Special Needs & Teen Issues
Children whose emotional or physical disorders, age, race, membership in a sibling group, a history of abuse, or other factors contribute to a lengthy stay in foster care. Guidelines for classifying a child as special needs vary by State. Common special needs conditions and diagnoses include: serious medical conditions; emotional and behavioral disorders; history of abuse or neglect; medical or genetic risk due to familial mental illness or parental substance abuse.
The resources and referral presented by our counselors is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Readers should not rely on these comments to make specific decisions. There is no substitute for a one-on-one evaluation by a competent health professional. Specific information regarding any particular individual or family problem simply cannot be provided without such an evaluation.
While hormones, the struggle for independence, peer pressure, and an emerging identity wreak havoc in the soul of the adolescent, issues of how much autonomy to grant, how much "attitude" to take, what kind of discipline is effective, which issues are worth fighting about, and how to talk to offspring-turned-alien challenge parental creativity, patience, and courage.
To guide a child to adulthood, to ingrain values, to help negotiate social relationships, and to see new ideas, ideals, goals, and independence emerge in a child can be the adventure of a lifetime. Like any adventure, the thrill is in the journey.
Challenges conquered sweeten success, and while failure is in part unavoidable, no one can know how the balance of success and failure measures out until the journey is complete. As long as the journey continues, there is hope: a chance to turn failures into success, weaknesses to strengths.