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Parents Should Trust Their Instincts

ReadingAs a child psychologist for almost twenty years I have interviewed hundreds of parents when I am in the process of conducting psychological evaluations of their children.  Most of them have told me that they had a concern or gut feeling that their child was not developing normally when the child was one or two years old, sometimes younger.  When they discussed these concerns with their pediatrician they were often told “Don’t worry.  Every child develops differently” or “Your child will catch up.”  Occasionally, they were ridiculed by the pediatrician and told that they worry too much.  In fact, many parents have shared comments from their pediatricians that made it clear that the doctor did not have an accurate understanding of normal child development. Continue Reading…

We Choose Our Hard

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originally posted here by Melissa Hartwig, Founder of Whole30

WE CHOOSE OUR HARD. Anyone who has been through a traumatic experience knows the dread associated with processing that event. In the aftermath, we think the idea of talking about it, replaying it, “working through it” sounds like torture. No thank you. It sucked bad enough the first time. Why force ourselves to relive it over and over again?

The thing is, we choose our hard. Opening the box. Unpacking what’s in it. Dragging it into the light. Looking straight at it. Turning it over. Holding it up over our heads for other people to see. Accepting it. Maybe carrying it around for a while. Making the choice to put it down. Forgiving. Okay. Yes. That is hard.

But so is what we do instead. Continue Reading…

Academic Success Depends on Many Factors … Reading Ability


Photo by Eugene Kim via flickr.com (click for link)

Children are typically introduced to early reading skills in kindergarten.  By the end of this school year, children are expected to know a minimum number of sight words and have mastered letter recognition and phonics sounds.  If your child has not achieved these basic skills by the middle of first grade, then they often have a very difficult time learning to read.  Moreover, the students who are still learning basic sight words and decoding skills (sounding out words) by third grade may actually have a learning disability or processing disorder.  In fact, most teachers will say that between kindergarten and third grade students are learning to read.  From fourth grade through high school they are reading to learn.  If your child’s reading skills are below grade level by fourth grade, it will significantly interfere with their ability to learn in all subjects including math.  School can become a very frustrating and discouraging experience.

Signs to look for:  Continue Reading…

End of school can mean new beginnings

Everyone has a different feeling at the end of the school year, and it can change as our roles in life change.  I have always looked forward to the beginning of summer, even though I truly loved school as a student, and enjoyed helping my sons succeed in school, perhaps a little less with the things they disliked.  For one it was timed tests for math facts, for the other writing “more detail” for his school papers.  Overall, though, while I liked school, I love summer!

The beginning of summer gives me a burst of energy. Continue Reading…

If your student is having a hard time fitting into the school system, and feels like a “fish out of water”, take 6 minutes to listen to this great spoken word poem.  One of my clients played it for me the other day, and it really made an impression.  I often work with teens who are having trouble succeeding in school, and I thought I understood how they feel, but this took it to a whole other level.  See what you think!

Here are the lyrics Continue Reading…