Overcoming Test Anxiety

Overcoming Test Anxiety Many students feel nervous before and/or during tests, and a healthy degree of worry actually has been found to improve test-taking performance.  When a student’s level of anxiety about test-taking increases too much, however, it has the potential to create problems (even for prepared students).  Test anxiety involves significant worry and self-doubt … Read more

Improving Communication Through Validation

Improving Communication Through Validation Improving Communication Through Validation What is validation? Validation is defined as recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid and/or worthwhile. How does validation help with communication? Allows a person to feel heard Allows a person to feel secure Lets a person feel understood Increases feelings … Read more

Tips for Maintaining Mental Health During the Holiday Season

Tips for Maintaining Mental Health During the Holiday Season Although the holidays are often a fun and relaxing time of year, they can be stressful and challenging as well. Research indicates that this is especially the case for individuals who already struggle to maintain their mental health; a recent study conducted by NAMI (the National … Read more

Practicing Gratitude – at Thanksgiving and Throughout the Year

Practicing Gratitude – at Thanksgiving and Throughout the Year Since March of last year, our children have faced unprecedented, unpredictable, difficult and scary times. COVID-19 continues to negatively impact the daily lives of all age groups. When stepping back and reflecting on what our children have endured this past year with lock downs, school closures, … Read more

Three Ways to Foster Cognitive Flexibility in Children

Three Ways to Foster Cognitive Flexibility in Children Cognitive flexibility is an important thinking skill, typically defined as the ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts or being able to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. It is considered to be a critical executive function – part of a group of mental processes that … Read more

Rewire Your Thoughts, Change Your Mood

Rewire Your Thoughts, Change Your Mood Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment modality that is built on the premise that thoughts have a significant impact on feelings and behaviors, and that by changing our thought patterns, we can improve the way we feel and act.  To change our thoughts, however, we must first … Read more

Diagnosing AD/HD in Teens

Diagnosing AD/HD in Teens A diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) often occurs in childhood.  In fact, one of the diagnostic criteria for AD/HD is that symptoms need to have been present prior to age 12.  This does not mean, however, that an initial diagnosis of AD/HD cannot occur in adolescence or young adulthood.  In … Read more

Starting to Make Sense of IEP’s and 504 Plans

Starting to Make Sense of IEP’s and 504 Plans As students head back to school this fall, some parents may be wondering if an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan may be appropriate for their child. Many parents come to FamilyFirst with this question and voice confusion about the difference between an IEP and … Read more