The Teacher’s TCIT Toolkit    Children yearn to feel understood but it’s challenging for teachers to build relationships with students who talk back, distract other kids, and refuse to comply with instructions. But what if there was a way to change the dynamic between teachers and disruptive kids? What if there was a method to get these students engaged in lessons, behaving calmly, and complying with commands? Though this may sound like a fairy tale, a behavioral intervention called Teacher Child Interaction Training (TCIT) may be able to make this dream a reality in your classroom.    So what can you do to apply TCIT with your students?       1. Know the need     10 to 22% of students struggle with behavioral issues or psychological disorders, and teachers often feel ill-equipped to support these students’ needs. With the expectation of meeting every students’ unique needs, it’s only natural for teachers to feel frustrated with kids who act out. This begins a vicious cycle of a child acting disruptively, a teacher responding with negative attention, and a classroom missing out on opportunities to learn. With TCIT however, teachers can increase desirable behaviors and create a positive classroom environment.     2. Discover the benefits       Research on TCIT has shown it as an effective way to:      Increase job satisfaction in educators    Reduce disruptive behaviors in students    Improve interactions between children and teachers    Improve students’ emotional intelligence and academic performance    Increase students’ compliance and self-regulation    Decrease teachers’ need to issue commands     TCIT benefits children with a variety of conditions that can be challenging for teachers to support including:    Oppositional Defiant Disorder    Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder    Conduct Disorder    Child Maltreatment & Trauma    Bipolar Disorder    Anxiety & Depressive Disorders     3. Apply the principles      Families around the world have discovered the benefits of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an intervention that teaches parents how to increase positive experiences with their children. The principles of PCIT improve a child’s compliance by:    Providing clear and consistent expectations for their behavior    Increasing positive attention toward children     Using selective attention by ignoring minor unwanted behaviors    Reducing criticisms and questions    TCIT embraces these principles while adapting techniques to the classroom setting.   4. Educate with PRIDE      TCIT identifies 5 core skills that teachers can use to improve teacher-student relationships. By giving students opportunities to lead activities and incorporating these skills while observing them, teachers can reinforce positive behaviors in students:      PRAISE   – Label the behaviors you appreciate in your students, praising them for acting appropriately.     Younger Child Example : “I love how Marta is using her pencil.”   Older Child Example:  “Thank you for being in your seat before the bell.”     REFLECTION   – Reflect back on things your students say to show that you are listening and appreciate their thoughts.     Younger Child Example :  Student:  “I wrote a story about a superhero who gets his powers from lima beans.”  Teacher:  “You wrote a superhero story!”    Older Child Example:   Student:  “I coded this entire webpage!”   Teacher:  “Coding is your thing!”     IMITATION   – Boost your student’s confidence by copying their creations or ideas. Imitation shows children that you enjoy interacting with them and think their ideas are valuable and interesting.     Younger Child Example : “I’m going to paint an animal picture just like Lola.”   Older Child Example:  “I like how you explained that formula, I am going to explain it that way to the other students.”      DESCRIPTION   – Support your students’ language development and communication skills by describing what you see them doing.     Younger Child Example : “I see you’re carefully gluing each piece of your project together.”   Older Child Example:  “I see you’re writing everything in your planner.”     ENJOYMENT   – Express enthusiasm and enjoyment as you interact with your class. The more fun you are having, the more engaged your students will be.     Younger Child Example : “I’m having so much fun practicing for our spring recital!”    Older Child Example:  “I really enjoy going to competitions with our team!”    Click to download our free PRIDE Skills for Teachers Form      
 
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       5. Point out the positive     A key element of TCIT is giving more attention to the positive than the negative. When teachers react to negative attention-seeking behaviors, students will continue to seek attention by acting out. When behaviors are only mildly disruptive, ignore them and look for the next opportunity to point out something positive the student does. Of course, there are times when behaviors can’t be ignored, which brings us to our next tips:     6. Set rules strategically     Establishing clear rules is essential for students to understand your expectations. Be strategic in setting rules that are:     Simple  – Rules should be easily understandable for your students’ age      Specific  – Gray areas leave room for students to argue or negotiate     Visible  – Display rules in a noticeable area     Enforceable  – “Respect yourself,” is a great goal to encourage students to have, but it’s too vague to enforce as a rule with consequences     7. Connect your consequences     Let’s say a child pushes a classmate during reading and you don’t allow them to participate in a trivia game two hours later. Your consequence might not make sense to them because they’ve moved on with their day and missing an academic game isn’t clearly connected to pushing. When a child doesn’t understand how a consequence relates to their behavior, they are more likely to break that rule again. A more effective consequence would be to have them sit away from other students until they can keep their hands to themselves. By immediately enforcing clear consequences, your students will be less likely to repeat the same mistakes moving forward.      8. Be a calm commander     The TCIT method calls for giving commands that are simple, calm, and direct. To ensure your instructions are TCIT approved, give commands that are:    Given one at a time    Explained in a calm, neutral tone      Stated after a reason ( Reason : “We are going outside for recess.”  Command : “When I call your table, please line up at the door.”)    Respectful and polite (Starting with, “please,” models good manners)    Specific (“Please stay in your seat.” “Please talk with your group quietly,” rather than, “please behave during group work.”)    Positively stated (“Please keep your feet on the ground” instead of, “stop putting your feet on your desk”)       


   
     
      
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      9. Is managing student behavior stressing you out?     Are you a teacher feeling stressed out with the demands of managing a classroom while meeting academic standards? Do you represent a district or private school and want to learn more about how to implement TCIT in your school? Reach out to us for a consultation and learn about our school-based coaching service to empower teachers with the TCIT model.    Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology and a U.C. Davis TCIT & PCIT trainer. Dr. Shinn is experienced in empowering teachers and mental health professionals in understanding the TCIT method and incorporating its principles into their school’s culture.     


