Explaining how different is not deficient

Child psychologist, Mona Delahooke, PhD explains how being different is not the same as being deficient. Watch this video for great explanations on how to communicate with your child.
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Explaining how different is not deficient

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We want to give children the message that different doesn't mean deficient and it can be very subtle. Of course we don't say this to children outright. For example, if a child has an excessive need for movement, say, a preschooler who is always moving around his body and has a hard time sitting in his chair or on the circle and he is being disciplined for that behavior. But the behavior is coming from a need, a sensory integration and sensory-motor need deep inside his body. Every time we discipline him for it he's getting a message, that what his body is requiring is not okay. It's very important that we be considerate of the messages we're giving children about their individual differences and have an appreciation for those differences and what it will mean to the child on an emotional level. We want to be very aware of the messages that we give children about their differences and an exciting new movement is taking hold and that's called the neuro-diversity movement. What that means is that we want children to see their neurological differences, their learning differences, their physical-medical differences as not something that is wrong with them but something that makes them unique. The way parents can help children with this is to let them know that everybody is unique. We all are on a spectrum of uniqueness and no two people are alike. I encourage parents to talk about their child's differences openly with them, without shame and with a lot of pride and courage for kids to be able to own their differences and not feel that they've done something wrong or that they need to be ashamed of them.

Child psychologist, Mona Delahooke, PhD explains how being different is not the same as being deficient. Watch this video for great explanations on how to communicate with your child.

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.

Child Psychologist

Mona M. Delahooke, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist specializing in the development of infants, children, and their families. Endorsed by the State of California as a Reflective Practice Mentor, she works with multi- disciplinary teams supporting children with developmental or emotional delays across the country. She is a faculty member/trainer of the Profectum Foundation and the Early Intervention Training Institute (EITI) of the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. Currently in private practice in Arcadia, California, she consults with parents, preschools, and school districts in the areas of developmental screening, assessment and intervention for young children and their families. Dr. Delahooke maintains a blog at www.thevisibleparent.com, where she regularly posts supportive information for parents and professionals.

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