Spring/ Summer Psychology Social Skills Program at C&FD

Friday, Feb 10, 2017 by Child & Family Development

The next Child and Family DevelopmentSOCIAL SKILLS PROGRAM begins in April 2017. 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Curriculum-based materials will be utilized to improve social, emotional, and self-regulatory strategies and skills.  Meetings will include a short lesson and opportunities for practice (e.g., role-playing, activities and games).   Acquisition of skills can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, improved school performance, healthier peer relationships, and better management of emotions and reactions. Parent handouts will be provided regularly that review content and offers suggestions for working on that week’s skill at home. Focus will be on skills including conversational skills, choosing appropriate friends, appropriate use of humor, being flexible, having get-togethers, being a good sport, responding to teasing/ bullying and handling disagreements.

Three psychology team members led this program:

  • Trisha Dyer, LPC/A
  • Gretchen Hunter, PhD
  • Ashley Kies, PhD LPA NCSP

Click here for printable info page.

OFFERINGS

MIDTOWN OFFICE     Dates: Tuesday 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30, 6/6, 6/13, 6/20

  • Boys (8-9), 4:15-5
  • Girls (10-12), 5:15-6

PINEVILLE OFFICE     Dates: Thursday 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/1, 6/8, 6/15, 6/22

  • Boys (8-9), 4:15-5
  • Boys (10-12), 4:30-5:15
  • Boys (13-15), 5:15-6
  • Girls (7-9), 5:15-6

All weekly meetings are approximately 45 minutes and meet weekly for 10 weeks per session.

Additional programs, including for other ages and other difficulties, may be offered as interest exists.

COST

Programs are offered in 10 session bundles. Full payment of $500.00 is required at the time of enrollment.  These sessions are not billable to insurance and are non-refundable.

Unexpected provider-canceled sessions will be rescheduled to a designated make-up date and offered at no additional cost.

To ensure optimal placement, a diagnostic interview is required before enrolling to review presenting concerns and medical history. This service may be billable to insurance.  Most of our psychologists are in-network with Aetna and BCBS.  

Weekly attendance is strongly encouraged to build continuity of skills. Attendees make more progress with consistent attendance to review and practice skills.

CONTACT

Gretchen Hunter, PhD, 704-940-0626, ghunter@childandfamilydevelopment.com

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Topics: Gretchen Hunter, C&FD Psychological Services, Ashley Kies, Trisha Dyer

How to Get the Most Out Of Therapy- Insurance and Financial Management

Friday, Feb 3, 2017 by Child & Family Development

This is the third of three HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY AT CHILD AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT posts. This post is about: Insurance and Financial Management

Getting started or managing a change:

  • Understand insurance benefits via discussions with us and your funding source.
  • Understand all insurance and other health care options that your employer may be offer and compare what is available. Compare plans when possible.      
  • Anticipate your out-of-pocket costs for the year. We can help project these figures.
  • Determine what tax preferred ways there are to fund out-of-pocket costs.
  • Obtain physician prescriptions to support therapy.
  • Communicate with C&FD Client Services Team:
    • Notify us anytime there is a change in insurance benefit or plan.
    • Notify us anytime there is a change in guarantor or policy holder.
    • Notify us anytime there is a change in primary doctors or specialists.
    • Coordinate insurance benefits for multiple services, as some plans have daily limitations.
    • Plan ahead for annual visit maximums.

At each visit:

  • Check in with the client services team prior to each visit.
    • Checking in notifies the therapist that you have arrived.
    • Checking in ensures that you stay current with insurance coverage of services and can apply your co-pay or coinsurance to your visit.
  • We use American Medical Association (AMA) diagnosis and treatment codes that all insurance companies and professionals can reference.
    • A therapist selects applicable procedure codes based on what happens during each session. Some sessions may include equipment checks, caregiver training, re-evaluation of progress to goals, or other services such as splinting or taping. Therefore, out-of-pocket costs may vary from one session to another.

