Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rabbi Menachem Manis Mandel Atrocities

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Islamic Clerics for Fatwas Authorizing Sexual Abuse of Children One of the ways to make peace in middle east is to stop the child abuse by Jihadists. A real (more)
From: CheckItOutNowNYC
Views: 20,346
Added: 9 months ago
Time: 05:00
Click above link. This is a MUST WATCH. Arab Woman rages against sexual abuse and immorality in the Arab world. Arabic with English Subtitles.

It is children such as these (inset photo is for demonstrative purposes only. It is just an innocent one snapped by a photographer - of Jewish boys leaving school), whom under the reckless abandonment and 'leadership' of Rabbi Manis Mandel, Rabbi Shlomo Mandel, and Rabbi Yakov Mandel, became
acclimated to daily forms of abuse.

Go to http://mishpacha.com/pdfrequest/1/89/16/
if you wish to view the entire YOB/Manis article "a fortress in flatbush".

The Butcher of our children - Shlomo 'crocodile tears' Mandel - pictured here as he was in the 90's - with still some color left in his smelly beard that has since turned white.


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Victims of sex abuse confront a convicted paedophile part1 (18/june/2007) If you are affected by any thing in this show please phone NSPCC: (more)
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Fugitive child molester in custody

  • Story Highlights
  • Horowitz is an ordained Orthodox rabbi and a former child psychologist
  • He was escorted aboard the U.S.-bound flight by a U.S. agent, authorities say
  • Horowitz was subject of investigations in U.S., Israel; had multiple convictions
  • Next Article in U.S. »

Rabbi and Child Psychiatrist

Convicted child molester being returned

By KENNETH C. CROWE II, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
A convicted child molester who skipped out on his parole last year will arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday morning under armed escort from India where he was arrested in May, a state Division of Parole spokeswoman said Saturday.

Alan Horowitz, 60, will be extradited from New Jersey under a New York arrest warrant issued after he ducked out of the U.S. after meeting with his parole officer on June 7, 2006.

"We're getting him back," said Carole Weaver, the division spokeswoman.

Horowitz was out on parole for his 1991 conviction for first-degree sodomy after he pleaded guilty to an incident involving a 9-year-old boy.

Horowitz, a former adolescent psychiatrist, served more than 13 years of his 10-to-20-year sentence before he was released on parole in 2004. He was in contact with state officials, saying he was living in an apartment complex in Israel. He said he would never return to the U.S. He then fled to India where he was arrested. U.S. marshals are escorting him back from India.

Horowitz will appear in a New Jersey court the week of July 16 for an extradition hearing, Weaver said.

He'll then head to Schenectady County, Weaver said, where he will face charges for parole violation. His original sentence for the sodomy conviction runs through June 28, 2011.


The best informative data regarding sexual abuse and misconduct in the Jewish population is:


© (2003, Revised 2006) The Awareness Center, Inc.

The Awareness Center has been contacted by family members and friends of some of the individuals on our web page titled "Clergy Abuse: Rabbis, Cantors, and Other Trusted Officials"

To help clarify our intentions and policies regarding listing individuals' names on our site, we decided it is best to make our intentions and policies public.

The purpose of the information provided on our website is to educate our community on issues pertaining to sexual violence in Jewish communities on an international level. The Awareness Center is a victim advocacy organization. One of the goals of The Awareness Center is to prevent anyone else from being sexually victimized (sexually abused, sexually assaulted, rabbinical sexual misconduct, sexual harassment).

Please note, the only individuals who are listed on our site, are ones who'd had allegations made against them which were then published in reputable newspapers, have transcripts from televisions shows where the case(s) have been discussed, have police records and/or we have court documentation regarding the case, or at least two executive board members have felt we had significant information regarding.

We are well aware that unfortunately, there are many other cases in which there is NO paper trail to be found, cases that were not brought to law enforcement's attention, and where no news media group wrote an article referring to the case. Although our intention is first and foremost to help raise awareness to cases of abuse and minimize re-victimization, we cannot post names of alleged persons without similar documentation.

The Awareness Center encourages everyone to make hot-line report, if and when you suspect a child is at risk of harm.

If you or a family member has been victimized, immediately go to your local emergency room. That is one resource that is usually trained in collecting the forenic evidence needed. Your emergency room is mandated by law to call the police and child protective services.

The Awareness Center encourages individuals who have been victimized and family members to make police reports, follow through with pressing criminal charges, and to testify when requested. If you or anyone you know is being threatened or harassed by an alleged offender, or someone who represents him/her, it is critical that you notify your local police department. You may also want to contact your local rape crisis center for both counseling and legal help (especially if there is any form of witness tampering).

Some of the common threats include prohibiting the child victim and their siblings from being allowed in any Yeshiva (Jewish School), or that rumors would be spread about them to make sure that they not find a spouse when they come of age. Unfortunately, this is a heartbreaking reality. Remember, witness tampering is also a crime that needs to be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The Awareness Center encourages offenders (emotional, physical and sexual abuse) to seek treatment and make amends with those they hurt.

The Awareness Center adopted the following policy.

If an alleged or convicted offender complies with all the following, our board of directors will meet to discuss removing the name from our page:

  1. After the offender or alleged offender can demonstrate that he/she has apologized directly to the victim(s), and the survivors feel that the apology was sincere.

  2. After the offender has made a public statement acknowledging his/her relevant behavior.

  3. After the offender has entered treatment with a licensed psychotherapist who meets our criteria of someone specializing in sex offender treatment, and can present a certified letter from this therapist stating that "the individual is no longer a threat to those he or she preyed upon.

  4. After the offender has paid restitution to the survivor(s) for the pain and suffering they have endured and also pays for counseling for his/her victim(s).

  5. The offender agrees to sign a written statement stating they will not work (paid or volunteer) for any agency, organization or institution that has any connections with children, or what ever population the offender has victimize.

If an individual listed on The Awareness Center's web page believes they have been falsely accused and wishes to be removed from The Awareness Center's web page:

  1. The alleged offender will need to be evaluated by a licensed mental health provider (at their own expense) who meets our criteria of someone who specializing in sex offender treatment.

  2. The alleged offender will need to sign a release of information form so that the licensed mental health professional can discuss the case with us.

  3. The licensed mental health professional will need to send us a certified letter stating "the individual does not fit the criteria of someone who is a sex offender or fits the criteria of an individual with a sex addiction".

Interesting Statistic:

The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of who do not report the offence. Source: National Institute of Mental Health, 1988.


"We cannot learn without pain."
Aristotle, Greek philosopher

"It is reasonable that everyone who asks justice should do justice."
Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father and third U.S. president( 1743-1826), letter to George Hammond, 1792

"Rise above principle and do what is right."
Walter Heller, American economist (1915-1987)

"The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one, and to give every man his due."
Justinian I, Byzantine emperor (483-565)


Statement on Sexual Abuse of Children

By Rabbi Zev. M. Shandalov

May 22, 2006

Over the past few days, there have been a number of items that have been printed in the mainstream press and in the "Jewish" press regarding stories of sexual abuse of children and alleged cover-up of said abuse and the perpetrators. The purpose of this email is to address this situation.

Abuse: I am not going to discuss any of the allegations in the articles or those that are floating around on the Internet. I do wish though to comment in general terms.

ANY abuse perpetrated against a child no matter how "minor" or seemingly "insignificant" can be damaging for life for the child; is illegal; is assur (prohibited by Torah law) and can potentially be actionable in a court of law. In addition, anyone seeking to protect the abuser, including but not limited to rabbis, professionals, community leaders, institutions, etc. are themselves culpable in the crimes that the alleged perpetrator commits after discovering the crimes and seeking to cover them up. The covering up of such offenses not only is in itself a Chillul Hashem (a profanation of the name of Hashem) but also adds to the abuse of the victims after the fact. Delivering information to the police in order to remove the offender from the streets and to protect further abuse is a Mitzva incumbent upon all who have knowledge of abuse. Additionally, the Mitzvah of "Al ta'amod al dam re'acha" (One may not stand idly by while another is being injured) is found in the Torah to make it everyone's responsibility to help another in jeopardy.


Rabbi Zev M. Shandalov

Congregation Kehilath Jacob Beth Samuel (KJBS)

Chicago, IL


Rabbi Manis Mandel, The spiritual leader, founder, Menahel for Yeshiva Of Brooklyn until his death not too long ago, is just as much guilty and responsible for his disgusting role in slaughtering many Jewish lives and souls; as are his sons (Shlomo and Yaakov Mandel), Agudas Yisroel Of America, Torah Umesora, Vaad Haganovim, OU-NCSY, Kehila Tarfus, David Mandel CEO Ohel, Yisroel P. Gornish (Kashrus maven), Yehuda Kolko, Lipa Margulis, Yisroel Belsky, Novenminsker Rov, Ger Rebbe, A.M. Lazerowitz, Shmuel Kaminetzky, Matt Solomon, Yehuda Nussbaum, Stefan Colmer, Lazer Ginsburg, Avrom Mondrowitz, Baruch Lanner, Alan Horowitz, Avi Shafran, Moshe Heinemann, Lewis Brenner, Mordy Tendler ((Originally known as the case of the unnamed "Well Known Rabbi"), Michelle Tendler (Mordy Tendler's wife), Aron Boruch Tendler, Ben Zion Sobel, Mordechai Gafni, Ephraim Bryks, Matis Weinberg, Moshe Eisemann, Eliezer Eisgrau, Yaakov Hopfer, Efrayim Wachsman, Aaron Twerski (dean of the Hofstra University) - and the many other despicable cowards of society not listed here; who have contributed and aided to the downfall of Klal Yisroel.

Yes, I’m talking about every putz out there that thinks for themselves only. The real cheap and stingy creeps. The ones that run the illegal“government food programs”. The ones that rip off parents with large sum tuition balances that wipe their pockets sparkling clean and then showing not much in return for the child’s education and psyche.

I speak of every slouch and leech out there, that shuckle three times a day during prayer, and right afterwards resume back to their despicable acts of covering for, harboring, and shielding the murderers and abusers of Jewish men, women, and children.

I am referring to the ones who can afford to make lavish dinners and affairs to broaden their image in kiruv work, and have gevirim/laymen pad their bank accounts for the worthy cause; yet they do not find the time, or shall I say “do not seem to have the sufficient funds” to give their employees a paycheck on TIME (meaning anywhere from generally 3 days to 4 weeks late in one case, and in another case a Rabbi who will be named later, who seven to ten years later has still not paid his many employees who worked for him. They find out later; he stiffs everybody he possibly can, for the sake of Kiruv of course. Teachers must sacrifice and work for free if the Yeshiva/organization/institution has no money, right? (so it’s not really stealing you see).

Getting paid late and never on time was a sure thing. How late is the guessing game employees need to juggle with. Weather it be 3,5,7 days or more, varies all the time, depending on the mood of a particular kiruv administration, but also pertaining to many of the yeshivas that exist today. So much for that Verse which forbids one to withhold wages from their employees for not even a second longer than the end of that working day. Throw that page out the window you fake, phonies, and frauds with your borsalinos and hambergs. G-D forbid you should do the right thing.

An artificial outside with a rotted inside, doesn't exactly get you a free pass to Gan-Eden. The Yated can snap as many pictures as they care for with you guys dancing at weddings and promoting child/kiruv programs, it's still not going to change the fact that your silence and utter disregard for human life will be a stain upon you for eternity. There's bleach to remove the tough stains, and then there is hell with bleach to remove even the tougher stains. You shmuck rabbi leaders have earned the latter.

When using your gartels next time - why don’t you do us all a favor and hang yourself from it by the neck. In case you are not a holy gartel wearer, consider alternative suicide options.

In our times, where employees generally have a pre-determined time to get paid such as daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or Monthly, an employer is forbidden to pay his employees EVEN A SECOND LATER THAN WHAT WAS AGREED UPON. The Torah talks about great consequences for violating this law. Kal Vechomer how much worse it is to withhold wages from an employee with the intentions of never paying them.

The madness continues with this "Rosh Yeshiva”,who would rather be the control freak, the one who chases honor, the one who places emphasis that the word “shlita” be printed after his name 10 times in 2 paragraphs; just to remind everybody who G-D really is in his eyes, in case Alzheimer's strikes you and you forget; - than have to actually live up to and perform his duty and obligation of bringing children and adults closer to their faith. The opposite effect is occuring and re-occurring like a wash machines cycle, over and over again, unfortunately.

Many are leaving yiddeshkeit precisely because they feel burned and ridiculed by this rosh yeshiva and his equally ineffective and menuveldica administration. It's all business oriented, there is no love for the students in this school. There is no positive outlook for the student, other then to remain very strong and believe in themselves. In reality though, not too many will make it out of that institution unscathed. A book can be written about it, but I'm afraid for now I cannot go into any more details. There is a time and place for everything.

This Rosh Yeshiv and his cronies will make sure to extinguish any hope or possibility that students leaving from his “Kiruv oriented school” will want to remain religious after leaving or graduating from there. The student attendee, will tomorrow either want to commit suicide; or become a “total gentile convert”, or a combination of both - all because a so called powerful rosh yeshiva puts his own ego and power over the best interests of the children that he constantly demands total perfection from.

Remember this fellow Yidden; The ones who stink up the bathroom the most and make sure that the Asher Yotzar is said with proper kavana; and right afterwards proceed to try and sweep all their crimes and sins under the rug; are the ones who produce the least, and lie the most.

When polluting the sheep they supposedly claim to herd; I’m speaking of the numb-brain syndrome that has infested itself unto all these phoney Rabbi’s that would rather have our children suffer and be killed - than to heaven forbid admit to any wrongdoing on their part. In essence; these donkey-weasel rabonim and gedolim, are saying that JEWS ARE PERFECT. NO WAY; A JEW CAN EVER SIN. AND IF A JEW DID CHAS VECHALILA COMMIT THE SIN OF SINNING, HE MUST HAVE RECEIVED A HETER FROM THE GREAT POSEK YISROEL BELSKY. AND IF A JEW DID HAPPEN TO MOLEST SOME YOUNG BOYS, HE MUST HAVE RECEIVED A DIRECT HETER FROM THE HOLY TZISIS; HARAV PINCHUS SCHINBERG. AND EVEN IF A JEW DID HAPPEN TO MOLEST BOYS FOR OVER 40 BRUTAL YEARS, YOU MUST GIVE THAT JEW THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, UNDER THE RAV BALKANY ‘CHESKAS KASHRUS” HETER OF COURSE, WHERE YOU BELIEVE NOT THE 90% THAT SAYS THIS JEW MOLESTED, RATHER YOU MUST BELIEVE THE 10% THAT SAYS THIS JEW DID NOT MOLEST.




THEREFOR; PERFECT JEW = NO SINS. Wow! Really smart thinking by these donkeys; don’t you think? It’s Perfect. Molest, Molest, Molest, Molest = Perfect Jew. Because Jewish people don’t molest; get it? I don’t get it either, you got company. I’m just rambling. whew! Way over my head. Let’s get back to Manis. The Perfect Manis that is, shall we?

You ask WHY THE HOLY MANIS MANDEL?????? Why him? What did he do wrong???

Do not be fooled by old men with white beards and easy smiles. I repeat. Do not be fooled by these attributes that tend to portray a false outwardly appearance. (Big story coming out real soon about another old man with a white beard and a nice smile)

1) The main reason this blog/forum was even started in the first place, was to counteract the REFUSALS and DENIALS of MANIS MANDEL who it was requested from to at the very minimum - investigate, take action and remove a longtime 5th grade Rebbe (Yehuda Nussbaum), who was long accused by several victims and their parents of sexually, physically (bare hands and a thick wooden ruler), mentally, and emotionally abusing them.

Did Manis Mandel take any of the above measures and precautions to ensure that his bread and butter; the students, were in a safe environment and properly looked after??? NO, NO, and NO!

Instead Manis accused the accusers of being DREAMERS, LIARS, HAVING READ TO MANY FANTASY BOOKS, AND WATCHING TOO MUCH TELEVISION. According to Manis, the many accusations against Shatnez Checker and Molester Nussbaum did not necessitate or behoove an investigation.

Instead, Manis chose the infamous route as so many other clueless rabonim have chosen. He chose to deny. He attempted to portray and paint the victims as having “problems”. He chose to IGNORE the accusations hoping they would just disappear on their own. He sought to intimidate the victims and their parents. Manis LIED to parents that the problem was taken care of, WHEN IN FACT IT WAS THE FURTHEST THING FROM THE TRUTH. When one of the Parents wouldn’t fall for Manis’s bag of tricks, he resorted to THREATS. Manis instructed his Monsters; Shlomo Mandel and Yakov Mandel, to do all that’s necessary in making the big embarrassment for YOB to go away.




MANIS MANDEL refused to recognize the severity of the situation. He was required by Jewish and secular law to investigate at the very least, which he failed to do. He had a moral obligation to remove a dangerous obstacle to children and for our future generations.

Lo samod al dam reeicha, one of many transgressions Manis and his monsters are guilty of. Manis Mandel and his sons made a bad and costly decision. They put on a poker face and hoped that even though they would allow boys at YOB (Under their care and responsibility) to be sexually groped and physically abused by their Employee Rebbe, Yehuda Nussbaum, that ultimately parents and other victims would just learn to keep their big mouths shut. For the betterment of Klal Yisroel, and for the future of their Yeshiva, they reasoned. BIG BIG BIG MISTAKES HAVE OCCURRED. MISTAKES THAT HAVE LEFT THE MANY VICTIMS FLUSTERED AND HURTING TO THIS VERY DAY.


Rabbi Arem takes over Manis’s position in the girls division, while Rabbi Yonason Rosenbaum becomes new Menahel of the elementary boys division (origianally; Jack Mandels job) (there is no mesivta that ever made it, thanks to Hashem, most people reaching this age know it’s time to leave the YOB hell hole)



I always wondered why many good people suffer and often times niftar before their time, at an early age, while many bad people have merited longevity - living to a ripe old age.

In Parshas Chukas, Moshe Rabeinu and Klal Yisroel defeat the once very mighty and feared Kings of Moav and Bashan.

King of Bashan, Og, was 500 years old, when Moshe Rabeinu at a young age of 120 struck him at his knees with a stick, toppling and killing the fierce giant. Og melech aboshon, anticipating a war with the Jewish people, picked up a mountain intending to kill the chosen people all at once by dropping the mountain on them. Little tiny ants that people take for granted came to the rescue, by gnawing and ripping a hole right through the center of the mountain thereby pinning Og on all sides. All the steroids in the world could not have helped Og lift the mountain off himself, because Hashem made Og’s teeth grow extra long in all directions, acting as the screws holding the foundation (mountain) in place. Big, ferocious, and mighty Og, was a standing duck for Moshe Rabeinu. His doom was spelled.

Why do I bring up Og? Why now? Because Og, a giant of evil lived such a long time. He was a Rasha that outlived a Tzadik in Moshe Rabeinu. In fact Og Melech aboshon survived the big flood with Noach and the teiva. Couldn’t have G-d killed Og then during the big mabul?

There are many reasons why Hashem kept Og alive, but none of the reasons were exactly because of Og’s righteousness. One reason was for Og to live long enough to be killed by Avrohm Avinu’s descendants whom from Og had plotted to steal their inheritance.

Og was present at Yitzchok’s Bris Mila, which lends the question, why did he not kill Yitzchok right there and then? Again, Og miscalculated that such an old father (avrahm) could not logically have an infant that would survive. Og boasted that his one finger could have finished off Yitzchok the fragile baby, but would instead allow nature to kill Yitzcohk the frail and tiny boy who probably had not a big chance of survival anyway.

Mida Kenegd Mida was evident in the slaying of Og. When Og informed Avrohm that his nephew Lot was captured, it was for selfish reasons. Og figured Avrom would wage war to free Lot and in the process be killed in battle, while he would then be free to take Sara as his wife and inherit all of Avrom avinu’s possessions.

So back to the original question of why good people die early and bad people die late, the answer can be obvious, as in the case of Og.

Conversely, Righteous people die early many times; because in their short life span they achieved greatness that requires them to join the angels up above before their time, so to speak. However, most times we DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER. All we know for certain is this: Hashem works in masterful ways.

2) Rabbi Manis Mandel again displayed his undeservedness for his title by refusing to investigate another occurrence of child abuse, this time in Yehivah of Brooklyn’s Girls Division.

A female teacher employee had a unique punishment she would hand out to young girls who misbehaved. They would be sent to the “Cold Room” to freeze their little behinds off. The “cold room” was an open porch outside, and an adjacent room next to it, where students that were “bad” had to remain for many hours and sometimes the whole entire day.

Told by her daughter that her lousy teacher punishes her and other students in this way, the brave mother decided to stake out the school during session to see for herself, with HER OWN EYES. Sure enough, she sees a girl (not her daughter) looking sad and lonely standing by the “cold room”. When she approached and asked the young girl why she was there, the child reiterated what her own daughter had previously related to her. It was for being bad. It was for punishment.

Irate, angry, and exasperated by this cruelty, the mother confronts the teacher inside the YOB premises. The teacher at a loss for words, and stammering, lashes out at the mother by stating “this is not even your daughter so what do you care” response. When told that her daughter had in fact been subjected to the same cruel treatment and that as a matter of fact she also cares about ALL the other students who had to also endure the cold treatment, the teacher became very defensive, unresponsive, unrepentant, and unhelpful.

The Mother next brings forth her complaints to Rabbi Manis Mandel. As he did with the sexual molestation accusations, Manis again refused to do anything to even remotely address the concerns for the safety and well being of her own daughter and that of her classmates.

Manis Mandel became obnoxious, arrogant, and delusional. It was not YOB’s problem or wrongdoing, it’s her issues. It’s your fault and just a fragment of your wild imagination, the defensive Manis barked at her. He refused to even acknowledge that there was any problem. Instead he accused this mother of making things up, and lying about what happened. Manis defended the integrity of this teacher as being an outstanding character. In the end the mother left feeling helpless, brokenhearted, and with tears streaming down her face.

The people sworn to protect her daughter and others daughters; were blatantly reckless in their duty. How? How can it be? Rabbi Manis Mandel, a saintly old man who people refer to as a “tzadik” she wondered. How did people come to that assessment when he just now laughed and scorned her like he did. If this is a Tzadik, she countered then I’m going to have a hard time trusting any Rabonim anymore.

Flustered but determined, this Mother sought the advice of a BIG renowned Rov at the encouragement of some of her friends. After relating the chain of events leading to why she was there, the Rov was perturbed by what he was hearing. He said to this mother: I want you to go back to Manis Mandel and tell him USING MY NAME, that he must get rid of this teacher. Tell him that there is NO EXCUSE for such maltreatment of children.

Heeding the advice of this Rov, she confronts Manis Mandel. This is the SECOND TIME she is bringing her concerns to Manis, only this time Manis said the most shocking and hurtful things you can possibly say to any divorced person. There is a reason you are divorced, Manis Mandel reprimands her. You’re divorced because you’re always causing everybody problems. You’re making stories up. You’re just no good. Get out of my school.









As this lady who confronted Manis TWICE told me recently:

You see the palm of my hand? You can fit all the gedolei yisroel in it and still have plenty of room left over. You know something, she has a very valid point. It is a perfect assessment of where Rabonnim and Jews have slipped and dropped to in our dark era and times, and it ain’t pretty!

Note: In order to protect the privacy of the victims, I have not written their names, nor do I mention the name of the Rov the lady had seen. For some who know about the chain of events and how they occurred, it is rather easy to know who and what I’m taking about; and yes that includes Yeshiva of Brooklyn, who found it necessary to threaten me even though I did not give out any of the victims names, yet somehow they knew exactly whom one of the victims was, only bolstering my credibility and that of the victims in the process . Such cowards I tell you.

Months later YOB seeks to negotiate with me and the victims by contacting a certain chicken Rov they mistakenly figured would convince me to shut down my blog because of the mass bad publicity it was causing them. Little did they know, a weasel will always be a weasel. They once again miscalculated. This Rov (not the same Rov the lady went to see about Manis) greatly and grossly underestimated me. See below a copy of what was posted on UOJ’s site last February, and what was posted on this blog in the summer of 2006.

My main question to YOB and this Rov they contacted to contact me is this:



If you were/are a victim of abuse or know someone that is/was, and you want immediate assistance and/or guidance, feel free to email me at:


All interactions will be kept fully confidential.



February, 2007, posted on the UOJ Blog by Exposemolesters

There is a ROV who I once respected very much. YOB had contacted this ROV and pleaded with him to convince me to remain silent about YOB sins, and also that I should shut down my blog. I refused to acknowledge this Rov, other than telling him that YOB must fire Nussbaum at once, no questions asked. There were more conditions, but that was one of the main ones.

So what this Rov do? He bribes me like I'm some naive moron. Calls me up before Shabbos shortly after we made initial contact, wanting to drop off a nice bottle of Bourbon whiskey. We chit chat, even have a l'ecahim, and then get down to business. He PROMISES that Nussbaum will be fired, and also promises to meet ALL of the other conditions involved. This Rov promised that Nussbaum would be gone within a couple of days. A couple of days turned into many weeks. There was Stalling, and excuses, and more stalling and more excuses by the ROV and YOB. The deadline I set for the end of July 2006 came and went with still no real issues being resolved. During that period of time I was very QUIET on my blog, waiting to see what will happen next.

The excuses were, Shlomo Mandel is in Eretz Yisroel - we have to wait until he comes back. Another one was "the lawyers from YOB will not allow a written apology (or even an oral one as I later found out) because that is called ADMISSION to guilt. The excuses kept piling up like a ton of bricks. People will find out and it will be an even bigger chilul hashem than what it is now. And what about a shidduch for Nussbaums Children etc. They were very scared of the BLOG though, asking me many times if I will shut it down if they met my conditions. Another excuse was, how can YOB believe there were victims if you don't give us names. Stupid me, I relented and gave two names, one of which they were quite aware of already going back to the early 1990's. So what happens next? This Rov and YOB totally breach moral standards and confidentiality (no surprise there) by going behind my back (thinking I wouldn't find out about it) and having a third party contact the second victim's name that I had given them. The 3rd party arranges for another Rov to talk to this victim and attempt to fish out information about the alleged abuse.

It is precisely at this point in time, that I totally and unequivocally ceased from any further negotiations with YOB. This Rov who YOB thought would be able to silent me, is now an ex-Rov in my book. I lost TOTAL respect for him. I had a very hard time trusting in Rabbi's anyway, and I only negotiated in good faith because supposedly this was a Rov that I knew and I could trust. This was a Rov who KNEW about sexual molestation and abuse against a 5th grader dating back to the 90's. He even admitted that he felt bad all these years that he was not able to do anything about it then. He admitted to me in very BOLD terms that he believes very much that Victim # 1 was indeed molested by Nussbaum and that is why he decided to be as a go-between to YOB. This was a big opportunity for this Rov to finally get it right, to finally salvage what he failed to do previously, and he flunked with flying colors. He is a fake and a disgrace not only in my eyes, but especially to the victims he let down.

Okay; now that I got that out of the way let's continue. WHO IS THIS ROV? I will not name him, however I'll give you a little hint. He is a cousin of another disgraced Rabbi, none other than LIPA MARGULIS. How do I know?

Well, I found this out during our meetings and phone conversations. The topic of Kolko and YTT came up in the discussion and guess what? This Rov DEFENDED lippy and YTT. He said Margulis is my cousin you know (as if because of that merit I should believe his stupidity). And YTT is an esteemed Yeshiva who some former students just have a vendetta against. Kolko never did these things that they say he did, it's made-up nonsense, he went on to say. When we spoke about Ger and Lazarowits, he went on to repeat the same shtusim that these are former disgruntled bochorim. The more I spoke with him, the more I realized that HE WILL NEVER GET IT and that he talks out of both sides of his mouth. The problem is that this is just one case of corruption. There are SO many more, and that is very scary to me.

In closing I do want to heap some praise on this Rov I just finished trashing. He does a lot of chesed. He helps out many worthy causes. I think he is a well meaning man and has a lot of good qualities about him. Yet, this is what BUGS THE HELL OUT OF ME. How can such a well intentioned individual turn his back on YIDDEN who need his help. How can he ignore evidence that points to children being molested and not equate it Pikuach Nefeshos? I'm sure this Rov would dial Hatzoloh in a heartbeat on Shabbos if he saw another Jew having a heart attack, so why is children being molested any different in his mind than someone who is in danger of dying on shabbos from a a stroke or heart attack? Any answers? Is it that Chilul Hashem is more important than saving a child? Could it be that reputations and careers will very much be at stake for those who swept the abuse under the carpet all these years? Is it because Shlomo Mandel, Yaakov Mandel, and Manis Mandel's crimes will become exposed to the public for all to see and scorn upon? Could it be that many more names of individuals who should have helped but decided to remain silent, will also suffer from negative publicity? All the Kovod, Pride, and admiration for these Rabonim who are really Reshoim will vanish very soon, when the Klal gets to see the ARAFAT's STALIN's and SADDAMS, that they really are.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Very Important Update on YOB/Nussbaum

Dear fellow friends,

I have been SILENT the past couple of months, i will remain quiet no longer. All of you that have been following my BLOG, and those that care for the safety and welfare of our children, will now get to see some form of justice for a 5th grade "RUBBY" who preyed on children, and those who aided and harbored the predator all these years. The reason i have been so QUIET all this time, is because, i have been in the midst of negotiations with the many victims of Yehuda Nussbaum, and YOB, who used intimidation and denial in their quest to bully and coverup these accusations of both sexual and physical abuse of boys all these years. I did NOT have to remain quiet, but i figured that I'll be nice and give YOB a chance to do the RIGHT thing, rather than what they have been doing, which has been acting scared and stupid, during this whole process. I have been EXTREMELY patient during these ongoing negotiations, perhaps even too patient, and too fair, and too nice. I set an August 1 deadline, for Yeshivah Of Brooklyn to respond by getting rid of Nussbaum, or face the consequences. So far they have still not done so, much to my disbelief and dismay. Although we have been communicating through a third party (a Rov), and I'm trying my hardest to help YOB save face (and a lot of money), by reaching a VERY fair deal for them, i am now starting to lose my patience. The grace period following that of August 1, that I was so kind to give to YOB,has now run out. I am recommending in the HIGHEST form possible, that YOB accept this very generous deal now, or face the alternatives. I am not going to continue negotiations, until ALL our terms are met. As part of negotiations, i bended over forwards and backwards, and did everything humanly possible to achieve our goals, both for the victims and the victimizers, in a most quiet and mentlichidika way, assuming YOB met our very fair conditions as part of the agreement. However, YOB has flinched at a very important aspect of our demands. We want an apology from Yehuda Nussbaum, and YOB, with Yakov (Jack) Mandel, and Shlomo Mandel's signatures on it.

At First, we asked for a public apology to be made in two Jewish newspapers of their choice. What do you think their reaction was, can you guess it? This was their reaction. We can't do that, it will be a great Chilul Hashem, and it will be a very big embarrassment for YOB and Nussbaum. How will Nussbaum's children ever get a shidduch? Also, we cannot apologize, YOB said, because our lawyers won't let us make an admission of guilt, because it opens us up the door for a lawsuit in the future for

other victims of abuse. So what did i do? I improvised, and allowed YOB and Nussbaum to make a PRIVATE written apology. I even offered to sign a release form that will state that we will not pursue further action, even though there is an admission of guilt.

That too, they balked on, worrying that victims can use that as ammunition in the future, against YOB/Nussbaum. Therefore, I am at wits end, and I will not continue negotiating with a side that is scared, and that is trying to get off easy with a slap on the wrist. That is NOT going to happen. Without an apology, there will be nothing to talk about, and I have now given the green light for my lawyers to begin the process of a lawsuit against YOB/Nussbaum, something that I have put on hold until now.

DO NOT underestimate us YOB, we are willing and ready for a war. I promise that the process will be much more embarrassing, dirtier and hurtful to you, than you ever could have imagined. The chillul Hasehm will unfortunate be much greater than it is now. If you are scared of bad publicity, just think how much greater it will be than it is currently. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I promise that after we win very BIG in court, you will be financially drained, and your Yeshiva and the crimes that were committed there will be out in the open for the whole public to witness. All your assets will be frozen and turned over to the victims. At least then, there will be some form of justice. Obviously, these young men are scarred for life, and can never have their innocence returned back to them, so in that respect, they will never have justice.

The generous deal I had in place, was to have Yehuda Nussbaum, fired immediately by YOB, and for him to never be in chinuch or work with children or be in close proximity to them ever again. At First YOB wanted to go to R' Dovid Choen to hear the accusations and make a decision on YOB/Nussbaum's guilt. However. we flat out refused to accommodate that idea, due to many factors, most notably, that the "Rabbi" rout has already been tried and exhausted before, and produced NOTHING. We, also did not want this process to drag out any longer than it already has. Baruch Hashem, YOB got wise, and after much pressure agreed to dismissing Yehuda Nussbaum, which of course is a big accomplishment, and in itself an admission, and we are gratified in that respect. However, as part of the healing process for the victims of the sexual and physical abuse encountered during their school days at YOB, there MUST be an apology period. Like i said, we had wanted a public apology for the victims, but we improvised for a private one, in order to avoid even more of a Chilul Hashem and embarrassment for YOB and Nussbaum. If that does not happen, then I say, see you in court YOB.

In my negotiations, I made it clear to the 3rd party and YOB, that considering the alternatives, they should be quite happy with our very fair list of demands. I specified that YOB should look at this as if it were a plea bargain in a criminal proceeding. To have this opportunity of demonstrating, that it is FINALLY ready to correct mistakes of the past, should be something YOB should be very grateful for. On the contrary of being scared of what public opinion may say or do, like they have been, YOB has a golden opportunity, to demonstrate to other Yeshiva's, that they too must follow course, and address the issue of child abuse, weather it be in the form of sexual, or physical. It will also help bring healing, and closure, to many of the victims who have been suffering, and those who continue to suffer, as a result of being abused as a child. Therefore, although it will be very embarrassing for YOB/Nussbaum, to make a public apology, and to ACTUALLY admit to their crimes, while also asking Mechilla from their victims, they have chosen the scare(dy) cat approach, where-as, what if some other victims will want to sue us because of our admissions, they theorize. In taking that approach, it actually shows, that YOB is more interested in covering their asses (pardon the french), than apologizing to the victims, and taking the lead in demonstrating that it really has done Tshuva, and that it really does care about the welfare of children that have been traumatized for life, and that it really does regret not taking these allegations seriously, when brought to their attention, almost 2 decades ago. Yet, they shy and get scared of doing the correct thing, the proper thing, which is to set an example, that Child Molesters will not be tolerated in schools, and that if there are allegations of sexual/physical abuse, then they must be taken and dealt with seriously. Think about how much more respect YOB can get from people, had they went about it, in that fashion, instead of being in denial and constantly fearing the unknown. Admit to what is known. Admit to the truth. Will YOB have the courage to do that? So far they have not, and time has practically run out on them. This bad press and publicity, is about to get much more damaging, and much more painful, for YOB and Yehuda Nussbaum. Keep checking back here for latest developments.