   
     
      
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Budd, K.S., Stern, D. (2016). About TCIT.  TCIT.org.  Retrieved online: http://www.tcit.org/home/about/  Budd, K.S., Stern, D. (2016). Educators.  TCIT.org.  Retrieved online: http://www.tcit.org/educators/  Dover, V., Murillo, M., Garcia, A., Curiel, C., & Vargas, L. (2008). University of California Davis. https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/3_TCIT-Presentation-for-Conf.pdf  Giebel, S. (2018). E.C.M.H. Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy Model.  University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.  Retrieved online: https://www.ocd.pitt.edu/ECMH-Teacher-Child-Interaction-Therapy-Model/354/Default.aspx  Linson, Michael (2015). How to Create the Perfect Set of Classroom Rules.  Smart Classroom Management.  Retrieved online: https://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2015/07/18/how-to-create-the-perfect-set-of-classroom-rules/  Lyon, A. R., Gershenson, R. A., Farahmand, F. K., Thaxter, P. J., Behling, S., & Budd, K. S. (2009). Effectiveness of Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) in a Preschool Setting.  Behavior Modification ,  33 (6), 855–884. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445509344215  McIntosh, D.E., Rizza, M.G., Bliss, L. (2000). Implementing empirically supported interventions: Teacher-Child interaction therapy.  Psychology in the Schools.  Retrieved online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1520-6807(200009)37:5%3C453::AID-PITS5%3E3.0.CO;2-2  PCIT & TCIT Training (2018). PCITtraining.com. Retrieved online: https://pcit-training.com/tcit/what-is-teacher-child-interaction-training/  Urquiza, A., Zebell, N., Timmer, S., McGrath, J., & Whitten, L. (2011) Be Direct: Improving Compliance Giving Effective Commands .  Course of Treatment Manual for PCIT-TC.  Unpublished Manuscript. Retrieved online: https://pcit.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/48_BEDIRECTrevised.pdf  Watson, A. (2018). How to Create Class Rules.  The Cornerstone for Teachers.  Retrieved online: https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/class-rules/    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). The Teacher’s TCIT Toolkit  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/the-teachers-tcit-toolkit

The Teacher’s TCIT Toolkit

Calling all teachers!Do you feel at your wit’s end with disruptive kids?

Are you stressed with trying to support your students’ emotional health while meeting rising academic standards?

Teacher Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT) has been shown to reduce disruptive behaviors in students and improve relationships between kids and educators - all while improving job satisfaction for teachers! To learn 9 tips on bringing TCIT into your classroom, check out this week’s blog.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Could My Teen Have Autism?”   As many as 1 in 59 American kids receive an autism diagnosis, and most of them are diagnosed by age 3. However, there are kids with autism who enter their teen years without being diagnosed. Since autism symptoms can range from mild to severe, symptoms of teens with high functioning autism may not seem to drastically impair them. Even so, there are major benefits to having your teen evaluated if they’re showing any signs of autism. A diagnosis can bring many emotional, relational, and academic benefits to teens as they navigate this important stage of life. Parents can also receive tremendous relief from having their child diagnosed, as once they’ve identified the cause of their teen’s symptoms, they can better focus on what to do about them.    So what are some signs that your teen may have autism?:    1. Communication quandaries   Sure, all teens can be a little socially awkward at times. Autism, however, presents some distinct communication challenges that make it hard for teens to connect with peers, such as:    Struggling to join in conversations appropriately    Having difficulty talking about a range of topics     Using speech in an unusual way such as talking in a monotone or accent    Having trouble understanding and discussing emotions     Responding to questions by repeating them rather than answering    A diagnosis can be a starting point to help your teen understand their challenges and gain tools to build lasting friendships.       


   
     
