Welcome Back!

Back to school may not seem like a typical time to view as a “new year,” but after years working in education, that’s exactly what it is- an opportunity to restart, regroup, and hopefully, be better than last year.
So, if you will, there are some new goals this year at Behavior Rescue.

  • Write more frequent posts.

What that frequency looks like, I couldn’t tell you right now, but I think it’s fair to say that I need to improve my regularity of writing. It’s also safe to say that these goals are not measurable or specific and I would, in fact, send them back to my students if they turned them in.

  • Target not only child-specific behaviors, but also some adult maladaptive behaviors.

In wanting this site to be a resource for behavior, that means the expansion of behaviors discussed. You can expect to see some information on modifying personal behaviors, parent behaviors, and target behaviors for treatment. Expansion of topics is exciting!

  • Build the site.

This is the one you can help the most with. Offer feedback/suggestions/thoughts/topics-constructive criticism is great!- share what you like, and pass along the helpful information to those who might be interested. Together, this site can be a success. Alone, its just another voice in the internet.

*An Important Note: I will not be able to support individual cases that contact me through this site. That being said, I’m happy to point you to the right resources, offer presentations, training modules, and guest posts. If you’d like to work with me, please let me know and I feel confident we can work something out that meets your needs.

So, welcome back!

Fall is a terrific time for transitions and this transition promises to be a great one.

Thank you for participating.

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Asperger Syndrome Might Be Different from Autism

After a long-publicized discussion on the newly released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychological Association (DSM-5), Asperger syndrome and Autism were combined to form a new category of ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’.

Turns out, there are fundamental brain differences between individuals with Autism and those with Asperger syndrome. While both individuals may have restricted interests and stereotypical behaviors, children with Asperger syndrome tend to demonstrate language development that is more consistent with that of their neurotypical peers. Research study was completed through Boston Children’s Hospital, and while it may only be a first step, it represents an important one. The study analyzed brain connectivity using EEG readings of 400 children with Autism diagnoses, 550 ‘control’ children (identified as neurotypical), and 26 children with Asperger syndrome.

Findings will need to be replicated, but the results are an exciting first step to clarify the diagnosis process and ensure that children with special needs, whatever those needs may be, are identified and served appropriately.

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How Do I Get This Kid to Eat?? Ways to Overcome Picky Eating (Guest Post)

Do you have a child that will not eat anything of a particular color. Does your child live on cheese and peanut butter alone? Picky eaters can quickly worry a parent into the ground. You know your little one needs to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but you also dread fighting with him at every meal while trying to get him to take just one bite of something healthy. Here are some tips for getting your little one to start eating right:

Your Kitchen is Not a Restaurant

One of the largest contributing factors to picky eating is overindulgent parents. Your home does not have a menu from which people can order. Prepare dinner and inform your child that this is what is available to eat. The choices are to eat it or not. While it is okay to try to include at least one thing your child will eat, do not allow them to eat from anywhere then the meal you prepared. Parents hate the idea of a child skipping a meal, but to be honest there is no danger of your child withering away from missing a meal or two. When he gets hungry, he will eat.

Throw on the Flavor

Children have sensitive palates and will notice quickly when something tastes good. Don’t be afraid to offer seasoned, flavorful dishes. A little garlic can make anything taste great (and it’s good for you). Also consider offering no typical kid foods like marinated olives and gourmet cheeses. Avoid extremely spicy foods or those with a pungent odor. Overall, strive to cook the same types of meals for your family that you would serve friends.

Push the Veggies

Kids sense that parents really, really want them to eat vegetables. That opportunity for a power struggle, combined with the fact that many parents simply boil and salt the veggies as a side dish, makes this one of the biggest hurdles in trying to get a child to eat. Instead of serving bland, plain vegetables, try incorporating them into flavorful main dishes. Eggplant Parmesan, vegetable lasagna, and shepherd’s pie are all great choices. Another great trick is to sit the kids down with vegetables first, while they are hungry. Often, they will eat at least a few bites while waiting for the main course to be ready.

Require a Test Drive

Many kids dismiss a food that they would like simply because it looks different. Make a rule that your child has to try one bite of everything. If it doesn’t make him gag, make him have a second bite. This is enough to get most kids to at least give new foods a try. Even if he appears to truly hate a food, praise him for trying it.

Bribery is Not a Dirty Word

All is fair in the eating game. Use bribery to get your picky child to eat. Make a rule that there is no dessert until he eats his dinner. Remember however, that he has a small stomach so his portions should be very small. Do not allow seconds of a favorite food until he has eaten the other foods on his plate. Finally, if there are siblings involved, play on the natural selfishness by offering to give his food to his sister or brother. He will likely gobble it up before he lets that happen.