Think about how much greater the chilul hashem will be, if YOB was put on trial in a secular court, and all the victims will be testifying, and all the cards will be laid out on the table for the whole public to witness. How many times greater, will the bad publicity get for YOB, Yehuda Nussbaum, Yakov "Jack" Mandel, Shlomo Mandel, and others who were recklessly negligent with our children?

I even offered YOB, to shut down this site for good, assuming they kept their end of the bargain, that was to be reached between YOB/Nussbaum, and their victims. I also went out of my way, and volunteered as part of the agreement reached, that i would be willing to talk to any other potential victims that may arise in the future, to try and discourage them from seeking criminal and/or civil action against YOB/Nussbaum, and that I would do everything in my power to try and dissuade these victims by reassuring them that thank G-D, Nussbaum will no longer be around children. No longer will he be working in chinuch, no longer will he be able to physically and sexually abuse children. I could point out those positives and could probably talk them into accepting that some form of justice was obtained. Of course though, the victims are at the end of the day free to do as they wish. Should they choose to sue YOB/Nussbaum, then that is their prerogative and their choice to make. They are after all the ones who continue to suffer and have suffered al these years.

However, all that, is not going to happen, because so far, we have no deal or agreement in place, and therefore, we will continue this Blog, and we will continue to proceed with preparations for a lawsuit/trial. YOB, also did not want me to PUBLICIZE the agreement, of course, the reason again being that of fearing bad publicity and embarrassments. I'm sorry, but that is tough luck YOB. The nature of the circumstances, will not allow this to simply disappear, and the public have a right to know about an agreement that will ultimately, benefit the community at large, and the victims in particular. Take as it is, there will 100% be bad publicity. How bad it will be, depends on if this goes to court or not. Right now, but not for too much longer, YOB has a chance to right what was wronged. They have an opportunity to rise to the occasion, and set a good example, and to help tremendously in the process of saving Jewish lives, no matter how much it will hurt them to do so.

In closing, I want to thank the many good folks out there, who have been a tremendous source of support and inspiration, throughout this painful process. It has not been easy, but it definitely has been very worthwhile. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

first of all i would like to thankyou for bringing this to light.second you waited until R'Manis passed away,third i think you should investigate the relationship between the two brothers before you go futher.

even though yob is a model yeshiva (i knew R'Manis very well and both brothers) you must continue your / our fight, which i commend you for.

i have an older son who went to yob very many years and is now a bal mishpacha with children.i asked him point blank if nussbaum ever touch him. his answer was no.

we did have a problem with an english teacher who beat him up once, it was settled and the teacher fired.

it pains me deeply about yob and not to be compared with torah temimah which is a whole different mind set.

please keep going, push harder. for the sake of my grandchildren's generation.

August 21, 2006

Anonymous said...

Please explain why you have given them so many chances.

August 21, 2006

Posted by exposemolesters; August 2006

What about a shidduch for the victims?

The question was brought up to me, what about Nussbaum's children, how will they ever get shidduch, if people find out what their father did? By that same token of logic, one can also assume that a son of a murderer is also a murderer. And a daughter of a convert should not be qualified as Jewish, because her mother was originally gentile. Makes me wonder, how many Tzadikim the world would see too, because along those lines of logic, one would already know what he/she is. If his father was a Rabbi, automatically he will also be one. If his father is wealthy, he too will be wealthy. If a family member molests little boys, it makes you a molester too, since you belong to that family. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

And these "chachomim" (not), how do they answer the same question when thrown back in their faces? You shameful rabonim who let this child sexual abuse continue and linger, all because you wouldn't chas vesholom want a chilul hashem you claim? You wouldn't want to jeopardies a chilul hashem, so your answer is to allow our children to be victimized, brutalized, and bullied .... day after day, month after month, year after year, all the while knowing or not wanting to know about a Rabbi who molests, and a yeshiva determined to harbor and defend this known sadist and sexual predator. That makes a lot of sense doesn't it, you fake yidden, fake rabbi's. Isn't practicing what you preach, part of judiasim? Unless of course your version of judiasim, conveniently left that part out.

So we're back to that question. What about a shidduch for Nussbaums children? I ask, what about a shidduch for all the lives ruined by Nussbaum and YOB? Any Rabbi ever take that into consideration? Apperently not.

There is a story with Rav Shimon ben Levi, who was Rav and Dayan of a city in the early centuries. One day, a lion ate up a man that lived in that city. Rav Shimon ben Levi was distraught, because he felt guilty for the mans death. On what account? Because as Rav and Dayan of that city he failed this man. He should have made sure that this man wouldn't have committed a sin that ultimately led to his punishment of being eaten by the lion. In not doing so, Rav Shimon ben Levi, was held responsible thus resulting in his getting punished. Rav Shimon ben Levi, who was on such a high spiritual level, that he would have eliyahu hanavie visit with him daily, was punished when the Prophet did not come to him for 3 consecutive days.

So too, in our days. Our rabonim, share in that responsibility, that when the crimes of our schools and trusted rabbis go unpunished, they will have nothing in which they can defend themselves with, at least not to G-D. They so far to a large and embarrassing extent, have made the biggest chilul hashem themselves, by refusing to follow or interpret the torah in the correct fashion. Fakers, oh i say. Black hat, gartel, mikvah drenched fakery with a beard that can't hide the disgrace of a Jew that they are. May hashem have mercy on his children!

Note: (BTW Yudel Nussbaum married off a daughter this year 2007).


26 Tishrei 5761 - October 25, 2000
Large Gathering in Brooklyn Davens for Klal Yisroel's Safety
by Avi Shafran

No one knew whether to expect hundreds or thousands when revered roshei yeshiva, including the members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America, decided on erev Sukkos to call for a Chol Hamoed outdoor atzeres tefilla on behalf of embattled and threatened Jews around the world.

Though the situation in Eretz Yisroel -- and the dozens of antisemitic attacks in Europe and the United States that have accompanied it -- were certainly weighing heavily on Jewish hearts during the days leading up to yom tov, it was far from certain that a large number of Yidden would turn out to join in a communal Mincha and Tehillim recital on the first day of chutz la'aretz's Chol Hamoed. Not only was there precious little time to notify rabbonim and the general public about the gathering, but a host of daunting technical arrangements had to be made -- from arranging police clearance and security, to installing a suitably powerful sound system, to erecting a tent for the rabbinic dignitaries, to coordinating the press.

And yet, Klal Yisroel from throughout the New York area (and from as far away as Lakewood and Baltimore), with logistical assistance from the dedicated staff of Agudath Israel of America, packed Borough Park's 15th Avenue -- from 46th Street until 50th Street, with Jewish men on one side of the street, Jewish women on the other -- numbering, according to police estimates, approximately 10,000 souls.

The first order of the massive afternoon gathering was Mincha, and Rabbi Manis Mandel, the founder and menahel of Yeshiva of Brooklyn, served as shliach tzibbur. Davening was followed by heartfelt recitation of selected Tehillim, posuk by posuk, responsively with the tzibbur.

The Tehillim recitation was led by the Klausenberger Rebbe; Rabbi Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld, the Mattesdorfer Rov; Rabbi Yitzchok Baal-Haness, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community of Shiraz, Iran; Rabbi Simcha Schustal, rosh hayeshiva Yeshiva Bais Binyomin, Stamford, Connecticut; Rabbi Eliezer Eichler, the Boyaner Rov; Rabbi Yekusiel Bittersfeld, rosh hayeshiva Yeshivas Harbotzas Torah- Zichron Schneur; Rabbi Shmelka Leifer, the Chuster Rebbe; and Rabbi Yosef Frankel, the Vyelepoler Rebbe. Each of the participating rabbinic personages was announced by Agudath Israel's Rabbi Avrohom Nisan Perl.

Also present at the asifa were many other leading rabbinic figures, including the Bluzhever Rebbe, the Bobover Rebbe, the Rachamstrivker Rebbe, Rabbi Menashe Klein, Rabbi Aharon Schechter, rosh hayeshiva Yeshivas Rabbi Chaim Berlin and the Novominsker Rebbe, the Rosh Agudath Israel of America.

Oblivious to the staccato beat produced by a police helicopter hovering overhead, the gathering used Dovid Hamelech's words to implore Hakodosh Boruch Hu to protect His people from their enemies and to return His Shechina to their midst. At the conclusion of the Tehillim recitation, the Skulener Rebbe led the large crowd in the kabolas ohl Malchus Shomayim that ends Ne'ila on Yom Kippur. The roar of the assemblage at that point was overwhelming, and will not soon be forgotten by anyone who was fortunate to be present.

Similar gatherings took place on the first day of Chol Hamoed as well, in a number of other American cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee and Worcester, Massachusetts; others took place several days earlier in cities like Baltimore and Sacramento, California; others still were planned for coming days, like in Dallas and Los Angeles.

In New York, it had rained lightly earlier in the day, and the sky remained heavily overcast throughout the proceedings. Not a drop of rain, though, fell upon the crowd, leading Agudath Israel executive vice president Rabbi Shmuel Bloom to note that while rain is usually a siman brocho, it is not at all so during Sukkos.

He went on to voice his fervent hope -- the hope, undoubtedly, of the ten thousand other Jews around him -- that the dry atzeres tefilla would signify acceptance of the tefillos that were offered, and prove to be a harbinger of besuros tovos for all of Klal Yisroel.



Shlomo Mandel of YOB takes the cake - more kids that became not frum because of his fine example of an "upstanding mechanech". His father was a good man, but blind to his son's failings. I saw an old Jewish Observer a few weeks ago on Chinuch, and was shocked to see that this hypocrite wrote an article on "chanoch lana'ar al pi darko" - if there was one thing this jackass did not do, it was try to understand his students. I truly hope he rots in hell for all those he sent "off the derech". I know that I, for one, am not mochel him.

shlomo mandel destroyed a hs & for gds sake FIRED HIS OWN BROTHER!


exposemolesters said...

Dealing With Control Freaks

by Thomas J. Schumacher, Psy.D., R-CSW
More About Thomas...

Most all of you have had to contend with control freaks. These are those people who insist on having their way in all interactions with you. They wish to set the agenda and decide what it is you will do and when you will do it. You know who they are – they have a driving need to run the show and call the shots. Lurking within the fabric of the conversation is the clear threat that if you do not accede to their needs and demands, they will be unhappy.

Certainly, it’s natural to want to be in control of your life. But when you have to be in control of the people around you as well, when you literally can’t rest until you get your way … you have a personality disorder. While it’s not a diagnostic category found in the DSM IV (the therapist’s bible for diagnostic purposes) an exaggerated emphasis on control is part of a cluster of behaviors that can be labeled as compulsive generally characterized by perfectionism, orderliness, workaholic tendencies, an inability to make commitments or to trust others and a fear of having their flaws exposed. Deep down, these people are terrified of being vulnerable. They believe they can protect themselves by staying in control of every aspect of their lives, including their relationships. Control freaks take the need and urge to control to new heights, causing others stress so they can maintain a sense of order. These people are riddled with anxiety, fear, insecurity, and anger. They’re very critical of themselves their lover and their friends, but underneath that perfect outfit and great body is a mountain of unhappiness. Let’s look at what makes control freaks tick, what makes you want to explode, and some ways to deal with them.

The Psychological Dynamics That Fuel a Control Freak

The need to control is almost always fueled by anxiety – though control freaks seldom recognize their fears. At work, they may worry about failure. In relationships, they may worry about not having their needs met. To keep this anxiety from overwhelming them, they try to control the people or things around them. They have a hard time with negotiation and compromise and they can’t stand imperfection. Needless to say, they are difficult to live with, work with and/or socialize with.

Bottom Line: In the process of being controlling, their actions say, “You’re incompetent” and “I can’t trust you.” (this is why you hate them). Remember, the essential need of a control freak is to defend against anxiety. Although it may not be apparent to you when they are making their demands, these individuals are attempting to cope with fairly substantial levels of their own anxiety. The control freak is usually fighting off a deep-seated sense of their own helplessness and impotence. By becoming proficient at trying to control other people, they are warding off their own fear of being out of control and helpless. Controlling is an anxiety management tool.

Unfortunately for you, the control freak has a lot at stake in prevailing. While trying to hold a conversation and engage them in some way, their emotional stakes involve their own identity and sense of well-being. Being in control gives them the temporary illusion and sense of calmness. When they feel they are prevailing, you can just about sense the tension oozing out of them. The control freak is very frightened. Part of their strategy is to induce that fear in you with the subtle or not so subtle threat of loss. Since the emotional stakes are so high for them, they need to assert themselves with you to not feel so helpless. To relinquish control is tantamount to being victimized and overwhelmed. When a control freak cannot control, they go through a series of rapid phases. First they become angry and agitated, then they become panicky and apprehensive, then they become agitated and threatening, and then they lapse into depression and despair.

Repetition Compulsion

Control freaks are also caught in the grip of a repetition compulsion. They repeat the same pattern again and again in their attempt to master their anxiety and cope with the trauma they feel. Characteristically, the repetition compulsion takes on a life of its own. Rather than feel calmer and therefore have a diminished need to be controlling, their behavior locks them into the same pattern in an insatiable way. Successes at controlling do not register on their internal scoreboard. They have to fight off the same threat again and again with increasing rigidity and intransigence.

Two Types of Control Freaks

Type 1 Control Freaks: The Type 1 control freak is strictly attempting to cope with their anxiety in a self absorbed way. They just want to feel better and are not even very aware of you. You will notice and hear their agitation and tentativeness. They usually do not make much eye contact when they are talking to you.

Type 2 Control Freaks: The Type 2 control freak is also trying to manage their anxiety but they are very aware of you as opposed to the Type 1 control freak. The Type 2 needs to diminish you to feel better. Their mood rises as they push you down. They do not just want to prevail; they also need to believe that they have defeated you. They need you to feel helpless so they will not feel helpless. Their belief is that someone must feel helpless in any interchange and they desperately do not want it to be them. The Type 1 needs control. The Type 2 needs to control you.

Some Coping Strategies

1) Stay as calm as you can. Control freaks tend to generate a lot of tension in those around them. Try to maintain a comfortable distance so that you can remain centered while you speak with them. Try to focus on your breathing. As they get more agitated and demanding, just breath slowly and deeply. If you stay calm and focused, this often has the effect of relaxing them as well. If you get agitated you have joined the battle on their terms.

2) Speak very slowly. Again the normal tendency is to gear up and speak rapidly when dealing with a control freak. This will only draw you into the emotional turmoil and you will quickly be personalizing what is occurring.

3) Be very patient. Control freaks need to feel heard. In fact, they do not have that much to say. They have a lot to say if you engage them in a power struggle. If you just listen carefully and ask good questions that indicate that you have heard them, then they will quickly resolve whatever the issue is and calmly move on.

4) Pay attention to your induced reactions. What is this person trying to emotionally induce in you? Notice how you feel when speaking with them. It will give you important clues as to how to deal with them more effectively and appropriately.

5) Initially, let them control the agenda. But you control the pacing. If you stay calm and speak slowly, you will be in command of the pacing of the conversation.

6) Treat them with kindness. Within most control freaks is a good measure of paranoia. They are ready to get angry and defend against what they perceive is a controlling hostile world. If you treat them with respect and kindness, their paranoia cannot take root. You will jam them up.

7) Make demands on them-- especially when dealing with the type 2 control freak. Ask them to send you something or do something for you. By asking something of them, you will be indicating that you are not intimidated or diminished by their behavior patterns.

8) Remember an old but poignant Maxim: “Those who demand the most often give the least.”

Keep in mind that control freaks are not trying to hurt you – they’re trying to protect themselves. Remind yourself that their behavior toward you isn’t personal; the compulsion was there before they met you, and it will be their forever unless they get help. Understand that they are skilled manipulators, artful and intimidating, rehearsed debaters and excellent at distorting reality.

In order to not feel degraded, humiliated and have your sense of self and self worth assaulted, you need to avoid being bulldozed by a controlling lover, boss or friend. When you are caught up in a truly destructive/controlling attachment, the best response may be to walk out. You have to understand that whatever you do will have a limited effect. These people are angry and afraid to let go of you. Hence, it is your job to let go of them, protect yourself in the process… and grow.

exposemolesters said...

Baruch Dayan Emes,

Abraham J. Klausner, 92; rabbi was an advocate for Holocaust survivors
By Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
July 4, 2007

Rabbi Abraham J. Klausner, who brought attention to the plight of Holocaust survivors languishing in concentration camps at the end of World War II and created inventive ways — including publishing a massive list of survivors — to reunite them with their families, died Thursday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M., from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 92.

Klausner was featured in the 1997 Academy Award-winning documentary "The Long Way Home," which tells the story of Holocaust survivors in the chaotic days after the liberation of Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces. In that war-ravaged landscape, still reeling with anti-Semitism, many survivors were seriously ill, had no home to which they could return and no family that could be found, so they remained in concentration camps.

A then 30-year-old Klausner was believed to be the first Jewish chaplain to enter the infamous death camp known as Dachau, northwest of Munich, Germany, after the April 1945 liberation. During his first day there, survivors peppered the U.S. Army officer with questions; they wanted to know if he knew their brother, uncle, cousin.

It was then that Klausner understood his purpose: to reunite families devastated by the Holocaust. In doing so, Klausner brought the survivors liberation of a different sort.

"Are we not, each of us, defined by our relationships … ?" Klausner wrote in his memoir, "A Letter to My Children, From the Edge of the Holocaust."

"Bereft of relationships, reduced to a number tattooed on the arm, they sought to discover through me a thread which would weave them back into a reality they once knew. My first battle with military authorities, though I did not see it as such, was…. to help survivors toward their identity," he wrote.

But with so many people either displaced or dead, Klausner found reuniting families to be an overwhelming task. In July 1945, Klausner, who was based in Munich and traveled to various camps, took it upon himself to create and publish lists of Holocaust survivors in volumes he called Sharit ha-Platah, which means Surviving Remnant. Several volumes, which listed thousands of names, would eventually be printed.

Klausner also helped set up a center at a museum in Munich for survivors trying to resume their pre-war lives. Those who did not find the names of relatives on the lists wrote notes and tacked them to the walls, in the hopes that relatives might visit and find them.

"He was like a father figure to tens of thousands," said Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "He went to all the camps. They asked him to help them."

Inside the camps, Klausner ministered to survivors' spiritual needs. He performed burial rites and Passover seders, and advocated for changes that would restore dignity to their lives. The way to effect change was to let the outside world see what he witnessed daily at the camps, Klausner reasoned.

In detailed reports to U.S. officials and to major Jewish organizations in America, Klausner wrote of the problems: overcrowding, dilapidated buildings, inadequate food, survivors who still wore their tattered concentration camp uniforms because they had nothing else, camps where "items such as soap, toothbrushes, linen, laundry facilities are unknown."

It was he who introduced Earl Harrison, an emissary sent by President Harry S. Truman to investigate the camps, to the "unhappy world of an abandoned people."

Harrison reported to Truman a blistering indictment: "As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them, except that we do not exterminate them. They are in concentration camps in large numbers under our military guard instead of SS troops."

Klausner's efforts brought improvements to the camps. He argued that survivors at the camps with no place to go should be sent — even against their wills — to what would later become the state of Israel. That stance led to his being called a militant Zionist.

"I worked in Germany until the state of Israel was proclaimed," he said in a 1998 article in the Santa Fe New Mexican. "I figured then I was no longer needed."

Born April 27, 1915, in Memphis, Tenn., Klausner was the son of Tillie Binstalk, an Austrian immigrant, and Joseph Klausner, a Hungarian immigrant who owned a dry goods store. Raised in Denver, Colo., Klausner graduated from the University of Denver in 1938 and from Hebrew Union College in 1941. He later earned a doctorate of divinity at Harvard University, and led temples in Boston and in Yonkers, N.Y.

In 1966, Klausner married Judith, who survives him along with their sons Jeremy, of West Orange, N.J.; Amos, of San Rafael, Calif.; and Michael of New Haven, Conn; a daughter, Robin Pressman, of Santa Rosa, Calif.; and two grandchildren, Abigail Bess and Jacob Aaron of West Orange, N.J.

In addition to his memoir, Klausner wrote four books, including "Weddings: A Complete Guide to all Religious and Interfaith Marriage Services," published in 1986. His story is included in "The Fighting Rabbis: Jewish Military Chaplains and American History," by Rabbi Albert Slomovitz.

"His story as an American Army officer and person of faith is a lesson in values, personal integrity and ultimate responsibility for each other," Slomovitz said in a 1998 article in the Pensacola News Journal.


exposemolesters said...

PMO completes Fatah prisoners' list
JPost.com Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 3, 2007

The Prime Minister's Office has completed a list of 250 Fatah prisoners to be released as per Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's promise to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm e-Sheikh last week, Israel Radio reported.

On Wednesday, the list will be discussed with the Justice Ministry director-general, and it will be brought before the cabinet for approval on Sunday.

Fatah officials criticized the list, complaining that Israel did not consult the movement before compiling it, and adding that many of the prisoners were scheduled to be released shortly anyway, Israel Radio reported.

Meanwhile, right-wing activists and MKs were hoping to see a parallel gesture towards Jewish prisoners, especially those with "blood on their hands," Army Radio reported Tuesday.

Shas MKs recently pressured Olmert to work for the release of 25 prisoners who define themselves "ideological prisoners."

Specific prisoners mentioned included Ami Popper, convicted of shooting seven Palestinian workers to death in 1990, and members of the Bat Ayin underground. The group planned terror attacks against Palestinian targets.

Shmuel Medad, from the Honenu association, which advocates for the release of Jewish prisoners, said the aforementioned prisoners should be set free regardless of pending deals with the Palestinian Authority: "This is not a group of people overcome by impulse who went to rape, rob or steal, they were caught in their condition as the result of generally poor conditions - I do not know a single Jew who was released and returned to activities over which he was charged, convicted and served prison time."

The last occurrence when Jewish prisoners who harmed Palestinians were pardoned was in 1999, before the Wye agreements. Then-president Ezer Weizmann shortened the sentences of 14 Jews, just before a deal to release Palestinians.

MK Uri Ariel (NU-NRP) opposed tying the release of Jewish prisoners to the release of Palestinians. Echoing Medad, he said those who deserved a pardon should not have to wait for deals with the Palestinians. "If the prime minister thinks that only following a release of Arab [prisoners] he can also release several Jews, it is very grave indeed. Those who deserve a pardon for personal reasons, whatever they may be, should receive it."

The Prime Minister's Office, meanwhile, neither confirmed nor denied reports that Olmert recently met with Labor, Trade and Infrastructure Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) and pledged to work on behalf of the Jewish prisoners, including urging the new president to pardon them.
Arab blood on their hands
By Uzi Benziman

A few months ago, members of the Shas faction were invited to dinner with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and officials of his bureau at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem. Over the course of the evening, Olmert let his guests in on state secrets, and briefed them on efforts being made to recover the kidnapped soldiers. When he mentioned the kidnappers' demand that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including some with "blood on their hands," be released in exchange, Shas Chairman Eli Yishai responded that the rightist opposition factions could be expected to object vociferously. In order to soften these objections, Yishai suggested that Jewish prisoners convicted of terror attacks against Arabs also be released.

Last week, Shas' political leader reiterated this suggestion publicly: The ultra-Orthodox weekly Bakehila quoted him as urging that Jewish prisoners be freed alongside the 250 Palestinian prisoners whose release Olmert promised to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Yishai even held a conversation with the prime minister on this issue a few days ago. His associates say that he and Olmert have an understanding that such a release will indeed occur, and that while the list of 250 Palestinian prisoners is being finalized, the list of Jewish prisoners who attacked Arabs will also be combed to determine which of them should be freed.

Senior Shas officials say the list of those to be released will mainly comprise prisoners who have embarked on a process of rehabilitation - for instance, those who have expressed remorse for their acts - as well as a few special humanitarian cases, such as Ami Popper, whose wife and son recently died in a car accident. Therefore, Yishai is working to rescue Jewish criminals, including murderers with blood on their hands, from prison, when the only point in their favor is the fact that their victims were Arabs.

Yishai does not understand the moral atrocity he is committing by distinguishing between Jewish victims killed or wounded by Jewish criminals and Arab victims killed or wounded by Jewish criminals.

He also does not understand the difference between being compelled by the country's enemies to release prisoners in order to rescue captive soldiers whose lives are in danger and the choice he is making, of his own free will, to release Jewish murderers and terrorists from prison.

Moreover, Yishai is ignoring the context that produced the deal to release Palestinian prisoners: This is one stage in a bloody struggle in which the enemy views the released prisoners as prisoners of war. The Jewish murderers and criminals that Yishai would like to remove from their cells, in contrast, are considered criminal offenders in every respect by our country's law enforcement agencies. The equation in such prisoner exchanges is freed Arab prisoners on the one hand and soldiers taken captive during clashes with the enemy on the other. Tying Jewish murderers into this deal is like mixing oil and water.

Aside from the members of the Jewish underground, who targeted Palestinian individuals and institutions in the early 1980s, members of the Bat Ayin underground have also been convicted and jailed, after being arrested at the height of practical preparations for a mass terror attack on a Palestinian school in East Jerusalem. Some members of this underground were also suspected of murdering seven Palestinians, but the police and prosecution were unable to translate the evidence they found in the underground members' possession (namely, the weapons that killed these Palestinians) into a solid legal case.

In addition to the members of these two undergrounds, some 25 Jews have been tried and sentenced to lengthy jail terms for a wide variety of aggressive acts against Arabs, including manslaughter and murder. The most well-known is Popper, who, in May 1990, shot and killed seven Palestinian laborers who were waiting for a ride to their job in Rishon Letzion. The most recent is Julian Soufir, who murdered Palestinian taxi driver Taysir Karaki of Beit Hanina about six weeks ago and was declared unfit to be tried.

Israel's law enforcement agencies have more than once demonstrated a forgiving attitude toward Jewish ideological criminals, generally due to political pressure exerted on the prime minister and the president; the latter has the power to pardon or commute sentences. Now, Eli Yishai is exerting all of his political power to perpetrate a moral injustice that will also have harmful diplomatic, societal and political ramifications.

Anonymous said...

I did not have much to do with Manis Mandel, being that I was in the Boys School and he was in the Girls part, but I do remember Jack Mandel very much. He was a total animal like you said. Those years were the worst of my life. If I was at a Pizza shop, Jack Mandel would have his spies inform him of that terrible and Goyish thing that I did, and then I would catch petch from Jack. If YOB even saw you together with a girl they made sure to yell and beat you for that sin.

There was an incident where I think her name was Rebetzin Spector, grabbed a boy and dragged him off the school bus to go see Manis Mandel.

This boy was a rachmonis, he was always picked on by other kids. For whatever reason, YOB animals always blamed him for everything.

That day, when the school bus made its usual stop to pick up girls from their building after school ended is when it happened.

All I remember is that boy getting a whooping like no other from Jack Mandel the next day. I felt very bad for him, and went out my way to try to be nice to him.

My older friend who was at the Mesifta at the time, was at the receiving end of many beatings too by Jack, and later by Shlomo Mandel. There was even a rebbe, his name was Fuches, in the yeshiva ketana that would wrestle with students, and beat the living daylights at every opportunity he can get. Such as if they were chewing gum, didn't bentch or say brocho achronoh, didn't eat pizza with a fork, or any stupid reason. The funniest was when a certain student showed he was not afraid of him. The boy wrestled the rebbe to the ground while everyone was staring in awe and astonishment. Jack made his way in later, and tried to give the whole class a punishment, saying they all deserved it.

All I can say is I cannot believe I survived the things that went on over there. Please do not ever send your children to YOB, I'm telling you please don't. I don't want your child to go through the nasty and terrible things that can ruin their lives.

If I can do it all over again, I would pick public school over YOB.

Keep up the tremendous work. For my sake, childrens sake, and granchildrens sake. You do not know how much your blog has helped me, and I very much appreciate it. chazak veematz.

exposemolesters said...

Dear Klal Yisroel,

I have a very good feeling we will succeed in having Avrohm Mondrowitz extradited to the states real soon, to answer for his indictment on sexual abuse against boys.

That being said though, continue flooding the phone lines and making a lot of noise. YOUR VOICE DOES COUNT. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.

Charles Hynes Quote:

“Think of the basketball metaphor, ... He sees the whole court.”

We see the whole court Charlie, we're waiting for you to get the point.


Jerry Schmetterer - Director - Schmetj@brooklynda.org
Jonah Bruno - Assistant Director brunoj@brooklynda.org
Sandy Silverstein - Communications Associate - SilversS@brooklynda.org
Orlando Rivera - Communications Associate RiveraO@brooklynda.org

Amy Feinstein
Chief Assistant District Attorney

Lance Ogiste
Counsel to District Attorney

Anne Swern
1st Assistant District Attorney

Mary Hughes
Confidential Assistant

www.brooklynda.org. To have your questions answered in a future column, send them to asktheda@brooklynda.org.



Victims Press Brooklyn D.A. To Seek Abuse Suspect’s Extradition From Israel

Nathaniel Popper | Fri. Jul 28, 2006

In the wake of new revelations about sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, pressure is mounting on the Brooklyn district attorney to seek the extradition of a man who fled to Israel after being indicted for sex offenses.

Avrohom Mondrowitz was indicted in 1984 on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree after years as a school counselor in the Brooklyn Orthodox community. Three of Mondrowitz’s alleged victims, who had not been aware of the original investigation, recently approached an Orthodox lawyer who has passionately taken up the case. One of those men has since given his testimony to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, which would be responsible for requesting extradition. Another of the victims plans to go to the district attorney, Charles Hynes, in the next week.

The district attorney preceding Hynes had pushed for Mondrowitz’s extradition from Israel in the 1980s, but Hynes dropped the effort after he was elected in 1989, according to recently released government documents. The new set of victims to come forward say they are pained by Mondrowitz’s continuing freedom, and the lack of effort by Hynes and the Orthodox community in pursuing the suspected abuser.

“Every time somebody gets let down as a victim, it’s a further continuation of the abuse,” said Mark Weiss, who says he was abused by Mondrowitz during a summer week with the counselor when he was 13. “He’s just sitting there, taunting us, saying ‘Hah, you’re never going to catch me, I know the system too well.’”

Weiss, who is now 39, said that just a few weeks ago a friend in Israel says he saw Mondrowitz on the streets of Jerusalem, speaking with a group of children. Mondrowitz has been a teacher at the Jerusalem College of Engineering, posting his lectures and syllabi online.

A spokesman for Hynes, Jerry Schmetterer, said the Brooklyn district attorney’s office is ready to arrest Mondrowitz if he ever returns to the United States. But Schmetterer says the D.A.’s office is hamstrung by Israeli law, which in the 1980s did not classify Mondrowitz’s alleged crime — sodomy — as rape. For extradition to go forward, the crime generally must be punishable in both countries. In fact, the Israeli rape law was changed in 1988 to include sodomy, but Schmetterer said the extradition treaty cannot be used retroactively.

“Our position is that he cannot be extradited; he could not be extradited then, and he cannot be now,” Schmetterer said.

That line of legal reasoning was explicitly rejected by the American embassy in Tel Aviv, soon after the Israeli law was changed. In a cable to the State Department, the embassy said that they had talked with officials in the Israeli Justice Ministry and determined that because Mondrowitz could eventually be charged under American rather than Israeli law, the retroactivity should not be an issue. The new law “presents us, we believe, with an opportunity to reopen the extradition case of Avrohom Mondrowitz,” the embassy said.

The government documents were uncovered by Michael Lesher, the attorney who has gathered together the three new alleged victims to press the case. Other legal experts told the Forward that while there could be legal complications, the district attorney’s office could pursue the extradition.

“I don’t think the D.A. is being aggressive enough,” said Douglas McNabb, who specializes in international extradition at a Washington, D.C., law firm. “If I were a victim I would be very upset that the D.A.’s office is not pursuing this matter.”

The extradition was a clear priority for Hynes’s predecessor, Elizabeth Holtzman. Her office pushed the State Department on the matter. At one point the Israeli government signed a deportation order, but the situation ended in a “stand off,” according to a State Department memo. When Hynes took office, and his assistants were asked if they wanted to pursue the case, one of those assistants informed the State Department that “they would not be pursuing the case any further at this time,” according to another memo.

Schmetterer said that the Brooklyn D.A.’s office dropped the issue after knowing for years that it could not pursue Mondrowitz.

Anti-abuse activists in the Orthodox community say Hynes’s silence may have been due to pressure from the Orthodox community, which they claim has historically been reluctant to see alleged sex offenders prosecuted. The activists, including Lesher, point to a 14-person Jewish advisory council that Hynes assembled soon after he was elected, comprising members of the Orthodox leadership in Brooklyn. One woman who has been at odds with the leadership for years, Amy Neustein, said she was told by two members of Hynes’s council that the community did not want to see Mondrowitz prosecuted.

“The rabbis have no comprehension of the injury of sexual abuse,” said Neustein, an anti-abuse activist. “They have no comprehension of why the victims want justice.”

One member of Hynes’s Jewish council, Rabbi Herbert Bomzer, said he does not remember Mondrowitz’s extradition being discussed by the council. Bomzer did say that he knew Mondrowitz when the younger man was a counselor at Yeshiva University’s high school, and that Mondrowitz had been “loved” by the students.

When asked if he would now support extradition proceedings, Bomzer, president of the rabbinical board of Flatbush, said: “If he has managed to get to Israel and is protected by the law there — then leave it alone.”

Weiss, the 39-year-old alleged victim of Mondrowitz, said that from the beginning it had been clear that many members of the Orthodox community wanted him to let the case go. He said he had been molested when his father sent him to spend a week with Mondrowitz at a difficult moment in Weiss’s adolescence. During that week, Mondrowitz’s family was in the Catskills and, Weiss claimed, each night he was coaxed into bed by Mondrowitz.

“What’s difficult to think about is that he was so smooth — so manipulative,” Weiss said. “It was as if it was all my choice.”

Weiss said that he blocked the experience out for years, but a run-in with Mondrowitz during high school conjured up the memories and led to a breakdown. He first told his parents, but they told him he must be mistaken. “He’s a frum man,” Weiss remembers his parents saying, using a Yiddish word meaning religiously observant.

