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Moving Beyond Autism Awareness and Acceptance

According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), “autism acceptance” shouldn’t be limited to a specific day or month. Rather, it should be an ongoing, collective effort to  create a world that values, includes, and celebrates all kinds of minds. As a child psychologist who has worked for decades with families of children on the […]

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Can Rewards and Consequences Make Kids’ Behavior Challenges Worse?

“Martina,” a 7-year-old in a special-needs classroom, wanted to let her teacher know that she was feeling anxious,  so she tried to connect with her, repeatedly grabbing at her shirt. The teacher had been trained to ignore “negative” behaviors, so the more Martina grabbed, the less attention she gave her. Her strategy was to reward […]

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Challenging Behaviors: Why We Shouldn’t Expect Kids to Self-Regulate Too Soon

Five-year-old Nathan was excited about a family outing to the zoo, but his mother worried he would not be able to control his behavior. So she explained her carefully devised plan. She had ten gummy bear candies with her. If Nathan behaved well, she would give him all ten at the end of the visit. […]

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Considering these Popular Parenting Techniques? Proceed with Caution

As anyone who has ever struggled to manage a toddler’s meltdown in a busy supermarket line can attest, parenting can be both confusing and humbling. To make matters worse, seeking out advice from so-called experts can often lead to even more confusion since their wisdom can be contradictory and bewildering. So it’s worth a quick […]

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It’s Time to Do Away with Seclusion and Isolation Rooms and Replace them with Compassion

Recently, a 13-year-old autistic student died after staff members at his Northern California school physically restrained him for an extended period. And the parents of a non-speaking, autistic 12-year-old  have sued his school for placing him in a seclusion room after a behavioral outburst. Teachers forced the child to strip naked before they placed him in a […]

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He’s Having a Meltdown! Four Possible Triggers—and How to React

In my last post, I suggested that we should appreciate meltdowns for what they are: a child’s way of signaling that he needs something from the adults around him—or from his environment.  When a child experiences a meltdown or tantrum or acts aggressively, he is communicating that he has exceeded his ability to intentionally control his […]

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How Anger, Tantrums, and Meltdowns Protect Your Child

Anger, meltdowns, and tantrums get a bad rap. As parents, we worry that these behaviors indicate that our child is choosing to misbehave or that we’re somehow failing as parents. The judgmental stares and glances we get from onlookers only increases those insecure thoughts. We read books about what to do and try to tame […]

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What to Know Before We Teach Children Self-Regulation Skills

What’s the best way to teach children how to regulate their own emotions and behavior? Occupational therapist and educator Leah Kuypers devised one approach, The Zones of Regulation, which has gained international popularity. “The Zones” is a groundbreaking cognitive-behavioral approach that helps adults teach children about self-regulation, which includes self-discipline, emotional control, anger management, and […]

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Parents Know Best: Why the Educational System should Stop Marginalizing Parents

It’s past midnight and “Amanda”can’t fall asleep. She’s focused on her meeting the next morning at the school where her son is struggling in a program not suited to his unique needs. As she mentally rehearses her appeal for better support for him, she’s also bracing herself for the response she expects: polite “no’s” and […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 day ago
Amidst the popular focus on self-regulation among professionals, educators and parents, too often we miss a significant point: we cannot really "teach" a child to self-regulate. #neurodevelopment #challengingbehaviors #resilience #childwelfare #beyondbehaviors #selfregulation #selfcompassion #ACES
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
From a recent talk on Challenging Behaviors-- Understanding the critical difference between a stress reaction and a purposeful misbehavior. Plus a minute on the neuroscience. #relationshipsfirst #Childwelfare #ACES #Beyondbehaviors #Preschoolers #specialed
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
The Most Important Question to ask about Children's Behavioral Challenges
In this segment, Dr. Delahooke describes what we need to know before we require compliance or discipline vulnerable children. www.monadelahooke.com Beyond Be...
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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 days ago
We can appreciate behaviors for what they tell us about what a child needs from relationships or the environment. #resilience #beyondbehaviors #childwelfare #ACES
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Thanks Katie Hurley, LCSW for sharing this message that parents need so much support and compassion!