Q. I’m concerned that my children are becoming addicted to their smartphones and social media.
A. Technology and social media are powerful tools, and recent studies make it clear that children are using too much of both and that it’s making them more anxious, lonely and depressed. What other families have told us is that they are happy when they drop off their kids for overnight camp. Camp is the one place that children will separate from their phone for days at a time and be happy! Almost every other way that parents limit smartphone usage feels like a punishment and makes the phones more appealing. In contrast, a child attending camp makes face-to-face friends, has fun, is active and is completely tech-free, surrounded by adult roles models that are also tech-free.
Steve Baskin, Owner/Executive Director www.campchampions.com
Q. A staff member at my son’s school recommended we get an auditory processing disorder ruled out. What is an auditory processing disorder?
A. Auditory processing is what your brain does with what you hear. Before being able to complete an auditory processing evaluation you need to rule out a hearing issue first. Students experiencing an auditory processing issue often have difficulty hearing in background noise or understanding when there are multiple people speaking. They may have difficulty discriminating between similar words like hat and hit. Auditory processing can be impacted by past chronic ear infections, undiagnosed concussions from contact sports or learning differences. It’s wonderful that your school, and most likely a teacher, recognized that your son was having difficulty listening to sounds, and making sense of what his teacher was saying to him or the class.
Tara Wheeler, Au.D., FAAA, Doctor of Audiology www.grapevineaudiology.com
Q. I’m having a tough time trusting my teenager; I need him to be truthful. A. Your son lied about completing his homework. This feels awful. How can you address the lie without putting him in a position to deny or defend it? You don’t want a show down. You want to be able to trust him. Gently ask, “Would you like a do-over? It’s important that we trust each other. Would you like to start fresh, son?” “Mom, this is embarrassing!” “I know. We’re in a tight spot. Let’s begin again. Did you complete your homework?” “No. Not the math.” “I know that was hard. I appreciate you being honest. I want to trust you all the time. What can you do, son, to be truthful the in the future?” You’ve just handed him the responsibility for telling the truth.
JoAnn Schauf yourtweenandyou.com
Q. My daughter was diagnosed with Autism; I just can’t wrap my head around how this happens.
A. Generally speaking the cause of Autism has not been specifically identified; however, it is theoretically believed that it is triggered by an environmental factor in combination with a genetic predisposition. Early intervention is a key to success. As a parent and a therapy provider, I would agree 100%. I know this is very, very hard to deal with, but I can tell you that this journey has been a challenging journey for my husband and me, but very rewarding. The most beneficial for my boys has been Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and ABA services.
Kate Lundgren, OTR/L, MBA, CST www.cuttingedgepediatrictherapy.com