A few years later, a principal at the yeshiva that Mondrowitz had attended summond Weiss — but after giving over the details, Weiss said, nothing happened.

The incident faded into the background for many years, but in 2001, Weiss was drawn out by what was billed as a “night for healing” at a New York school for Orthodox boys. Weiss showed up with high hopes, but he says that the event turned into a series of speeches by rabbis who spoke in allegorical terms, rather than dealing with the victims in the room.

Weiss decided to go outside the Orthodox community when he read an article in New York Magazine last month, detailing the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher at an Orthodox boys school in Flatbush who was sued by alleged former victims. Kolko has not yet filed opposition papers.

The second alleged Mondrowitz victim, who has already gone to Hynes — and who wishes to remain anonymous — also said it was the Kolko article that prompted him to step forward. For both, the hope is that Mondrowitz will be “brought to justice and made an example of,” in the words of the second accuser.

“I want to show that abusers can’t get away with it, that we as a community will no longer stand for the routine cover-ups of abuse, and to try to put some finality to that chapter of my life,” he said.

It is likely that the new complaints would not be included in the counts, if Mondrowitz is arrested, due to the statute of limitations. But the men both say they hope their voices will increase the pressure on Hynes.
Fri. Jul 28, 2006

exposemolesters said...

Anon Wrote;

"This boy was a rachmonis, he was always picked on by other kids. For whatever reason, YOB animals always blamed him for everything..."

I am deeply troubled and disturbed by what I was reading. It's duly noted. May we see and be witness only to health and happiness.


On another note:

I implore on all good JEWS (and even non-Jews; let's remember that Mondrowitz also sexually abused some Italian boys) to PLEASE take a few precious moments of your time to contact Hynes about extraditing Avrohm Mondrowitz.

Kings County
The Honorable Charles J. Hynes
Kings County District Attorney
Renaissance Plaza
350 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201-2908
Telephone: (718) 250-2001 or 2200
Fax: (718) 250-2210
E-mail: HYNESC@BrooklynDA.org

exposemolesters said...

I wish we can focus purely on Arab Terrorrists killing each other out than to painfully have to deal with and point out WHAT SHOULD SEEM TO BE THE OBVIOUS.

And that is the Sakunas Nefoshot travesties and failures of the orthodoxy rabbinical movement. A SHAMFUL DISGRACE, PLIGHT, AND CHILUL HASHEM BY OUR BIG LEADERS.

Saving and preventing loss of life (mental and spiritual too) should simply be LOGICAL. The people who keep sehva Mitzvot Bnei Noach knew this and they're not all totally JEWISH. In fact a large percentage are gentiles. How can it be that an inexcusable number of Rabbi's today DO NOT KEEP ALL OF THE SEVEN MITZVOT B'NAY NOACH? HOW?

You know what the answer is to that one? One word, CORRUPT! Two words, DISHONEST, PERVERTED. Three words, VILE, UNTRUSTWORTHY CROOKED, TWO-FACED (oops 5 words, sorry) :)

This is intolerable conduct by the Mosdos. Absolutely a big darn sin. There is no easy way to put it, Jewish values can be flushed down the toilet upon your next visit, if it hasn't been done so already. THERE IS NO GOOD FORESEEABLE ANTIDOTE ON THE HORIZON RADAR SCREEN EITHER. Not until these enemies of their own religion get old and die. Not until, new blood takes over the reins and attempts to clean up this big fat mess. Not until ruthless and monstrous leadership is replaced with dignity and honor. When that happens, who knows!

It would be nice to know things such as what came first, the chicken or the egg, but obviously, when dealing with saving lives, it's a totally different level of seriousness.


Apparently, many Gedolim down the ladder to the common Jew, disagree. If it was THEIR BOY OR GIRL THAT WAS A VICTIM Then it is Muttar and permissible to punish the offender. However, IF IT WAS NOT THEIR OWN CHILD, OR NOT THEIR OWN RELATIVE THAT IS A VICTIM OF ABUSE; then it would be assur and prohibited to punish the perpetrator.

This terrible mindset of many Jews is straight out of the horses mouths, some publicly and some privately.

Yesterdays victim, Todays victims, tomorrows victim, all have neshamas. Yes, they do have
souls. They all have voices that are crying out for help and that need to be heard. They crave and deserve our compassion and we owe it as Jews to give it to them.

What is so hard to comprehend there? Is it fair to deny victims their day of vindication, their day of relief, their day of justice when they get to see their tormentor punished for their crimes?

Should we just totally forget to call the POLICE if a madman comes spraying bullets down your street or comes running at you with a knife?

Just let the poor guy off the hook right? Be silent and don't say anything, because you might rub elbows with people in your own community. Shhhhhh, Quiet, Silent. Can't tell the police who the shooter was if it might offend somebody. Shhhhhh, Don't talk to them. The shooter is really such a fantastic guy, he really is soo wonderful. So he murdered and injured a few human beings during his killing spree, doesn't everyone deserve a second chance? See, he just went over the edge a bit. He comes from a family tree full of Torah Knowledge.

The perpetrator is a good jew and very decent human being too. No, really he is. Why, do you sense some sarcasm in my tone? No really, I mean it. Great baal chessed and midos torah scholar, with just a few splotches of kiddy here and raper there, with penetration for good measure, wonderful nice human being! Give him another chance. The Rabonnim say he's cured or getting help, you must believe in them.

He remembers to say Modeh Ani Lefonecha in the morning, go to the mikvah, put on tefflin, daven with a minyan, Learn Halacha, Learn Mussar seforim, Learn gemorah, Rashi, and Tosfos clorr, including all of the rishonim, achronim, and everything near far and in between. Of course there's always the big 'coffee breaks' during learning intermissions. But really such a nice guy.

Yes, sometimes he does gets angry with guns and knives and you must maintain a safe distance, but otherwise he's a great shtiger and disciple of the Torah.

Yes, he also likes to prey on little kids every once in a while, so what? He is rather an extraordinarily kind individual. Can seem a little strange at times, but who isn't odd these days?

And who are you trying to kid, this compassionate offender is none of our business anyway? did he harm YOUR child? Was it YOUR boy that was molested? Was it YOUR little girl that was abused by him/Her?

Stick your nose in the garbage but don't stick it in my face. Was it YOUR family member that was injured or killed during the shootings? Was it a Son of yours or a relative, that was killed or injured by the machete wilding bandit?

I wish Hamas and Fatah continue to blow each other's brains out, it makes for good entertainment. Both groups deserve their 72 virgins in paradise, as long as they continue to splatter their own blood we should be very gratful to them.

I pray that we can celebrate more days like today where the state of Israel bombards the kishkes out of Hamas terrorists. Cain Yirbu!

Do not ever mistaken a Fatah as moderately evil. They are Amulkim and reshoim just like their blood brothers in combat - the Hamas vampires!

They fight with members of other faiths, who seem to challenge their claim to a monopoly of absolute truth; they also persecute their co-religionists for interpreting a tradition differently or for holding heterodox beliefs.
-- Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History

11 militants killed in Gaza clashes

By DIAA HADID, Associated Press WriterThu Jul 5, 3:08 PM ET

Israeli forces killed 11 militants Thursday in one of the deadliest days of combat since Hamas wrested control of Gaza last month, putting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back at center stage after months of Palestinian infighting.

Israel called in aircraft, tanks and bulldozers to press its campaign against Gaza rocket squads, while Islamic militants laid mines and fired mortars at soldiers at the main Gaza-Israel passage.

Since sweeping out its Fatah rivals in a lightning campaign, Hamas has sought to solidify its regime administering crowded, chaotic, poverty-stricken Gaza. It has initiated few attacks on Israel, but also has not stopped other groups from firing rockets at Israeli towns almost daily, provoking Israeli military action and drawing Hamas forces in.

Fighting escalated quickly Thursday after an Israeli patrol just inside Gaza spotted armed militants approaching and called in an airstrike. That clash erupted close to the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, a site of frequent clashes between gunmen and the Israeli army.

Witnesses reported a heavy exchange of fire as Israeli tanks and bulldozers moved in and soldiers took positions on rooftops. Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants hit back with small-arms fire, laid mines in front of the soldiers and fired mortars at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza.

The army said two mortar shells hit on the Israeli side of the passage, which has been closed to most traffic since Hamas seized Gaza. No one was hurt, but the explosions ignited a fire in a road, the army said.

Hospital officials said nine militants were killed, and Hamas identified six as its members. The other three were not immediately identified. Among the dead was Mohammed Siam, 37, the Hamas field commander in central Gaza, Hamas TV said.

Israeli aircraft later fired missiles at targets in the area, the army said. Hospital officials said two militants were killed. Hamas said both were its members.

Israel frequently sends troops a short distance into Gaza, where they look for tunnels that might be used for infiltration or attacks. Also, military bulldozers often move into border areas to flatten land used by militants to launch their short-range homemade rockets.

Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said Thursday's fighting began when Hamas gunmen fired at an Israeli undercover unit. The clash set off the bloodiest day of conflict since June 27, when 12 Palestinians were killed in fights with Israeli forces.

Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, who was fired as Palestinian prime minister by President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas defeated Fatah in Gaza, and a spokesman for Fatah both condemned the Israeli operation and urged Palestinians to fight back.

"We assert that our people have the full right to defend themselves and to confront these aggressions," Haniyeh said. Fatah official Hazem Abu Shanab echoed the sentiment.

However, the two rival movements squabbled on another front, when about 400 Fatah civil servants were prevented from entering their Gaza offices in an argument over the official weekend.

The Hamas-dictated work week in Gaza is Saturday to Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday designated the weekend. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who was appointed by Abbas to head a new government that excludes Hamas, recently announced the work week runs Sunday through Thursday.

On Thursday, Hamas militiamen barred people from entering government offices, saying they were closed because it was the official weekend. Most Palestinian civil servants are loyal to Fatah.

"We told them that the government in Ramallah announced new weekend days, but they said the people in Ramallah are not the government," said Imad, 40, who works at the public works ministry. He refused to give his last name for fear of Hamas retribution.

"We are not coming on Saturday because it's the official weekend. This is the beginning of the battle against the coup government in Gaza," he said.

Abu Dajana, a Hamas security officer, said the orders of the "legitimate government" in Gaza would be implemented.

On Wednesday, Gaza government employees loyal to Fatah collected their first full salaries in 15 months, but civil servants who sided with the bloody Hamas takeover of Gaza were not paid.

YOBSUX said...

I too was abused during my time spent in that jail. Keep up your work. You are inspirational. More people should be courageous like you.

Good Shabbos..

Kashrut said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Petition demands Chief Rabbinate be held in contempt of court
Matthew Wagner, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 4, 2007

The Chief Rabbinate should be held in contempt of court for failing to abide by a court decision handed down almost a year ago to reinstate two kosher food supervisors who were fired unjustly by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, according to a petition presented Wednesday to the Jerusalem Regional Labor Court.

Attorney Yeshayahu Avraham, of the Ben-David, Avraham, Hakohen Law Office, who represents the two kosher food supervisors, argued in his petition that the Chief Rabbinate has been trying for almost a year to avoid rehiring the two men.

"At first the Rabbinate agreed to return them to their positions as director-general and halachic authority of the National Kashrut Rabbinate," he wrote. "But later the Rabbinate backtracked and said the men would be hired as state employees, which would force them to quit their present jobs."

However, attorney Shimon Ulman, who represents the Rabbinate, claimed that the two men did not want their old positions back.

"We offered them their jobs but in the meantime they apparently found more lucrative positions," he said.

In September 2006, Judge Dita Perogninin of the Jerusalem Regional Labor Court overturned a decision by Metzger's office to replace two kashrut supervisors.

Perogninin stated that the personnel changes seemed motivated by "non-professional, impertinent considerations."

The judge ordered the Chief Rabbinate to reinstate Moshe Salomon and Yosef Sherman, who she said were fired unjustly without being given a hearing.

Perogninin also ordered the immediate firings of Rabbis Yosef Minsky and Shneur Zalman Revach, who were chosen by Metzger's office to replace Salomon and Sherman.

Both Revach and Minsky have close ties to the two chief rabbis. Minsky was an aide to Metzger while Revach worked with Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar via his Institute for the Study of Commandments of the Land of Israel, which Amar guided for many years.

In her decision, Perogninin stated: "The Rabbinate failed to prove the firings were justified. In contrast to the Rabbinate's claims that Salomon and Sherman were incompetent, the testimony of Rabbi Ya'acov Sabag, director of Kashrut Supervision in the Rabbinate, was nothing less than tremendous praise for the two men."

Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, the former head of the Rabbinate's Industrial Kashrut Supervision department and present administrative head of the Conversion Authority, also testified before the court on behalf of Sherman and Salomon. Maimon is presently at odds with Amar over conversion policy and personnel changes in the authority.

The Labor Court judge said in her decision that Rabbi Meir Rosenthal, head of Metzger's office, failed to prove there were substantive complaints against Salomon and Sherman.

Avraham said Rosenthal contradicted himself during the trial. In an affidavit, Rosenthal claimed that the firings were not made by the Rabbinate or by Metzger, but by an independent employment agency. However, Avraham produced a document signed by Rosenthal that ordered the firings and explained the reason for them.

Ulman said that Sherman and Salomon, both settlers who live in Kedumim and Yitzhar, respectively, were accused of treating badly the Arab food manufacturers that they supervised.

The personnel changes were made in a body called the National Kashrut Rabbinate, established in 1998 to provide kashrut supervision in places that lack a local Rabbinate such as Arab villages or on cruise ships sailing in international waters. The National Kashrut Rabbinate also provides kashrut supervision at Ben-Gurion Airport, which has a quasi-extraterritorial standing.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1183459198357&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

exposemolesters said...

Thomas Schumacher, Psy.D., R-CSW

Dr. Thomas J. Schumacher is a pshychotherapist who specializes in individual, couple, and marital counseling. He maintains practices in New York City and Long Island..

Are You Involved With a Narcissistic Person?

by Thomas J. Schumacher, Psy.D., R-CSW

According to the American Psychological Association, people with narcissistic personality disorder display a chronic and pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. The Greek myth has it that Narcissus died enraptured by the beauty of his own reflection in a pool and feel forever in love with his own reflection. The Narcissist displays an operating style that involves extreme self-involvement, and a grandiose sense of self- importance. They exaggerate their achievements and talents, expecting others to recognize them as superior and often appearing arrogant and extremely self absorbed.

Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or beauty, they require the constant attention and admiration of those around them, although they are very choosy about the people and institutions they will associate closely with. They often admit to being snobs and are actually proud of it. They also believe that their problems are unique and can be appreciated only by other “special” high - status people. Despite their charm, the favorable first impression they make, and their wide circle of notable acquaintances, people with this disorder are rarely able to maintain a stable, long-term relationship. With their boastful and pretentious manner, narcissistic persons are seldom receptive to the feelings of others. They show a general lack of empathy, an inability or unwillingness to recognize and identify with your thoughts and needs. Many are often successful, impressively knowledgeable, and articulate, yet bored and doubt ridden as well.

Conversely, healthy narcissism is essential for emotional well-being. We need narcissism to feel confident in ourselves, and to give adequate consideration to others. NOTE: The healthy narcissist does not focus exclusively on themselves, demanding that the world reflect back their false manufactured sense of self and an image of idealized perfection.

If you encounter this personality type, a grasp of the underlying psychology can help you cope more effectively. Lets explore the genesis of the narcissistic personality. As stated above, people with this personality disorder must constantly seek outside support and approval. If they get that support and approval, they feel complete and powerful. Without that support and approval, they feel deprived, exposed, vulnerable, angry, and lonely.

KEY: Early childhood conditioning also plays a part. The child’s real or authentic self has generally been ignored, or the child’s self may have been attacked and assaulted while the parents placed demands on the child to be “perfect.” When that occurs, the type of behavior we associate with a narcissistic disorder is overindulged. Fiercely driven to achieve, children never develop the capacity to consider others’ needs. Enter adulthood, and the same traits naturally carry over.

What To Watch Out For

Most people with this disorder advertise themselves… They seek to be the center of attention. In search of constant approval and praise to reinforce their false grandiose sense of self, they’re “on- stage,” dominating the conversation, often exaggerating their importance.

They lack empathy for others and have an inflated sense of entitlement, requiring others to respond to their demands and grant favors. They need everything for themselves and are envious of others’ accomplishments and possessions.

Criticism or disapproval takes them back to their difficult childhoods, sending them into a defensive fury, since any flaw or mistake means they’re not perfect. Also, when things go wrong, they cannot acknowledge the imperfections implicit in accepting responsibility.

Appearance matters more than substance. Power, wealth and beauty bolster their fragmented self-image.

They may be extremely driven because the “narcissistic fuel” of outside approval is so essential. Many are workaholics. Warning: this personality disorder may not be immediately obvious. The subtle ones won’t show their true colors until “deprived.” Caution: Others may actually pursue and cater to you, if you have something they want, such as looks, money, or status.

Can you change them? Reality check: No. Even constructive criticism is experienced by them as an affront and is met with anger and a sense of betrayal. Placating only results in more demands, not a return of thoughtfulness and consideration. In fact, if you always excuse or rationalize self-absorption and give in to constant demands, you are actually supporting and reinforcing their narcissistic needs and wants.

Coping Tips

Here are some tips on how to cope with the person in your life who processes the narcissistic style. Sometimes the best way to deal with extreme narcissistic behavior is to end the relationship. But since this solution isn’t always possible, I can only offer you some survival techniques…

It is important to set boundaries. Decide which demands you can meet or how much approval you’re willing to give to this person, and then stick to your decision. Also, terminate a self-centered conversation if you can, or at least set a time limit on how long you’ll listen.

Support yourself. If your resistance to them draws their anger or blame, refuse to be emotionally blackmailed. Remember that your time and feelings are not important in this person’s eyes. This can help remove your guilt.

Use bargaining chips. If you have something they want, such as a special expertise or solutions to problems—share it sparingly to keep their worst behavior under control. Be aware that when you no longer satisfy them, their old ways will resurface.

Avoid anger. Any confrontation should be conducted quietly and with control. But even a tactful approach may be greeted with anger or sometimes-frightening rage. Very likely, you’ll hear that the difficult situation is your problem and there’s something wrong with you. Arguing will only make you feel like you will want to blow your brains out. Be careful not to expect accommodation from the other person, but do give yourself points for standing up for your rights.

Finally, know when to leave. Dealing with this personality disorder can undermine your own sense of self. Ask yourself some questions…Do I continually feel depressed, irritable, devalued and worthless? Does my anger and resentment carry over into other relationships? Have I stopped supporting myself in general, not treating myself well or allowing others to coerce me? Bottom line: If you find yourself answering yes too frequently, you must examine the pay-off or importance of your relationship with this person.

exposemolesters said...

Chronic Lying

By Derek Wood, RN, BC, MS
Clinical Content Director
Get Mental Help, Inc.
Mental Health Matters
Mental Health Professional
Psychiatric Nurse, PhD Candidate

When a person asks you who do you think chronically lies, there are a few answers that come to my mind, and that I have heard in various surveys. Some of these are (In no special order):

* Lawyers
* Con men
* Adulterers
* Criminals
* Petty thieves
* Hustlers
* Car salesmen

If you notice, this list includes people who would essentially “Lie for a living.” If you were to take it to the extreme.

However, these are extreme over-generalizations, and the majority of people in these groups,while I do not deny lie occasionally as a way to reach their goal, I would also ask a much simpler question of everyone else: Who among you has not done the same?

So, with this in mind, I would like to focus on the person who TRULY chronically lies. These people do not need a reason to lie. They are not lying to avoid trouble, to obtain financial gain, or better themselves necessarily. They are lying for the sake of lying, and oftentimes are not even realizing they are doing it. These are in fact the masters of deception that are the chronic liars.

It has been hypothesized that chronic lying is not a mental disorder of it’s own. In fact, it is not recognized in the DSM-IV (The Diagnostic Manual used to describe mental illnesses). Instead, it is viewed as a symptom of another mental disorder that is present, such as delusional thinking, psychopathy, or narcissism.

However, we are now looking at studies of chronic liars over the last 100 years, and a number of conclusions have been made, some obvious, others not. The first is that the reasons for lying may have a serious problem behind them, while others are benign. When no underlying mental illness can be found, then the focus of “Why does this successful, otherwise well-adjusted person feel the compulsion to fabricate stories?”

We do know that in a normal, healthy person, some lying and deception is normal, and starts at about the age of 5 or 6 years old. It continues through adulthood, and most adults will tell small lies on a weekly or even daily basis to get through their days, using harmless and inconsequential lies. In one research study at the University of Massachusetts, people wore a recording device for 3 days, and at the end tallied up the number of lies they told. The average rate of lies as 3 in every 10 minutes of conversation.

The nature of these lies falls into what is known as the “white lie” category. These are used for a number of purposes:

* To avoid hurting another person’s feelings
* To cover up our own embarrassments
* To reassure the needlessly anxious
* To spare unnecessary headaches

When does social “white lying” become a problem? When it becomes the first line of defense – the first tool used a coping strategy.

There are a number of other key items to look for when evaluating whether a person is suffering from a case of chronic lying. First, if they lie to avoid something, be it a test, a deadline or project, and then need to have the lie proliferate on itself in order to be believed, and it keeps growing, is a sign. Secondly, chronic liars change their stories when caught out, and support the new story with another lie. Finally, when a person lies for no reason at all, there is no gain, no motivation to lie.

It is believed that there may be a neurological defect in those who are chronic liars. They generally have highly developed verbal skills and a slight impairment of the frontal lobe. These frontal lobes are basically our “editors” that censor what we say, which may be indicative of some of the behavior in SOME cases. This is because we sometimes run two consciousnesses in our mind – reality as it exists, and reality as we would like it to be. For those with frontal lobe difficulty, reality as we would like it to be may come out instead of reality as it is.

The reason I said this is the case in SOME people, is that in others, the telling of tales eeks them out their 15 minutes of fame. It allows them to stand out, to be interesting. And the more they receive, they more they want. Additionally, others feel they cannot live up to the expectations of others, so they invent stories to match what they feel others expect from them, With all of these reasons, this may be why no easy cure is on the horizon. Chronic lying seems to stem from either a biological basis or from a rung on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Thus, if we can identify a biological basis, this can be treated in that person. Otherwise, it will take therapy to help identify what is missing from the person’s life, and how they can fill it in a more socially acceptable manner that will prevent them from being further ostracized, leading to more lying, in a vicious cycle.

When we deal with children specifically, there are any number of reasons they may lie, and some may even be acceptable. Whatever the reason, however, it should be taken seriously, as problem lying can cause problems at school, with friends, and disrupt the family life. It may even begin to lay the groundwork for problems later in life.

Lies generally not a serious problem, unless they are habitual (the child regularly lies) or compulsive (lies for no specific reasons). As with many other problems, addressing the issue early can be the most effective way from preventing it from becoming a worse problem or a pathological lying problem.

It isn’t until age 5 or 6 when children begin to lie due to understanding consequences for actions, and feel guilt for misdeeds, especially those that disappoint their parents. They may also expand on stories or fib in order to get attention. At 7-8, the most common reasons for lying are to avoid punishment or to avoid having to do a disliked task.

When adolescence arrives, new significance can be assigned to lies, and parents generally become more alarmed. The adolescent is more skilled at telling lies. However, this is a time when we should not assume that the adolescent is trying to hide something done wrong. They may be attempting to gain privacy, establish independence, avoid embarrassment or protect anothers feelings. This is not to say they are not going to be trying to avoid punishment, chores, or gain items they could not otherwise have.

When does lying become a serious problem? When it is habitual or compulsive, and is used as a major strategy for dealing with difficult situations there is cause for concern. Pathological or chronic lying may be a bad habit the child needs help breaking, but could also be a sign that they are unable to tell right from wrong. This may be especially true if they appear to have no remorse about lying. If the lying is comorbid (associated with) other actions such as skipping school, fighting, stealing, or cheating, it may be they have another disorder such as ADHD, conduct disorder or a learning disorder.

Yeshiva of brooklyn torture said...

Misery is how to describe the typical school day. Frask @ petch everyday. Being chutzpadik? Let's beat the hell out of you. No finger on the place? That requires another whacking. Didn't give proper kovod to the rebbe or menahel? Oy vey, punish him. Beat him. Yell at him. Harass him. Shaygetz.

Limudei Chol, another set of teachers ready to frask you once more. The menhael is ready to administer punishment to the bad boys. Don't you hide boy. yob is just doing whats right. We want to potch you. We need to cleanse the devil inside of you.

exposemolesters said...

Are we headed to another holocaust?
Hashem Yerachem......
Fellow Yidden. We cannot allow ourselves to be led like sheep to the slaughter. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF NEW HITLER'S (YEMACH SHEMO) READY TO LAUNCH WAR AGAINST US. WE BETTER BE READY AND PREPARED THIS TIME!
Jewish leaders concerned by trend to delegitimize Israel
By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent

The trend toward delegitimizing Israel's existence as a Jewish state is growing not only in Europe, but also in the United States, according to Jewish-American academics and community leaders.

Anti-Israel attacks are even beginning to affect Jewish supporters of Israel, who have been accused of trying to silence public debate, they said.

This trend toward delegitimization will be one of the topics discussed at a conference on the future of the Jewish people that opens in Jerusalem this morning.

The conference, which will be attended by researchers, heads of Jewish organizations and senior Israeli politicians, was organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute.

Avinoam Bar-Yosef, JPPPI's director general, said that anti-Israel attacks in the U.S. constitute a "long-term threat" to Israel's standing, American Jewish organizations and the pro-Israel lobby.

"Public attention is currently focused on Europe, due to initiatives like the British academic boycott," he said. "In the U.S., the problem is still under the radar. But as a planning institute, we believe that it is necessary to formulate policy on this issue now."

Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz told Haaretz that American academics are at the forefront of those denying Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

Veteran advocates of this position, such as Tony Judt and Noam Chomsky, were joined last year by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, both from reputable academic institutions, who charged that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) dictates American foreign policy.

Their article, which generated shock waves, is being turned into a book, which is slated to be published in September. The fact that a respected publisher paid Walt and Mearsheimer an advance that is thought to have totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars attests to how hot the publisher thinks this issue is, Reinharz said.

"My feeling  and that of many people  following Walt and Mearsheimer and other publications is that we are at the start of a new era with regard to attitudes toward Israel in the U.S.," he added.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, believes that Jimmy Carter's book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which was published last November, had a much greater impact than did other publications.

"In the past, people who said that Jewish supporters of Israel control the media and politics belonged to the margins," he said. "But after former president Carter said it, it gained legitimacy in the mainstream.

Today, the debate is already on questions such as to what extent the Jews dominate."

Foxman said that Jews who challenge anti-Israel attacks find themselves accused of undermining freedom of expression.

"I received letters from professors who claimed that when I accuse someone of anti-Semitism, I am trying to silence public debate," he said. "When the president of Harvard University said that the delegitimization of Israel helps anti-Semites, he was accused of silencing public debate.

No one would have dared accuse him of this had he been talking about racism or xenophobia."

Reinharz said that he is worried by the lack of effective response to anti-Israel publications.

"I see no combined effort to fight this by the Jewish organizations, and in truth, I myself don't know how this could be done," he said.
The Daily Star, Lebanon (The Arab propaganda paper against Israel, no surprise of course).

It's time for the Jewish community to pressure Israel to accept peace
By The Daily Star

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Jewish people around the world have long embraced a mythical view of Israel as a benevolent, modern-day David fighting off the menacing Goliath of the Arab nations. Israel, as the myth goes, is like a weak and tiny island statelet surrounded by an ocean of hostile states and peoples that have rejected peace and instead have actively sought out the destruction of the Jewish state. This perception has led many to conclude that peace is not an objective worth pursuing, nor is it a goal that is within Israel's reach.

It is understandable, given the unique history of persecution that the Jewish people have endured, that they would have fears that others are seeking out their annihilation. But those of us who have been on the receiving end of Israel's massive arsenal of war and aggressive use of force have long been baffled by such distorted descriptions of the Jewish state. Even as the myth of a vulnerable Jewish state has been perpetuated, it is Israel that has been expelling successive generations of refugees and illegally occupying and annexing Arab lands. And any honest assessment would have to conclude that while recent years have seen the emergence of more effective resistance forces that have proven capable of defending their own lands, there is currently no Arab force that could conceivably eliminate Israel. The Jewish state remains the region's only nuclear state, backed by billions of dollars of US military aid each year. The threats to its existence are mostly imagined.

It is time for Jewish people around the world to adopt a more realistic view of the state of Israel, and it is doubly urgent to do so now because there is an historic opportunity at hand. The Arab League is sending envoys this week to Israel on a mission to promote the Arab peace initiative, a vision of a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that has been endorsed by all of the league's members. In other words, the Arabs are offering the Israelis a chance to achieve peace. If this gesture does not shatter the myths about Israel's neighbors, nothing will.

The price of rejecting the Arab peace overture will no doubt be high. Already, the region is simmering with tensions stirred by decades of oppressive occupation and evidence of the inhumane conditions in which Palestinians are forced to live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and squalid refugee camps around the region. While the Israelis have a right to defend themselves, there is no conceivable justification for allowing such gross injustices to persist indefinitely. The goal of peace is within reach, and Jewish people around the world have a duty to encourage Israel to grab it.

exposemolesters said...

Newsday.com: Long Island News, Bronx Jewish center not giving in to vandals

July 9, 2007

The end is likely near for the Educational Jewish Center in Pelham Parkway. There are so few congregants left that director Alec Feldman often has to pay cash, $10 a head, just to get the 10 men necessary to make a minyan, or prayer group. In a year, maybe two, Feldman figures he'll finally say yes to one of those real estate developers who wants to buy the Bronx property and turn it into condos.

One thing is for sure, though: He and the 50 or so worshipers will not be forced out by whoever thinks it's funny to vandalize the synagogue housed in the center. Three times since May, rocks and chunks of concrete have been hurled through the synagogue's stained-glass windows. Seventeen panes have suffered some kind of damage.

No one has been hurt, yet the pain is immeasurable.

"This place is dear to us," says Sally Schulman, 80. "It gives us strength. This is our home. We're going to fix the windows and stay here."

Feldman, 83, isn't so sure the repairs are worth the trouble.

He thinks kids with nothing better to do are responsible for the vandalism. He'd like to believe - despite the rumors about a local group of neo-Nazis - that Pelham Parkway is still a place where Jews can worship in peace. Still, he has given serious thought to simply covering the stained-glass windows with metal security grates.

"Why should I fix them if this is going to happen again?" Feldman asks. "What's the sense if these kids come back tomorrow or the next day or next week or next month?"

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, whose office has promised to pay the estimated $2,000 worth of damage, hopes Feldman changes his mind.

"I think if we don't replace the windows it would be accepting what happened," Carrion says. "It would be sending a message, a message that we accept these conditions and accept failure. And I don't think that's a good idea."

For now, gray masking tape covers the holes and cracks in window panes on the side wall of the synagogue.

A police spokesman says Deputy Insp. Kevin Collins, who commands the 49th Precinct, has ordered patrols stepped up in the area around the synagogue. So far, police haven't made any arrests.

The synagogue dates back to 1954, a time when Jews were a dominant presence in the neighborhood, many of them relocating there from the congested Lower East Side. Across from the synagogue are the Pelham Parkway Houses, and Christopher Columbus High School is two blocks away. Jews in Pelham Parkway still are a distinct presence, but in far fewer numbers than years ago, and many of those who live here are long past middle age.

None of this seems to bother Feldman. On Thursday, he pulled up outside the synagogue in his car and he, Schulman, her husband Joe, 82, and Joe's sister-in-law, Lola Schulman, also 82, unloaded the trunk in preparation for the communal meal to be shared after Saturday's prayer service.

There was tuna fish, egg salad, gefilte fish and challah, among other items. And though the four seemed very much aware of the vulnerability that comes with their age, they said they're in no rush to head to the suburbs, even though their children have.

"I want to stay here," Joe Schulman says. "Everyone wants to stay. Everyone likes it here."

Schulman picked up a chunk of concrete that he found on the office floor following one of the acts of vandalism.

"You see the stones on the floor, you see the glass, it bothers you," he says. "You wonder why anybody would want to do this."

He looked to Feldman, as if he had the answer.

"It's not easy being Jewish," Feldman says. "But we still don't know why this happened. Who has an answer for why people do things? If this is kids, it is less painful because we'll know they're not doing it because we're Jews. If that's the case, I still feel we have to do something about it, maybe get together and sue the parents.

"But I've gotten past being beaten down by this - my wife is having a hip operation and I've got to fight to keep this place open."

By now, he says, just about everyone who worships at the synagogue knows about the vandalism. Thus far, Feldman says, none have been frightened enough to stay away.

In fact, he's already planning for the next card party.

"When we have an affair - three, four times a year - we get 70, 80 people," he says. "I don't know where they come from, but they come."
The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Capital parley looks into the future of the Jewish people
Haviv Rettig, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 8, 2007

A group of experts from around the Jewish world, NGO directors, political scientists, rabbis and scholars of various stripes, will gather in Jerusalem this week to help develop a plan for - no less - the future of the Jewish people.

The Conference on the Future of the Jewish People of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI) opens on Tuesday; four years of work will culminate in three days of working groups.

Participants will attempt to address all aspects of Jewish continuity - demographics and identity, Iran and China, conversion and education - and to offer concrete policy proposals for a pan-Jewish survival strategy for the first half of the 21st century.

The conference will take as its starting point the year 2030, in a planning process adopted from the US defense establishment. Attendees will be asked to map out different scenarios, from catastrophic to fantastic, for the scope, health and character of Jewish life in that year. Working backwards, they will examine "points of intervention" at which the situation of the Jewish people could be improved.

"We thought we had to create a Jules Verne of the Jewish people, a group of Jewish thinkers and first-rate planning people to brainstorm on how the Jewish people might look in 25 years," said JPPPI Director-General Avinoam Bar-Yosef.

To these thinkers and planners, from JPPPI founder Prof. Yehezkel Dror and fellow Winograd Committee member Prof. Ruth Gavison to defense establishment icons such as Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ya'acov Amidror and former Mossad intelligence director Prof. Uzi Arad to renowned Diaspora scholars such as Mexico's Judit Liwerant and Canada's Irwin Cotler, the institute added Jewish professionals such as federation heads John Ruskay of New York and Stephen Hoffman of Cleveland.

The goal, said Bar-Yosef, was to include not only the thinkers, but those "who deal with the existential questions on a day-to-day basis."

The JPPPI was founded in 2002 by the Jewish Agency as an independent institution tasked not with research, but with using available information to conduct planning for the Jewish people as a whole.