      
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     Reading body language seems to come naturally to many people, but unspoken communication often eludes individuals with autism. If your teen has autism, they may struggle to read the expressions of others, refrain from meaningful eye contact, and show little emotional expression. They have a much easier time understanding clear and literal explanations as opposed to metaphors, sarcasm, or vague inferences.    3. Social differences    Teens with autism tend to have few friends and prefer to spend time on their own. While they may have difficulty connecting with people in their age group, they might be more comfortable interacting with younger kids or older adults since they impose less social pressure.    4. Intense interests    Most teens are “totally obsessed” with their celebrity crush or smartphone, but teens who have autism often exhibit obsessive symptoms in the following ways:    Fixating on certain interests such as geology or basketball      Compulsive routines and rituals such as only drinking from a particular cup    Repetitive body movements such as rocking or hand tapping    Unusual attachments to certain objects    Repetitive noises such as grunting, throat-clearing, or squealing     5. Greatly gifted   The minds of neurotypical people tend to work several areas of the brain at once (social interactions, for example, require multiple regions of the brain to work together). The minds of those with autism are able to focus more of their brain’s resources into one area at a time, often causing them to develop remarkable talents. Whether they are gifted in chemistry, playing piano, learning languages, or memorizing baseball stats, teens with autism tend to have amazing memories and unique intellectual abilities.    6. Sensory sensitivities   While most teens start distancing themselves from mom and dad to assert their independence, teens with autism may also not want to be touched due to sensory sensitivities. Teens with autism may be bothered by the texture of their gym clothes, bright florescent classroom lighting, or noisy high school hallways.    7. Challenged by change   Teens with autism find calm and comfort in rigid routines and structure. Change is hard for them to cope with and they may become distressed or upset when their routines are altered. High school can be a hard time for anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for teens with autism due to its many changes. Increased complexity, changing classrooms, different teachers, and high-pressure social situations can make adolescence a particularly trying time for teens with autism.    Why a diagnosis is important    Teens with autism can excel in school, work, and relationships, but they’re more likely to do so if they receive support and understanding. Without a diagnosis, they may have a harder time accepting their differences and leveraging their unique strengths. If you suspect your teen may have autism, a diagnosis can open countless doors to   secure accommodations in academic    and    professional pursuits   ,  and our specialists can guide you through the best ways to support them.       Dr. Amy E. Weir, Psy.D.,  is an expert in neurodevelopment and autism spectrum disorder. If your child is showing symptoms of ASD, Dr. Weir can evaluate your child to see if there is a diagnosis and recommend a variety of supports to benefit your child’s development.      


   
     
      
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      Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you think your teenage son may have autism, Dr. Sample can provide a supportive place to evaluate your son’s symptoms and empower him to reach his potential.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is an expert in diagnostic testing and counseling and is experienced in providing therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you think your teen or   other family member   may have autism, Dr. Torres can guide you in taking the next steps to support your loved one.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you think your teen may have autism, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing, recommend support, and help you become an informed advocate for your teen’s education.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   American Autism Association (2016). What is autism?  MyAutism.org  Retrieved online: https://www.myautism.org/all-about-  autism/what-is-autism/?gclid=CjwKCAjw9sreBRBAEiwARroYmwt4izLg3dJ_ZaXsClvHBhqaFiEgUwGrFpux1AMBJjpTeekibHMB3xoCZrcQAvD_BwE  The Australian Parenting Website (2018). Signs of autism spectrum disorder in older children and teenagers. Retrieved online: https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/learning-about-asd/assessment-diagnosis/signs-of-asd-in-teens  Hurst, Michael. (2015). Teenagers with Autism: Symptoms, Treatment, and Help.  CRC Health . https://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/autism-in-teenagers/  Shinn. M.M. (2019). Accommodations for College Entrance Exams: What Parents Need to Know.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/does-my-child-need-accommodations-for-the-sat-act    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Dad Have Undiagnosed Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/could-my-dad-have-undiagnosed-autism    Szalavitz, M. (2012). What Genius and Autism Have in Common.  TIME Magazine . Retrieved from http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/10/what-child-prodigies-and-autistic-people-have-in-common/   Zerbo, O., Qian, Y., Yoshida, C., Grether, J. K., Van de Water, J., & Croen, L. A. (2015). Maternal Infection During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Journal of autism and development tal disorders ,  45 (12), 4015-25.   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Teen Have Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/could-my-teen-have-autism

“Could My Teen Have Autism?”

Does your teen have trouble making friends? Do they struggle with sensory sensitivities? Do they have strict routines they stick to? If you’ve ever wondered if your teen might have undiagnosed autism, check out this week’s blog.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      7 Ways a Loved One’s Illness Affects the Whole Family      A person’s quality of life tends to be similar to those around them - when someone you love develops a serious illness, the negative impact on the patient’s life can also influence the rest of the family’s well-being. While it’s critical that family members support their sick loved one, it’s equally important to be aware of obstacles that illness can impose on the whole family. By understanding the challenges that may arise, your family will be better prepared to work through them and support your sick loved one as a strong, united front.    So what kind of problems do family members face when a loved one becomes ill? If you have a sick loved one, here are 7 challenges your family may need to work through:     1. Emotional upheaval     Watching someone you love struggle with illness is painful, making many family members feel a sense of helplessness or loss of control. Emotions impact each person to different extents, but it’s normal to feel any or all of the following emotions:      Guilt    Anger    Fear    Frustration    Embarrassment    Despair      Click here to uncover the 6 stealthy disguises of depression in men       2. Function disruption     Each family member fills certain roles in their household, allowing the family to function like clockwork (well, maybe not like clockwork – we’ve all left a sink full of dishes overnight or forgotten to pay a bill!). But when one family member becomes too ill to function, it can feel like the family structure has gone completely off the rails. The rest of the family feels pressure to fill the roles of the patient, and trying to absorb another person’s responsibilities can feel overwhelming.      3. Body burn-out      Driving your family member to medical appointments, preparing special meals, picking up prescriptions, and being too stressed to sleep can make you feel like your body’s tank is constantly running on empty. Neglecting your own appointments, feeling exhausted, having gastrointestinal issues, and developing body aches are common symptoms of caregiver stress.      Experiencing caregiver-stress? Click here        4. Rocky relationships      Each family member deals with a variety of complex emotions, and it can be hard for them to understand one another. Some may feel anger from being burdened with most of the caregiving, while others might feel neglected as the patient gets most of the family’s attention. Poor communication can cause tension and arguments between family members; in turn, strained relationships make it harder for the patient to remain positive and hopeful as they cope with their illness.      5. Work and school slip-ups     A person’s illness can be very disruptive to their family’s professional and academic lives. If dad is in the hospital, he can’t help his kids with their math homework. If mom has to drop everything to respond to grandma’s health emergencies, she may miss important meetings or deadlines. Focusing on completing work or school assignments is difficult when family members are worried about their loved one’s health.   Worried about how a loved one’s illness is impacting your child in school?      


