A Hidden Perk of Working with (Middle School) Kids

In a 75 minute group here at Academy MetroWest, we spend about 60 – 65 minutes in our gym playing cooperative games with our kids. Cooperative physical activity is the primary focus of our program but during most sessions, we spend the last 10 minutes or so in our offices having snack and doing some quieter activities with our group […]

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“I’m Not Arguing!!!” – The Battle Over My Office Chairs

In my office, I have two green chairs that are more comfortable than my other office chairs.  As chairs go, they’re entirely unexceptional. They’re comfortable enough but not extraordinarily so. But if you were to watch the way some of our kids argue over them, you’d assume they were truly heaven on earth for the butt cheeks of our nation’s youth! Groups at […]

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The Real Deal – A Tribute to a Great Staff Member

During the summer, Academy MetroWest runs a small day camp. Some weeks at camp adhere to a specific theme and this week is one of them. It’s our second annual LARP week and it’s the brainchild of a long time member of our staff, Adam Hurley. For the uninitiated, LARP stands for Live Action Role Play. According to Wikipedia, a LARP is: […]

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Making It Up As You Go Along…Or Not

Before I went to graduate school and embarked on a professional career, I flirted with the world of hippie-dom for a few years. I was  captivated by Jack Kerouac’s writing that extolled the life of on-the-road spontaneity and the freedom to “dig” all that was around us. I spent my share of time at Grateful Dead shows, captivated as I was […]

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Book Review: Parenting Without Panic

A few years ago, a couple of teenage boys I was working with asked me a question that must be on the mind of many an adolescent: “Bruce…is bastard a swear word?” I answered that it depends on the context in which it’s used, whereupon one of my young charges replied “Screw context! What the hell has it ever done […]

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Fudging the Autism Diagnosis

On April 2, The U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) issued a statement regarding changes to the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders stemming from the publication last May of the DSM5. I found one section of the statement particularly curious. Here’s what it says: “…the Committee cautioned clinicians to pay special attention to individuals with obvious ASD symptoms who narrowly […]

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Sweet Oblivion Feels All Right – For a Time

“I said Lord please give me what I need. He said there’s pain and misery. Oh sweet oblivion feels all right.”  – Shadow of the Season – by Screaming Trees “Self knowledge is a dangerous thing. The freedom of who you are.” –There is No Time – by Lou Reed Helping children develop insight into their strengths and weaknesses is a […]

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The Blind Leading the Blind

For many human service professionals, state licensing boards require the completion of a certain number of continuing education units in order to maintain licensure. Personally, I’m required to attend 30 hours of continuing education programs every 2 years in order to renew my license as a mental health counselor. Some of these presentations are excellent and the best of them […]

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Because Then We Wouldn’t Be Playing Foosball – Thoughts on Gender Differences

In the 2 minutes each year in which I’m not working or with my family, my favorite thing to do is to play music with my band.  Since 1998, I’ve been writing music, singing, and playing guitar with 3 of my closest friends. If the rest of the world felt the same way about our music as we do, we’d […]

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Oreo! Oreo! Oreo! – A Tale of Natural Consequences

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my office with a group of 3rd grade boys. We were finishing up our session with a snack and a quiet activity – to the extent that doing anything with a group of hyperactive 3rd grade boys can be quiet. As I asked the boys what they wanted for snack, one of them […]

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