For the full document, click here.

GET STARTED NOW

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services

How to Get the Most Out Of Therapy- Home Programs and Follow-Through

Friday, Jan 27, 2017 by Child & Family Development

This is the second of three HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY AT CHILD AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT posts. This post is about: Home Programs and Follow-Through

A therapist will share information and recommendations regularly.  

  • Review the evaluation results, treatment goals and progress reports. Ask questions!
  • Talk with the therapist at each session. Observe some or all of the treatment sessions.
  • Follow the home program. Often, you can incorporate the therapeutic activities into what you are already doing.
  • Follow therapist recommendations for other services and complete these appointments promptly.
  • Allow professionals to share information with one another by completing an Authorization for Release of Information with a member of our client services team.
  • Your therapist may suggest a variety of treatment techniques and schedule changes over the course of treatment. Have a regular and open dialogue about these suggestions.

For the full document, click here.

GET STARTED NOW

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services

Making Sense of Sensory Processing

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 by Child & Family Development

 

Ever know a child who seems to fall, trip and bump into things more than peers?  Many skills must be in place to support good balance and proprioception. Adequate sensory processing skills, range of motion, and strength are foundational skills required for balance and knowing where you are in space.

SENSORY PROCESSING & PROPRIOCEPTION

The Vestibular System:

  • Tells us where our heads and bodies are in relation to the surface of the earth
  • Tells us whether we are moving or standing still and whether objects are moving or motionless in relation to our body
  • Tells us about the direction in which we are moving and how fast we are moving
  • Lays a foundation for visual input
  • Without good information coming from the vestibular system, sights and sounds in the environment don’t make sense.

The Visual System:

  • Our eyes should work together in a teamed fashion with smooth movements to scan our environment and notice how close or far things are from our body to help us maneuver through space.

The Proprioceptive System:

  • Proprioceptive input receptors are in the muscles and joints and give information to the brain about the amount of stretch in each muscle and pressure on each joint.
  • This provides an accurate picture of the body’s position in space without the use of vision.  
  • Proprioception provides feedback for grading muscle movements and for how much force is needed to interact with an object or person in the environment.

BALANCE

Balance Expectations by age:

  • 3 year old - balance on 1 foot for 3 seconds
  • 3 year old – use alternating feet when climbing stairs
  • 4 year old - hop on 1 foot
  • 5 year old - balance on 1 foot for 10 seconds

Red Flags for Balance Difficulties

  • Child trips/falls/bumps into things often
  • Child who is fearful of movement
  • Child who seeks out movement
  • Child who appears to have good balance while moving, but poor balance when expected to stay still
  • Child who has difficulty moving through dynamic environments
  • Child who has difficulty walking across different or dynamic surfaces
  •  

HOW DO THESE SYSTEMS WORK TOGETHER?

  • Information from these body systems is processed and combined in order for a person to adapt and react to a changing environment.

HAVE A CONCERN?

Contact an occupational therapist at Child and Family Development for a standardized assessment of motor and sensory skills. Treatment modalities may include:

  • Sensory Integration
  • Core/Postural Strengthening
  • Postural Control and Stability Training
  • Balance Strategies Training
  • Visual-Motor Exercises
  • Oculomotor Training
  • Therapeutic Listening ®

Click here to read more about our occupational therapy services.

Click here for a printable page about sensory processing.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Psychological Services

How to Get the Most Out Of Therapy- Appointments and Scheduling

Friday, Jan 20, 2017 by Child & Family Development

This is the first of three HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY AT CHILD AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT posts. This post is about: Appointments and Scheduling 

Treatment will be determined by you & your therapist based on several factors, including:

  • the needs of your child
  • time constraints
  • available insurance benefits or other financial resources

Determine an appointment time that really works with your family’s schedule.

