Peter H Brown Clinical Psychologist

Psychology News & Resources

Mothers’ Day: Coping With Grief & Loss

Credit: Kelly Brewington, The Baltimore Sun

It had been nearly 40 years since Linn Holt lost her mother, but some days, the pain was as unbearable as the day she died. Family gatherings were heartbreaking, Mother’s Days were miserable. And on every anniversary of her mother’s death, Holt would stay home in bed, hibernating from the world, swelling with grief.

It wasn’t normal, she thought. She needed help.

Three years ago, Holt attended a seminar on Mother’s Day weekend for people struggling with the loss of their mothers. She realized she wasn’t alone.

For more than a decade, the workshop at the Stella Maris Center for Grief and Loss in Timonium has been helping people confront and cope with the loss of their mothers during a trying time of year. From faith services honoring mothers to the endless loop of TV ads pushing “that special gift for Mom,” it’s a day most people can’t avoid if they tried.

Instead of trying to escape it, workshops like the one at Stella Maris encourage people to embrace the day as a way to honor and celebrate their mothers’ memories.

“We hope they can begin to face Mother’s Day head on and find that it can be joyful; it can be a day to honor with love,” said Doreen Horan, manager of bereavement services at Stella Maris, who has led the workshop for six years.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the first Mother’s Day since a mother died or the 40th; there is no expiration date on grief, say grief counselors.

“People tend to think you get through all the first anniversaries and you’re healed,” said Robin Stocksdale, bereavement services manager at Gilchrist Hospice Care. “But anything can kick up those memories and those feelings. It does tend to get a little easier with time, but you don’t get over it. You learn to get through it.”

Holt, 58, of Baltimore, was 15 when her mother died of Hodgkin’s disease. As the only daughter left at home, Holt inherited the cooking, cleaning and responsibilities of caring for the household. Her father shut down emotionally, and her brother was just 7 years old. Holt had to stay strong and keep everyone together, she said.

“My whole world came to a crushing end,” she said. “And I couldn’t talk about it. It was done, it was over, and I was expected to move on.”

At her first workshop three years ago, Holt was asked to do things that were foreign to her: write in a journal about her feelings; listen to classical music; and use colored pencils to draw recollections of her mother.

“I thought, ‘What, are you crazy? I don’t just sit down and write. What do you want me to say?’ ” she said. “But I tried it. I realized I had a lot of anger and frustration. And I left feeling that it’s OK to feel this way. It’s OK to be 56 years old and ticked off that your mother isn’t here.”

During Horan’s workshop, participants spend half the time writing in journals and drawing, and the rest listening to classical music designed to evoke warm memories. Attendees can share their reflections, but they don’t have to.

“The point is for us to realize that life will not go on in the same way without our mothers — if it did, it would conclude their lives meant nothing and had no contribution,” she said. “It’s for us to talk about that, process that and move forward.”

Channeling hurt feelings into something positive is key to coping with grief, said Penny Graf, a social worker at the cancer institute at St. Joseph Medical Center. People should try to honor their mothers on Mother’s Day, either with an activity that their mother would have enjoyed or by spending time with family.

Click on image to read reviews

Even so, there’s no quick way to “get over it” said Stocksdale. Sharing feelings with someone who will listen is a start, she said.

Holt thinks that has helped her enormously. After therapy and two years of Mother’s Day workshops, she’s looking forward to helping others during this year’s event.

“I have learned to look at the things my mother taught me in the short years I was blessed to have her in my life and not the loss of not having her,” she said. When she’s down, Holt listens to music, writes in her journal or pulls out a photo of her mother.

“These are things I learned to do that have helped,” she said. “Maybe I can pass this on to somebody who is going through this for the first time.”

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May 7, 2010 Posted by | Age & Ageing, depression, mood, Seniors | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Teen Myths Busted: New Science Reveals That Common Assumptions Are Wrong

A new book, The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development, dispels many common myths about adolescence with the latest scientific findings on the physical, emotional, cognitive, sexual and spiritual development of teens. [Book is available for download through the Center of Adolescent Health website at Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health (CURRENTLY FREE).] Authors Clea McNeely and Jayne Blanchard from the Center for Adolescent Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provide useful tips and strategies for real-life situations and experiences from bullying, to nutrition and sexuality.

Created in partnership with an alliance of youth-serving professionals, The Teen Years Explained is science-based and accessible. The practical and colorful guide to healthy adolescent development is an essential resource for parents and all people who work with young people.

