By David Parker, Ph.D.
America is widely respected for being a country that embraces diverse cultures. We are all, as the saying goes, from somewhere else. At CRG, we endeavor to understand each client’s “whole” story, including the role of family, school or work setting, and even that person’s culture. Culture can play a huge role in how an individual thinks about and responds to behavioral health needs.
In a publication entitled, “Culture Counts,” the Surgeon General’s office provides helpful information about this topic. A person’s culture can have a significant influence on how he or she recognizes, reports, seeks treatment for, and copes with mental health issues. Some families, based on their culture, continue to feel such stigma about issues like depression or substance abuse that individuals in that cultural group refrain from acknowledging these problems or seeking help for them. Read more here.
Two CRG providers are currently involved in unique, global activities that seek to better understand the intersection of culture and disability. Psychologist Dr. Sandy Burkhardt, as part of her work at St. Xavier University in Chicago, is a co-editor of the new book, “Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe” (Emerald Group, 2014). This very readable textbook explains how special education practices developed and work today in 24 countries around the world, starting with the U.S. It’s fascinating to read how cultural beliefs have shaped the way different countries think about children with disabilities and how their teachers are being trained to meet their needs.
Postsecondary Disability Specialist and ADD/Life Coach Dr. David Parker will travel to Kuwait in early February to give several talks on high school and college students with ADHD. He will also discuss research findings about ADD coaching to a group of 500 educators, administrators, and government officials. Kuwait is currently considering revising its disability laws to include people with ADHD for the first time.
Like all providers at CRG, Dr. Burkhardt and Dr. Parker are actively involved in their professional organizations in order to teach and learn on an ongoing basis. They bring “outside” knowledge to CRG and are available to share that knowledge with schools, organizations, and groups through CRG’s Speaker’s Bureau.