Raising a Child with a Developmental Difference
More Than Most...
Children with developmental differences often need to work harder and longer at things than most of their peer group. Over time, your child can easily become disheartened watching other children excel while his/her own progress might feel stagnant. As a way to place emotional guards around this experience, your child may eventually put more effort into pushing back than persevering through challenges. Often, this is an early warning sign of poor self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness.
While parents are encouraged to learn more about their child's challenges, it can be overwhelming to sift through the mountains of, sometimes conflicting, information to be able to efficiently and effectively know how to best support your child's development. While pediatricians, educators, and therapists each provide an integral role in his/her development, research demonstrates the extent to which parents are able to implement expert recommendations in the home to be the strongest predictor for skills development.
No one is more invested in or able to make as meaningful contribution to your child's well-being than you, the parents. I provide thoughtful guidance to parents on how to best support their child's development that directly reflects their individual developmental needs.
Some Areas in Which I Help Parents
In my 20 years of experience, I have found no other childhood disability to have more conflicting information for parents than Autism. This can produce overwhelming feelings of frustration and anxiety for parents wanting to ensure the best possible future for their child. I help parents develop a clearer understanding of how Autism affects children, learn more about effective (and ineffective) treatment options, and, most importantly, learn how parents can support their child's development at home.
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.
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.
Parenting a child with a Learning Disability often requires wearing both an educator's and sergeant's hat. This is because parents often find they are spending the hours between school dismissal and bedtime locked in battle with their child around homework. It can be incredibly difficult to ascertain whether your child's resistance is rooted in inability or lack of effort. I help parents differentiate between their child's genuine learning challenges and avoidant-coping strategies. From there, we can develop school advocacy strategies as well as learn to how to better respond to your child's anxiety to better support learning effectiveness.
What to Expect During Your First Appointment
During our initial 60-minute appointment we will explore areas of difficulty you are experiencing with your child and concerns you may have for him/her outside the home. As part of this process, we can develop a better understanding of how these difficulties and concerns may be affecting your own sense of personal well-being. Once we have an initial impression of some of the challenges you are facing, we can begin to piece together a more hopeful vision you have for your child's future, ultimately informing what our best steps forward will be.
It is helpful if you come prepared to talk in specifics around current challenges, ways you have tried to address those challenges in the past and to what extent you feel those efforts were or were not helpful. While it is ideal for both parents to be participate during sessions, we can explore alternate ways he/she could be involved should that be of interest to you. My intention is that by the end of your first appointment you will be better prepared to address some of the challenges you are experiencing while feeling a sense of renewed hope for the future for both you and your child.
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