“Whether you have five minutes or five hours, you will find something useful in the guide,” said McNeely. “We want both adults and young people to understand the changes – what is happening and why – so everyone can enjoy this second decade of life.”

Popular Myths about Teenagers:

Myth: Teens are bigger risk-takers and thrill-seekers than adults. Fact: Teens perceive more risk than adults do in certain areas, such as the chance of getting into an accident if they drive with a drunk driver.

Myth: Young people only listen to their friends. Fact: Young people report that their parents or a caring adult are their greatest influence – especially when it comes to sexual behavior.

Myth: Adolescents live to push your buttons. Fact: Adolescents may view conflict as a way of expressing themselves, while adults take arguments personally.

Myth: When you’re a teenager, you can eat whatever you want and burn it off. Fact: Obesity rates have tripled for adolescents since 1980.

Myth: Teens don’t need sleep. Fact: Teens need as much sleep or more than they got as children – 9 to 10 hours is optimum.

Three years in the making, the guide came about initially at the request of two of the Center’s partners, the Maryland Mentoring Partnership and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who felt there was a need in the community for an easily navigated and engaging look at adolescent development.

“Add The Teen Years Explained to the ‘must-read’ list,” said Karen Pittman, director of the Forum for Youth Investment. “In plain English, the book explains the science behind adolescent development and challenges and empowers adults to invest more attention and more time to young people.”

Click Image to read reviews

The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development will be available for purchase on April 10 through Amazon.com. Electronic copies will also be available for download through the Center of Adolescent Health website atJohns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health (CURRENTLY FREE).

The Center for Adolescent Health is a Prevention Research Center at the Bloomberg School of Public Health funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is committed to assisting urban youth in becoming healthy and productive adults. Together with community partners, the Center conducts research to identify the needs and strengths of young people, and evaluates and assists programs to promote their health and well-being. The Center’s mission is to work in partnership with youth, people who work with youth, public policymakers and program administrators to help urban adolescents develop healthy adult lifestyles.

Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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April 13, 2010 Posted by | Adolescence, Books, Child Behavior, Girls, Health Psychology, Internet, Intimate Relationshps, research, Resilience, Sex & Sexuality | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Intimacy & Desire: David Schnarch On Sex After Marriage

Dr David Schnarch

I have just found this video which includes a rare interview with Dr David Schnarch, author of “Passionate Marriage”, “Resurrecting Sex” & his latest book released in October 2009 “Intimacy & Desire”. Anyone who knows me well knows I am an advocate of Schnarch’s personal development approach to improving intimate relationships. For more information on my personal experiences with Schnarch and his unique contributions to this field read  THIS POST.

Here are  Schnarch’s online self evaluation surveys and statistics for  the health of your sexual relationship and personal intimacy style. If you’re having issues (like 70% of couples in committed relationships) and have tried and failed to spark things up again, please watch this interview, read one of Schnarch’s books and check out his website for online resources. It will be worth your time and money.

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April 3, 2010 Posted by | Books, Intimate Relationshps, Marriage, Resources, Sex & Sexuality, video | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jodi Picoult Author of “House Rules” Discusses Her Personal Experience With Autism

Jodi Picoult is the author of a number of topical novels including “My Sister’s Keeper” and the recently released “House Rules“, a murder-mystery in which the main character is Jacob, a young man with Aperger’s Syndrome. I have just finished reading this novel and thoroughly enjoyed it. Picoult’s understanding of ASD is extensive and well researched, although Jacob’s character probably represents a conglomerate of austistic features in one character. I wondered where she might have drawn her inspiration for the book’s protagonist. As the podcast below reveals, she has some personal experience. Thought it was interesting. Have a watch

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s a review of the book if you’re interested:

Review by Karen Campbell March 4, 2010  Boston Globe (excerpted) http://boston.com/ae/books

