mental health

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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peer mediation

Peer Mediation: How It Helps

Peer mediation can help to resolve an issue constructively with others while also being a tool for a preventative measure for anger management. It is used when trained students lead one another through problems to resolutions. Here are some steps for effective peer mediation:

    1. Agree on ground rules
    2. Each individual gets to tell their side/version of the story
    3. Verify stories
    4. Discuss stories
    5. Generate possible solutions
    6. Discuss solutions
    7. Select a solution
    8. Sign a contract

peer mediation

Things to think about if it is working correctly in order to evaluate the process:

  • Are the students working through it?
  • After the meeting, are students staying accountable for their contracts (adult guidance may be needed)
  • After meeting, each party should no longer be discussing issues and matters should be kept private

Peer mediation is a simple process in order to help students help themselves and become more accountable. It is used as a tool in preparing them for adulthood. It is also wisely used at a time when they are more likely to listen to their peers and less interested in what an adult has to say. It is important that they are always supervised however as ultimately they are still children.

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early detection of autism

Early Detection of Autism: A Key to Changing the Future

Early detection of autism may be able to change the path of development of the child and alter the severity of effects from be predisposed to inheriting autism. Now as far as the actual cause of autism there are many beliefs, some of which I discuss in other posts, but early detection means early treatment. This can greatly impact the child’s future. Also  autistic minds are predisposed to be great at things some of us really struggle with…treatment does not mean the child will loose these great strengths.

early detection of autism

A new research article found that there is a quantitative link between how long a baby makes eye contact and the likelihood of being diagnosed with autism down the road. This does not occur directly at birth, but a couple months down the road. Meaning that detection of autism could occur at six months and treatment could begin soon after. So if you are a parent or caregiver and notice your child’s fascination of eye contact decreasing from 2 to 6 months instead of increasing, you might want to talk to your doctor about this. The severity of the change of interest in eye contact may also be related to the severity of autism, so please interact with your child regularly and notice their personal cues to you about how they are taking in their environment. Developmental Pediatrician are trained to know disabilities, and if you feel you want more information after speaking to your pediatrician, they could be of great value to you. Also please note that they are using eye detecting equipment (look at photo above), so if you do not catch this change do not feel guilty.

Early detection of autism comes down to of course more than just eye contact but that is an easier one to measure quantitatively. New head way also needs to be made in the treatment of younger children. Currently treatments are available for those after 18 months, but do not let that deter you from talking to your doctor. Treatment plans can take many months to get in place, so the sooner you head toward treatment the better off your child’s long term trajectory could be.

Find out more on Baby’s Gaze May Signal Autism

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early sexual activity in children

Early Sexual Activity in Children: Know the Facts & Help Your Child

Early sexual activity in children can occur for a myriad of reason and with a wide variety of consequences. Here are some facts to know in order to help your kids:

Reasons of Early Sexual Activity

  • Today’s culture promotes early sexual activity with little regard to the consequences
  • Students are inundated by the message that early sexual activity is an acceptable decision that will promote popularity and solid relationships
  • Lack of communication at home whether about why to be abstinent or protection
  • Overall lack of sex education
  • Lack of monitoring by responsible adult (either outside of the home or within the home)
  • Peer Pressure
  • Contradicting messages from family, school, friends, and the media
  • Self-doubt
  • Lack of education while going through radical physical/hormonal changes
  • Low self-esteem

early sexual activity in children

Consequences of Early Sexual Activity:

  • Self esteem issues
  • Stress of an image or reputation to uphold
  • Center of critiques from others, often negative
  • Change in attitude towards school and authority
  • Difficult time focusing on her school work
  • Loss of respect toward adults
  • Provocative clothing
  • Contracting a disease
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Adolescents who have sex early are less likely to use contraception, putting them at greater risk of pregnancy and STDs

Between 2006 and 2008, 14 percent of female adolescents and 25 percent of male adolescents had sex for the first time with someone they had just met or with whom they were “just friends.” –National Center for Health Statistics

How to Help Your Child

  • Talk with them openly
  • Be supportive
  • Encourage positive outlets
  • Educate them on sex
  • Monitor your child: know where they are at all times
  • Watch for warning signs, like sudden withdrawal
  • Get them involved in positive activities
  • Know your child’s friends and their significant others
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autism

Autism: ABA Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis, Getting the Facts

autism

Autism effects a wide spread demographic. One therapy that is often sought out to help those effected with Autism. ABA refers to Applied Behavior Analysis. It used to be referred to as behavior modification. ABA is based on the theories of behaviorism. It focuses on using consequences to teach now and effectively teach skills for the future. Although ABA is predominately used for those individual’s with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the techniques could be used to teach the general population.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

There are different processes to become a certified Applied Behavior Analysis provider. If you as the parent are not certified or would like to learn more, often school directed toward those on the Autism Spectrum Disorder have trained individual’s and can get you more information.

autism therapy

Although ABA is often thought of as an Autism focused therapy, it can be helpful for a wide spectrum of disorders. These include but aren’t limited to: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, PDD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Problem Behaviors, Developmental Disabilities, Tantrums, Non-compliance, Physical Aggression, Dementia, Self-Injurious Behaviors, and Alzheimer’s. Since the whole Applied Behavior Anaylsis approach is based off of creating an individualized plan to reach the individual’s goals, it really can be used on anyone. The amount of time and effort put into the approach can often effect the outcome of improvement seen in the individual. Meaning the more time you spend with quality ABA therapy the better likelihood of good results.

autism spectrum disorders

There is a wide range of approaches or types of ABA therapies used to meet a variety of goals. These are some of those included. It is important to use what works best for the child. Many children may need more than one, but with each individual case there are many variables to consider.

autism spectrum disorders

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autism spectrum disorders