Dyslexia: What it is and How it Can be Treated

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s piece. Today I received some worrying news. My 10-year old son, Christopher, was diagnosed with dyslexia. My husband and I were aware that there was an issue when his teacher brought to our attention that he was having some trouble in class. I’ll admit that we’re both terrified. Will he trail behind his schoolmates? Is he going to be held back a grade? Will he even be accepted into a college after high school? I know I’m getting ahead of myself, and Chris’s psychologist explained to us that he can still...

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Social Tips: Helping Your Child Connect

I was at my mother’s yesterday and was telling her about how Brian can be pretty awkward when he’s with other kids. It’s not that he doesn’t like spending time with his classmates; it’s just that his social cues seem to be…off. I told her that two of his friends told him what appeared to be a secret, and he replied by repeating what he’d just heard loud enough for everyone to hear. While I laughed as I witnessed it, I realized that this might be a sign that his social skills are not exactly honed. I want Brian to...

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A Smartphone Holiday: What You Should Keep in Mind Before Making a Purchase for Your Child

Susan is the mother of a 12-year old boy and 14-year old girl. She finds herself in a difficult spot. Both of her children have given her a list of gifts that they’d like, and a smartphone is at the top of each. Susan understands the utility of a smartphone; it allows her and her children to remain in contact throughout the day, it’s great for emergencies and will allow her kids to communicate and interact with their friends. She and her husband have worked hard to raise responsible, conscientious people, though she wonders if they are ready to own...

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Kids and Smartphones: When is the Perfect Time for Them to Own One?

Last night, I participated in another showing of Screenagers. This time, it was presented at Hillel Academy in Tampa with co-sponsorship by Tampa Day School and Keystone Prep High School with over 100 people in attendance. I led the discussion following the movie and one of the questions that was asked was, “At what age is right or best to give your child a smartphone?” Deciding When the Time is Right Not having an exact age to offer and being well aware of the challenges smartphones come with, my answer was that there would need to be extenuating circumstances to warrant giving...

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Multitasking: Not as Good as You May Think

We are wondering if you can relate to the following vignette: I hate to admit it, but I was reprimanded at work the other day for making a mistake right before one of our biggest presentations. The thing is, I honestly thought I was doing a very good job leading up to the big moment. I was taking all of the calls I needed from our clients, making pages upon pages worth of notes and doing my research online almost simultaneously. I guess I must have skimmed over some really important information that set back our entire team. My boss was...

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Feeling Angry: Dealing with Your Feelings and Moving On

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s piece. I consider myself to be a pretty calm and relaxed individual, but throughout my life, I’ve always had difficulty dealing with anger. It’s not so much that I always lash out when I’m angry (I rarely do this), it’s more that I have trouble getting over things that anger me. For example, last month, my sister made a passing comment during a family get-together where she poked fun of my blouse. It seemed like harmless fun but it was said in front of many people who laughed. At first, I...

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#MeToo: To Share or Not to Share Your Personal Experience on Social Media

I woke up at 3:00 AM the other morning, and while I know this is not good for getting back to sleep, I grabbed my cell phone. Of course, I ended up perusing Facebook and saw a post from a dear friend. She noted that she’d posted the previous day on the topic of #MeToo. “…Me too. And on and on and on…if all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem...

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Fear with Kids: What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s piece. I’m a bit nervous for this year’s Halloween. I have three kids and my two oldest are more than excited, but my youngest is the one I’m worried about. Last Halloween was Nick’s first outing to a haunted house and trick-or-treating. He was only six years old, so I should’ve known better. I didn’t prepare him at all for the haunted house and he ran out screaming and crying a minute after entering. I felt so horrible seeing him terrified like that. For a few days, he was constantly remembering...

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Dean’s List Woes: College and the Possibility of Mental Health Issues

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s piece. I started college this past August and can honestly say that it gets overwhelming at times. With projects, studying and being so far from home, it’s starting to get to me. There will be times where I’ll be sitting in my dorm doing work and all of a sudden, I’ll start thinking about home, my parents and my friends. Sometimes I just break down and start crying. I visited the school’s counseling center and the psychologist working there pointed out that I might be dealing with depression brought on by...

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Mental Illness: The Importance of Being Inspired, Informed and Involved

Mental illnesses can unfortunately affect more than just the person diagnosed with the issue. Families, friends and even coworkers can often experience their fair share of emotional pain as a result of a loved one’s ailing mental health. Yet, despite its reach and prevalence, mental illness is still surrounded by a thick veil of stigma and misunderstanding that’s widespread to this day. In 1990, the U.S. Congress recognized the efforts of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) by creating Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), which helps inform, educate and raise awareness about mental illness. MIAW is celebrated during the first...

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