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Why We Can’t Let Play Disappear from Children’s Lives

An essential ingredient has been slowly disappearing from children’s lives: free, spontaneous play. Many factors have converged to cause the decline of play. Technology absorbs more and more of children’s attention. Schools pile on academic pressures earlier and earlier. And parents are increasingly opting to place their children in structured extracurricular activities. That makes today’s […]

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Autism Approaches Should Respect Children’s Emotions

Nearly thirty years ago, as a newly minted clinical psychologist, I was fortunate to learn about social-emotional development from the writings of such pioneers as John Bowlby, who launched the field of study known as attachment theory. Bowlby was among the first to recognize the importance of early emotional attachments and their positive impact on […]

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Deconstructing Oppositional Defiant Disorder

By the time Stuart hit second grade, his teachers had pegged him as a “problem child.” They knew he came from a loving home and could discern right from wrong, but still, he frequently started fights and caused classroom outbursts. By tenth grade, he had been in and out of various therapies and special schools. His […]

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The Pacifier Question: Why Not to Make Your Toddler Go Cold Turkey

Robby was two years old when his dentist told his parents that it was time to lose the pacifier. Concerned at the professional’s warning that using it was causing misalignment of the boy’s jaw, they took heed and soon made it disappear. That’s when the trouble began. Before long Robby had difficulty falling asleep. Within […]

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Autism Acceptance: How Celebrating Differences Can Stop Bullying

It seemed like simple gesture. A college football player who was visiting a middle school spotted a red-haired sixth grader eating lunch alone, so he joined him. Then the boy’s mother posted a photo on Facebook capturing the moment: her autistic son sitting across a cafeteria table from Travis Rudolph, the Florida State University wide […]

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Preferred Interests: Supporting Children on the Autism Spectrum

Thomas was proud of his young son “Roger’s” remarkable knowledge of birds. Roger’s grandmother, an avid bird watcher, had shared birding books and toy bird replicas with the boy when he was young, and he had shown such great enthusiasm for the topic that at age 3, Roger could identify more than 50 types of birds. […]

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Ten Things to ask for when Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism or Developmental Differences

As a pediatric psychologist I know that families’ journeys can be fraught with unexpected challenges. Discovering that your child has differences can be daunting. And sometimes, making sure that your child’s needs are properly met by the outside world can be even more stressful. One aspect I am especially passionate about as a psychologist is […]

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Toddlers’ Mental Health: The Drawbacks of a Diagnosis

Recently a pediatrician phoned me with a concern about a three-year-old patient I see in my psychology practice. During a routine visit, the doctor said, “Karson” had bitten him.  In fact, the young child had a history of behavior problems. “Do you think there’s a diagnosis?” the doctor asked me. I told her I wasn’t a fan […]

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Toddler Tantrums: Help from Neuroscience

Charlie’s parents felt like they were walking on eggshells. A simple family party often set off the three year-old. The unfamiliar setting, the commotion, and relatives trying to hug and kiss the boy could easily send him into a kicking and screaming fit. Usually quiet, Charlie routinely burst into tantrums for reasons neither his parents nor […]

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Mona’s Facebook

Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 hour ago
Dear Friends, THANK YOU for your support! Yesterday was a wild Amazon ride, as the book sold out immediately! Anyway, Amazon figured it out and you should receive copies very soon. GRATITIDE to PESI & to Tom Fields-Meyer, my editor, AND mostly, ALL OF YOU for your interest not only in the book, but the cause. I can't wait to hear what you think! Mona ❤️
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 day ago
It's Publication day!

I'm so excited to be sharing an approach to reduce suffering for children and teens who are so often misunderstood.

My heartfelt gratitude to all of you who helped me write this book by offering advice and sharing your stories. A special thank you to my incredible editor Tom Fields-Meyer, and colleagues, Tina Payne Bryson, Katie Hurley, LCSW Dona Matthews Joanne Foster Megan Stilwill Mim Ochsenbein Nicole Schwarz, Imperfect Families Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. Profectum Laura Markham Serena Wieder & Dr. Stephen Porges, and too many others who have been so supportive!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
Tomorrow is Launch Day!
I wrote the book because I've witnessed too much suffering resulting from our outdated approaches for our most behaviorally challenged children. Together we can create a paradigm shift away from shame and blame and towards an appreciation for neurodevelopment & compassion.
❤️ Thank you for all your support for this project over the past year!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
Amidst the popular focus on self-regulation among professionals, educators and parents, too often we miss a significant point: we cannot really "teach" a child to self-regulate. #neurodevelopment #challengingbehaviors #resilience #childwelfare #beyondbehaviors #selfregulation #selfcompassion #ACES
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 week ago
We had a wonderful conference put on by the Profectum Foundation this past weekend. We learned how PLAY heals trauma and supports children's development. So much fun seeing treasured colleagues from around the globe! Special thanks to Kendra Delahooke MFT, my daughter & colleague who snapped photos & joined the DIR community & to PESI Publishing -- rushed copies to the conference where I had my first book signing! Launch in one week! #shiftingparadigms #childwelfare #neurodiversity #Beyondbehaviors
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 weeks ago
Great day at the Profectum Conference in San Marino, Ca. Here's the FB live feed of my closing words about the power of Play. #playbased #DIR #Beyondbehaviors #Preschoolsuspensions #resilience #childwelfare #fostercare
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.