Sunday, October 25, 2020

Self Reflection



We all have rule govern behavior that shapes our actions everyday.
"I have to always be the listener. If I talk about myself people won't care."
"If I'm not the best, I don't have value."

Maybe we have had some painful experiences in the past that created powerful associations with hurt. So now we've changed our behavior to avoid experiencing that pain again.

These patterns will continue if we do not face them. We need to recondition these associations by exposing ourselves to these fears. Through repetition of experiencing these things that we are afraid of we will begin to create new associations and new rule governed behavior.

 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Parent Training Video


Link for video: Parent Training


Check out this video to learn simple ABA principles and mindfulness strategies to help bring peace to your home! 

Compliance Issues?


 Oftentimes we do not need a fancy reward system. We can simply use what the child cares about right in that moment. It doesn't even need to be a confrontational thing. You can stay upbeat and positive, and let them know they can have what they want. They simply have to do whatever that task was that you wanted them to do and then they can have it! Often if we come on too strong as an authority we'll get unnecessary resistance. This is because many people pair authority with punishment. Staying upbeat can avoid that association.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Pillars of Health






When we do not have these three pillars of health in place we are fighting biology to improve our mental health.

Sleep

Melatonin is triggered when we engage in our sleep routines. There are things we can do that will block the production of melatonin.


Sleep chain- What you associate with falling asleep can drastically impact your sleep.

Rules to follow:
  1. Only sleep in your bed. Do not play or be active because that will prevent you from creating an association with sleep and your bed.
  2. Do not do anything to fall asleep that cannot be independently replicated in the middle of the night or you might have trouble falling back asleep.
    • Example cuddling with someone to fall asleep.
  3. Dim the lights in the house when it’s getting close to bedtime.
  4. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time 7 days per week.

If you follow these rules and engage in a daily bedtime routine your body will naturally produce melatonin when you start engaging in this routine. If you do not have a routine your body will not know when to start producing melatonin.

Research shows that sleep issues can cause mental problems even leading to mental health diagnoses.

Note taking melatonin can help in the short term but it does mess your body’s natural ability to produce the chemical. Your body will start producing less melatonin because it will think it doesn’t need to produce it. This will lead to you needing to take more melatonin over time to get the same effects. Taking melatonin should be a short term solution while getting a sleep routine established or avoided all together.

Lack of sleep amplifies symptoms of mental health diagnoses.

So if you struggle with depression and then get a lack of sleep your symptoms would be worse that following day.

If lack of sleep becomes a chronic pattern the symptoms would also become more dominant and more ingrained in your behavioral repertoire and likely to continue longer even after proper sleep is achieved.




Food

Sugar and Refined Starches (white bread, pasta etc..)

  • 23% more likely to develop anxiety and depression if eating a diet high in sugar (study used 70,000 people)
  • In another study participants with depression switched to a sugar free, no refined starches
  • 32% of the participants became symptom free and were no longer diagnosable.
  • All participants reduce depression symptoms and anxiety symptoms, and increased energy levels.

Neurochemicals are used to process emotions and for your brain to function and communicate.

Magnesium and omega-3 is needed to relay those signals from your brain to your body. About half of Americans do not have enough magnesium and omega-3 for their brain to function well. Lack of nutrition can lead to oxidative damage (this damages brain cells).

Research is showing there is a link between oxidative damage and depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, dementia, and bi-polar.


Gut health impacts the brain and it’s ability to communicate with the body as well.

Lack of nutrition also causes gut issues. Bacteria in our gut produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin that will help mental health issues. Lack of nutrition will prevent those mental health neurotransmitters from being produced.

Studies have been done where they take microbes from depressed humans' guts and transplant them into rodents. The rodents then display symptoms of depression and chemical imbalances.





Exercise

In order to get mental health benefits from exercise you should do it 3-5 days a week.

Studies have shown that exercise can serve as treatment for even chronic mental health disorders such as depression, ADHD, PTSD, dementia, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Studies show in some cases exercise has the same or better effect than medication.

Exercise helps your neurotransmitters communicate, signal, grow and connect. Exercises also helps with the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Exercise produces neurochemicals that fight mental health issues.

Exercise specifically benefits the hippocampus. This means regular exercise will result in improved memory, emotional regulation and an increased ability to learn new information.


Risks of not exercising
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol, high blood pressure
  • Increased risk for mental health problems and increased likelihood of being diagnosed
  • Decreased emotional regulation
  • Decrease memory
  • Increased ADHD symptoms
  • Decrease executive functioning
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers such as colon, breast and uterine
  • Increase risk of developing osteoporosis



Thursday, November 21, 2019

__________________ABA FACT OF THE WEEK_________________
First of all, ALL children have problem behaviors for their parents. You are not failing as a parent if your kid acts up, and you are not alone if your child has hurt your feelings! Children will exhibit whatever behaviors are effective for them. Sometimes hurting your feelings is the most effective path!! Perhaps calling you names, or pushing his sister is getting him attention or something he wants!
Having the right perspective on your child’s behavior is so helpful for increasing the ability to respond in a way that teaches! Look at problem behavior as an attempt at communication that needs to be shaped. If that behavior works for them, it will continue.
All behaviors can be boiled down into four different functions:
1. To get something you want.
2. To get out of something you don’t want.
3. To get attention.
4. Because you like it.
When your child is having a problem behavior ask yourself, what are they getting out of this?
If they are seeking attention, instead of, “ Stop hitting me!!” try, “ If you want my attention use a calm voice and ask to play.” Then withhold attention until they follow your directions. When they do follow your directions, immediately play with them so that behavior is reinforced.
If they are seeking escape, instead of a reprimand, say, “Hitting will not get you out of your homework but it is ok to calmly ask for a break.” If they calmly ask for a break reinforce that immediately by allowing the break.
If they are trying to get something they want with problem behavior let them know, “This behavior will not get you what you want but if you want to eat that cookie you can earn it by helping your sister.” Once they do the behavior you specified to earn that item, give it to them immediately so they learn the preferred behavior is more effective than the problem behavior!
If they are doing it because they like it (often sensory behavior), find replacement behaviors that serve the same function that you are ok with and reinforce them at every chance you can!
Reinforce behaviors you want to see more of! Behavior goes where reinforcement flows.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

                                             ————ABA FACT OF THE WEEK————


Attention seeking behavior is extremely common. It is most commonly directed toward parents but can be directed at anyone. If a child feels like they are not getting enough attention from their parent’s or another person, it is not unusual for problem behavior to occur. Sometimes the solution is giving attention proactively. If a child receives attention when they are well behaved more often, as opposed to when they are having problem behavior, they will be more likely to have good behavior.

One on one time with your child also helps to meet development needs. One on one time helps to improve self-esteem, opens communication and connectedness, and helps to develop relationship skills. 

Even 5 minutes a day can go a long way.

Some children have an unquenchable need for quality time! If that describes your child talk to your therapy team about creating a behavior plan to help adjust their expectation for quality time to a more reasonable level. ABA techniques could potentially include reward systems, planned ignoring, shaping procedures, social stories, scheduled attention etc.…