Speakers at the conference will include Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, opposition head MK Binyamin Netanyahu, JPPPI Board Chairman and former US ambassador Dennis Ross, Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski, Cotler and Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinharz.

But prestigious names alone do not a conference make. What would constitute success? For Bar-Yosef, this would be developing recommendations for Jewish continuity that are "agreed-upon, prioritized and actionable."

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1183901655979&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Post - http://www.jpost.com/
July 1, 2007: Arts & Letters
Jewish TV making waves in Ukraine
By Vladimir Matveyev

OLEG ROSTOVTSEV, the producer of "613," in a May interview with Rabbi Avraham Wolf of Odessa at the Odessa main synagogue.

KIEV, Ukraine—Once a relatively obscure rabbi, Moishe-Leyb Kolesnik is now a budding celebrity throughout Ukraine.

"I saw you on national television—quite often I hear this on the street," said Kolesnik, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi in his native town of Ivano-Frankovsk in western Ukraine.

The rabbi owes his sudden wave of fame to several appearances on "613," a Jewish-themed show that is broadcast biweekly on UT-1, the main state-run channel in Ukraine. According to Kolesnik, most of those who recognize him on the street are non-Jews, as are the majority of the show's audience.

The 30-minute program, which takes its name from the ancient rabbinic view that the Torah contains 613 commandments, is one of two biweekly Jewish shows that have been alternating each week on UT-1 since last year.

Both programs, "613" and "Mazel Tov," are produced by Jewish organizations, but the show's producers and Ukrainian Jewish activists are well aware that the influence of the shows extends to the entire nation—which is a good thing, since Jews make up approximately 100,000 to 250,000 of the country's 47 million people. "Having Jewish shows on the airwaves of the main state TV channel is a positive thing and a good sign of democratic development of Ukraine," said Zhanna Burgina, the chairwoman of the Reform Jewish congregation in Kiev. "The shows help promote Jewish culture and Judaism both for Jews and non-Jews."

Jews are the only religious minority to have shows on Ukranian national television. The only other religion-themed program on UT-1 is the Orthodox Christian program "Blagovestnik," which is broadcast on weekends and enjoys a larger audience than either of the two Jewish shows, which appear Thursdays in the early afternoons.

"613" is produced by journalists affiliated with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, a Chabad-Lubavitch organization and a leading Jewish organization in Ukraine. The show, which celebrated its first anniversary in June, covers an array of Jewish topics ranging from holidays and Jewish tradition to the past and present of Jewish communities in Ukraine. Much of its coverage is devoted to topics related to Chabad, which has a long history in Ukraine.

Reflecting the divides in the Ukrainian Jewish community, "613" is often seen as rivaling "Mazel Tov."

"Mazel Tov," which has been on for six years, is produced by AITI, a company affiliated with Vadim Rabinovich, a business tycoon and leader of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress. The congress is seen as a major rival to the Chabad-run federation.

In addition to the two shows, which can be seen by viewers across Ukraine, the former Soviet republic offers a dozen weekly Jewish shows on local and regional TV. Also available for the Jewish community are some 50 Jewish newspapers—mostly monthlies—and several radio programs, operated primarily by the Chabad-linked organization.

Despite his show's connection to Chabad, Rostovtzev says his team targets the widest possible audience, with the goal of educating Jews about Judaism and non-Jews about Jews.

"We strive to acquaint Ukrainian viewers, regardless of their ethnicity and faith, with the henomenal world of Jewish tradition and culture," Rostovtzev said.

"613" telecasts featured stories about the Jewish history of the city Nikolayev, where the last Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was born in 1902; Jews in the Crimean Peninsula; and the festival of Shavuot and its traditions and cuisine. The show's modest budget of $8,000 a month is provided by the Chabad-linked federation and, like "Mazel Tov," receives free airtime from UT-1.

Yulia Paliy, a non-Jewish student in the Kiev-based Institute of Cultural Studies, told JTA that she likes to watch the Jewish shows because they help her "better understand Jewish holidays and culture. And I like what I see."

Rabbi Azriel Chaikin, one of Ukraine's chief rabbis and the main Chabad religious authority in the country, believes that "613" primarily helps to "advance tolerance and strengthen interethnic accord in Ukraine."

Whereas few other former Soviet republics have one regular Jewish-themed TV show, Ukraine with its two shows this year celebrates 15 years of Jewish television.

"Mazel Tov" in 2001 replaced "Yachad," the first Jewish TV product in the former Soviet Union that continuously ran on Ukrainian state television for nine years, since 1992.

Community activists and others have criticized Ukrainian Jewish shows from the beginning for their narrow focus and sometimes poor production quality, but even the critics agree that the shows have benefited the Jewish community in a country where anti-Semitism has a long history.



Aaron Hamburger

Author Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection THE VIEW FROM STALIN'S HEAD.

His writing has appeared in Poets and Writers, Tin House, Details, Time Out New York, and the Forward, and won First Prize in the David J. Dornstein Contest for Young Jewish Writers. Currently he teaches creative writing at Columbia University. His latest book, a novel about an American Jewish family traveling to Jerusalem titled FAITH FOR BEGINNERS, recently came out in paperback.

We will discuss issues surrounding Jewish life in America and elsewhere. Readers can send questions to rosnersdomain@haaretz.co.il.

Dear Aaron,

My first question will probably be a soft ball as far as you're concerned. Based on your latest book, I'm sure this is something you have already thought about quite a lot: In your opinion, is Israel the canter of Jewish life (and the Jewish people) or just one center?



Define Jewish.

I'm reminded of a very sweet Gentile friend of mine from high school who once said to me, "I don't get it. Is Jewish a race or a religion?"

We hear a lot of talk about "Israeli Arabs," but do we ever hear about "Israeli Jews"? How does a Jew of Israeli citizenship define his or her Jewishness? I have not met many Israeli Jews who spent a lot of time wringing their hands over this question. Jews in Israel don't have to "do" or "believe" or even "assert" anything to be Jewish because they simply "are" Jewish. Just being alive and surviving as individuals and as a nation makes them de facto Jewish. People who
hold Israeli passports would have to go out of their way to explain "oh, but I'm not Jewish," because otherwise their Jewish identity is automatically assumed. Therefore, I believe Israel is indeed a center of Jewish life, if you define Judaism as an inherent characteristic that you're born with. Religious life exists there of course, but from what I've seen, religious practices are a matter largely left to tourists or recent American immigrants to Israel who live in Jerusalem, that most un-Israeli (culturally, I mean) of cities.

To be Jewish in America, however, is focused much less on innate and immutable characteristics. Many Jewish Americans would be insulted to hear themselves called a "Jew" or to hear their identity referred to as a "race." I think this is partially because we've been influenced by Christians, who define themselves not by bloodlines, but by their relationship to their faith. For an American Jew, the question isn't so much about how many of your ancestors had Jewish mothers (though that is a part of it), but rather such questions as "What synagogue do you go to?", "Do you keep kosher?", "Do you observe such and such a holiday?" However, these highly common markers of belief are actually not belief-based, but rather ritual or action-based. If to be Jewish in Israel is what you "are," to be Jewish in America is a function of what you "do." (Whereas to be Christian in America is a function of what you "believe.")

For a long while it was widely assumed that after World War II there were only two poles of Jewish life and culture: Israel and America. However, with the recent survival and even resurgence of Jewish life in Europe, as well as the widening gap between political and cultural life in Europe and in America, European Jewry is making a comeback and asserting a distinctly non-American and non-Israeli notion of what it means to be Jewish. These communities are populated not only by those whom we might traditionally define as Jewish, but also Russian immigrants with faint notions of what it is to be Jewish as well as people of partial Jewish ancestry who want to explore being Jewish.

The concept of Jewish identity has necessarily had to expand to include these people, for whom being Jewish is less about what you "are" or "do" but how you define yourself. In other words, to be Jewish in Europe is to say "I'm Jewish." Though what it means to say you're Jewish has yet to be defined. Is it eating challah on Friday nights or going to synagogue or having an Orthodox conversion?

These matters have inspired considerable ongoing debate.

Therefore, I think there are three centers of Jewish life and thought, each with competing identity models. Together they present interesting alternatives for us to choose from as we contemplate the survival of Judaism for the future.


Dear Aaron,

Here's the more difficult question: What is, or should be, the role of Israel in the lives of North American Jews?


I don't think Israel necessarily has any role that it "should" play in the
lives of North American Jews. Israel is Israel, North America is North
America. Israel is not a province or colony or tropical vacation
retreat for North American Jews who send money to sustain its existence, though that confusion does I think exist in the minds of many North American Jewish tourists who go there. Israel is not a Bible Theme Park. It's not a place for Jewish teenagers to go wild and let their hair down in the summertime, though again, I know that happens.

Most importantly, Israel is not a pillar of our religious belief, though Israel as well as the Holocaust has served as ways to bind young Jews to the Jewish faith, now that we live in a post-religious age when people are less likely to be bound to the principles of the faith itself. Studying Torah and keeping Shabbat may be a drag, for
example, but sunning yourself on a Tel Aviv beach or going on a Teen Trip to Israel is not only fun but also only lasts a few weeks,
whereas the nettlesome burdens of religion and faith last a lifetime.

It seems to me that an honest expression of Jewish identity is to concern yourself with the religion itself rather than the place where the religion made its first appearance so many centuries ago. Israel is a fine place, but we as North American Jews should recognize that unless we intend to immigrate there, it is not our place. It's the Israelis' place with a unique history and local culture that we don't share, no matter how much money we've raised or how many times we've gone to visit. Certainly we feel some kinship with Israel, and in fact many of us have family there. If we as individuals want to develop that relationship, fine. But I believe that is a choice each of us makes on our own and not a "should" or a "must" for all of us.


Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elysahiv said...

Women think they're smarter than me.

Aloni: Rabbis hate insubordinate women

Former Meretz leader and staunch opponent of religious institutions in Israel says struggle against rabbinical courts should be led by religious women, 'whose knowledge is often superior to men's'
Kobi Nahshoni

"It's unacceptable that a man, just because he studied such and such Gemara pages, will be able to doom you to be refused a divorce or make you slaves in your own home," former MK Shulamit Aloni told participants at the Kolech conference on women status and religion Sunday.

Referring to the plight of women who were refused a divorce, Aloni slammed the rabbinical courts in Israel and lauded the conference's organizers for their contribution to the struggle against the phenomenon.

According to the former Meretz MK, religious women were the most fitting to lead the struggle against the religious institutions, because "learned women have the means to deal with the rabbinical judges much more than heretics like myself. Some of them have knowledge superior to their male colleagues and the judges," she stated.

Aloni said that her long-standing fight against religious coercion failed because she was unsuccessful in enlisting the support of the religious public. She called for a joining of forces between secular and religious women's organizations, but stressed that such cooperation could never be complete: "I won't attend a prayer – neither with the women of the Western Wall, nor in one of your femininist minyanim."

When asked why she's being perceived as a hater of religion, Aloni reminded participants that her efforts to institutionalize civil marriage were only made after the religious authorities rejected halachic solutions she proposed. She stated that her demand to establish civil marriage came after she found out that "rabbis hate insubordinate women. The haredim have taken over the rabbinical courts and have made the situation there unbearable.

"The courts are plagued with corruption and indifference," she added.

Aloni also slammed the leader of the haredi Lithuanian stream, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elysahiv, who banned haredi women from studying for a BA. "No one should listen to this old rabbi who says that women shouldn't study for a degree, but should support the family instead," she said.

exposemolesters said...

From the Los Angeles Times
Board won't bar alleged molester from schools
School psychologist won't lose his license. The alleged victim's mother is 'outraged.'
By Garrett Therolf
Times Staff Writer

June 28, 2007

A former educational psychologist for Los Angeles schools who allegedly molested a boy hundreds of times two decades ago will not lose his state license and will be able to continue working with children.

In a terse letter last month, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences informed the alleged victim's mother that it had concluded a nearly yearlong investigation, and no action would be taken against Peter J. Ruthenbeck because the statute of limitations had run out.

The alleged victim's mother, Paula Morgan Johnson, a therapist herself, said the decision has left her "devastated" and "outraged."

She had filed a complaint with the board that included a handwritten note that she said she received from Ruthenbeck, who provides psychological therapy to deaf and hard-of-hearing children. He was fired by Los Angeles Unified School District in September when Morgan Johnson provided the district with the letter. Ruthenbeck has held contracts with a number of other schools.

In the unsigned letter, which came in an envelope bearing Ruthenbeck's name and return address in Huntington Beach, the writer acknowledged hurting Scott Johnson.

"What was wrong with me back then is still a part of me today, but it is buried very deeply," the writer said. "I have learned to not allow myself to indulge in conscious fantasies, but I still sometimes have dreams that I remember when I wake up. I don't know that there is a way to control this."

Scott Johnson, now a carpenter in Boulder, Colo., said he met Ruthenbeck in 1978, when the older man was assigned to him in a Big Brother program. Johnson was 8, Ruthenbeck was 19. Johnson said Ruthenbeck began molesting him several months later and continued until he was 15.

When Johnson broke his silence last year, Ruthenbeck was banned from the Big Brother program. Johnson and his mother asked Boulder police to investigate, but authorities said the statute of limitations had passed.

Paul Riches, the executive officer of the state behavioral sciences board, said no action could be taken against Ruthenbeck because of a 10-year statute of limitations that applies to sexual abuse. A "thorough investigation" found no "clear and convincing" evidence of professional misconduct over the past decade, Riches said.

Ruthenbeck could not be reached for comment, and his attorney, B. Robert Farzad, did not return repeated phone calls. His office declined to say where Ruthenbeck is working.

Until September, Ruthenbeck worked an average of three days a week for L.A. Unified. The sessions were conducted one-on-one or in small groups.

Ruthenbeck, who is married and has two children, served in recent years as president of the California Assn. of Licensed Educational Psychologists. He had worked for L.A. Unified for at least 12 years. Ruthenbeck's 2005-06 contract allowed him to bill the district up to $212,000 per year depending on his client load.

The administrator of his contract, Eileen Skone-Rees, said Ruthenbeck didn't protest when she canceled his contract.

The two never directly discussed the alleged abuse of Johnson. "I didn't ask, and he didn't offer," she said this week.

She also said that she had never received a complaint about Ruthenbeck until she received a phone call from Morgan Johnson.

Morgan Johnson said she received the letter after confronting Ruthenbeck over the phone.

In the letter, the writer said, "I am so, so very sorry. Whenever I think about that period in my life, I wonder what was wrong with me.

"You asked me what I was feeling. Since your call I have felt overwhelming shame, guilt and sadness."

Morgan Johnson said she did not think it was possible for Ruthenbeck to reform. "I am a trauma therapist," she said, "and someone who abuses a child over a long period of time, hundreds and hundreds of times, is not committing an adolescent indiscretion. This is pedophilia. Pedophiles don't stop."

She said that despite the statute of limitations, the state board should have taken action.

"Based upon the letter that Pete sent me, I thought the board had enough evidence to warrant a finding that he had sexually abused my son and to take disciplinary action against him. As a mother, I am outraged and devastated by their decision. The board has failed in its responsibility to protect our children," she said.



If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives.
Serial molester given freedom
Monterey County: Judge rules Lamb completed sexual predator program
Herald Salinas Bureau
Monterey County Herald
Article Last Updated:07/04/2007 01:26:44 AM PDT
James Lamb is getting out of the state hospital and is probably coming back to Monterey County.

The former Spreckels resident who has admitted molesting 50 children was granted his conditional release by Judge Richard Curtis on Tuesday. Curtis ruled that Lamb made enough progress in the Sexually Violent Predator program at Atascadero State Hospital that he can be released under strict supervision.

"I do not think he's a danger," Curtis said in issuing his ruling, which he called "probably the most difficult decision" he ever had to make as a judge.

"You are always going to be a pedophile," Curtis told Lamb. "I think you're aware of that and are taking steps to deal with that. I have an obligation to (protect) society, clearly. But at the same time, the law now and at the time (of Lamb's offenses) doesn't mean someone who committed the crimes you did has to serve a life sentence."

Lamb, 49, was twice convicted of molesting boys — in 1984, when he molested two 6-year-olds, and in 1991, when he molested a 9-year-old from Spreckels. He was released from prison in 1997, but was returned within weeks after he was found in possession of child pornography.

In 1998, just before he was to be released from prison, Lamb was convicted under the state's new Sexually Violent Predator Act for repeat sex offenders, and kept incarcerated while he underwent treatment.

Lamb's defense attorney, Deana Davis, said she and her client are "very pleased."

"We believe the judge made the correct call under the law," Davis said. "Mr. Lamb worked very hard to be released."

In addition to completing four phases of the five-phase program, which teaches violators how to deal with their urges, Lamb was voluntarily castrated — chemically and physically. Lamb's Atascadero psychiatrist, Dr. Gabrielle Paladino, and the rest of his treatment team unanimously backed his release, which Curtis said heavily influenced his decision.

After the ruling, Lamb thanked Curtis, calling the decision a "very difficult one."

"I will let this program speak through me," Lamb said. "I will be a success."

Lamb will be returned to Atascadero State Hospital, where Liberty Health Care officials will determine when and where he will be released. State law requires that he be sent to the county where he lived when he was convicted.

Davis said her client could be released "literally anywhere" in Monterey County, as long as there is a landlord willing to accept him. She said Lamb won't be released until suitable housing is found. It will probably take at least three months for him to be released, Davis said.

Lamb will be subject to 24-hour monitoring, a curfew, and testing for drugs, alcohol and testosterone. He won't be allowed to have a computer or access to the Internet, nor will he be allowed to use a telephone. He must be employed.

Davis said Lamb "is going to be under so much scrutiny that I don't think it will be possible for him to harm anyone."

Chief Deputy District Attorney Terry Spitz said local prosecutors aren't surprised by the ruling, but that it isn't a foregone conclusion that Lamb won't end up back in state custody. He said that if Lamb violates any of the terms of his release, he will be sent back to Atascadero.

"Judge Curtis correctly pointed out that (Lamb's) diagnosis doesn't just go away," Spitz said. "The question is how well he's able to control his urges. We're concerned about that and that's why we argued this case so strongly."

Spitz said he isn't convinced that Lamb will automatically be released in Monterey County, noting that Santa Clara County is a primary host of regional sexually violent predator programs.

Lamb will be the eighth person placed on conditional release from the program, and the first who committed crimes locally.

Curtis noted that five of the previous seven people who won conditional release graduated from the program.

"That tells me that something real is occurring with respect to that program," he said.

If Lamb makes it through the conditional release phase of his treatment, which usually lasts from one to three years, said Davis, he could be eligible for unconditional release. Lamb has indicated he would like to move to Arizona, where his mother lives in a retirement community.

Jim Johnson can be reached at 753-6753 or jjohnson@montereyherald.com.

EM Comments:


exposemolesters said...

At conference on future of Jewish people, delegates ask why peace is off the agenda
By Amiram Barkat

A number of delegates attending the Jerusalem Conference on the Future of the Jewish People were surprised to find that Jewish-Muslim peace was not even on the agenda for debate.

Rene Shmuel Sirat, the former chief rabbi of France, protested that the word "peace" seemed to have become a four-letter word in Jewish public discourse.

"Without peace the Jewish people have no future," Sirat said in an interview with Haaretz.


"It is unacceptable that peace should not be included in the plans for the future of the Jewish people."

Public figures, political functionaries, academics and journalists attending the conference - organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute - took part in debates on how to deal with threats to the future of the Jewish people. Sirat is the only Orthodox rabbi at the conference. A former Bible and Hebrew lecturer at the University of Paris, he is known to be liberal and moderate.

Sirat was critical of how a conference about the Jewish nation?s future was not being held in Hebrew but in "Shakespeare's tongue," for the convenience of the venerable guests from the United States. A member of the discussion group on Identity and Demography, Sirat had to make use of simultaneous translation services.

Yesterday's discussions dealt with formulating ways of combating anti-Semitism, assimilation, and dealing with the possible loss of the Jewish majority in Israel. Not only was advancing peace not on the agenda, it was also not mentioned in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech to the conference on Tuesday night. Olmert chose to tell participants that he felt more Jewish than Israeli, and admitted that he had nothing new to tell them.

Sirat burst out and challenged the participants during one of the discussion groups, asking how such a fundamental Jewish issue as pursuing peace was not even raised for discussion.

"I thought I was going to explode," he told Haaretz. "Has peace become a rude word among us Jews? How can you plan a future for the Jewish nation without addressing the peace issue?"

Sirat says the replies reflected mostly despair and indifference.

Sirat said he was not naive, and was aware that the chances for peace in 2007 were slim. "I understand the threats and am aware of the effects of terror," he said. "My brother was killed in a terror attack in Algiers in 1962 as he was coming out of the synagogue after prayer on Sabbath eve. I saw the grief my parents suffered. But it seems to me that we have forgotten that pursuing peace is a basic Jewish value. It's a commandment that is not conditioned on Abu Mazen's capabilities, or how good are the chances to reach an agreement."

Sirat believes that despite the unlikelihood, there is still room for optimism regarding the peace process. A year and a half ago he visited Jordan and took part in an inter-religious forum headed by Prince Hassan bin Talal. During his visit he visited a Jordanian refugee camp.

"I told the young Palestinians that on the other side of the Jordan (river) there are hundreds of thousands of young people who are interested in making peace with them, and I was applauded," he said. The conference will close today as the various discussion groups present their recommendations. President-elect Shimon Peres will deliver the closing speech.

exposemolesters said...

Airing the courts' dirty laundry
By Tamar Rotem

"The call to establish alternative courts is coming from a place of disappointment with and despair over the way the rabbinical courts function," said one speaker after another at a conference held earlier this week by Kolech, a religious feminist women's organization. The audience responded with applause and an academic discussion on a new court with a humane ideology that would free agunot (literally, chained women, who cannot obtain a get, or bill of divorce) and mesoravot get (women whose recalcitrant husbands refuse to grant them a get) soon turned into a protest calling for the establishment of extra-institutional courts. The participants hope that these courts will pave the way for a revolution in Israeli family law.

It was an impressive opening for the fifth Kolech conference, attended by hundreds of women and quite a few men. Unlike previous years, Kolech managed this year to enlist figures from outside the liberal, religious milieu - even opponents from the centrist religious Zionist stream who until now tended to give in to the ultra-Orthodox establishment and to its representatives in the rabbinical courts.

The appointment of judges, mostly from the strict school of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, to the rabbinical courts acted as a backdrop to the conference. Their appointment caused displeasure among religious Zionist rabbis, which was also reflected in a petition to the High Court of Justice submitted by the Tzohar organization of rabbis.

Seated on the dais were Prof. Menachem Schiffman, a legal scholar and author of the book, "Who's Afraid of Civil Marriage?," Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kadari, the head of Bar-Ilan University's Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women's Status and rabbinical court pleader Rivka Lubitz (all associated with the liberal-religious side); other prominent activists in the religious feminist arena, and Rabbi Israel Rosen, the head of the Tzomet Institute (which promotes integrating halakha and modern life), who in the past came out against Kolech.

A few hours later, in a mock divorce trial arranged by Mavoi Satum (an organization which helps agunot and mesoravot obtain gets), religious Zionist rabbis served as judges for an hour. The participants included Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, the chief rabbi of Haifa, and Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, the head of the Ma'aleh Adumim Yeshiva, who is considered an important halakhic arbiter, together with Rabbi David Bigman, the head of Hakibbutz Hadati's (the religious kibbutz movement's) yeshiva in Ma'aleh Gilboa. The mere consent of the two rabbis to take part in a discussion that suggested halakhic solutions not used by the courts to free mesoravot get was considered a great achievement.

Rosen announced a move to set up a new and independent "social" court, adding that he distanced himself from the concept of "alternative courts." He says that, from a halakhic perspective, the idea had already been worked out and the initiative had received the blessing and consent of leading rabbis - among them, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Zephania Drori. Rosen also said that the judges in the courts would be rabbis ordained as dayanim (rabbinical court judges) from the religious Zionist movement, whom "Eli Yishai does not favor" and who "are graced with a contemporary worldview and a humane social agenda that takes into account the woman's suffering."

The new court will not issue divorces, but will mainly discuss financial disputes between a couple and the issue of alimony and child support. In addition, the court will rule in favor of issuing a divorce more often than the rabbinical courts and may impose economic sanctions on recalcitrant husbands. "All other matters can be resolved in family court," Rosen said. In effect, a couple appearing before the new court can bring a signed agreement to the rabbinical court for its approval.

Rosen said the new court will not become entangled with the problem of legal authority. Rather, its arbitration rulings can be enforced according to Israeli law. But in practice, this is where the problematic side of the new court lies: People may approach the court on a voluntary basis, but the question is, why would recalcitrant husbands want to approach it? Moreover, the court does not have the authority to enforce its rulings on essential matters such as child custody and visitation rights. According to Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, of Tzohar, the call to establish alternative courts, which has been floating around for around a year, gained momentum after the judicial appointments incident. He said, the initiative grew out of "impossible rulings, both from a Torah perspective and a humanist perspective."

"In this court, a woman could ostensibly be on the panel," said Rosen but was careful to add: "But we want to lend it the appearance of an important court." This comment did not pass quietly. Rabbinical court pleader Rivka Lubitz, who is active in the Center for Women's Justice, responded to his remarks and predicted that the initiative would face a struggle with the rabbinical courts, which would not want to be a rubber stamp "and just issue a divorce."

She says the inclusion of women should not be accomplished quietly, but openly and in the light of day. "It is possible that the time has not yet come for women to be dayanot (female rabbinical court judges)," she said, "but it is inconceivable that women would not be part of the planning team for the alternative court."

"The reason this topic made headlines and that the criticism is so focused, is that women became educated and found a voice," added Lubitz. "Basically, the fact that Rabbi Rosen could get up and say that there is a need to set up alternative courts without him being stoned, is directly connected to our work. Every project to set up courts is based on our hard and unpleasant work, during which we were sullied with mud and mire. We will not consent to being overlooked."

Lubitz said her remarks should not be seen as the "feminine side of the story" or as another call to hear the distress of agunot and mesoravot get. "That's not the point," she says. "Women who are active in this area have learned the system and understand the courts in ways that others don't understand them. It took them years to acquire this understanding. No one can allow himself to give up this knowledge."

Lubitz called for the courts to hire dayanim "with knowledge and education beyond the page of Gemara." She added that "Torah knowledge is simply not enough when it comes to issuing a halakhic ruling in the case of a marriage-related dispute. Attorneys can tell of rulings issued that were not only illegible and incomprehensible but also illogical and impossible to implement in the real world, because they didn't correspond to the law."

Lubitz arranged an exhibit, "Dirty Laundry," in the foyer of the room where the Kolech conference was held. She hung up white shirts worn by dayanim on a laundry line and on each shirt printed scandalous rulings, which reflected their obtuseness to the suffering of the woman who was refused a get. She documented two rulings in the case of Rachel Avraham, who was refused a divorce for 17 years. In 2000, after Avraham received the longed-for get, the dayanim canceled it only to reinstate it six years later. And so, with the swipe of a pen, they decreed another six years of needless suffering.

Lubitz, who publishes critical articles on the fight against recalcitrant husbands on the NRG Web site, says that the exhibit was created in response to the question she is frequently asked: "Why are you airing your dirty laundry in public?"

"The urge to do so began even before I started writing," she says. "I thought rulings by dayanim who were immune to the suffering of women should be publicized. At first, I thought of hanging up the rulings themselves, and then I thought of the statement in the Gemara that a scholar with a taint found on his clothing deserves death. Hanging the shirts hints at the severity of the matter. With this, I want to say that the dayanim are tainted by the harsh rulings they choose to write."
The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Europe: 3 anti-Semitic attacks in 24 hrs
jpost.com staff and ap, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 11, 2007

A wave of anti-Semitic attacks comprising of graffiti, a vandalized Holocaust memorial and verbal abuse, hit European cities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Moscow, vandals drew a picture of a burning Swastika and Star of David on the wall of a Hebrew learning institution belonging to the Jewish Agency.

Earlier, a group of about 20 people chanting Nazi slogans accosted a rabbi in central Ukraine, a Jewish community spokesman said.

Rabbi Shlomo Vilgelm was uninjured in the attack late Monday near the synagogue in Zhytomyr, about 140 kilometers (90 miles) west of Kiev, said Oleh Rostovtsev, spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine.

Police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident, but did not comment on specifics.

Rostovtsev criticized officials for not doing enough to discourage anti-Semitism in Ukraine, where there are some 100,000 Jews. He noted that police routinely classified attacks as cases of hooliganism, a lesser offense.

Police denied allegations of anti-Semitism on the force.

Meanwhile, vandals burned a small Israeli flag and knocked over candles at a Berlin memorial to Jews deported during the Holocaust, police.

Police said they discovered the damage shortly before midnight Tuesday at the memorial at the Grunewald train station, from which thousands of Jews were deported to death camps during the Holocaust.

An investigation was under way.

A desecrated Jewish gravestone in a cemetery in Britain.
Photo: AP [file]
Protests over modesty sign rock Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet

Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet residents have been holding disruptive protests since July 2, when the municipality removed a sign asking people to dress modestly.

Some residents expressed opposition when the sign was first erected at the intersection of Rehov Nahar Yarden and Sderot Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi four years ago. Now, others are fighting to have it put back up.

The owner of the building where the sign hung had refused to remove it, and, for a year, paid the municipality a daily fine.

Residents of neighboring Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, also unhappy with the lack of modesty in the area, decided to hang up their own signs several weeks ago.

In response, the municipality sent epresentatives to remove the ad-hoc signs, to fine those responsible, and - augmenting the original order - to remove the original, official sign hanging in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. This last decision sparked the current protests.

Haredi Rabbi Daniel Bitton was reportedly overpowered when he tried to take the sign from police who had removed it from the wall.

"The police just took him and threw him on the floor, and now he is in the hospital undergoing surgery," said Rachel Rotman of Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. "The municipality here does not relate to us at all and does not help with any of our problems, and now they suddenly come and cause trouble by taking down our sign."

That same day, five men were arrested for creating a disturbance. Local haredim cited a rumor, according to which police, acting on the orders of the municipality, said the men would remain in jail for six months before being allowed to have a trial, something which is obviously false.

That triggered the rallies, which occur nightly at the intersection. Twenty to 50 people congregate to chant, throw rocks and burn garbage, causing the closure of several roads and disturbing residents' sleep. They plan to continue protesting until the five men are released.

"These people are like terrorists who are making everyone else suffer," said one irate woman who wished to remain anonymous. "It's just not normal what they are doing. They obviously have nothing better to do with their time, and the violent way that they are reacting is not according to the Torah."

"Yes, what they are doing is disruptive, but it is the right thing to do," Rotman said. "They're doing it for a reason, since there are young wives whose husbands are in jail, and the only way to get them out is to keep bothering the police until they give in. It's worked in the past."
Rabbi Rosen: Don’t aid Darfur refugees, Gazans

Head of Zomet institute says Israel has no moral obligation to aid Sudanese in Israel or abroad; slams assistance to ‘Israel’s bitter enemies’ in Gaza
Kobi Nahshoni

Israel must not absorb refugees from Sudan into the country, or assist them in any way abroad, Rabbi Israel Rosen, head of the Zomet Institute and one of the most prominent rabbis of religious Zionism,


In an article set to be published in a synagogue pamphlet this weekend, Rabbi Rosen also criticizes extending basic humanitarian aid to the hungry residents of the Gaza Strip, claiming that “this will serve as a biological weapon that will encourage internal resistance.” Rosen told Ynet that there was no moral obligation “in the name of the prophets” to send aid, or halachic rulings on which to base such assistance.

The rabbi states that Israel should only allow the Darfur refugees passage through the country, and give them minimal assistance during their stay here.

“The problem is very difficult due to the risk of a ‘slippery slope.’ Where will this business end and how big will it get? Can we bear the burden of lending help while our own poor are in desperate need of medicine? Furthermore, there is a security risk in the infiltration of hostile elements,” the rabbi writes.

Rosen unequivocally opposes absorbing the refugees in Israel, even temporarily, or assisting them on the other side of the border. “The UN should take care of them, this is what it was created for,” he writes.

Civilians also guilty
Referring to the question of sending aid to Gaza, the rabbi says, “I see no moral obligation, ‘in the name of the prophets’ to send to any neighboring country, and certainly not our bitter enemies, flour, sugar, oil and milk, and not even fuel and electricity.”

Rosen slams the possibility of supplying fuel to the Qassam launchers, and says that the uninvolved civilians should also be withheld assistance, because of their failure to protest against the rocket attacks. “This is no less moral than psychological warfare aimed at the same objective,” he concludes.
Israel must reject Darfur refugees, rabbi says

Kiryat Arba rabbi Dov Lior rules Israel must not accept Sudanese refugees, because 'tomorrow they might join our enemies'

Neta Sela
Published: 05.17.07, 07:39 / Israel Jewish Scene

Israel must not allow Darfur refugees into its territory or enable them to stay in the country, Kiryat Arba's rabbi Dov Lior said in a halachic ruling published on Arutz Sehva's website Wednesday.

"We are not currently in a state of peace. We are in a state of war, surrounded by enemies, and we don't know whether tomorrow they (the refugees) will join those who hate us," Rabbi Lior said. "Therefore, the State of Israel must not allow such a thing."

The rabbi added that the fact that Sudan fought against Israel during the War of Independence in 1948 was another reason why the refugees should be rejected.

The rabbi ruled on the matter after he was presented with a question regarding the absorption of 24 Darfur refugees in Beer Sheva last week, after both the army and the police refused to assume responsibility for them.

exposemolesters said...

Jews slam Kucinich on Iran

Published: 07/12/2007

Jewish leaders slammed Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich for denying that Iran's president seeks to destroy Israel.

Jewish leaders in Ohio, where Kucinich is a congressman, said Kucinich's insistence that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad merely wants regime change in Israel, not death to its people and supporters, is dangerously credulous.

"Unfortunately it goes beyond naive," Alan Melamed, president of the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Wednesday.

Kucinich and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) were the only members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against a June 20 resolution condemning Iran's president and asking the U.N. Security Council to move against Ahmadinejad for threats that violate the genocide conventions, the Plain Dealer said.Jewish leaders slammed Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich for denying that Iran's president seeks to destroy Israel.

Published: 07/12/2007
A new encyclopedia of Jewish women's history has been published.

"A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia of Jewish Women" was launched Thursday at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. It was put out by Shalvi Publications and sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Archive.

The encyclopedia, available only on CD-ROM, was edited by Paula Hyman of Yale University and Dalia Ofer of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

It contains more than 3 million words and 2,000 articles and entries, including biographies of great Jewish women through the ages and discussions of contemporary issues relating to women's status in Judaism such as nuptial agreements, fertility treatments and modern approaches to mikvah.

