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Ask the Doc: 'My child needs help'

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: My 10-year-old son has been evaluated and has a learning disability. His father, who lives in another region, says that nothing is wrong with his son and will not pay for special-education tutoring. Can I force him to do so?

A: I am happy that you are a positive parent who has decided to get your son some help. Please contact children's services regarding getting financial support from your son's father for the tutoring services. In the meanwhile, you may arrange a payment plan with the tutor and ask him or her to show you ways that you can help your son with his schoolwork at home.


Q: My wife is now starting a second business and our son has just started school. I work out of town and I am a good provider. How can I convince her to be at home more for our son's sake?

A: You need to work out a schedule for childcare for your son that you both will agree on. Sit down in a private place with no one else present and discuss the reasons for starting the new business . Have someone baby-sit your son for a few hours while you talk, pray, and plan.


Q: My family is in serious debt. We started a business, and now it is floundering. I want to sell my car and take the taxi with the three children. The children are all under 10. My husband, who works out of town and needs his car, disagrees. He wants to fire the help, but I need the help. What can I do?

A: Sit down with your husband and list the pros and cons of each decision. List the financial obligations you will need to consider such as operating costs of the business, cost of taxi vs cost of monthly car payment, etc. Also, you may want to lessen the hours for housekeeping and have your husband help more with household activities. As your children are all young, you may need your car for childcare and shopping concerns depending on how far you live from your workplace and the children's schools.

Pray and consider carefully. You may even go to a local financial institution, which I am sure, will be willing to guide you regarding money matters.

- Orlean Brown-Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown-Earle works with children with learning and behavioural problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to or send to Ask the Doc, c/o The Gleaner Company, 7 North Street, Kingston. Responses to concerns are to be considered as general as cases shared with psychologists privately would be queried more deeply. Pray always!