Jacob Hunt is startlingly verbal and blisteringly intelligent. The 18-year-old has an uncanny ability to retain facts and figures and can take apart a broken microwave and fix it inside of an hour. He can also analyze a crime scene with remarkable accuracy and speed. What he can’t do is read social cues, make eye contact, and sense what another person is feeling. He lives in a literal world, unable to read between the lines, and he thrives on rules and closely monitored routines, becoming easily over-stimulated by touch, lights, sounds, smells, even textures.
Jacob has Asperger’s syndrome, a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum, and as the main character of Jodi Picoult’s new novel, “House Rules,’’ he offers a fascinating and informative glimpse into a condition that has become common – affecting as many as 1.5 million Americans – yet is little understood.
However, the beauty of Picoult’s book, as in most of her topical bestsellers, is that it brings to vivid life not just Jacob’s condition, but the impact it has on those around him. “House Rules’’ is told through the alternating voices of Jacob; his mother, Emma; his 15-year-old brother, Theo; and two characters pulled into their world when Jacob’s social-skills tutor Jess is found dead and Jacob becomes the primary suspect. Oliver is the inexperienced but passionate young attorney Emma hires to defend her son. Rich is the arresting officer, who initially assumes Jacob’s odd behavior, including his fascination with crime scenes, must be a sign of guilt.
When Jacob is charged with Jess’s murder, “House Rules’’ begins to unfold as a compelling and suspenseful whodunit, as the trial slowly uncovers what really happened. But along the way, Picoult beautifully evokes the tribulations of living with Asperger’s. Emma’s entries chart the exhausting daily struggles of a single mother dealing with the overwhelming demands of a child with special needs who can never connect emotionally: “A son who tries to be like everyone else but truly doesn’t know how.’’ She also deftly addresses the controversy over vaccines as a possible cause, presenting findings on both sides of the issue as well as her own carefully reasoned conclusion.
But the most engaging and heartbreaking voice in the novel is little brother Theo, who perennially feels like a freak by association. Though he loves and supports his brother, he admits to secretly hoping that Jacob will wander off and never be found so he can get on with his life, and Theo’s penchant for risky behavior adds an extra layer of ambiguity to the story …]
[… “House Rules’’ is a page-turner.[..,] well-paced and thoughtful. And it certainly leaves readers with more compassion and understanding for sufferers of a condition that puts them always on the outside without a way in.
Karen Campbell is a freelance writer based in Brookline

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March 28, 2010 Posted by | Aspergers, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Books, podcast, video | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pay It Forward: Research Proves That Acts Of Kindness From A Few Cascade On To Dozens

Read The Original Research Paper HERE (Free PDF)

ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2010) — For all those dismayed by scenes of looting in disaster-struck zones, whether Haiti or Chile or elsewhere, take heart: Good acts — acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation — spread just as easily as bad. And it takes only a handful of individuals to really make a difference.

This diagram illustrates how a single act of kindness can spread between individuals and across time. Cooperative behavior spreads three degrees of separation

In a study published in the March 8 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard provide the first laboratory evidence that cooperative behavior is contagious and that it spreads from person to person to person. When people benefit from kindness they “pay it forward” by helping others who were not originally involved, and this creates a cascade of cooperation that influences dozens more in a social network.

The research was conducted by James Fowler, associate professor at UC San Diego in the Department of Political Science and Calit2’s Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard, who is professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and professor of medicine and medical sociology at Harvard Medical School. Fowler and Christakis are coauthors of the recently published book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.

In the current study, Fowler and Christakis show that when one person gives money to help others in a “public-goods game,” where people have the opportunity to cooperate with each other, the recipients are more likely to give their own money away to other people in future games. This creates a domino effect in which one person’s generosity spreads first to three people and then to the nine people that those three people interact with in the future, and then to still other individuals in subsequent waves of the experiment.

The effect persists, Fowler said: “You don’t go back to being your ‘old selfish self.”’ As a result, the money a person gives in the first round of the experiment is ultimately tripled by others who are subsequently (directly or indirectly) influenced to give more. “The network functions like a matching grant,” Christakis said.

“Though the multiplier in the real world may be higher or lower than what we’ve found in the lab,” Fowler said, “personally it’s very exciting to learn that kindness spreads to people I don’t know or have never met. We have direct experience of giving and seeing people’s immediate reactions, but we don’t typically see how our generosity cascades through the social network to affect the lives of dozens or maybe hundreds of other people.”

The study participants were strangers to each other and never played twice with the same person, a study design that eliminates direct reciprocity and reputation management as possible causes.

In previous work demonstrating the contagious spread of behaviors, emotions and ideas — including obesity, happiness, smoking cessation and loneliness — Fowler and Christakis examined social networks re-created from the records of the Framingham Heart Study. But like all observational studies, those findings could also have partially reflected the fact that people were choosing to interact with people like themselves or that people were exposed to the same environment. The experimental method used here eliminates such factors.