   
     
      
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      6. Financial fall-out      The financial implications of a family member’s illness often present a tremendous burden. If the patient was normally the family’s main bread-winner, the rest of the family has to quickly adjust to life without their regular income. If the patient is a child, one or more parents may need to take a leave from work and disability income is often less than their standard pay. Costs of treatments, transportation, medication, and hiring caregivers can quickly mount into unmanageable expenses, adding to the family’s stress.      7. Social struggles     Meeting the constant needs of severely sick loved ones can leave little time for hobbies and social activities. If medical bills are stacking up, you may not have much cash left to watch a pay-per-view fight with the guys or get your roots touched up at the salon. The emotional impact of a family member’s illness can also make it difficult to have fun and connect with friends, as many people fear coming off as a “downer” when they talk about what’s going on.    Need someone to talk to? Click here to learn more about our specialists          8. Need for support      All of these challenges are significant and should not be taken lightly; the good news is, your family doesn’t have to face them alone, and there are ways to leverage these obstacles to strengthen your family rather than tear it apart. With the right support, your family can maintain a healthy quality of life while tending to the needs of your sick loved one.    Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a man or teenage boy struggling with a family member’s illness, Dr. Sample can provide a safe place to work through your challenges.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is an expert in diagnostic testing and counseling and is experienced in helping families strengthen their relationships and improve their quality of life. If your family is being affected by a loved one’s illness, Dr. Torres can support you in coping with challenges and finding happiness.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT,  is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. If you are concerned with the impact of a loved one’s illness on your family, Cynthia can provide tools to support each individual in maintaining health and happiness.   Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you worry that a family member’s illness has had a negative impact on your child, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for your child’s unique needs.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Golics, C. J., Basra, M. K., Salek, M. S., & Finlay, A. Y. (2013). The impact of patients' chronic disease on family quality of life: an experience from 26 specialties.  International journal of general medicine ,  6 , 787-98. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S45156  How Chronic Illness or Disability Affects a Family (2014).  Healthychildren.org . Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chronic/Pages/How%20Chronic-Illness-Affects-the-Family.aspx  Shinn, M.M. (2018). How to Care for Aging Parents while Raising a Family: 8 Tips for the Sandwich Generation.   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-to-care-for-aging-parents-while-raising-a-family-8-tips-for-the-sandwich-generation    Shinn, M.M. (2018). Stealth Depression in Men: Unmasking its 6 Disguises.  Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/stealth-depression-in-men-unmasking-its-6-disguises    Wittenberg, E., Saada, A., & Prosser, L. A. (2013). How illness affects family members: a qualitative interview survey.  The patient ,  6 (4), 257-68.    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 7 Ways a Loved One’s Illness Affects the Whole Family.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/7-ways-a-loved-ones-illness-affects-the-whole-family

7 Ways a Loved One’s Illness Affects the Whole Family

Are you struggling with a family member’s chronic illness? Check out this week’s blog to learn how a loved one’s illness impacts the whole family and how our specialists can help.  

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kids in Active Play     Today’s kids are spending more time indoors and less time riding bikes, scraping knees, and making mischief with friends. Many parents question whether it’s really a big deal if their kids spend hours in front of screens. However, our nation’s decrease in exercise is causing some serious damage to kids’ physical and mental health. With roughly 1 in 3 American kids being overweight, it’s critical that parents get their children moving. So why is active play so crucial for your child, and how can parents fit play into their busy lives?    Here are 10 reasons active play should be a top priority in your child’s life:     1. Academic potential skyrockets     Parents go to great lengths to enhance their children’s learning – springing for expensive tutors, brainy toys, or private school tuitions to give their kids the best opportunities. However, simply taking active breaks after every 3 hours of learning can give a serious boost to your child’s retention. Kids who are given a chance to be active have higher attention spans and are 20% more likely to get an A+ in math or English – now that’s something to get moving for!    For more tips on supporting children with learning and attention challenges, click here       Did you know that exercise reduces your child’s risk of behavioral problems? Active play has been associated with:      Reducing bullying by 43%    Dropping discipline referrals by 57%    Reducing depression and anxiety    Improving mood and self-esteem     Decreasing aggression      Have a defiant kid? Click here       3, You don’t have to get fancy     While many parents enroll their kids in structured sports like gymnastics or soccer, paying for more than a few activities can quickly drain your wallet and make you feel like a full-time chauffeur. The good news is, active play doesn’t require fancy equipment or formal training. Dancing around while dinner cooks, walking the dog, playing hopscotch, or chasing bubbles are just a few simple ways to get moving with your kids.      4. Active play is for everyone     Parents of children with special needs or learning differences may wonder if active play will contribute to hyperactivity. However, research shows physical activity has the opposite effect. Exercise has been shown to promote calm, focus, and structure in children. Allowing your kid to burn energy throughout the day will also improve their sleep – something all parents can appreciate     5. It supports them socially     When your child is allowed to play freely with friends, it naturally boosts their social skills and emotional intelligence. Play fosters friendships, gives opportunities for conflict resolution, teaches sharing, promotes emotional regulation, and provides children with a sense of belonging.     For more tips on boosting your child’s emotional intelligence, click here     6. Health benefits last a lifetime     Obesity is a serious health concern that increases a person’s risk for diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, gallbladder disease, cancer, sleep apnea, and death. Active play is one of the best ways to prevent these life-threatening conditions in your child. By engaging in regular exercise, your child will:      Develop strong bones, muscles, and joints    Be 41% less likely to become overweight    Be at reduced risk for chronic illnesses associated with obesity    Be sick less often and require fewer school nurse visits     7. You can be a great role model     Your children look up to you as an example of how active they should be. When parents lead an active lifestyle, physical play becomes second nature for their kids. This doesn’t mean you need to force yourself to be the next Serena Williams or Cristiano Ronaldo; if you don’t like doing structured workouts, find activities that are fun and make you forget you’re exercising such as nature hikes or swimming.      8. The 60/60 rule works     Experts recommend that kids get 2 hours of daily physical activity to get the most out of play – one hour of free, unstructured play, and another hour of adult-led play. However, life’s demands can make it hard for parents to play for a full hour at a time. Here are a few tips for getting your kid’s “play quota” in each week:      Enroll them in organized team sports – these are usually about an hour long    Advocate at their school district for daily PE of at least 30 minutes    Fit play into smaller segments throughout the day, taking 10-minute breaks to walk, run, or jump rope every few hours     Feel like taking a 3-minute active break right now? Grab your kids and “play in place” with this awesomely active song!        

