Family came, Haiti origin, along with 15 year old daughter for crises counseling and to file a petition. The daughter lived in United States since she was 5 years old. She also had siblings who are way older then she is, who were brought up back in Haiti. Parents complain that she is disobedient and they wanted to put her in jail. What they called disobedient is her refusing to take earrings off, because in their culture females are not allowed to use anything that might make them look attractive (at least that’s what they say).
Parents are culture orientated and very traditional people.
I talked to girl alone for long time, she felt misunderstood on so many levels. Nothing was wrong with her psychologically, and there was no need for psychiatric evaluation at all. She seemed very smart young female, who is also a typical teenager and her parents had hard time dealing with that. She want it make up, go to movies, and her parents didn’t like it.
She skipped school from time to time, but nothing serious so there was no need to file petition for truancy. Both me, and psychologist I worked with had counseling with her parents.
They kept telling us “other children were never like this,” so I tried to explain them that other children were raised in a different environment and off course they are going to act differently. I also told them I cannot file a petition because 15 year old has earrings on. It was a tough one, and we knew it would take time to change perspective of her parents. This is why Ellis Island immigration is so significant to me. Being labeled “insane” for something that is totally acceptable in own culture is pure injustice.
Ellis Island is the place where everything started, and this occurs when people begun to be seen as the same but in fact, different. We all may have been equal, but have different values and beliefs and this has to be seen by everybody, especially professionals in such field. References Cohen, R. , & Swerdlik, M. (2005). Psychological Testing and Assessment: An Introduction to Tests and Measurement (6th ed. ). , : The McGraw-Hill Companies. Ellis Island http://sydaby. eget. net/swe/ellis_island. htm Ellis Island www. history. com