  • Attend all appointments and reschedule any missed appointments.
  • Consistent attendance = progress!
  • Regular attendance is required to retain a permanent appointment time.
  • Consider make-ups or coverage with another therapist if your primary therapist is not available.
  • Review our Financial Policy and Cancellation Policy for more information.

For the full document, click here.

GET STARTED NOW

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services

Kids & Teens: PAIN that doesn't go away

Monday, Jan 16, 2017 by Child & Family Development

PAIN IN CHILDREN AND TEENS

Pain in children and teens is complex and may be difficult to diagnose. In kids, the nervous and musculoskeletal systems are still developing. A child’s perception of pain is different from an adult. Children may be unable to differentiate or describe types of pain (I.e. sharp, dull and intense). Some types of pain are straightforward (i.e. post-injury) and other types require more analysis and research (i.e. pain from migraines, pain following a virus, pain after surgery, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). 

Pain in children and teens is broadly referred to as Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain (AMP). Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is another name for AMP. AMP can impact physical activity, mood, school performance, sleep and many other areas. It is chronic pain.

WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN?

The simple description is pain that lasts longer than 3 months and interferes with a person’s ability to participate in activities of daily living.  

WHAT IS CRPS/AMP?  

Either is a condition of severe localized pain. It is difficult to diagnose and is usually diagnosed by ruling out other possible conditions or diseases. Its prevalence is probably under identified in children and adolescents. It occurs in girls more often than boys. It involves the lower extremities more often than upper extremities. It can move from one extremity to another.

INDICATORS OF AMP/CRPS:

  • A known cause or event that starts the pain cycle, but not always in children
  • Severe pain with light touch or skin, pain response which is disproportionate to injury or continuous pain
  • Changes to the area affected such as swelling, blood flow, hair growth or skin color
  • No other clear cause of pain or inability to move
  • No obvious nerve damage 

EVIDENCE BASED TREATMENT

Elusive pain disorders can be very upsetting for families. Traditional medical care may fail when there is no designated reason for the pain, customary techniques are not beneficial or medications cannot or should not be sustained over a period of time.

A multidisciplinary approach is often recommended, including:

  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • psychological intervention
  • Physician-prescribed mild medications

Treatment strategies include:

  • child and caregiver education
  • relearning normal use of the affected body part
  • desensitization
  • strengthening of the affected body part
  • coping skills to manage emotional components such as relaxation and mindfulness
  • mobilizing community resources

Outcomes include:

  • restoration of function
  • pain relief
  • reduced school absenteeism
  • social inclusion, not isolation
  • improved self awareness

HAVE A CONCERN?

Child and Family Development physical therapists, occupational therapists and psychologists can help your child get back to his/her healthy, happy self. You will be amazed at the ability to retrain the brain and body!  Click below to learn more about each of these services:

Click here for a printable page about pain. 

 

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Psychological Services

How to Get the Most Out Of Therapy- experts, appointments, benefits and more!

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 by Child & Family Development

It's a new year! Child and Family Development is accepting new clients for all 5 of our core services:

For the next few Fridays, read this blog series on HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY that will cover these topics:

  • Appointments and Scheduling
  • Home Programs and Follow-Through
  • Insurance and Financial Management

For the full document, click here.

To begin, just learn a little bit more about us:

Spend some time here. You will be surrounded by a dynamic group of people - those who work here and those who visit us.  Our focus is to maximize the potential of every child with a holistic approach to therapy. We believe that a child of any age is connected to his family, his friends and his community and makes a valuable contribution to our world.

For more than 36 years, C&FD has been working closely with children and families, physicians, schools and many others in the community.

Our offices are inviting places. The space is casual and family-friendly. We want you to feel welcome and comfortable. Our lobbies are cozy and our therapy rooms are fun. It is not uncommon to find moms, dads, siblings or other caregivers taking it easy on the lobby sofa or getting involved in the therapy rooms. We’ve found the balance of a professional office and an enjoyable place for all.

