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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)

Revised May 10, 2021. I visited a kindergarten classroom to observe “Byron”, 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 […]

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The Essential Question to Ask Before You Discipline a Toddler

Susan was enjoying a weekend breakfast with her family when her three-year-old son, “Marcus”, suddenly hit his big sister. When Susan reached out to pick him up, Marcus abruptly threw his head back, knocking Susan in the mouth so hard that she bled. Susan was stunned, at once furious and confused. Why did her son […]

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A New Lens for Understanding Behavior Problems

Six-year-old “Yvonne” was an only child and the apple of her parents’ eyes. After she was diagnosed with developmental differences, they enrolled her in a preschool class that included typical children as well as those with special needs. She did so well that the following year she moved to a mainstream kindergarten class. Just a […]

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Parenting: When Being Consistent Backfires

As a psychologist, I frequently hear the same complaint from frustrated parents.  We have made every effort to be consistent in disciplining our child, they say, but our child’s problematic behaviors won’t go away. In other words, what should you do when consistency fails? Consider “Maya”, who as a toddler was pegged as a “spirited” […]

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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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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 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.7 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.9 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.2 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.3 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...