Parenting: Homework and Your Child

Do you feel like you’re completing your child’s homework too often?

It’s not easy seeing your child struggle to complete homework assignments, or the overall lack of motivation and excitement to do it. Next thing you know, there is an e-mail from the teacher saying your child hasn’t been doing his or her homework and is struggling in class. At first, you get mad thinking your child is just being lazy. However, maybe there is something more to it. Here are some common signs to look out for if you suspect your child has a learning disability:

Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)

Slow to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other spelling strategies

Avoids reading aloud

Trouble with word problems

Difficulty with handwriting

Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip

Avoids writing assignments

Slow or poor recall of facts

Difficulty making friends

Trouble understanding body language and facial expressions

Most parents will occasionally see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal! If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider the possibility of a learning disability.

The experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

Written by: Brielle Internoscia

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Dyslexia: Learning Disability Uncovered

Dyslexia one of the most common learning disabilities and is usually diagnosed during childhood. It is characterized by the inability to accurately and fluently recognize, decode, and spell words. Usually, dyslexia is uncovered when children are in school learning to read and to perform mathematical skills. They become frustrated when they are unable to do these things at the same level as their peers. Often, this creates a dislike of school and/or low self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to be on the lookout for the “warning signs” so this learning disability can be addressed as soon as possibility. Below are the main “signs” that may indicate your child might be struggling with dyslexia

  • Slow learning of new vocabulary words
  • Difficulty reading, writing, and spelling
  • Having trouble copying words or numbers from a book or the board
  • Problems identifying the differences between similar sounds or words

If any of these are evident, it is important to make an appointment with your child’s school psychologist or the Child Study Team. Testing for dyslexia can be done by those professionals or by an independent child psychologist or learning consultant. After pinpointing the child’s “weak” areas such as cognition, communication, sensory/motor, etc., a plan can be made based on their individual needs.

If you suspect that you or your child might have a learning disability (not limited to just dyslexia), the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source:

Perlstein, David, and Melissa Conrad Stoppler. “Dyslexia Symptoms, Types, Tests, and Treatment Information.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

By: Scout H

 

 

ADHD — A Real Diagnosis?

ADHD — A Real Diagnosis?

Catherine Ferreira

Many would argue that ADHD is a fictional diagnosis made up in an effort to label unusual behavior and put money in health professionals’ pockets. Indeed, it’s an easy diagnosis to make – many people display so-called symptoms of ADD or ADHD anyway, without having any kind of disorder. But the difference between airheaded, distracted, and/or impulsive people, and people with ADD or ADHD, is that the latter causes dysfunction. It disrupts a person’s daily life and affects everyone nearby. That in and of itself justifies its presence in the DSM-5. Symptoms of ADHD include:

  • A lack of focus
  • Disorganization
  • Squirming and fidgeting
  • Impatience
  • An inability to complete tasks

If you or a loved one display symptoms of ADHD, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

ADHD: Symptoms in Adults – Bergen County, NJ

adhd-problem-focus-400x400

By Irada Yunusova

Although the visual of a hyperactive kid bouncing around in his seat is the cliché often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the symptoms of ADHD may prevail into adulthood and arise in different fashions. The subtle signs of adult ADHD may be overlooked because many of the symptoms seem like ordinary inconveniences everyone must face, such as boredom and daydreaming. The extent and frequency of symptoms must be considered in order to diagnose individuals and improve the life functioning of afflicted individuals. Five indicators of adult ADHD are discussed below.

1. Dissatisfaction with Reading

Many adults with ADHD do not draw satisfaction from reading books because books require a lot of attention. They may notice themselves going through the motions of reading without actually taking in the information, causing them to miss details that prevent continued interest. Adults with ADHD may enjoy websites and magazines more because they do not required as much ongoing attention.

2.Interruption during Conversations

Although adults with ADHD understand the proper etiquette of conversations, where individuals take turns in listening and speaking, they may find the balance difficult. Many adults do not have the attention and working memory to hold a thought in their mind while simultaneously listening to someone speak. Interruption may appear to be the only solution to prevent forgetting one’s comment. Some individuals identified challenges with communication as a cause of their marital problems.

3. Hyperactivity

This common identifier may present itself differently across individuals. Adults often times may describe themselves as restless, on edge, or tense. Diagnosing ADHD may be complicated by the fact that not all individuals with ADHD are hyperactive. In addition, those who were hyperactive as children may no longer be as adults.

4. Challenges with Focusing

Individuals with ADHD may find it more difficult to keep their attention on a given task. This may make them reckless drivers, where occurrences of speeding and traffic accidents may be common-place. Adults may also find themselves struggling with career performance because noise and phone calls may be a source of distraction.

