Posts tagged ‘adolescent’
Having been in the field for over 16 years, helping children and parents with school related problems, and also having worked closely with teachers, I have learned a few things about parent-teacher conferences. Conference time is just around the corner, and for some it may already be here. These conferences should be seen as a rich opportunity to build understanding and communication between the home and school. Due to budget shortfalls and increasing multiculturalism, teachers are under pressure and overworked. Many parents are also pressed for time, have lingering negative impressions from their own school years, and are apprehensive about what will be discussed during the conference, particularly if their child is struggling. What follows are some suggestions to help make the conference go better:
After you received the notice, schedule your conference as soon as possible within the allotted time blocks (you’ll get better choices). Arrive on time or you’ll forfeit important parts of your allocated time frame and miss key information points. Thank the teacher for their time. As it does for you, appreciation goes a long way to help both you and your child. Do not bring toddlers or babies as they are too big of a distraction. Leave your personal problems at home, unless they directly affect your child’s school experience.
Bring prioritized questions with you to the conference, and make sure they are not already covered in the informational packets sent home. Prior to the meeting, discuss it with your child. Find out what they like or dislike, as well as what they struggle or excel at. Ask the teacher what they think would make the school day go better. Some good questions are, ” Has my child completed assignments regularly?” and “How does my child handle taking tests?”. Other good questions may include, “Have you noticed any changes in my child’s behavior during the year?”, “What areas academically, and in terms of attitude, do they need extra help in at home?”, and “What is my child like during the day?”.
If your child is struggling academically and/or with their behavior, or if they seem isolated, you or their teacher may bring this issue up (which is a good thing to talk about). As parents, we can often be defensive and in denial to these problems, and their possible causes. Remember, both you and teacher are there as your child’s advocates. Be open to this discussion, as it can only help your child. Often these problems are caused by ADHD (Attention Deficit with/without Hyperactivity Disorder) or other learning disabilities. Many parents, believing that medication is the only treatment for this disorder, avoid the appropriate testing and/or treatment because they understandably fear the side effects and rigors associated with the medication. There is, however, an effective alternative to this scenario.
One alternative method to medication is Neurofeedback, a type of biofeedback that utilizes EEG to provide information on brain signaling activity and allows for re-training that lasts for life. This form of treatment mitigates the symptoms of ADHD in a beneficial and side-effect-free manner by re-focusing the thought processes of brain.
For additional information pertaining to Neurofeedback therapy for ADHD or various other disorders, please contact the director of the Alta Neuro-Imaging: Orange County, CA location.
As a psychologist specializing in helping students improve their academic and behavioral experience in school for over 16 years, I have come to identify certain types of students who benefit the most from specialized types of help. These are students that can make big time improvements at the start of the academic year.
The first type is the student who struggles significantly with homework (which icnreases in amount and difficulty each year). This is usually a problem with attention span, task completion, and/or organization. Problems such as homework taking too long, not being completed, not being turned in, or not being brought home, all fall into this category.
A second type is the child who has to work too hard to get what success they can. Poor grades and difficulty with testing are typical for this child. These are children who often can do OK when the work is done “one-on-one”, but are too distracted in group settings such as the classroom or group activity.
The third type is the student who has significant difficulties with his or her behavior. They may be getting into trouble frequently, and as a result may even be getting blamed for things that they don’t do. This behavior may make it hard to make friends (or the right kind of friends) and lead to feelings of isolation. They can often be held in or punished at recess (further isolation), and may begin to believe that they are troublemakers, or “bad” kids. The resulting damage to self esteem from this, and the other above patterns, can shape self-fulfilling self-images that are very sad to see develop.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult for parents to see these problems. They may feel that these problems for their child are “not that bad” or “I had the same problems when I was a child” (do we really want them to carry the same burdens?), or “they will probably grow out of it.” As parents, we need to be proactive regarding our children’s challenges and protect them for these obstacles, they will learn how to treat themselves from how we treat them with their difficulties.
As we mentioned earlier, many of these difficulties are caused by aptitude deficiencies whihc are quite correctable. Many of the students with these difficulties suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), either diagnosed or undiagnosed. Proper testing and/or treatment of this disorder are critical for these children’s well being. Many parents also resist testing and treatment because they fear the side effects and rigor of what they believe is the only treatment: medication. This is, unfortunately, still a popular misconception.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to this scenario. Neurofeedback is a proven, effective, drug and side effect free procedure in which the individual retrains the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.
If you would like more information about Neurofeedback, please contact Dr. Ferrari at his Southern California office, Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactiity Disorder is behind lots of problems for those who struggle with it, as well as for their parents and families. For most of these individuals, and their uninformed parents, they can lose sight of the fact that these problems are caused by the disorder, and not an indication of their true personality, desires, or abilities. In fact, most individuals with ADHD (ADD) have a higher than average I.Q., though they usually have significant difficulty expressing it fully. This results in the blaming of themselves (and not the disorder), and causes lowered self-esteem, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression.
For a teenager, with their heightened (over?) sense of self consciousness and perhaps self doubt, these negative feelings can be overwhelming to both the teenager and their parents. The following are some frightening statistics that bring into focus the serious problems confronting these teenagers and their parents.
*Teenagers with ADHD have 400% more traffic accidents and traffic tickets than teen without ADHD.
*Twice as many teens with this disorder will run away from home (about 32%) than teens without ADHD.
*As many as 50% of the teenagers in juvenile detention facilities have untreated ADHD.
*Teens with untreated ADHD are three times more likely to be arrested for arson (16%) as those without ADHD.
*Teenagers with untreated ADHD are ten times more likely to get pregnant, or cause a pregnancy, than those without the disorder.
*Teens untreated for ADHD are 400% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease than those without ADHD.
*Teens untreated for ADHD will average two arrests by the age of 18.
*Approximately 20% of teenagers with untreated ADHD will be arrested for a felony.
In addition to the above, teenagers with ADHD suffer from increased amounts of anxiety, a sense of being overwhelmed, and depression. Depression can look very different in teens from its appearance in adults. Since as many as 25% of teenagers with ADHD suffer from depression, let’s take a moment to describe it. Teenagers with depression can be anti-social and overly negative. Sometimes he or she may stop caring about personal appearance, and there may be an increased sensitivity to being loved (unloved?) and accepted. There may also be the more usual signs of adult depression.
It is critical to a teenager with ADHD that the disorder be treated properly to avoid these pitfalls, and allow them to experience success and gain confidence. Unfortunately, many parents avoid testing for and treating this disorder because they fear the rigors and side effects of medication. There is however a very successful alternative to this scenario. Neurofeedback is a highly effective, drug free, safe, non-invasive and painless procedure in which the patient learns to retrain the brain, correcting the problem. Once training is complete, no further treatment is necessary.
To request information on the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD), Mild to Moderate Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, and Peak Performance Training contact:Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback 1075 Yorba Place Suite 105 Placentia, CA 92870 714.990.6536 Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com