May 9, 2016
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Just Hold On

In 1998 my husband and I decided to take our two oldest sons and their cousins on a rafting trip down the Colorado River. As we “knew a guy,” we borrowed life vests, rafts, and chose to not hire a guide—after all, who needs a guide? The river only flows one direction. With confidence born of the ignorant and thrifty, we were on our way. It didn’t take us long to realize the raft our sons were in, was holding air, and our raft was holding water. We bailed and planned to pull to shore as soon as we got […]
April 5, 2016
Young woman wearing headphones and making notes

10 Sensory Processing Interventions

In presentations on the subject of sensory processing in the treatment of ASD, I’ve found that people love trying out sensory interventions in their own lives or lives of their families. If the sensory issues are serious enough, I recommend reaching out to an occupational therapist for an assessment and a professional sensory modulation program. Here are 10 interventions Heritage students love that you may want to try:   Noise Cancelling Headphones: Some people are overwhelmed by the sensation of ambient background noise in their environment. Noise cancelling headphones are a favorite of many students. You can achieve the same […]
February 8, 2016
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Self-Efficacy: A Key to Improved Behavior

Assisting adolescents with speaking for themselves (advocacy) is a very important learning task.  Having a parent or guardian advocate for their children is a tricky process.  There is a fine line between rescuing and advocacy.  One tends to enhance self-esteem and the other can create a dependence handicap.  Encouragement with making decisions and having ownership of their choices are the steps to self-independence. At Heritage, we feel this is so important that we measure a student’s ability to achieve self-efficacy with a self-reported tool called a Treatment Support Measure (TSM). “Self-efficacy is broadly defined as a self-perception of one’s ability […]
January 26, 2016
Meditation

Creating Balance in Your Life

Life can be filled with highs and lows, happiness and stress, fun experiences and scary ones. I personally have many things in my life that make me happy and then in the next instant worry me to death. Working with teens brings this feeling daily. One minute everything seems to be going right and the next it blows up in my face and vice versa. Dealing with what comes your way in life is important, but more than that, it’s important to manage the things in your life that you can control. Being balanced in all areas of your life […]
September 2, 2015
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Let Them Make Mistakes

By Alaina I’d love to shelter my children from heartache, struggle and pain. Having been down the road they are now traveling, surely I can steer them around many of the potholes and roadblocks, making their journey much easier. After all, I can see the big picture much better so I’d make an ideal navigator, right? The problem is, I can’t be there every moment and eventually they’ll be far away from my safe shelter. What happens when life comes at them without my buffer? As the pediatrician often reminds me, “You’re not raising a child here, you’re creating an […]
August 26, 2015
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Control is Gone, but Influence Remains

By George Ballew Remember the days when your child would listen to you? When that sweet child develops into a teenager, we see our hold on them slip. They are slowly turning into adults which means greater independency, autonomy and privacy. It’s a natural progression. Understand Control vs. Influence. There are many things in life you can control, but many that you cannot – like a teenager. However, there are ways to have a greater influence on them. Set your agenda aside at first, and just listen. Ask clarifying questions. You don’t have to agree or approve of their thoughts, […]
August 5, 2015
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Take Care of Yourself — You’ll Have More to Give

By George Often caregivers, especially mothers it seems, feel that if they give 100 percent to their troubled child, it will finally pay off. Or if not, at least you’ll have a clear conscience when you die a burned-out martyr’s death at an early age with lots of gray hair. While it’s important to give your best to the ones you love, there’s something to be said about taking some balanced time for self care as well. I compare it to having a battery. In theory, it may be noble to drain your entire battery, overextending yourself worrying about your […]

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