5. Difficulty with Organization and Task Completion

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty organizing and balancing responsibilities, such as bills, their job, and children. Individuals with ADHD may have trouble starting a task and often procrastinate both in their home and work environments. Distractibility and inattentiveness may lead to tardiness in the completion of tasks.

Although adults with ADHD may have struggled for years, identifying this problem may improve their chance of finding treatment as adults. A combination of therapy and medication can help improve daily functioning and life satisfaction. If ADHD is causing distress, contacting a mental health professional at Arista Counseling and Psychological Services in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY may be the first step. Feel free to contact us for a free phone consultation at 201-368-3700 in order to set up an appointment with one of our licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists. Help is just a phone call away.

 

Sources:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/07/27/subtle-signs-you-may-have-adult-adhd/

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/10-symptoms-adult-adhd?page=2

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cannabis Use- Bergen County, NJ

By: Michelle Dierna

Medicinal Marijuana: Advantages & Disadvantages

Medicinal Marijuana: Advantages & Disadvantages

Marijuana consists of dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, which contains the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other similar compounds. Marijuana is currently the most widely used illegal drug in the United States.  Its use for medicinal and recreational purposes has been hotly debated. Starting with California’s Proposition 215 in 1996, several state governments have been approving the use of marijuana if recommended by a physician. Recently, the state of Colorado became the first to legalize recreational marijuana use, and more states are joining including New Jersey; where cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes. In order to get cannabis for medicinal treatment one must be approved by a doctor and follow strict regulations implemented by the law of the state. As cannabis becomes more prominent issue in our society, it is important to consider the potential effects its use could have on one’s health. With the legalization marijuana spreading through the states it’s easy to see that there might be major advantages of Marijuana use:

Some Advantages of Marijuana use:

  • Cancer patients suffering terrible symptoms from chemotherapy use marijuana to relieve the pain and nausea that the chemotherapy creates. It also helps with loss of appetite.
  • MS patients may experience reductions in pain and spasticity as a result of Marijuana use (National MS Society)
  • Marijuana may have anti-seizure properties and is used for relief by some patients suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders. (Jones et.al)
  • Certain strains of the cannabis plant have anxiety-reducing effects and may improve for some patients suffering from insomnia.
  • Marijuana can cause reduction in depressed mood and encourage positive affect in patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (Spiegel), Some doctors recommend the use of it to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (Ellison)
  •  Marijuana has been shown to help pain relief in patients suffering from Fiber Myalgia
  • Cannabis can lower intraocular pressure to treat glaucoma if  traditional medicines do not work (Glaucoma Research Foundation)

There are many mixed opinions when it comes to the topic of cannabis, and whether it actually benefit people overall or if it’s just as dangerous as other drugs in its class. If you or someone you know is experiencing medical issues and feels that cannabis could be a solution, and live in a state where it’s medicinally legal and distributed, Discuss your diagnosis with a doctor. Discuss whether it complies with the rules of your state and whether you can be prescribed medical marijuana. Speak with a therapist or doctor to see if it could potentially be the answer for you or a loved one.

Feel free to contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation to see if you should move forward with meeting someone who specializes in Marijuana cases in the state you currently live in or if there are other alternatives.

To see the Disadvantages of Cannabis use continue reading the post above!

Sources:

1.Ellison, Katherine.”Medical Marijuana: No Longer Just for Adults.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2009. Web. 22 May 2014.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/health/22sfmedical.html?_r=0>.

2.”DrugFacts: Marijuana.”National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. .drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana>.

3.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-tapas/201303/medical-marijuana-psychiatric-disorders – Spiegel

4..Dobman & Kleiman. “Journal of Clinical Oncology.” Marijuana as Antiemetic Medicine: A Survey of Oncologists’ Experiences and Attitudes. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014. jco.ascopubs.org/content/9/7/1314.short>.

LGBT: Gender Identity Issues More Common Amongst Kids with ADHD or Autism

By: Davine Holness

LGBT: Gender variance is correlated with certain neurodevelopmental disorders

LGBT: Gender variance is correlated with certain neurodevelopmental disorders

A new study has found an unexpected correlation: children who have attention deficit and hyperactivity problems, as well as children with autism spectrum disorders, are more likely than their peers to experience gender variance. Gender variance is the wish to be another gender. Researcher John Strang found gender variance to be 7.59 times more common in children with autism spectrum disorders when compared with kids that had no neurodevelopmental disorder. Additionally, children with ADHD were 6.64 times more likely to wish to be another gender than the control group in this study.
While the study did not provide the reasons for the observed correlation, Strang has proposed a number of possible explanations. His theories are based on reasons why children with these mental disorders who have certain traits would be more likely to identify these traits as gender identity issues and mention them.  In the case of ADHD, the disorder is characterized by difficulties with impulse control. Thus, children with this disorder may be less likely than their peers to respond to pressures against cross-gender expression by restraining their gender impulses. With autism, the correlation may occur because these children are less aware of social norms that frown upon expressions of gender variance, so they would feel less compelled to hide their desires to be the other gender than their neurotypical peers. Additionally, children with autism spectrum disorders often have rigid thinking, seeing everything as either black or white. They may therefore be more likely to interpret mild or moderate gender nonconforming tendencies as definite gender variance.

