neurological differences

Neurological Differences: The Strength and Weakness

Neurological differences, just like any differences, are part of nature. Sometimes children are born with these neurological differences, like Tourette’s Syndrome, epilepsy, or autism, but sometimes they come later in life.

I recently came across this video from a neurologist who had a very interesting point of view, perhaps a more optimistic one. In his video, he states how neurological differences are important. He also states how there is a possible positive side effect to the difference.

It is important to look not just simply to think in terms of defects and problems, but in different ways of doing things, in different ways of functioning. -Oliver Sacks

It is important still to explore the differences. Help the brain wherever you can, but also excepting one another and realizing the power of one’s differences in truly a beautiful thing.

Some children may require various amounts of therapy and accommodations. Schooling may have to be modified, or it may be their strength. Each child, just like their brain is very unique. It is important to assess the child. Figure out what exactly they need. It is also important to help them find a strength and praise them. No one always wants to feel down and out. The brain is a mysteriously magical thing that has many capabilities. As he talked about in the video, it can compensate for so much. Sometimes children and adults need help finding the right resources to get their brains functioning on the next level, but it’s amazing what the body is capable of doing on its own.

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Social Thinking: How to Improve It

Social Thinking: How to Improve It

Social thinking can be a really hard thing for people of all ages, but kids can start learning it at a young age. Here are some ideas and tips for you to get the ball rolling at home or school:

  • Thoughts and Feelings– Everyone has thoughts and feelings. Making children aware of their own thoughts and feelings can be a good first step. After that, try and get them to imagine what others might feel like. ‘Sarah’s crayon broke. She might be ____.’ Making them aware of them self and others makes life easier in the long haul.
  • Group Plan– When doing an activity, there is normally a group plan. It may be spoken or unspoken. It maybe as simple as we are all going to get the mail or play a game. Every activity has unspoken rules. If a child is having difficulty, it may be important to brainstorm the normally unspoken rules to make sure they fully understand the plan before being held accountable. Once everyone understands the group plan, then the child can be reminded to stick to it.
  • Body in the Group– Groups occur throughout the day. If your body is wandering, you are no longer part of the group. The child may need reminders to rejoin the group.
  • Thinking with the Eyes- People tend to think about what they are looking at (of course this isn’t always true for all kids), but if the child is ready for it ask them to engage visually in the social thinking of the group.
  • Whole body Listening– This of course includes having your body in the group and your eyes engaged, but also thinking about what the rest of your body should be doing. Probably semi-quiet hands and feet that are also pointed toward the person speaking. Body language is so important.
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Intervention for OCD obsessive-conpulssive disorder

Intervention for OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Intervention for OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, starts with knowing the root cause. OCD stems from anxiety taking over part of a person’s life. Often this is thought of as someone with Mysophobia (a fear of germs), and them over cleaning their hands until the point that they are raw, but it can be more than just a physical routine. Anxieties can stem from anything and therefore an individual can create OCD routines of all shapes and sizes over their abnormally large fears of any daily task.

OCD effects both boys and girls equally although boys are often diagnosed earlier than girls. It has been observed in children as young as 3 years of age. Often proper diagnosis of OCD takes many years to aquire. In the U.S., approximately 3.3 million people have OCD, of which 0.3 to 1% of pediatric population and 2% of adult population. OCD is a brain disorder that may have genetic components. It also is believed to be effected by low serotonin levels and is possibly effected by strep.

Children with OCD will constantly be stuck in a state of fight or flight due to their fears. This is one of the first warning signs you can see. They might also have routines that help them cope with this behavior. When the routines are abnormal and the worry is effecting the child’s school work and friendships, it is a good time to seek a medical professionals help.

student

Intervention for OCD treatments normally include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT (recognize obsessive thoughts and behaviors and then use anxiety techniques)
  • Exposure Response Prevention, EX/RP (teaches to relearn to process fear more appropriately and then find better responses to coping with it)
  • Family Counseling (to provide everyone tools and knowledge to cope and understand)
  • School Counseling (to help in the school setting as needed)
  • Parent Training (to provide encouragement and tools to motivate their children to change; specific examples include: modeling, scaffolding, differential attention)
  • Medication (to balance serotonin)
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dyslexia and work place

Dyslexia and Autism in the Work Force

Dyslexia and autism have a place in the work force. Although this video is a year old, I for some reason just came across it. It is a beautifully articulated answer about how people with different abilities find their individual purposes in this world. We all are created differently for different purposes. It is important to remember this and celebrate it. Individual’s with dyslexia and autism also have strengths to draw upon. Neil deGrasse Tyson answers this little girl’s question about whether or not he works with people with individuals with dyslexia fantastically.

Often times it seems people hear the term disability and hear short coming then sell the individual short. In reality however, we all have shortcomings. None of us are perfect. Also the work force is such a diverse place. It is meant for all the vast intellects, social skills, gross motor skills, doers, and problem solvers. Also many of the labels like ‘dyslexia’ and ‘autism’ are broad. The people within them fall into different categories and function on different levels, just like ‘brunettes’ or ‘swimmers.’ They are all broad labels until you know the individual it is hard to truly know the full potential or the lasting impact they can do.

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Mental Health in Kids: What to Know

Did you know there is a whole day that focus’ on Mental health in kids? Today, Thursday, May 7, marks the 10th anniversary of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s, SAMHSA, National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day! Each year, more than 1,100 communities and 136 national organizations, including Federal programs, participate in this celebration. It is because mental health starts at birth. Mental health can be impacted by a variety of things, like genetics and environment. Here are some important facts about parents:

mental health

Note that depression is normal, but it can effect your little one’s mental health and overall development so get help. Talk to a doctor about your concerns. It is also normal for kids starting at birth to have social and emotional problems but talk to a doctor. The earlier you can get intervention the better. For these babies and children with behavioral health challenges the extra services and supports available to them can mean a possibility at demonstrating their remarkable resilience. By truly getting everyone healthy, it is possible for the whole family to lead richer, fuller lives.

mental health

These children tend to have:

  • Negative Feelings
  • Perform poorly in school
  • Have a harder time focusing
  • Lower self-worth
  • Later become involved in unhealthy lifestyle decisions.
  • However, when these children receive intervention services, they can learn skills to live a more advantageous life
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