- Expert Ways to Help Tame Tantrums and Manage Meltdowns
- How Nutrition Impacts Children With Autism
- 8 solutions for a picky eater with autism and sensory food aversions
- 15 Activities, Teaching Strategies, and Resources for Teaching Children with Autism
- 13 Tips On How To Bathe A Child With Autism Easily
- How to Help Your Child with Autism Cope During and After a Move
- Sensory-Friendly Home Modifications for Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder
- How to Make Exercise More Fun for Children with Autism
Here are some articles to empower parents who are raising children with autism.
With news of rising death tolls and crashing stock markets, and declarations from top officials that the US is unprepared to handle the pending global pandemic, it's unsurprising that Americans are worried, if not downright panicked, about the Coronavirus.
According to psychologists, Coronavirus-related anxiety is an understandable response to the unknown, but some people are especially vulnerable. To cope, they recommend limiting media exposure to the topic by sticking to one or two trusted sources.
Read more about Coronavirus anxiety and ways of effectively coping with it.
Limit your media exposure and wash your hands, often and thoroughly.
Being and practicing mindfulness for children, teenagers, and adults has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and anxiety, increase your ability to regulate your emotions and feel more compassion for yourself and others. There is remarkable evidence that shows that when you do things like mindfulness and relaxation training and yoga, that you are setting your body up to not express certain genes that could cause a lot of illness and disease in people.
While there are several apps to help children and teenagers to improve their mindfulness, there are also some great books and resources that children and teenagers might also benefit from reading.
1. Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel
2. The ABC's of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Power
3. The Yoga Game: By the Sea by Kathy Beliveau
4. The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate by Susan Greenland
5. Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance by Jennifer Harper
6. Yoga Pretzels by Tara Guber and Leah Kalish
The benefits of mindfulness are not just anecdotal: A growing body of scientific research shows its positive effects on mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to improve attention and reduce stress as well as increase one's ability to regulate emotions and feel compassion and empathy. Mindfulness is also widely considered an effective psychotherapy treatment for adults, children, and adolescents with aggression, ADHD, or other mental health issues such as anxiety. To learn more about the benefits of mindfulness, please check out this thorough article about mindfulness with children across the all the developmental phases.
There is remarkable evidence that shows that when you do things like mindfulness and relaxation training and yoga, that you are setting your body up to not express certain genes that could cause a lot of illness and disease in people. And the idea of kids learning this is quite beneficial, especially when we add in the different environment that kids these days are growing up in with technology. While we love our phones and some of us love them more than others, we really are creating an entirely different experience for kids these days. And the idea of having this mindfulness to rely on, to clear your mind, to enter into a thoughtless state and to really align your mind and body in a very positive way is very good preventive medicine.
I find in my work with families that parents are just as happy to be doing it as the kids are. And I essentially think all kids need to learn how to do calm breathing and one nostril breathing, which is where you close one nostril and you close your mouth and breathe in very slowly in and out through the other nostril. Usually you breathe in for seven and out for nine. And you do it for several minutes until you get really relaxed.
But, there are all of these apps now where parents can help their children learn how to relax. For example, C-A-L-M, is an app, which has an amazing bedtime stories as part of the app. Part of the app is free and part of it you have to pay for and the bedtime stories unfortunately is something you have to pay for. But, I’ve had children who’ve had a lot of trouble relaxing before bed and they listen to these stories. There’s one where the man’s voice is very soothing and you almost want to fall asleep the second he starts talking. And of course, that’s one way to use it. Another way is not at bedtime, but for them to really learn how to relax and how to decompress. And what I suggest is looking at the different apps to see if any resonate for you, your child or teen, and your family. InsightTimer is a good one. Buddhify is another one. Headspace is another good app. The most important part is to start somewhere and make it a habit.
When one child in a family has difficulties that consume a lot of the family's attention, restrict family activities, or generate great concern, other children in the family may not get the attention that they deserve. Siblings in families with special needs may feel a myriad of emotions such as sadness, disappointment, anger, or stress. Some siblings take care of themselves so that they are less of a burden to their family.
