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Why are IEP’s so Stressful?

There are many reasons IEP’s can be stressful.  Here is a list of a few related to the emotional ramifications of the process on parents.  Please feel free to respond and add your own.  The implication here is not that school administrators and teaching staff ever intend to make IEP’s an adversarial process.  The reason […]

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Redefining Oppositional and Challenging Behaviors

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 […]

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Let’s do away with the term “Non-verbal”

The second annual Profectum conference was again a huge hit with parents and professionals alike.  A touching moment happened when a parent came up after my talk and asked me to repeat something I had said about the inaccuracy of the phrase “non-verbal”.  As Liz Torres, neuropsychological researcher, told us, what we can see (or […]

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The Experts are Teaching the Professionals!

It is such a pleasure to be taught by the real experts.  The real experts are individuals with autism who are giving us first hand accounts about what types of treatment work and what kinds can actually cause suffering. One example of treatment missing the mark is when non-verbal children are assumed to know less […]

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Making the Right Treatment Decisions for your Child

When it comes to early developmental delays, the roadmap to treatment is often rocky and confusing.  Knowing your child’s unique individual profile* will help you tailor the right program based on his unique needs.  Here is the key question: What are the right treatments for my child at this particular time and with his/her unique profile? […]

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An Open Letter to Fellow Professionals

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 […]

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Sacked by your own Linemen: Part Two

In the previous post we discussed the potential for parents to feel sacked by their IEP team.  In fact, when talking to parent groups, the topic of IEP’s usually gathers a collective sigh. Here are some things you can consider in order to gain credibility as a legitimate member, and even leader, of your child’s […]

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Sacked by your own Linemen

Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet with three incredible and accomplished moms as we prepared for a panel at the Profectum conference next month.  One topic of conversation caught my attention: when well meaning professionals entrusted to treat their children unknowingly cause stress for parents.  This can take various forms, but one example […]

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A Developmental Approach to Autism

One highlight of last week was a fabulous conference at the California Endowment Center featuring Dr. Dan Siegel talking about his new book about the teenage brain.  Instead of viewing teenagers as out of control pseudo-adults with raging hormones, Dan tackles these and other common myths to let us into what is really happening in […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 day ago
The look on your face nourishes the soul of the person you are smiling at--I try to always remember this. Thanks Marilyn Price-Mitchell at Roots of Action for sharing! #Resilience #Brainhealth #relationshipsmatter #education #specialed #earlyintervention
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
For those interested in the top-down/bottom-up discussion, here's some background info---When we don't understand the difference, it leads to an Expectation Gap. And not just for toddlers, but for all ages. #Expectationgap #toddlerbehaviors #tantrums #positiveparenting #resilience #earlyintervention #socialemotional #polyvagaltheory https://monadelahooke.com/1210-2/
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
Many have asked me about the difference between top-down and bottom-up behaviors. A common misperception is that all children's behaviors are top-down -- deliberate misbehaving-- and so they are managed through punishments, consequences or rewards.

That’s the problem. Not all behaviors are top-down; many disruptive behaviors are actually bottom-up.

Bottom-up behaviors do not respond to rewards, consequences or punishments. They are brain-based stress behaviors that require understanding, compassion and actively helping a child feel safe. When we punish a bottom-up behavior, we can easily make matters worse. And this is why so many of our approaches fall short, or even deepen a child or teen’s emotional and behavioral challenges. Understanding the difference will reduce suffering for so many—including those from loving homes, to foster children who have been needlessly blamed for their behaviors, and neurodivergent children inappropriately disciplined for their natural inclinations. #Beyondbehaviors #ACES #Parenting #Paradigmshift #Neurodiversity #specialeducation #Childwelfare
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
Thanks Hidden Treasure with Tracey Farrell for this reframe, great synchrony with #Beyondbehaviors!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 days ago
Thanks DMDD Journey for such a nice reframe of the term "attention-seeking". #Beyondbehaviors #relationshipsfirst