as socialization opportunities and respite care. But unlike schools that offer “one-stop shopping” for many children and teens, as children transition to adulthhood families have to navigate a myriad of agencies to get their children the help they need. Moreover, funding is often scarce, and waiting lists are often long. Tragically, because services are so uncoordinated and difficult to access, many people with disabilities are not able to make use of many valuable opportunities, and thus are not able to maximize their level of independence.
The web site of Jonah Green and Asssociates has developed an area of its web site dedicated to providing families in Montgomery County, MD who have teens and adults with developmental disabilities with access to services, resources, support, and information. Please click here to access this area of the site. We will be continually updating the site–if you know of an additional resource, please comment on this blog and we will add it to the web site. Thank you.
–Posted by Jonah Green
As the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have exploded in the last 15 years, much progress has been made in understanding this complex developmental syndrome. People with ASDS are now recognized as a diverse group with a variety of diagnoses who vary widely in abilities and functioning levels. The defining features of those on “the spectrum” include difficulty with social skills and problems with reciprocal communication. People with ASDs may also engage in excessive rituals, have difficulty regulating their impulses, or display intense and focused interests. Many people with ASDs are either oversensitive or undersensitive to stimuli such as touch or sound. Some have particular talents, or “splinter skills”, and most are good visual learners. [Read more…]
In the 1950s people with intellectual disabilities generally lived in isolation within private homes or resided in institutions that offered little opportunity for productive activities. After viewing the poor treatment her mentally retarded older sister Rosemary received, Eunice Kennedy Shriver embarked on a multi-decade campaign of advocacy. In 1961 Shriver persuaded her brother President John F. Kennedy to create a division within the National Institutes of Health dedicated to improving the lives of children with developmental delay and disability. In 1962 she established a summer camp in the Washington, DC region for children with intellectual disabilities. She later helped found the Special Olympics, which have become the world’s largest year-round sports program for mentally disabled children and adults. More than 2.5 million athletes in 180 countries take part in competitions each year.
Parents who seek therapy for their child or adolescent usually have serious concerns. Their child may be exhibiting moodiness, oppositional behaviors, poor social skills, or signs of experimenting with substances. Parents know that these concerns can significantly impact a child’s life and future development. By the time they begin the search for therapy services, parents may have tried several methods of remedy, and may already have consulted with a professional such as a pediatrician or school counselor for guidance.