Archive for February, 2013

Got impulsive, distracted, overwhelmed kids? “Egads, what do I do to help my attention deficit, impulsive (ADD/ADHD) child?”

February 25th, 2013

 ARE YOU A PARENT OR PROFESSIONAL? 

Are you looking for ways to help your child become more organized and focused? Tired of always reminding them to do what you asked? Frustrated by forgotten school work, disorganized rooms, and “I need that by tomorrow” last minute shopping trips? Worried that your child will not have the skills to succeed as a responsible independent adult?

It’s scary and overwhelming… so let’s come up with a plan to help your child and take of some of the stress and worry off you.

Join the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) monthly Support Call Tuesday, February 26th. Dr. Laura will be speaking on the topic “Egads, what do I do to help my attention deficit, impulsive (ADD/ADHD) child?”

You suspect your child has ADHD, or perhaps you work with children who have impulsivity issues. You may be wondering if this term is being over used (and over diagnosed), you want to explore alternatives to medication, or provide the families your work with more concrete skills to help their child. Don’t miss this informative support call on a topic that impacts so many children & families!

On this call you’ll discover:

  • The struggles that parents of children with impulsivity and attention issues face. It’s good to know you’re not alone and what to expect if your child is diagnosed or you suspect that they have ADD/ADHD.
  • You’ll leave with a better understanding of your child’s behaviors and some of the things parents try to do that just don’t seem to work (and may make things even worse).
  • As a professional you may want to throw your hands-up in the air because of frustration and lack of changes. Before you do so you’ll want to learn more about how what you’re saying just may not “stick to the brain” of a child with ADD/ADHD.
  • I’ll reveal of “how-to”, easy to implement, creative tips and strategies that will help diminish power struggles over homework, daily tasks, and listening, so your child is set-up with skills for success.

You’ll leave this call with empowering information and a plan to help children with ADD/ADHD. Don’t miss this complimentary call for IPPC members. Click here to find out more


Can you hear me now? What’s up when your child is acting out

February 19th, 2013

Your child tells their brother to stop hitting them, they aren’t listening, the fighting begins and someone ends up crying “mmmoooooommmmmm”,

Your teen asks if they can go on Facebook, you tell them no, and find them pretending to do homework while chatting with their friends online,

You told your daughter she has to watch her bother’s game and she spends the afternoon whining and complaining that she hates her bother,

Your child wants to go to McDonald’s on the way home from school and when you say no, he has a fit for 30 minutes,

Your child’s sister is on the computer/tv/phone, and it’s unfair. You hear about how wrong you are for the rest of the night,

Your child comes home from your ex’s house from a weekend visit and all of a sudden you are the “bad guy” for asking them about homework.

It seems like you can’t win, and  no matter what you do your child is upset or angry and once again they are yelling or arguing. Is there really such a thing as a peaceful home?

Here’s the scoop- all of our behaviors are an attempt to get our needs met, and each of us have different needs we are trying to meet. Some of us want more freedom, some want more control, some want to feel safe, some want to feel loved and understood, and some want more fun. Our needs are so very different, and when we are feeling like our needs are not being met, watch out- that’s when the negative behaviors arise. Depending upon who you are (and your life experience) you may shutdown or act out when you’re feeling like your your not being understood or your needs aren’t being met.

Often those negative behaviors are ways of communicating without the words- yelling, pouting, hitting, tantrums, are all ways of expressing, “can you hear me now?”

Not the best the ways to get your needs met, for sure.

So how can you help your child (spouse/partner) express their needs and feelings in a positive way?

CQ Playful Creative Activity:           

Bust out the art supplies! Help your child identify what’s important to them. Create images, words, collages of what they like, what is meaningful in their lives. Help them put words to what’s important. This will help you understand why they are so upset when their brother changes the channel when they are watching Sponge Bob. You can help by validating their feelings, “I know it’s important to you and you feel upset”.
Use art to explore choices, create images or a collage of things they can do when they are feeling upset. Help them to identify ways they can get their needs met, and if they aren’t able to get what they want, things that they can do to help them calm down. Sometimes knowing you are heard and that you have choices is a pretty powerful tool that can diffuse reactive behaviors.

