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Posted on Jun 20, 2019 in Anxiety, Counseling, Depression, Grief, News, Suicide, Teens

Teen Suicide Risk

Teenagers undergo major life changes and are prone to extreme mood changes. If they are unable to cope with these changes, they may experience episodes of anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns which may lead to suicide. Suicide is the second highest cause of death among teenagers worldwide. While suicidal ideation is not something you can particularly cure, you may be able to prevent instances of suicide in those that are in your reach. How do you figure out if a teenager is suicidal or not? Some teenagers expertly hide their emotions and it is difficult to tell whether they are in fact considering ending their lives. A close watch on subtle changes in their personality can sometimes help indicate whether they are at risk of suicide. These can include: Talking excessively about death and self-harm is an obvious red flag. Similarly, expressing hopelessness for the future and helplessness for one’s situation in life may indicate suicide risk. Changes in the teenager’s eating and sleeping patterns also hold...

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Posted on May 24, 2019 in Children, Children's Mental Health Awareness, Family, Sleep Issues, Teens, Toddlers

Sleep Deprivation & Children

You have heard of adults suffering from sleep deprivation, but children suffer from sleep deprivation too. While the effects of sleep deprivation are detrimental for both adults and children it is more so for children as they are still growing and developing. Sleep deprivation compromises emotional and physical health; it also affects attention span, irritability and increases risk-taking behavior. Children need more sleep than the recommended 7-9 hours stipulated for adults. If a child falls asleep within half an hour of going to bed, wakes up on time without much of a struggle and does not take to daytime napping, he/she can be said to have rested well. Sleep deprivation can lead to a decline in the overall cognitive process. The inability to concentrate, poor decision making and impaired memory, as a result of sleep deprivation can combine to bring down a child’s academic performance. Lack of sleep can hamper a child’s performance in sports too. How Much Sleep is Enough? According the National Sleep Foundation, needed sleep depends...

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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 Dec 14, 2016 in Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Teens, Therapy

Teens vs. Drugs

Alcohol and marijuana have been the two most widely used substances among teens for quite some time. According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey, a University of Michigan study that tracks drug use trends among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students, 15.5 percent of 8th graders, 31.1 percent of 10th graders and 51.4 percent of 12th graders have smoked marijuana in their lifetime. Alcohol is even more prevalent among teens. According to Monitoring the Future, 26.1 percent of 8th graders, 47.1 percent of 10th graders and 64 percent of 12th graders have drank in their lifetime. Despite the high rates of use of these substances among teens, there are considerable negative consequences to using marijuana or drinking. Academic achievement in particular suffers as a result of weed and alcohol abuse. Marijuana Marijuana use has been linked to poorer academic outcomes among teens. Evidence from around the world supports this notion. In 2004, researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom reviewed 48 studies relating to student...

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