The study is the first work to document experimentally Fowler and Christakis’s earlier findings that social contagion travels in networks up to three degrees of separation, and the first to corroborate evidence from others’ observational studies on the spread of cooperation.

The contagious effect in the study was symmetric; uncooperative behavior also spread, but there was nothing to suggest that it spread any more or any less robustly than cooperative behavior, Fowler said.

From a scientific perspective, Fowler added, these findings suggest the fascinating possibility that the process of contagion may have contributed to the evolution of cooperation: Groups with altruists in them will be more altruistic as a whole and more likely to survive than selfish groups.

“Our work over the past few years, examining the function of human social networks and their genetic origins, has led us to conclude that there is a deep and fundamental connection between social networks and goodness,” said Christakis. “The flow of good and desirable properties like ideas, love and kindness is required for human social networks to endure, and, in turn, networks are required for such properties to spread. Humans form social networks because the benefits of a connected life outweigh the costs.”

The research was funded by the National Institute on Aging, the John Templeton Foundation, and a Pioneer Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Read The Original Research Paper HERE (Free PDF)

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March 16, 2010 Posted by | General, Health Psychology, Internet, Positive Psychology, Resilience, Social Justice, Social Psychology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook: Is it Really your Face or Someone Else’s?

Do people display their actual or idealised personalities on social networking sites? This interesting article from PsyBlog reports that recent research addressed this issue with surprising results. I wonder if similar research on role playing and avatar based environments like World of Warcraft and Second Life would yield different findings…

There are now over 700 million people around the world with profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. In the US 75% of those between 18 and 24 who have access to the internet use social networking sites. And over the past four years, across all adult age-groups, their use has quadrupled.

But do these profiles tell us anything about people’s real-life personalities? Online it is very easy to display an idealised version of the self to others so surely the temptation to exaggerate or even give a completely misleading impression is just too great?

Actual versus idealised personality

To find out psychologists recruited 236 US and German students who use social networking sites and had them complete personality measures (Back et al., 2010).

These measured first their actual personalities on what psychologists call the ‘Big 5personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience).

Secondly it measured their idealised personalities: who they would like to be. Then independent observers were shown their real social networking profiles and asked to rate participants’ personalities.

The surprising truth

After comparing the actual personalities with the idealised and observed, the researchers found that, on average, people were much more likely to display their real personality on the social networking sites rather than their idealised selves.

Overall people were remarkably honest in representing themselves. People were honest—we don’t read those words often enough.

In line with other findings, this study found that, when looking at a stranger’s profile for the first time, some aspects of personality are more difficult to discern. Neuroticism in others is particularly difficult to gauge, whereas people find extraversion and openness to experience relatively easily to assess, even in strangers.

Todd Kashdan's Book "Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life"

Lying online?

This study is another blow for that old stereotype that the web is some kind of scary hinterland, an untrustworthy place where anything goes and nothing is what it appears, peopled by adolescent boys pretending to be anything but adolescent boys.

Contrary to the received wisdom, as well as academic theorising that the internet encourages people to project an idealised self, this research suggests that people are remarkably honest in displaying their true personalities online.

Whatever the cause, this fact may help to explain the phenomenal popularity of social networking sites: the truth draws people in.

Source:  http://www.PsyBlog.com

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March 1, 2010 Posted by | Cognition, Identity, Internet, Social Psychology, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch What They’re Watching:Children Viewing Adult-targeted TV May Become Sexually Active Earlier In Life

Early onset of sexual activity among teens may relate to the amount of adult content children were exposed to during their childhood, according to a new study released by Children’s Hospital Boston. Based on a longitudinal study tracking children from age six to eighteen, researchers found that the younger children are exposed to content intended for adults in television and movies, the earlier they become sexually active during adolescence. The findings are being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meetings on Monday, May 4 in Baltimore.

“Television and movies are among the leading sources of information about sex and relationships for adolescents,” says Hernan Delgado, MD, fellow in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston and lead author of the study. “Our research shows that their sexual attitudes and expectations are influenced much earlier in life.”

