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.


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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Mental Health in Kids: What to Know

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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