Our experienced and multidisciplinary team assists families with a wide variety of concerns and questions. Extended education and training enables us to help many people in extraordinary ways. We work with children and young adults of all ages-- from newborns to college age.

Families visit us for variety of reasons. Often, a pediatrician or teacher identifies a concern. Other times, a parent has questions about a child’s abilities and development. Some families have concerns about specific diagnoses, such as ADHD, autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and sensory processing difficulties. Others have questions about typical developmental milestones, school readiness, academic achievement and learning style. We are prepared to assist you.

Our mission statement says it all- to provide comprehensive, quality and integrated service to you.

GET STARTED NOW

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services

Free Seminar on March 23: Understanding Autism

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Understanding Autism

C&FD psychologists Brandyn Street PhD and Chris Vrabel PsyD will lead this discussion.

For parents, caregivers and professionals

Thursday, March 23 @ 6:15-7:15 pm

Child and Family Development– Pineville, 10516 Park Road, Charlotte NC 28210

adults only; no childcare available

The focus will be learning about the social and communication differences in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Topics include:

  • What is ASD?
  • Assessment and diagnosis of ASD
  • General Q&A about ASD

Click here to read more about the presenters and our autism services.

Click here for a printable flyer.

RSVP is required.  Click HERE to register. 

REGISTER FREE SEMINARS

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Topics: Chris Vrabel, Brandyn Street, C&FD Psychological Services, C&FD Seminars

Psychologist, Devon Redmond celebrates 2 years at C&FD

Monday, Jan 9, 2017 by Child & Family Development

 

Happy C&FD Anniversary to Devon Redmond!

Devon Redmond PhD is a psychologist at at Child and Family Development- Midtown.  This month, the doctor celebrates 2 years!  

She shares this tidbit:

"Working in mental health has actually been my dream job since childhood.  It all started with an affinity for Alan Thicke’s character on “Growing Pains,” the psychiatrist Dr. Jason Seaver.  Being a psychologist definitely plays to my strengths more than if I’d let “Designing Women” or “Alf” dictate my life choices."  

Don't you love this, who knew?!?  

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Topics: Devon Redmond, C&FD Psychological Services

Don't Take Our Word For It! Above & Beyond Psycho-Educational Service

Friday, Jan 6, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Educator, Jessica DeLing MEd and psychologist, Devon Redmond PhD work in tandem regularly at Child and Family Development- Midtown to provide psychoeducational assessments to children, teens and young adults.  

A recent client survey included this comment: "We are very pleased with the services we received at C&FD!  Their experts gave so much clarification to what is going on with our son.  They truly went above and beyond to help us.  Thank you!”

Read more about psychoeducational evaluations here.          

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Topics: Jessica DeLing, Devon Redmond, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services, C&FD Testimonials

Child & Family Development 2017 Funding Source Summary

Tuesday, Jan 3, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Happy New Year!  In 2017, Child and Family Development continues to participate in these plans at both our Charlotte/Midtown and Pineville offices:

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY, PHYSICAL THERAPY AND SPEECH THERAPY

Aetna º Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC º Cigna º Healthgram º Medcost º NC Medicaid º Optum Health º SC Medicaid (OT, PT) º United Healthcare & Out-Of-Network and Private Pay

PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

Aetna º Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC º Healthgram & Out-Of-Network and Private Pay

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

Private Pay

Our Client Services Team can help you understand your benefits.

Give us a call to get started

GET STARTED NOW

 

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Topics: C&FD Physical Therapy Services, C&FD Speech Therapy Services, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Educational Services, C&FD Psychological Services

Psychology Social Skills Program at Child and Family Development

Thursday, Dec 29, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Child and Family DevelopmentSOCIAL SKILLS PROGRAM begins in January 2017. 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION  Curriculum-based materials will be utilized to improve social, emotional, and self-regulation strategies and skills.  Meetings will include a short lesson and opportunities for practice (e.g., role-playing, activities and games).   Acquisition of skills can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, improved school performance, healthier peer relationships, and better management of emotions and reactions. Parent handouts will be provided regularly that review content and offers suggestions for working on that week’s skill at home. Focus will be on skills including conversational skills, choosing appropriate friends, appropriate use of humor, being flexible, having get-togethers, being a good sport, responding to teasing/ bullying and handling disagreements.