The study consisted of 754 participants, 365 males and 389 females, who were tracked during two stages in life: first during childhood, and again five years later when their ages ranged from 12 to 18-years-old. At each stage, the television programs and movies viewed, and the amount of time spent watching them over a sample weekday and weekend day were logged. The program titles were used to determine what content was intended for adults. The participants’ onset of sexual activity was then tracked during the second stage.9780345505071

According to the findings, when the youngest children in the sample–ages 6 to 8-years-old–were exposed to adult-targeted television and movies, they were more likely to have sex earlier when compared those who watched less adult-targeted content. The study found that for every hour the youngest group of children watched adult-targeted content over the two sample days, their chances of having sex during early adolescence increased by 33 percent. Meanwhile, the reverse was not found to be true that is, becoming sexually active in adolescence did not subsequently increase youth’s viewing of adult-targeted television and movies.

“Adult entertainment often deals with issues and challenges that adults face, including the complexities of sexual relationships. Children have neither the life experience nor the brain development to fully differentiate between a reality they are moving toward and a fiction meant solely to entertain,” adds David Bickham, PhD, staff scientist in the Center on Media and Child Health and co-author of the study. “Children learn from media, and when they watch media with sexual references and innuendos, our research suggests they are more likely to engage in sexual activity earlier in life.”

The researchers encourage parents to follow current American Academy of Pediatrics viewing guidelines such as no television in the bedroom, no more than 1 to 2 hours of screen time a day, and to co-view television programs and have an open dialogue about its content with your children. They also suggest that–while the results demonstrate a longitudinal relationship–more research needs be done to understand how media influences children’s growing awareness of human relationships and sexual behavior.

“Adolescent sexual behaviors may be influenced at a younger age, but this is just one area we studied,” adds Dr. Delgado. “We showed how adult media impacts children into adolescence, yet there are a number of other themes in adult television shows and movies, like violence and language, whose influence also needs to be tracked from childhood to adolescence.”

The study was funded by support by grants from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the Center on Media and Child Health.

Children’s Hospital Boston is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children’s Hospital Boston today is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children’s also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Source: MedicalNewsToday.com, Children’s Hospital Boston

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September 10, 2009 Posted by | Adolescence, Child Behavior, Education, Intimate Relationshps, Parenting, Sex & Sexuality | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Do It: Asking For Help & Why People Are Twice as Likely to Assist as You Think!

In everyday life asking others for help can be embarrassing, perhaps even a painful experience. Requesting help potentially show31Y9VSQ2BRL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_s our own weakness and also opens us up to rejection. It’s a relief when people say yes.

Perhaps this explains the conclusion of new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that finds we grossly underestimate just how willing others are to help us out.

In a series of studies Francis Flynn and Vanessa Lake of Columbia University tested people’s estimation of how likely others were to help them out. They got people to ask others to fill in questionnaires, to borrow cell phones and to escort them to the gym.

Across these studies they found that people underestimated how likely others were to help them by as much as 100%.

This is such a high figure that it demands an explanation – what’s going on here?

Part of the answer is our egocentric bias – we find it difficult to understand what others are thinking and feeling because we are stuck inside our own heads.

But it’s more than just that, argue Flynn and Lake, it’s also the fact that we underestimate just how much social pressure there is on other people to say yes. In effect, when you ask someone to help you, it’s much more awkward and embarrassing for them to say ‘no’ than you might think.

In two further studies Flynn and Lake supported this intuition by asking participants to put themselves in either the role of someone asking for help, or someone being asked for help.

They found that when people were help-seekers they reliably played down the social costs of saying no. But when they were the potential helper they realised how difficult it was to say no.

There’s two very practical messages coming out of this research:

  1. If you want help, just ask. People are much more likely to help than you think, especially if the request is relatively small. Most people take pleasure in helping others out from time-to-time.
  2. Make it easy for others to say no. The other side of the coin is that most of us don’t realise just how hard it is to say no to a request for help. Other people feel much more pressure to say yes to our requests than we realise. If the help you need is likely to be burdensome then think about ways of making it easier to say no.

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July 28, 2009 Posted by | Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognition, Health Psychology, Positive Psychology, research, Resilience, Social Psychology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Music to Help Children with Autism Understand Emotions (Plus Some Favorite ASD Resources)

This post got so many Retweets on my Twitter Timeline that I decided to repost it here. The original source is examiner.com, and the author is Sharon Gillson

Music affects all of us, and we can attest to it’s appeal to our emotions. Now researchers have developed a program designed to help children with ASD better understand emotions, and learn to recognize emotions in other people.

solitudeThe children use a method of music education known as the Orff-Schulwerk (schulwerk is German for schooling) approach, which was developed by 20th-century German composer Carl Orff. This approach to music learning uses movement and is based on things that kids intuitively like to do, such as sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance and keep a beat or play a rhythm on anything near at hand.

