Centering Kids: Advice from the experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood

Centering Kids: Advice from the experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood

We're here to inform, educate and advocate for all things related to early childhood. From nurturing healthy development to overcoming behavioral challenges and recognizing mental health needs, welcome to Centering Kids: Advice from the experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood. Our podcast publishes on the first of every month!

Episodes

April 4, 2023 33 mins

As a child, Scott Ehrenpreis was awkward, shy, and had trouble making friends. But when he got on stage, all inhibitions disappeared and he felt empowered, untouchable, and capable of anything. In Season 3, Episode 3 of Centering Kids, host Merab Favorite interviews Joel Ehrenpreis on how he discovered his son's talent and nurtured his dream to one day be an actor, all while educating the public about what it means to live wit...

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When it comes to creating a culture of care in the workplace, it's all about feeling supported from CEO to entry-level positions. This trickle-down effect essentially leads to better client care.  In Episode 2, Season 3 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Merab Favorite interviews Dr.  Kristie Skoglund about her journey leading one of the largest nonprofits in Sarasota, Fl...

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When it comes to navigating a child's Individualized Education Plan,  or IEP, parents can sometimes feel confused, powerless, or simply overwhelmed which can make their participation in the process less meaningful. In this episode of Centering Kids, host Merab Favorite interviews parent advocate Jen Werden about her new YouTube series, Different Children, Different Approach. Jen teams up with Amy Weinberger of The Lean on Me P...

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There's a lot happening at the only Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic in Florida. It's not just for helping individuals living with FASD find answers and solutions regarding their disorder, but it's also about finding companionship, even in canine form. In season 2, episode 10 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Merab Favorite interviews Bailey Jackson, a m...

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Receiving the diagnosis that your child has a delay or disability can have an emotional impact on the entire family. In Season 2 Episode 9 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood,  host Merab Favorite interviews Gigi Gillis and Kaitlyn Aland, two parents who are raising children with exceptionalities. Tamra Cajo, a licensed mental health counselor and director of The Florida Center'...

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A good night's rest can affect a child's mood, performance, and behavior, but it's often not considered a factor if a child is acting out or struggling in the classroom. In Season 2, Episode 8 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Merab Favorite and special guest Allison Phinney, a mental health therapist, discuss how parents can help ensure their children get a go...

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In Season 2, Episode 7 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Merab Favorite interviews school-based mental health therapist Margaret Ross, who serves elementary-age children at Fruitville Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. The two women discuss ways parents and early childhood professionals can build up a child's self-esteem so they are able to overcome feelings of anxiety ...

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In Season 2, Episode 6 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Kristen Theisen interviews Kim Williams, a speech-language pathologist and The Florida Center's Director of Development Services, and Tamra Cajo, who heads the agency's Fetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Clinic. The three women discuss how negative environments, or a traumatic disruption in one's ci...

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In Season 2, Episode 5 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Kristen Thiesen interviews children's mental health counselor Michele Duss, who works with preschool-age kids. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and Children's Mental Health Week, the two discuss ways parents can model positive approaches to mental health, recognize signs of trauma and be there for the...

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In Season 2, Episode 4 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Kristen Theisen interviews Alba Colmenares Moore, Supervisor of School-Based Mental Health Services in North Sarasota County. The two discuss Alba's upcoming training on Compassion Fatigue, which can limit a caregiver's ability to feel empathy or sympathy for their client. This serious condition can lead to mo...

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In Season 2, Episode 3 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Merab Favorite, filling in for Kristen Theisen, interviews Occupational Therapist Melissa Cox and Mental Health Therapist Lisa Klein. The three early childhood professionals discuss the causes of autism, its signs, and symptoms, and how we as a society can be more inclusive of those living with the disorder.

S...

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In Season 2, Episode 2, host Merab Favorite, (filling in for Kristen Theisen) interviews Dr. Johnna Brynn, a mental health professional, and director of training and professional development of The Florida Center for Early Childhood. They discuss Flip-It, a strategy developed by a preschool teacher who created it to help deal with a little girl in her class that exhibited very challenging behaviors that impeded the learning of her ...

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In Season 2 Episode 1 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Kristen Theisen consults mental health therapist Jeanie DeLa about peripartum depression, also known as postpartum depression. The two discuss signs, symptoms, and treatment for this mood disorder that's more common than you might think.

Show Notes:
Jeanie recommended the website Postpartum Support Int...

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October 15, 2021 24 mins

In Season 1, Episode 13, host Kristen Theisen and The Florida Center CEO Dr. Kristie Skoglund,  interview  Dr. Harleen Hutchinson, president of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health, or FAIMH, and Dr. Christine Hughes Pontier, who is also involved with the organization.
In this podcast, the guests discuss the importance of infant mental health and how they are promoting Celebrate Babies Week (October 18-22).

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month which has been amplified, especially in Sarasota County Fla., as a result of the high-profile Gabby Petito case. As the story unfolds, our host, Kristen Theisen, uses the opportunity to discuss the warning signs and effects of domestic violence on families, particularly young children. In Season 1, Episode 12, Theisen interviews mental health therapist, Jeanie DeLa, who specializes in he...

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September 15, 2021 30 mins

In season 1, episode 11, our host Kristen Theisen explores fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD, an often invisible disease that affects 1 in 20 children. Theisen interviews Tamra Cajo, Director of the FASD Diagnostic Clinic at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, and Jen Werden, a mother turned advocate whose adopted child was diagnosed with FASD. The women discuss general causes of the disorder, difficulty when it comes to...

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In this episode of Centering Kids, host Kristen Theisen kicks of Fetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness month by interviewing author and activist Lucas Boyce.

Boyce, who now serves as the Assistant to the County Administrator of Orange County, one of the largest counties in Florida, discusses growing up in foster care, overcoming countless obstacles including early childhood in foster care, living with FASD, an...

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Besides a basic list of school supplies, it’s important for parents to mentally and emotionally prepare children to go back to school or face other new beginnings. In this episode, host Kristen Theisen interviews school-based mental health therapist Tia Nagel on how parents can create a mental health checklist to help ease any anxiety their child might face when navigating new beginnings.
 
 Show Notes:
 Read Nagel&apo...

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August 1, 2021 23 mins

Team parenting seems like an obvious endeavor for adults, but more often than not, parents and caregivers can disagree on parenting philosophies, especially when their romantic relationship has ended. In this episode of Centering Kids, host Merab Favorite discusses parenting and caregiving as a team with mental health therapists Michele Duss and Stephanie Essex. 

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In this episode, our host Kristen Theisen, of The Florida Center, interviews Amy Weinberger, founder of the Lean On Me Project, a non-profit organization that focuses on 'healing' education my providing students and educators with tools that bridge education and mental health. Amy discusses the need for sleep, nourishment and overall kindness when it comes to students, teachers and parents.

Episode notes:
C...

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