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October 18, 2015

I have decided to focus our first blog on this topic because of the numerous referrals we have received over the past several years for children who have been labeled ADHD by one person or another, but who do not meet the criteria for this diagnosis.  As a result, parents are left frustrated, angry, and feeling helpless; and children’s self-esteem quickly plummets as they also become frustrated and baffled in trying to understand how to manage and understand what is going  on, on the inside and out.  Many of these children have been started on stimulant medication as a first course of action . . . a topic for a later blog.

Many of the behaviors that parents, teachers, and others complain about may, indeed, sound like ADHD to some. Some of these behaviors include constantly moving,...

October 18, 2015

I’ve heard it said in a moment of frustration, confusion, wonderment, and even jest at times, that the act of a child, adolescent, or adult sliding a knife across their body, drinking bleach, or pulling their hair out (to name a few) is “just to get attention”.  The irony of this statement is that most who complete such acts report feeling enormous shame, guilt, and self hatred afterward.  When you consider why somebody would do any of these things versus behaviors that don’t harm themselves, do you think it is really just to get attention?  If the answer is yes . . . .  . . then if somebody would do something so extreme to get attention, perhaps we should hear their cry and pay attention to them!  Self Injurious Behavior and Suicidal Behavior is much more than attention seeking behavior....

October 18, 2015

In all of the years of doing trauma debriefing work, we often see that families are frequently faced with the tricky balance of managing their own feelings and cravings for information while attempting to respond to their children who are also witnessing the crisis.  Hurricane Irene, like every other crisis, is being covered by the media by repeatedly showing images and reporting on death tolls, homes crushed, roads demolished, cars crushed, and enormous property loss.  While watching and listening to these reports affects adult anxieties and function, the affect is magnified with children.  Such images and messages become ingrained in their brains and return later as anxiety and/or agitation.  Please consider the following tips:


1.  Limit how much information children are e...

October 18, 2015

The countless hours wasted debating these questions that could be better spent with the children this debate is about, this is what’s prompting this blog.

To begin with, all of the debate about whether we should blame the child or adolescent who “came out”, who allowed a nude picture to be taken (or took it) of themself, who sexted a picture, who aired an argument on facebook or other social media, or . . . . . . . is all sort of pointless.

The fact of the matter is, they’re children and adolescents, NOT ADULTS.  They think and act like children and adolescents.  Current research on brain development tells us that the frontal lobe of the brain (the part responsible for judgment and reasoning) surges in growth at about age 11 and isn’t done until about age 24.  So, when we ask a youth why the...

October 18, 2015

As we go from school to school and organization to organization educating and setting up programs to stop #bullying, the question continues to arise, " . . . but why do we need laws to address the issue?".  Comments come up such as "We didn't have laws when we were kids and we survived".  Then I sit with children (as their therapist) who attend schools who are exempt from the law who tell me "I was afraid to tell my teacher . . . ." about #bullying for fear of repercussions.  Children and adolescents fear the consequences from the adults and from the other students.  Exemption allows these schools to continue to turn a blind eye.  Do we NEED the laws? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.  Do they help us advocate for children . . . YES!  Let's stop fighting about the law and focus on the kids it was w...

As we think about the new beginnings of another school year and all that brings to a child, adolescent, and family thoughts arise about whether the year will enter softly like a leaf falling from a tree or like a vicious tornado that we need to survive.  This, in large part, has to do with how “back to school shopping” is managed.  This critical time of transition is about so much more than simply buying stuff.  It is a time to explore the child and adolescent’s thoughts and feelings about the impending journey they are about to embark on and helping to manage fears and anxieties and perhaps harness unrealistic expectations.  Before sending your teen off to the mall with their friends, set a date to do at least some of the shopping with them, with a planned break for snack or lunch (chat t...

October 18, 2015

While many of us yearn to hear birds chirping, see green grass growing, and don lighter clothing, let us not forget about the physiological changes occurring in our children, adolescents, and ourselves this time of year.  Though the research linking meteorological factors to mood is not 100% conclusive, there are certainly numerous well documented studies drawing the correlation to reported mood and energy shifts with seasonal changes.

Some child behaviors we may see surfacing may include: more than usual unproductive energy, a need to run around, complaints about boredom with routine things like homework and chores, resistance to following routines and structures that have been in place.

Some adolescent behaviors we may see may include “playing hookie”, an increase in high risk behaviors, a...

March 11, 2015

Debbie delivers a message on suicide to one of our non-profit customers.

 

 

 

May 1, 2013

While many of us yearn to hear birds chirping, see green grass growing, and don lighter clothing, let us not forget about the physiological changes occurring in our children, adolescents, and ourselves this time of year.  Though the research linking meteorological factors to mood is not 100% conclusive, there are certainly numerous well documented studies drawing the correlation to reported mood and energy shifts with seasonal changes.

 

Some child behaviors we may see surfacing may include: more than usual unproductive energy, a need to run around, complaints about boredom with routine things like homework and chores, resistance to following routines and structures that have been in place.

 

Some adolescent behaviors we may see may include “playing hookie”, an increase in high risk behaviors,...

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I have decided to focus our first blog on this topic because of the numerous referrals we have received over the past several years for children who h...

ADHD . . . Truth Or Trend?

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