As a resource to our patients and community, our providers will periodically post information pertaining to behavioral health. Articles listed on the Connections and Psychology & Counseling provider blog should be utilized as a guide, not medical advice.
If you feel you need to speak with someone regarding behavioral therapy or counseling, please contact Connections or Psychology & Counseling to make an appointment.
When a child repeatedly throws tantrums, what is the meaning of the meltdown? Is the child being defiant, resisting authority, refusing to follow the rules, or is he or she reacting to an unpleasant situation, task or noise? The answer to this question can provide a valuable clue to a possible underlying mental health or developmental problem. Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our world, and no one has been excluded from its repercussions. Read more.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) occurs in at least 5 to 7% of the school-age population. Those of us involved in the treatment of ADHD are convinced that there is no debate as to whether it should be treated or not. However, there is a great deal of debate, controversy and misunderstanding in the use of medication to treat ADHD. Read more.
Being a pediatrician at Hattiesburg Clinic, I often get asked, “What is Connections?” So, I thought this blog would be a good place to briefly describe Connections, the providers and services available, and who should consider being evaluated at Connections. Hattiesburg Clinic Connections serves as a regional resource center for children and adolescents who struggle with learning, attention problems or behavioral concerns. Read more.
The 2020 holiday season is upon us. Whether we like it or not, the holidays can bring mixed feelings. There may be excitement, memories of enjoyable times, but also feelings of stress. Preparing for the holidays can bring up expectations for how everything should “look” to the outside. Materialism has been studied and has its pros and cons. Read more.
Parents with children who are noncompliant and quick to anger usually feel exhausted. They have lost hope. They walk on eggshells in their own home to keep their child from getting angry. They have lost their power and do not know how to get it back.
Children thrive off routine and consistency. Learning, eating, sleeping, and behavior are all improved when everything in their life is normal. So, how do we help them adapt during this time that is far from normal?
Children, with or without ADHD, thrive with structure and routine. When we talk to our patients, we often hear the parents report more behavior problems during holiday breaks and weekends. Adding structure and a predictable routine can help curb negative behaviors and habits.
Conflict resolution skills are essential for healthy relationships. Whether it is deciding on a restaurant as a family, discussing politics, choosing whose turn it is to do the dishes, or managing a relationship with a difficult coworker, conflict is a normal part of everyday life.
I saw it again this week. In fact, I see it almost every week at Connections. Parents will bring a student to our clinic, typically a second or third grader, who is hitting a brick wall with reading. Read More.
Children’s beliefs about the world as a safe and predictable place have been altered due to the current pandemic. Schools have been closed, activities have been canceled, and parents have had to scramble and adjust to this “new normal,” leaving children at a loss and more frequently having to fend for themselves. Read More.
Given that approximately 50% of children who have ADHD also have a coexisting case of dyslexia, I spend a great deal of my time at Connections talking about dyslexia. While most parents have some understanding of dyslexia, few have ever heard of a word called hyperlexia. Read More.
Impeachment trial. Mass shootings. Prison riots and killings. Local shootings and robberies. These are just a few of the headlines I see at the time of writing this. Headlines such as these can lead to many emotions, some of which can be concern, stress and even fear.
It’s that time a year again for New Year’s resolutions! But what about kids?
It’s important to teach kids how to set and obtain goals at an earlier age. Goals are also far more obtainable when you have help and accountability. Read More.
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful or having the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratefulness is lacking in today’s society and can be difficult to instill, especially in children. Read More.
We think of childhood as a carefree time of life without responsibility or concerns. However, research suggests 3 percent of children and 8 percent of adolescents suffer from depression. Read More.
Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involves behavioral management, educational intervention and medical management. When this combination is used, most patients see a significant improvement in the problems caused by ADHD symptoms. However, medical management remains the most effective way to treat ADHD symptoms and also the most controversial aspect of treatment. Read More.
Medical professionals now recommend, and most schools now require, many more doses of immunizations for today’s children than in previous generations. As parents, it is important for us to understand the reasons why these vaccines are recommended, the evidence for safety of these vaccines, and how our decisions about vaccinating our children may affect their own health, as well as the health of our community. Read More.
Recently, the American Psychological Association (APA) featured part of an article on self-confidence from The New York Times (Ravenscraft, 2019). The article explained how self-confidence is compared to running water in our house. We may not know every detail about how it works, but we know when it’s not there. You can feel the negative impact on your life. Read More.
