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Exam #2

1. 3 challenges children/adolescent face today


a. Terrorist attacks are a reality children/adolescents face today.
In the last six months we have had at least two senseless acts
of terrorism against innocent people, the first happened at
Stonybrook Elementary School and the second happened last
week at the Boston Marathon. Both of these events
devastated the nation and it created a strong sense of
uncertainty of ones safety. Tragedies such as the ones above
have long lasting effects on children/adolescence that range
from their perceived safety to their performance in school. It
can cause children to regress emotionally and act younger
than their chronological age. Other common reactions are
nightmares, sleep disturbances, and changes in eating
patterns. In addition, a fear is internalized about the safety of
themselves and their loved ones. All of these reactions are
normal, but they affect a child on so many levels, including
their performance in school. In Maslows Hierarchy of Basic
Needs, the second level explains one must feel safe in able to
be productive. If a child is fearful, all concentration goes to
calming the fear with no thought for any other task. If a child
cannot concentrate, their school performance is obviously
going to suffer. Interventions are essential to help a
child/adolescent move past the traumatic event.
b. Cyber Bullying is a relatively new and evolving phenomenon
in todays society. It happens on a daily basis in schools and
no one is safe from being victimized because people can post
anything they want on the internet. The definition is cyber
bulling is when a child, preteen, or teen is tormented,
threatened, harassed, humiliated embarrassed or otherwise
targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the internet,
interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
Students have been killed and have committed suicide over
cyber bulling, it is not something to be taken lightly and when
it happens it is imperative that the school get involved before
it escalates any further. Students that are cyber bullied tend
to have lower grades and this includes test scores and class
participation. Interesting enough this goes back to Maslows
Hierarchy of Basic Needs too, if a student feels fearful for
being bullied they are going to try to protect themselves in
anyway they can. This ultimately is going to cause a student
to withdrawal because of the perceived fear of being bullied.
Cyberbulling can cause an array of emotional disturbances in
a child/adolescent, which include: depression, low self-esteem,

anxiety, poor concentration, behavioral issues and physical


effects.
c. Poverty is a challenge that children/adolescent have always
faced, however in recent years the numbers have continued
to go up due to the economic state of our country and the
world. We have one of the highest unemployments rates in
years and it has continued this way for over 5 years,
particularly affecting those of lower socioeconomic status. 20
percent of all children live in families with incomes below the
poverty level. Maslows Hierarchy of needs first level is ones
physiological and biological needs, if these are not met, one
cannot move beyond these basic needs because they are
needed for survival. A child/adolescent will become
preoccupied with finding their next meal if they go hungry or
need a warm place to sleep at night. This is unfortunately the
reality of some childrens lives and without these basic needs
being met, being successful in school is almost impossible.
Poverty can impede childrens ability to learn and contribute
to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. It is the single
greatest threat to a childs well being.
2. In the textbook, Counseling Children & Adolescents, they explain
how it is so important for a counselor to understand the
characteristics of healthy families. They explain that a healthy
family is an open system that interacts with the environment and
is capable of adaptation and flexibility. This creates the stability
necessary to allow the development of its members. A closed
system is the exact opposite, it creates an environment that
inhibits growth and adaptation (Counseling Children &
Adolescents, 2009). There are many factors that contribute to
at-risk behaviors in students, this includes: divorce, single parent
homes, poverty, negative peer groups, domestic violence and
sexual abuse. These stressors are so grandiose, that a student
may experience many physical and psychological problems that
will potentially interfere with their academic success. These are
typically all problems that cannot be fixed within the school or by
the school counselor. It is the reality of students lives outside of
the classroom, but affects them inside the classroom. When a
child doesnt have a supportive and safe home environment,
they are going to act out in different ways, many times by at-risk
behaviors. Many of the stressors mentioned effect self-esteem,
self-worth, and confidence of a student, which can lead them to
making poor decisions. When there is little or no parent
involvement, students tend to seek negative outlets that lead to
at-risk behavior. Engaging students, getting them more involved
and having good after school options are all ways to combat at-

