Your child is slipping away from you. You reach out to connect but all you get in response are grunts over his cell phone and you’re starting to get concerned.
You can see it. Your kid is a square peg. A little too bright or too energetic or too quirky and you can tell it weighs heavy on him. Not that he talks to you. He’s on his computer constantly, or he’s socked away in his bedroom from the minute he gets home from school.
Or maybe it’s your daughter. She’s funny around food. Her moods are volatile and she can’t seem to focus on her schoolwork. Somehow she seems disconnected from her self and distant from your family.
You’re worried and you’re not sure you know how to help.
Adolescence is a vibrant, creative time of growth and change. And it can be confusing for your child. It is a developmental imperative to begin to separate from you and if her connections to peers are strained, a tendency towards isolation can develop. Self-harming behaviors can show up. Depression and anxiety can manifest.
With 13 years of experience as a Special Education Teacher in the Portland Public School System, I know how to support tweens and teens to sort through their emotions and get to the root of what’s bothering them. I know what ADD and ADHD look like and how they can impact kids’ friendships. I also know that many times these diagnoses are not much help. They name a problem and offer no solutions. I can offer tools, perspective, and gentleness around these issues.