If you ask any parent, they can tell you quickly whether their child is a “good sleeper” or not. Good sleepers typically follow a bedtime routine, fall asleep in their own bed, stay there throughout the night, and wake up feeling rested. They aren’t too restless during sleep and they don’t throw a fit at bedtime. Read More.
Electronics. Video games. YouTube. Social media. These hobbies can be engaging, fun, entertaining and fast-paced. People, particularly those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are drawn to electronic hobbies because they are so stimulating to the brain. However, too much electronic use can steal attention from more important tasks and create unwanted irritability and frustration. Read More.
You may or may not know that the month of May is National Mental Health Month. This is the month to learn more about mental health, how you can participate in activities throughout the U.S. to educate yourself about your own mental health needs. Read More.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral changes. About 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More.
Research indicates that ADHD coexists with other learning disabilities half the time, with the number one learning disability associated is dyslexia. Read more.
When we consider a person with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), usually we will assume the typical inattentive or hyperactive behaviors or maybe even a combination of both. However, sometimes ADHD can present in several ways that may be surprising. Read more.
For many people, this time of year represents a fresh start, an opportunity to be better in the coming year than we were last year. We are likely all familiar with the popular trend of setting New Year’s resolutions. Read more.
Given that this can, unfortunately, be a very stressful time for a number of people, it helps to anticipate and try to plan for the possibility of these negative interactions and how you will handle them in a positive way. The following are a few steps to consider. Read more.
Do you own a phone, TV, computer or tablet? Do you constantly check, update, post, text, watch, comment, browse or scroll? Do you feel like you never slow down? Do you find yourself constantly saying, “just a minute?” If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it may be time to take a closer look at the distractions in your life. Read more.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common disorders among children and can continue through adolescence and into adulthood, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Fortunately, this condition can be effectively treated with proper consultation and care. Treatment of ADHD involves behavioral, educational and medical management. Read more.
School is back in session! Hopefully, all of the normal initial anxieties of the new school year are diminishing. The worries about teachers, peers and schoolwork can be overwhelming, to say the least. However, reassurance and positive thinking can go a long way in helping with transitioning to a new grade level and classroom environment. Read more.
In recent years, news media has put bullying in the spotlight because of the suicides of so many teens who had endured bullying beforehand. Oftentimes, these teens did not tell anyone about what was going on. Much of the bullying that occurred with these students came through social media. Read more.
In an effort to help parents and guardians, Dr. Kent has taken time to answer some general questions that may help a parent and/or guardian better assist a child that may be struggling with something that requires the attention of a medical provider. Read more.
Herbal, or “natural,” supplements and vitamins have been gaining popularity in recent years and seem to have benefits for some. In children, it’s not uncommon for complementary approaches to be used for anxiety or stress, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and insomnia or trouble sleeping. Read more.
I saw it again this week. In fact, I see it almost every week at Connections. Parents will bring a student to our clinic, typically a second or third grader, who is hitting a brick wall with reading. Read more.
As I am writing this, it is January, and everywhere I turn I am faced with exercise or food commentary. Yes, it’s that time of year, and we are supposed to be taking stock of our lives and making changes where needed so that we can be better. There are many products we would like to believe would help us but the truth is, there is no magic diet, exercise, pill, etc. Read more.
The first day of a new year may spark feelings of motivation, often prompting one to ponder: “What will be my resolution this year?” Popular resolutions – including exercise, healthy eating or spending more time with family – are sometimes overlooked in lieu of something more easily attained, like having more fun or getting to work on time. Read more.
Families are evaluated for multiple diagnoses and/or disorders when being seen at Connections. At times, we receive a lot of questions about what to expect after we begin our management plan. Hopefully, the following information will help individuals understand what to expect after we have started our road to managing ADHD and/or other coexisting disorders and what not to expect in order to avoid disappointments. Read more.
This is the time of year when we are reminded to be thankful. What usually comes to mind are families, freedom, warm homes, food on the table, and accessibility of care when we need it. My field of work frequently puts me in contact with people who have lost their ability to see the good things in their lives or to discount them as unimportant. Read more.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common disorders among children and can continue through adolescence and into adulthood, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Fortunately, this condition can be effectively treated with proper consultation and care. Treatment of ADHD involves behavioral, educational and medical management. If these three aspects of treatment are used, we can expect a patient improvement rate of 90 percent, depending on individual patient results. Read more.
