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Raising Your Child with a Developmental Difference

You're nothing short of magical and beautiful to me. ~ Brandi Carlile

Empowering Parents of Children with Developmental Differences

For parents of newly diagnosed children, it is so important to develop a solid understanding of the diagnosis, treatment options, and how to advocate in a school setting.  While outside professionals are working in your child's best interest, no one is more invested in your child's happiness and success than you. This is why parents who learn how to best support their child's developmental needs not only feel more connected with their children but also see significant learning strides in their children as compared to less informed parents. 

Hot Air Balloons

Parenting A Child with Autism

Inside of Hot Air Balloon

There is a quote, "You've met one child with Autism, you've met one child with Autism." Capturing what Autism looks like is truly case-by-case. Tragically, in my 20+ years working with families affected by Autism, I have found no other diagnosis more misrepresented by the media, misunderstood by "professionals," and mishandled by well-intentioned but overwhelmed educators. This often leads parents of children diagnosed with Autism on an avoidably heartbreaking hit-and-miss approach in securing the best services for their child. Trying to rationally sort through available therapeutic options (many simply not helpful), unsolicited, but well-meaning, advice from friends and family and judgmental comments and gestures by the completely uninformed is a heavy burden.

 

In my work, I listen to parental fears and hopes for their child so that together we are able to critically examine potential gains and limitations of considered treatments, and (most importantly) learn ways to parent that supports development of lagging skills associated with Autism.

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Inside of Hot Air Balloon

Parenting a Child with ADHD

Raising a child with ADHD can challenge even the most patient parent. While most children diagnosed with ADHD eventually outgrow overt hyperactivity, they often continue to struggle with focus, planning & organization, and self-regulation into adolescence. Without appropriate parental investment, they are at greater risk for mental health issues, academic problems, unhealthy relationships and even addictive behaviors. I help parents learn how to foster key skills in their children to reduce these risks in a way that strengthens the parent-child relationship.

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Hot Air Balloons

Parenting a Child with OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder which drives unhelpful thoughts and fears that often lead to compulsive behaviors. For kids, it's like having an inescapable bully that intrudes into every aspect of their life. This can be both frustrating and heartbreaking for parents to watch. The good news is parents can play a crucial role in mitigating symptoms of OCD. In my work with parents, we will review ways in which they can best support their child's progress toward a bully-free world.

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Why Parent Participation Outside of Child Therapy and Educational Supports Matter

Research indicates parental understanding of their child's needs to be one of the strongest predictors for outcome. Additionally, parents without adequate outside supports are at greater risk for mental & physical health problems, feelings of isolation, and marital distress. I use my expertise in developmental differences to help parents become more successful in fostering their child's own unique emotional, developmental and learning needs in a way that strengthens connection with their child.

Certainly, parents should consult with their child's pediatrician and/or a licensed mental health professional when concerns for mental health and developmental delays arise. However, regardless of whether your child benefits from outside supports, parents who receive help from an expert in Child Development report higher levels of parenting satisfaction, lower mental health concerns, and a better relationship with their child. And, not unimportantly, simply have more fun being a parent.