The 12-week program uses elements from the Orff method — including games, instruments and teamwork — and combines them with musical games. The idea is to pair emotional musical excerpts with matching displays of social emotion (happy with happy, sad with sad, etc.) in a social, interactive setting.

Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, a researcher at the UCLA Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity and member of the of the Help Group–UCLA Autism Research Alliance, stated, “The purpose of this work is to provide a means for awakening the potential in every child for being ‘musical’ — that is, to be able to understand and use music and movement as forms of expression and, through that, to develop a recognition and understanding of emotions.”

Molnar-Szakacs also said that participating in musical activities has the potential to scaffold and enhance all other learning and development, from timing and language to social skills. “Beyond these more concrete intellectual benefits, the extraordinary power of music to trigger memories and emotions and join us together as an emotional, empathic and compassionate humanity are invaluable”

The goal of the research is to evaluate the effect of the music education program on outcomes in social communication and emotional functioning, as well as the children’s musical development.

————————————————————

I am constantly delighted and enthralled by the children, young people and adults with ASD with whom I have the opportunity to work. There is a frankness and depth in these conversations that blows my socks off just about every time we get together.

Here are some of the ASD resources that I use and recommend to my clients and patients as well as my colleagues.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but rather some of those I have found most useful or been described as most helpful. Please have a look and see if you think they may be of use to you or someone you know. There are others listed in my “Highly Recommended  Books and Resources” Link to the right of this page.

Tony Atwood‘s Brilliant  The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome

The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism

Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

and there are so many others! I’m just realising that this is an entire post topic in itself. Stay tuned. Any others you like” Any questions? Leave a comment!

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July 25, 2009 Posted by | Aspergers, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, therapy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Landmark US study finds Australia’s Triple P-Positive Parenting program lowers child abuse injuries and fosters placements

This news article  from the University Of Queensland News pages is very exciting, as I was involved in the original research of the efficacy of Triple P as a graduate student in the early ’90’s!

A landmark US study has found that The University of Queensland’s Triple P – Positive Parenting Program can significantly lower rates of child abuse injuries and foster care placements when offered to parents community-wide.

Results of the five-year study, which was funded by the prestigious Center for Disease Control and Prevention and led by Dr Ron Prinz at the University of South Carolina, were published today in the online edition of the Prevention Science journal.

Professor Matthew Sanders

Professor Matthew Sanders

It is the first large-scale study to show that providing all families – not just families at risk – with access to proven parenting information and support can reduce rates of child maltreatment.

The study found that making Triple P available to all parents led to significantly lower rates of confirmed child abuse, fewer out-of-home placements and fewer hospitalisations from child abuse injuries, when compared to communities without access to Triple P.

Researchers estimate for every 100,000 children under the age of eight, the results could translate annually into 688 fewer cases of child maltreatment, 240 fewer children in care and 60 fewer children being admitted to hospital or emergency departments with abuse injuries.

Study co-author, UQ’s Professor Matt Sanders said the research added to the already-strong evidence base of Triple P.

“We already know Triple P can alleviate parents’ stress and depression and help prevent and reduce child emotional and behavioural problems,” said Professor Sanders, who is the founder of Triple P and director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at The University of Queensland.

“But this research shows that by providing all parents – not just those at risk – with parenting support through evidence-based programs, we can have a major impact on child maltreatment.

“We can hold back the growth in child abuse, keep kids out of foster care and in their own homes and see fewer injured children in hospitals.”

The US study was conducted in 18 counties in South Carolina, nine of which were chosen randomly to receive Triple P. Parents of children from birth to 12 years could easily access Triple P information through a variety of methods, include mainstream media, brief public seminars and trained counsellors at clinics, schools, churches and community centres.

“We would expect similar results in Australia if all families here were offered easy access to Triple P.

“Parents are looking for practical solutions to parenting problems that work,” Professor Sanders said.

The CDC chose Triple P as its preferred parenting method for the study because of its solid evidence base and its flexibility for parents seeking support.

Triple P was developed at The University of Queensland by Professor Sanders and colleagues and is based on 30 years’ clinical research. The program is now used by governments and health authorities in 17 countries – The United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Curacao and Australia

(Sourced from http://www.uq.edu.au/news/)

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July 18, 2009 Posted by | Parenting, Resilience, Social Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments