Doctors share migrant children’s haunting drawings: ‘These children coming into our nation need a voice

At a Catholic Charities Humanitarian respite center in McAllen, Texas three migrant children ages 11 and 10, completed the drawings last week, soon after release from Border Protection (CBP) processing center and U.S. Customs.

In one drawing it was depicted that five stick figures behind bars saw by 2 guards in dark hats. In another drawing there were 5 people lying down in a cell and covered by the blanket. 

Specialized in Latino children trauma, a mental health clinician asked the children that they should complete the drawings and shared with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which share copies to various media outlets. 

American Academy of Pediatrics is the largest pediatrician group of nations representing 67,000 members and asked Border Protection and Custom not to place migrant children in custody.

Dr. Sara Goza, whose term as AAP president begins, says that the kids who complete the drawings were not separated from their families, but however may be at risk for unfavorable childhood experiences that can cause long-term mental as well as physical health harms. 

Goza wanted to talk with the children, so employee tried hard to find them but she was not capable to locate them in the crowded respite center. For a shower, clothes and a meal, families stop at the respite center prior to going further to their next destination. She said that, encouraging children for drawing a picture can help them better understand what they have been through as well as to communicate thoughts that they are not able to express. 

A behavioral health specialist and licensed clinical social worker, Maria Castañeda says she tries to set up a relationship with children who come to the clinic for usual care like hearing, vision and vaccines. Families share not just their want for medical care but for mental health also. 

 


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Howard Gonzales

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