Here are some articles on ways to help support a sibling in a special needs family.
1. 5 Ways to Support Siblings in Special Needs Families
2. 12 Ways to Support Siblings of Children with Disabilities
3. 10 Great Books if You Have Sibling with Special Needs
4. Supporting the Siblings of Special Needs Kids
So many of us ponder how we can be closer with those very important people in our lives; our VIP's. This might be a sibling, parent, boss, friend, spouse, or our own children.
Here are some great TED talks on different ways to build meaningful connections with your VIP's. The TED talks are about 15-20 minutes each so feel free to enjoy them all at once or sneak them in over a day or two. Either way, they will help you to bridge some of those gaps in your VIP relationships and feel more connected.
We all know that getting a good night's sleep is very important. Sleep helps to us to repair muscles, improve concentration, maintain health, maximize athletic performance, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, improve immunity, and consolidate learning, to name a few.
Here are some articles that highlight behavioral strategies for getting a good night's sleep throughout the life span.
How To Create The Perfect Sleep Environment
for Your Child
The Best Discipline Strategies for Bedtime Behavioral Problems
Sleep Hygiene For Teens
14 Strategies for Sleeping Better
Sleep Tips for Older Adults
Here are three articles to help broach the topic of helping your child or young adult to transition to adulthood. Enjoy!
1. Managing Your Child's Transition to Adulthood
2. Transition to Adulthood: Home Modifications for Adults with Special Needs
3. Special Needs Checklist: How Disability-Friendly is Your City?
These TedTalks are a collection of talks to enjoy before welcoming a new little life into the world.
Parents are often hungry for advice on how to raise their children, seeking guidance on how to prompt kids to follow through with such everyday responsibilities such as doing chores and completing their homework, as well as insights on the best ways to help them stave off unhealthy behaviors, such as too much screen time and substance use.
These scientifically supported sites and programs are among psychology's best for helping parents raise their kids.
This website is a clearinghouse of behavioral science on children and adolescents, developed by the Consortium of Science-Based Information on Children, Youth, and Families. Geared towards parents, educators, and behavioral health specialists, the site covers common parenting concerns, such as difficulties, drug and alcohol use, puberty, and much more. Every resource has been vetted by psychologists to ensure its advice is based on solid research and is bias-free.
Perhaps most useful of all, the site can help parents determine for themselves which childhood behaviors are part of normal development and which might need a psychologist's attention.
This website offers information on the symptoms of and treatment for behavioral and mental health problems in children and adolescents. In addition, Effective Child Therapy showcases the strong science behind today's successful treatments.
3. Act Raising Safe Kids Program
Developed by APA's Violence Prevention Office, this eight-week class teaches positive parenting skills to parents of young children to foster safe, stable, and healthy environments and relationships that prevent children's exposure to abuse and adversities. Parents can also find tips on how to handle typical situations that they may encounter with their children such as bullying and tantrums.
4. Effective Parenting: The ABC's of Child Rearing
This free online parenting course was devloped by Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D, former APA President and Director of the Yale Parenting Center. This course provides 20 how-to videos explaining parenting techniques that address problem behaviors at both home and school. Kazdin instructs parents on the importance of speaking to their children in a calm or playful tone and allowing kids to make choices whenever possible. Scores of studies back these approaches.
5. Resilience Booster: Parent Tip Tool
Developed by APA's Children, Youth, and Families Office and its Office on Socioeconomic Status, this site provides parents and caregivers with tips on how to boost children's resilience in the face of adverse experiences. This site is organized around the various places where children spend their time and outlines how each environment can help build resilience among children living in poverty.
Miranda J. Gabriel, Psy.D.
A licensed clinical psychologist providing psychotherapy to children, teens, and adults in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Information and opinions found on this website
are not substitutes for
medical or psychological advice. Dr. Gabriel can't answer questions about someone's specific situation or give
personal advice. Please see the Disclaimer section under the Contact Page for more information.