The C&FD psychology team leads this program. 

Click here for printable info page.

OFFERINGS

Midtown Office: 2017 1st Session Dates (1/3, 1/10, 1/17, 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 2/28, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21) 

  • Boys 7-9, Midtown, Tuesdays 5:15
  • Boys 7-9, Midtown, Tuesdays 4:15

Pineville Office: 2017 1st Session Dates (1/5, 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9)

  • Boys 7-9, Pineville, Thursdays 4:15
  • Boys 10-12, Pineville, Thursdays 4:30
  • Boys 13-15, Pineville, Thursdays 5:15
  • Girls 7-9, Pineville, Thursdays 5:15

All weekly meetings are approximately 45 minutes and meet weekly for 10 weeks per session.

Additional programs, including for other ages and other difficulties, may be offered as interest exists.

COST

Programs are offered in 10 session bundles. Full payment of $500.00 is required at the time of enrollment.  These sessions are not billable to insurance and are non-refundable.

Unexpected provider-canceled sessions will be rescheduled to a designated make-up date and offered at no additional cost.

To ensure optimal placement, a diagnostic interview is required before enrolling to review presenting concerns and medical history. This service may be billable to insurance.  Most of our psychologists are in-network with Aetna and BCBS.  

Weekly attendance is strongly encouraged to build continuity of skills. Attendees make more progress with consistent attendance to review and practice skills.

CONTACT

Gretchen Hunter, PhD

704-940-0626

ghunter@childandfamilydevelopment.com

 

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Topics: Gretchen Hunter, C&FD Psychological Services, Shavonda Bean, Ashley Kies, Trisha Dyer

FUNctional holiday gift ideas from the C&FD Psychology team

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016 by Child & Family Development

The multidisciplinary pediatric therapy team at Child and Family Development is rounding up some FUNctional gift ideas for the 2016 holiday season!

Here are some suggestions from our psychologists and counselor:

  • Social Thinking: to teach appropriate behavior and social thinking, the Should I or Shouldn't I card game is a great, inexpensive addition
  • Social Smarts: these books are great for readers who would like to increase their social skills
    • Dictionary of Idioms
    • Social Rules for Kids: The Top 100 Social Rules Need to Succeed
  • Teen Books: self-help workbooks for teens who are motivated to work on particular skills; they can be completed independently over time or with a parent/caregiver
    • The Self Esteem Workbook for Teens: Activities To Help Build Your Confidence And Achieve Your Goals
    • The Stress Reduction Workbook For Teens: Mindfulness Skills To Help You Deal With Stress
    • Mindfulness For Teen Anxiety: A Workbook For Overcoming Anxiety At Home, School and Everywhere Else
  • Fidgets:
    • Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty
    • Tangle
    • Disc Seat
    • Stress Ball
  • To stay on track:
    • Time Timer
  • Emotional Development:
    • The Emotion's Survival Guide
  • Relaxation:
    • Kids Yoga DVD
  • Staying in Bed: to help with teaching toddlers to stay in their own bed, this item changes colors to let kids know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to get out of bed.  An incentive can be paired to reward children for staying in bed.
    • Onarioo OK to Wake! Alarm Clock and Night Light
    • My Tot Clock

Click below to find more new posts throughout December by searching HOLIDAY.

READ  OUR  BLOG    

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Topics: C&FD Psychological Services

Child and Family Development (officially) welcomes counselor, Trisha Dyer

Thursday, Dec 1, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Trisha Dyer LPC/A, joined the Child and Family Development team earlier this year and is transitioning to a more permanent role now.  She is a licensed professional counselor associate who works at both the Pineville and Midtown offices.  

