Keep Back to School Cool for Your Child With Anxiety

It is coming, faster ever year (or so it seems). It is back to school time again. For some (parents mostly), this is a great and exciting time of the year—A great fresh start. For the students, it is the end of something epic. For students with anxiety, this time of the year is especially stressful.

If your child is one of those students, we have a few tips for you:

  1. Dr. Parisi | affordable psychologistSet a schedule and stick to it. Children who suffer from anxiety can better anticipate and know what to expect if things are organized. Make sure there schedule is predictability, structured, and follow a routine. This will make transitions easier.
  2. Schedule a visit. See if it is possible to schedule a trip to the school. Let you child walk around, meet the teacher, and get more comfortable with the environment before there is a crowd.
  3. Make health a priority. Use a healthy diet full of protein and limited sugar to help your child feel his or her best. Make sure sleep is a priority. Have some time to calm before bed and make sure you stick to bedtime.
  4. Be comfortable. Make school as fun and special as possible. If it is a favorite outfit, an old sweatshirt, or a lucky backpack charm, find something that is a comfort to your child and helps them feel connected to you.
  5. Talk. Make sure you child feels comfortable and discuss the issues or scenarios that make your child most uncomfortable. This will give you and your child a chance to walk through a situation and how to deal with it before it happens.
  6. Consider behavioral therapy. Back to school is a hard time for children with anxiety, but if after a couple weeks your child isn’t settling in or you are seeing increased issues, inform specialists at school and contact an affordable psychologist or psychiatrist for further counseling.

If you need more help in the Chicago and surrounding areas including Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Barrington, Hinsdale, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Park Ridge, and Wilmette, Dr. Parisi is an affordable psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in Childhood Attachment Studies and Intervention (Marshak Evaluations)and Biofeedback Training for Stress / Anxiety Reduction

Quick Facts About Disruptive Behavior Disorders

All children sometimes break the rules. The difference between disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) and a kid just being a kid is the severity and frequency that these disruptive behaviors occur. A DBD is diagnosed from a persistent pattern of angry outbursts, arguments, and disobedience.

Children and teens with a DBD struggle with symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. This usually leads to them having conflicts with parents, teachers, authority figures, and other children. With the proper help from a marriage and family therapist in Chicago children with DBDs can be very successful in school and life and maintain healthy relationships with family and friends, but they need a lot of support and tools to make this happen.

So your child was diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), now what? First, relax and learn a few facts.

What does this mean?

  •  * DBDs are the most common mental health disorder among children.
  •  * 4% to 9% of all children from birth to 18 years old will be diagnosed with a DBD.
  •  * Environmental factors can effect how the child functions.
  •  * DBD are disorders that are only identified in children and adolescence.


What should you expect in treatment?

  •  * Parenting modification strategies Social and emotional skills training for children
    •  – Communication skills
    •  – Parenting skills
    •  – Conflict resolution skills
    •  – Anger management skills
  • Psychotherapy for the child and the family, such as one of our play therapists in Chicago
  •  * Teaming with a counselor in Chicago
  •  * If necessary, the addition of medication to the therapy plan


What can you do?Dr. Parisi chicago counselor

  •  * Find ways to maintain a positive relationship with your child.
  •  * Be consistent. Learn all you can about how to effectively manage your child’s behavior; find what works for you and stick to it.
  •  * Find parental support so you can handle your own emotions.
  •  * Get help!

* Try our affordable psychologists or psychiatrists in Chicago or one of our behavioral therapy specialists in Chicago and Mount  and the surrounding area including Mt. Prospect and Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Barrington, Hinsdale, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Park Ridge, and Wilmette.


What is Psychological Testing and how do I know If I Need it?

Psychological tests are standardized tests used to measure characteristics, feelings, beliefs and skills. These tests are also used to measure the presence of certain mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, substance use, or other personality characteristics. A standard psychological assessment includes an interview with a mental health practitioner and a psychological test. Testing can be completed independently or can be administered by a psychologist. Generally tests are given to help gather thorough and complete information in order to understand a problem more in depth and are used as a guide for treatment. These tests measure an individual’s performance at a specific point in time. Psychological tests help understand general behaviors or trends, but its important to note that these tests do to predict future actions, thoughts, feelings or behaviors.

