Helping Challenging Children

Helping Challenging Children

Welcome to this new podcast which focuses on helping parents and adults survive and thrive with challenging children.My name is Dr. Pat McGuire. I am a developmental & behavioral pediatrician who, over the last 30+ years has worked with more than 3000 children and their families, in order to create positive, healthy families. Our society is realizing that raising children to be healthy, happy, and productive adults is more challenging than originally thought. We are seeing the effects of toxic stress on the integrity of families and in the physical and mental health outcomes of children.This podcast will look at a variety of topics which will help parents and professionals rethink how they see and respond or react to children and adolescents. I will challenge many adults to consider how they decided to interact with children and if it was based on sound developmental knowledge, or a history of "That's the way it has always been."

Episodes

June 10, 2020 12 min

We, as a society, are struggling. We have talked about civil rights since at least the Civil War. We quote the Declaration of Independence with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but we put limits on who should be recipients of these rights. We show our biases and bigotry toward others not "like us." 

Where do biases and bigotry come from? We are not born with biases and bigotry which means that they are taught to ...

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This pandemic has shown that our country is greatly divided. What should be a situation where children see adults model care and compassion for their neighbors, has shown that there are a group of people who don't believe in that, but rather model how to push others around.

We need to see if we are being good models of showing love, acceptance and respect to others now and in the future.

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May 13, 2020 7 min

We are not just struggling with an infectious disease right now. We also also struggling with women, who due to mental health disorders, could very well be drinking alcohol much more often and may also be pregnant. This means that we have a high risk of a surge in the number of babies born with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which will impact their lives and all of society for decades to come.
And there are also the individuals ...

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Approximately 10% of children will be diagnosed with a learning disability over their lifetime. Learning disorders are considered neurodevelopmental disorders, which means that they are part of the child's wiring at birth. But that doesn't mean that we can't help develop skills even before they show signs. The more we expose children from birth to 5  years of age to language, sounds, books, and hands' on activities,...

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April 29, 2020 11 min

There has been a great deal of talk about how this pandemic is affecting the mental health of those who already struggle with mental health disorders. But it is and will have effects on our children, who don't have the developed frontal and prefrontal lobes to logically process the situation and make future plans.  They need us for this. But how are we doing?

Listen to this episode and think about what signs of long term stress ...

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Before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act there was the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) from 1975 to 1990. This was enacted while I was in college, which is why I never really had exposure to students with disabilities, especially Down's Syndrome. I have spent my career working with students with all abilities and difficulties but have felt more of a need to advocate for children with Down's Sy...

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These are scary times for all of us. We are unsure of our economic future and our physical and mental health due to the pandemic. As adults we are struggling to remain calm, to use logic to counter the fears that run rampant through our minds.

Our children are also struggling, and are many times more fearful because they don't have the maturity of our brains and the experiences where things have gone wrong but later got back to ...

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Right about now many families are getting very tired of being in close quarters with their children. Many things are getting on the parents nerves, especially actions which their children are doing which feel like intentional behavioral actions.

But, this may be a good time to sit back and observe as a scientist would, to objectively watch as the child goes about his activities, or as you try to get him to do some school work. As yo...

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Fears and phobias are very common in children due to the fact that their brain is managed by the limbic system and that they have had very few life experiences to help them cope with the novel or unknown.

Learn about how to help children with fear and phobias so that they can have better days.

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Anxiety disorders are not a grown up disorder. They actually begin in childhood with 4-20% having a diagnosed disorder, depending on which disorders are being looked at. There is also an equal number who don't make it to the disorder level, but still struggle with anxiety in different situations.

Learn how to help these children so that they have more skills as they get older and may not be as at risk for grown-up anxiety disord...

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Over my 30+ years of working with challenging children, I have experienced a number of situations where my "challenging child" was seen as the bully, when in reality it was the other child who set up the situation in order to get my child in trouble. 

Check out this episode to learn how to help challenging children who feel like they have limited options on how to respond to other children picking on them.

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Cabin fever comes quickly to children who are temperamentally high activity level or who have been diagnosed with ADHD. They have rapid increases in internal energy which must come out before they - and you - explode.

Here are a few ideas of how you can help your child.

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When evaluating children for problems, parents and teachers are often asked to fill out questionnaires and checklists. These can be very valuable, but checklists may not give the entire answer due to the nature of the statements which the adults are asked to agree or disagree with.

When looking at children it is important to look at the 3 components that make them up; 

  • temperament
  • biology (or neurodevelopmental disorders)
  • environment (...
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    When we talk to children we expect them to be able to understand and hold on to the total of the information which we are sharing with them. With one child in six, however, who have neurodevelopmental disorders, this is often not the case.

    If you want your child to be successful at responding or reacting to what you are saying, you need to understand how to communicate effectively with him. Learn more with this episode.

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    There is the mistake belief by some people that respect is to be given to them simply because of a title they may have, such as parent, teacher, or President. While these titles may suggest that these individuals may deserve the consideration of respect because of what they have done to achieve those titles, it is not simply the title that is being evaluated.

    Children don't automatically know how to "show respect". They ...

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    Children learn that we love them by our actions. But not everyone expresses love in the same way. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages. Each is important to share with children so that they know that they are loved, especially our challenging children.

    Learn more about these 5 love languages here.

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    Many people are under the misperception that children with learning disorders only have problems with reading, writing, and math. In reality what we call learning disorders are difficulties in processing stimuli and understanding the patterns or sequences involved in mastering academic material and life instructions. These children struggle with issues related to social interactions, chores, and activities of daily living, for whic...

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    February 5, 2020 8 min

    One in every 20 youth run away each year from home. I guess I can technically say that I would be part of those statistics, but my reasons were no where near as painful as the youth who are found on our streets.

    Check out this broadcast to learn more about why our youth are running away from home.

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    January 29, 2020 6 min

    What can be worse than the feeling of pain from a cut? How about the pain of anxiety, depression, self-hatred, or abuse? 

    Nonsuicidal Self Injury begins around 12 to 14 years of age, although it can begin later in life if childhood issues are not the cause of their pain. Cutting is one of several ways that people can hurt themselves in order to deal with their internal pain.

    Check out the podcast to learn more. And then, if you know ...

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    January 22, 2020 6 min

    30% of children in school by the time they are 18 will have a substance use disorder. These are kids who have had adverse childhood experiences such as punitive parenting, problems due to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism, and parent child problems due to temperament differences, as well as bullying in school.

    If we don't acknowledge and help these children, they will struggle with these drug issues for life, ...

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