May, 2017
NEWS & NOTES
What's happening at the Center for Developing Minds...


"Behavior Management Tips: 
Getting your child to cooperate."
  ~ Victoria Tenenbaum, BCaBA, Pediatric Behavior Specialist    

Have you ever been in a situation when your child refuses to cooperate, doesn't comply with any of your requests, and is having a difficult time following even the simplest routine? Is this throwing a shadow on relations between you and your child? If even part of this sounds familiar, there are several behavioral strategies that could help you and your child.
 
Behavior is a science: it is predictable and measurable.  Applied Behavior Analysis relies on the science of behavior. It applies interventions, based upon the principles of learning theory, to improve socially-significant behaviors to a meaningful degree.
 
So, how can you help your child to improve his/her daily functioning?
  1. Anticipate situations in which you are going to meet challenges. Prepare your child for the upcoming event with a few minutes notice and set clear expectations. For example: "In five minutes, we are going to turn off the television and will walk to the bathroom. I expect you to walk calmly."
  2. Provide positive attention and encouragement for each effort at cooperation and approximation toward the final goal. Ignore disruptive behavior. For example, at the first possible moment in which you see your child complying, provide immediate praise: "Thank you for walking so nicely."
  3. Use constructive language. Express to your child what he is supposed to do, and do not focus on what he is not supposed to do. For example: Instead of saying, "Stop screaming," suggest "Please ask me to give it to you by saying, 'May I have it?'"
  4. Always reinforce your child for good behavior. Catch a good moment and just hug him/her. 
As a behavior analyst, I am committed to bringing significant change to your lives. Behavioral interventions typically focus on reducing undesirable behaviors by increasing occurrences of desirable behaviors and teaching new behaviors that will be socially acceptable.
 
If you would like some practical behavior management tips, please join behavior specialist, Victoria Tenenbaum, on Thursday, May 18, at 12.30 pm. She will host the next CDM child development chat,  "Behavior Management Tips: Getting your child to cooperate,"  which will include an in-depth discussion and question and answer session. The chat is free-of-charge.
New Staff!
 
We'd like to welcome a new member of our front-desk team -- Savita Joshi. Savita is working part-time as a receptionist at the Center for Developing Minds. Prior to joining the clinic, Savita was a Program Coordinator for Ecuadent Foundation, an organization in Baltimore, Maryland, where she planned and coordinated volunteer mission trips to Ecuador that provided low-income children with free surgical and dental care. Savita is eager to assist our clients with any scheduling needs or questions about CDM services. 
Should our child take a "medication holiday" this summer?

Many parents ask about "medication holidays" for their child with ADHD. There are several important considerations. First, remember that ADHD is a chronic condition that does not go away when school gets out. Therefore, children with ADHD who do not take their medication are vulnerable to the consequences of their inattention or impulsiveness; for example unmedicated children with ADHD get in more car accidents. The consequences may be more subtle than a car crash, such as missing conversations or having problems cleaning up or making plans. Second, there are some instances when a medication holiday is needed. Some children, for instance, need a break from a mild side-effect such as appetite suppression. The last thing to consider is that there is NO evidence to suggest that medication holidays are safer for kids. Ultimately, the choice should be individualized to each patient based on a discussion with the child, parents, and physician.
  
Thinking About Psychoeducational Testing?

Summer is a great time to get psychoeducational testing for your child. The Center for Developing Minds is an interdisciplinary developmental clinic, which allows us to provide a broad range of psychological and educational evaluation services for children. Our therapists assess for learning disabilities and can assess whether or not your child may be eligible for accommodations on standardized tests like the HSPT or SAT. The summers before 6th and 9th grades are particularly strategic times for testing. The testing can be used to formulate education plans as your child enters into a new school. Also, the tests are considered to be valid for three years and therefor 5th-6th grade summer testing will cover the high school placement test and 8th-9th grade summer testing will cover the SAT. For more information, please see our website or contact the clinic at 408.358.1853.    
CogMed Training Now Available at the CDM

CogMed is a psychologist supervised, home-based computerized training program that improves working memory. It gives patients a non-medication option for ADHD and an evidenced-based treatment option for developing their memory. Many students with ADHD may benefit from this service. If you are interested in learning more about trying CogMed at the CDM, please contact the clinic. Background information about the program can also be found at www.cogmed.com.