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Being “Nonverbal” Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Think

When professionals automatically equate “nonspeaking” with “low functioning,” they underestimate student’s intellectual capacities, often removing children from inclusive programs to place them in separate special education classes that may not be appropriate or academically sufficient.

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Picky Eating: A Precursor of Trouble Down the Line?

A three-year-old eats only chicken nuggets and french fries. A four-year-old limits her diet to light-brown crackers and bagels. These children are considered “selective eaters” to pediatricians. Moms and dads know them as “picky eaters.” A study released this week in the journal Pediatrics found that moderate and severe cases of selective eating in toddlers […]

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Disorderism: How to Make Sure People See Your Child and Not a Diagnosis

How to make sure people see your child, and not a disorder.

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The Hidden Costs of Planned Ignoring

There are downsides to planned ignoring in behavioral therapies and ABA. This article describes what they are.

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When the Tantrums Won’t Stop: Understanding the Impact of Sensory Triggers

“Alicia” was an active, talkative four-year-old, but even the smallest change in her morning routine could throw her into fits of whining, crying, and hitting. If her mother tried to put her in a top other than one of two soft, light-blue t-shirts she preferred, Alicia screamed and sobbed wildly. Just being in  crowded restaurants […]

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Building Resilience for You and Your Child

I am very grateful to the Kids in the House Organization for the opportunity to support parents and caregivers through their extensive videotape library. Here I share four things parents can do to build resilience in yourself and your child. It’s often difficult to prioritize self-care when the world is spinning so quickly and your schedule […]

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Attention Seeking for a Purpose: Understanding Behaviors in a New Way

This post explores a new way of viewing attention seeking behaviors.

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Three Ways to Help your Special Needs Child Feel Safe and Loved

Recently, while waiting in a school office for a meeting to begin, I noticed a little boy at an empty desk, staring out a window.  A secretary was busy working as staff came and went, and as I waited, I wondered why this little boy was there.  On my way out he was still there, […]

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Tuning in to the Emotional Lives of Children with Special Needs

One of my trusted guides about the world of autism treatment is Ido Kedar, a talented high school senior who blogs at Ido in Autismland. Here’s what Ido has to say about the professionals who worked with him over many years: “My experts have missed the mark most of my life. Kind of like a […]

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 day ago
The look on your face nourishes the soul of the person you are smiling at--I try to always remember this. Thanks Marilyn Price-Mitchell at Roots of Action for sharing! #Resilience #Brainhealth #relationshipsmatter #education #specialed #earlyintervention
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
For those interested in the top-down/bottom-up discussion, here's some background info---When we don't understand the difference, it leads to an Expectation Gap. And not just for toddlers, but for all ages. #Expectationgap #toddlerbehaviors #tantrums #positiveparenting #resilience #earlyintervention #socialemotional #polyvagaltheory https://monadelahooke.com/1210-2/
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
Many have asked me about the difference between top-down and bottom-up behaviors. A common misperception is that all children's behaviors are top-down -- deliberate misbehaving-- and so they are managed through punishments, consequences or rewards.

That’s the problem. Not all behaviors are top-down; many disruptive behaviors are actually bottom-up.

Bottom-up behaviors do not respond to rewards, consequences or punishments. They are brain-based stress behaviors that require understanding, compassion and actively helping a child feel safe. When we punish a bottom-up behavior, we can easily make matters worse. And this is why so many of our approaches fall short, or even deepen a child or teen’s emotional and behavioral challenges. Understanding the difference will reduce suffering for so many—including those from loving homes, to foster children who have been needlessly blamed for their behaviors, and neurodivergent children inappropriately disciplined for their natural inclinations. #Beyondbehaviors #ACES #Parenting #Paradigmshift #Neurodiversity #specialeducation #Childwelfare
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
Thanks Hidden Treasure with Tracey Farrell for this reframe, great synchrony with #Beyondbehaviors!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 days ago
Thanks DMDD Journey for such a nice reframe of the term "attention-seeking". #Beyondbehaviors #relationshipsfirst