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Preventing More Violence

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 […]

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When Something doesn’t Feel Right

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 […]

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Time to Re-think Treatment Techniques?

  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 […]

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Look at me!

Enforcing eye contact is a tricky endeavor in children with autism.  While gently taking a child’s head into your hands and asking him to look at you might seem innocuous, it actually can be very stressful. Parents and professionals alike need to consider the complexity of the brain networks in autism and make sure we […]

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Are you at Risk?

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 […]

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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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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Behavioral Challenges in Students with Trauma Histories
This clip describes the paradigm shift in understanding behavioral challenges in children who have experienced trauma. #Beyondbehaviors #ACES #Traumaresponsi...
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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 days ago
Every Week. I observe the rewards/compliance paradigm fail to help children in school settings. Why do we remain so attached to using them? #Education #Paradigmshift #BeyondBehaviors #Brainscience #Compassion #Traumaresponsive #Resilience #Inclusion
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.7 days ago
Thank you Dr. Blecksmith, what a great interview, and I'm honored to be joining you all in May. I loved the screen shot while you spoke! :) Northeast Missouri Health Council
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Thank you Bonnie Laverty for sharing this😊
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
"It pains us when our children express unhappiness, and we naturally want to help them feel better. Your efforts to keep her busy, active, and “focused on the positives” are certainly understandable and the instinct most of us have. The problem is that our children, like all of us, can only truly heal when they’ve fully expressed their sadness" Thanks to Janet Lansbury--such importance--our ability to tolerate our child's negative emotions helps them grow...#resilience #parents #hardiness

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