Q Does it make sense to test a child who is four years old and attending school for the first time to see if he has learning problems?
A Since most intelligence tests check for academic skills, I would recommend that you allow the child to finish the first year of school before he is given a psychological test. In the meantime, make sure that his general health, hearing and vision are okay.
Should we move the children?
We will be moving to a new city in January. Since school closes in June should we move the children? It will be a 45-minute commute for them on two taxis. They are nine and 11.
It will be better for the children to be closer to school, so that they will experience less transportation stress. If you plan to move them, start contacting the new school now.
Children being abused
I am convinced that my neighbour is beating her children harshly. The children are very quiet and speak with no one. Sometimes you hear screams and then muffled sounds coming from next door. I notice that they go to school every day but do not play with the children on the avenue.
If you are concerned that the children are being abused you can call the Office of the Children's Advocate, the Child Development Agency or the police. Either of these agencies will send someone to check on the situation you are concerned about.
Orlean Brown-Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown-Earle works with children with learning and behaviour problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to email@example.com 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!