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Posted on May 22, 2019 in Anxiety, Children, Children's Mental Health Awareness, Counseling, Family, Mental Health Awareness, News, Self Esteem, Social Anxiety, Social Skills, Therapy

Anxiety in Children

Anxiety under certain situations is normal. For example, when a child is taking a test or when he or she is asked to speak or perform in front of an audience – these are situations where it is normal for children to experience some anxiety. But what if a child is always worrying, always anxious? When the anxiety of a child is disproportionate to the situation it can be termed as an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder in children is difficult to gauge because children are not very good at expressing their problems and anxious children are usually quieter. So how do you tell if a child has an anxiety disorder? Types of Anxiety Disorders General Anxiety Disorder – This is when a child worries almost every day over everything. Other than the usual things that children worry about, like homework or tests, kids with General Anxiety Disorder tend to worry about little things like playing with friends, riding the school bus or sometimes even about greater things like...

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Posted on May 9, 2019 in Children, Children's Mental Health Awareness, Counseling, Depression, Mental Health Awareness, Parenting, Relationships

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Thursday, May 9, 2019 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Over 10 years ago, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) began to highlight the importance of every child’s mental health as well as share the message that positive mental health is an essential component of health child development. The purpose of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is to increase public awareness about the needs of children and teens with serious mental illness and severe emotional disturbance, provide information on evidence-based practices, encourage those in need of help to seek treatment and support families caring for children with mental health needs. This year, the theme for this day is “Suicide Prevention: Strategies that Work.” This article will take a look at ways to recognize if your child may be considering suicide. Suicidal ideation, or the tendency towards suicidal thinking, is difficult to identify in children. They are more reluctant to talk wanting to die than adults. Not even the child’s parents are privy to these...

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Posted on Apr 17, 2019 in Anxiety, Bullying, Children, Counseling, Cyberbullying, News, Teens, Therapy

Coping With Teen Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can take many forms. It could be harassment, the use of insulting or vulgar language, demeaning someone, exposing secrets or otherwise embarrassing or intimidating a person in any form. In more dangerous forms, it could result in cyber stalking or even drive the victim to depression or worse. Often, cyberbullying can cause the victims to become withdrawn, frightened, depressed and make them retreat into a shell. As a parent, you will need to look out for signs of cyberbullying and help your teen stop it before it becomes a bigger problem. Watch for signs of cyberbullying If you have a teen at home, it is quite likely they have already witnessed some form of cyberbullying, if not targeted at them, then at someone in their peer group. If your child is the receiving end of one of these online bullies, you need to first be able to identify the problem when it crops up. If your teen has suddenly become quiet, has started avoiding friends, has started locking...

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Posted on Apr 3, 2019 in Children, Counseling, Family, Parenting, Screen Time, Social Skills, Teens, Therapy, Toddlers

Screen Time: How Much Is Too Much?

Growing up, children emulate adults around them – this is no secret. In a hyper-connected world where adults seem to always be hooked to their computer and smart-device screens, it is only natural that children will demand their share of screen-time too. Often, busy parents hand over their laptops, tablets or smartphones to their children to keep them preoccupied and out of their way. Children have grown so attached to these devices that parents have now begun to use screen time as a reward or incentive for good behavior. Parenting experts are against this practice of using devices to bribe children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is against exposing children below 18 months to any kind of device usage. They may be permitted to use these devices beyond this age but only under parental supervision to consume content tailored for their age. Children in the 2-5 age group should not ideally have more than an hour of screen time per day. These precautionary rules are in place to keep...

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Posted on Aug 29, 2017 in Autism, Children, Counseling, News, Parenting, Resources, Self Esteem, Social Skills, Teens, Therapy

Social Skills Groups Begin September 17, 2017

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are invited to join one of our Social Skills Groups, which will begin a 10-week session on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at the Naperville office. The Social Skills Groups will provide: Evidenced-based interventions that will teach a specific skill each week utilizing various teaching modalities Evidenced-based interventions that will teach a specific skill each week utilizing various teaching modalities Curriculum based on Michelle Garcia Winner’s approach to teaching social skills Individualized goals for each child to develop and practice within the home and community A foundation for developing friendships with same aged peers Three age-appropriate groups are available: Elementary Social Skills Group will meet from 11:00am until 12:00pm Middle School Social Skills Group will meet from 1:00pm until 2:00pm High School Social Skills Group will meet from 2:30pm until 3:30pm Bi-weekly parent training opportunities will also be available. Groups will be facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Stafiej and will meet at the Naperville location, 24024 Brancaster Drive. Fee is $90.00 per student. More Information For...

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Posted on Aug 23, 2017 in Autism, Children, Counseling, Family, News, Social Skills, Therapists

Social Skills Strategies for Children

Why are social skills such a challenge? Social skills can be a challenge for children because there are several components that go into socialization.  The following is a list of skills boys and girls utilize on a daily basis to socialize with others: Theory of Mind refers to understanding that others have a different perspective or opinion than yours and recognizing others have feelings. Executive functioning involves taking the initiative to make plans with others, following through on finishing tasks, organizing materials needed to carry out plans, remembering what others say to carry on a conversation and filtering  ones own thoughts before impulsively sharing everything. Interest and motivation to socialize with others. Reading and picking up on social cues by visually to paying attention to facial cues and body language of others. What strategies are helpful to strengthen social skills? Emotion recognition. Children need to be able to identify their own emotions. as well as others, in order to perform well in social situations.  Their skills can be strengthened...

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