Use art to encourage identifying and expressing feelings. Sometimes it’s hard to verbalize or even understand a painful experience. The use of art materials can provide a safe container for self-expression.

Are you in need of some more support to help your child? Join the International Parents & Professionals Community– We’ve got lots of resources, 24/7 access to information to help your child whenever you need it, a group of awesome community members, plus you”ll have access to the upcoming February Support Call “Egads, what do I do to help my attention deficit, impulsive (ADD/ADHD) child?”

Need more support for your child, or you’re looking for child or family art therapy in the Sarasota, Fl area? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Laura by clicking here.


Paint Brushes NOT Pills & Markers NOT Medicine

February 5th, 2013

The CQ is on a mission these days, so inspired by the possibilities of how connecting with our creativity can help transform our lives, our communities, and our planet. There is a shift happening, a movement from intellectualizing and rationalizing to embracing intuition, creativity, and connection. The cool part is that brain based research is leading the way on new developments on happiness, compassion, and awareness as treatments for mental health.  The feature article Paint Brushes NOT Pills & Markers NOT Medicine is the CQ’s declaration of a Creative Revolution from the new possibilities that are emerging, and how you can join the Creative Revolution!

I’ve been following mental health and medication treatment options since the 1980’s, when I began working at an agency for individuals with disabilities. The folks I worked with ranged from those who lived independently in their own apartments to those individuals who required extensive 1:1 supervision to meet their daily needs and prevent them from hurting themselves or others.

 

The advent of medication allowed many individuals who lived in mental institutions to become more independent. I saw firsthand people who were institutionalized for most of their lives become actively engaged in their community, and live a more fulfilling life. I was trained to give medications and learn the various side effects, and I felt it greatly benefited the individuals in need.

 

Fast forward several decades (I know the queen is aging herself) and it seems like everyone has a diagnosis these days. It’s great that there is so much awareness around mental health; consequently, it almost becomes a point of identity for so many teens and young adults. They jokingly reference their diagnosis, google disorders and label themselves or their friends. Yes, it helps to have language to understand your thoughts and behaviors, and at times it seems to be part of kid’s core identity (and when you identify yourself a certain way it’s hard to see yourself, or for others to see you, differently).

 

However, there is a new movement, one I am so very excited about. These are the parents and professionals who understand a need for a common language of diagnosis, and for medications to be used, only when they are absolutely necessary. These parents & professionals are the next generation, realizing that a pill is not “the” solution and that a label does not define their child. These parents are much more interested in finding solutions, having their children learn new skills, and teach ways to shift behaviors and thoughts and emotions (yay for cognitive behavioral therapy-CBT).

 

I imagine if you are reading this you are of this TRIBE and we are a powerful group that will shake up the mental health system (more yays)!

 

So you ask, what’s up with the title? Paint Brushes NOT Pills & Markers NOT Medicine!

 

It’s time to start a Creative Revolution to help our children learn to cope without initially reaching for a pill.

 

How can we bring art into the lives of children to help them manage with difficult behaviors and feelings? By becoming a Creative Revolutionist!

Become a Creative Revolutionist and set your child up for life-long success:

  • Encourage creative outlets to channel their energy, anger, sadness, and worries.

 

  • Teach them how to express their voice through art, music, writing, dance, and theatre.

 

  • Retrain the brain with creativity: Help improve focus with stimulating creative activities that require attention, mindfulness, and awareness of how their bodies, thoughts, and feelings are responding.

 

  • Sit with a child and help them build a challenging project and model how to manage frustrations in a positive way.

 

  • Allow for messy creative play with materials to encourage cognitive and physical flexibility.

 

  • Build something detail orientated that requires commitment to a project over a long period of time.

 

  • Bond over doing a project together, there is nothing like sitting at the same table working together on an activity to build connection.

 

  • Shoot a video of your child teaching you a new technique or activity, boosting their confidence and mastery.

 

  • Work on small projects that require patience.

 

  • Create imaginary worlds to work through problems they are encountering with peers of siblings.

 

I ask you: how can we support children so that they see themselves as so much more than a diagnosis, how can they learn the skills to cope with life’s difficulties, how can they learn to tap into their creative potential to shine their unique brilliance?

 

Let’s pioneer this Creative Revolution together!