Topic: Childhood Anxiety

Lessons From a Six-Year-Old in a Squad Car

The scene on the video is heartbreaking. An adorable six-year-old girl walks away from her elementary school—escorted not by her teacher or a parent, but by a sheriff’s deputy. “Am I going to jail?” the girl asks. “No,” the officer replies, “you’re not going to jail.” Seconds later, the girl slides into the back seat […]

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School Refusal and the Power of Social Engagement

Eight-year-old Charlise struggled to get through nearly every day of third grade. She refused to go to school so often that her mother had to physically escort her into the car, and then into the classroom each day. All week, she complained of stomach aches brought on by anxiety. But at home on the weekend, […]

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Children’s Mental Health: Everyone’s Responsibility

Amelia’s parents contacted me because of a problem in Kindergarten. Her teachers reported that she often began to cry around lunchtime, and when they asked her why she was crying, she couldn’t answer them.  They tried to distract her, and even offered her a trip to the class “store”, (stocked with fun prizes) if she would […]

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The Body Tells the Story: The Promise of Sense Technology in Supporting Vulnerable Children

Improving the well-being of children and families is a priority for Dr. Rosalind Picard, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies “affective computing,” which uses sense technology to increase individuals’well-being using new ways to understand and respond to emotion. Dr. Picard has developed wearable sensors that reveal an individual’s level of cognitive, emotional, […]

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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 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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