School Issues Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption & Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder

November 2nd, 2014
We make a lot of fuss over book covers, don’t we. Whether they look cheesy or slick. Whether the publisher is trying to get us to purchase something old repackaged as something new. And, of course, whether we should judge by them or not. About titles, though, there’s less discussion. Which is why I was surprised that ...

Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT & the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children

BOOK REVIEW.
Say "shock therapy" to most people and what comes to mind? For many, it is some version of Jack Nicholson’s experience in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a patient writhing on the table as a crazed doctor sends waves of electricity through his brain, all with disastrous consequences. Even during my psychiatry clerkship as a ...

Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children: Family Therapy & EMDR

BOOK REVIEW.
Meltdowns are common in young children of a certain age. But did you know that meltdowns and emotional outbursts are even more common among children who struggle with attachment issues and traumatic pasts? Many parents — and even some mental health professionals — are uninformed about the particular effects that traumatic experience can have on ...

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCD

Helping Kids Succeed in School Despite OCDRoger’s parents were nervous about the new school year. They remembered how Roger’s OCD had surfaced. His fear of possibly choking on lunch food had kept him away for weeks. This problem subsided, but Roger’s OCD had morphed into contamination ...

Parental Involvement Equals School Success

Parental Involvement Equals School SuccessIt’s already August. Summer is fast coming to a close. For those with children, the end of summer means the beginning of the school year. You can’t ignore it. Stores are displaying notebooks, backpacks and back-to-school clothes. You may be already getting ...

8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents & Schools

BOOK REVIEW.
A school playground aide sees third-grader Riley grab hold of classmate Liza’s scarf and choke her with it. Riley is subsequently viewed as the bully. But is there more to the story? What the aide hasn’t witnessed is the endless ridicule Riley has experienced from Liza and Liza’s best friend, Jada. Liza and Jada have learned ...

Get the Kids Off Those Screens

Get the Kids off Those ScreensIt’s probably not new information for you. American children are now spending more time on the “screens” in their lives than on any other single activity. According to a 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children and teens were spending 50 ...

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: A Mother’s Survival

BOOK REVIEW.
Are you the parent of a child with aggressive and rebellious behavior? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted after homework time, reinforcing rules and boundaries, or dealing with negative school behavior?  If so, you can probably relate to Zenia Marsden, the mother of a child with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and author of Oppositional Defiant Disorder: ...

Overcoming Test Anxiety

Overcoming Test AnxietyAccording to Wikipedia, “test anxiety is a combination of perceived physiological overarousal, feelings of worry and dread, self-deprecating thoughts, tension, and somatic symptoms that occur during test situations. It is a physiological condition in which people experience extreme stress, anxiety, and discomfort during and/or before ...

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

Six Ways to Help your Perfectionist Child Find BalanceFour-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he ...

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding PerfectionistI once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but ...

Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders

BOOK REVIEW.
I heard my share of mean comments about my weight, height, and personality while I was in school, but as someone who has never truly been “bullied,” I always just saw it as part of the growing up process. Thus, I never truly understood what bullying is and the impact it has. As a result, ...

Mental Health for the Whole Child

BOOK REVIEW.
>Children make 3 billion new connections in their brain every second. That is 3 billion opportunities for growth, or 3 billion missed connections.  With rising rates of ADHD, autism, and other mental health disorders in American children, it seems like more and more of these connections are being missed. And medications that we give our kids ...

Child Temperament: New Thinking About the Boundary Between Traits & Illness

BOOK REVIEW.
Are you the firstborn child of your family? Did you turn out to be the most responsible, the parent-pleaser, or the motivated one? According to Alfred Adler and researchers of personality and temperament, firstborns tend to “outperform” their other siblings. In fact, about 21 of the 23 astronauts and the majority of U.S. presidents have ...

The Paradox of Pushing Kids to Succeed

The Paradox of Pushing Kids to SucceedOur teens are embedded in a culture driven by competition and perfectionism, where success is defined by status, performance and appearance. These values are transmitted to our children nonverbally through our emotional state and through what we notice, are impressed ...

The Empty Nest: Opportunity or Crisis?

The Empty Nest: Opportunity or Crisis?Feelings of loss and anxiety about change when the last child leaves home are normal. But it often has been pathologized in popular culture as a disorder, disease or condition that needs treatment. Usually it’s not and it doesn’t. In fact, ...

Effective Classroom Turnaround: Practice Makes Permanent

BOOK REVIEW.
I homeschool my children and regularly teach history and science classes for other home-schooled kids. I’m an okay teacher. The students don’t fall asleep and they seem to retain stuff. But I’d like to be a better teacher. I want all the kids to have fun, to learn, to remember, and to develop a life-long ...

ADHD Among African-Americans

ADHD Among African-AmericansAwareness about and diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in minority populations in the United States has increased over the past decade. The higher numbers diagnosed likely are the result of more widespread attention to signs, symptoms, and diagnosis. As a result, ADHD has ...

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier

BOOK REVIEW.
Peter Gray is a developmental psychologist who studies the growth of human beings over the course of their lifetimes. As his young son began to have more and more difficulty functioning in a traditional school environment, Gray began to focus more of his research on education and the environment in which it is delivered. His ...

ADHD Coaching: Look to the Willow Tree

ADHD Coaching: Look to the Willow TreePartnering with a coach of any kind can lead to rewarding self-discovery. Whether specified as executive, life or career coach, these people are essentially teachers at their core. And as progressive educator/ ...

Prevent the Summer Academic Backslide

Prevent the Summer Academic BackslideIt's a fact. Kids lose academic ground during the summer months. Come September, even the best students are several weeks behind where they were in June. Struggling students can lose up to two months. This is especially true in math and ...

Advocating for Your Child within the School System

Advocating for Your Child within the School System“I’ve had it.” The parent on the phone is incensed. “The teacher just won’t listen to me. My child needs more individual attention. She isn’t a bad kid. She just needs more help. She’s on an education plan ...

5 Warning Signs of Tipping Points in an ADHD Life

5 Warning Signs of Tipping Points in an ADHD LifeRecently, I’ve noticed a pattern in my clients that I call the “tipping point.” The tipping point is basically a time in people’s lives when, for various reasons, the strategies they have been ...