KidsVoice Guardian Episode Guide
THE GUΛRDIΛN
Children's issues addressed in each week's episode.
06 / 29 / 2004
Medical Guardianships and Standby Guardianships
06 / 15 / 2004
Medical Guardianships and Standby Guardianships
04 / 27 / 2004
Termination of Parental Rights
04 / 20 / 2004
Teen Suicide
04 / 06 / 2004
Effect of Sexual Abuse, Protecting the Identities of Abused Children
03 / 09 / 2004
Runaways, Teen Prostitution
03 / 02 / 2004
Pedophilia and luring children on the Internet
02 / 24 / 2004
Pedophilia and luring children on the Internet
02 / 17 / 2004
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
02 / 10 / 2004
Down Syndrome, Sexual Abuse Allegations
01 / 13 / 2004
Standby Guardianship
01 / 06 / 2004
Media Coverage
12 / 30 / 2003
Runaways, Teen Prostitution and Child Labor
12 / 16 / 2003
Child Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse, Juvenile Boot Camps
12 / 09 / 2003
Absent Parents
11 / 25 / 2003
Homeless Children
11 / 11 / 2003
Medical Guardianships and Standby Guardianships
11 / 04 / 2003
National Adoption Day
10 / 28 / 2003
Teen Drinking, Parental Abduction
10 / 21 / 2003
National Adoption Day, Children Left Alone at Home, Children Placed With Relatives
10 / 14 / 2003
Termination of Parental Rights
10 / 07 / 2003
Runaways, Teen Prostitution and Child Labor
09 / 30 / 2003
Access to Healthcare and Health Insurance
09 / 23 / 2003
Absent Parents
07 / 08 / 2003
Teen Parenting, Interracial Foster Parents, Legal Rights of Grandparents
07 / 01 / 2003
Domestic Violence
06 / 24 / 2003
Acquired Brain Disorder
06 / 17 / 2003
Huntingtonorhood
06 / 10 / 2003
Gang Violence
05 / 27 / 2003
Sexual Abuse
05 / 13 / 2003
Absent Parents
05 / 06 / 2003
Domestic Violence and The Impact on Children
04 / 29 / 2003
Schizophrenia in Children and Adolescents
04 / 22 / 2003
How Children Grieve
04 / 15 / 2003
Termination of Parental Rights
04 / 08 / 2003
Missing and Lost Foster Children
04 / 01 / 2003
Hazing In High School
03 / 18 / 2003
Mental Health Placements
03 / 11 / 2003
Lead Poisoning in Children
02 / 25 / 2003
Autism
02 / 18 / 2003
Ethics in Medicine
02 / 11 / 2003
Runaways
02 / 04 / 2003
Same Sex Marriage
All is Mended Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Complications with Lulu's pregnancy emerge as Nick fights to keep a young family together after allegations of abuse.
In this week’s episode of The Guardian, prenatal testing reveals that Nick and Lulu’s baby has Down syndrome.  Meanwhile, Nick represents a father falsely accused of sexually molesting his daughter.

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetically based form of mental retardation. It occurs in about 5,000 births per year in the United States, which is approximately 1 out of every 800 births. Children with Down syndrome often have slanted eyes, a short stature, and poor muscle tone. They commonly experience respiratory infections and congenital heart disease. Fortunately, many heart defects are treatable now and some can be corrected without surgery. Contrary to popular thinking, very few individuals with Downs have severe mental retardation. Instead, it has been discovered that children with Down syndrome exhibit a wide range of abilities with most children falling into the mildly to moderately delayed category. Learning in these children has been shown to continue through adolescence and many individuals integrate into the regular education system.

Research has dispelled some of the myths surrounding Down syndrome. For instance, it is not a rare condition and while rate of incidence raises with the age of the mother, eighty percent of children born with Downs are born to mothers younger than 35. Adults with Downs often live independently or in group homes and participate fully in their communities by obtaining jobs and participating in sports, camping, music, and art programs.

New research suggests that children with Down syndrome understand more than they verbalize. This may mean that there is a vast, untapped potential that can be explored and nurtured. As more children with Down syndrome are raised in families where they receive individual attention, they are accomplishing more than once thought possible. Consequently, children diagnosed with Downs pose a special opportunity to their parents and adoptive caretakers. For more information about adoption of Downs’ syndrome children visit:

http://www.adoptionsolutions.com/parents/prep/disabled.htm

For more information visit:

National Down Syndrome Society

http://www.ndss.org/

National Down Syndrome Congress

http://www.ndsccenter.org/default.asp

 

Sexual Abuse Allegations 

Each year, thousands of cases of sexual abuse are reported to the authorities.   Sadly, thousands more occur, but remain a dark and hurtful secret.  Child abuse literature suggests that 75-80% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by a family member. 

Custody and child welfare cases often involve allegations of abuse. The literature and statistics vary regarding the accuracy of sexual abuse allegations in custody cases.  Some studies report that allegations are more often true than false, and that sexual abuse occurs as the result of emotional turmoil that accompanies divorce.   Other research  suggests that sexual abuse allegations in custody cases are false more often than not.  One explanation is that the custodial parent may misinterpret a child’s resistance or reluctance to visit the other parent as signs of abuse.   Another explanation suggests that in some cases the primary caretaker creates an allegation of sexual abuse as a way to strengthen the custody case.

Victims of sexual abuse often suffer from low self-esteem, feel isolated, develop abnormal views and attitudes about sex, and frequently have trouble forming healthy sexual relationships as adults. Other signs of sexual abuse in children include:

·        Either an avoidance of or heightened interest in anything of a sexual nature

·        Seductiveness at a young age

·        Nightmares

·        Refusal to go to school or to partake in activities they previously enjoyed.

·        Social withdrawal

·        Saying negative things about themselves and their bodies

·        Unusual aggressiveness

·        Suicidal behavior

Therapy often is needed to help victims of sexual abuse regain their sense of self-esteem and work through feelings of anger, shame and confusion.  Family therapy also may be important to help the rest of the family deal with feelings of loss, betrayal and humiliation. 

It is crucial for children to be reminded that abuse is not their fault, that they have done nothing to cause the problems in the family, and that their disclosure in no way diminishes or changes the love of their family.

With love and support, child victims of sexual abuse can and do recover.  Families who respond to abuse by showing healthy love and encouraging open communication will help the child recover and again believe in herself.  A child is more likely to cry for help when she believes that her cry will be heard.

The Guardian, set in Pittsburgh, airs nationally on CBS at 9:00 PM, Tuesday evenings. KidsVoice Executive director Scott Hollander is Technical Consultant for The Guardian. His brother David Hollander is the Creator and an Executive Producer of the series.

KidsVoice protects the rights of abused, neglected and abandoned children. Through in-depth investigation, KidsVoice attorneys and child advocacy specialists deliver informed recommendations and advocate for the child's best interests - in court and beyond - to ensure that the most appropriate services are in place to protect children from future harm and provide a safe and permanent home for every child. KidsVoice provides a voice of hope, a voice for rights and a voice of experience for children who cannot speak for themselves.