 
 
    

 
 
      9. PRIDE promotes play     Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) identifies the following five techniques called PRIDE skills that parents can use to make play a positive and engaging experience:      P RAISE – Compliment your child for positive behaviors.     Example:  “Great job throwing the ball!”    R EFLECTION – Repeat back what your child tells you.     Example:  “You’re right, you got it in the basket!”    I MITATION – Copy what your child does to enforce positive behaviors.     Example:  “I’m going to do the same stretches you are doing.”     D ESCRIPTION – Describe what your child is doing to boost their language and communication skills.     Example:  “You’re hopping on your left foot!”    E NJOYMENT – Express fun and enthusiasm as you play with your child.     Example:  “This is so much fun! Come dance with me!”     Dads - check out our PRIDE of Fatherhood blog       10. A Specialist can help      Play has the power to boost your child’s intellectual, emotional, and physical development, but it can be hard for parents to know how to unlock that potential. A Play Specialist can empower you to connect with your child through play, improving their health and making the most out of physical activity.      


   
     
      
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      Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D. ,  is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout each stage of life. If you wish your family led a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start, Dr Davis can support you on a clear path toward reaching your goals.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis 
       Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are looking for ways to help your teenage son develop a more active lifestyle, Dr. Sample can help.        
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you are concerned that a lack of active play has been impacting your child’s development, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for your child’s unique needs.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html  Common Sense Media (2015). The Common Sense Census: Media Used by Tweens and Teens. Retrieved from: http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2017/images/11/07/commonsensecensus.mediausebytweensandteens.2015.final.pdf  Shinn. M.M. (2019). ADHD or Just Kids Being Kids?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/adhd-or-just-kids-being-kids    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children     Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Kid is So Defiant – Is It My Fault?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-kid-is-so-defiant-is-it-my-fault     Shinn. M.M. (2018). The P.R.I.D.E. of Fatherhood.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-pride-of-fatherhood-5-ways-that-great-dads-shape-our-mental-health    Shinn, M., Turner, A., Taylor Lucas, C. (2016). Play in Place. Presentation.  Child Guidance Center, Children & Families Commission of Orange County, & UC Irvine .   Taylor Lucas, C. E., Shinn, M. M., & Turner, A. C., (2015). Play in place. Unpublished recording. Redondo Beach, California: Mike Irwin Studios  Turner, A. C., (2013). Active play every day: A manual for facilitating active play with young children. Unpublished manuscript.    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kids in Active Play.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/get-moving-10-reasons-to-engage-your-kids-in-active-play

