Archives for posts with tag: developmental disorders

Mental health in schools is kind of like mental health anywhere else. Building and maintaining it both depend on a great many things ‘going  right.’ So how can a parent, or for thDSL for Parents 2013at matter even a hard working teacher, even get the big picture of a student’s school day? Of what they are going through?  One place to start is to piece together all available professional input and to organize it in ways that make sense to the average person. Luckily, stacking things in a bio-psychological way (symbolized by the ridiculously tall school house here) makes sense of a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s also consistent with newer ways of looking at mental health. But this approach is going to be the subject of a workshop at Canadian Mental Health Association in June, by me, so respecting the limits of not double-publishing material now promised to the CPA, I’ll have to ask folks to wait at least until mid June before  say more. (The concept map shown here was previously web-published.) In the meantime, this is the active team approach already in use at Psychology is Growth.

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Professor and seminar group(ONTARIO) “Try writing like Helen over there. She can give you some tips.”  Prof. Claritti’s comment is a bit out there, for the lecture hall. But he means well. He likes Jac’s concepts. When he can find them.

Jac got into his first-pick university because his high school averages soared. – On wings of math and science.  Now, these strict, First Year expectations for smooth, clear, concise writing are hitting Jac like a line-drive to the gut. Feedback notes on his lab reports and essays seem ‘blind’ to Jac’s best efforts.

Jac never needed special education. High school teachers consistently ‘tolerated’ his writing because he was a strong student overall (if sometimes a big show-off). His teachers had other issues to address . . .

peer editing

Teachers never had cause enough to get Jac to practice key strategies. For example:

   -Note-taking while Reading then Outlining.

   -Listen to the ‘sound’ of writing you like. 

   -Write the Abstract & Conclusion, then fill in.

   -Have a friend read your draft to you, aloud, and without commenting.

Whether you form a study group with stronger writers, hire a private tutor, or qualify for learning disability Access Centre and BSWD for software like Kurzweil and WordQ, you’re among many first-year students who have a wall to climb, just to raise their writing to expected levels. If a disability is truly unlikely, just max-out your campus network by trading your highest skills for writing guidance and arm’s length editing. -And keep your ethics. Even when a friend is happy to trade in theirs.    KM 

Psychology-Psychiatry-Blog-Version-No-para-Minimal-text

Psychology is a health profession, all on its own. Psychology has many ‘practice areas.’ The ones that most people know about are clinical psychology, school psychology and counselling psychology. In most provinces and states, psychology never uses the term ‘specialization’ (whereas, the medical profession does.)

Medicine is of course a separate health profession. One of its specializations is psychiatry.  The subdivisions of psychiatry are Paediatric and Adult.

Psychiatists, as physicians, can prescribe drug-based treatments. They may use other therapies, as well. Psychologists use only evidence-based treatments — and a very wide range of them. So-called ‘talk therapy’ may be a component (and sometimes invaluable) but other examples include home-school collaborative behaviour consulting, experiential therapies, mindfulness training, covert sensitization/desensitization, and many others.  Each is finely tuned to the types of issues or disorders one brings to the work — even when it seems it’s unheard-of, many are surprised to learn that it’s well researched and the psychologist knows exactly what to do.  But there’s more:  Based on a full, human appreciation of your strengths and needs, psychologist and client take that already-fine-tuned therapy and tune it, further, to who you are as an individual. This is very far from being just ‘pigeon-holed’ into a Diagnosis X and being given Treatment Y.  This gives the client a truly dignified and proactive way to confront a serious, psychological concern.

Unfortunately, the title ‘Psychotherapist’ has a long history of not meaning much at all, in Ontario and some other places. Efforts are underway to structure a new healthcare college, to regulate the use of ‘psychotherapist’ so that appropriate candidates can work for it, earn it, and use it proudly for the first time.

Children and teens usually don’t buy any of this, at first. Keep in mind that NO-ONE EVER wants to go to a psychologist (OMG) unless there’s gonna be FUN. Damn straight. The thing that surprises many parents is how insight-generating the fun can be. Parents also find out what kinds of collaboration and teamwork they can build with their child, through attachment-oriented or ‘dyadic’ sessions and separate, parent-only, consultation sessions.

A future post on this blog will say more about what kinds of dynamic teamwork that psychology and psychiatry can sometimes pull off, when client needs require it.

If you have questions about this topic or about psychological services at this clinic, feel free to use the contact form, below.