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Lessons From a Six-Year-Old in a Squad Car

The scene on the video is heartbreaking. An adorable six-year-old girl walks away from her elementary school—escorted not by her teacher or a parent, but by a sheriff’s deputy. “Am I going to jail?” the girl asks. “No,” the officer replies, “you’re not going to jail.” Seconds later, the girl slides into the back seat […]

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School Refusal and the Power of Social Engagement

Eight-year-old Charlise struggled to get through nearly every day of third grade. She refused to go to school so often that her mother had to physically escort her into the car, and then into the classroom each day. All week, she complained of stomach aches brought on by anxiety. But at home on the weekend, […]

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Child Discipline: Time to Shift the Lens

The Monitor on Psychology’s October 2019 article, “Teaming Up to Change Child Discipline” described how parenting advice such as “spare the rod and spoil the child” is now debunked and outdated. This is an important shift, considering that 60% of children aged 3-4 in the US are spanked by their parents. In regards to the […]

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How Teachers Can Take A More Compassionate Approach to Behaviors

Jalene’s teachers were at a loss about how to deal with the fourth grader’s habit of dashing wildly through the halls of her public school. Her IEP team made an effort, devising a behavior plan that called for teachers to reprimand her for the behavior, remove her from the classroom, or even force her to […]

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Do Time-Outs Work? It’s Time to Reframe the Question

Are time-outs an effective strategy for parents to cope with children’s challenging behaviors? Before I studied early childhood development, I occasionally used time-outs with my own children because they were touted as an effective and appropriate discipline technique. Decades later, a debate is raging about whether or not this is true. A recent Time article tried […]

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Are Baby-Soothing Gizmos a Good Parenting Choice?

Years ago, as a sleep-deprived mother of a colicky baby, I once felt so desperate after trying every imaginable way to soothe my crying infant that I finally placed her in her car seat atop the washing machine, holding her in place with one hand as the washer rumbled below. After a few minutes of […]

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Top-Down and Bottom-Up Behaviors: Understanding the Critical Difference

Did you know that there are (at least) 2 different kinds of behaviors? Most people don’t. I didn’t, even after years of college, training, and earning a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Most graduate programs in mental health, education, social work, and medicine don’t yet consider this dichotomy important enough to teach or train about. But […]

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Why We Misunderstand Behaviors in Autistic Children— And How We Can Get It Right

An Indiana school recently made headlines after one of its special education teachers presented an autistic fifth grader with an award for the “most annoying male” at a school ceremony. While the incident was unfortunate in many ways, perhaps most disturbing was how it revealed that even people who work closely with such children can […]

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The Two Life-Changing Qualities That Make Teachers Extraordinary

In my job as a clinical psychologist and as a mother, I have repeatedly observed two qualities in extraordinary teachers: * They provide a warm, calming presence and regulate their own emotions. * They are relationally connected and engaged with their students. It’s not difficult to see what a difference a good teacher can make. […]

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Mona’s Facebook

Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 hour ago
Join us & send in your questions! Tomorrow at 3:30 eastern, 12:30 pacific time. Thanks Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 hours ago
This may be the most forthright podcast interview I've ever done. Even though we talk about prenatal exposure, it's really about all childhood differences, especially those that result in behavioral challenges. It starts out with some dire stats, but ends in hope for the shift to help foster resilience in all children. If you only have a little time, scroll to Minutes * 17-26*. Would love to have your reactions to this interview. #fosterparents #Beyondbehaviors #traumaresponsive #adoption #FASD #FAS #attachmentdisorders #education #specialeducation #childwelfare #neurodiversity #flipthenarrative
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 hours ago
Sometimes you need to know when to stop, to acknowledge that your body is not cooperating with your brain. For an athlete, that can be the most fierce and courageous thing you could ever do. @simonebiles ❤️
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
It is important for teachers and parents to understand that when a child experiences stressful life events, the child’s thresholds for emotional and behavioral control decline. No matter how much the child may want to comply with what is being asked of him, sometimes he simply can’t. Many of our children who have been exposed to stress or trauma have difficulties with emotional and behavioral control. #Beyondbehaviors #specialeducation #specialneedsmom #inclusion #specialeducationteachers #neurodiversity #compassion #positiveparenting #ACES #traumaresponsive #childwelfare #education
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
In this podcast with Emily, a conversation to shift the concept of 'misfit' with 'misunderstood'. I call out mental health and education about stereotypes and anyway, what is "neurotypical?" Do we need to dismantle our traditional ways of thinking about differences?#neurodiversity #specialneedsmom #Beyondbehaviors #specialeducation Mothers of Misfits #inclusion
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
All of us were stunned and outraged when earlier this month, a federal appeals court overturned the FDA’s ban on electric shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center. As long as the residents of the JRC, most of whom are disabled people of color, are in danger, our work is not done. We wanted...