Article published Jul 11, 2007
Israel vs. Hezbollah, Round 2

July 11, 2007

Arnaud de Borchgrave - Whether Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wants to wipe Israel off the map is still contested, even by anti-mullah Iranian-Americans. But that he wants to wipe out the Jewish state, there can be no doubt. As he completes his visits to every Iranian town, the collection of his pronunciamentos is edifying reading.

Culled from a wide variety of sources, ranging from Agence France Presse (AFP), the French national news agency, to the London Daily Telegraph, to the Suddeutsche Zeitung Online, to France's Le Monde and Liberation, Mr. Ahmadinejad spells out the target and the strategy: "This regime [Israel] will one day disappear.... The Zionist regime is a rotten tree that will be blown away by one storm.... The countdown for the destruction of Israel has begun. Zionists are the personification of Satan.

"In the case of any unwise move by the fake regime of Israel, Iran's response will be so destructive and quick the regime will regret its move forever.... The West invented the myth of the massacre of the Jews (in World War II) and placed it above Allah, religions and prophets."

Mr. Ahmadinejad's strategic recipe: "We don't shy away from declaring Islam is ready to rule the world.... The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world.... Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi [a 5-year-old boy who vanished 1,100 years ago and who will lead the world into an era of peace and prosperity, but not before the planet is convulsed by death and destruction].

"Soon Islam will become the dominating force in the world, occupying first place in the number of followers among all other religions....

"Is there a craft more beautiful, more sublime, more divine, than the craft of giving yourself to martyrdom and becoming holy?... Do not doubt Allah will prevail, and Islam will conquer mountaintops of the entire world. Iran can recruit hundreds of suicide bombers a day. Suicide is an invincible weapon. Suicide bombers in this land showed us the way, and they enlighten our future.... The will to commit suicide is one of the best ways of life.

"By the grace of Allah we will be a nuclear power and Iran does not give a damn about [International Atomic Energy Agency] demands [to freeze enrichment of nuclear fuel]. Iran does not give a dam about resolutions.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has the capacity to quickly become a world superpower. Iran's enemies know your courage, faith and commitment to Islam and... Iran has created a powerful army that can powerfully defend the political borders and the integrity of the Iranian nation and cut off the hand of any aggressor and place the sign of disgrace on their forehead.

"In parallel to the official political war there is a hidden war going on and the Islamic states should benefit from their economic potential to cut off the hands of the enemies."

Addressing a conference on "The World Without Zionism," Mr. Ahmadinejad said, "To those who doubt, to those who say is it not possible, I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible."

Hyperbole, gigantism, overkill, huckstering, hocus-pocus, all of the above. But intelligence mounts daily of Iranian efforts to undermine U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan and U.N. efforts to stem the violence in Lebanon (six U.N. peacekeepers were killed by a roadside improvised explosive device).

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's report said, "It is widely believed in Lebanon, including by the government, that the strengthening of Palestinian outposts could not have taken place without the tacit knowledge and support of the Syrian government."

Ban Ki-moon also noted Israel's claim that "the transfer of sophisticated weapons by Syria and Iran across the Lebanese-Syrian border, including long-range rockets [with a range of 250 miles]... [and] anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, occurs on a weekly basis."

Israel also says Hezbollah "armed elements are constructing new facilities in the Bekaa Valley, including command and control centers, rocket-launching capabilities and conducting military training exercises."

There is little doubt Israel and Hezbollah are suiting up to resume last summer's 34-day war in which the Israel Defense Force came off second-best due to poor political and military leadership. Hezbollah is also shorthand for Syria and Iran. Tehran supplies the equipment and the funding. Syria acts as the transmission belt and is generously compensated.

Damascus has evidently concluded an Israeli offensive across the Golan Heights is in the offing. For the first time in 40 years, Syria dismantled military checkpoints on the road to Kuneitra on its side of the Golan. Foreign journalists were barred from covering Israeli maneuvers on the Heights. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the IDF was conducting military maneuvers — and nothing more.

One of the more plausible scenarios has Israel preparing for a drive into Syria across the Golan Heights, and then fighting a "decisive" battle with the Syrian army on the road to Damascus, followed by a left "hook" into Lebanon to execute an outflanking attack on Hezbollah. Syria has advised its citizens to leave Lebanon as soon as possible.

That could also be a strategically propitious moment for U.S. action against Iran. It remains to be seen whether the key players in President Bush's National Security Council would agree an opportunity is at hand to dust off an Air Force and Navy contingency plan to take out Iran's 23 nuclear facilities.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

Published: 07/11/2007

The Jewish Agency has agreed to house 58 Sudanese refugees near Sderot.

As various Israeli government agencies quarrel over who’s responsible for housing the hundreds of Sudanese refugees flowing into the Israel via Egypt, the Jewish Agency for Israel announced Monday it would house 58 of the refugees in the Ibim student village near Sderot. The move was made in response to a request by the Prime Minister’s Office, the agency said.

"This is a humanitarian gesture to human beings in distress," Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski said.

Most of the Sudanese refugees are bussed to Beersheba after being picked up by Israeli patrols along the Israel-Egypt border. The municipality says it does not have the resources to pay for shelter for untold numbers of refugees fleeing the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

Sex abuse claim to be first under Del.'s new victims' rights law
Associated Press Writer

July 11, 2007, 7:11 PM EDT

DOVER, Del. -- The ink is barely dry on a new Delaware law aimed at protecting the legal rights of victims of child sexual abuse, but it's already being tested.

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed a law Tuesday that abolishes Delaware's two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits for victims of child sex abuse. The law also allows a two-year "lookback" period during which lawsuits previously barred by the statute of limitations can be brought anew.

Wilmington attorney Thomas Neuberger said Wednesday that he plans to file a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of an alleged victim of retired Catholic priest Francis DeLuca.

DeLuca, 77, who served in the Diocese of Wilmington for 35 years, pleaded guilty in a Syracuse, N.Y., court last month to sexually abusing a boy over several years. DeLuca was arrested in October after a Syracuse teen told his parents he had been sexually abused by the priest from the time he was 12 or 13 until the time he was 17.

After allegations of sexual abuse by DeLuca surfaced in the early 1990s in the Wilmington diocese, Bishop Robert Mulvee had allowed DeLuca to retire to his hometown of Syracuse.

Shortly after DeLuca's arrest last year, Wilmington Bishop Michael Saltarelli released the names of 20 diocesan priests against whom the diocese had substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse.

Neuberger plans to sue both DeLuca and the Diocese of Wilmington, taking advantage of the new law's two-year window to file lawsuits previously barred by the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.

Among those who spoke in favor of the new law as it was being debated in the General Assembly was Robert Quill, 52, of Marathon, Fla., who claimed that DeLuca had abused him for years, starting when Quill was 13, at St. Elizabeth Parish in Wilmington.

"I can't comment on anything right now," said Quill, who was in Delaware on Wednesday.

Neuberger's law firm declined to provide details about the complaint. Diocesan spokesman Robert Krebs said it would be premature to comment before seeing any court papers.

DeLuca, who pleaded guilty in the New York case to one count of second-degree sexual abuse, two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 27. He faces up to two years in prison.

Chris Langham, the Bafta-winning star of the BBC comedy said...

From The Times
July 13, 2007
Comic actor Langham accused of grooming girl, 14, for abuse
Jack Malvern

Chris Langham, the Bafta-winning star of the BBC comedy The Thick of It, groomed a 14-year-old girl for systematic sexual abuse over three years after befriending her at a West End musical, a court was told yesterday.

The actor and writer is alleged to have sexually assaulted the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in his dressing room at the Palace Theatre, where he performed in Les Mis�rables in the late 1990s.

Jurors at Maidstone Crown Court were told that he impressed the girl by taking her to art galleries and exclusive West End clubs and restaurants with the intention of corrupting her in a series of sexual encounters.

The prosecution described in graphic detail the alleged liaisons between Mr Langham, 58, and the girl, who met him on her 14th birthday, when she asked him for his autograph.

Richard Barraclough, QC, for the prosecution, said that Mr Langham had an “interest in young girls” that also led him to download child pornography in 2005.

The actor is indicted on 27 charges, comprising two serious sexual assaults, ten indecent assaults and fifteen charges related to downloading child pornography. He denies all the charges. He admits that he had one sexual encounter with her, when she was an adult.

Mr Barraclough said that the girl met Mr Langham in April 1996, when her mother took her to seeLes Mis�rables. The mother and daughter obtained Mr Langham’s autograph, and then became regulars at the stage door. They saw the show “in excess of 50 times”, the prosecution said. “As you can imagine, they soon became very friendly with stage door staff and the actors and actresses, and they started to be invited in,” Mr Barraclough said.

Mr Langham, a recovering alcoholic, invited the mother to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and agreed to help the daughter to learn Shakespeare, the court was told. Mr Barraclough said that Mr Langham had exploited the girl’s vulnerability. “Her childhood, I think, she would describe as unhappy and devoid of affection. She was a troubled girl. She developed anorexia . . . He did all sorts of things for her, even paying for her to get help with her eating disorder.”

Mr Langham also gave the girl acting lessons, and during one of these he kissed her, Mr Barraclough said. “That was under the guise of teaching her the correct way to breathe.”

The married father of two bought her a copy ofThe Merchant Of Venice, took her to dinner at The Ivy and introduced her to his family, Mr Barraclough said.

They later had sex, in an hotel in Kensington, West London. The sexual encounters continued until she became an adult, the court was told.

David Whitehouse, QC, for Mr Langham, said the allegations were false and arose only after the actor attempted to distance himself from the girl after their sole sexual encounter, when she was 18. “This was a big mistake,” Mr Whitehouse said. “As big a mistake as having sex with her in the first place, because she couldn’t take the rejection.”

He told the jury that Mr Langham had downloaded pornographic files for research. He was trying to understand the mindset of a paedophile so he could include such a character in Help, a comedy drama he co-wrote about patients who visit a psychiatrist. He told the jury that there was no connection between the girl’s allegations and the pornographic files on Mr Langham’s computer. “At first blush it looks very unattractive: a man in his late forties going to expensive restaurants with a teenage girl, goes to hotels with her, what possible explanation could there be other than that he was having sex with her?

“Then she gives a detailed account, supported by a scrapbook and hotel receipts. Lastly, when they had searched his computers, they find indecent material on there . . . [it] adds up to a picture which appears to establish what the prosecution alleges. But it wasn’t like that.”

He said that Mr Langham’s motive for helping her was not sexual, but part of his recovery from alcoholism. “He attributes his recovery to the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. One of their beliefs is that you can only help yourself if you help others. He was trying to help her with her anorexia.” The trial continues.

wikipedia said...

Sexual abuse
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sexual abuse (also referred to as molestation) is defined by the forcing of undesired sexual acts by one person to another. The term incest is defined as sexual abuse between family members, and the euphemism "bad touch" is used to describe such abuse.(Renvoizé 1982)

Different types of sexual abuse involve:

* Non-consensual, forced physical sexual behavior such as rape or sexual assault
* Psychological forms of abuse, such as verbal sexual behavior or stalking.
* The use of a position of trust for sexual purposes.

The most visible signs of sexual abuse are signs of injury to parts of the body that can be covered by a bathing suit. Pregnancy may also result.

Spousal abuse is the term applied to the specific form of domestic violence, where physical or sexual abuse is perpetrated by one spouse upon another. Frequently this involves forced sex (spousal rape) upon a spouse without their consent. [1]

[edit] Students and sexual harassment

Students may be the victims of unwanted sexual attention by teachers and professors, see Sexual harassment by teachers.( Sorenson 1997 )

Because students and faculty members have unequal power and authority, flirtatious and sexual behavior by a faculty member toward a student is often classified as a misuse of power, and may carry serious consequences such as the filing of charges of sexual harassment and/or termination of employment.

For a famous example of a teacher-student statutory rape, see Mary Kay Letourneau.

[edit] Sexual abuse of minors

Main article: Child sexual abuse

In the majority of cultures and countries, sex is legal and acceptable only if both parties give consent.

The age of consent, that is, the age at which the law presumes a person has the physical, emotional and sexual maturity to make an informed adult decision to enter into sexual activity, differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from a low teenage in Italy and Spain to a mid to high teens age elsewhere, for example 16 in the United Kingdom, 17 in Ireland, 18 in India. (Some states also provide different ages of consent for homosexual boys as against heterosexual boys and girls.) Yet separately the law may specify a different age where a teenager ceases to be a child and becomes an adult. As a result, where a difference exists, it may be perfectly legal to have sex with a child where the individual, though still deemed a child in law, is above the age of consent specified in local legislation. In most cases, the age of consent and statutory rape laws aim at protecting children and teenagers from exploitation, particularly physical or psychological exploitation involving sexual behavior.

exposemolesters said...

Dear Parents,

Below are many facts pertaining to children, adolescents, teens, and yourselves. Please take the time to read the information. This will be extremely helpful for you and your child. If you wish to find out more, kindly contact the appropriate people or check their website for additional resources.

Shabbat Shalom!


Contact Us:

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
3615 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.20016-3007


Fax: 202.966.2891

Child Sexual Abuse

No. 9; Updated July 2004

Child sexual abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened, and the legal procedure for validating an episode is difficult. The problem should be identified, the abuse stopped, and the child should receive professional help. The long-term emotional and psychological damage of sexual abuse can be devastating to the child.

Child sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent, step-parent, sibling or other relative; or outside the home, for example, by a friend, neighbor, child care person, teacher, or stranger. When sexual abuse has occurred, a child can develop a variety of distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

No child is psychologically prepared to cope with repeated sexual stimulation. Even a two or three year old, who cannot know the sexual activity is wrong, will develop problems resulting from the inability to cope with the overstimulation.

The child of five or older who knows and cares for the abuser becomes trapped between affection or loyalty for the person, and the sense that the sexual activities are terribly wrong. If the child tries to break away from the sexual relationship, the abuser may threaten the child with violence or loss of love. When sexual abuse occurs within the family, the child may fear the anger, jealousy or shame of other family members, or be afraid the family will break up if the secret is told.

A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can become suicidal.

Some children who have been sexually abused have difficulty relating to others except on sexual terms. Some sexually abused children become child abusers or prostitutes, or have other serious problems when they reach adulthood.

Often there are no obvious physical signs of child sexual abuse. Some signs can only be detected on physical exam by a physician.

Sexually abused children may develop the following:

* unusual interest in or avoidance of all things of a sexual nature
* sleep problems or nightmares
* depression or withdrawal from friends or family
* seductiveness
* statements that their bodies are dirty or damaged, or fear that there is something wrong with them in the genital area
* refusal to go to school
* delinquency/conduct problems
* secretiveness
* aspects of sexual molestation in drawings, games, fantasies
* unusual aggressiveness, or
* suicidal behavior

Child sexual abusers can make the child extremely fearful of telling, and only when a special effort has helped the child to feel safe, can the child talk freely. If a child says that he or she has been molested, parents should try to remain calm and reassure the child that what happened was not their fault. Parents should seek a medical examination and psychiatric consultation.

Parents can prevent or lessen the chance of sexual abuse by:

* Telling children that if someone tries to touch your body and do things that make you feel funny, say NO to that person and tell me right away
* Teaching children that respect does not mean blind obedience to adults and to authority, for example, don't tell children to, Always do everything the teacher or baby-sitter tells you to do
* Encouraging professional prevention programs in the local school system

Sexually abused children and their families need immediate professional evaluation and treatment. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can help abused children regain a sense of self-esteem, cope with feelings of guilt about the abuse, and begin the process of overcoming the trauma. Such treatment can help reduce the risk that the child will develop serious problems as an adult.
The Depressed Child

No. 4; Updated July 2004

Not only adults become depressed. Children and teenagers also may have depression, which is a treatable illness. Depression is defined as an illness when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with a child or adolescent’s ability to function.

About 5 percent of children and adolescents in the general population suffer from depression at any given point in time. Children under stress, who experience loss, or who have attentional, learning, conduct or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in families.

The behavior of depressed children and teenagers may differ from the behavior of depressed adults. Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise parents to be aware of signs of depression in their youngsters.

If one or more of these signs of depression persist, parents should seek help:

* Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
* Hopelessness
* Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
* Persistent boredom; low energy
* Social isolation, poor communication
* Low self esteem and guilt
* Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
* Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
* Difficulty with relationships
* Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
* Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
* Poor concentration
* A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
* Talk of or efforts to run away from home
* Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self destructive behavior

A child who used to play often with friends may now spend most of the time alone and without interests. Things that were once fun now bring little joy to the depressed child. Children and adolescents who are depressed may say they want to be dead or may talk about suicide. Depressed children and adolescents are at increased risk for committing suicide. Depressed adolescents may abuse alcohol or other drugs as a way to feel better.

Children and adolescents who cause trouble at home or at school may also be suffering from depression. Because the youngster may not always seem sad, parents and teachers may not realize that troublesome behavior is a sign of depression. When asked directly, these children can sometimes state they are unhappy or sad.

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for depressed children. Depression is a real illness that requires professional help. Comprehensive treatment often includes both individual and family therapy. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are forms of individual therapy shown to be effective in treating depression. Treatment may also include the use of antidepressant medication. For help, parents should ask their physician to refer them to a qualified mental health professional, who can diagnose and treat depression in children and teenagers.

Also see the following Facts for Families:
#8 Children and Grief
#10 Teen Suicide
#21 Psychiatric Medication for Children
#38 Bipolar Disorder in Teens
#86 Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents
#00 Definition of a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Excerpts from Your Child on Depressive Disorders

As parents, we want our children to be happy. Yet despite our best efforts to please and protect them, children encounter disappointment, frustration, and, at times, real heartbreak.

All children feel sad or needy sometimes. However, there are some children who seem constantly sorrowful, hopeless, and helpless. Seriously depressed youngsters experience disturbing symptoms that are beyond the range of normal sadness.
Children And Grief

No. 8; Updated July 2004

When a family member dies, children react differently from adults. Preschool children usually see death as temporary and reversible, a belief reinforced by cartoon characters who die and come to life again. Children between five and nine begin to think more like adults about death, yet they still believe it will never happen to them or anyone they know.

Adding to a child's shock and confusion at the death of a brother, sister, or parent is the unavailability of other family members, who may be so shaken by grief that they are not able to cope with the normal responsibility of childcare.

Parents should be aware of normal childhood responses to a death in the family, as well as signs when a child is having difficulty coping with grief. It is normal during the weeks following the death for some children to feel immediate grief or persist in the belief that the family member is still alive. However, long-term denial of the death or avoidance of grief can be emotionally unhealthy and can later lead to more severe problems.

A child who is frightened about attending a funeral should not be forced to go; however, honoring or remembering the person in some way, such as lighting a candle, saying a prayer, making a scrapbook, reviewing photographs, or telling a story may be helpful. Children should be allowed to express feelings about their loss and grief in their own way.

Once children accept the death, they are likely to display their feelings of sadness on and off over a long period of time, and often at unexpected moments. The surviving relatives should spend as much time as possible with the child, making it clear that the child has permission to show his or her feelings openly or freely.

The person who has died was essential to the stability of the child's world, and anger is a natural reaction. The anger may be revealed in boisterous play, nightmares, irritability, or a variety of other behaviors. Often the child will show anger towards the surviving family members.

After a parent dies, many children will act younger than they are. The child may temporarily become more infantile; demand food, attention and cuddling; and talk baby talk. Younger children frequently believe they are the cause of what happens around them. A young child may believe a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister died because he or she had once wished the person dead when they were angry. The child feels guilty or blames him or herself because the wish came true.
Children who are having serious problems with grief and loss may show one or more of these signs:

* an extended period of depression in which the child loses interest in daily activities and events
* inability to sleep, loss of appetite, prolonged fear of being alone
* acting much younger for an extended period
* excessively imitating the dead person
* repeated statements of wanting to join the dead person
* withdrawal from friends, or
* sharp drop in school performance or refusal to attend school

If these signs persist, professional help may be needed. A child and adolescent psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional can help the child accept the death and assist the others in helping the child through the mourning process.
Children Who Won't Go To School (Separation Anxiety)

No. 7; Updated July 2004

Going to school usually is an exciting, enjoyable event for young children. For some it brings intense fear or panic. Parents should be concerned if their child regularly complains about feeling sick or asks to stay home from school with minor physical complaints. Not wanting to go to school may occur at anytime, but is most common in children 5-7 and 11-14, times when children are dealing with the new challenges of elementary and middle school. These children may suffer from a paralyzing fear of leaving the safety of their parents and home. The child's panic and refusal to go to school is very difficult for parents to cope with, but these fears and behavior can be treated successfully, with professional help.

Refusal to go to school often begins following a period at home in which the child has become closer to the parent, such as a summer vacation, a holiday break, or a brief illness. It also may follow a stressful occurrence, such as the death of a pet or relative, a change in schools, or a move to a new neighborhood.

The child may complain of a headache, sore throat, or stomachache shortly before it is time to leave for school. The illness subsides after the child is allowed to stay home, only to reappear the next morning before school. In some cases the child may simply refuse to leave the house. Since the panic comes from leaving home rather than being in school, frequently the child is calm once in school.

Children with an unreasonable fear of school may:

* feel unsafe staying in a room by themselves
* display clinging behavior
* display excessive worry and fear about parents or about harm to themselves
* shadow the mother or father around the house
* have difficulty going to sleep
* have nightmares
* have exaggerated, unrealistic fears of animals, monster, burglars
* fear being alone in the dark, or
* have severe tantrums when forced to go to school

Such symptoms and behaviors are common among children with separation anxiety disorder. The potential long-term effects (anxiety and panic disorder as an adult) are serious for a child who has persistent separation anxiety and does not receive professional assistance. The child may also develop serious educational or social problems if their fears and anxiety keep them away from school and friends for an extended period of time.

When fears persist the parents and child should consult with a qualified mental health professional, who will work with them to develop a plan to immediately return the child to school and other activities. Refusal to go to school in the older child or adolescent is generally a more serious illness, and often requires more intensive treatment.

Excessive fears and panic about leaving home/parents and going to school can be successfully treated.
The Anxious Child

No. 47; Updated November 2004

All children experience anxiety. Anxiety in children is expected and normal at specific times in development. For example, from approximately age 8 months through the preschool years, healthy youngsters may show intense distress (anxiety) at times of separation from their parents or other persons with whom they are close. Young children may have short-lived fears, (such as fear of the dark, storms, animals, or strangers). Anxious children are often overly tense or uptight. Some may seek a lot of reassurance, and their worries may interfere with activities. Parents should not discount a child’s fears. Because anxious children may also be quiet, compliant and eager to please, their difficulties may be missed. Parents should be alert to the signs of severe anxiety so they can intervene early to prevent complications. There are different types of anxiety in children.

Symptoms of separation anxiety include:

* constant thoughts and intense fears about the safety of parents and caretakers
* refusing to go to school
* frequent stomachaches and other physical complaints
* extreme worries about sleeping away from home
* being overly clingy
* panic or tantrums at times of separation from parents
* trouble sleeping or nightmares

Symptoms of phobia include:

* extreme fear about a specific thing or situation (ex. dogs, insects, or needles)
* the fears cause significant distress and interfere with usual activities

Symptoms of social anxiety include:

* fears of meeting or talking to people
* avoidance of social situations
* few friends outside the family

Other symptoms of anxious children include:

* many worries about things before they happen
* constant worries or concerns about family, school, friends, or activities
* repetitive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or actions (compulsions)
* fears of embarrassment or making mistakes
* low self esteem and lack of self-confidence

Severe anxiety problems in children can be treated. Early treatment can prevent future difficulties, such as loss of friendships, failure to reach social and academic potential, and feelings of low self-esteem. Treatments may include a combination of the following: individual psychotherapy, family therapy, medications, behavioral treatments, and consultation to the school.

If anxieties become severe and begin to interfere with the child’s usual activities, (for example separating from parents, attending school and making friends) parents should consider seeking an evaluation from a qualified mental health professional or a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Panic Disorder In Children And Adolescents

No. 50; Updated November 2004

Panic disorder is a common and treatable disorder. Children and adolescents with panic disorder have unexpected and repeated periods of intense fear or discomfort, along with other symptoms such as a racing heartbeat or feeling short of breath. These periods are called "panic attacks" and last minutes to hours. Panic attacks frequently develop without warning.
Symptoms of a panic attack include:

* Intense fearfulness (a sense that something terrible is happening)
* Racing or pounding heartbeat
* Dizziness or lightheadedness
* Shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered
* Trembling or shaking
* Sense of unreality
* Fear of dying, losing control, or losing your mind

More than 3 million Americans will experience panic disorder during their lifetime. Panic disorder often begins during adolescence, although it may start during childhood, and sometimes runs in families.

If not recognized and treated, panic disorder and its complications can be devastating. Panic attacks can interfere with a child's or adolescent's relationships, schoolwork, and normal development. Children and adolescents with panic disorder may begin to feel anxious most of the time, even when they are not having panic attacks. Some begin to avoid situations where they fear a panic attack may occur, or situations where help may not be available. For example, a child may be reluctant to go to school or be separated from his or her parents. In severe cases, the child or adolescent may be afraid to leave home. This pattern of avoiding certain places or situations is called "agoraphobia." Some children and adolescents with panic disorder can develop severe depression and may be at risk of suicidal behavior. As an attempt to decrease anxiety, some adolescents with panic disorder will use alcohol or drugs.

Panic disorder in children can be difficult to diagnose. This can lead to many visits to physicians and multiple medical tests which are expensive and potentially painful. When properly evaluated and diagnosed, panic disorder usually responds well to treatment. Children and adolescents with symptoms of panic attacks should first be evaluated by their family physician or pediatrician. If no other physical illness or condition is found as a cause for the symptoms, a comprehensive evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist should be obtained.

Several types of treatment are effective. Specific medications may stop panic attacks. Psychotherapy may also help the child and family learn ways to reduce stress or conflict that could otherwise cause a panic attack. With techniques taught in "cognitive behavioral therapy," the child may also learn new ways to control anxiety or panic attacks when they occur. Many children and adolescents with panic disorder respond well to the combination of medication and psychotherapy. With treatment, the panic attacks can usually be stopped. Early treatment can prevent the complications of panic disorder such as agoraphobia, depression and substance abuse.

For more information about panic disorder, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website at www.nimh.nih.gov or call 1-800-64-PANIC.
Teen Suicide

No. 10; Updated July 2004

Suicides among young people continue to be a serious problem. Each year in the U.S., thousands of teenagers commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds.

Teenagers experience strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up. For some teenagers, divorce, the formation of a new family with step-parents and step-siblings, or moving to a new community can be very unsettling and can intensify self-doubts. For some teens, suicide may appear to be a solution to their problems and stress.

Depression and suicidal feelings are treatable mental disorders. The child or adolescent needs to have his or her illness recognized and diagnosed, and appropriate treatment plans developed. When parents are in doubt whether their child has a serious problem, a psychiatric examination can be very helpful. Many of the symptoms of suicidal feelings are similar to those of depression.

Parents should be aware of the following signs of adolescents who may try to kill themselves:

* change in eating and sleeping habits
* withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
* violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away
* drug and alcohol use
* unusual neglect of personal appearance
* marked personality change
* persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
* frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
* loss of interest in pleasurable activities
* not tolerating praise or rewards

A teenager who is planning to commit suicide may also:

* complain of being a bad person or feeling rotten inside
* give verbal hints with statements such as: I won't be a problem for you much longer, Nothing matters, It's no use, and I won't see you again
* put his or her affairs in order, for example, give away favorite possessions, clean his or her room, throw away important belongings, etc.
* become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
* have signs of psychosis (hallucinations or bizarre thoughts)

If a child or adolescent says, I want to kill myself, or I'm going to commit suicide, always take the statement seriously and immediately seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional. People often feel uncomfortable talking about death. However, asking the child or adolescent whether he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide can be helpful. Rather than putting thoughts in the child's head, such a question will provide assurance that somebody cares and will give the young person the chance to talk about problems.

If one or more of these signs occurs, parents need to talk to their child about their concerns and seek professional help when the concerns persist. With support from family and professional treatment, children and teenagers who are suicidal can heal and return to a more healthy path of development.
Teens: Alcohol And Other Drugs

No. 3: Updated July 2004

Teenagers may be involved with alcohol and legal or illegal drugs in various ways. Experimentation with alcohol and drugs during adolescence is common. Unfortunately, teenagers often don't see the link between their actions today and the consequences tomorrow. They also have a tendency to feel indestructible and immune to the problems that others experience. Using alcohol and tobacco at a young age increases the risk of using other drugs later. Some teens will experiment and stop, or continue to use occasionally, without significant problems. Others will develop a dependency, moving on to more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves and possibly others.

Adolescence is a time for trying new things. Teens use alcohol and other drugs for many reasons, including curiosity, because it feels good, to reduce stress, to feel grown up or to fit in. It is difficult to know which teens will experiment and stop and which will develop serious problems. Teenagers at risk for developing serious alcohol and drug problems include those:

* with a family history of substance abuse
* who are depressed
* who have low self-esteem, and
* who feel like they don't fit in or are out of the mainstream

Teenagers abuse a variety of drugs, both legal and illegal. Legally available drugs include alcohol, prescribed medications, inhalants (fumes from glues, aerosols, and solvents) and over-the-counter cough, cold, sleep, and diet medications. The most commonly used illegal drugs are marijuana (pot), stimulants (cocaine, crack, and speed), LSD, PCP, opiates, heroin, and designer drugs (Ecstasy). The use of illegal drugs is increasing, especially among young teens. The average age of first marijuana use is 14, and alcohol use can start before age 12. The use of marijuana and alcohol in high school has become common.

Drug use is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including increased risk of serious drug use later in life, school failure, and poor judgment
which may put teens at risk for accidents, violence, unplanned and unsafe sex,
and suicide.

Parents can help through early education about drugs, open communication, good role modeling, and early recognition if problems are developing.

Warning signs of teenage alcohol and drug abuse may include:

Physical: Fatigue, repeated health complaints, red and glazed eyes, and a lasting cough.

Emotional: personality change, sudden mood changes, irritability, irresponsible behavior, low self-esteem, poor judgment, depression, and a general lack of interest.

Family: starting arguments, breaking rules, or withdrawing from the family.

School: decreased interest, negative attitude, drop in grades, many absences, truancy, and discipline problems.

Social problems: new friends who are less interested in standard home and school activities, problems with the law, and changes to less conventional styles in dress and music.

Some of the warning signs listed above can also be signs of other problems. Parents may recognize signs of trouble but should not be expected to make the diagnosis. An effective way for parents to show care and concern is to openly discuss the use and possible abuse of alcohol and other drugs with their teenager.

Consulting a physician to rule out physical causes of the warning signs is a good first step. This should often be followed or accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Conduct Disorder

No. 33; Updated July 2004

"Conduct disorder" refers to a group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as "bad" or delinquent, rather than mentally ill. Many factors may contribute to a child developing conduct disorder, including brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experiences.

Children or adolescents with conduct disorder may exhibit some of the following behaviors:

Aggression to people and animals

* bullies, threatens or intimidates others
* often initiates physical fights
* has used a weapon that could cause serious physical harm to others (e.g. a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife or gun)
* is physically cruel to people or animals
* steals from a victim while confronting them (e.g. assault)
* forces someone into sexual activity

Destruction of Property

* deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention to cause damage
* deliberately destroys other's property

Deceitfulness, lying, or stealing

* has broken into someone else's building, house, or car
* lies to obtain goods, or favors or to avoid obligations
* steals items without confronting a victim (e.g. shoplifting, but without breaking and entering)

Serious violations of rules

* often stays out at night despite parental objections
* runs away from home
* often truant from school

Children who exhibit these behaviors should receive a comprehensive evaluation. Many children with a conduct disorder may have coexisting conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, ADHD, learning problems, or thought disorders which can also be treated. Research shows that youngsters with conduct disorder are likely to have ongoing problems if they and their families do not receive early and comprehensive treatment. Without treatment, many youngsters with conduct disorder are unable to adapt to the demands of adulthood and continue to have problems with relationships and holding a job. They often break laws or behave in an antisocial manner.

Treatment of children with conduct disorder can be complex and challenging. Treatment can be provided in a variety of different settings depending on the severity of the behaviors. Adding to the challenge of treatment are the child's uncooperative attitude, fear and distrust of adults. In developing a comprehensive treatment plan, a child and adolescent psychiatrist may use information from the child, family, teachers, and other medical specialties to understand the causes of the disorder.

Behavior therapy and psychotherapy are usually necessary to help the child appropriately express and control anger. Special education may be needed for youngsters with learning disabilities. Parents often need expert assistance in devising and carrying out special management and educational programs in the home and at school. Treatment may also include medication in some youngsters, such as those with difficulty paying attention, impulse problems, or those with depression.

Treatment is rarely brief since establishing new attitudes and behavior patterns takes time. However, early treatment offers a child a better chance for considerable improvement and hope for a more successful future.

No. 80; March 2001

Bullying is a common experience for many children and adolescents. Surveys indicate that as many as half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years, and at least 10% are bullied on a regular basis.

Bullying behavior can be physical or verbal. Boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, regardless of the gender of their victims. Bullying by girls is more often verbal, usually with another girl as the target. Recently, bullying has even been reported in online chat rooms and through e-mail.

Children who are bullied experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have even attempted suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.

Children and adolescents who bully thrive on controlling or dominating others. They have often been the victims of physical abuse or bullying themselves. Bullies may also be depressed, angry or upset about events at school or at home. Children targeted by bullies also tend to fit a particular profile. Bullies often choose children who are passive, easily intimidated, or have few friends. Victims may also be smaller or younger, and have a harder time defending themselves.

If you suspect your child is bullying others, it's important to seek help for him or her as soon as possible. Without intervention, bullying can lead to serious academic, social, emotional and legal difficulties. Talk to your child's pediatrician, teacher, principal, school counselor, or family physician. If the bullying continues, a comprehensive evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional should be arranged. The evaluation can help you and your child understand what is causing the bullying, and help you develop a plan to stop the destructive behavior.

If you suspect your child may be the victim of bullying ask him or her to tell you what's going on. You can help by providing lots of opportunities to talk with you in an open and honest way.

