I spoke with Angie Stringer the Volunteer Coordinator of Girls, Inc about services they may provide about my topic. She stated that they did not receive inquires relating to only children or birth order positions and therefore did not provide services. Two other community organizations (Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts) replied to emails I sent stating that they did not offer services that related to my topic and treated all participants equally, no matter what family size. I also phoned the Boys and Girl Club attempting to make contact prior to visiting and was unsuccessful in reaching a point-of-contact and I am not sure if it was their workload or their lack of offering assistance in my topic.
Colleen Brickhouse, B.S., M.A., Ed.
Child, Adolescent & Adult Center
3552 Webber Street
Sarasota, FL 34239
Colleen Brickhouse is the founder of the Brickhouse Academy, which provides an array of services including tutoring, early-age education, aptitude and achievement testing. She interacts with every client of the center and oversees general operation, education policies, and individual achievement. I was referred to the center at the age of 14 for evaluation for admittance into Pine View. Tests administered to me included the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III) and the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement. Colleen was quite please to see me after almost 10 years and was thrilled to be able to assist in my research.
The center does not provide any special services to only-children or their parents. Al children are treated, tested, taught, and looked up as equals no matter what birth order, socio-economic status, or family size they come from. When I asked why she did not feel a need to address this special birth order, Colleen commented, "I myself am an only child and never saw it as anything special. I much enjoyed growing up and do not feel there is a need to treat only children any different than those with siblings." The services provided are created equal for all children, reducing any one from feeling awkward or singled out. Any child, not just only children, can become maladjusted and unstable. In these cases she referrers the parents of the child to Timothy Redman, PhD, a psychologist specializing in Child Psychology, ADD/ADHD Depression, behavioral problems, and parenting. She expressed that I was welcome to talk with him for more information if I needed.
From my visit, I learned the importance of perception. If something is perceived with a certain connotation that it is likely to resonate. Once an expectation or classification is set, even if it isn't accurate, we tend to act in ways that are consistent with that expectation. By treating a child as different because of their birth order or lack of siblings, then this will make the child feel different and facilitate behavior according to what they think they should do. Treating children equally and encouraging their unique talents will be more healthy and aid in a more positive well-being.
I am not sure if a community center truly deals with my topic. I am under the impression that people are not publicly singled out for their birth order status. If the situation occurs that the child became maladjusted, developed behavioral problems, or disrupted other children in school, the parents would be referred to a counselor, school or private psychologist. One resource does exist exclusively for Only Children. Only Child Enterprises, Inc. publishes a magazine dedicated to informing families and only children about this status. Articles in the magazine include interviews with only child families, interviews with famous only children, developmental articles, letters and answers with advice.