risk behavior within the context of a school, especially when they


do not get the support they need from home.
3. It is mandatory for all School Counselors to understand the
Special Education Laws and regulations. There were two main
federal that were passed in the early 1970s that prohibited
discrimination towards the disabled and required services to be
put in place. This laid the groundwork for the Education for All
Handicapped Children Act, which provided access to public
education for all students from ages 3-21 with disabilities. There
are 10 eligible categories to receive special education, they
include: mental retardation, hearing impairments, speech and
language impairments, visual impairments, serious emotional
disturbances, orthopedic impairments, autism traumatic brain
injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities.
All of these categories qualify for special education that meets
their specific specific needs. Interestingly enough, gifted
education programs were designed the same way. Students
educational needs were matched with pullout programs and
gifted classrooms to challenge and promote higher level learning
for gifted students. Gifted children need special services,
including counseling. Unfortunately, funding is not as prevalent
for these types of programs and many times gifted students are
in general education classrooms. It is critical for School
Counselors to be familiar with the rights of parents and children
pertaining to these services. Counselors should advocate for
alternative solutions in the general education classroom prior to
referral and placement in special education. In addition,
counselors should support and participate directly in educational
supports when academic difficulties are first evident and they
should have general knowledge of culturally fair methods and
instruments for assessing children and youth in various
categories (Counseling Children & Adolescents, 2009). It is so
important to be able to refer families to services available to help
their child thrive in an academic setting and this requires the
counselor to collaborate with other faculty within the school.
Examples:
a. An African American Student enters the high school their 9th grade
year is bored in their current general classes because they are
academically more advanced. They express this concern the first
semester of school to their School Counselor and ask what can be done
to move them into more advanced classes. This student has never
been recommended by a teacher for advanced placement, but has
always excelled academically. It is important for the School Counselor
to get the student tested and them make an objective decision of
whether advanced placement is the right fit. Being culturally aware of

the discrimination that sometimes happens with minority students is


important and school counselors need advocate in their defense.
b. An average student has recently been in a serious car accident and
is going to need special accommodations in the classroom. He is
currently in a wheelchair and his hearing is slightly impaired. It is
important for the School Counselor to collaborate with the doctor,
family, and teacher to make sure the school is making the right
accommodations for the student. This includes placement in the
classroom: making sure there is a desk that will accommodate to his
wheel chair and moving him to the front of the classroom to ensure he
will hear the teacher clearly. It might even be necessary to give him a
tutor during the initial transition stages to help with his adjustments.
c. Stanley is 16 years old and is diagnosed with mild mental
retardation. His prior school didn't have sufficient resources to help him
thrive in school or help him reach his potential. His parents were very
concerned with his development and didn't know what resources were
available to help him. A school counselor can help in a number of
ways, first it is important to get him in the right classes that can teach
him the skills he is capable of learning. This includes special education
classes and general education classes. In addition, School Counselors
can coordinate school, home, and community services and serve as
the students advocate to make sure the necessary modifications and
resources are available. Lastly, a School Counselor can provide group
counseling to Stanley to help build self-esteem and self-advocacy.
4. Small group counseling is a very effective way to reach more
students. By counseling in a small group setting, a school
counselor is not limited to one-on-one counseling which can be
very difficult when a school counselor has a large case load of
students. There are many advantages of small group
counseling, they include: individuals gaining knowledge and
skills from other peers that will assist them in making and
carrying out their own choices. The intent is to promote personal
growth and resolve problems and conflicts (Counseling Children
& Adolescents, 2009). Small group counseling allows students to
share and connect with other students that are going through
similar situations and it helps to create a sense of belonging.
Adolescents are particularly sensitive to being accepted by their
peers and feeling affiliated to a group. If a student is new to a
school and is having a hard time making new friends, a small
group focusing on new students, would be the perfect
intervention for them. They will be able to relate to a group of
people in a way they have not been able to in their new
environment. Small Group Counseling is a great supplement to
individual counseling. If a student is struggling with
organizational skills and it is affecting their performance in
school, participating in a organizational small group counseling

