Teen Pot Smoking May Cause Long-Term Anxiety | The Fix

As parents I think we are aware of this. It is always good to be reminded of the effects of marijuana. I also heard yesterday professionals are finding that the brain is not fully developed until the late 20’s. Until recent it has been the mid 20’s. Something to keep in mind as our teens and young adults are maturing.

“During the teen years the parts of the brain that are involved in managing emotions are still developing rapidly and it is highly possible that heavy cannabis use at this sensitive point could have long-lasting effects,”

via Teen Pot Smoking May Cause Long-Term Anxiety | The Fix.

Study Shows Sexually Abused Boys at Risk for More Unsafe Sex

Most parents worry about the girls and forget that boys are also at risk for sexual abuse. Studies show that boys are far less likely to tell someone when they have been sexually abused versus the girls. If you notice your child acting out in with sexual overtones this may be the reason.   Researchers are recommending sexual abuse prevention in health education for both boys and girls and that health care agencies should screen for sexual abuse histories among both boys and girls. The next time your teen goes to the doctor you may want to suggest this to your teens practitioner. I would not assume it is always done.

This may be the first study to explore the effects of  sexual abuse on boys’ sexual behaviour.

Check the forum there was a recent post by a father that is concerned about his sons behavior. Maybe you can help him out.  Teen son says he’s a necrophiliac. What do I do?

For London Youth, Down and Out Is Way of Life – NYTimes.com

Adolescents and the young adults today are missing an important developmental period in their growth to being independent due to the recession. There was a time when a person (kid) could walk into the door of a business and they would put them to work on the spot doing some type of menial job. It was the road to job experience. Now they are missing this entry level of experience due to the poor job market.

This along with the baby boomers trying to age out is a problem for society and the economies today. Many of these young adults feel helpless and that they will never find a job. This can only hurt their self esteem.

For London Youth, Down and Out Is Way of Life – NYTimes.com.

Taking Intimidation Out Of The IEP Process

IEP, Special Needs Education, Horizon Family ServicesDore E. Frances, Ph.D. is offering Parent Training and Information Seminars starting in March 2012. These seminars are designed for parents especially those that are in the beginning phases of the IEP process. Contact Dore to schedule a seminar in your area or at your program or school.

What Parents Will Learn From the 7 IEP  Training Sessions

Valuable assertive communication techniques so that parents are able to ask and answer questions in an unthreatening manner during an IEP meeting and while communicating with the IEP team, of which they are a part. These seminars are a powerful way to learn how to be an effective advocate for your child.

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. If your child is struggling student they may qualify for an IEP.

The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.

The seminar series is comprised of seven topics and can be held in two four-hour sessions or in one full day session. Following is an outline of the topics discussed.

  1. Assertive vs. Non-Assertive – Which Are You?
  • “Being Assertive Is Not My Style”
  • Assertiveness is … Assertiveness is Not …
  • Assertive and Unassertive Statements
  • To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, other school staff-and often the student-must come together to look closely at the student’s unique needs.
  • These individuals pool knowledge, experience and commitment to design an educational program that will help the student be involved in, and progress in, the general curriculum. The IEP guides the delivery of special education supports and services for the student with a disability. Without a doubt, writing-and implementing-an effective IEP requires teamwork.
  1. Developing Your Positives – Eliminating Your Negatives
  • How to Build Up Your Self-Confidence and Develop a Positive Attitude About Yourself
  • Let Your Body Say Positive Things About You
  • How to Get Off the Guilt Trip
  • How to Get Out of the Intimidation Trap
  • How to Put Down the Put-Down
  • How to Get Around the Runaround
  • When They Call You Aggressive
  • Can You Really Listen?
  • Building the Parent-Professional Communication Gap
  • How a Parent Group Can Help You Be Assertive
  • Are you a Leader – or Just a Parent?
  • Laugh Your Way to Assertiveness
  • The IEP team gathers to talk about the child’s needs and write the student’s IEP.
  • Parents and the student (when appropriate) are part of the team. If a different group decides the child’s placement then the parents must be part of that group as well.
  1. Assertiveness at Special Education Meetings
  • When You Know It – Flaunt It
  • How to Assert Yourself at Your Child’s IEP Meeting
  • Gaining Access to All of Your Child’s Records
  • How to Prepare for a Successful Due Process Hearing
  • Is a Lawyer Necessary?
  • If the parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement.
  • If they still disagree, parents can ask for mediation, or the school may offer mediation. Parents may file a complaint with the state education agency and may request a due process hearing, at which time mediation must be available.
  1. Assertiveness Exercise for Parents
  • Assertive Responses for Those Old Excuses
  • Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
  • How to Shovel Your Way Out of those Bureaucratic Snow-jobs
  • How to Escalate Your Way to Services
  • Using the Negative to Build Your Positives
  • The “No You Can’t But I Can” Technique
  • The school makes sure that the child’s IEP is being carried out as it was written. Parents are given a copy of the IEP.
  • Each of the child’s teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and knows his or her specific responsibilities for carrying out the IEP. This includes the accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child, in keeping with the IEP.
  1. Assertiveness with Bureaucrats and Public Officials
  • Put It in Writing
  • How to Influence People Instead of Just Making Friends
  • How to Negotiate with Bureaucracies
  • How to Assert Yourself with Politicians
  • How to Stack Public Hearings to Win Your Battles
  • How the Press Can Help You Get Services
  • Others Who Are Winning by being Assertive
  • What if I Fail?
  • The IEP is reviewed by the IEP team once a year sometimes more often if the parents or school ask for a review. If necessary the IEP will be revised. Parents as team members must be invited to attend these meetings.
  • Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP goals and agree or disagree with the placement.
  1. Assertiveness Success Stories
  • Assertiveness – My Legacy to My Daughter
  • How My Daughter Changed My Personality and Taught Me to Be an Assertive Parent
  • My Path to Assertiveness – It Changed How I Serve Families
  • Sometimes Assertive, Sometimes Supportive
  • Time’s Up for Time Out – Legislative Assertiveness
  • By law the IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs.
  1. Resources
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
  • Family Resource Centers
  • A Parent’s Guide to Special Education Rights
  • Parent Training and Information Centers
  • Federal Agencies
  • Wright’s Law
  • Sample IEP forms will be presented