After years of volunteering in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, she recognized her interest in working with children on a deeper level in regard to social, emotional and behavioral issues. She returned to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Counseling with a focus in School Counseling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a specific interest in social issues confronting and confounding children and adolescents and, in particular, bullying. While there, she focused much on classroom guidance, as well as small group sessions.  In the counseling room, she worked individually and in small groups on wide-ranging social, emotional and behavioral issues. Over the last few months at C&FD, she has worked children and adolescents on improving social skills, coping mechanisms, managing ADHD, anxiety and other developmental difficulties. 

Welcome Trisha- officially!  

Read more about our psychological services here.        

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Topics: C&FD Psychological Services, Trisha Dyer

Training for Parents who have kids with ADHD

Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016 by Child & Family Development

A recent article in ADDitude magazine suggests that behavioral parent training (BPT) is beneficial to treat a child's ADHD, improve family relationships and boost the child's social skills.  Essentially, BPT helps parents and caregivers develop house rules and procedures that help everyone.  BPT can be completed in a group or individually with a psychologist.

Some of the focuses of parent training are:

  • Catch the child being good by noticing and rewarding appropriate behavior
  • Create a daily routine, with rules about doing homework, bedtime, getting ready for school in the morning and other key moments of the day
  • Give your child specific rather than general directions (i.e. "Put all of your clothes away" rather than "clean up your room")
  • Minimize distractions in your home, thus minimizing choices to avoid overwhelming choices
  • Create an organized home
  • Help your child break down large tasks and set small, achievable goals that add up to a large accomplishment
  • Establish age-appropriate rewards and discipline

Read more about Child and Family Development psychological services here

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Topics: C&FD Psychological Services

Ashley Kies attends seminar about autism and behavior management 

Monday, Nov 14, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Ashley Costner Kies PhD LPA NCSP, psychologist at Child and Family Development- Midtown, attended an informative seminar offered by the Autism Society of North Carolina this month called "Managing Frustration and Anxiety and Teaching Social Skills with Jed Baker".

While the seminar was designed for parents and teachers, Dr. Kies enjoyed Jed Baker's suggestions and plans to will apply the information to her work with young students, especially those with autism spectrum disorder. She especially liked the parent-friendly language. She also purchased and will recommend his book titled No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-Of-Control Behavior. The book offers an easy-to-follow, 4-step model that will improve your everyday relationships with the children in your life:

  • Managing your own expectations
  • Learning strategies to calm a meltdown in the moment
  • Understanding why a meltdown occurs
  • Creating plans to prevent future meltdowns
Jed Baker has several other helpful books that are available on his website, Future Horizons and Amazon.   
 
Four C&FD psychologists offer ASD evaluations and support services.  Learn more here

 

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Topics: C&FD Psychological Services, Ashley Kies

Brandyn Street, psychologist, celebrates 2 years at C&FD

Wednesday, Nov 9, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 

Happy C&FD Anniversary to Brandyn Street 

Brandyn Street, PsyD is a psychologist at the Pineville office. She is celebrating years at Child and Family Development this month.   

Dr. Street provides evidence-based therapeutic and assessment services to children and adolescents. She strives to create a comfortable therapeutic environment to support and empower clients and their families in achieving their goals.  Her specialized training includes assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, adjustment disorders, behavioral difficulties and autism spectrum disorder.  

A colleague shares:  

Brandyn is quite an asset to the C&FD psychology- education team. She is very knowledgeable in child psychology and does an excellent job of communicating with parents, as well as her multidisciplinary colleagues. Brandyn is also so fun to work with! 

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Topics: Brandyn Street, C&FD Psychological Services

Chris Vrabel, psychologist, celebrates 5 years at C&FD

Friday, Oct 21, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Happy C&FD Anniversary to Chris Vrabel

Chris Vrabel, PhD is a psychologist at the Pineville office. He is celebrating years at Child and Family Development this month.   

