ADHD Resources for Parents and Children: Billy Can’t Slow Down!

Do you know a child who is easily distracted, has a short attention span, can’t concentrate for long on one task, and never seems to finish anything he or she starts? Or maybe you know a child who is fidgety, restless, can’t sit still, talks excessively, and is always ‘on the go’? Perhaps you know a child who is inattentive as well as hyperactive and impulsive?

Billy Can't Slow Down: Story & Tools for managing ADHD

As a child psychologist, I have met many children who are struggling in school, at home, and with their peers because of their challenging behaviours, like the ones described above. Parents and teachers alike are sometimes at a loss as to how to help their child or students address these behaviours. Plus, ADHD resources for parents may seem hard to find.

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My Child Has ADHD: Individual Learning Plans and School Interventions (Updated)

ADHDbyDavidCastilloDominic In a previous post I wrote about many of the challenges and issues faced by children and adolescents suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the importance of obtaining a proper diagnosis which should include psychological testing and input from teachers, parents, as well as your child’s physician. Assuming that your child has been fully assessed and properly diagnosed, the next step for you, as a parent or caregiver, is to understand what you can do to help your child cope with his ADHD at school and at home. This is where a school intervention plan that is tailored to meet the particular needs of your child becomes important. Just like each child’s symptoms and difficulties are unique to them, there is no “one size fits all” school intervention plan.

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Could My Child Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

OCDIn my clinical practice, I have seen a number of children and adolescents who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Here are different examples of how OCD presented in 3 of my clients:

(1) A 15-year old teenage girl reported that she had an uncomfortable feeling inside telling her something was not okay or not quite right. She had developed all kinds or rituals to get rid of that feeling so that she could continue on with her day. worried_teen_girl_at_homeFor example, she had to flush the toilet handle multiple times and repeatedly turn the faucet sink handles, turn the lights on and off repeatedly, check and re-check her hair iron to make sure it was off, do certain things an even number of times only, and perfectly align and order her clothes in her closet and in her drawers.

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New Resource to Help Your Child Cope with Sadness: When Monkey Lost His Smile

When Monkey Lost His Smile

You may have noticed that I have written fewer posts over the past few months. The reason is I was busy doing a very different kind of writing. I want to tell you about how I came to be the author of my first therapeutic resource book for young children on sadness.

A little over a year and a half ago, I was introduced through a colleague to Elaheh Bos, a very talented children’s author and illustrator. I collaborated with her on A spot of blue, a resource book for children (ages 4 to 8) on anxiety, gave feedback and insights on strategies to help with this emotion, and wrote the foreword. Not too long thereafter, I collaborated with her on a second project, The tiger in my chest, another therapeutic resource book for children (ages 4 to 8) on anger. For this book, I wrote the Anger Management Strategies section and I must admit that I really enjoyed the process of writing, explaining, and essentially teaching young children how to tame their anger.

Well along the way, something happened that I was not expecting. Not only did I discover a passion for writing, but I developed a desire to be the author of my own therapeutic resource book for children.

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How to Help Your Child or Teen Develop a Positive Body Image

Kids-sun-means-youthsWith so much talk nowadays about food, diets, shape, and weight, it can be confusing as a parent to know how to help your child develop positive feelings about their body, no matter what size they are. Body image disturbances can begin as early as preschool, and can have lasting impacts. Why is it so important for children and teens to have a positive image of their body? Because young people with a positive body image are more self-confident in general and are less likely to develop eating disorders or weight-related problems such as obesity, or other emotional problems like anxiety or depression. While body image in children and teens is influenced by many different sources – including family, friends, and the media – parents play a pivotal role in helping to promote positive body image at an early age.

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DOs and DON’Ts When Telling Your Child You Are Getting a Divorce

Divorce-Sign-Post
In my clinical practice, I often see children whose parents are either separated, in the process of divorcing, or divorced (and sometimes for many years). In some cases, the conflict between the parents can be very intense and heated, and the children feel they have to choose sides. Unfortunately, these are the children who suffer the most and have a hard time coping with all the changes that occur as a result of their parents’ decision to divorce. In contrast, when the fighting between the parents subsides after the separation, the majority of children adjust to their new reality within two years. Of course, every situation is different.

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New Resource to Tame Your Child’s Anger: The Tiger in my chest

The tiger in my chest

Anger is a difficult emotion for many children and adults to understand and to manage. While anger is a normal emotional reaction to a perceived or real threat, it can get too big and out of control very quickly. And among other things, anger can leave us feeling overwhelmed, confused, tired, empty, and lonely.

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The 5-Minute Mindfulness Challenge for You and Your Child or Teen

SchoolZonebypixbox77It’s that time of the year already when summer has come to an end and the new school year is about to or has already begun. That means getting back into the daily routine and to busy schedules, back to studying, homework, and extra-curricular activities, back to traffic, long days at work, and seemingly endless household chores. Along with the change in routine from summer to fall comes shorter days, less time for fun and leisure, greater demands and deadlines to meet, and unfortunately, more stress (which can be both good and bad). Sometimes it may seem as if there is so much happening and at such a fast pace that one barely has a free moment to slow down and just BE.

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How to Effectively Communicate with Your Teen: 7 Parenting Tips

GirlwithUnhappyMother In my clinical work with troubled teenagers, it is often the case that there is a real communication breakdown between these adolescents and their parents. These teens often feel that their parents do not understand or respect them, do not listen to what they have to say, and cannot relate to their experiences. They may report feeling isolated and closed off from their families, rejected, hurt, angry, anxious, sad, and lonely. In general, these adolescents have built up a “protective wall” between them and their parents (and sometimes the rest of the adult world) behind which they retreat. Because of problems with trust, these teens do not easily let their walls come down or let others see their vulnerabilities and insecurities.

It is important for you, as a parent, to keep the communication doors open with your teen. There are steps you can take to help maintain open communication.

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Does My Child Have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? (Revised)

Confused EmotiguyAs a clinical child psychologist, I often get asked by parents, “Does my child have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?” Usually parents will inquire about ADD or ADHD because they have received complaints from the teachers about their child’s behavior. Similarly, some of the teenagers I work with question whether they have ADHD because they have difficulties concentrating and focusing at school. And parents occasionally wonder the same thing about themselves. That is, parents sometimes see similarities between their child’s attention problems and their own, whether as adults in the workforce or in terms of difficulties they had when they were their child’s age.

It is important to note that while attention, concentration, and focus problems can be an indication of ADD or ADHD, these problems can also occur for many other reasons.

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