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Our Mental Health Blogs

Fostering Independence in Your Child with Mental Illness

Fostering Independence in Your Child with Mental Illness

It is difficult to foster independence when your child has a mental illness. Helicoptering isn't useful, but you must be present--in some way--all the time.The parenting questions I’ve been wrestling with recently are how much independence to allow my son with mental illness and how do I foster independence for him. Should I be a “helicopter mom” or a “free-range parent”? Sadly, I don’t have a pilot’s license, and my children aren’t livestock, so I have no idea. I can tell you, though, that the question of independence is an entirely different one for my daughter who doesn’t have a mental illness than it is for my son who does (Siblings of Children with Mental Illness). How do I foster independence in my child with mental illness?

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Mental Health Screenings in Schools Should Be More Inclusive

Mental Health Screenings in Schools Should Be More Inclusive

Early mental health screenings in schools catch problems like autism, but miss most other mental illnesses. Many kids can't access the programs they deserve.While mental health screenings in school may take place, they need to be more inclusive. Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and childhood mental illnesses like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can look similar on the outside, the way they’re treated in schools looks different. From the perspective of a parent of a child with mental illness, they seem like unfairly disparate worlds. It makes me think of the need for inclusivity in school mental health screenings.

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Autism vs. Childhood Mental Illness

Autism vs. Childhood Mental Illness

Autism and childhood mental illnesses can look very similar at first glance. This article discusses what behaviors parents may see in both and how they differ.Many childhood mental illnesses involve behaviors similar to those found in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), commonly just referred to as “autism.” As a result, parents may hear the term “autism” mentioned when their child first exhibits worrisome behaviors. This first post on autism will look at the similarities and differences between autism spectrum disorder and childhood mental illness, as seen from a parent’s perspective.

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School Refusal and Your Child With Mental Illness

School Refusal and Your Child With Mental Illness

School refusal happens in families with kids who live with mental illness. School refusal is a nightmare. Learn more about how to handle school refusal.For a child with mental illness, school refusal can be common. School can be anxiety-provoking for children with mental illnesses (School Anxiety in Children: Signs, Causes, Treatments). School refusal is anxiety-provoking for parents. Working parents have the added layer of inflexible timelines. Being late to work daily may get them fired, and the employer doesn’t necessarily care about our struggles with our children. So what can we do as parents to get our mentally ill children past school refusal?

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The Experience of Childhood Mental Illness in My Son’s Words

The Experience of Childhood Mental Illness in My Son’s Words

Childhood mental illness isn't rare. My 9-year old son lives with a childhood mental illness, ADHD. See how he describes living with ADHD in this interview. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and one of the least discussed mental health topics is childhood mental illness. Twelve million children in our country have a mental illness, yet fewer than one in five get treatment (Childhood Psychiatric Disorders). So not only parents suffer from our cultural silence. Our children with mental illness suffer, too.

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Life with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

Life with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), relatively new to childhood diagnoses, may explain your child's terrifying outbursts. Could it be DMDD?Most people don’t know what life with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is like. But if your child is perpetually angry and irritable or you walk on eggshells for fear of triggering terrifying outbursts, these behaviors may point to disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, a childhood mood disorder that can lead a child and his or her parents on a scary and frustrating journey.

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Does Your Child Have ADHD? Non-Clinical Clues from a Mom

Does Your Child Have ADHD? Non-Clinical Clues from a Mom

Figuring out if your child has ADHD can be hard. What behaviors are normal and which are not? Learn about determining if your child has ADHD.

What are the clues that your child has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD? To start, HealthyPlace has a quiz you can take (Free Online ADHD Child Quiz). It includes many of the typical signs of ADHD. However, as a parent, I realize you didn’t come here to learn how clinicians see the disorder. You want to know how ADHD looks and feels on a daily basis. You want to know if you’re overreacting to behaviors or not. You want to know if your child has ADHD.

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Manage Problem Behaviors Caused by Childhood Mental Illness

Manage Problem Behaviors Caused by Childhood Mental Illness

Parenting a child with problem behavior due to mental illness is hard enough at home. But what do you do when you can't be with your child? Watch this for tips.

It’s important to know how to manage your child’s problem behaviors caused by mental illness when you’re not there. When your child struggles with mental illness, going into public can be terrifying. More terrifying is wondering what your child is doing in public when you’re not there (Parenting Children with Behavior Problems). One of my son’s diagnoses is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I’ll discuss more specifics about parenting children with ADHD throughout March, but for now, just know that ADHD sometimes makes children socially awkward and they display problem behaviors that you need to manage even when you’re not there.

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Moving on from Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

Moving on from Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

Hiya readers. Moving can be a challenge. It can stress you out. It is hard to leave something behind and scary to face a different future. At some point, all of us – parents and children – go through this. For kids, it can be moving on from one grade to another, one classroom to another or even from one subject to another. For parents, it can be moving on from one job to another or from being a parent to parenting a child with mental illness. Transitions are hard, but they happen to all of us.

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Parenting Lessons: Tough Parents Persevere

Parenting Lessons: Tough Parents Persevere

Yesterday, I celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day by spending it with Bob. As I thought of what to write about this week, I thought of Mr. King and his dream. It was his dream to see people of all backgrounds together in harmony. This was a big dream. Almost impossible even. How could one man do such a thing? Martin Luther King, Jr. did so with perseverance.

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