Julia Chlaifer, a student at Penn State Harrisburg, spent the summer interning with the Adoption and Foster Care Team at Jewish Family Service. Because JFS is such a small agency, she was able to discover the nuances about each department. Julia shares her experiences and insights from this wonderful opportunity.
Compassion. That is how her mother describes her. Being the youngest of 3 siblings, she grew up around values of kindness, giving back to the world, sprinkled with strong Jewish traditions. It is no wonder then that Rena Cheskis chose to do her Bat Mitzvah project supporting the Libby Urie Kosher Food Pantry at JFS.
Knowing about the connection and overlap between ADHD and trauma makes all the difference in assessing and treating ADHD and trauma. If your child has an ADHD diagnoses, takes meds, but something just doesn’t feel right and they are not responding to the meds, listen to your gut. Although ADHD and trauma may both be playing a part in your child’s life, a customized approach is the key to helping them live their best lives.
Our 8-year-old adopted daughter is doing a terrible job of following directions and staying on task at school. Her pediatrician is convinced it must be ADHD and wants to put her on meds for that, but I am concerned because what if that’s not the problem. We adopted her when she was 2 and she unfortunately did experience physical abuse and severe neglect before she came to live with us. I have heard that trauma can look like ADHD, and I want to make sure this is what’s going on before we give her any medicine. Please advise.
The city: Rogers, Arkansas. Ever heard of it? I can’t say I would have been able to even tell you where Arkansas was on a map in 2009! (Rogers/Bentonville is in Northwest Arkansas – the home of Walmart.)
The People: The Sherr family. We had to relocate temporarily due to my husband’s job.
The Scene: Me panicking about leaving our friends, family, and Jewish community to live in the proverbial “Bible Belt.”
My 12-year-old son is acting strange whenever we talk about returning to school at the end of this month. He used to love school, he had friends, and was an A/B student, who played on the soccer team. He has spent the last 18 months learning through his iPad and has seemed OK. I notice he plays more video games than ever now that summer is here and turns down offers to get together with his friends. But I thought everything was fine. Suddenly, he started asking me if he can go to cyber-school instead of returning to his regular 8th grade classroom. He even said he’s quitting the soccer team. Every time I try to get him to talk to me about what’s going on, he slams the door, pulls the shades, and crawls into his video games. I know Covid is/was rough on us all, but I thought my son would be thrilled to go back to school. Is this because he’s adopted?
Signed, Perplexed Mom
This year’s “Back-To-School” will be unique and different than any other in our lifetime. With the Pandemic waning and vaccines available in the United States, most children will return to in-person school in the Fall. It will not just be about the trip to Target to get notebooks and backpacks and pencils and pens. It will not only be about a trip to the mall to obtain the perfect first day of school outfit. As parents we are faced with the tricky task of emotionally guiding and leading our families back to school after months upon months of isolation.
The event, titled “Striking Out COVID: A Family Celebration,” will take place on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 10:00 am at FNB Field. JFS will use this event to celebrate those first responders who put the needs of others above their own during the Covid crisis and we wanted to let more people know about the important work that JFS did during the Covid crisis and on a day-to-day basis.