Montgomery, Sandra (Educational psychologist, Scotland).
Integrated Working to Prevent Exclusion for at Risk Secondary Pupils.
»The Pupil Support Group« is introduced. Its members are the head teacher or the deputy h.t., special teachers, the educational psychologist, social workers and others from the local community such as school nurses, police officers etc. A case study shows the benefits of bringing such large groups together to create multidisciplinary solutions of many faceted problems. New guidelines for similar work are at present being introduced: »Getting it Right for Every Child« to be implemented in 2010. – Bjørn Glæsel.
Heidi Laursen (Psychologist) & Ask Elklit (Professor of clinical psychology, University of Aarhus):
PTSD and Traumas in Children Visiting an All Day Treatment School.
The study investigated 32 children (range 9-13 years) visiting a Danish treatment school due to conduct, emotional, and social competence problems. The aim was to assess the prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the associations among PTSD, background factors, intelligence, emotional reactions, and child behavior assessed by the parents and the staff. Parents and staff filled out the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The children were presented to three Thematic Apperception Test cards and »Darryl«, a cartoon-based measure of PTSD. WISC-III profiles were obtained from the archive of the school. In the majority of the cases, the home environment was characterized by domestic violence, addiction, not-present biological fathers and a change of father figures, and overall insufficient parenting. Fifty percent of the children had PTSD; there were few associations among PTSD, background factors, the SDQ and the WISC scores. The TAT answers support the concurrent validity of the »Darryl« test. Compared to representative Norwegian norms, the SDQ scores were considerably elevated. The few associations between PTSD and the SDQ scores, gives an indication of parental and staff underestimation of the distress of the children. Clinical consequences of the study are discussed. – Heidi Laursen
Edslev, Bente (Specialist of child neuropsychology).
Children With Brain Injuries.
12 ys. old Anne was hit by a car and suffered a brain injury a.o. A detailed account of a neuropsychological investigation comprising both test results and qualitative findings shows the many effects of her injury. 95% of brain injured children suffer from problems with the executive functions. Headaches and depressions are also typical. The full extent of damages often takes years to appear as described by Fleischer (2006): »The brain damage unfolds like a Chinese fan where the whole picture becomes clearer when fully unfolded«. – Bjørn Glæsel.
Vejleskov, Hans (Former professor of developmental psychology).
Should We Talk About Motivation Again?
In February 2008 Astrid Skjold Rønningen defended her doctoral dissertation at the university of Oslo. The author was one of the official opponents. While not many significant findings were made from her study as to relationships between the training of phoneme identification and letter recognition a.o. it appeared that motivation was a significant factor. Perhaps motivation should be re-introduced as an important factor in our thinking. If so different kinds of motivation should be identified clearly. – Bjørn Glæsel
Lentz, Jette (Head of the school psychological office at one of the districts in Copenhagen).
Are Child Difficulties Defined by Traditions and Cultural Limitations Made by the School and the School Psychologists?
Inspired by McDermott (1999) and social constructivism the author questions the many routines imbedded in schools and psychological offices. We should be much more concerned with the relations between children and children and teachers. School psychology should challenge the learning environment in order to have all children included, and it should engage in more direct interaction. – Bjørn Glæsel.
Mielcke, Jytte (Former head of a child guidance clinic).
The Structural Reform and the Child Guidance Clinic.
Inspired by the pioneer child guidance clinic in Copenhagen around 1950, a clinic was established in 2005 at the University of Aalborg. It had a twofold aim: to treat children with diagnoses such as anxiety, phobias, crises following divorce etc. and to train psychologists in the spirit of Winnicott and Anna Freud. The clinic was, however, closed after only one year due to a structural reform in Denmark. The problems for many children persist, nevertheless. How can we treat children and young people with emotional disturbances intensively on a long term basis? – Bjørn Glæsel.
Maudal; Anita, Amalie a.o. (Students at The Institute of Special Teaching at The University of Oslo).
How do Heads Perceive School Bullying?
Bullying has always been and still is a major problem in schools everywhere; also in Norway although the problems have been investigated there in decades. New legislation in Norway specifies how schools must deal with this. All children have a legal right to a good psycho-social environment, and schools must work systematically to create non-bullying climates. Furthermore schools must involve the school psychologists. A small scale interview study with heads revealed, however, that only 50 % of the heads were aware of the new law, and that only 50 % of them had made plans to reduce bullying or to involve school psychologists. – Bjørn Glæsel.
Haug, Peder (Professor at The University of Stavanger).
»The Knowledge Boost« – A Challenge for School Psychology.
The knowledge boost is the name of a recent law in Norway, aiming at boosting competence and organizational development in the school. School psychologists have a stipulated role in this, but they are only briefly mentioned a few times in the law and the guidelines following the law. School psychologists should play an important part in the development of not only sp.ed. but the school system as such and the normal teaching. The greatest challenge is to avoid the traditional emphasis on individual examinations and to partake in the identification of dilemmas and oppositional forces in order to develop the whole school. – Bjørn Glæsel.