Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Maynia: Teen Behavior Changes in Spring

Ever wonder why some teens diagnosed with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (i.e., extreme fluctuations in mood) go through a manic (i.e., excessive hyperactivity) state in the Spring? Is it just so we can have a clever play on words like "Maynia"? Or is there really something behind it? 

Being a clinical therapist in a school, I prepare myself every spring for a spike in mania running rampant through the halls. As a parent, friend, or teacher of a teen with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, you may also observe similar behaviors intensifying as the weather becomes a bit nicer. It happens like clockwork for some in the final months of the school year and this is why. Read More...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Behavior Problems in Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

We get calls from parents all the time asking if their preschool or kindergartener's acting out behaviors are "normal." Today, we are going to share some tips for helping to calm disruptive behavior.

Most young children have "behavior" problems. It is their job. They are growing and developing by leaps and bounds. There are new expectations of them and the rate at which they are learning new skills, new rules, how to socialize, etc. can be pretty stressful and confusing sometimes. They are still figuring out how to handle their emotions and still need the help and support of their parents. When young children feel overwhelmed, those feelings come out in their behaviors.

Young children's moods can run hot and cold and go from happy and content to rageful and distraught and back in a matter of minutes. When they are upset, it is not uncommon to see yelling, screaming, hitting, kicking, throwing, etc. So, what can you do to help?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Four Things You Need to Know to Help Your Toddler with New Activities

Ever wonder why your child keeps coming back and checking on you when he/she is playing or doing activities in pre-school? Are you starting to wonder if your child is afraid of something, or just being clingy? This post will help you understand what this behavior means and how to navigate this phase with your child.

Friday, August 28, 2015

TV Reporter and Camera Man Shot on Live TV: How to Talk with Your Kids

If you are wondering how to talk with your kids about the TV reporter and camera man who were shot on live TV in Virginia yesterday, please read this post for some of our thoughts.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Young Adults with Autism Entering the Work Force

Therapist's Editorial: Young Adults with Autism Entering the Work Force

I recently came across a very interesting article while on vacation.  Well, actually my husband did when reading his INC. Magazine.  Normally those types of articles are not “up my alley” as I prefer Better Homes & Gardens, but this was something that sparked my interest as well as a passion of mine.  The article was called “Making It Work” and it was about the growing population of people with Asperger’s (those on the Autism Spectrum Disorder) now transitioning into adulthood, entering the work force, and the struggles that are faced. Knowing this is not only in my career field but a strong interest of mine, my husband chose to pass the magazine over to me.  Despite it being more from a “business model” standpoint, I was able to relate as a therapist on different levels (my husband, the accountant, interestingly pulled very different points from it, which I always find amusing).  I thought I would share my “take-aways” as it is such a crucial part in our society that we must be able to grow with, or as the article title said, “make it work”.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Yoga and Kids: New Ways to Connect with Your Children

Building Connections through Yoga Games

Toddlers and preschoolers naturally live in the moment and love to play! They are also beginning to encounter emotional, social, and physical challenges or conflicts. Yoga games and activities can help to support your child’s development of self esteem, confidence and self regulation. By incorporating some of the basics of yoga into play, you can positively support your child in navigating and building connections with themselves and others…and have some fun together! Below is a yoga game to try with your child at home. You do not need any yoga experience to play this game.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Connecting with Kids with Special Needs through Toys and Play

 By Child Therapy Chicago's guest blogger from Lekotek

“Inclusion” is a popular word used around children with special needs. It reflects the emotional need of every human being to be included and the desire to share experiences, and there is, perhaps, no better place to put the concept of inclusion to work than through toys and play. Hot categories of toys this year are electronics, plush, arts and crafts and sports, so let’s explore what’s new in these areas and how they can bring kids together.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Helping Children with Special Needs Cope with Stress through Play

By Child Therapy Chicago's guest blogger from Lekotek
The pressures of school can be tough on kids, especially those with special needs. Play can help children relax, recharge their batteries and take on new challenges.
It’s hard to remember a time when kids had more stress in their lives. Schools are forced to pressure children more and more to pass tests to keep their stream of funding. Our educational system is also under mounting pressure as the global ranking for America’s schools continues to trend downward. Homework has trended upward with little impact.
What research has proven again and again is that kids learn best through play. Guided play advances cognitive skills like language, as well as social skills such as emotional regulation. Group play experiences also greatly impact a child’s coping abilities, empathy, mood and resiliency. Despite evidence linking play to development, parents, educators and policy makers have allowed children’s play time to drastically erode in the last two decades.
Play functions as an antidote to the pressures of life, including school anxiety. Here are some product ideas to help kids defuse stress and refresh their bodies. These suggestions are especially beneficial for children with special needs who have their share of school struggles:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Raising More Successful Teen Daughters

STUDY: On Raising More Successful Daughters...

FOX 32 News Chicago
Fox News contacted Child Therapy Chicago to discuss a study of the impact of mothers' nagging on their teenage daughters' later success.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Navigating the "Mean Girls" Mentality

3 Tips for Helping Your Daughter to Navigate the “Mean Girls” Mentality with Ease

By Child Therapy Chicago's Guest Blogger

Jill Hope, Founder of I Shine (http://www.ishinekids.com)

There are few things more painful to a parent than seeing your beautiful daughter struggle to fit in with other girls.  You can feel helpless as you see her watching from the sidelines while other girls are smiling, laughing, and talking together

The scary thing is that when your daughter feels so blatantly left out, she may begin to feel invisible, unvalued, and unworthy.

So how can you help your daughter if she feels like she doesn't fit in, or feels pressure to be like other girls in order to be accepted? Here are 3 tips that can help: