In the Public Eye: June / July 2022

Ryan Wexelblatt

Ryan Wexelblatt

While most people think of someone with ADHD as having difficulties completing assignments in school or the workplace, it can also lead to a deficit in what experts call “social capital,” according to a Washington Post article.

Social capital is the network and goodwill you have with other people that help you not only accomplish tasks, but also maintain important social connections, one expert says.

NASW member Ryan Wexelblatt, a clinical social worker in New Jersey who specializes in ADHD treatment, said in the article that people with the disorder have trouble understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings.

“ADHD is not taken seriously, and it’s looked at as a character flaw,” Wexelblatt said. That can mean that people with ADHD aren’t given the benefit of the doubt in social situations.

Children with ADHD might avoid in-person interactions because their difficulties with social cues lead to shallow connections. They’re often drawn to video games because of the stimulation they receive from them, Wexelblatt said.

Jay Ratia

Jay Ratia

The popular social media platform TikTok has updated its community guidelines for acceptable videos because of the harmful effects some videos have on teens. NASW member Jay Ratia told in Raleigh, N.C., that the change is important since the platform has become a huge draw for teens during the pandemic.

TikTok officials announced they were going to crack down and remove videos that showed “harmful activities by minors” and even videos that could promote disordered eating, the story noted. It’s the first move of its kind for social media, said Ratia, who is a member of the Legislative Committee for the NASW North Carolina Chapter.

TikTok videos are repetitive, he says in the story. “Once you see [a video], you keep seeing it and you see it again and again. [Kids then will say], ‘Oh, that’s my idol image. That’s what I should do. I should over-exercise. I should eat like that person.’” He said the change in guidelines is a good first step to help the mental health of teens.

Tracy Ross

Tracy Ross

According to relationship therapist Tracy Ross, LCSW, introvert-extrovert relationships are common — and it may be because humans desire balance. “Introverts and extroverts are attracted to each other because of the differences,” says Ross, an NASW member. 

And, in some ways, this can work well, like when the more introverted person feels like they need more social appointments on their calendar, or when the extroverted person is feeling overwhelmed by their commitments, says a story posted at Well+Good.

This same scenario, however, can produce some relationship woes — particularly when the introvert and the extrovert aren’t seeing eye to eye or aren't communicating honestly with each other, the story says.

“Communication is the backbone of any relationship,” says Ross. “Communication really means understanding each other’s needs, understanding how you’re different, and knowing yourself well enough to know [how you can] accommodate [each other].”

Judith Guberman

Judith Guberman

An AARP story highlights how people work to maintain a relationship with a partner who suffered an injury or cognitive decline.

NASW member Judith Guberman, LCSW, in New York City, was quoted in the story, “How to be a partner, not a parent, when providing care for a spouse.”

“Maintaining a loving relationship with a partner can be both a joy and a challenge at any stage of life,” Guberman said. “Add an injury or a cognitive decline, and that shift to a caretaker relationship can change the existing balance and require both old and new skills.”

She says one of the ways to maintain partnership and intimacy is to find and cultivate a new type of connection that promotes affection, appreciation and a mutual sense of healthy interdependence.

Social Work Advocates June/July 2022 issue with LGBTQIA+ advocacy story on cover

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