Get Moving! 10 Reasons to Engage Your Kids in Active Play

With childhood obesity being a serious health concern, it’s critical that parents make active play a daily priority for their kids. Check out this week’s blog for 10 ways that active play improves your child’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “How do I Love Me? Let me Count the Ways”  10 Tips for Self-Love this Valentine’s day      Valentine’s Day makes us think of adoring bonds between happy couples, which is certainly something to celebrate. But this V-day, we’d like to challenge you to make another type of affection a priority: self-love. Self-love is not self-centered or narcissistic; it’s about valuing yourself in a way that supports your health, relationships, and emotional well-being. Most people understand the importance of showing love to the people they care about, yet many of us tend to put our own feelings on the back-burner.      But there’s more to self-love than just treating yourself to the occasional spa day or night out with the guys. So what can people do to start truly loving themselves more?    1. Understand it’s importance    Self-love influences who a person picks for relationships, impacts the image they project at work, affects how they cope with challenges in life, and supports their mental and physical health. Loving yourself also provides a positive example for children and teens to understand the importance of self-care.     2. Know it’s not narcissism     Some worry that self-love is vain or narcissistic, but there’s a difference between caring for your well-being and thinking you’re superior to others. Narcissism is a delusional sense of superiority that is characterized by being blinded to one’s flaws. Self-love is about accepting yourself for both your positive traits and flaws while valuing yourself for exactly who you are.      3. Treat yourself as you would others     It’s ironic that we say, “treat others as you would have them treat you,” when we’re usually less critical of others than ourselves! Next time you’re being hard on yourself, think of whether you would be so harsh in judging your friend, neighbor, parent, or child for the same shortcoming. Treat yourself with the same grace and acceptance you offer to loved ones when they are less than perfect.      4. Accept your humanity     Remember that you are only human and making mistakes is part of the human experience. A self-loving person recognizes that being human includes making the occasional error or lapse in judgment. The important thing is seeing yourself for more than your shortcomings and using your experience to grow moving forward.     5. Quit comparing yourself     Stop measuring yourself up to others who are wealthier, wittier, or better looking. Remember that people only publicly share the highlights of their lives and tend to gloss over their challenges and shortcomings. When you compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel, you’ll focus on your flaws and falsely believe that they are worse than everyone else’s.    Check out our blog on how to stop comparing yourself on social media     6. Make life mindful     People who love themselves tend to be aware of what they think, feel, and desire. They make decisions based on self-awareness rather than relying on what other people want for them. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to become more attuned to your true self. Be mindful by reflecting on your feelings without judgment. Practice deep breathing and stay focused on the present moment; when your mind starts to dwell on the past or get anxious about the future, redirect your focus to the sensations of the present.      7. Ritualize self-care     Caring for your basic needs is a great way to show yourself love every day. Make it a daily ritual to nourish yourself through healthy activities such as exercise, sound nutrition, proper sleep, intimacy, and fun time with friends. Keep your scheduled appointments for physicals, dental screenings, and mental health support.      


   
     
      
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      8. Believe in boundaries     Part of self-love is knowing not to try to be everything for everybody. People who struggle with self-love often fear the repercussions of saying no to requests, but the truth is people respect those who know how to set healthy boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no to tasks or activities that make you feel emotionally depleted.     Click here for our women’s guide to stop people-pleasing     9. Detox your circle     Sometimes your loved ones struggle with their own self-love and may act in ways that make you feel bad about yourself or drag you down. If someone in your life is damaging to your self-image, it’s ok to love them from a distance and limit communication with them. Just as you would want to protect a loved one from harmful influences, remember to protect yourself against toxic or abusive relationships.      10. Surround yourself with support     Positive energy is contagious, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you and love you for who you are. Sometimes, however, we need a little extra support outside of our circle of friends. If you are struggling with self-love and making your needs a priority in life, our specialists can help.    Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting men and teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a man who struggles with self-esteem, Dr. Sample can provide you with tools to overcome obstacles and lead a fulfilling life.        
 
	 Learn moreClick here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D.,  is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout each stage of life. If you are a woman struggling to love yourself for who you are, Dr. Davis can support you discovering your self-worth and finding ways to practice self-care.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis. 
       Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT,  is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. If you have a family member that struggles with self-love, Cynthia can provide strategies to increase self-esteem and strengthen your family.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Cynthia 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for children or adults who struggle with self-esteem challenges.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.   References:   Attention students and ECPs: Self-care is an 'ethical imperative'. (2011, October).   Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/10/self-care.aspx   Greenberg, M., Ph.D. (2017, June 29). 8 Powerful Steps to Self-Love. Retrieved   From https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201706/8-powerful-steps-self-love?amp  Khoshaba, Psy.D, D. (2012, March 27). A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love.   Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love?amp  Shinn. M.M. (2019). Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s Most #liked of them all?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whos-the-most-liked-of-them-all     Shinn. M.M. (2019). “Why Can’t I Say No?!” The Women’s Holiday Guide to Stop People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing      How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). “How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways”. 9 Tips for Self-Love this Valentine’s Day.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from

“How do I Love Me? Let me Count the Ways”
10 Tips for Self-Love this Valentine’s day

“How do I love me? Let me count the ways!”

One way to practice self-love is to stop comparing your behind-the-scenes life to someone else’s highlight reel.

Whether or not you’re in a relationship, check out this week’s blog to make sure you are doing what it takes to love yourself this Valentine’s Day!

