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They leave us alone at home!

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Q: The guidance counsellor at school shared with us information on the rights of the child. I spoke with my parents about leaving us alone at home. We are 12 and 15. They work shift jobs. They tell us that the counsellor doesn't have any children, so she can say anything. What can we do?

A: Ask your parents to help you by protecting you. Tell them that even though you may be able to take care of yourself physically, it is your right to be cared for. They could plan with family members and friends to care for you when they are not able to.

Q: If I choose to homeschool my child in Jamaica, where do I get the curriculum to follow to know that I am doing the right thing?

A: You can call the Ministry of Education and they can give you a copy of the curriculum so that you will know what to teach your child at the different grade levels.

My parents don't see that my sister needs special help

Q: My sister is mentally retarded and my family won't accept it. She is now eight years old and reading like the children in kindergarten. She still has problems holding her urine and we always have to be rushing with her to the bathroom at the private school or church. She is very pretty and pleasant. How can I convince my parents to get her into a special school? I hear the teachers at the school saying that my mother should move her. I am 12 years old.

A: You can ask the guidance counsellor at the school to speak with your parents about your concerns for your sister. It is possible that your sister can get help at the private school she is attending. Some schools allow children with special needs to be a part of a regular school and then they get special help with reading and other academic classes. Maybe that is what your parents and teachers are trying to do.

Dr 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 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!