Dr. Vrabel enjoys working with children, families and adolescents to manage issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, anxiety and depression. He uses a range of treatment modalities, with an emphasis on evidence-based treatment strategies, frequently including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and social skills building approaches.  He also works with parents to help them develop the skills to manage challenging behaviors.  Evaluations often focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, developmental delays, learning differences, anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders.  

A colleague shares:  

Chris is a highly valued member of our Psych team. He’s knowledgeable, helpful, and always willing to provide his clinical expertise.

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Topics: Chris Vrabel, C&FD Psychological Services

Psychology Group for ID & DD preteens/teens: Healthy Bodies and Relationships

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Objective  The Healthy Bodies and Relationships group is led by Ashley Kies, Ph.D., LPA and other members of the Child and Family Development psychology team.  This group is designed to be an introductory course that explores a range of topics including:

  • anatomy
  • hygiene
  • body safety
  • social skills

Ideal participants are those who have an existing diagnosis of an intellectual disability or a developmental disability (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, mitochondrial disease) with lower cognitive ability and a developmental age of at least 8 years old. Participants must be able to:

  • attend to verbally-based instruction
  • engage in group discussions
  • share about his/her own experiences

Dr. Kies introduces topics and guides participants through hands-on activities. Resources and materials are shared with parents to continue practice and teaching between sessions and in the future.

Schedule  Our current group is:

  • For males and females, ages 11-18
  • On Thursdays, 5:15-6pm
  • At the Pineville office

As interest exists, groups may be expanded to include people of other ages and skill levels.

Cost  Families may pay privately ($75) per session or use insurance benefits, if available.

Contact  For more information, call our office (704-541-9080) or the lead psychologist, Ashley Kies, Ph.D. (704-372-9652) 

Click HERE for an information page. 

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Topics: C&FD Psychological Services, Ashley Kies

Helping Charlotte children cope

Thursday, Sep 22, 2016 by Child & Family Development

In light of recent and ongoing events in Charlotte, here is a repost of "Helping Children Cope" prepared by a child psychologist:

How do you explain the unexplainable? While there are never simple answers to complex questions, here are a few suggestions that may guide your responses to your young children as they ask some very difficult questions.

Our priority at this time must be to make our children feel as safe and secure as possible and to help them to manage their distress. It is important to talk to your children about their feelings. The depth of the conversation will be dependent on your child's age or developmental level and their unique personalities. It is important that they feel comfortable talking about their feelings and fears.  Encourage them to express their ideas and thoughts and validate their feelings, even if there are no answers (e.g., You feel sad for the families affected; You feel scared; Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand).  Encourage your children to put their feelings into words by talking about them or writing them down. If your child is inclined, encourage them to express their feelings through art. Try to keep your answers to their questions developmentally appropriate. As a general guideline, keep it brief and simple and be sure to include reassurances of their safety.

In our 24 hour news culture, it is hard to keep kids shielded from the news, but try to limit exposure to media to the best of your ability. Turn off the TV, do not leave the scary headlines of the newspaper for all to see, monitor computer usage. These healthy limits may benefit not only the children in the household, but the adults, as well.

We have all heard flight attendants tell us that in the event of an emergency, put on our oxygen masks first.  In a similar vein, it will be important for parents to take care of their own emotional health and well being in light of the recent tragedy. Children are seeking a sense of safety and parents can serve as models for how to cope under times of stress and adversity and be resilient. Be sure to regulate your own emotions and behavior in front of your children. Try to maintain your regular schedules and family routines, as they will provide a sense of comfort and consistency for your child. Keep home a peaceful place and enjoy precious family time. 

If your child seems to be emotionally overwhelmed, consider consulting with a professional who may be able to help you and your child to develop coping resources and self soothing strategies to manage anxiety and emotional distress.

Here are some helpful and reputable resources:

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Topics: C&FD Psychological Services

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Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

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