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”   Having your teen enter the world of dating can cause anxiety for any parent. A dad’s instinct may be to think of ways to scare off his teen’s date, while a mom may want to grab binoculars and spy in the bushes. Though protecting your kids is important, open and nonjudgmental communication is the best tool to support your teen in making good dating decisions. With the right approach, parents have the power to help teens stick to their values, keep realistic expectations, and manage the highs and lows of dating.     So what can parents do to support teens as they date?     1. Focus on the purpose   Ask your teen what they believe the purpose of dating is. When teens go into dating with a clear understanding of its objective, they are more likely to make rational decisions and avoid negative situations. Remind them that dating is about developing their relationship skills as well as getting to know what they want and need in a partner. If they date simply to fit in or to fill their craving for intimacy, they will likely be disappointed.     2. Discuss what healthy looks like   When parents talk to teens about dating, they often focus on rules such as, “No being out past 10,” or, “no drinking and driving.” An additional priority should be to talk to your teen about what healthy relationships look like. Remind them of the characteristics of supportive and long-lasting relationships including:      Trust    Mutual understanding    Communication    Respect    Honesty    Faithfulness    Praise    Maintaining interests outside of one another     3. Help them recognize abuse      Teach your teen the warning signs of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse such as:    Isolating them from friends and family    Insulting, degrading, or intimidating them    Cheating    Showing intimate pictures or “sexts” to others    “Gas-lighting” (when an abuser gets called out for their abuse and turns it around on the other person to make them think they’re crazy)    Hitting, kicking, grabbing, pushing, or biting    Stalking or constantly monitoring them    Guilting or coercing into sex or other acts     4. Build up boundaries   Encourage your teen to determine the behaviors that they’ll refuse to accept in relationships. Remind them to explain their boundaries to their date in the beginning so that expectations are clear from the get-go. It can be helpful to define boundaries in the following categories:     Emotional  – Example: “If my date calls me insulting names, that is crossing my boundary.”   Physical  – Example: “If my date puts their hands on me in anger, that is crossing my boundary.”   Digital  – Example: “If my date asks me to Snapchat sexual photos, that is crossing my boundary.”    Moms – if you need help taking your own advice on healthy boundary-setting, check out our women’s guide to stop people-pleasing       5. Play it positive    Although you want to teach your teen the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, make sure you approach this milestone with a positive attitude. Don’t speak about it with dread or express disdain for their date; that will only drive your kid away from you. Tell your teen you’re excited for them to experience this new aspect of life and that you trust them to make the right choices. Show interest in learning more about their date and the good qualities your teen sees in them.      6. Rely on respect   When you’re talking to your teen about dating, make sure to keep a calm and respectful tone. If they feel you respect their individuality and opinions, they will be more likely to return the same respect to you. Even if you’re met with sighs and eye rolls, try to keep your cool and trust that your teen will hear what you have to say. Make sure to ask your teen’s point of view as well and listen with empathy and understanding.     For more tips on being an emotionally intelligent parent,    click here      7. Don’t steer away from sex   It may be tempting to avoid discussing sex with your teen, but remember that if you don’t give them the sex talk, their locker room buddies will. Regardless of your family values, don’t make your teen feel bad or abnormal for having natural sexual feelings. Express that these feelings are a normal part of maturing into an adult, but there are values that you expect them to adhere to. Think through your values and clearly explain them to your teen. It’s also important to talk to them about what others might do so they know ways to respond if they are met with unwanted advances.      8. Trust the job you’ve done   After you’ve said your piece, take off your private investigator hat and hang the binoculars back in the closet. You’ve spent more than a decade preparing your child for this milestone, teaching them right from wrong, empowering their self-esteem, and establishing boundaries for their behaviors. Trust that your lessons have prepared them to be resilient through the good and bad aspects of teen dating.      9. Know when to intervene    The ups and downs of dating can be incredibly positive in shaping your teen’s identity, building their emotional intelligence, and preparing them for adult relationships. However, it’s not uncommon for teens to enter unhealthy or abusive relationships. If you’re concerned that your teen is in a dangerous relationship, or if you’re just unsure how to talk with your teen about dating, our specialists can help.     Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT, is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. Cynthia can strengthen your family’s communication while empowering your teen to make healthy, positive choices.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Cynthia R. Johnson 
       Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teen boys through life’s transitions. If your teenage son is having any challenges related to dating, Dr. Sample can provide a comfortable place for him to overcome obstacles and develop healthy relationships.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. sample 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you are concerned about your teen’s mental or emotional health, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support to meet your teen’s needs.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.   References:   Center for Disease Control (2018). Understanding Teen Dating Violence. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/teen-dating-violence-2014-a.pdf  GoodTherapy.org. 9 Tips for Talking to Teens About Dating and Relationships. Retrieved from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/9-tips-for-talking-to-teens-about-dating-and-relationships-0227157  Mayo Clinic (2017). Sex Education: Talking to Your Teens About Sex. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/sex-education/art-20044034  Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Why Can’t I Say No?” The Women’s Guide to Stop People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing  Shinn. M.M. (2018). “Am I an Emotionally Intelligent Parent?” 6 Tips for Moms & Dads to Boost Their EQ.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/am-i-an-emotionally-intelligent-parent-6-tips-for-moms-dads-to-boost-their-eq  Whyte, A. (2018). Parents: How to Help Your Teen Set Healthy Dating Boundaries.  Evolve Treatment Centers . Retrieved online: https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/parents-how-to-help-your-teen-set-healthy-dating-boundaries/    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). “My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/my-teen-is-dating-what-do-i-do

“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?”