If you or your child is struggling with gender identity issues, ADHD, or an autism spectrum disorder, talking to a mental health professional may be of great help. Feel free to contact Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy at (201) 368-3700or (212) 722-1920 for more information and/or to set up an appointment.

More detailed information can be found at http://www.acenterfortherapy.com

 

Source:

Wood, J. (2013, March 14). » Kids With ADHD, Autism More Likely to Have Gender Identity Issues – Psych Central News. Psych Central.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014

ADHD & Medications

By: Davine Holness

Does this look like your child?

ADHD makes it hard for countless students to focus on their work

While many children with ADHD have found relief with medication, parents are often hesitant to allow their children to take medications.  However, it has been shown that the most common medications for ADHD – stimulants – are actually safe when used correctly.  Furthermore, treatment plans for ADHD in children involve close monitoring by both a parent and a medical professional, to ensure that the treatment is effective.  Behavioral therapy often accompanies medication.  So don’t be afraid to give your child access to medications that could be the bridge between your child and success in school and in life.

If you feel you or your child may have ADHD, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Reluctant Learners: What You Can Do to Help

By: Laine Podell reluctant learner

Certain children are reluctant to learn whether in a classroom environment or at home. For a variety of reasons they lack motivation or interest to carry out their schoolwork. Understanding the reasons behind their reluctance can help teachers and parents work to overcome these barriers and create a more fulfilling educational experience for the student.

Risk-Averse Student

One type of child who may appear to be a reluctant learner is the “risk-averse” student. This means the child chooses not to participate in order to avoid the risk of the embarrassment, shame, or consequence of incorrectness. In their mind a lack of effort is preferable to a failed effort. It may be that the student is struggling with the information or they are just not confident in their knowledge. In either scenario it is in the hands of the teacher or parent to teach the child that it is okay to be wrong. Explain that making mistakes is a necessary part of learning, and what truly counts is trying your best. If this idea is consistently reinforced in both the classroom and at home, the child will begin to grow as a learner.

Why Does It Matter Student

The next type of child who is a reluctant learner is the “why does this matter” student. This child feels that time spent in the classroom or completing homework is time wasted. Simply, this child does not recognize the value of their education. In this case, the student must be indirectly taught about its importance. One method is to incorporate topics into lesson plans that relate personally to the student and their interests. Similarly, relating the lessons to real life scenarios will create a connection that allows the material to become meaningful for the student. This association ties education to the real world, and may be the best approach to help the student recognize its value.

Bored Student

Another student who may express reluctance is the “bored” student. There are two potential reasons for this boredom. One may be that the material is not advanced enough for the individual. In this case the teacher may need to provide supplemental work to match this student’s ability level. The other possibility is that the student views school as repetitious and bland. In this situation it is the responsibility of teachers and parents to cut out any monotony and keep material engaging, interesting, and creative.  This may include having students work with partners or groups. Furthermore allowing creative freedom may be beneficial. For instance, providing a variety of options for projects allows students to choose based on their individual interests.

If your child’s struggle in school is causing distress, or if you believe their reluctance to learn is a result of other underlying issues it may be beneficial to contact a mental health professional. If you are in Bergen County, New Jersey feel free to call 201-368-3700 to make an appointment with one of our own licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.

ADHD: Signs and Symptoms

By: Jillian Curry

While most children have some trouble sitting still or paying attention in school, children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, show a persistent pattern of inattention and hyperactivity across many different settings such as in school, at home, and on the playground.

Your child may be displaying symptoms of inattention if he/she shows difficulty remaining focused during play activities, lectures, and conversations, seems distracted when spoken to (even when there is no distraction present), and has difficulty following through on instructions because of a tendency to become sidetracked.

These symptoms of inattention may exist on their own and may suggest the possibility of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) with no signs of hyperactivity present. However, if this inattention is accompanied by symptoms of hyperactivity, the diagnosis of ADHD might be more accurate. Your child may be displaying symptoms of hyperactivity if he/she always seems to be fidgeting, is unable to stay still/seated, has difficulty waiting, and has a tendency to blurt things out or interrupt others.

To be considered ADHD, these symptoms must have been present before the age of 12 and must be significant enough that they impair daily functioning. If you are concerned that your child may be suffering from symptoms of ADHD, feel free to contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700, (212) 722-1920

More detailed information can be found at http://www.acenterfortherapy.com

Source: National Institute of Mental Health