Topic: Neuroception

As Kids Return to School, Five Ways Teachers Can Support Emotional Health

Whether classrooms are reopening virtually or in person, we’ve never seen a new school year like this one. And never has it been more important for teachers to relieve their students’ stress and bolster mental health. We know that students learn best when their bodies and brains are in a calm, alert state. That’s difficult […]

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Amid the Pandemic, Going Easy on Our Kids — and Ourselves

There has rarely been a time that’s more universally challenging for parents. Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, families across the globe are sequestered at home. While this is the best way to stay safe and keep others safe, it comes with its own difficulties. As a child psychologist, I’m fielding daily calls and emails from […]

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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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What We Can Learn from a Seven-Year-Old’s Arrest

A Florida elementary school made national headlines after video emerged of a police officer hauling off a seven-year-old boy in handcuffs. According to reports, a teacher had scolded the child for playing with his food in the cafeteria and the boy reacted by lashing out at the teacher, repeatedly striking and kicking her. By the […]

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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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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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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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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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