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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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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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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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