An Open Letter To Troubled Teen Blog About Mental Illness

Dear Troubled Teen Blog,

I think about you all the time and the history that we have shared. I know I have been neglecting you these past months. Sadly the situation has gotten worse I never thought it would get to this place. Now I am not sure if there is a bottom.

I have been trying to figure out what I would tell you and how to compose it in a positive and hopeful light. But at this time that is difficult, as I watch my son go deeper into his sickness.

I don’t see much of him these days and when I do he is not there mentally. He has always had different ideas about life but now he is more in his head than ever. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with him. He has been living on the street and has had four 5150’s this past year. He has been in and out of jail. There is a bench warrant out for him in our hometown because he has not (cannot) make his court dates or do his community service.  I have no way of contacting him so I wait for him to contact me and luckily he seems to come around every few weeks and then disappear.

Some nights I lay awake wondering if he is still alive and how he exists. We no longer give him money or support. When he does come around he tells us he can take care of himself. I know that I am powerless but this is my child and it just breaks my heart whenever I think of him.

TTB this is why I have not been around in a long time. This is a lot for me to process and I am learning to live on life’s terms and at the same time trying to accept this difficult path that my family is walking. I thought wilderness and residential treatment was going to be the answer but now I know this was just a safe place along this uncharted road.

I have not given up hope. I am learning about new interventions that may be able to care for my son as he enters adulthood. Personally, I am fed up with the system and how it (does not) works for those with mental health issues. I am learning there are outreach programs and we have to make them aware of my son’s situation. He needs an advocate but at the same time I am powerless and have to let go. I thought I already did that.

With sincere gratitude, Your Administrator

P.S. I know I am not alone. I have met many wonderful families with similar situations which breaks my heart even more.

‘Coming Out’ – Gay Teenagers, in Their Own Words – NYTimes.com

Documentary in The New York Times by todays teens and how it feels to be LBGT. Really cuts to heart and the emotion these kids go through trying to understand themselves. There is no reason they should have to suffer for being who they are.
‘Coming Out’ – Gay Teenagers, in Their Own Words – NYTimes.com.

To hear the teens voices and their stories really brings the importance of the message to life.

The New York Times embarked on the project “Coming Out” as an effort to better understand this generation’s realities and expectations, and to give teenagers their own voice in the conversation.

Home Visits and AWOL Teens The Parent’s Handbook

Happy Holiday’s and AWOL Teens Don’t Mix Well Together

It is almost Christmas and  families with teens in residential treatment may be preparing for a home visit. The feelings of both excitement to have the family together and the anxiety that goes with it can be over whelming. The worst parent fear – “will my teen run?” Oh my, have I dealt with a running teen. I have learned they usually run at the end of the home visit when you think they are getting ready to go back. There have also been those that have not gotten off the plane upon arrival. Sorry to add to your anxiety but the truth is if they are going to run there is usually nothing you can do about it.

On a positive note in  all of my years  living with a troubled teen and experiencing residential treatment I don’t know of one teen that was not found. They may have been out for weeks or months at a time but they have all been found and returned in my sphere. That is also a reminder for myself even though my son is not in treatment I feel he continues to run.

Now for the gift an inspirational blog post and pearls of wisdom from another family that is experiencing a troubled teenager. Click on the link below

Parent’s Handbook To Stop Home Visit AWOLs: Part I

Hopefully Part II is right behind Part I – nudge-nudge.  Doing nothing is not in my DNA but sometimes it is the best solution. I am working on it to this day.

Hugs to all of you – we can do this together.