Sunny A. is a writer for http://www.mybusinesscareers.com/. Take a look at this site if you want to learn more about a degree in business.

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Protein & Behavior: A Simple Solution?

Although in the past some emphasis has been given to changing the diet of individuals with Autism diagnoses, some evidence suggests that all children may benefit from improved diet- defined by this article as increased protein and nutrients. This particular article recommends providing high protein choices for children in the morning, and decreasing carbohydrate offerings- particularly for breakfast.

And protein may not be the only beneficial component. Based on a double-blind study (the ‘gold standard’ of such research), children in the lowest 20% of a study sample demonstrated increased performance in reading when supplemented daily with DHA Omega-3. It is important to recognize that children gained just 0.8 month on standardized testing; however, this gain was accomplished in just 4 months and in addition to the gains of those students who took placebo supplements. Those in the study sample who were the lowest performing 10% demonstrated a gain of 1.9 months performance. Again, it is important to note that this particular study was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, but that additional studies are being planned.

Have you noticed a change in a child’s behavior or performance after modifying diet?



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Posted in Research Review, Uncategorized

Dealing with Teenage Anxiety (Guest Post)

Those who can clearly recall their teen years will remember the uncomfortable amount of anxiety they probably felt on a daily basis. While most teens suffer from anxiety from time to time, some children have more trouble dealing with the issue than others. Even siblings separated by just a year may have totally different attitudes when it comes to dealing with the pressures of school and their social lives. Understanding teen anxiety can give parents an idea of when they need to take a step back in order to let their child handle things on their own and when they should intervene to help their child deal with the issues at hand.

What is Anxiety?

For teens and adults, anxiety is the typical reaction to stressful situations and environments. Taking tests, new social encounters, speaking in public, taking a boy or girl out on a date, and participating in a competitive sporting event can all make a person feel slightly apprehensive. Some teens, however, have a stronger reaction to these kinds of stressful situations than others. To some kids, just thinking about any of these types of situations may cause them to feel a great deal of distress.

Anxiety doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, and can be beneficial when it helps someone deal with a tense situation. When studying for a test, for example, feeling anxious about how you might score could help you study a little harder so you feel better about your chances of receiving a good grade. Other times, however, anxiety can do more harm than good, especially when it becomes excessive or irrational, and prevents a person from being able to focus on the task at hand.

Occasionally, anxiety can cause a rift to form between your teen and their friends in instances where they avoid social situations because they feel too panicked or tense. Your child needs to take steps to feel less anxious once they begin to experience anxiety that threatens to disrupt their teenage life.

Signs that your teen is experiencing excessive anxiety can include:

  • They feel overly anxious, worried, or afraid for no reason. Teens will generally feel anxiety about specific events, such as a big dance or upcoming test. Your teen’s anxiety level may be ratcheted too far up when no obvious reason exists for their anxiety.
  • They excessively worry about daily events and activities. Again, some worry for teens is normal, but constantly worrying about events that don’t usually warrant such feelings indicates their anxiety level is too high.
  • Your teen continuously double checks whether they did something right. While it’s normal for teens to double check their homework or make sure they remember an important test date or event, it’s unusual for most teens to repeatedly obsess over such small details.
  • Your teen panics and cannot function in certain pressure situations, such as taking a test, giving a speech, or when hanging out with friends.

Coping with Teen Anxiety

Finding the right treatment for your teen is an important step in helping them to reduce their anxiety. Treatment can involve seeing a clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Occasionally, school counselors can help parents find the right treatment option for their child. Once your teen receives help, many areas of their life can begin to improve, such as their performance in school and relationships with friends and family.

The most common types of treatment for anxiety can include:

  • Medication. Several types of prescription drugs can help your child deal with anxiety depending on their symptoms. Kids who suffer from social anxiety are often treated with the same types of medication used to treat depression. Because these types of medications alter a person’s body chemistry, they often take several weeks to take effect.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. If you elect to send your teen to a therapist, one of the techniques they may employ is cognitive-behavioral therapy. The therapist will work with your child to determine what types of thoughts and behaviors cause their anxiety, and will work with your teen to help reduce them.
  • Biofeedback. A type of therapy that uses electronic devices to measure how the body responds to certain stressful situations. The more information the body gives about its internal processes, the more information therapist has to teach a person how to control these processes.
  • Relaxation techniques. Teaching your teen such techniques as yoga, tai chi, meditation, and deep abdominal breathing can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and negative thoughts.

While approximately 13 percent of all teens suffer from high enough anxiety that they need to seek medical or psychotherapeutic treatment, each child is different. By talking with your teen, you can begin to understand how well they deal with anxiety.

Timothy Lemke blogs about children’s health issues for Dr. Kirk Christianson, a dentist in Clackamas at Downtown Dental Care.

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