Ask A Clinician: Tips for Traveling with a Child

Q: We are planning an upcoming trip to see Grandma and Grandpa, but are nervous about traveling with our child who has autism. Do you have any suggestions to help?

A: A vacation or a trip can be an exciting adventure, but sometimes, getting there is the hardest part. When traveling with a child with autism, one of the best things you can do is have a plan.

Traveling can be a stressful experience on anyone.

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Breaking Bad: An Intervention For Bad Habits

by Anthony Tucci, MA, Psychological Services Pre-Doctoral Intern

Do you bite your nails, smoke, spend too much money, overeat, lose your temper or play on Facebook for hours?

So much of my work with kids, parents, adults, and couples involves helping people to break patterns of behavior, or habits, which interfere with their goals. Sometimes we work together to start healthy habits and sometimes we work to stop unhealthy ones.  Most often, we work to do both.

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Fairness: What Does it Really Mean?

By Debra Cardash

“It’s not fair!”  If we had a dollar for every time a child said this phrase, we would all be millionaires.  A working definition of fairness and clear steps to achieve fairness will foster our children’s growth – so this article will focus on how to define fairness, conceive of ownership, distinguish “nice” from “fair” and achieve fair outcomes.

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The Importance Of Foster Parents

By Marc Bermann, Foster Parent Recruiter

There are approximately 20,000 children in foster care in the state of Illinois.

50% of them have chronic medical problems; 30% are victims of various forms of abuse and neglect. Many of them have significant issues of attachment and loss resulting from childhood trauma.

Prior to foster care, sometimes these children are removed from their home and taken into protective custody by the state.  They may be placed in a temporary shelter or substitute care with a relative. Biological parents can terminate their parental rights by choice or court mandate.

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Home Away From Home At Camp Firefly

by Lindsay Hardy, M. A., Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern

Camp Firefly has been my ‘happy place’ for three years…friends and family know I am busy every year at the end of July because I make it a point to clear my schedule and head up to camp.”  – Returning camp counselor, 2013.

This counselor’s very special experience of Camp Firefly is not uncommon. A majority of counselors return to work at Camp Firefly each year, placing careers, family, school, and social lives on hold to spend a magical two weeks in Wisconsin under the bright July sun. They help children and teens with diagnosed social disorders such as Social Anxiety, OCD, Asperger’s and others make friends and have an authentic summer camp experience.  Campers and their families arrange their schedules each year to make sure that they are able to participate in yet another summer with the Fireflies.

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Milt's Story: Subduing The Storm With Love And Support

by Susan Schulman, Vice-Chair, Jewish Child & Family Services Board of Directors

"My Dad did not know many people. He did not speak the language. He needed help and that help came from The Jewish Children’s Bureau.” (Now known as Jewish Child and Family Service.)

Zoltan Zimmerman could never have dreamed his son Milton would be where he is today when he handed the care of 11 month old Milt to JCB. Milton, married for 25 years and father to four children, is the Executive Vice President and Partner at Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence. A national company with over 400 employees that specializes in brokering environmentally conscious products. He is also on the executive board of Jewish Child and Family Service.

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Prevention, Help and Hope: We Are YOUR Jewish Center For Addiction

by Beth Fishman, Ph.D

Addiction is a disease that impacts our community and a disease that can be treated. The Jewish Center for Addiction (JCA) was created to assist those in the path of addiction’s immediate trauma and to help build caring communities that are aware of and responsive to the problem of addiction. Programs offered by the JCA address specific needs of Chicago’s Jewish community, and reflect best practices from across the country.

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Keys For Unlocking Successful Playdates

by Meredith White, M.S., Developmental Therapist

‘Tis the season for after-school playdates and fall weekend outings with friends.  The backdrop of cooler temperatures and falling leaves seems perfect for a myriad of play-date successes.  But what if you find hosting (or even attending) these playdates to be a daunting occasion for both you AND your child?  Well, you’re in good company.  Many families with typically developing children or children with social-skill deficits often find playdates to be a challenge.

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The Wealth From Mental Health

Abraham Lincoln. Gandhi. Winston Churchill.

All of these great leaders in history suffered from mental health issues at some point during their life. In America, nearly 30 million adults seek therapy a year for a mental health issue.   For the last 23 years, the first week of October has been designated by Congress and the National Alliance on Mental Health as “Mental Health Awareness Week.” People are encouraged to get screened for depression, learn about recovery and understanding and most importantly, increase awareness of the mental health issues in our community and erase any negative stigma attached to it.

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Time To Celebrate Sobriety

Dr. Beth Fishman, Manager, Jewish Center for Addiction

The Jewish new year 5774 has just begun.  Jews around the world have gone through the High Holy Day process of tshuvah/spiritual return.  This can also be a time to celebrate the return to a life free of addiction.  If you are Jewish and actively engaged in addictive behavior, or find yourself embroiled in the chaos that a loved one’s addiction creates, how can you return to a life of sanity this year?  Here are some suggestions to make the most of this opportunity to return to the life you were intended to live:

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