Anxiety & Stress
Autism & Asperger’s
When working with children, the session is tailored to their needs and adjusted to their mental age. The younger the child, the shorter the session. Puppets are often used with young children. Please call for a free consultation.
First of all, I resist labels of any kind except when it is necessary to use them for disability funding. I resist them because each person is unique. How can you categorize such a diverse, rich, and intriguing 0.3% of the population, in which only one-fifth is female? In cases where Asperger's Syndrome has not been diagnosed or acknowledged yet, it is quite likely that society or school misunderstands the difference they perceive. Words that can falsely describe a person with Asperger's Syndrome include: eccentric, weird, rude, aloof, or selfish. Furthermore, there is often the incorrect assumption of lower IQ. Let’s get something straight. Brilliant people can have Asperger’s Syndrome.
When I was growing up nobody even knew about Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. It was first formally identified in 1943 by Leo Kanner and then again in 1944 by Hans Asperger. But, it wasn’t until 1981 when Lorna Wing translated Asperger’s work from German into English that Asperger’s Syndrome became better known. It is on the high-functioning end of the Autism spectrum.
The academic research neatly divides characteristics of people with Asperger’s Syndrome into three groups:
1. Language and Communication: nonverbal cues, intonation, and ambiguity may be difficult to understand.
2. Social and Emotional Skills: friendships are often hard to form and maintain. Emotions often need explaining.
3. Need for Rigid Routine: too much choice causes stress.
A consequence of these things can be feelings of loneliness, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, and anxiety. Sensory sensitivities often are stronger, too. Meltdowns are said to be common, which can affect an adult’s ability to maintain a job or friendships.
My hypnotherapy practice welcomes people living with Asperger’s Syndrome and provides direct and practical approaches that can make a difference. I'll work with you to nourish the seeds of genius.
You’re lying in bed fast asleep and wake up to the pitter patter of little feet heading to the bathroom and then back to their bedroom. Groggily you walk to your child’s bedroom to check on them and find your child now lying on the floor with their pillow, because they’ve just wet the bed and don’t want to wake you up. Most children outgrow this short phase if it happens, but some need an additional layer of support.
Hypnosis with children is a gentle way of getting their subconscious mind to wake them up automatically when they need to go to the bathroom before they wet the bed. It usually just takes one session for your child to wake up TOTALLY DRY and proud.
Why do children bite their nails? It could be for many reasons that include force of habit in response to stress, anxiety, boredom, or to keep them short instead of getting the nail clippers. Whatever the reason, it’s usually an unconscious habit that hypnotherapy can fix. Telling your child, “Stop biting your nails!” just isn’t enough. The mind likes what is familiar, so it is difficult for someone to stop a habit without getting help at all levels of consciousness. One session should be enough to quit the nail biting for those nails to grow healthy and beautiful again.
Anxiety & School
In November of 2017, the Children and Youth Mental Health survey was released by IPSOS Public Affairs stating that more than 60% of Ontario youth experienced anxiety. The survey also stated that youth mental health is viewed as the lowest priority. Half of the parents, who sought help for their child, were met with challenges finding the help they needed. Long wait times were also experienced.
These results will not be a surprise to many Canadians. Even wait times on other child services are high. My own son was on a waiting list to see a Speech and Language Pathologist and we were told it would be a three-year wait. We never did get that appointment. As a teacher, I gave up waiting and took things into my own hands by Home Schooling until he was ready for integration into public school. But, not all parents have the resources, education, and flexible work schedule that my family had. It is a fact that parents who have children with disabilities have additional hurdles to climb to get services for their child.
If you find that your child needs added support in some way, please call me. I can either help you or refer you in the right direction. When it comes to children's appointments, I will try to get you in as soon as I can at a time that works around your school schedule.
Getting Stuck in Time
There is such a long list of stressors that take a toll on children. Don’t get me wrong. Teachers and parents/guardians have stress, too. But, when you are a child there is less control over your own life. During adult hypnotherapy sessions, a great majority of adults go back to traumatic events that occurred in childhood. What stresses a child can be different from what stresses an adult. However, it can still leave a mark or rather leave a part of that person stuck in time. So, I guide adults back to where they lost a piece of themselves, help them resolve the issue without them having to relive it, and then help them to finally let go of the hurt.
How different their lives would have been if they had not carried that pain for all those decades. There should be an easier way for children to let go of hurt and anxiety while they are still children. There is an easier way. But, it is up to you to make that appointment to see me. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay during the session and a comfortable waiting area is right beside the session room.
The Uniqueness of You
Each person’s brain is unique as a learner. Everyone has something that they are good at doing; some gift that they bring to this world for a purpose. Howard Gardner theorized that there are eight types of intelligences from which a learner will have different strengths:
It is important to value and develop the gifts children do have, rather than trying to make them fit a one-size fits all approach. Some children are gifted in reading, writing, and speaking different languages. Others can pick up any sport and excel at it. Each brain learns and changes differently. A good teacher will use a variety of teaching methods to address the different learning styles of the students. However, that is not always what happens in reality. Teachers have tremendous demands on them and can only do so much in a climate of cuts to school programs, cuts to Educational Assistants, increased classroom sizes, assessment requirements, new curriculum to learn, after-school programs, and safety drills to practice to prepare students in case of a shooter (just to name a few). It is no wonder that students have anxiety at school! Some children can feel “dumb” and stressed if they are being told to learn in a way that doesn’t match they way they learn best. If your child is not getting the help they need to learn in school, ask me about academic and other support for your child.
Dealing with Anxiety at School
Robert W. Coleman School in Baltimore came up with an idea to help students deal with anxiety and, at the same time, reduce behavioural issues at school. Instead of sending students to detention after school, the students go to a Mindful Moment Room as part of a program called Holistic Me. Students meditate, do breathing exercises, and have an opportunity to talk to a counsellor. In the two years since the program was implemented, there hasn’t been one suspension from school.
What I would like to see in Canadian schools is the implementation of something similar that also includes Rapid Transformational Coaching (RTC)™ and Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT). RTT combines the best of everything out there: hypnosis for relaxation and concentrated focus (good for ADHD and OCD), hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, and additional techniques. An adult session is 90 minutes and a child’s session is adjusted for an appropriate amount of time to match their developmental age. Usually only one to three sessions is all that is needed for an issue. Clients gain understanding about their issues and then have an emotional release. The person is involved with the therapist in uncovering the meaning and interpretation of events and then changing them in a positive way. This leads to permanent, powerful change because the mind tells the body what to do (e.g. turn fear into excitement). RTT can tell the body how to react, how to feel, and can improve the messages the body sends to the mind. This is a form of neuroplasticity that creates new neural pathways while simultaneously removing old, negative neural pathways. The result is that the person is wired to change in positive ways that support learning as well as living a happier and healthier life.
Brain’s Ability to Change - Neuroplasticity
During a TEDX Talk, neuroscientist Dr. Lara Boyd stated “increased difficulty and struggle during practice leads to more learning and greater structural change in the brain. The problem is that neuroplasticity can work both ways for learning new positive behaviours as well as for learning about negative things such as drugs, becoming addicted, and experiencing chronic pain.”
When Dr. Boyd uses the term neuroplasticity, she is referring to the brain’s ability to rewire, reorganize, and reprogram itself both physically and functionally throughout your life. This can happen with changes in your environment, behaviour, emotions, and thinking. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can assist in making these changes.
When you are a child, your brain is much more “plastic” or changing as it is developing. As a person ages, their brain begins to decline; however, it still has enough neuroplasticity to continue changing throughout your lifetime.
If you would like to take a closer look at the resources mentioned in this article, then click on the links below.