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Mona’s Blog

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.

Since his first day of kindergarten, “Justin” had struggled to manage the demands of his new school. When teachers asked him to transition from one activity to the next, he would often fuss, kick or run away. He routinely “overreacted”  to simple tasks and activities, and it seemed that no matter how much praise, or [...]

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It was almost dinner- time, and little “Max” was hungry and tired. After a busy and active afternoon, he was in the midst of a lengthy home session with his behavior therapist when his mother stepped in the door from work.

Smiling with delight, the boy instinctively ran toward the door to offer a greeting, [...]

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Early Intervention: Don’t Let a Diagnosis Define Your Child

July 13th, 2017

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More children are being identified with developmental challenges and receiving early intervention than ever before. While a diagnosis is critical to securing services to help children develop to their true potential, it can also have unintended negative consequences, including stress and anxiety for parents. It’s essential to find the help, energy and time for services [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Autism Approaches Should Respect Children’s Emotions

May 9th, 2017

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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The Pacifier Question: Why Not to Make Your Toddler Go Cold Turkey

April 17th, 2017

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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 [...]

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Autism Acceptance: How Celebrating Differences Can Stop Bullying

April 3rd, 2017

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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 [...]

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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.

[...]

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