Autism Spectrum Disorder

The appointments are over. The assessments, the tests, the evaluations have all been completed and the diagnosis is in: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It may be a shock to you, your family, and your friends. What was once a clear path for your child now feels uncertain and even scary. Autism is one of the …


Children and Anxiety

Everyone has worries; things that nag at us and keep us up at night. Thankfully, for the majority of the population worries and anxiety are not constant. But what about children? They have worries, things that scare them and make it difficult to sleep and sometimes even function well during the day. As with most …


Research Review: Diet and Depression

A new study published last week in the journal BMC Medicine (Sanchez-Villegas et al., 2015) adds to the growing body of evidence linking depression symptoms and nutrition status.  Study results indicate a significant connection between healthy dietary pattern and prevention of depression symptoms.  Specifically, they found that dietary patterns including higher levels of fruits, vegetables, …


Research Review: Later School Start Times Better for Teen Health and Learning

Parents and teachers have known for a long time that students have a hard time getting up and going early in the morning.  This can be very problematic, as school start times generally require that students wake earlier the older they get.  There is a significant amount of research that has demonstrated the backwards approach …


The Importance of Recess

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an interview with a magazine reporter writing about the importance of recess for children.  While recess may not seem like a big deal to some people, I believe it is a critically important issue to examine in the context of supporting the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social …


Research Review: Mobile Devices and Social Development in Young Children

Everyone is talking technology today, whether they’re excited about benefits or cringing at its unavoidability. It’s easy for parents to feel confused about the benefits and negative consequences of technology use with their children. On the one hand, they don’t want their children to miss out on these exciting opportunities or developing familiarity with them …


Essential Qualities for Educators Working With Students Who Have Learning and Behavior Challenges

The start of a new school is just around the corner, and I’ve found myself thinking about my educator colleagues who are preparing for the year ahead with their students.  Those who especially come to mind are the educators who will be working with students who have learning and behavior challenges but feel ill equipped …


The Nutrition-Anxiety Link in Children with Learning, Mood, and Behavior Challenges

Anxiety is a very common symptom in children and adults with a wide range of diagnoses. The majority of individuals with learning, mood, and behavior challenges struggle with anxiety symptoms such as constant worry, fear of being in social situations, feelings of restlessness, or panic. While many things can cause and exacerbate anxiety symptoms, the …


Why is it so hard to change?

Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, or change a behavior.  This change occurs with consistent practice over those two months.  Why then is it that most people give up after only a few days or weeks?  Is it because we don’t see immediate change, get tired …