Saturday, December 31, 2016

Forgiveness and the New Year!

Why not make Forgiveness your New Year’s Resolution?  “Stress Relief is probably the chief factor connecting forgiveness and well being.” From the January 2017 issue of Monitor on Psychology- article entitled- “Forgiveness Can Improve Mental Health and Physical Health. Research Shows How to Get There” by Kirsten Weir.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sensory Processing Disorder- Is it Real?

From the American Board of Pediatrics- “…there is no universally accepted framework for diagnosis; sensory processing disorder generally should not be diagnosed.”
Proponents believe that children with Sensory Processing Disorder have difficulty processing outside stimuli that can affect learning, behavior, attention and daily tasks.
Parents should work with their pediatrician and other clinicians to fully investigate treatments recommended as there may be other diagnosis that should be assessed.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Angela Duckworth’s new book, defines Passion and Perseverance as two keys to Grit. One area she is looking into involves  “Outward Bound “ and why this model can affect some kids to get “grittier.” Outdoor programs are intentional in pushing kids to solve problems and overcome difficulties in nature treks. In parenting teens and children it is recommended to not solve all problems and issues that the young person may come up against. It is important to let the young person know that they have unconditional support, but with the expectation that they have the capability to work through issues.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Psychotic Symptoms, Teen Boys, Marijuana

Each year that teen boys use marijuana weekly, their subclinical psychotic symptoms rose by 21%. The increase was greatest for paranoia. Adolescent boys are at increased risk of persistent subclinical levels of psychotic symptoms. This can include paranoia and hallucinations even after stopping. The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center did this study. As marijuana becomes legalized, the understanding should be that it is still a drug and not for developing brains.

Friday, August 26, 2016

ADHD and the Office of Civil Rights

One in nine complaints to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education is related to students with ADHD. The OCR found that school districts were not properly evaluating students and also not offering the services required for students to succeed. The OCR has written a letter to provide guidance to schools on the Federal Obligations they must meet.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Special Education

Wright’s Law website is the place to go if you want to know more about special education.   I was lucky enough that a parent sent me this website and I’ve been a fan ever since. The classes in special education that I took in college gave me the foundation, but this website keeps me up to date so that I can continue to build a deeper knowledge structure!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bipolar and ADHD

20% of people with ADHD will develop Bipolar Disorder. But, how to distinguish the two diagnosis. The symptoms can be similar-impulsivity, hyperactivity, emotional dysregulation, etc. This article explains the differences- for example- with bipolar and depressive episodes there is a loss of interest in enjoyable activities, while with ADHD it can be a temporary loss of interest.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ride a Bike or Play on the Computer?

More children between the ages of two and five can play computer games than can tie their shoes or ride a bike. Relying on video games to soothe a fussy child has negative impact and can contribute to decreased ability to self regulate and a host of other issues.  Read more here-

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Power and Trust!

Power is given to us!
The ability of the powerful to be leaders and create change is based on the willingness of others to have trust in them. Power is given, not taken!  Power is most long lasting when it is focused on benevolent behavior for the good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Work-Life Balance

“The sin of the early 21st century is being nonproductive. We’re conditioned by our culture to equate value with productivity.” So states, John F. Christensen, PhD. Here are 8 research-based strategies for better balance recommended for psychologists. 1. Practice mindfulness, 2. Look for silver linings. 3. Draw from positive psychology. 4. Take advantage of social support. 5. Seek out good supervisors. 6. Get moving. 7. Go outside. 8. Make your life meaningful. Good advice for everyone! Read the full article here,

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dyxlexia and Assembly Bill 1369

This new law goes into effect at the start of the 2017-18 school year and will help thousands of students get the help they need before they begin to fail in school. Teachers will have access to proven, evidence-based approaches for teaching reading to students. “The legislation will require schools that are testing struggling readers to test students’ “phonological processing,” which is the ability to discriminate and manipulate sounds at the sentence, word, syllable and individual sound level.” Read more here-

Monday, June 20, 2016

Marijuana will help me with my ADHD and it’s not a Drug!

