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//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe older I get, the more I’m forced to admit that optimum health only happens with a certain amount of effort. Good nourishment and some amount of putting the body through its paces is required to obtain healthy functioning. The same is true for families. Dolores Curran, in Traits of a Healthy Family (1983), outlined… Read more

“How will my children do in school? Will they perform up to their potential?” Questions like these are often on the minds of every parent ever since their child starts school in preschool or kindergarten. We look at their work, ask them questions, talk to their teachers. Often we still wonder, “How would I be… Read more

This has been a hard month for many people in other parts of the country. This weekend’s shooting incident in Las Vegas may strike closer to home for many, as people check in with friends and family to see who was at the concert and how they fared. In my practice, I am hearing that… Read more

As 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… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more

Parents of babies and toddlers are sometimes the most sleep-deprived people you’ll ever meet.  It’s not an easy time of life for sure, and anything that can help is a big plus.  I found an article with some great tips, so hopefully these will help… Read more

“From the moment he was born I knew he would be more difficult than my other children.”  “She cried almost non-stop for the first two years.”  “He will only eat chicken nuggets and refuses to try any new foods.”  “Getting dressed in the morning is always a battle, because she cries and complains that her… Read more

In September 2006 (nearly 10 years ago) I presented a seminar to the Conejo Valley Mental Health Professionals Association at the Sherwood Country Club. A few weeks later an article appeared in the Acorn newspaper entitled “Demystifying Sensory Dysfunction” that summarized the seminar. The article pointed out how children, teens and even adults may have this… Read more

Parents sometimes want their children to get a headstart in academics, and so they want preschoolers to learn how to “big kid” type schoolwork.  But that’s not the best way for preschool-aged children to learn, and it turns out it can cause them other problems as well.  Take at look at this blog post from pediatric… Read more

It’s the first day of school in our district, and I’d like to share some thoughts about how to help your children be successful in school.  As a therapist, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from my clients about what works and sometimes what doesn’t.  As a parent of two adult sons, I got to… Read more

A couple of weeks ago our local paper the Simi Valley Acorn ran a great article on the symptoms of concussion.  As school starts up, it is so important to recognize these, especially if your child takes part in contact sports like football and soccer… Read more

The Family Research Council has a very sobering article online from 2012 that surveys the research about the various effects of divorce on children. It is definitely worth a read. You can go directly to the post at www.tiny.cc/childrenofdivorce . The article just reinforces what we already know, that divorce is something to be avoided… Read more

Auditory processing disorder has many symptoms. Here are common warning signs you might see in your preschool, grade school, middle school or high school child.  When you click on the link below, you’ll see links to different articles describing symptoms by age group. Source: Symptoms of Auditory Processing Disorder | Warning Signs by Age –… Read more

One of my favorite columnists in the Ventura County Star is Bill Tinsley.  He writes great columns on current events and issues from a faith perspective.  For a heartwarming Father’s Day gift to the dads in your life, read and share this one on how a father gives to his children.  I think you’ll love… Read more

This week’s Time Magazine has a great column on the wisdom and benefits of trying to get along your children’s father.  It also emphasizes how very difficult this can be at times, in many ways much harder than being married.  Worth a read, in my opinion… Read more

Below you’ll find a link to a great article that summarizes Dr. Dan Siegel’s new book on understanding teen behavior, entitled “Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain”.    He always writes great books that explain how our brains influence our development and behavior, and this one is no exception. The article, entitled… Read more

I just saw the best Super Bowl ad ever. It just shows how special dads are. Take a look and see what you think. http://youtu.be/108GQVlfwy8… Read more

So I was cleaning off my work desk at home, and came across an article I had clipped to blog about.  Now the sad part is it’s from 2010, so that might tell you something about the depth of the stacks on my desk.  But the great part is that the information is just as… Read more

The Compassionate Friends is a wonderful support group for families who have lost a child.  Every year they host a beautiful candle-lighting ceremony on the 2nd Sunday in December.  For more information on this year’s ceremony at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks on Dec. 14, please see their flyer on their Ventura County website… Read more

If you need some help with parenting, it’s always great to read a good book. There’s one that I’ve recommended for years, called “1-2-3 Magic” by Thomas Phelan. It basically teaches parents how to apply natural and logical consequences in a consistent, effective manner. Many times, we parents repeat ourselves and then yell, basically teaching… Read more

by Shiro Perera Torquato, Ph.D. These days it seems like every time we turn around we hear about someone else’s child or nephew or granddaughter who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism. In fact, in May of 2013 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical… Read more

Summer is here and with it the opportunity to take advantage of longer days free of homework. Why not use this summer to build memories of fun times together as a family? Here are 21 ideas to spark your imagination and create some fun in your home. Take the train to the zoo or beach… Read more

I was going to write a post about how much fathers matter, in honor of Father’s Day.  Instead I found a great one, published recently in the New York post, called “Do fathers matter?  A connection that’s deeper than we realize”.   It’s so important these to recognize that, even though many people may not be… Read more

What a great idea — a free program to help kids get used to the water!  Take a look at the article,  and then contact the YMCA to register.  The program March 24-27, during Spring Break.  … Read more