It's also important to respond in a positive and accepting manner. Let your child know it's not his or her fault, and that he or she did the right thing by telling you. Other specific suggestions include the following:

* Ask your child what he or she thinks should be done. What's already been tried? What worked and what didn't?
* Seek help from your child's teacher or the school guidance counselor. Most bullying occurs on playgrounds, in lunchrooms, and bathrooms, on school buses or in unsupervised halls. Ask the school administrators to find out about programs other schools and communities have used to help combat bullying, such as peer mediation, conflict resolution, and anger management training, and increased adult supervision.
* Don't encourage your child to fight back. Instead, suggest that he or she try walking away to avoid the bully, or that they seek help from a teacher, coach, or other adult.
* Help your child practice what to say to the bully so he or she will be prepared the next time.
* Help your child practice being assertive. The simple act of insisting that the bully leave him alone may have a surprising effect. Explain to your child that the bully's true goal is to get a response.
* Encourage your child to be with friends when traveling back and forth from school, during shopping trips, or on other outings. Bullies are less likely to pick on a child in a group.

If your child becomes withdrawn, depressed or reluctant to go to school, or if you see a decline in school performance, additional consultation or intervention may be required. A child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional can help your child and family and the school develop a strategy to deal with the bullying. Seeking professional assistance earlier can lessen the risk of lasting emotional consequences for your child.
Understanding Violent Behavior In Children and Adolescents

No. 55; Updated March 2001

There is a great concern about the incidence of violent behavior among children and adolescents. This complex and troubling issue needs to be carefully understood by parents, teachers, and other adults.

Children as young as preschoolers can show violent behavior. Parents and other adults who witness the behavior may be concerned, however, they often hope that the young child will "grow out of it." Violent behavior in a child at any age always needs to be taken seriously. It should not be quickly dismissed as "just a phase they're going through!"

Range of Violent Behavior

Violent behavior in children and adolescents can include a wide range of behaviors: explosive temper tantrums, physical aggression, fighting, threats or attempts to hurt others (including homicidal thoughts), use of weapons, cruelty toward animals, fire setting, intentional destruction of property and vandalism.

Factors Which Increase Risk of Violent Behavior

Numerous research studies have concluded that a complex interaction or combination of factors leads to an increased risk of violent behavior in children and adolescents. These factors include:

* Previous aggressive or violent behavior
* Being the victim of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse
* Exposure to violence in the home and/or community
* Genetic (family heredity) factors
* Exposure to violence in media (TV, movies, etc.)
* Use of drugs and/or alcohol
* Presence of firearms in home
* Combination of stressful family socioeconomic factors (poverty, severe deprivation, marital breakup, single parenting, unemployment, loss of support from extended family)
* Brain damage from head injury

What are the "warning signs" for violent behavior in children?

Children who have several risk factors and show the following behaviors should be carefully evaluated:

* Intense anger
* Frequent loss of temper or blow-ups
* Extreme irritability
* Extreme impulsiveness
* Becoming easily frustrated

Parents and teachers should be careful not to minimize these behaviors in children.

What can be done if a child shows violent behavior?

Whenever a parent or other adult is concerned, they should immediately arrange for a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. Early treatment by a professional can often help. The goals of treatment typically focus on helping the child to: learn how to control his/her anger; express anger and frustrations in appropriate ways; be responsible for his/her actions; and accept consequences. In addition, family conflicts, school problems, and community issues must be addressed.

Can anything prevent violent behavior in children?

Research studies have shown that much violent behavior can be decreased or even prevented if the above risk factors are significantly reduced or eliminated. Most importantly, efforts should be directed at dramatically decreasing the exposure of children and adolescents to violence in the home, community, and through the media. Clearly, violence leads to violence.

In addition, the following strategies can lessen or prevent violent behavior:

* Prevention of child abuse (use of programs such as parent training, family support programs, etc.)
* Sex education and parenting programs for adolescents
* Early intervention programs for violent youngsters
* Monitoring child's viewing of violence on TV/videos/movies
Child Abuse - The Hidden Bruises

No. 5; Updated July 2004

The statistics on physical child abuse are alarming. It is estimated hundreds of thousands of children are physically abused each year by a parent or close relative. Thousands die. For those who survive, the emotional trauma remains long after the external bruises have healed. Communities and the courts recognize that these emotional “hidden bruises” can be treated. Early recognition and treatment is important to minimize the long term effect of physical abuse. Whenever a child says he or she has been abused, it must be taken seriously and immediately evaluated.

Children who have been abused may display:

* a poor self image
* sexual acting out
* inability to trust or love others
* aggressive, disruptive, and sometimes illegal behavior
* anger and rage
* self destructive or self abusive behavior, suicidal thoughts
* passive, withdrawn or clingy behavior
* fear of entering into new relationships or activities
* anxiety and fears
* school problems or failure
* feelings of sadness or other symptoms of depression
* flashbacks, nightmares
* drug and alcohol abuse
* sleep problems

Often the severe emotional damage to abused children does not surface until adolescence or later, when many abused children become abusing parents. An adult who was abused as a child often has trouble establishing intimate personal relationships. These men and women may have trouble with physical closeness, touching, intimacy, and trust as adults. They are also at higher risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, medical illness, and problems at school or work. Without proper treatment, physically abused children can be damaged for life.

Early identification and treatment is important to minimize the long-term consequences of abuse. Qualified mental health professionals should conduct a comprehensive evaluation and provide treatment for children who have been abused. Through treatment, the abused child begins to regain a sense of self-confidence and trust. The family can also be helped to learn new ways of support and communicating with one another. Parents may also benefit from support, parent training and anger management.

Physical abuse is not the only kind of child abuse. Many children are also victims of neglect, or sexual abuse, or emotional abuse. In all kinds of child abuse, the child and the family can benefit from evaluation and treatment from a qualified mental health professional.

No. 43; Updated November 2004

Children do not always do what parents want. When a child misbehaves, the parent must decide how to respond. All children need rules and expectations to help them learn appropriate behavior. How does a parent teach a child the rules and, when those rules are broken, what should parents do?

Parents should begin by talking to each other about how they want to handle discipline and establish the rules. It is important to view discipline as teaching not punishment. Learning to follow rules keeps a child safe and helps him or her learn the difference between right and wrong.

Once rules have been established, parents should explain to the child that broken rules carry consequences. For example, Here are the rules. When you follow the rules, this will happen and if you break a rule, this is what will happen. Parents and the child should decide together what the rewards and consequences will be. Parents should always acknowledge and offer positive reinforcement and support when their child follows the rules. Parents must also follow through with an appropriate consequence when the child breaks a rule. Consistency and predictability are the cornerstones of discipline and praise is the most powerful reinforcer of learning.

Children learn from experience. Having logical consequences for misbehavior helps them learn that they are accountable for their actions, without damaging their self-esteem. If children are fighting over the television, computer or a video game, turn it off. If a child spills milk at the dinner table while fooling around, have the child clean it up. A teenager who stays up too late may suffer the natural consequences of being tired the next day. Another type of consequence that can be effective is the suspension or delay of a privilege. If a child breaks the rule about where they can go on their bike, take away the bike for a few days. When a child does not do chores, he or she cannot do something special like spend the night with a friend or rent a movie.

There are different styles and approaches to parenting. Research shows that effective parents raise well-adjusted children who are more self-reliant, self-controlled, and positively curious than children raised by parents who are punitive, overly strict (authoritarian), or permissive. Effective parents operate on the belief that both the child and the parent have certain rights and that the needs of both are important. Effective parents don't need to use physical force to discipline the child, but are more likely to set clear rules and explain why these rules are important. Effective parents reason with their children and consider the youngsters' points of views even though they may not agree with them.

Tips for effective discipline:

* Trust your child to do the right thing within the limits of your child's age and stage of development.
* Make sure what you ask for is reasonable.
* Speak to your child as you would want to be spoken to if someone were reprimanding you. Don't resort to name-calling, yelling, or disrespect.
* Be clear about what you mean. Be firm and specific.
* Model positive behavior. "Do as I say, not as I do" seldom works.
* Allow for negotiation and flexibility, which can help build your child's social skills.
* Let your child experience the consequences of his behavior.
* Whenever possible, consequences should be delivered immediately, should relate to the rule broken, and be short enough in duration that you can move on again to emphasize the positives.
* Consequences should be fair and appropriate to the situation and the child's age.

Parenting classes and coaching can be helpful in learning to be an effective parent. If parents have serious concerns about continuing problems with their child's behavior, consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional may be helpful.
Fighting And Biting

No.81; Updated May 2001

All people have aggressive feelings. As adults, we learn how to control these feelings. Children, however, are often physically aggressive B they hit, bite and scratch others. These behaviors are fairly common and often appear by the child's first birthday. Parents often struggle over how to manage their child's aggressive and/or destructive behavior.

While some biting can occur during normal development, persistent biting can be a sign that a child has emotional or behavioral problems. While many children occasionally fight with or hit others, frequent and/or severe physical aggression may mean that a child is having serious emotional or behavioral problems that require professional evaluation and intervention. Persistent fighting or biting when a child is in daycare or preschool can be a serious problem. At this age, children have much more contact with peers and are expected to be able to make friends and get along.

Many children start aggressive biting between one and three years of age. Biting can be a way for a child to test his or her power or to get attention. Some children bite because they are unhappy, anxious or jealous. Sometimes biting may result from excessive or harsh discipline or exposure to physical violence. Parents should remember that children who are teething might also bite. Biting is the most common reason children get expelled from day care.

What to do:

* Say "no", immediately, in a calm but firm and disapproving tone.
* For a toddler (1-2 years), firmly hold the child, or put the child down.
* For a young child (2-3 years) say, "biting is not okay because it hurts people."
* Do NOT bite a child to show how biting feels. This teaches the child aggressive behavior.
* If biting persists, try a negative consequence. For example, do not hold or play with a child for five minutes after he or she bites.

If these techniques or interventions are not effective, parents should talk to their family physician.

Toddlers and preschool age children often fight over toys. Sometimes children are unintentionally rewarded for aggressive behavior. For example, one child may push another child down and take away a toy. If the child cries and walks away, the aggressive child feels successful since he or she got the toy. It is important to identify whether this pattern is occurring in children who are aggressive.

What to do:

* It is more effective to intervene before a child starts hitting. For example, intervene as soon as you see the child is very frustrated or getting upset.
* When young children fight a lot, supervise them more closely.
* If a child hits another child, immediately separate the children. Then try to comfort and attend to the other child.
* For a toddler (1-2 years) say, "No hitting. Hitting hurts."
* For a young child (2-3 years) say, "I know you are angry, but don't hit. Hitting hurts." This begins to teach empathy to your child.
* Do NOT hit a child if he or she is hitting others. This teaches the child to use aggressive behavior.
* Parents should not ignore or down play fighting between siblings.

When hitting or fighting is frequent, it may be a sign that a child has other problems. For example, he or she may be sad or upset, have problems controlling anger, have witnessed violence or may have been the victim of abuse at day care, school, or home.

Research has shown that children who are physically aggressive at a younger age are more likely to continue this behavior when they are older. Studies have also shown that children who are repeatedly exposed to violence and aggression from TV, videos and movies act more aggressively. If a young child has a persistent problem with fighting and biting or aggressive behavior, parents should seek professional assistance from a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of behavior problems in very young children.
Children With Oppositional Defiant Disorder

No. 72; Updated December 1999

All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Oppositional behavior is often a normal part of development for two to three year olds and early adolescents. However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level and when it affects the child's social, family, and academic life.

In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster's day to day functioning. Symptoms of ODD may include:

* frequent temper tantrums
* excessive arguing with adults
* active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
* deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
* blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
* often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
* frequent anger and resentment
* mean and hateful talking when upset
* seeking revenge

The symptoms are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school. Five to fifteen percent of all school‑age children have ODD. The causes of ODD are unknown, but many parents report that their child with ODD was more rigid and demanding than the child's siblings from an early age. Biological and environmental factors may have a role.

A child presenting with ODD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. It is important to look for other disorders which may be present; such as, attention‑deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders. It may be difficult to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the coexisting disorder. Some children with ODD may go on to develop conduct disorder.

Treatment of ODD may include: Parent Training Programs to help manage the child's behavior, Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger management, Family Psychotherapy to improve communication, Cognitive‑Behavioral Therapy to assist problem solving and decrease negativity, and Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve frustration tolerance with peers. A child with ODD can be very difficult for parents. These parents need support and understanding. Parents can help their child with ODD in the following ways:

* Always build on the positives, give the child praise and positive reinforcement when he shows flexibility or cooperation.
* Take a time‑out or break if you are about to make the conflict with your child worse, not better. This is good modeling for your child. Support your child if he decides to take a time‑out to prevent overreacting.
* Pick your battles. Since the child with ODD has trouble avoiding power struggles, prioritize the things you want your child to do. If you give your child a time‑out in his room for misbehavior, don't add time for arguing. Say "your time will start when you go to your room."
* Set up reasonable, age appropriate limits with consequences that can be enforced consistently.
* Maintain interests other than your child with ODD, so that managing your child doesn't take all your time and energy. Try to work with and obtain support from the other adults (teachers, coaches, and spouse) dealing with your child.
* Manage your own stress with exercise and relaxation. Use respite care as needed.

Many children with ODD will respond to the positive parenting techniques. Parents may ask their pediatrician or family physician to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist, who can diagnose and treat ODD and any coexisting psychiatric condition.
Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation

No. 52; Updated February 2005

Evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist is appropriate for any child or adolescent with emotional and/or behavioral problems. Most children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral problems need a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.

Comprehensive psychiatric evaluations usually require several hours over one or more office visits for the child and parents. With the parents' permission, other significant people (such as the family physician, school personnel or other relatives) may be contacted for additional information.

The comprehensive evaluation frequently includes the following:

* Description of present problems and symptoms
* Information about health, illness and treatment (both physical and psychiatric), including current medications
* Parent and family health and psychiatric histories
* Information about the child's development
* Information about school and friends
* Information about family relationships
* Interview of the child or adolescent
* Interview of parents/guardians
* If needed, laboratory studies such as blood tests, x-rays, or special assessments (for example, psychological, educational, speech and language evaluation)

The child and adolescent psychiatrist then develops a formulation. The formulation describes the child's problems and explains them in terms that the parents and child can understand. The formulation combines biological, psychological and social parts of the problem with developmental needs, history and strengths of the child, adolescent and family.

Time is made available to answer the parents' and child's questions. Parents often come to such evaluations with many concerns, including:

* Is my child normal? Am I normal? Am I to blame?
* Am I silly to worry?
* Can you help us? Can you help my child?
* What is wrong? What is the diagnosis?
* Does my child need additional assessment and/or testing (medical, psychological etc.)?
* What are your recommendations? How can the family help?
* Does my child need treatment? Do I need treatment?
* What will treatment cost, and how long will it take?

Parents are often worried about how they will be viewed during the evaluation. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are there to support families and to be a partner, not to judge or blame. They listen to concerns, and help the child or adolescent and his/her family define the goals of the evaluation. Parents should always ask for explanations of words or terms they do not understand.

When a treatable problem is identified, recommendations are provided and a specific treatment plan is developed. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are specifically trained and skilled in conducting comprehensive psychiatric evaluations with children, adolescents and families.
When To Seek Help For Your Child

No. 24; Updated July 2004

Parents are usually the first to recognize that their child has a problem with emotions or behavior. Still, the decision to seek professional help can be difficult and painful for a parent. The first step is to gently try to talk to the child. An honest open talk about feelings can often help. Parents may choose to consult with the child's physicians, teachers, members of the clergy, or other adults who know the child well. These steps may resolve the problems for the child and family.

Following are a few signs which may indicate that a child and adolescent psychiatric evaluation will be useful.


* Marked fall in school performance.
* Poor grades in school despite trying very hard.
* Severe worry or anxiety, as shown by regular refusal to go to school, go to sleep or take part in activities that are normal for the child's age.
* Hyperactivity; fidgeting; constant movement beyond regular playing.
* Persistent nightmares.
* Persistent disobedience or aggression (longer than 6 months) and provocative opposition to authority figures.
* Frequent, unexplainable temper tantrums.


* Marked change in school performance.
* Inability to cope with problems and daily activities.
* Marked changes in sleeping and/or eating habits.
* Frequent physical complaints.
* Sexual acting out.
* Depression shown by sustained, prolonged negative mood and attitude, often accompanied by poor appetite, difficulty sleeping or thoughts of death.
* Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs.
* Intense fear of becoming obese with no relationship to actual body weight, purging food or restricting eating.
* Persistent nightmares.
* Threats of self-harm or harm to others.
* Self-injury or self destructive behavior.
* Frequent outbursts of anger, aggression.
* Threats to run away.
* Aggressive or non-aggressive consistent violation of rights of others; opposition to authority, truancy, thefts, or vandalism.
* Strange thoughts, beliefs, feelings, or unusual behaviors.

If problems persist over an extended period of time and especially if others involved in the child's life are concerned, consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other clinician specifically trained to work with children may be helpful.
Normal Adolescent Development Part I

No. 57; Updated June 2001

Middle School and Early High School Years
Parents are often worried or confused by changes in their teenagers. The following information should help parents understand this phase of development. Each teenager is an individual with a unique personality and special interests, likes and dislikes. However, there are also numerous developmental issues that everyone faces during the adolescent years. The normal feelings and behaviors of the middle school and early high school adolescent are described below.

Movement Towards Independence

* Struggle with sense of identity
* Feeling awkward or strange about one's self and one's body
* Focus on self, alternating between high expectations and poor self-esteem
* Interests and clothing style influenced by peer group
* Moodiness
* Improved ability to use speech to express one's self
* Realization that parents are not perfect; identification of their faults
* Less overt affection shown to parents, with occasional rudeness
* Complaints that parents interfere with independence
* Tendency to return to childish behavior, particularly when stressed

Future Interests and Cognitive Changes

* Mostly interested in present, with limited thoughts of the future
* Intellectual interests expand and gain in importance
* Greater ability to do work (physical, mental, emotional)


* Display shyness, blushing, and modesty
* Girls develop physically sooner than boys
* Increased interest in sex
* Movement toward heterosexuality with fears of homosexuality
* Concerns regarding physical and sexual attractiveness to others
* Frequently changing relationships
* Worries about being normal

Morals, Values, and Self-Direction

* Rule and limit testing
* Capacity for abstract thought
* Development of ideals and selection of role models
* More consistent evidence of conscience
* Experimentation with sex and drugs (cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana)

Young teenagers do vary slightly from the above descriptions, but the feelings and behaviors are, in general, considered normal for each stage of adolescence.
Normal Adolescent Development Part II

No. 58; Updated June 2001

Late High School Years and Beyond

Parents are often worried or confused by changes in their teenagers. The following information should help parents understand this phase of development. Each teenager is an individual with a unique personality and special interests, likes and dislikes. However, there are also numerous developmental issues that everyone faces during the adolescent years. The normal feelings and behaviors of the late high school adolescent are described below.

Movement towards Independence

* Increased independent functioning
* Firmer and more cohesive sense of identity
* Examination of inner experiences
* Ability to think ideas through
* Conflict with parents begins to decrease
* Increased ability for delayed gratification and compromise
* Increased emotional stability
* Increased concern for others
* Increased self-reliance
* Peer relationships remain important and take an appropriate place among other interests

Future Interests and Cognitive Changes

* Work habits become more defined
* Increased concern for the future
* More importance is placed on one's role in life


* Feelings of love and passion
* Development of more serious relationships
* Firmer sense of sexual identity
* Increased capacity for tender and sensual love

Morals, Values, and Self-Direction

* Greater capacity for setting goals
* Interest in moral reasoning
* Capacity to use insight
* Increased emphasis on personal dignity and self-esteem
* Social and cultural traditions regain some of their previous importance

Older teenagers do vary slightly from the above descriptions, but the feelings and behaviors are, in general, considered normal for each stage of adolescence.
Childrens Threats: When Are They Serious?

No. 65; Updated May 2005

Every year there are tragedies in which children shoot and kill individuals after making threats. When this occurs, everyone asks themselves, "How could this happen?" and "Why didn't we take the threat seriously?"

Most threats made by children or adolescents are not carried out. Many such threats are the child's way of talking big or tough, or getting attention. Sometimes these threats are a reaction to a perceived hurt, rejection, or attack.

What threats should be taken seriously?
Examples of potentially dangerous or emergency situations with a child or adolescent include:

* threats or warnings about hurting or killing someone
* threats or warnings about hurting or killing oneself
* threats to run away from home
* threats to damage or destroy property

Child and adolescent psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that it is very difficult to predict a child's future behavior with complete accuracy. A person's past behavior, however, is still one of the best predictors of future behavior. For example, a child with a history of violent or assaultive behavior is more likely to carry out his/her threats and be violent.

When is there more risk associated with threats from children and adolescents?
The presence of one or more of the following increases the risk of violent or dangerous behavior:

* past violent or aggressive behavior (including uncontrollable angry outbursts)
* access to guns or other weapons
* bringing a weapon to school
* past suicide attempts or threats
* family history of violent behavior or suicide attempts
* blaming others and/or unwilling to accept responsibility for one's own actions
* recent experience of humiliation, shame, loss, or rejection
* bullying or intimidating peers or younger children
* a pattern of threats
* being a victim of abuse or neglect (physical, sexual, or emotional)
* witnessing abuse or violence in the home
* themes of death or depression repeatedly evident in conversation, written expressions, reading selections, or artwork
* preoccupation with themes and acts of violence in TV shows, movies, music, magazines, comics, books, video games, and Internet sites
* mental illness, such as depression, mania, psychosis, or bipolar disorder
* use of alcohol or illicit drugs
* disciplinary problems at school or in the community (delinquent behavior)
* past destruction of property or vandalism
* cruelty to animals
* firesetting behavior
* poor peer relationships and/or social isolation
* involvement with cults or gangs
* little or no supervision or support from parents or other caring adult

What should be done if parents or others are concerned?
When a child makes a serious threat it should not be dismissed as just idle talk. Parents, teachers, or other adults should immediately talk with the child. If it is determined that the child is at risk and the child refuses to talk, is argumentative, responds defensively, or continues to express violent or dangerous thoughts or plans, arrangements should be made for an immediate evaluation by a mental health professional with experience evaluating children and adolescents. Evaluation of any serious threat must be done in the context of the individual child's past behavior, personality, and current stressors. In an emergency situation or if the child or family refuses help, it may be necessary to contact local police for assistance or take the child to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. Children who have made serious threats must be carefully supervised while awaiting professional intervention. Immediate evaluation and appropriate ongoing treatment of youngsters who make serious threats can help the troubled child and reduce the risk of tragedy.
Bipolar Disorder In Children And Teens

No. 38; Updated July 2004

Children and teenagers with Bipolar Disorder have manic and/or depressive symptoms. Some may have mostly depression and others a combination of manic and depressive symptoms. Highs may alternate with lows.

Research has improved the ability to diagnose Bipolar Disorder in children and teens. Bipolar Disorder can begin in childhood and during the teenage years, although it is usually diagnosed in adult life. The illness can affect anyone. However, if one or both parents have Bipolar Disorder, the chances are greater that their children may develop the disorder. Family history of drug or alcohol abuse also may be associated with greater risk for Bipolar Disorder.

Manic symptoms include:

* severe changes in mood-either unusually happy or silly, or very irritable, angry, agitated or aggressive
* unrealistic highs in self-esteem - for example, a teenager who feels all powerful or like a superhero with special powers
* great increase in energy and the ability to go with little or no sleep for days without feeling tired
* increase in talking - the adolescent talks too much, too fast, changes topics too quickly, and cannot be interrupted
* distractibility - the teen's attention moves constantly from one thing to the next
* repeated high risk-taking behavior; such as, abusing alcohol and drugs, reckless driving, or sexual promiscuity

Depressive symptoms include:

* irritability, depressed mood, persistent sadness, frequent crying
* thoughts of death or suicide
* loss of enjoyment in favorite activities
* frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches or stomach aches
* low energy level, fatigue, poor concentration, complaints of boredom
* major change in eating or sleeping patterns, such as oversleeping or overeating

Some of these signs are similar to those that occur in teenagers with other problems such as drug abuse, delinquency, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or even schizophrenia.

Teenagers with Bipolar Disorder can be effectively treated. Treatment for Bipolar Disorder usually includes education of the patient and the family about the illness, mood stabilizing medications such as lithium and valproic acid, and psychotherapy. Mood stabilizing medications often reduce the number and severity of manic episodes, and also help to prevent depression. Psychotherapy helps the child understand himself or herself, adapt to stresses, rebuild self-esteem and improve relationships.

The diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in children and teens is complex and involves careful observation over an extended period of time. A thorough evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist identify Bipolar Disorder and start treatment.
Children Who Can't Pay Attention/ADHD

No. 6; Updated July 2004

Parents are distressed when they receive a note from school saying that their child won't listen to the teacher or causes trouble in class. One possible reason for this kind of behavior is Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Even though the child with ADHD often wants to be a good student, the impulsive behavior and difficulty paying attention in class frequently interferes and causes problems. Teachers, parents, and friends know that the child is misbehaving or different but they may not be able to tell exactly what is wrong.

Any child may show inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, or hyperactivity at times, but the child with ADHD shows these symptoms and behaviors more frequently and severely than other children of the same age or developmental level. ADHD occurs in 3-5% of school age children. ADHD must begin before the age of seven and it can continue into adulthood. ADHD runs in families with about 25% of biological parents also having this medical condition.

A child with ADHD often shows some of the following:

* trouble paying attention
* inattention to details and makes careless mistakes
* easily distracted
* loses school supplies, forgets to turn in homework
* trouble finishing class work and homework
* trouble listening
* trouble following multiple adult commands
* blurts out answers
* impatience
* fidgets or squirms
* leaves seat and runs about or climbs excessively
* seems "on the go"
* talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly
* interrupts or intrudes on others

A child presenting with ADHD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. Parents should ask their pediatrician or family physician to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist, who can diagnose and treat this medical condition. A child with ADHD may also have other psychiatric disorders such as conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder. These children may also have learning disabilities.

Without proper treatment, the child may fall behind in schoolwork, and friendships may suffer. The child experiences more failure than success and is criticized by teachers and family who do not recognize a health problem.

Research clearly demonstrates that medication can help improve attention, focus, goal directed behavior, and organizational skills. Medications most likely to be helpful include the stimulants (various methylphenidate and amphetamine preparations) and the non-stimulant, atomoxetine. Other medications such as guanfacine, clonidine, and some antidepressants may also be helpful.

Other treatment approaches may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills training, parent education, and modifications to the child’s education program. Behavioral therapy can help a child control aggression, modulate social behavior, and be more productive. Cognitive therapy can help a child build self-esteem, reduce negative thoughts, and improve problem-solving skills. Parents can learn management skills such as issuing instructions one-step at a time rather than issuing multiple requests at once. Education modifications can address ADHD symptoms along with any coexisting learning disabilities.

A child who is diagnosed with ADHD and treated appropriately can have a productive and successful life.
Psychiatric Medication For Children And Adolescents Part I-How Medications Are Used

No. 21; Updated July 2004

Medication can be an effective part of the treatment for several psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence. A doctor's recommendation to use medication often raises many concerns and questions in both the parents and the youngster. The physician who recommends medication should be experienced in treating psychiatric illnesses in children and adolescents. He or she should fully explain the reasons for medication use, what benefits the medication should provide, as well as possible risks and side effects and other treatment alternatives.

Psychiatric medication should not be used alone. The use of medication should be based on a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and be one part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Before recommending any medication, the child and adolescent psychiatrist interviews the youngster and makes a thorough diagnostic evaluation. In some cases, the evaluation may include a physical exam, psychological testing, laboratory tests, other medical tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) or electroencephalogram (EEG) , and consultation with other medical specialists.

Medications which have beneficial effects may also have side effects, ranging from just annoying to very serious. As each youngster is different and may have individual reactions to medication, close contact with the treating physician is recommended. Do not stop or change a medication without speaking to the doctor. Psychiatric medication should be used as part of a comprehensive plan of treatment, with ongoing medical assessment and, in most cases, individual and/or family psychotherapy. When prescribed appropriately by a psychiatrist (preferably a child and adolescent psychiatrist), and taken as prescribed, medication may reduce or eliminate troubling symptoms and improve the daily functioning of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders.

Medication may be prescribed for psychiatric symptoms and disorders, including, but not limited to:

1. Bedwetting-if it persists regularly after age 5 and causes serious problems in low self-esteem and social interaction.
2. Anxiety (school refusal, phobias, separation or social fears, generalized anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorders)-if it keeps the youngster from normal daily activities.
3. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-marked by a short attention span, trouble concentrating and restlessness. The child is easily upset and frustrated, often has problems getting along with family and friends, and usually has trouble in school.
4. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-recurring obsessions (troublesome and intrusive thoughts) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviors or rituals such as handwashing, counting, checking to see if doors are locked) which are often seen as senseless but which interfere with a youngster's daily functioning.
5. Depression-lasting feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, unworthiness and guilt, inability to feel pleasure, a decline in school work and changes in sleeping and eating habits.
6. Eating disorder-either self-starvation (anorexia nervosa) or binge eating and vomiting (bulimia), or a combination of the two.
7. Bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder-periods of depression alternating with manic periods, which may include irritability, "high" or happy mood, excessive energy, behavior problems, staying up late at night, and grand plans.
8. Psychosis-symptoms include irrational beliefs, paranoia, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing sounds that don't exist) social withdrawal, clinging, strange behavior, extreme stubbornness, persistent rituals, and deterioration of personal habits. May be seen in developmental disorders, severe depression, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, and some forms of substance abuse.
9. Autism-(or other pervasive developmental disorder such as Asperger's Syndrome)-characterized by severe deficits in social interactions, language, and/or thinking or ability to learn, and usually diagnosed in early childhood.
10. Severe aggression-which may include assaultiveness, excessive property damage, or prolonged self-abuse, such as head-banging or cutting.
11. Sleep problems-symptoms can include insomnia, night terrors, sleep walking, fear of separation, anxiety.
Psychiatric Medication For Children And Adolescents: Part II - Types Of Medications

No. 29; Updated July 2004

Psychiatric medications can be an effective part of the treatment for psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence. In recent years there have been an increasing number of new and different psychiatric medications used with children and adolescents. Research studies are underway to establish more clearly which medications are most helpful for specific disorders and presenting problems. Clinical practice and experience, as well as research studies, help physicians determine which medications are most effective for a particular child. Before recommending any medication, the psychiatrist (preferably a child and adolescent psychiatrist) should conduct a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of the child or adolescent. Parents should be informed about known risks and/or FDA warnings before a child starts any psychiatric medication. When prescribed appropriately by an experienced psychiatrist (preferably a child and adolescent psychiatrist) and taken as directed, medication may reduce or eliminate troubling symptoms and improve daily functioning of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders.

ADHD Medications: Stimulant and non-stimulant medications may be helpful as part of the treatment for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Examples of stimulants include: Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderal) and Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Metadate, Concerta). Non-stimulant medications include Atomoxetine (Strattera).

Antidepressant Medications: Antidepressant medications may be helpful in the treatment of depression, school phobias, panic attacks, and other anxiety disorders, bedwetting, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. There are several types of antidepressant medications. Examples of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI's) include: Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Venlafaxine (Effexor), Citalopram (Celexa) and Escitalopram (Lexapro). Examples of atypical antidepressants include: Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Nefazodone (Serzone), Trazodone (Desyrel), and Mirtazapine (Remeron). Examples of tricyclic antidepressants (TCA's) include: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Clomipramine (Anafranil), Imipramine (Tofranil), and Nortriptyline (Pamelor). Examples of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's) include: Phenelzine (Nardil), and Tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Antipsychotic Medications: These medications can be helpful in controlling psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations) or disorganized thinking. These medications may also help muscle twitches ("tics") or verbal outbursts as seen in Tourette's Syndrome. They are occasionally used to treat severe anxiety and may help in reducing very aggressive behavior. Examples of first generation antipsychotic medications include: Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Thioridazine (Mellaril), Fluphenazine (Prolixin), Trifluoperazine (Stelazine), Thiothixene (Navane), and Haloperidol (Haldol). Second generation antipsychotic medications (also known as atypical or novel) include: Clozapine (Clozaril), Risperidone (Risperdal), Quetiapine (Seroquel), Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Ziprasidone (Geodon) and Aripiprazole (Abilify).

Mood Stabilizers and Anticonvulsant Medications: These medications may be helpful in treating bipolar disorder, severe mood symptoms and mood swings (manic and depressive), aggressive behavior and impulse control disorders. Examples include: Lithium (lithium carbonate, Eskalith), Valproic Acid (Depakote, Depakene), Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Gabapentin (Neurontin), Lamotrigine (Lamictil), Topiramate (Topamax), and Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal).

Anti-anxiety Medications: These medications may be helpful in the treatment of severe anxiety. There are several types of anti-anxiety medications: benzodiazepines; antihistamines; and atypicals. Examples of benzodiazepines include: Alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), Diazepam (Valium),and Clonazepam (Klonopin). Examples of antihistamines include: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and Hydroxizine (Vistaril). Examples of atypical anti-anxiety medications include: Buspirone (BuSpar), and Zolpidem (Ambien).

Sleep Medications: A variety of medications may be used for a short period to help with sleep problems. Examples include: Trazodone (Desyrel), Zolpidem (Ambien), Zaleplon (Sonata) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

Miscellaneous Medications: Other medications are also being used to treat a variety of symptoms. For example: clonidine (Catapres) may be used to treat the severe impulsiveness in some children with ADHD and guanfacine (Tenex) for "flashbacks" in children with PTSD.

Long-Acting Medications: Many newer medications are taken once a day. These medications have the designation SR (sustained release), ER or XR (extended release), CR (controlled release) or LA (long-acting)
Psychiatric Medication For Children And Adolescents Part III: Questions To Ask

No. 51; Updated November 2004

Medication can be an important part of treatment for some psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Psychiatric medication should only be used as one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Ongoing evaluation and monitoring by a physician is essential. Parents and guardians should be provided with complete information when psychiatric medication is recommended as part of their child's treatment plan. Children and adolescents should be included in the discussion about medications, using words they understand. By asking the following questions, children, adolescents, and their parents will gain a better understanding of psychiatric medications:

1. What is the name of the medication? Is it known by other names?
2. What is known about its helpfulness with other children who have a similar condition to my child?
3. How will the medication help my child? How long before I see improvement? When will it work?
4. What are the side effects which commonly occur with this medication?
5. Is this medication addictive? Can it be abused?
6. What is the recommended dosage? How often will the medication be taken?
7. Are there any laboratory tests (e.g. heart tests, blood test, etc.) which need to be done before my child begins taking the medication? Will any tests need to be done while my child is taking the medication?
8. Will a child and adolescent psychiatrist be monitoring my child's response to medication and make dosage changes if necessary? How often will progress be checked and by whom?
9. Are there any other medications or foods which my child should avoid while taking the medication?
10. Are there interactions between this medication and other medications (prescription and/or over-the-counter) my child is taking?
11. Are there any activities that my child should avoid while taking the medication? Are any precautions recommended for other activities?
12. How long will my child need to take this medication? How will the decision be made to stop this medication?
13. What do I do if a problem develops (e.g. if my child becomes ill, doses are missed, or side effects develop)?
14. What is the cost of the medication (generic vs. brand name)?
15. Does my child's school nurse need to be informed about this medication?