Teenagers need to know the facts about Marijuana and how it will affect their brain now and into the future. Research has shown that education in conjunction with medication (prescribed by a physician) seems to be the most effective treatment for ADHD. Here is an article that will educate your teen on how marijuana actually affects ADHD.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

PTSD doesn’t only affect veterans. Here are the four symptoms of PTSD- Re-Experiencing, Hyper-arousal, Feeling Worse About Yourself or the World, and Avoidance.   Stress related symptoms lasting more than three months after a trauma indicate its time to get help. Read more here- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs- National Center for PTSD.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Talk about it- Mental Illness!

One in five teens and young adults have mental illness. It shouldn’t be a stigma and it is important to talk about. offers that opportunity. 
There is help and there is support.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Early Onset-Dementia and Schizophrenia Research

The thought is that the brain’s immune system can go awry and over prune the brain synapses. This can be a reason for neuro-generative diseases. An overabundance of complement protein appears to cause too many synapses to be tagged for destruction by the microglia. There is much research still to be done. You can read more at this UCSF website.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bipolar and Fitness

I just came across a great website for people with Bipolar.

There is also a magazine that you can subscribe to. I read an interesting article in BP Magazine entitled “Pump Up Your Fitness IQ,” by Michelle Roberts. Here are the eight common mistakes that tend to derail a fitness program. 1. Overestimating the time commitment, 2. All-or-nothing attitude, 3. Not enough shut-eye, 4. Picking the wrong pursuit, 5. Thinking cardio is enough, 6. Underestimating your eating, 7. Never changing your workout, 8. Measuring the wrong results.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Ninth Circuit Court Opinion in Support of Students!

The Court System has further defined accessibility for students with learning disabilities. They found that Functional Behavioral Analysis and Behavior Intervention Plans are important in allowing access to education for students with behavioral needs. It was further found that school districts have the obligation to gather data to evaluate the needs of students with disabilities. In addition, school districts have specialized expertise in determining accommodations (even if the parent has not made the specific request). Read the full opinion here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Who is more addicted to Technology? Parents or Kids?

We worry about technology addiction with young people. But, maybe we should look at parents and their addiction to smart phones. According to the CDC, smartphone use may be behind a 10 percent increase in unintentional childhood injuries. And young kids are complaining that they have to compete with their parent’s devices for attention. The recommendation is for parents to take a time out from their cell phones. Parents can then take time to mentor their children and have conversations, which will create empathy. Parents can model that it is ok to be bored and we don’t need to be entertained at all times. Boredom can create imagination. Read more in Monitor on Psychology, February 2016 issue.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Guidelines for Documents needed for SAT and ACT Accommodations

The US Department of Justice-Civil Rights Division-Disability Rights Section has recently published a clarification of the requirements that need to be met for Testing Accommodations on standardized examinations. This is important for students needing to receive accommodations on such exams as the ACT or SAT.  The guidelines clarify the documentation needed and require the response to request for testing accommodations to be completed in a timely manner.
The ADA lists the types of documentation that should be sufficient to support the request.
Examples of types of documentation include:
Recommendations of qualified professionals;
Proof of past testing accommodations;
Observations by educators;
Results of psycho-educational or other professional evaluations;
An applicant’s history of diagnosis; and
An applicant’s statement of his or her history regarding testing accommodations.
Read the full letter from the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) here-

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Al-anon helps!

If you are a parent of a teen or young adult who is using drugs or alcohol, going to an Al-Anon meeting can be a significant help for your own well-being, understanding and support. Often parents think that the substance use is “not that bad” but sometimes it is. And if you are worrying and concerned, then the use has probably escalated to the point it is impacting your family. There is hope and support. Consider taking that first step and going to an Al-Anon meeting.