April 29th, 2021
There were moments during the pandemic when it seemed this time might never arrive. But day by day, week by week, children are returning to classrooms. Even as we face the future, it’s important to reflect on how we have all endured a prolonged period of stress. Over many months, we have experienced cues of life […]
January 21st, 2019
Anger, meltdowns, and tantrums get a bad rap. As parents, we worry that these behaviors indicate that our child is choosing to misbehave or that we’re somehow failing as parents. The judgmental stares and glances we get from onlookers only increases those insecure thoughts. We read books about what to do and try to tame […]
March 8th, 2018
After years of struggling with infertility, Julia and Samuel finally decided to adopt. They were thrilled when a social worker called with news of a pair of brothers who needed a home. It took a few months of paperwork, but then they were elated to welcome home “Matt”, 3 and “Rett”, 2. Their new family […]
January 10th, 2018
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 […]
September 28th, 2017
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 […]
March 9th, 2017
Recently a pediatrician phoned me with a concern about a three-year-old patient I see in my psychology practice. During a routine visit, the doctor said, “Karson” had bitten him. In fact, the young child had a history of behavior problems. “Do you think there’s a diagnosis?” the doctor asked me. I told her I wasn’t a fan […]
October 26th, 2016
We can shift our mindset from viewing ODD as manipulative behavior to seeing it as an indicator that the child’s physiological state has shifted to distress, leading to fight or flight behaviors.
October 13th, 2016
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) should be viewed as a child's response to stressors. Porges' concept of neuroception is key in supporting children and creating treatment plans to help them find their way back to emotional regulation.
September 28th, 2016
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) should be viewed as a child’s response to stress. Viewing challenging behaviors on a continuum of stress and stress recovery reveals a whole new way to think about this stigmatizing disorder, as well as a new way to support children, informed by current neuroscience.