Book Review: Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up, by Ellen Braaten and Brian Willoughby

A few years ago, I was going through some kids’ files and noticed a pattern in the results on the or WISC. The WISC is a commonly used test of cognitive functioning consisting of 10 subtests, which yields a full scale IQ, as well as 5 indexes that provide scores in more specific aspects of functioning, including Verbal Comprehension, Visual-Spatial […]

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Book Review: ADHD Nation, by Alan Schwarz

“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is real. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Thus begins ADHD Nation, a challenging, thought-provoking book, written by Alan Schwarz, an investigative reporter from The New York Times. Taken as a whole, this eminently readable book traces the development of the ADHD diagnosis, the discovery and growth of medications aimed at treating it, and the emergence […]

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Homework and the Anxiety Society

In the realm of mental health, every year seems to bring a new “fashionable” diagnosis du jour. Sometimes, these “hot” diagnoses pass out of favor fairly quickly (i.e. – the sharp uptick in pediatric bipolar diagnoses we saw about 5 years ago) while other trends seem to herald something real. This year, at our practice we have seen a lot […]

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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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English/Psychobabble Translation Services

A good neuropsychological evaluation is worth its weight in gold.  A thorough assessment provides invaluable data about an individual’s cognitive, emotional, and psychological functioning,  the way s/he processes and organizes information, and perceives and interacts with the world. A trained neuropsychologist takes the thousands of puzzle pieces that go into an assessment to create a coherent, rich picture of the many processes that make […]

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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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Your Cheatin’ Heart

“Sneakin’ out the backdoor to hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine                Greeted at the backdoor with ‘Boy I thought I told you not to go outside’                     Tryin’ hard to bring the water to your eyes             […]

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The DSM-5, Autism, and The Obscenity Decision

Although the DSM-5 was published less than a month ago, it has already been the subject of a staggering amount of commentary. For those unfamiliar with the DSM-5, it was constructed by The American Psychiatric Association and its full title is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition. It provides a list of every “official” mental health […]

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