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.
December 16th, 2016
It’s supposed to be a time of joyful excitement, but the truth is that the holiday season can be stressful for children and parents alike.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) should be viewed as a child’s response to stress. Viewing challenging behaviors on a continuum of stress and stress recovery reveals a whole new way to think about this stigmatizing disorder, as well as a new way to support children, informed by current neuroscience.
We want to shift away from viewing developmental differences as something that needs to be quickly “fixed”. Rather, we need to soften the stance to view differences with patience and compassion; with reflection regarding what behaviors or capacities should be targeted for change, and why
This has been a rough IEP season at my office. Not because money is still tight and funding sources are scarce for special education services, or because these meetings can go on for hours on end, but because it seems parents are often not considered experts of their own children with special needs. And when [...]
How many more deaths must occur before we take action to prevent future acts of violence in this country? While discussion around limiting gun access is important, as a mental health specialist I can speak to the need for early identification of potential perpetrators. Our current methods of identifying and treating persons with mental health [...]
As a parent, you might experience confusion about your role in your child’s services. You may feel that “pit in the stomach”, or “queasy feeling” when one of your child’s therapists makes a suggestion/comment that just doesn’t seem right. Because you have such a close relationship with your child, your weigh-in during these moments is [...]
Last week, at Bessel van der Kolk’s Annual Trauma Conference, the number of references to autism intrigued me. While one would not necessarily expect to find those two words together in a conference, some of the underlying neurobiology found in trauma may be similar to children with autism, including weak or disconnected neural links [...]
A recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois validates many other studies linking an increased risk of stress and depression experienced by mothers of young children with autism spectrum disorders (Jeans, 2013). Fathers are at risk as well, however their symptoms may look different than those of mothers.
This is somber news, and [...]
One of the goals of the Profectum conference last month was to help parents and professionals expand their understanding of challenging behaviors in children. Connie Lillas described an optimal state of mental health as the “green” zone, a zone of calm awareness which supports learning and communicating. Connie and I emphasized how important it is [...]
Dear Colleagues who work with special needs children,
I value the work we all do, the reports we write, and the teams we serve on.
But in all honesty, we can do better. We need to think more about the impact our words have on parents. It is a rare IEP in which a parent [...]