If your child has trouble identifying letters, with phonics, or in reading, it is time to consider whether they have Dyslexia. Reading, one of the most neurologically complex tasks a person will learn, involves auditory and visual systems, as well as cognitive processing, memory, and attention which all must work simultaneously. Children often struggle with reading, but if they show one of the signs of Dyslexia, then here are ten ways to help your dyslexic child.

Nationwide, 20% of the elementary school population is struggling with reading while one in five students has a language-based learning disability.  Currently, 80% of children with an IEP have reading difficulty, 85% of whom are diagnosed with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability.  Due to a lack of educator and administration understanding, Dyslexics are often misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late for early intervention. Early diagnoses and interventions such as Orton-Gillingham based programming (Wilson Reading and Lindamood Bell) are effective in remediating reading issues and to keep children from developing emotional issues and behavioral resistance that often arise from improper educational programming.

When we consider treatments for anxiety and depression, there is a pervasive false belief that pharmacological interventions are the only effective treatment. The truth is that other potentially more effective treatments than medication do exist and the central nervous system (CNS) can be regulated through these clinically valid therapies.* Addressing how the CNS responds to stress is an important first step that many natural therapies effectively cover. When we are under stress, these brain structures jump into action and prepare for a crisis, which then triggers the fight-or-flight response. The amygdala and hippocampus have a major role in emotional regulation and stress responses. They are part of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis that can cause the CNS to react strongly to stimuli. The amygdala overrides the prefrontal cortex when involved with the fight-or-flight system. Without good prefrontal control, the amygdala hijacks the brain.* That means we react in less rational ways because the brain has gone into survival mode. Calming the CNS is critical in reducing anxiety and depression. Here are six natural therapies for anxiety and depression with research that supports their efficacy.

At our center in Ridgefield, CT, we support children and adults experiencing a behavioral, social, or emotional issue every day. As part of these interactions, we use short-term, intensive psychotherapy and brain-based therapies. For many reasons families seek out short-term, intensive therapy but ultimately they are looking for effective treatment for clinical issues.

Recently, Dr. Roseann was interviewed by the Ridgefield Hamlet Hub. Read the original interview here.  Shop small, do big things for your community

The Effects of Screen Time on the Brain and Body are significant and parents are trying to find ways to balance screen time with family time (or heck, their sanity!). Children and teens want to be on their devices all the time and we have become the device wardens. The good news is research demonstrates that children’s sleep, academics, health, and behavior improve when we limit screen time. These tips for healthy media usage can hopefully bring some peace to your family time.  

Today, children are bombarded with digital media and technology. No matter how we feel about it, technology is here to stay.​ They are exposed to different forms of media and technology, including smartphones, laptops and Chromebooks in school, TV, music, video games, apps, and so on. Technology is shaping the brains and experiences of a whole generation of children. While there are advantages (I mean what was life like before Google?!), to technology in our lives, we also need to teach kids to find a balance between healthy usage and too much screen time. That isn’t easy for every child and teen. Thus, understanding how to balance family screen time challenges parents in more ways every year.

Diagnosing ADHD in Children

Diagnosing  Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and teens involves several steps. No definitive ADHD test exists, and often professionals diagnose children after just a clinical interview. When making a diagnosis, all professionals use the diagnostic guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics or the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) to determine if the child meets certain clinical criteria.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common behavior disorder diagnosed in children and is also a comorbid condition associated with a variety of disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, addiction, anxiety, depression, learning disability, etc. According to the CDC, ADHD diagnoses in the US are on the rise. “The percent of children 4-17 years of age ever diagnosed with ADHD had previously increased, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011-12.” These nine supplements for ADHD have research to support their efficacy and should be considered to reduce symptoms.

When people think of therapy, they often think there has to be a “big” issue before they seek out support and advice. That simply isn’t the case. Therapy is about learning – for kids and for parents. It is about finding the best tools to support your child’s ability to thrive and be happy at home and school. Special needs children, whether it is ADHD, ASD, Dyslexia, behavioral issues, health issues, anxiety, or depression, need as much pro-active support as they can to be ready for the increased challenges they may face. There are many therapies for learning disabilities and ADHD and traditional counseling is one of them. Here are nine reasons why counseling helps the special needs child.