Treatment with psychiatric medications is a serious matter for parents, children and adolescents. Parents should ask these questions before their child or adolescent starts taking psychiatric medications. Parents and children/adolescents need to be fully informed about medications. If, after asking these questions, parents still have serious questions or doubts about medication treatment, they should feel free to ask for a second opinion by a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
The Continuum Of Care For Children And Adolescents

No. 42; Updated November 2004

Communities provide different types of treatment programs and services for children and adolescents with mental illnesses. A complete range of programs and services is called the continuum of care. Not every community has every type of service or program on the continuum. Some psychiatric hospitals and other organized systems of care now provide many of the services on the continuum. When several of the services are provided, the organization may be called a health care system.

The beginning point for parents concerned about their child's behavior or emotions should be an evaluation by a qualified mental health professional such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the professional will recommend a certain type of service(s) or program(s) from the continuum available locally. The professional is then usually required to obtain approval from the insurance company or organization managing mental health benefits (e.g. managed care organization). In the case of programs funded publicly, a specific state agency must authorize the recommended program(s) or service(s). If the program or service is not authorized, it will not be paid. Many of the programs on the continuum offer a variety of different treatments, such as individual psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, and medications.

A brief description of the different services or programs in a continuum of care follows:

Office or outpatient clinic

Visits are usually 30-60 minutes. The number of visits per month depends on the youngster's needs.

Intensive case management

Specially trained individuals coordinate or provide psychiatric, financial, legal, and medical services to help the child or adolescent live successfully at home and in the community.

Home-based treatment services

A team of specially trained staff go into a home and develop a treatment program to help the child and family.

Family support services

Services to help families care for their child such as parent training, parent support group, etc.

Day treatment program

This intensive treatment program provides psychiatric treatment with special education. The child usually attends five days per week.

Partial hospitalization (day hospital)

This provides all the treatment services of a psychiatric hospital, but the patients go home each evening.

Emergency/crisis services

24-hour-per-day services for emergencies (for example, hospital emergency room, mobile crisis team).

Respite care services

A patient stays briefly away from home with specially trained individuals.

Therapeutic group home or community residence

This therapeutic program usually includes 6 to 10 children or adolescents per home, and may be linked with a day treatment program or specialized educational program.

Crisis residence

This setting provides short-term (usually fewer than 15 days) crisis intervention and treatment. Patients receive 24-hour-per-day supervision

Residential treatment facility

Seriously disturbed patients receive intensive and comprehensive psychiatric treatment in a campus-like setting on a longer-term basis.

Hospital treatment

Patients receive comprehensive psychiatric treatment in a hospital. Treatment programs should be specifically designed for either children or adolescents. Length of treatment depends on different variables.

Parents should always ask questions when a professional recommends psychiatric treatment for their child or adolescent. For instance, which types of treatment are provided, and by whom? Parents should also ask about the length of time? What is the cost? How much of the cost is covered by insurance or public funding? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the recommended service or program? Parents should always feel free to obtain a second opinion about the best type of program for their child or adolescent.
11 Questions To Ask Before Psychiatric Hospitalization Of Your Child Or Adolescent

No. 32; Updated July 2004

Hospitalization in a psychiatric facility is one of a range of available treatment options when a child or adolescent is mentally ill. Parents are naturally concerned and may be frightened and confused when inpatient treatment is recommended for their child. By asking the following questions, parents will gain a better understanding of the care proposed by admission to an inpatient facility:

1. Why is psychiatric inpatient treatment being recommended for our child, and how will it help our child?
2. What are the other treatment alternatives to hospital treatment, and how do they compare?
3. Is a child and adolescent psychiatrist admitting our child to the hospital?
4. What does the inpatient treatment include, and how will our child be able to keep up with school work?
5. What are the responsibilities of the child and adolescent psychiatrist and other people on the treatment team?
6. How long will our child be in the hospital, how much will it cost, and how do we pay for these services?
7. What will happen if we can no longer afford to keep our child in this hospital or if the insurance company denies coverage and inpatient treatment is still necessary?
8. Will our child be on a unit specifically designed for the treatment of children and adolescents and is this hospital accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) as a treatment facility for youngsters of our child's age?
9. How will we as parents be involved in our child's hospital treatment, including the decision for discharge and after-care treatment?
10. How will the decision be made to discharge our child from the hospital?
11. Once our child is discharged, what are the plans for continuing or follow-up treatment?

Hospital treatment is a serious matter for parents, children and adolescents. Parents should raise these questions before their child or adolescent is admitted to the hospital. Parents who are informed and included as part of their child's hospital treatment are important contributors and partners in the treatment process.

If after asking the above questions, parents still have serious questions or doubts, they should feel free to ask for a second opinion.
Advocating For Your Child

No. 74; Updated Feburary 2000

According to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999), 1 in 5 will experience signs and symptoms of a psychiatric disorder during the course of the year. Some nine million children have serious emotional problems at any point in tie. Yet, only 1 in 5 of these children are receiving appropriate treatment. When parents or teachers suspect that a child may have an emotional problem, they should seek a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional specifically trained to work with children and adolescents.

Signs and symptoms of childhood and adolescent emotional problems may include:

* School problems
* Frequent fighting
* Trouble sleeping
* Feeling sad
* Thoughts about suicide or running away
* Excessive weight loss or gain
* Troubling or disturbing thoughts
* Use of drugs or alcohol
* Withdraw or isolation
* Injuring or killing animals
* Stealing or lying
* Mood swings
* Setting fires
* Obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors
* Dangerous or self destructive behavior
* Trouble paying attention
* Anxiety or frequent worries

Throughout the evaluation process, parents should be directly involved and ask many questions. It's important to make sure you understand the results of the evaluation, your child's diagnosis, and the full range of treatment options. If parents are not comfortable with a particular clinician, treatment option, or are confused about specific recommendations, they should consider a second opinion.

Before a child begins treatment, parents may also want to ask the following:

* What are the recommended treatment options for my child?
* How will I be involved with my child's treatment?
* How will we know if the treatment is working?
* How long should it take before I see improvement?
* Does my child need medication?
* What should I do if the problems get worse?
* What are the arrangements if I need to reach you after-hours or in an emergency?

You may also need to advocate to have your child seen in a timely way, by the most appropriate clinician. Most insurance plans now include some form of managed care, which may utilize provider panels with few mental health professionals. However, many states now have laws concerning reasonable access to specialists. If you have problems or questions, try calling the Department of Insurance, the Patient Ombudsman/Advocate, or the Department of Consumer Affairs at your insurance company.

Ongoing parental involvement and support are essential to the overall success of treatment. Depending on the nature of your child's problems, it may also be important to involve the school, comm.unity agencies, and/or juvenile justice system. In addition, it may be helpful to learn how to access other support services such as respite, parent skill building, or home-based programs. Local advocacy groups can also provide valuable information, experience and support for parents.

Although serious emotional problems are common in childhood and adolescence, they are also highly treatable. By advocating for early identification, comprehensive evaluation and appropriate intervention, parents can make sure their children get the help they need, and reduce the risk of long term emotional difficulties.

For more information about parent advocacy, contact:

Federation of Families for Children's
Mental Health
(703) 684-7710
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2971

National Alliance of the Mentally Ill
Colonial Place Three (703) 524-7600
2107 Wilson Blvd-3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22201

National Mental Health Association
(703) 684-7722
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
Understanding Your Mental Health Insurance

No. 26; Updated July 2004

Insurance benefits for mental health services have changed a lot in recent years. These changes are consistent with the nationwide trend to control the expense of health care. It is important to understand your mental health care coverage so that you can be an active advocate for your child's needs within the guidelines of your particular plan. Here are some useful questions to ask when evaluating the mental health benefits of an insurance plan or HMO:

* Do I have to get a referral from my child's primary care physician or employee assistance program to receive mental health services?
* Is there a "preferred list of providers" or "network" that you must see? Are child psychiatrists included? What happens if I want my child to see someone outside the network?
* Is there an annual deductible that I pay before the plan pays? What will I actually pay for services? What services are paid for by the plan: office visits, medication, respite care, day hospital, inpatient?
* Are there limits on the number of visits? Will my provider have to send reports to the managed care company?
* What can I do if I am unhappy with either the provider of the care or the recommendations of the "utilization review" process?
* What hospitals can be used under the plan?
* Does the plan exclude certain diagnoses or pre-existing conditions?
* Is there a "lifetime dollar limit" or an "annual limit" for mental health coverage, and what is it?
* Does the plan have a track record in your area?

The following section explains terms and procedures commonly used in health plan. Managed care refers to the process of someone reviewing and monitoring the need for and use of services. Your insurance company may do its own review and monitoring or may hire a "managed care company" to do the reviewing. The actual review of care is commonly known as "utilization review" and is done by professionals, mostly social workers and nurses, known as "utilization reviewers" or "case managers." The child psychiatrist treating your child may have to discuss the treatment with a reviewer in order for the care to be authorized and paid for by your insurance. The reviewers are trained to use the guidelines developed by your health care plan. A review by a child and adolescent psychiatrist reviewer usually must be specially requested.

The review process often takes place over the telephone. Written treatment plans may also be required. Some plans may require that the entire medical record be copied and sent for review. Reviewers usually authorize payment for a limited number of outpatient sessions or a few days of inpatient care. In order for additional treatment to be authorized, the psychiatrist must call the reviewer back to discuss the child's progress and existing problems. Managed care emphasizes short term treatment with a focus on changing specific behaviors.

Preferred providers are groups of doctors, social workers, or psychologists which your insurer has agreed to pay. If you choose to see doctors outside of this list, (out of network caregivers), your insurer may not pay for the services. You will still be responsible for the bill. Similarly, care given in hospitals designated as "in network" is paid for by your insurance, while care given in hospitals "out of network" is usually not paid by your insurance and becomes your responsibility. Even when using preferred providers and in network hospitals, utilization reviewers still closely monitor treatment.

Another change is the variety of services and diagnosis paid for by different plans. In the past, only inpatient care and outpatient care was covered by insurance. Now, depending upon your particular plan, other services such as day hospital, home-based care, and respite care may also be covered. These lower cost services may offer advantages to inpatient hospitalization.

A limiting feature of some mental health care plans is a low lifetime maximum or a low annual dollar amount that can be used for mental health care. (i.e. Once this amount is used, plan coverage ends.) You, as parent or guardian, are responsible for paying the non-covered bill. If your child/adolescent needs continued care, you may need to seek help from your state public mental health system. This usually means changing doctors which may disrupt your child's care.

It is important to understand as much as possible about your particular insurance plan. Understanding your coverage will put you in a better position to help your child. Sometimes you may need to advocate for services that are not a part of your plan, but which you and your child's psychiatrist feel are necessary. Advocacy groups may provide you with important information about local services. The support of other parents is also useful and important when engaged in advocacy efforts.

No. 22; Updated July 2004

Parents are naturally concerned about the health and welfare of their children. Many parents correctly and comfortably see their youngster as normal. However, some parents worry whether their infant, child, or teenager has a problem. These worries can include questions about:

* how the child is developing
* the emotional well-being of the child
* what the child says, thinks, and feels
* how the child acts, for example, eating and sleeping patterns, behavior at school, getting along with family and friends, or coping with stress

Child and adolescent psychiatrists can help parents and families answer these questions about what’s normal and what’s not. They usually interview the child and ask the parents about the child's previous health and behavior. They may also ask about how the family gets along together. It is likely that infants, children, and teenagers are normal when, at the appropriate age, they fully participate in and enjoy their:

* learning, school, and/or work
* relationships within the family
* relationships with friends; and
* play

Many parents first discuss their concerns about their child's normality with a family member or friend, or with the child's physician, school counselor or member of the clergy--who may then refer the family to a child and adolescent psychiatrist. He or she listens carefully to the parents and child and sorts out:

* the long-term factors that tend to lead to--or protect against-the child's developing problems
* the short-term factors that set off the child's problem
* the factors causing these problems to persist
* the possible roles of other medical conditions; and
* the contribution of school learning, social and emotional growth to the child’s functioning.

Based on the evaluation, the child and adolescent psychiatrist may:

* reassure the parents, explaining how they can enhance normal development;
* suggest an activity or an educational program for the child, and/or education for parents, which will support normal development and effective parenting;
* provide or arrange for brief counseling to help the child and parents with minor developmental problems, stressful life situations or difficulties due to the child's temperament

If the evaluation reveals a psychiatric disorder, the child and adolescent psychiatrist will recommend a specific treatment program.

Parents, better than anyone else, know their child and know what is usual behavior for their child. If you feel your child has a problem, seek professional help. It is a very important first step in knowing for sure whether there is a problem, and if so, what measures will best help your child.
Helping Teenagers With Stress

No. 66; Updated May 2005

Teenagers, like adults, may experience stress everyday and can benefit from learning stress management skills. Most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope. Some sources of stress for teens might include:

* school demands and frustrations
* negative thoughts and feelings about themselves
* changes in their bodies
* problems with friends and/or peers at school
* unsafe living environment/neighborhood
* separation or divorce of parents
* chronic illness or severe problems in the family
* death of a loved one
* moving or changing schools
* taking on too many activities or having too high expectations
* family financial problems

Some teens become overloaded with stress. When it happens, inadequately managed stress can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, physical illness, or poor coping skills such as drug and/or alcohol use.

When we perceive a situation as difficult or painful, changes occur in our minds and bodies to prepare us to respond to danger. This "fight, flight, or freeze” response includes faster heart and breathing rate, increased blood to muscles of arms and legs, cold or clammy hands and feet, upset stomach and/or a sense of dread.

The same mechanism that turns on the stress response can turn it off. As soon as we decide that a situation is no longer dangerous, changes can occur in our minds and bodies to help us relax and calm down. This "relaxation response” includes decreased heart and breathing rate and a sense of well being. Teens that develop a "relaxation response” and other stress management skills feel less helpless and have more choices when responding to stress.

Parents can help their teen in these ways:

* Monitor if stress is affecting their teen's health, behavior, thoughts, or feelings
* Listen carefully to teens and watch for overloading
* Learn and model stress management skills
* Support involvement in sports and other pro-social activities

Teens can decrease stress with the following behaviors and techniques:

* Exercise and eat regularly
* Avoid excess caffeine intake which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation
* Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco
* Learn relaxation exercises (abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques)
* Develop assertiveness training skills. For example, state feelings in polite firm and not overly aggressive or passive ways: ("I feel angry when you yell at me” "Please stop yelling.”)
* Rehearse and practice situations which cause stress. One example is taking a speech class if talking in front of a class makes you anxious
* Learn practical coping skills. For example, break a large task into smaller, more attainable tasks
* Decrease negative self talk: challenge negative thoughts about yourself with alternative neutral or positive thoughts. "My life will never get better” can be transformed into "I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help”
* Learn to feel good about doing a competent or "good enough” job rather than demanding perfection from yourself and others
* Take a break from stressful situations. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet can reduce stress
* Build a network of friends who help you cope in a positive way

By using these and other techniques, teenagers can begin to manage stress. If a teen talks about or shows signs of being overly stressed, a consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist or qualified mental health professional may be helpful.
Talking To Your Kids About Sex

No. 62; Updated May 2005

Talking to your children about love, intimacy, and sex is an important part of parenting. Parents can be very helpful by creating a comfortable atmosphere in which to talk to their children about these issues. However, many parents avoid or postpone the discussion. Each year about one million teenage girls become pregnant in the United States and three million teens get a sexually transmitted disease. Children and adolescents need input and guidance from parents to help them make healthy and appropriate decisions regarding their sexual behavior since they can be confused and overstimulated by what they see and hear. Information about sex obtained by children from the Internet can often be inaccurate and/or inappropriate.

Talking about sex may be uncomfortable for both parents and children. Parents should respond to the needs and curiosity level of their individual child, offering no more or less information than their child is asking for and is able to understand. Getting advice from a clergyman, pediatrician, family physician, or other health professional may be helpful. Books that use illustrations or diagrams may aid communication and understanding.

Children have different levels of curiosity and understanding depending upon their age and level of maturity. As children grow older, they will often ask for more details about sex. Many children have their own words for body parts. It is important to find out words they know and are comfortable with to make talking with them easier. A 5-year-old may be happy with the simple answer that babies come from a seed that grows in a special place inside the mother. Dad helps when his seed combines with mom's seed which causes the baby to start to grow. An 8-year-old may want to know how dad's seed gets to mom's seed. Parents may want to talk about dad's seed (or sperm) coming from his penis and combining with mom's seed (or egg) in her uterus. Then the baby grows in the safety of mom's uterus for nine months until it is strong enough to be born. An 11-year-old may want to know even more and parents can help by talking about how a man and woman fall in love and then may decide to have sex.

It is important to talk about the responsibilities and consequences that come from being sexually active. Pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and feelings about sex are important issues to be discussed. Talking to your children can help them make the decisions that are best for them without feeling pressured to do something before they are ready. Helping children understand that these are decisions that require maturity and responsibility will increase the chance that they make good choices.

Adolescents are able to talk about lovemaking and sex in terms of dating and relationships. They may need help dealing with the intensity of their own sexual feelings, confusion regarding their sexual identity, and sexual behavior in a relationship. Concerns regarding masturbation, menstruation, contraception, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases are common. Some adolescents also struggle with conflicts around family, religious or cultural values. Open communication and accurate information from parents increases the chance that teens will postpone sex and will use appropriate methods of birth control once they begin.

In talking with your child or adolescent, it is helpful to:

* Encourage your child to talk and ask questions.
* Maintain a calm and non-critical atmosphere for discussions.
* Use words that are understandable and comfortable.
* Try to determine your child's level of knowledge and understanding.
* Keep your sense of humor and don't be afraid to talk about your own discomfort.
* Relate sex to love, intimacy, caring, and respect for oneself and one's partner.
* Be open in sharing your values and concerns.
* Discuss the importance of responsibility for choices and decisions.
* Help your child to consider the pros and cons of choices.

By developing open, honest and ongoing communication about responsibility, sex, and choice, parents can help their youngsters learn about sex in a healthy and positive manner.
The Adopted Child

No. 15; Updated November 2002

Approximately 120,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. Children with physical, developmental, or emotional handicaps who were once considered unadoptable are now being adopted ("special needs adoptions"). Adoption helps many of these children to grow up in permanent families rather than in foster homes or institutions.

Parents with an adopted child wonder whether, when, and how to tell their child that he or she is adopted. They also want to know if adopted children face special problems or challenges.

Child and adolescent psychiatrists recommend that the child be told about the adoption by the adoptive parents. Children should be told about their adoption in a way that they can understand.

There are two different views on when a child should be told they are adopted. Many experts believe the child should be told at the youngest possible age. This approach provides the child an early opportunity to accept and integrate the concept of being "adopted." Other experts believe that telling a child too early may confuse the young child who can't really understand the information. These experts advise waiting until the child is older.

In either case, children should learn of their adoption from the adoptive parents. This helps give the message that adoption is good and that the child can trust the parents. If the child first learns about the adoption intentionally or accidentally from someone other than parents, the child may feel anger and mistrust towards the parents, and may view the adoption as bad or shameful because it was kept a secret.

Adopted children will want to talk about their adoption and parents should encourage this process. Several excellent children's story books are available in bookstores and libraries which can help parents tell the child about being adopted. Children have a variety of responses to the knowledge that they are adopted. Their feelings and responses depend on their age and level of maturity. The child may deny the adoption or create fantasies about it. Frequently, adopted children hold onto beliefs that they were given away for being bad or may believe that they were kidnapped. If the parents talk openly about the adoption and present it in a positive manner, these worries are less likely to develop.

All adolescents go through a stage of struggling with their identity, wondering how they fit in with their family, their peers, and the rest of the world. This struggle may be even more intense for children adopted from other countries or cultures. In adolescence, the adopted child is likely to have an increased interest in his or her birth parents. This open curiosity is not unusual and does not mean that he or she is rejecting the adoptive parents. Some adolescents may wish to learn the identity of their birth parents. Adoptive parents can respond by letting the adolescent know it is okay to have such interest and questions, and when asked should give what information they have about the birth family with sensitivity and support.

Adoptive parents often have questions about how to deal with the circumstances of adoption. These parents need support from mental health and health professionals.

Some adopted children may develop emotional or behavioral problems. The problems may or may not result from insecurities or issues related to being adopted. If parents are concerned, they should seek professional assistance. Children who are preoccupied with their adoption should also be evaluated. A child and adolescent psychiatrist can help the child and adoptive parents determine whether or not help is needed.
Foster Care

No. 64; Updated May 2005

Over 500,000 children in the U.S. currently reside in some form of foster care. Placements in foster care have dramatically increased over the past 10 years. Despite the increasing numbers, children in foster care and foster parents are mostly Ainvisible in communities and often lack many needed supports and resources. In situations of abuse and neglect, children may be removed from their parents' home by a child welfare agency and placed in foster care. Other reasons for foster placement include severe behavioral problems in the child and/or a variety of parental problems, such as abandonment, illness (physical or emotional), incarceration, AIDS, alcohol/substance abuse, and death.

African-American children make up approximately two thirds of the foster care population and remain in care longer. Two out of three children who enter foster care are reunited with their birth parents within two years. A significant number, however, can spend long periods of time in care awaiting adoption or other permanent arrangement. Making decisions about the future for a child in foster care is called Apermanency planning. Options include: returning the child to his/her birth parents; termination of parental rights (a formal legal procedure) to be followed, hopefully, by adoption; or long-term care with foster parents or relatives. Most states encourage efforts to provide the birth parents with support and needed services (e.g. mental health or drug/alcohol treatment, parent skills, training and assistance with child care and/or adequate housing) so their child can be returned to them. When parental rights have been terminated by the court, most states will try to place children with relatives (Akinship foster care or Arelative placement) which may lead to adoption by the relative.

Being removed from their home and placed in foster care is a difficult and stressful experience for any child. Many of these children have suffered some form of serious abuse or neglect. About 30% of children in foster care have severe emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems. Physical health problems are also common. Most children, however, show remarkable resiliency and determination to go on with their lives. Children in foster care often struggle with the following issues:

* blaming themselves and feeling guilty about removal from their birth parents
* wishing to return to birth parents even if they were abused by them
* feeling unwanted if awaiting adoption for a long time
* feeling helpless about multiple changes in foster parents over time
* having mixed emotions about attaching to foster parents
* feeling insecure and uncertain about their future
* reluctantly acknowledging positive feelings for foster parents

Foster parents open their homes and hearts to children in need of temporary care, a task both rewarding and difficult. Unfortunately, there has been a decrease in the number of foster parents (non-relative) available to care for children over the past 10 years. This results in larger numbers of children remaining in institutional settings. The number of relative caregivers (Akinship foster care), however, has increased.
Reimbursement rates for foster parents are lower in most states than the true costs of providing routine care for the child. Important challenges for foster parents include:

* recognizing the limits of their emotional attachment to the child
* understanding mixed feelings toward the child's birth parents
* recognizing their difficulties in letting the child return to birth parents
* dealing with the complex needs (emotional, physical, etc.) of children in their care
* working with sponsoring social agencies
* finding needed support services in the community
* dealing with the child's emotions and behavior following visits with birth parents

Children in foster care who have emotional or behavioral problems may be referred for a psychiatric evaluation. Some child and adolescent psychiatrists provide consultation to Juvenile/Family Courts and child welfare agencies. Child and adolescent psychiatrists also provide comprehensive evaluations including diagnosis and the development of treatment plans. They also provide direct treatment (e.g. psychotherapy, family therapy, psychiatric medication) to a child. Children in foster care have special and complex needs which are best addressed by a coordinated team which usually includes the birth parents, foster parents, mental health professionals (including child and adolescent psychiatrists) and child welfare staff.

For additional information about foster care contact the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) 440 First Street, NW, Third Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001-2085.
Reactive Attachment Disorder

No. 85; Updated December 2002

Reactive Attachment Disorder is a complex psychiatric illness that can affect young children. It is characterized by serious problems in emotional attachments to others and usually presents by age 5. A parent, daycare provider or physician may notice that a child has problems with emotional attachment by their first birthday. Often, a parent brings an infant or very young child to the doctor with one or more of the following concerns:

* severe colic and/or feeding difficulties
* failure to gain weight
* detached and unresponsive behavior
* difficulty being comforted
* preoccupied and/or defiant behavior
* inhibition or hesitancy in social interactions

Some children with Reactive Attachment Disorder may also be overly or inappropriately social or familiar with strangers. The physical, emotional and social problems associated with Reactive Attachment Disorder may persist as the child grows older.

The cause of Reactive Attachment Disorder is not known. Most children with this disorder have had severe problems or disruptions in their early relationships. Many have been physically or emotionally abused or neglected. Some have experienced inadequate care in an institutional setting or other out-of-home placement (for example a hospital, residential program, foster care or orphanage). Others have had multiple or traumatic losses or changes in their primary caregiver.

Children who exhibit signs of Reactive Attachment Disorder need a comprehensive psychiatric assessment and individualized treatment plan. These signs or symptoms may also be found in other psychiatric disorders. A child should never be given this label or diagnosis without a comprehensive evaluation. Treatment of this complex disorder involves both the child and the family. Without treatment, this condition can permanently effect a child's social and emotional development.
While some therapists have advocated the use of so-called "rebirthing techniques", there is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of such interventions. Such unproven and unconventional therapies can also be quite dangerous. Tragically, the use of such techniques has been associated with serious injury and even death.

Parents of a young child who shows signs or symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder should:

* seek a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation prior to the initiation of any treatment
* make sure they understand the risks as well as the potential benefits of any intervention
* feel free to seek a second opinion if they have questions or concerns about the diagnosis and/or treatment plan

Reactive Attachment Disorder is a serious clinical condition. Fortunately, it is relatively rare. Evaluating and treating children with complex child psychiatric disorders such as Reactive Attachment Disorder is challenging. There are no simple solutions or magic answers. However, close and ongoing collaboration between the child's family and the treatment team will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Your Adolescent

The second volume of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's (AACAP) parenting guide, Your Adolescent discusses specific questions and concerns, examines troublesome problems, and helps parents understand and respond to the day-to-day challenges of the teen years. Written by the members of the AACAP, the leading professional association in its field, Your Adolescent stands out as a comprehensive, authoritative, parent-friendly resource.

Adolescence is a period of tremendous adjustment for child and parent. As children transition from childhood to adulthood, they undergo many physical, emotional and behavioral changes. Understandably, parents wonder whether their teen's actions are typical or cause for greater concern. Your Adolescent helps parents answer questions and understand what's normal and what's not concerning their child's growth and development from ages 13-18. It addresses everyday issues like peer influence, dating identity, emerging sexuality, independence, separation anxiety, and responsibility, as well as more serious ones like violent behavior, experimental alcohol and drug use, teen suicide, and eating disorders.

Whether you're a parent, guardian, or just concerned about teens, make Your Adolescent a part of your library today.
Your Adolescent - Talking About Sex With Your Teen

Excerpts from Your Adolescent on Talking About Sex with your Teen

As daunting a task as it may seem, this is one of the more important jobs of parenthood. Teenagers need not only the biological basics they get in health and hygiene classes at school - they need parental guidance, too. Thoughtful but frank talk about sexuality before sexual experimentation begins may also open lines of future communication about your teen's sexual concerns and behavior. If you're afraid of this subject and keep avoiding it, your youngster may develop the same attitude and may avoid discussion and sharing with you. Be honest and sensitive as you employ some of the following strategies for discussing sex with your teen:

Be proactive rather than reactive.
Teens often say they'd like to discuss sex with their parents but can't seem to get the words out. Don't wait for your teen to come to you. Initiate the discussions yourself. Teens whose parents discuss sex openly with them are more likely to wait to have sexual intercourse than their uninformed counterparts. The issues of pregnancy and contraception are equally important for boys and girls to understand.

Give her permission to say no. If you issue an edict that under no circumstances is the teen to have intercourse, don't be surprised if she rebels by doing just that. On the other hand, she's more likely to feel good about saying no if you help her understand why that is a wise option. For example, you might want to acquaint her with some common ploys, such as If you love me, you'll sleep with me, and so on. Let her know that a truly loving relationship between two people doesn't involve coercion.

Avoid trying to scare her into abstinence.
If your teen is feeling rebellious, scare tactics may push her over the edge or scare her so badly that later it will prove a burden to enjoying an adult sexual relationship.

Help her understand that sex is more than intercourse. Sex is an act that also involves the feelings of both partners. Let her know that there are ways to express her sexuality without having intercourse before she is ready. She should be aware that it is not all or nothing. She can enjoy a physical relationship without having intercourse.

Respect her privacy.
The minute your teen walks in the door from a date, don't demand to know what happened that evening. Let her know that you trust her. Stress, however, that if she is being sexually active or considering it, you expect her to behave responsibly.

Try to avoid overreacting.
If your teen comes to you with a question about AIDS, for example, don't automatically assume the adolescent has been exposed to the virus. Simply answer the question without accusations or jumping to conclusions. Later ask if there was a particular reason for the question. Use this topic as a way to keep channels open. Don't insist there must be some secretive reason for the curiosity.

If, despite your efforts, you just can't discuss sex with your teen, have someone stand in for you-?your spouse, perhaps a relative or a trusted friend, your teen's doctor, or a favorite teacher. If your teen has been active in church, then a trusted member of the clergy may also be helpful.
Your Child - Asperger's Disorder

Excerpts from Your Child on Asperger’s Disorder

In the past, children with Asperger's disorder were often diagnosed as having autism. While this disorder does share some characteristics with autism, there are some important distinctions.

In general, the child with Asperger’s disorder functions at a significantly higher cognitive and intellectual level than the typical child with autism. While about three‑quarters of children with autism test in the mentally retarded range, those with Asperger's disorder test in the normal range. Unlike the lack of language or, in milder cases, the severe language delay associated with autism, children with Asperger’s usually are using words by the age of two, although as they get older their speech patterns are often odd, their words spoken in a monotone. Similar traits are often found in family members.

Like the child with autism, one with Asperger’s disorder does not successfully interact with her peers. These children tend to be toners. They have little empathy for others and are highly egocentric, displaying eccentric behaviors, A child with Asperger's, for example, may spend hours each day preoccupied with counting can that travel past on the street or watching only the weather channel on television. Coordination difficulties, as well as speech delays, are also common with this disorder. Some research has shown Asperger’s disorder clustering in families.

The treatment and intervention for children with Asperger’s disorder follow the same general guidelines as those for children with autism. Children with Asperger’s disorder also have an increased vulnerability to psychiatric disorders such as mood disorders, schizophrenia, and obsessive‑compulsive disorder.

The outcome for children with Asperger’s disorder is generally more promising than for those with autism, probably because of their higher intellectual and communication abilities.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

No. 70; Updated October 1999

All children and adolescents experience stressful events which can affect them both emotionally and physically. Their reactions to stress are usually brief, and they recover without further problems. A child or adolescent who experiences a catastrophic event may develop ongoing difficulties known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The stressful or traumatic event involves a situation where someone's life has been threatened or severe injury has occurred (ex. they may be the victim or a witness of physical abuse, sexual abuse, violence in the home or in the community, automobile accidents, natural disasters (such as flood, fire, earthquakes), and being diagnosed with a life threatening illness). A child's risk of developing PTSD is related to the seriousness of the trauma, whether the trauma is repeated, the child's proximity to the trauma, and his/her relationship to the victim(s).

Following the trauma, children may initially show agitated or confused behavior. They also may show intense fear, helplessness, anger, sadness, horror or denial. Children who experience repeated trauma may develop a kind of emotional numbing to deaden or block the pain and trauma. This is called dissociation. Children with PTSD avoid situations or places that remind them of the trauma. They may also become less responsive emotionally, depressed, withdrawn, and more detached from their feelings.

A child with PTSD may also re-experience the traumatic event by:

* having frequent memories of the event, or in young children, play in which some or all of the trauma is repeated over and over
* having upsetting and frightening dreams
* acting or feeling like the experience is happening again
* developing repeated physical or emotional symptoms when the child is reminded of the event

Children with PTSD may also show the following symptoms:

* worry about dying at an early age
* losing interest in activities
* having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches
* showing more sudden and extreme emotional reactions
* having problems falling or staying asleep
* showing irritability or angry outbursts
* having problems concentrating
* acting younger than their age (for example, clingy or whiny behavior, thumbsucking)
* showing increased alertness to the environment
* repeating behavior that reminds them of the trauma

The symptoms of PTSD may last from several months to many years. The best approach is prevention of the trauma. Once the trauma has occurred, however, early intervention is essential. Support from parents, school, and peers is important. Emphasis needs to be placed upon establishing a feeling of safety. Psychotherapy (individual, group, or family) which allows the child to speak, draw, play, or write about the event is helpful. Behavior modification techniques and cognitive therapy may help reduce fears and worries. Medication may also be useful to deal with agitation, anxiety, or depression.

Child and adolescent psychiatrists can be very helpful in diagnosing and treating children with PTSD. With the sensitivity and support of families and professionals, youngsters with PTSD can learn to cope with the memories of the trauma and go on to lead healthy and productive lives.
Helping Children After A Disaster

No. 36; Updated July 2004

A catastrophe such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or violent acts is frightening to children and adults alike. It is important to explain the event in words the child can understand. Parents should also acknowledge the frightening parts of the disaster when talking with a child about it. Falsely minimizing the danger will not end a child's concerns. Several factors affect a child's response to a disaster.

The way children see and understand their parents' responses are very important. Children are aware of their parents' worries most of the time, but they are particularly sensitive during a crisis. Parents should admit their concerns to their children, and also stress their abilities to cope with the disaster.

A child's reaction also depends on how much destruction and/or death he or she sees during and after the disaster. If a friend or family member has been killed or seriously injured, or if the child's school or home has been severely damaged, there is a greater chance that the child will experience difficulties.

A child's age affects how the child will respond to the disaster. For example, six-year-olds may show their worries by refusing to attend school, whereas adolescents may minimize their concerns, but argue more with parents and show a decline in school performance.

