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February 2018 Volume 4 Issue 2
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Swanky Brain at the Discovery Cube Saturday March 3rd - Please Join Us!

Jamboree at the Cube Logo 2018

FREE Family Fun Event

Directions to Parenting OC’s Jamboree 2018 at Discovery Cube Orange County.

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Let's Talk About Mental Health 

There is a vulnerability, oftentimes laced with profound sorrow that exist when we are supporting someone with a mental health illness...  No matter the age.  This is due to several factors:

First is the stigma, which brings on tremendous shame and an inclination to hide the myriad symptoms occurring from the illness.  Next, finding an diagnosis can be a long and sometimes difficult journey.  Many factors stemming from age; to co-occurring illness impact a diagnosis.  As is well known, treating behavior isn't an exact science.  As compared to putting a cast on a broken leg or salve on the red blotches caused by chicken pox; forming a mental health diagnosis can be complex.

Additionally, some patients and families tend to hide  their maladaptive, combative, depressed or peculiar behaviors exceptionally well.  They sometimes do this in an attempt to fit in or be "normal" or to convince everyone from doctors to family members to peers, that they do not need medication.  Oftentimes, this comes from the fact that they do not like how prescribed medication make them feel.  Also, the deep shame they experience from being different.

So those of us supporting our mentally ill loved ones, are left on this terribly lonely and tremendously exhausting journey.  What I encourage us all to do is start a conversation.  It is vitally important for the patient to share in order to garner understanding, support and encouragement.  Family members should also share in order to protect their loved one from spiraling... potentially self harming.  Just as importantly we should share accurate and useful information to impact mental health care and legislation, which ultimately will improve the life of those we love.  Let's talk!  Our silence and shame are not effective antidotes.  More to come... 

VISUAL SUPPORTS MATTER

I was reminding my eight year old with Autism for the umpteenth time to  lather his hands with soap before putting them under the water.   I was reminding him that lathering with soap and warm water is what actually cleans his hands.  

My son sighed and gently stated:  “Mom, can you make a picture and put it on the wall?  That way I can see it and remember the rule?    His years of ABA therapy has helped him with problem solving and self advocating...  Truly a PROUD moment!

Our experiences are educational  Come and share yours...

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