A thorough assessment of an individual will first include a medical examination to rule out possibilities of medical illnesses. After ruling out medical illnesses or diseases, your medical provider may refer you to a psychologist for further assessment and testing. Typically a medical health care provider will make a referral for psychological testing if they believe it is beneficial. It is also common for doctors, teachers, and social workers to make referrals for further psychological testing.

Psychologists administer psychological testing for a wide variety of reasons. There are many psychological tests available and each measures different attributes. There are aptitude tests that help to identify learning disabilities and there are tests that evaluate if a client is experiencing an emotional disorder. Other tests measure personality traits. For example, if an individual is having problems with personal relationships or interpersonal skills there are tests available that help to identify personality traits that might contribute to the problem. Testing helps to provide valuable information and insight in understanding issues while also identifying individuals strengthens.

Contact Dr. Parisi for low cost therapy in Chicago, Mt. Prospect, and surrounding areas including Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Barrington, Hinsdale, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Park Ridge, and Wilmette.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD as it is commonly called, is a disruptive behavior disorder that is characterized by a chronic pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and poor impulse control or a combination of the three that affects how children, adolescents, or adults function in their day-to-day life.  ADHD is, technically, a childhood disorder and, if diagnosed in an adult, must have been evident during childhood.  Recent, emerging research from the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that ADHD has a strong genetic link – that is, often runs in families – and is about three times more prevalent among boys verus girls.

Once referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, the disorder was renamed in 1994 to ADHD where it was broken down into three subtypes. The three types of ADHD are predominantly inattentive type, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, and the combined type.

The predominantly inattentive type is when an individual finds it difficult pay attention to details and difficulty with following instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted, makes careless errors, has problems with organization, forgets details of daily routines, and has a tendency to lose things.  The hyperactive-impulsive type is characterized by fidgety behavior, difficulty sitting still, excessive energy levels, poor decision-making, and a tendency to act before thinking.  An individual with the combined type of ADHD may display elements of multiple elements described above.

Treatment for ADHD depends on the unique constellation of symptoms displayed by the individual.  Treatment options are also guided by the severity of the ADHD symptoms.  Often times, prescription stimulant medication can prove invaluable in controlling the symptoms of moderate to severe ADHD.  However, in more mild forms of ADHD, changes to daily routine, the classroom environment, and behavior modification training can produce lasting results.  Cognitive Training involving computer-assisted training of attentional skills, sequencing ability, and short-term auditory and visual memory can also prove helpful in improving the symptoms of mild to moderate ADHD.  Often times, a combination approach which involves a combination of medication management, behavior modification, school-based accommodation, and Cognitive Training is the most helpful way to manage ADHD.

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Childhood Attachment and Bonding

During the first year of life, children form strong bonds with their parents and caregivers. You might not think that children are aware of much during that first year, but in reality they are forming very important bonds with people around them. These bonds will lead to an attachment style being adopted by the child; and, each child’s individual attachment style will depend on the types of interaction he or she has with his or her caregivers.

There are four main types of Childhood attachment styles: secure attachment, anxious-resistant insecure attachment, anxious avoidant insecure attachment, and disorganized attachment.

Children who are happy and healthy will typically display secure attachment.  These children understand that their parents will return to them, and they probably don’t cry or fuss a lot when their parents are separated from them, as they are secure in the knowledge that they will come back. To help keep your child secure, snuggle with them, be calm around them, and be consistent with your bonding.  Insecure children consist of those with anxious avoidant, anxious-resistant and disorganized insecure attachment. These children are often frightened, crying when their parents leave their side, but also seeming wholly unconcerned when their parents return. These children are anxious, unsure of what will happen next, so they waffle between wanting parental attention and shunning it.

Children with insecure attachment styles have often witnessed or endured abuse, inconsistent bonding, or live in an environment that is filled with stress.  Avoid this scenario by providing your child with a calm environment, plenty of love, and a lot of positive interaction. Children who are secure in their attachments are often happier and healthier throughout life, forming stronger, more psychologically-balanced relationships.

If you suspect that your child is not bonding properly, or you would like to form better bonds with your child, please seek the advice of a licensed therapist.