Following a disaster, people may develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is psychological damage that can result from experiencing, witnessing, or participating in an overwhelmingly traumatic (frightening) event. Children with this disorder have repeated episodes in which they re-experience the traumatic event. Children often relive the trauma through repetitive play. In young children, upsetting dreams of the traumatic event may change into nightmares of monsters, of rescuing others, or of threats to self or others. PTSD rarely appears during the trauma itself. Though its symptoms can occur soon after the event, the disorder often surfaces several months or even years later.

Parents should be alert to these changes in a child's behavior:

* Refusal to return to school and "clinging" behavior, including shadowing the mother or father around the house
* Persistent fears related to the catastrophe (such as fears about being permanently separated from parents)
* Sleep disturbances such as nightmares, screaming during sleep and bedwetting, persisting more than several days after the event
* Loss of concentration and irritability
* Startled easily, jumpy
* Behavior problems, for example, misbehaving in school or at home in ways that are not typical for the child
* Physical complaints (stomachaches, headaches, dizziness) for which a physical cause cannot be found
* Withdrawal from family and friends, sadness, listlessness, decreased activity, and preoccupation with the events of the disaster

Professional advice or treatment for children affected by a disaster--especially those who have witnessed destruction, injury or death--can help prevent or minimize PTSD. Parents who are concerned about their children can ask their pediatrician or family doctor to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist for an evaluation.
Talking To Children About Terrorism And War

No. 87; Feburary 2003

In today's world, parents are faced with the challenge of explaining violence, terrorism and war to children. Although difficult, these conversations are extremely important. They give parents an opportunity to help their children feel more secure and understand the world in which they live. The following information can be helpful to parents when discussing these issues:

Listen to Children:

* Create a time and place for children to ask their questions. Don't force children to talk about things until they're ready.
* Remember that children tend to personalize situations. For example, they may worry about friends or relatives who live in a city or state associated with incidents or events.
* Help children find ways to express themselves. Some children may not be able to talk about their thoughts, feelings, or fears. They may be more comfortable drawing pictures, playing with toys, or writing stories or poems directly or indirectly related to current events.

Answer Children's Questions:

* Use words and concepts your child can understand. Make your explanation appropriate to your child's age and level of understanding. Don't overload a child with too much information.
* Give children honest answers and information. Children will usually know if you're not being honest.
* Be prepared to repeat explanations or have several conversations. Some information may be hard to accept or understand. Asking the same question over and over may be your child's way of asking for reassurance.
* Acknowledge and support your child's thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Let your child know that you think their questions and concerns are important.
* Be consistent and reassuring, but don't make unrealistic promises.
* Avoid stereotyping groups of people by race, nationality, or religion. Use the opportunity to teach tolerance and explain prejudice.
* Remember that children learn from watching their parents and teachers. They are very interested in how you respond to events. They learn from listening to your conversations with other adults.
* Let children know how you are feeling. It's OK for them to know if you are anxious or worried about events. However, don't burden them with your concerns.
* Don't confront your child's way of handling events. If a child feels reassured by saying that things are happening Avery far away,@ it's usually best not to disagree. The child may need to think about events this way to feel safe.

Provide Support:

* Don't let children watch lots of violent or upsetting images on TV. Repetitive frightening images or scenes can be very disturbing, especially to young children.
* Help children establish a predictable routine and schedule. Children are reassured by structure and familiarity. School, sports, birthdays, holidays, and group activities take on added importance during stressful times.
* Coordinate information between home and school. Parents should know about activities and discussions at school. Teachers should know about the child's specific fears or concerns.
* Children who have experienced trauma or losses may show more intense reactions to tragedies or news of war or terrorist incidents. These children may need extra support and attention.
* Watch for physical symptoms related to stress. Many children show anxiety and stress through complaints of physical aches and pains.
* Watch for possible preoccupation with violent movies or war theme video/computer games.
* Children who seem preoccupied or very stressed about war, fighting, or terrorism should be evaluated by a qualified mental health professional. Other signs that a child may need professional help include: ongoing trouble sleeping, persistent upsetting thoughts, fearful images, intense fears about death, and trouble leaving their parents or going to school. The child's physician can assist with appropriate referrals.
* Help children communicate with others and express themselves at home. Some children may want to write letters to the President, Governor, local newspaper, or to grieving families.
* Let children be children. They may not want to think or talk a lot about these events. It is OK if they'd rather play ball, climb trees, or ride their bike, etc.

War and terrorism are not easy for anyone to comprehend or accept. Understandably, many young children feel confused, upset, and anxious. Parents, teachers, and caring adults can help by listening and responding in an honest, consistent, and supportive manner. Most children, even those exposed to trauma, are quite resilient. Like most adults, they can and do get through difficult times and go on with their lives. By creating an open environment where they feel free to ask questions, parents can help them cope and reduce the possibility of emotional difficulties.
Children And The News

No. 67; Updated January 2002

Children often see or hear the news many times a day through television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Seeing and hearing about local and world events, such as natural disasters, catastrophic events, and crime reports, may cause children to experience stress, anxiety, and fears.

There have also been several changes in how news is reported that have given rise to the increased potential for children to experience negative effects. These changes include the following:

* television channels and Internet services and sites which report the news 24 hours a day
* television channels broadcasting live events as they are unfolding, in "real time"
* increased reporting of the details of the private lives of public figures and role models
* pressure to get news to the public as part of the competitive nature of the entertainment industry
* detailed and repetitive visual coverage of natural disasters and violent acts

While there has been great public debate about providing television ratings to warn parents about violence and sex in regular programming, news shows have only recently been added to these discussions. Research has shown that children and adolescents are prone to imitate what they see and hear in the news, a kind of contagion effect described as "copy cat" events. Chronic and persistent exposure to such violence can lead to fear, desensitization (numbing), and in some children an increase in aggressive and violent behaviors. Studies also show that media broadcasts to not always choose to show things that accurately reflect local or national trends.

For example, statistics report a decrease in the incidence of crime, yet, the reporting of crime in the news has increased 240%. Local news shows often lead with or break into programming to announce crime reports and devote as much as 30% of the broadcast time to detailed crime reporting.

The possible negative effects of news can be lessened by parents, teachers, or other adults by watching the news with the child and talking about what has been seen or heard. The child's age, maturity, developmental level, life experiences, and vulnerabilities should guide how much and what kind of news the child watches.

Guidelines for minimizing the negative effects of watching the news include:

* monitor the amount of time your child watches news shows
* make sure you have adequate time and a quiet place to talk if you anticipate that the news is going to be troubling or upsetting to the child
* watch the news with your child
* ask the child what he/she has heard and what questions he/she may have
* provide reassurance regarding his/her own safety in simple words emphasizing that you are going to be there to keep him/her safe
* look for signs that the news may have triggered fears or anxieties such as sleeplessness, fears, bedwetting, crying, or talking about being afraid

Parents should remember that it is important to talk to the child or adolescent about what he/she has seen or heard. This allows parents to lessen the potential negative effects of the news and to discuss their own ideas and values. While children cannot be completely protected from outside events, parents can help them feel safe and help them to better understand the world around them.
Children And Watching TV

No. 54; March 2001

Television viewing is a major activity and influence on children and adolescents. Children in the United States watch an average of three to four hours of television a day. By the time of high school graduation, they will have spent more time watching television than they have in the classroom. While television can entertain, inform, and keep our children company, it may also influence them in undesirable ways.

Time spent watching television takes away from important activities such as reading, school work, playing, exercise, family interaction, and social development. Children also learn information from television that may be inappropriate or incorrect. They often can not tell the difference between the fantasy presented on television versus reality. They are influenced by the thousands of commercials seen each year, many of which are for alcohol, junk food, fast foods, and toys.

Children who watch a lot of television are likely to:

* Have lower grades in school
* Read fewer books
* Exercise less
* Be overweight

Violence, sexuality, race and gender stereotypes, drug and alcohol abuse are common themes of television programs. Young children are impressionable and may assume that what they see on television is typical, safe, and acceptable. As a result, television also exposes children to behaviors and attitudes that may be overwhelming and difficult to understand.

Active parenting can ensure that children have a positive experience with television. Parents can help by:

* Viewing programs with your children
* Selecting developmentally appropriate shows
* Placing limits on the amount of television viewing (per day and per week)
* Turning off the TV during family meals and study time
* Turning off shows you don't feel are appropriate for your child

In addition, parents can help by doing the following: don't allow children to watch long blocks of TV, but help them select individual programs. Choose shows that meet the developmental needs of your child. Children's shows on public TV are appropriate, but soap operas, adult sitcoms, and adult talk shows are not. Set certain periods when the television will be off. Study times are for learning, not for sitting in front of the TV doing homework. Meal times are a good time for family members to talk with each other, not for watching television.

Encourage discussions with your children about what they are seeing as you watch shows with them. Point out positive behavior, such as cooperation, friendship, and concern for others. While watching, make connections to history, books, places of interest, and personal events. Talk about your personal and family values as they relate to the show. Ask children to compare what they are watching with real events. Talk about the realistic consequences of violence. Discuss the role of advertising and its influence on buying. Encourage your child to be involved in hobbies, sports, and peers. With proper guidance, your child can learn to use television in a healthy and positive way.

Children And TV Violence

No. 13; Updated November 2002

American children watch an average of three to fours hours of television daily. Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately, much of today's television programming is violent. Hundreds of studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may:

* become "immune" or numb to the horror of violence
* gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
* imitate the violence they observe on television; and
* identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers

Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. Children with emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence. The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later. Young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence.

While TV violence is not the only cause of aggressive or violent behavior, it is clearly a significant factor. Parents can protect children from excessive TV violence in the following ways:

* pay attention to the programs their children are watching and watch some with them
* set limits on the amount of time they spend with the television; consider removing the TV set from the child=s bedroom
* point out that although the actor has not actually been hurt or killed, such violence in real life results in pain or death
* refuse to let the children see shows known to be violent, and change the channel or turn off the TV set when offensive material comes on, with an explanation of what is wrong with the program
* disapprove of the violent episodes in front of the children, stressing the belief that such behavior is not the best way to resolve a problem
* to offset peer pressure among friends and classmates, contact other parents and agree to enforce similar rules about the length of time and type of program the children may watch

Parents can also use these measures to prevent harmful effects from television in other areas such as racial or sexual stereotyping. The amount of time children watch TV, regardless of content, should be moderated because it decreases time spent on more beneficial activities such as reading, playing with friends, and developing hobbies. If parents have serious difficulties setting limits, or have ongoing concerns about their child=s behavior, they should contact a child and adolescent psychiatrist for consultation and assistance.
Children Online

No. 59; Updated June 2001

Computers have traditionally been trusted by both children and adults as reliable and accurate sources of information. The rapid growth of online services and Internet access has added a new dimension to modern computing. Through a modem and phone line children now have access to an almost endless supply of information and opportunity for interaction. However, there can be real risks and dangers for an unsupervised child.

Most online services give children resources such as encyclopedias, current events coverage, and access to libraries and other valuable material. They can also play games and communicate with friends. The ability to "click" from one area to another appeals to a child's natural impulsivity and curiosity and needs for immediate gratification or feedback.

Most parents teach their children not to talk with strangers, not to open the door if they are home alone, and not to give out information on the telephone to unknown callers. Most parents also monitor where their children go, who they play with, and what TV shows, books, or magazines they are exposed to. However, many parents don't realize that the same level of guidance and supervision must be provided for a child's online experience.

Parents cannot assume that their child will be protected by the supervision or regulation provided by the online services. Most "chat rooms" or "news groups" are completely unsupervised. Because of the anonymous nature of the "screen name," children who communicate with others in these areas will not know if they are "talking" with another child or a child predator pretending to be a child or teen. Unlike the mail and visitors that a parent sees a child receive at home, e-mail or "chat room" activity is not seen by parents. Unfortunately, there can be serious consequences to children who have been persuaded to give personal information, (e.g. name, passwords, phone number, email or home address) or have agreed to meet someone in person.

Some of the other risks or problems include:

* children accessing areas that are inappropriate or overwhelming
* online information that promotes hate, violence, and pornography
* children being mislead and bombarded with intense advertising
* children being invited to register for prizes or to join a club when they are providing personal or household information to an unknown source; and
* hours spent online is time lost from developing real social skills and from physical activity and exercise

In order to make a child's online experience more safe and educational, parents should:

* limit the amount of time a child spends online and "surfing the web";
* teach a child that talking to "screen names" in a "chat room" is the same as talking with strangers;
* teach a child never to give out any personal identifying information to another individual or website online;
* teach a child to never agree to actually meet someone they have met online;
* never give a child credit card numbers or passwords that will enable online purchases or access to inappropriate services or sites;
* remind a child that not everything they see or read online is true;
* make use of the parental control features offered with your online service, or obtaining commercially available software programs, to restrict access to "chat lines," news groups, and inappropriate websites;
* provide for an individual e-mail address only if a child is mature enough to manage it, and plan to periodically monitor the child's e-mail and online activity;
* monitor the content of a child's personal webpage (homepage) and screen name profile information;
* teach a child to use the same courtesy in communicating with others online as they would if speaking in person -- i.e. no vulgar or profane language, no name calling, etc.;
* insist that a child follow the same guidelines at other computers that they might have access to, such as those at school, libraries, or friends' homes.

Parents should remember that communicating online does not prepare children for real interpersonal relationships. Spending time with a child initially exploring an online service and periodically participating with a child in the online experience gives parents an opportunity to monitor and supervise the activity. It is also an opportunity to learn together.
The Influence Of Music And Music Videos

No. 40; Updated July 2004

Singing and music have always played an important role in learning and the communication of culture. Children learn from the role models what they see and hear. For many years, some children's television has very effectively used the combination of words, music and fast-paced animation to achieve learning.

Most parents are concerned about what their young children see and hear, but as children grow older, parents pay less attention to the music and videos that hold their children's interest.

The sharing of musical tastes between generations in a family can be a pleasurable experience. Music also is often a major part of a teenager's separate world. It is quite common for teenagers to get pleasure from keeping adults out and causing adults some distress.

A concern to many interested in the development and growth of teenagers is the negative and destructive themes of some kinds of music (rock, rap, hip-hop, etc.), including best-selling albums promoted by major recording companies. The following troublesome themes are prominent:

* Advocating and glamorizing abuse of drugs and alcohol
* Pictures and explicit lyrics presenting suicide as an "alternative" or "solution"
* Graphic violence
* Sex which focuses on control, sadism, masochism, incest, children devaluing women, and violence toward women

Parents can help their teenagers by paying attention to their teenager's purchasing, downloading, listening and viewing patterns, and by helping them identify music that may be destructive. An open discussion without criticism may be helpful.

Music is not usually a danger for a teenager whose life is balanced and healthy. But if a teenager is persistently preoccupied with music that has seriously destructive themes, and there are changes in behavior such as isolation, depression, alcohol or other drug abuse, evaluation by a qualified mental health professional should be considered.
Home Alone Children

No. 46; Updated November 2004

Every day thousands of children arrive home from school to an empty house. Every week thousands of parents make decisions to leave children home alone while they go to work, run errands, or for social engagements. It is estimated over 40% of children are left home at some time, though rarely overnight. In more extreme situations, some children spend so much time without their parent(s) that these children are labeled "latch key children", referring to the house or apartment key strung visibly around their neck.

The movie "Home Alone", and its sequel, have portrayed a child's survival skills in a very humorous, but unrealistic manner. The realities facing children who find themselves home alone are very different. There are many issues and potential risks and dangers that parent(s) should consider before a child is placed in this situation. Parent(s) should consider the following:

* Age readiness
* Definition of parental "rules and expectations"
* How to access parent(s) or other adults (e.g. phone numbers)
* Potentially unsafe situations (e.g. medical emergencies, fire, alcohol, drugs, strangers, guns, etc.)
* When and how to answer the phone or doorbell
* Use of phone, 911 for emergencies
* Use of computer (internet)
* Friends and visitors coming to the house
* Responsibilities for siblings
* Use of unstructured time (e.g. watch TV, videos, etc.);
* Access to "adult" cable TV; internet chat rooms and adult web sites

It is not possible to make a general statement about when a child can be left home. Many states have laws which hold parents responsible for the supervision of their children. Older adolescents are usually responsible enough to manage alone for limited periods of time. Parent(s) must consider the child's level of maturity and past evidence of responsible behavior and good judgment. When a child is ready to be left alone, a graduated approach should be used starting with a very short period of time (e.g.1 hour).

Parent(s) should talk with their youngsters to prepare them for each of the issues or potential problems listed above. In addition, parent(s) should strive to make their home as safe as possible from obvious dangers and hazards and rehearse the developed "emergency plan" with their children. Parents should also teach their child important safety precautions (i.e. locking the door, dealing with strangers or visitors who come to the house, use of the stove, etc.)

Being home alone can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation for many children and adolescents. Parents should strive to limit the times when children are home alone. Parents should prepare their children in advance for how to deal with situations that may arise.
Obesity In Children And Teens

No. 79; Updated January 2001

The problem of childhood obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize but most difficult to treat. Unhealthy weight gain due to poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year. The annual cost to society for obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion. Overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating and exercise.

What is obesity?
A few extra pounds do not suggest obesity. However they may indicate a tendency to gain weight easily and a need for changes in diet and/or exercise. Generally, a child is not considered obese until the weight is at least 10 percent higher than what is recommended for the height and body type. Obesity most commonly begins in childhood between the ages of 5 and 6, and during adolescence. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult.

What causes obesity?
The causes of obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors. Basically, obesity occurs when a person eats more calories than the body burns up. If one parent is obese, there is a 50 percent chance that the children will also be obese. However, when both parents are obese, the children have an 80 percent chance of being obese. Although certain medical disorders can cause obesity, less than 1 percent of all obesity is caused by physical problems. Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be related to:

* poor eating habits
* overeating or binging
* lack of exercise (i.e., couch potato kids)
* family history of obesity
* medical illnesses (endocrine, neurological problems)
* medications (steroids, some psychiatric medications)
* stressful life events or changes (separations, divorce, moves, deaths, abuse)
* family and peer problems
* low self-esteem
* depression or other emotional problems

What are risks and complications of obesity?
There are many risks and complications with obesity. Physical consequences include:

* increased risk of heart disease
* high blood pressure
* diabetes
* breathing problems
* trouble sleeping

Child and adolescent obesity is also associated with increased risk of emotional problems. Teens with weight problems tend to have much lower self-esteem and be less popular with their peers. Depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder can also occur.

How can obesity be managed and treated?
Obese children need a thorough medical evaluation by a pediatrician or family physician to consider the possibility of a physical cause. In the absence of a physical disorder, the only way to lose weight is to reduce the number of calories being eaten and to increase the child's or adolescent's level of physical activity. Lasting weight loss can only occur when there is self-motivation. Since obesity often affects more than one family member, making healthy eating and regular exercise a family activity can improve the chances of successful weight control for the child or adolescent.

Ways to manage obesity in children and adolescents include:

* start a weight-management program
* change eating habits (eat slowly, develop a routine)
* plan meals and make better food selections (eat less fatty foods, avoid junk and fast foods)
* control portions and consume less calories
* increase physical activity (especially walking) and have a more active lifestyle
* know what your child eats at school
* eat meals as a family instead of while watching television or at the computer
* do not use food as a reward
* limit snacking
* attend a support group (e.g., Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous)

Obesity frequently becomes a lifelong issue. The reason most obese adolescents gain back their lost pounds is that after they have reached their goal, they go back to their old habits of eating and exercising. An obese adolescent must therefore learn to eat and enjoy healthy foods in moderate amounts and to exercise regularly to maintain the desired weight. Parents of an obese child can improve their child's self esteem by emphasizing the child's strengths and positive qualities rather than just focusing on their weight problem.

When a child or adolescent with obesity also has emotional problems, a child and adolescent psychiatrist can work with the child's family physician to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Such a plan would include reasonable weight loss goals, dietary and physical activity management, behavior modification, and family involvement.
Children And Sports

No. 61; Updated May 2005

Sports help children develop physical skills, get exercise, make friends, have fun, learn to play as a member of a team, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem. American sports culture has increasingly become a money making business. The highly stressful, competitive, "win at all costs" attitude prevalent at colleges and with professional athletes affects the world of children's sports and athletics; creating an unhealthy environment. It is important to remember that the attitudes and behavior taught to children in sports carry over to adult life. Parents should take an active role in helping their child develop good sportsmanship. To help your child get the most out of sports, you need to be actively involved. This includes:

* providing emotional support and positive feedback,
* attending some games and talking about them afterward,
* having realistic expectations for your child,
* learning about the sport and supporting your child's involvement,
* helping your child talk with you about their experiences with the coach and other team members,
* helping your child handle disappointments and losing, and
* modeling respectful spectator behavior.

Although this involvement takes time and creates challenges for work schedules, it allows you to become more knowledgeable about the coaching, team values, behaviors, and attitudes. Your child's behavior and attitude reflects a combination of the coaching and your discussions about good sportsmanship and fair play.

It is also important to talk about what your child observes in sports events. When bad sportsmanship occurs, discuss other ways the situation could be handled. While you might acknowledge that in the heat of competition it may be difficult to maintain control and respect for others, it is important to stress that disrespectful behavior is not acceptable. Remember, success is not the same thing as winning and failure is not the same thing as losing.

If you are concerned about the behavior or attitude of your child's coach, you may want to talk with the coach privately. As adults, you can talk together about what is most important for the child to learn. While you may not change a particular attitude or behavior of a coach, you can make it clear how you would like your child to be approached. If you find that the coach is not responsive, discuss the problem with the parents responsible for the school or league activities. If the problem continues, you may decide to withdraw your child.

As with most aspects of parenting, being actively involved and talking with your children about their life is very important. Being proud of accomplishments, sharing in wins and defeats, and talking to them about what has happened helps them develop skills and capacities for success in life. The lessons learned during children's sports will shape values and behaviors for adult life.
Children's Sleep Problems

No. 34; Updated July 2004

Many children have sleep problems. Examples include:

* Frequent awakening during the night
* Talking during sleep
* Difficulty falling asleep
* Waking up crying
* Feeling sleepy during the day
* Having nightmares; or
* Bedwetting
* Teeth grinding and clenching
* Waking early

Many childhood sleep problems are related to poor sleep habits or to anxiety about going to bed and falling asleep. Persistent sleep problems may also be symptoms of emotional difficulties. "Separation anxiety" is a developmental landmark for young children. For all young children, bedtime is a time of separation. Some children will do all they can to prevent separation at bedtime. However, to help minimize common sleep problems, a parent should develop consistent bedtime and regular bedtime and sleep routines for children. Parents often find that feeding and rocking help an infant to get to sleep. However, as the child leaves infancy, parents should encourage the child to sleep without feeding and rocking. Otherwise, the child will have a hard time going to sleep alone.

Nightmares are relatively common during childhood. The child often remembers nightmares, which usually involve major threats to the child's well-being. Nightmares, which begin at a variety of ages, affect girls more often than boys. For some children nightmares are serious, frequent, and interfere with restful sleep.

Sleep terrors (night terrors), sleepwalking, and sleep talking constitute a relatively rare group of sleep disorders, called "parasomnias." Sleep terrors are different from nightmares. The child with sleep terrors will scream uncontrollably and appear to be awake, but is confused and can't communicate. Sleep terrors usually begin between ages 4 and 12. Children who sleepwalk may appear to be awake as they move around, but are actually asleep and in danger of hurting themselves. Sleepwalking usually begins between ages 6 and 12. Both sleep terrors and sleepwalking run in families and affect boys more often than girls. Most often, children with these sleep disorders have single or occasional episodes of the disorder. However, when episodes occur several times a night, or nightly for weeks at a time, or interfere with the child's daytime behavior, treatment by a child and adolescent psychiatrist may be necessary. A range of treatments is available for sleep disorders.

Sleep wake reversal may occur in some teens and may cause problems with daily life. Sleep can also be disturbed by mood disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, ADHD, and anxiety.

Fortunately, as they mature, children usually get over common sleep problems as well as the more serious sleep disorders (parasomnias). However, parents with ongoing concerns should contact their pediatrician or directly seek consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

No. 18; Updated November 2002

Most children begin to stay dry at night around three years of age. When a child has a problem with bedwetting (enuresis) after that age, parents may become concerned.

Physicians stress that enuresis is not a disease, but a symptom, and a fairly common one. Occasional accidents may occur, particularly when the child is ill. Here are some facts parents should know about bedwetting:

* Approximately 15 percent of children wet the bed after the age of three
* Many more boys than girls wet their beds
* Bedwetting runs in families
* Usually bedwetting stops by puberty
* Most bedwetters do not have emotional problems

Persistent bedwetting beyond the age of three or four rarely signals a kidney or bladder problem. Bedwetting may sometimes be related to a sleep disorder. In most cases, it is due to the development of the child's bladder control being slower than normal. Bedwetting may also be the result of the child's tensions and emotions that require attention.

* There are a variety of emotional reasons for bedwetting. For example, when a young child begins bedwetting after several months or years of dryness during the night, this may reflect new fears or insecurities. This may follow changes or events which make the child feel insecure: moving to a new home, parents divorce, losing a family member or loved one, or the arrival of a new baby or child in the home. Sometimes bedwetting occurs after a period of dryness because the child's original toilet training was too stressful.

Parents should remember that children rarely wet on purpose, and usually feel ashamed about the incident. Rather than make the child feel naughty or ashamed, parents need to encourage the child and express confidence that he or she will soon be able to stay dry at night. Parents may help children who wet the bed by:

* Limiting liquids before bedtime
* Encouraging the child to go to the bathroom before bedtime
* Praising the child on dry mornings
* Avoiding punishments
* Waking the child during the night to empty their bladder

Treatment for bedwetting in children includes behavioral conditioning devices (pad/buzzer) and/or medications. Examples of medications used include anti-diuretic hormone nasal spray and the anti-depressant medication imipramine. In rare instances, the problem of bedwetting cannot be resolved by the parents, the family physician or the pediatrician. Sometimes the child may also show symptoms of emotional problems--such as persistent sadness or irritability, or a change in eating or sleeping habits. In these cases, parents may want to talk with a child and adolescent psychiatrist, who will evaluate physical and emotional problems that may be causing the bedwetting, and will work with the child and parents to resolve these problems.
Problems With Soiling and Bowel Control

No. 48; Updated November 2004

Most children can control their bowels and are toilet trained by the time they are four years of age. Problems controlling bowel movements can cause soiling which leads to frustration and anger on part of the child, parents, teachers and other people important in the child's life. In addition, social difficulties with this problem can be severe -- the child is often made fun of by friends and avoided by adults. These problems can cause children to feel badly about themselves.

Some of the reasons for soiling are:

* problems during toilet training,
* physical disabilities, which make it hard for the child to clean him/herself,
* physical condition, for example chronic constipation, Hirschprung's Disease,
* family or emotional problems.

Soiling which is not caused by a physical illness or disability is called encopresis. Children with encopresis may have other problems, such as short attention span, low frustration tolerance, hyperactivity and poor coordination. Occasionally, this problem with soiling starts with a stressful change in the child's life, such as the birth of a sibling, separation/divorce of parents, family problems, or a move to a new home or school. Encopresis is more common in boys than in girls.

Although most children with soiling do not have a physical condition, they should have a complete physical evaluation by a family physician or pediatrician. If no physical causes are found, or if problems continue, the next step is an evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The child and adolescent psychiatrist will review the results of the physical evaluation and then decide whether emotional problems are contributing to the encopresis.

Encopresis can be treated with a combination of educational, psychological and behavioral methods. Most children with encopresis can be helped, but progress can be slow and extended treatment may be necessary. Early treatment of a soiling or bowel control problem can help prevent and reduce social and emotional suffering and pain for the child and family.
Starting School

No. 82; Updated March 2002

Starting school is a major milestone for children and parents. School is a place away from home where a child will have some of his greatest challenges, successes, failures, and embarrassments. Because school is beyond the control of parents, it can be stressful for both the child and the parents.

At school, a child will learn about how the world worksBabout appropriate social interactions, and about people outside his family. He will learn about himself, his strengths, weaknesses, interests, and who he is socially. He will have to perform in a way that he never has had to at home. He has to separate from parents, meet social and academic challenges, and make friends.

Starting school can be both fun and stressful. Many children show some anxiety about school. That's especially true when a child first attends at the beginning of each new school year or when he's entered a new school. A child who has been in day care may be more comfortable with the daily ritual of separation. These children may be less anxious for the first few days of nursery school, preschool, or kindergarten.

If parents have mixed feelings (e.g. guilt, fear, or anxiety) about sending a child to school, this can add to the child's hesitancy, or reluctance. A child's experience starting school is influenced by his preparation and his parents' feelings and attitude.

What Parents Can Do To Help Their Child:

* Show interest and be supportive and encouraging.
* Talk to your child about what to expectBthe activities (nap, snacks, and story-time), the schedule, the toys, and the other children.
* Take your child to school to get used to the layout (where his classroom is, where the bathrooms are, which cubbyhole or coat hook is his, etc.) and to introduce him to the teacher.
* Let your child know it's normal to feel nervous or worried about being away from parents and suggest that he take a familiar object or a family picture to school.
* Getting on the bus with a favorite playmate or carpooling with a friend can ease the daily transition from home to school. Identifying a buddy at school can also help decrease apprehension about being alone in the new setting.
* Make the getting-ready-for-school ritual as stress-free as possible. For example, lay out all his notebooks and clothes the night before. Having the child help with school preparations (example, make his lunch) the night before can also reduce stress for everyone.

What To Do If Your Child Has Difficulties:

* If your child has significant difficulty with separation, consider staying for a portion of the first day or two. Discuss this plan with the teacher. As he becomes more comfortable, make your stay shorter, until eventually, you stay only long enough to help him off with his coat, greet the teacher, and say goodbye.
Psychotherapies For Children And Adolescents

No. 86; Updated January 2003

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment that can help children and families understand and resolve problems, modify behavior, and make positive changes in their lives. There are several types of psychotherapy that involve different approaches, techniques and interventions. At times, a combination of different psychotherapy approaches may be helpful. In some cases a combination of medication with psychotherapy may be
more effective.

Different types of psychotherapy: (alphabetical order)

* Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps improve a child's moods and behavior by examining confused or distorted patterns of thinking. During CBT the child learns that thoughts cause feelings and moods which can influence behavior. For example, if a child is experiencing unwanted feelings or has problematic behaviors, the therapist works to identify the underlying thinking that is causing them. The therapist then helps the child replace this thinking with thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings and behaviors. Research shows that CBT can be effective in treating depression and anxiety.

* Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can be used to treat older adolescents who have chronic suicidal feelings/thoughts, engage in intentional self-harm or have Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT emphasizes taking responsibility for one's problems and helps the person examine how they deal with conflict and negative feelings. This often involves a combination of group and individual sessions.

* Family Therapy focuses on helping the family function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication and providing support and education. Family therapy sessions can include the child or adolescent along with parents, siblings, and grandparents. Couples therapy is a specific type of family therapy that focuses on a couple's communication and interactions (e.g. parents having marital problems).

* Group Therapy uses the power of group dynamics and peer interactions to increase understanding and improve social skills. There are many different types of group therapy (e.g. psychodynamic, social skills, substance abuse, multi-family, parent support, etc.)

* Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a brief treatment specifically developed and tested for depression. The goals of IPT are to improve interpersonal functioning by decreasing the symptoms of depression. IPT has been shown to be effective in adolescents with depression.

* Play Therapy involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, drawings and games to help the child recognize, identify, and verbalize feelings. The psychotherapist observes how the child uses play materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child's problems. Through a combination of talk and play the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior.

* Psychodynamic Psychotherapy emphasizes understanding the issues that motivate and influence a child's behavior, thoughts, and feelings. It can help identify a child's typical behavior patterns, defenses, and responses to inner conflicts and struggles. Psychoanalysis is a specialized, more intensive form of psychodynamic psychotherapy which usually involved several sessions per week. Psychodynamic psychotherapies are based on the assumption that a child's behavior and feelings will improve once the inner struggles are brought to light.

Psychotherapy is not a quick fix or an easy answer. It is a complex and rich process that can reduce symptoms, provide insight, and improve a child or adolescent's functioning and quality of life. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are trained in different forms of psychotherapy and, if indicated, are able to combine these forms of treatment with medications to alleviate the child or adolescent's emotional and/or behavioral problems.
Responding To Child Sexual Abuse

No. 28; Updated July 2004

When a child tells an adult that he or she has been sexually abused, the adult may feel uncomfortable and may not know what to say or do. The following guidelines should be used when responding to children who say they have been sexually abused:

What to Say
If a child even hints in a vague way that sexual abuse has occurred, encourage him or her to talk freely. Don't make judgmental comments.

* Show that you understand and take seriously what the child is saying. Child and adolescent psychiatrists have found that children who are listened to and understood do much better than those who are not. The response to the disclosure of sexual abuse is critical to the child's ability to resolve and heal the trauma of sexual abuse.
* Assure the child that they did the right thing in telling. A child who is close to the abuser may feel guilty about revealing the secret. The child may feel frightened if the abuser has threatened to harm the child or other family members as punishment for telling the secret.
* Tell the child that he or she is not to blame for the sexual abuse. Most children in attempting to make sense out of the abuse will believe that somehow they caused it or may even view it as a form of punishment for imagined or real wrongdoings.
* Finally, offer the child protection, and promise that you will promptly take steps to see that the abuse stops.

What to Do
Report any suspicion of child abuse. If the abuse is within the family, report it to the local Child Protection Agency. If the abuse is outside of the family, report it to the police or district attorney's office. Individuals reporting in good faith are immune from prosecution. The agency receiving the report will conduct an evaluation and will take action to protect the child.

Parents should consult with their pediatrician or family physician, who may refer them to a physician who specializes in evaluating and treating sexual abuse. The examining doctor will evaluate the child's condition and treat any physical problem related to the abuse, gather evidence to help protect the child, and reassure the child that he or she is all right.

Children who have been sexually abused should have an evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional to find out how the sexual abuse has affected them, and to determine whether ongoing professional help is necessary for the child to deal with the trauma of the abuse. The child and adolescent psychiatrist can also provide support to other family members who may be upset by the abuse.

While most allegations of sexual abuse made by children are true, some false accusations may arise in custody disputes and in other situations. Occasionally, the court will ask a child and adolescent psychiatrist to help determine whether the child is telling the truth, or whether it will hurt the child to speak in court about the abuse.

When a child is asked as to testify, special considerations--such as videotaping, frequent breaks, exclusion of spectators, and the option not to look at the accused--make the experience much less stressful.

Adults, because of their maturity and knowledge, are always the ones to blame when they abuse children. The abused children should never be blamed.

When a child tells someone about sexual abuse, a supportive, caring response is the first step in getting help for the child and reestablishing their trust in adults.

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!