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Sensory Processing and Challenging Behaviors: Below the Iceberg

Grant, age four, was asked to leave two preschools because of misbehavior. With tousled brown hair, big brown eyes, and a playful spirit, he both charmed and confused most of the adults in his life. He had such difficulty following directions that his teachers had to reprimand him every few minutes. They described him as […]

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The Key to Supporting Victims of Childhood Trauma: Safe and Supportive Relationships

Arms and legs shackled, the teenage boy paces back and forth in a courtroom’s holding area as he awaits his hearing. This is “Tim’s” third juvenile hall visit. The charge: punching a security guard who approached him from behind, startling him into an immediate reaction. Anxious, he begins to panic, his eyes darting around the […]

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Mental Health Disorder or a Sensory Processing Challenge?

“Angela” was such a puzzle to her parents and teachers alike. In first grade, she struggled to stay in her seat, and teachers constantly reprimanded her for not listening to instructions. At home, her parents often felt confused by her constant need for movement and habit of jumping off tables and countertops. Her teacher secretly […]

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What to Consider before Starting Childhood Behavioral Therapy

Aly’s sleep problems were becoming so challenging that now her parents were losing sleep. For years, the five-year-old had woken up several times nightly. When a pediatrician’s advice failed to alleviate the problem, her parents sought help from an agency that offered their daughter sleep training using a behavioral approach. After just three weeks, Aly […]

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Three Keys to Helping Children Build Resilience

I was walking on a paved path beside the Pacific Ocean when a little girl approached on a bike, obviously in her first, tentative days of learning to ride. Spotting me in her way, she wobbled a bit to avoid hitting me. As I prepared to help her, she regained her bearings and quickly swerved […]

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The Key to Improving How IEP Teams Support Children’s Social and Emotional Needs

Since his first day of kindergarten, “Justin” had struggled to manage the demands of his new school. When teachers asked him to transition from one activity to the next, he would often fuss, kick or run away. He routinely “overreacted”  to simple tasks and activities, and it seemed that no matter how much praise, or […]

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Why It’s a Mistake to Prioritize Behavior Goals Over Social-Emotional Development

It was almost dinner- time, and little “Max” was hungry and tired. After a busy and active afternoon, he was in the midst of a lengthy home session with his behavior therapist when his mother stepped in the door from work. Smiling with delight, the boy instinctively ran toward the door to offer a greeting, […]

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Early Intervention: Don’t Let a Diagnosis Define Your Child

More children are being identified with developmental challenges and receiving early intervention than ever before. While a diagnosis is critical to securing services to help children develop to their true potential, it can also have unintended negative consequences, including stress and anxiety for parents. It’s essential to find the help, energy and time for services […]

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Emotional Regulation: The Springboard of Children’s Mental Health

When I was young, I couldn’t wait until my grandmother came to stay with us every summer. We sat in the garden for hours, laughing, talking and playing games. With her by my side, I felt that I could face anything. Her loving presence always helped to calm the storms of my childhood mind. Even […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.3 days ago
Momentum!! I'm loving how far Phyllis Steinberg Fagell's post is going to shift the lens. We need not fear bad behaviors, we can learn from them! #Resilience #SocialEmotionalLearning #PositiveParenting #ChallengingBehaviors #BeyondBehaviors
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
Yes, let’s talk about this! And with all due respect let’s talk about how we are defining “preparation” to teach our special ed kids..If we continue to accept the status quo children will continue to be punished and required to undergo compliance training rather than having their Neurodiversity — including their behaviors— properly appreciated and understood. Thanks Edlyn Peña, Ph.D.-Autism Researcher for sharing. #neurodiversity #Beyondbehaviors #compassion
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
My talk about the power of relational safety at the SSP gathering in Florida. It was a professional audience, highlighting Dr. Porges' transformative works, and why I wrote #BeyondBehaviors. #SSP #ProtectiveFactors #SpecialEd #SpecialNeeds #ChallengingBehaviors #ACES #Resilience #Traumainformedcare #Occupationaltherapy
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
The Polyvagal Theory and the Power of Relational Safety
Dr. Delahooke's presentation at the 2019 SSP Gathering in Atlantic Beach, Florida. The Polyvagal theory and the concept of neuroception of Dr. Stephen Porges...
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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Recently--at yet another meeting where a child is accused of "seeking negative attention", I'm reminded of this post. Most vulnerable children don't act out to seek "negative attention". They don't. That's not how the brain works. #resilience #beyondbehaviors #relationshipsfirst #behaviorshavemeaning #SelfCompassion
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Such a fun conversation about our kids-& ourselves-with Dr. Robyn J.A. Silverman