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It’s Not Just What You Say But How You Say It: How Early-Intervention Professionals Can Support Parents

Sitting on my office couch, Shawna let out a sigh. “We need help,” she said, barely getting the words out before she began to cry. Her face was gaunt and she had dark circles under her eyes. Over the next hour, she explained what had led her to seek my help. Shawna and her husband […]

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The Expectation Gap: When Do Toddlers Have Control Over their Behaviors?

Toddlers are wildly and wonderfully unpredictable. One minute, your little girl might be happily conversing with you, and the next, she’s out of control, rolling on the floor in agony because she can’t have that cupcake she just spotted on a TV commercial.  For parents, this seemingly unpredictable lack of emotional control can be exasperating […]

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When Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Underlie Problem Behaviors

Four-year-old Wyatt was struggling in preschool, suddenly defying directions, and demanding more attention than usual. Nap time became a particular challenge. He would slither on the floor, trying to avoid his cot, in the process disturbing others trying to sleep. Frustrated, his teachers would ask him to stop bothering others, giving him few minutes to […]

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When Trauma Underlies Challenging Behaviors: New Answers for Vulnerable Children

After years of struggling with infertility, Julia and Samuel finally decided to adopt. They were thrilled when a social worker called with news of a pair of brothers who needed a home. It took a few months of paperwork, but then they were elated to welcome home “Matt”, 3 and “Rett”, 2. Their new family […]

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What We Can Learn from a Seven-Year-Old’s Arrest

A Florida elementary school made national headlines after video emerged of a police officer hauling off a seven-year-old boy in handcuffs. According to reports, a teacher had scolded the child for playing with his food in the cafeteria and the boy reacted by lashing out at the teacher, repeatedly striking and kicking her. By the […]

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Freedom of Choice: Why Special Education Programs Should be Transparent About their Approaches

When parents enroll their children in a school, they often don’t realize they’re choosing not only a program, but a whole approach. I was reminded of this when I was asked to observe a little girl at a state-sponsored preschool for children with developmental differences. “Ana”, 3, was happily playing when she noticed that a […]

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Why Preschoolers Shouldn’t be Suspended or Expelled: Lessons from Neuroscience

Luke struggled to get through nearly every day at his preschool. The four-year-old had difficulty sitting still and following directions, and when teachers reprimanded him, he usually responded by hitting something or someone. The more they admonished him, the more disruptive his behaviors became. Finally, the school ran out of options and suspended him. His […]

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How Experiencing Joy Can Help Children and Promote Optimal Development

Joy is a powerful tool for solving childhood challenges and promoting brain health. Yet in our culture of doing, teaching, treating and pathologizing, too often we forget that when a child needs help, the first thing we should increase is joy.  This is certainly true in my own field, child psychology, in which we often […]

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The Secret to Helping Children Thrive (And It’s Not a Theory or a Technique)

I recently visited a kindergarten classroom to observe a child with “behavior problems.” When I arrived, the little boy was busying himself with an art project. He and his classmates were building towers out of cardboard box pieces. Everything seemed fine until a peer suddenly grabbed the glue from him, knocking his beloved project to […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
In recent IEP meetings I'm reminded of how much better we can do for goals related to behavioral challenges, anxiety, and social emotional development. This post still speaks to the need. #SEL #IEP #Anxiety #Beyondbehaviors #socialemotional #earlyintervention #connectionfirst
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
Can I just say THANK YOU. I'm so grateful to each of you who weighed in when I asked if there was a need for such a book, for those of you who have read it, posted reviews, recommended it or let me know it made a difference. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude at how far it's traveled and how many have read it in the past 7 months. It's because of you, and I just want to say thank you. 🙏
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
Hi Friends, If you teach, work with or parent an anxious child, I recommend the Learning and the Brain Conference in SF, Educating Anxious Brains. So many specialists will be presenting including Ross Greene, Bruce Perry, Dan Siegel, Katie Hurley, LCSW,and me! I invite you to attend, and look forward to meeting you.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
Nurturant, engaging advice from amazing Janet Lansbury, thank you!
"If our attitude is trusting rather than fearful and uncomfortable, we’ll be able to nail the kind of delivery that is helpful to our child without it coming off as a correction or reflection of our disappointment."
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
A cornerstone for the paradigm shift in mental health, education & early intervention. #Polyvagal #resilience #Beyondbehaviors #relationshipsfirst #traumainformed #Braindevelopment
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
Yes, Kids do well if they can. Thanks Guy Stephens and colleagues at @livesinthebalance for your work, changing paradigms.

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