According to research by the federal government, approximately 20 percent of school-aged children struggle with a reading disability, 10 percent have sleep difficulties, 7-10 percent struggle with ADHD and 6 percent have behavioral, emotional and social issues. These factors, and many others, can negatively impact a child’s academic performance. At Hattiesburg Clinic Connections, our goal is to provide interdisciplinary comprehensive assessments in order to determine the most appropriate diagnoses and treatment options for each child. Read more.
It is mind-blowing to think about how much life has changed since I was a child. Comparing my first phone (a Nokia with a colored faceplate and light up antenna) to my iPhone 7 is comical. Knowing how much the world around us has changed over the years, it would be naïve to think that children haven’t changed as well. Today, children are managing a lot more at an earlier age; therefore, the way that we parent must evolve. Read more.
Most children who are referred for an evaluation of ADHD-related symptoms are identified by their teachers due to behavioral or academic problems. Classroom teachers are widely discouraged from using the terms “ADD” or “ADHD” when speaking to parents for a variety of reasons. Read more.
It is not uncommon for parents to complete the ADHD evaluation process at Connections to find that a secondary concern is present: difficulty with reading. In fact, the educational consultant may mention the word “dyslexia” and recommend further evaluation. Read more.
Dealing with autism can be very difficult, whether your child has just received a new diagnosis or if you and your family have been dealing with this condition for a while. Through research, Google searches and life experience, I have come across some strategies that can help you and your family cope with the challenges of dealing with autism. Read more.
Most teenagers (at least 70 percent) have access to their own cell phone, which is usually in contrast to what their parents experienced during adolescence. Approximately half of those teenagers sleep with their cell phone in their room, and many of them report using their phones at some point during the night. Read more.
It’s February, and most people associate this month with love. During this time of year, most of us think of our loved ones and try to come up with ways to make sure they feel special. This year, I challenge you to do more for yourself, not just in February, but throughout the year. Read more.
This is the time of year when many of us evaluate what we can do differently and make resolutions about how we can improve ourselves. By now, most of you may have become frustrated and given up on following through with your resolution. However, if you are still in this process of self-improvement, I have a suggestion that may sound somewhat paradoxical. Read more.
The 2016 holiday season has arrived! The holidays are a time of family gatherings, gift-giving and an abundance of food. But one of the best times of the year can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. Learn how to teach children the gift of giving. Read more.
The transition from high school to college is often a very difficult stage for students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). New friends, new teachers, new living space, more responsibilities, less structure and more distractions can create a very rough stage. It is crucial that college students learn to advocate for themselves and not only survive college, but be successful. Read more.
The gluten-free diet is a critical treatment for celiac disease, which is a rare gastrointestinal disorder. However, consumers without celiac disease purchase the majority of gluten-free products, and many place their children on the diet without adequate knowledge of how it may affect them. It has become a recent diet “fad,” but is it really a healthy one?. Read more.
A diagnosis that we often don’t associate with children and adolescents is anxiety and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder. We tend to think that childhood is the best time of their lives, but many parents and other caretakers recognize that the child they care about is dealing with anxiety to the point that it is affecting many aspects of their lives. Read more.
August means it’s time to go back to school. School clothes and uniforms, backpacks, shoes and school supplies will be needed this month. It’s time to prepare for another school year. Some feel sadness because it signals the end of summer and others feel relief for the same reason, depending on how you’ve spent your summer. Read more.
Parenting – the age-old task of raising a defenseless, innocent child into a successful, independent member of society. It is a daunting task to many new parents, and it rarely gets easier as time goes on. Many parents continue their parenting throughout life, continuously guiding their children as best they can. Read more.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder of brain development. People with autism have difficulty with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and unusual behaviors. It affects individuals differently and to varying degrees, from mild to severe. Read more.
An eight-hour day of school is a long time. So, surely that must be the leading activity for children and teens. Wrong. The leading activity for children and teens, following sleep, is media. The average 8-10-year-old spends almost eight hours a day with different types of media, while a teen spends more than 11 hours per day. Media can be positive for children, but it can also lead to great health risks. Read more.
Often packaged in bright colors, featuring logos that look like soda labels or cartoon figures, Spice was originally sold as the “legal” form of marijuana. It was sold in tobacco shops, convenience stores, gas stations and online. But Spice, or K2, is 100 times more potent than marijuana. Read more.
If you or your child has been recently diagnosed with ADHD, Ronald S. Kent, MD explains current treatment options. Click here to view the video (this link will take you to an external site.)