“My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?!” Before you hire a private investigator and start stalking your teen’s every move, check out this week’s blog to support your teen through this exciting (yet slightly nerve-wracking) milestone.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Could My Dad have Undiagnosed Autism?”    Maybe there’s always been something a little off with your dad that you haven’t been able to put your finger on. Perhaps he has trouble making friends or has some unusual routines that you’ve never quite understood. Until recent decades, people thought autism only looked like the severe cases seen in movies like “Rain Man.” Today, we know that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can display a variety of mild to severe symptoms. This growing knowledge of ASD has many people wondering if their dad’s unique traits could be signs of undiagnosed autism.    But how can you know if your dad is on the spectrum? And if he’s gone his whole life undiagnosed, should you encourage him to find out?   If you think your dad might have undiagnosed autism, here are some things you should know:    1. There’s a  lost generation   Autism wasn’t widely recognized until the 1980’s, so countless kids with autism were misdiagnosed or completely overlooked in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and 70’s. In recent years, many adults have only realized they have ASD when one of their children has been diagnosed. The tragedy of this lost generation is that these individuals did not receive the support growing up that we now know drastically improves the quality of life for children and adults with autism.      2. There’s no “typical” autism   There’s a saying that if you know one person with autism, then you know one person with autism. No two people have identical symptoms, and if your dad has autism he will likely exhibit some symptoms and not others. Common symptoms include:      Trouble making friends or being “socially awkward”    Difficulty expressing emotion     Making involuntary sounds like clearing throat or humming    Sticking to strict routines and getting upset when they are disrupted    Having repetitive rituals (sometimes autism is misdiagnosed as OCD)    Underdeveloped motor skills (e.g. - poor penmanship or clumsiness)    Fixating on particular interests such as a sports team or astronomy    Having amazing memories    Making honest observations (even if they are inappropriate!)    Being highly intelligent     Being unable to understand body language    Avoiding eye contact     Disliking loud noise or busy environments    Preferring not to be physically touched    Speaking loudly without realizing it    Invading others’ personal space without meaning to    Preferring the company of kids or animals to people their own age      3. Your dad is not defective   People with autism are not broken; they just don’t respond to visual and verbal cues the same way mainstream society does. Having autism in a neurotypical world is sort of like being dropped off in a foreign country with radically different customs than you’re used to; yes, you can get by, but you’ll have trouble fitting in until you learn how to interact in ways the locals understand. In turn, the more society learns about ASD, the more schools, employers, and families can support the success and well-being of people with autism.      4. The spectrum has its perks   Many people with ASD reject the idea that autism needs to be “cured” but rather that society should embrace the unique gifts that individuals with autism bring to the table. People with ASD tend to be honest, loyal, nonjudgmental, passionate, intelligent, nonmaterialistic, and have a great sense of humor. They also tend to be better at living in the present than their ever-distracted neurotypical neighbors. Many also have outstanding talents that go beyond the average person’s capabilities.      5. Accommodations are everything   People with undiagnosed autism spend their entire lives trying to decode how to speak and act in socially acceptable ways. But when a diagnosis is made, adjustments can be made to make work, religious, and family life much more supportive of how individuals with autism think and interact. With accommodations such as mentors, calm workspaces, clear instructions, extended deadlines, additional breaks, and predictable schedules, people with autism can find success and fulfillment in all aspects of life.    Click here to check out our blog on securing accommodations for post graduate career exams     6. A diagnosis can be healing   Today, one in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. It’s impossible to gauge how many kids from previous generations had autism but remained under the radar. As an adult, a diagnosis can help your dad gain clarity on why certain things in life have been difficult for him. Understanding ASD can boost his self-confidence and empower him to embrace his unique gifts and traits. What’s more, there are communities of adults with ASD who he can connect with to build relationships and gain the support he never had growing up.       7. Breaking the news brings risks   So you’ve read the blog and are convinced your dad has autism: now the million dollar question becomes whether or not you should tell him. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. While a diagnosis could be liberating, he may not be receptive to hearing your hunch. He’s spent his entire life learning how to cope with his differences, and finding out that he’s had a lifelong diagnosis may feel painful and confusing. A mental health specialist can help you determine whether the pros of understanding his symptoms and potentially seeking support could outweigh the risk of hurting his feelings or creating tension in your relationship.      


   
     
      
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      8. You deserve support   As you consider your dad’s emotional needs, make sure you don’t neglect your own. You may also be carrying pain and confusion from growing up with a parent on the spectrum. Perhaps you’ve always felt emotionally disconnected from your dad or maybe you’ve felt a parent-child role reversal as you’ve tried to help him cope with his symptoms. A mental health specialist who understands the impact of having a parent on the autism spectrum can help you work through these challenges.   Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting men and teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a man who is concerned that your dad may have undiagnosed autism, Dr. Sample can provide you with tools to support both yourself and your father.        
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D.,  is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout each stage of life. If you are a woman concerned that your father or husband may have undiagnosed autism, Dr. Davis can support you in determining the next steps to support your loved one.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis. 
       Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT,  is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. If you are concerned with how a family member’s undiagnosed autism is impacting your family, Cynthia can help.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Cynthia R. johnson 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for children or adults with symptoms of undiagnosed autism.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.   References:   Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Data & Statistics. Retrieved online: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Signs & Symptoms. Retrieved online: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html  Lai MC, Baron-Cohen S (2015). Identifying the lost generation of adults with autism spectrum conditions. Lancet Psychiatry.  2(11):1013-27. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00277-1.    Shinn. M.M.   (2018). Graduate Student’s Guide to Test Accommodations: The LSAT, MCAT, GRE, NCLEX, CBEST, GMAT, Cosmetology Exam, Contractors Exam, & Bar Exam.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/graduate-students-guide-to-test-accommodations  Jordan, M. (2018). Workplace Accommodations: Tips and Resources.  Autism.com  Retrieved online: https://www.autism.com/adults_accommodations2  Ranaghan, S. (2018). My story being diagnosed as an adult on the autism spectrum.  Autism Speaks . Retrieved from: https://www.autismspeaks.org/life-spectrum/my-story-being-diagnosed-autism-adult    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Dad Have Undiagnosed Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/test-blog/could-my-dad-have-undiagnosed-autism

“Could My Dad have Undiagnosed Autism?”

Today, one in 59 kids is diagnosed with autism. 50 years ago, autism was largely misunderstood. It’s impossible to gauge how many kids from previous generations had autism but remained under the radar. If you think your dad might be one of the lost generation, check out this week’s blog for 8 things you should know.