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Childhood Trauma: Understanding Behavioral Challenges as Survival Instincts

This is a blog post I never wanted to write. In light of the tidal wave of neuroscience research, I had hoped that by now the fields of education, mental health and juvenile justice would change the way they view and support children and teens exposed to trauma. That hasn’t happened yet. And while I’m […]

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How To Cut Stress in Kids’ Transitions from School to Summer

The end of the school year can ban bring both fun and challenge for both parents and children. Some parents find it easy to transition their children to beloved and familiar settings such as local summer programs, day camp, or sleep-away camp.  But others experience stress and scramble to find appropriate options for their children […]

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Why Being a Happy Mom (or Dad) is a Gift to Our Children

Mother’s Day always transports me back to my days as a young mom, juggling my psychology practice with the activities of our household: three young children, a wonderful husband, and a rambunctious dog named Lacy. With all three girls active on their soccer teams and their dad serving as coach, we sometimes needed a spreadsheet […]

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When a Child Cries, Ignore the “Experts,” Not the Tears

Every parent knows how difficult it can be to watch your child burst into tears. Your instinct is to do whatever you can to bring comfort and calm the child. But in my work as a child psychologist, I sometimes observe behavioral interventionists suggest a different reaction for the children they work with, including those […]

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Why We Misunderstand Traumatized Children’s Behavioral Challenges and How We Can Do Better

By the time he turned eleven, “Luke” had consistently displayed such challenging behavior that he had been kicked out of four foster homes. Finally, a social worker placed him with parents who had been trained in a program that focused on behavior management.  That placement was also unsuccessful, and he landed in a residential school […]

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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 mixed inclusion classroom, wanted to let her teacher know that she was feeling anxious,  so she tried to connect with her, repeatedly grabbing at her arm and shirt. The teacher had been trained to ignore “negative” behaviors, so the more Martina grabbed, the less attention she gave her. Her strategy […]

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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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Mona’s Facebook

Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 hours 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.6 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.7 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...