I think that knowledge of the diversity topic I chose which was behavioral problems within special education is something that is extremely topical right now. Children are being kicked out of school when teachers are unprepared to deal with their behaviors, and they are sent down a negative trajectory. In my area, this is something that happens so often I’ve literally made a practice out of it. Oftentimes, these children are in need of loving boundaries and socio-emotional scaffolding, and very often they have parents that are practicing negative parenting which leads to a lot of different pathologies across the lifespan.
If I was able to come up with a program to train teachers how to deal with kids that are acting up in class, I think it would have a positive effect on the entire class and the school climate in general. Teachers would feel better and they would be able to be the masters of their domain as opposed to exhausted. Teacher burnout is related to kids that have behaviors! Then we have the kids – who endure a lot of suffering when they are targeted by teachers, as kids that are presenting behaviors are also displaying the underlying dynamics – the behaviors are just the symptom of the problem. We need to be able to attend to them on both the behavioral and emotional levels in order to really attend to behaviors and help them stay on a positive life trajectory starting from an early age.
The family part of the intervention is also critical, because we know that negative parenting can account for a part of the behavioral issue. Either parents aren’t equipped to handle children that are able to push boundaries or they engage in negative parenting themselves, and either way an intervention needs to happen on that front as well in order to keep consistency across environments. The intervention is two-art and would contribute positively to social change because it would be helping families and especially children that may otherwise end up in worse institutions in their lives.
Explain how knowledge of the diversity topic you chose could be used to enhance a social change initiative for children and adolescents.
· The diversity topic of choice for me is gender identity. Children and adolescents that are faced with gender dysphoria encounter so much. Not only are they shut out by the community but some are even shut out by their parents and family members. The mesosystem includes the interrelations between the major settings in which the youths find themselves, and subsequently the impact of these interrelations upon the youth. Major settings in the mesosystem include local economy and work environments, government, religion, neighborhood, and mass media (Mustanski. 2014). When a child or adolescent is experiencing gender dysphoria, the number one thing the need is to be supported. There does not need to be any biased or judgment. They need to understand that they are not “different” from their peers. One way to incorporate this is in the classroom. Gender identity can be incorporated into the curriculum, allowing students to learn exactly what it is and what these children are experiencing. Also, more group activity can be promoted within the students. Allowing the students to work together (those with and without gender dsyphoria) will give them the opportunity to get to know the person and not the stereotype that they may label them with. The microsystem is composed of the relationship or context with which the child has a direct contact, including romantic relationships, friendships, and peer groups, and family relationships (Mustanski, 2014). Once a child starts to experience gender dsyphoria, it becomes very difficult for them to communicate that, mostly for fear of being rejected. The family unit is the most important for the child in this instance. More than likely they will be rejected by most of society, they should not have to feel rejected at home too. One remedy to this rejection is that parents should love their children unconditionally, letting them know that they are love no matter the choices they make. Children and adolescents that experience gender identity yet have family and parental support normally are stronger and more comfortable with who they are. One way to promote social change is for parents of transgender children and adolescents to form groups with other parents that are experiencing the same thing. These groups can give advice to each other and also educate those parents who are not experiencing or having a hard time accepting their child’s decision (Doyle, 2017). Parents can also set up volunteer groups throughout the community to educate on gender dysphoria (Doyle, 2017).
Mustanski, B., Birkett, M., Greene, G. J., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & Newcomb, M. E. (2014). Envisioning an America Without Sexual Orientation Inequities in Adolescent Health.
Sovec, J. (2018). How Parents can Help Support a Child With Gender Dysphoria.
Doyle, L. (2017). When Your Child Comes out as Transgender.