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Bonus Child Behavior Tips and Updates, Issue #002 -- teaser here
February 02, 2010 updates

• What are sensory processing disorders and how can they affect your child's behavior? Sensory disorders can involve multiple senses or just one and often have similar symptoms to those of autism and ADHD. For more information check out my new page on Sensory Disorders.

• Looking for help with your child's school behavior? Check out my new page on school behavior with helpful tips on improving your child’s listening skills, and attention and memory.

• More free printable behavior charts are now available including, homework charts.

• If you have been having concerns about your child or know someone else that is concerned their child may be showing symptoms of ADHD, there is now a printable ADHD Checklist available.

• Articles related to child behavior, valuable websites, and forums can now be found on my new Resources page.

• Also, be sure to check out my child behavior blog for additional updated pages and blog posts with more ways to help improve your child’s behavior!

What’s in the News?

New Treatment for Attention Problems

A study conducted on ten children with an attention deficit by Professor Karen Pine at University of Hertfordshire's School of Psychology in the UK, showed reduced impulsivity and more self-control in those ten children.

The study involved using a system called Play Attention. Play Attention requires a child to wear a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet that picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention.

The child only has the ability to control the game when the helmet indicates the child is concentrating and paying attention. After using the system three times a week for twelve weeks, the children were reported to have better self-control and less impulsive behavior.

I think that a person working with someone having hyperactivity or ADHD could also achieve similar results by requiring a child regularly play games that require a lot of concentrating and attention in order for the child to succeed in winning the game. It's really a matter of practicing better self-control and less impulsive behavior.

If by paying attention and displaying self-control you are consistently reinforced, it only makes sense that the behavior would increase. In this particular study, the reinforcer was the ability to play the game. In a typical board game or card game that requires attention and focus to be able to win, the reinforcer would be succeeding in winning or playing the game well.

A few games I have found to require more focus and concentration in order to play well include Slap Jack, Skip Bo, the card game Speed, Bananagrams, and Memory. By playing these regularly with kids, you are able to strengthen their ability to focus and concentrate, helping to increase self-control and decrease impulsive/hyperactive behavior. They also say that regularly playing card games and strategy games can help adults with Alzheimer's.

TV Linked to Child Aggression

In a study conducted with 3,128 mothers of children born from 1998 to 2000 in 20 large U.S. cities, 65% of mothers reported that their 3-year-old child watched more than two hours of television per day. On average, there was also an additional 5.2 hours of household exposure for the children.

Interviews were conducted with the parents at the time of the child’s birth and at one and three years. At the three year interview, parents were asked how much the child spent watching TV directly, how much household TV use there was on a typical day, and given a 15-item aggressive subscale for 2 and 3-year-old children.

The results indicated that direct child TV exposure and household TV use was significantly linked with childhood aggression. This was after accounting for other factors such as parent, family, neighborhood and demographic characteristics.

I don’t really find these results to be surprising, however the quality of television that the children are exposed to are most likely another contributing factor. Sometimes parents don’t realize that casually witnessing violence on television can result in a child using similar aggressive behavior.

Making sure to monitor what your child is watching and to only watch adult shows when the kids are in bed or out of the house are very important. Although, it may seem harmless, even watching aggressive sports, such as boxing, wrestling, or football may cause children to behave more aggressively.

I personally try to stick to Disney shows, such as Mickey Mouse, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, Imagination Movers and Chuggington for younger children. They are usually educational, have no aggression and typically don’t have any commercials.

For older kids, look for shows that are positive in nature and do not include a lot of put downs. Always be sure to check the ratings and if need be, block certain channels on your television so that only a person knowing the password can access those adult channels.

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