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It’s Time to Do Away with Seclusion and Isolation Rooms and Replace them with Compassion

Recently, a 13-year-old autistic student died after staff members at his Northern California school physically restrained him for an extended period. And the parents of a non-speaking, autistic 12-year-old  have sued his school for placing him in a seclusion room after a behavioral outburst. Teachers forced the child to strip naked before they placed him in a […]

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He’s Having a Meltdown! Four Possible Triggers—and How to React

In a prior post, I suggested that we should appreciate meltdowns for what they are: a child’s subconscious (unintentional) way of signaling that he needs something from the adults around him—or from his environment.  When a child experiences a meltdown or tantrum or acts aggressively, he is communicating that he has exceeded his ability control his […]

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How Anger, Tantrums, and Meltdowns Protect Your Child

Anger, meltdowns, and tantrums get a bad rap. As parents, we worry that these behaviors indicate that our child is choosing to misbehave or that we’re somehow failing as parents. The judgmental stares and glances we get from onlookers only increases those insecure thoughts. We read books about what to do and try to tame […]

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What to Know Before We Teach Children Self-Regulation Skills

What’s the best way to teach children how to regulate their own emotions and behavior? Occupational therapist and educator Leah Kuypers devised one approach, The Zones of Regulation, which has gained international popularity. “The Zones” is a groundbreaking cognitive-behavioral approach that helps adults teach children about self-regulation, which includes self-discipline, emotional control, anger management, and […]

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Parents Know Best: Why the Educational System should Stop Marginalizing Parents

It’s past midnight and “Amanda”can’t fall asleep. She’s focused on her meeting the next morning at the school where her son is struggling in a program not suited to his unique needs. As she mentally rehearses her appeal for better support for him, she’s also bracing herself for the response she expects: polite “no’s” and […]

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Children’s Mental Health: Everyone’s Responsibility

Amelia’s parents contacted me because of a problem in Kindergarten. Her teachers reported that she often began to cry around lunchtime, and when they asked her why she was crying, she couldn’t answer them.  They tried to distract her, and even offered her a trip to the class “store”, (stocked with fun prizes) if she would […]

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The Developmental Iceberg: Looking Below the Surface of Challenging Behaviors

Behavioral challenges are the “tip” of the iceberg, and the answers to helping children are often found below the surface of behaviors. Take Ben, for example, who was a puzzle to his parents and teachers alike. In kindergarten, he struggled to stay in his seat, and his teachers constantly reprimanded him for not complying with […]

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When Children Act Out: “Seeking Negative Attention” or Needing to be Seen?

Decades ago, when I was in graduate school studying child psychology, I was taught that children often do things to get “negative attention.” At my clinical training sites, it was common to hear things such as, “Oh, Johnny is creating drama to seek negative attention” and “The best strategy is to ignore him.” When I […]

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The Power of Hope from Childhood Professionals

Several years ago at a professional training I conducted on parental stress, an 80-year-old mother raised her hand to share an insight. A psychologist and mother, she explained that she had a 50-year-old son with special needs. “Everyone told us to institutionalize him,” she said, “that he would be functioning at the lowest levels, and […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 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.9 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.11 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.3 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.4 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...