The information contained on this blog is not a substitute for training, continuing education, clinical supervision, or the importance of individual consultation for each child and family. All identifying information, including names and other details, has been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
June 23rd, 2017
When I was young, I couldn’t wait until my grandmother came to stay with us every summer. We sat in the garden for hours, laughing, talking and playing games. With her by my side, I felt that I could face anything. Her loving presence always helped to calm the storms of my childhood mind. Even [...]
May 22nd, 2017
An essential ingredient has been slowly disappearing from children’s lives: free, spontaneous play.
Many factors have converged to cause the decline of play. Technology absorbs more and more of children’s attention. Schools pile on academic pressures earlier and earlier. And parents are increasingly opting to place their children in structured extracurricular activities.
That makes today’s [...]
May 9th, 2017
Comments Off on Autism Approaches Should Respect Children’s Emotions | Blog
Nearly thirty years ago, as a newly minted clinical psychologist, I was fortunate to learn about social-emotional development from the writings of such pioneers as John Bowlby, who launched the field of study known as attachment theory. Bowlby was among the first to recognize the importance of early emotional attachments and their positive impact on [...]
By the time Stuart hit second grade, his teachers had pegged him as a “problem child.” They knew he came from a loving home and could discern right from wrong, but still, he frequently started fights and caused classroom outbursts. By tenth grade, he had been in and out of various therapies and special schools. His [...]
April 17th, 2017
Comments Off on The Pacifier Question: Why Not to Make Your Toddler Go Cold Turkey | Blog
Robby was two years old when his dentist told his parents that it was time to lose the pacifier. Concerned at the professional’s warning that using it was causing misalignment of the boy’s jaw, they took heed and soon made it disappear.
That’s when the trouble began. Before long Robby had difficulty falling asleep. Within [...]
April 3rd, 2017
Comments Off on Autism Acceptance: How Celebrating Differences Can Stop Bullying | Blog
It seemed like simple gesture. A college football player who was visiting a middle school spotted a red-haired sixth grader eating lunch alone, so he joined him.
Then the boy’s mother posted a photo on Facebook capturing the moment: her autistic son sitting across a cafeteria table from Travis Rudolph, the Florida State University [...]
March 22nd, 2017
Thomas was proud of his young son “Roger’s” remarkable knowledge of birds. Roger’s grandmother, an avid bird watcher, had shared birding books and toy bird replicas with the boy when he was young, and he had shown such great enthusiasm for the topic that at age 3, Roger could identify more than 50 types of birds.[...]
March 15th, 2017
Comments Off on Ten Things to ask for when Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism or Developmental Differences | Blog
As a pediatric psychologist I know that families’ journeys can be fraught with unexpected challenges. Discovering that your child has differences can be daunting. And sometimes, making sure that your child’s needs are properly met by the outside world can be even more stressful. One aspect I am especially passionate about as a psychologist is [...]
March 9th, 2017
Comments Off on Toddlers’ Mental Health: The Drawbacks of a Diagnosis | Blog
Recently a pediatrician phoned me with a concern about a three-year-old patient I see in my psychology practice. During a routine visit, the doctor said, “Karson” had bitten him. In fact, the young child had a history of behavior problems.
“Do you think there’s a diagnosis?” the doctor asked me.
I told her I wasn’t a fan [...]
Charlie’s parents felt like they were walking on eggshells.
A simple family party often set off the three year-old. The unfamiliar setting, the commotion, and relatives trying to hug and kiss the boy could easily send him into a kicking and screaming fit. Usually quiet, Charlie routinely burst into tantrums for reasons neither his parents nor [...]