session would be beneficial to learn from the other students and


its addressing the root of their academic struggle. In addition, it
creates a positive peer pressure amongst peers to work harder
and do better. Another advantage of a small group setting is it's
appropriate for elementary, middle and high schools students.
Once a school counselor has identified a need within their school,
a small group can be created at any grade level to address and
combat issues students are struggling with. Although there are
many advantages to small group counseling, there are some
disadvantages School Counselors need to be aware of too. Some
students are not comfortable sharing in a group and may not
participate or will do so unwillingly. When someone is forced to
do something they do not want to do, it typically doesnt produce
results. Another issue to be aware of is personality clashing.
When you put a group of people together, even it they have a
common bond, there is no guarantee they are going to all get
along. And lastly, there is a confidentiality issue. There is no
guarantee that the topics discussed within the group are not
going to leave the group, even if students are told they are not
allowed to share this information with other students. Because
this can be an issue, students may be unwilling to share personal
information with others.
5. Both parent education and parent consultation are extremely
important in a School Counselors role. Parent education is based
on the belief that the influential role of parents produces
considerable responsibility for them to provide appropriate
guidance for their children. Parent education increased parents
knowledge and helps them develop skills. The focus is
preventative (Counseling Children & Adolescent, 2009). Parent
consultation is recommended for parents who have specific
problems with their child. Consultation is a one-on-one
interaction between the counselor and a significant adult in the
childs life, with a purpose of finding ways to assisting children to
function more effectively (Children & Adolescent Counseling).
Consultation deals specifically with existing problems. By using a
combination of the two, many positive outcomes can be
attained. This includes: parents relationship with their child will
typically improve, behavior at home and school will typically
improve, a child will take more responsibility for their actions,
parents will become more involved in school and a child will
ultimately have more success in school. As you can see both
parent education and parent consultation are very important and
can have very positive effects on a student success. It makes
the parent feel more involved in their child's life and helps them
to understand them on a deeper level. This ultimately creates a

stronger relationship between child and parent because the child


is going to feel more understood.
6. The School Counselors role has significantly evolved over the last
20 years. The School Counselor is the backbone of a school and
they are constantly wearing many hats, which include being an
educator. School Counselors are now required, as part of their
job, to incorporate School Counseling Core Curriculum. It is
suppose to make up about 25%-35% of a School Counselors
time; depending on which grade level they are working with. The
curriculum provides a systematic approach to helping students
learn, understand, and master aspects of personal/social
development, vocational/career development, and
academic/educational development. The primary goal is to help
students find healthy ways of dealing with dealing situations that
arise during their lifespan (Children & Adolescence Counseling,
2009). Each lesson should contain five components, beginning
with purpose and objectives. Each lesson should have a clear
purpose and objective of what they intend to accomplish. It
needs to be specific and measurable. The second component is
a stimulus activity, this is to immediately engage the students
and helps to outline what they want to accomplish during the
lesson. In the School Counseling Core Curriculum I created for
the mock project, my stimulus activity included asking the entire
class a question "Why is getting an education important?". The
question is suppose to illicit responses from students and then I
followed it up with powerful statistics. The third component is
the content-level discussion, which is when the class discussed
the content of the stimulus activity. The fourth component is the
personal-level discussion, this is the key to the lesson and the
majority of the time is spent on this component. It is when the
students apply main concepts of the lesson to their personal
experience (Children & Adolescence, 2009). The fifth component
is the closure, this is when students are given the opportunity to
discuss what they learned and any insights they might have
experienced. Lastly, Vernon added the evaluation piece, which is
essential for reporting the value and benefit of the lessons.
7. My personal style of counseling is very empathetic and I feel as
thought I can still very much relate to students, particularly high
school students. This is the age group of students I intend to
work with. They all have very different developmental levels
depending on if they are in 9th grade of 12th grade and I feel each
grade level is going to have their challenges. I am very fond of
solution focused therapy and think this works really well within
the constraints of the School Counseling role. Given the case

load most School Counselors have, we need a style of therapy


that is going to work fairly quickly because we only have a finite
amount of time with each student. Solution focused therapy
focuses on solutions rather than problems and helps students to
think of about concrete goals for the future. This can also serve
any grade or developmental level. In addition, incorporating
developmental programming into the classroom through School
Counseling Core Curriculum is also a great resource for School
Counselors. Issues can be address on a more preventative level
verses a reactive level. At every age group students are going to
dealing with a different set of challenges, by working with
students early we as school counselors can combat challenges
before they become challenges.