Book Review Time

We know everyone can struggle to find time to read books from cover to cover, so here is a summary for you (brought to you by Virginia!) of a great read for all parents.

 ‘Keeping Your Child in Mind’ by Claudia M, Gold, MD is the kind of book that addresses various issues of childhood, explains why the problem is occurring, then gives practical advice of what to do.  I have just read it for the second time to be able to better help parents whose children have behavioural problems.

OTs talk about ‘Attachment’, ‘Circle of Security’ and ‘Regulation of Emotions’.  This book is about all of these, but in layman’s terms.  It allows the reader to hear the same messages in a different and very accessible format.

This example is from the ‘Manging Sleep’ chapter.  “Managing sleep is one of the greatest challenges of being a parent…… it represents the first major separation for both parent and baby.”  Gold describes the process of ‘holding your child in mind’ (thinking about the situation from the child’s perspective) and offering secure attachment as an underlying precursor to enable separation, allowing night-time separation.  The key to this is for the parent to be well-regulated emotionally, to feel calm and put aside their own anxiety – very difficult if sleep deprived, as we all know!  Early secure attachment is very important for the child’s identity and future relationships.

The mother’s ‘emotional availability and attentiveness’ to her baby are what help a child feel settled and secure, to be able to cope when his/her mother is not there. Children who have what is called ‘insecure attachment’ will often show angry, aggressive, clingy or demanding behaviour. Gold believes ‘The way a parent thinks about letting a child learn to sleep independently is very closely linked to her own early sense of security.’  It is therefore important to explore, as a parent, your own feelings in relation to attachment. If you are not anxious and know your child has a secure attachment to you, it will not hurt the child to cry before going to sleep.  Babies benefit from a soft toy they can hold, or can suck a thumb to self-soothe.  The temporary distress of the baby is a stepping stone to the long term goal of being able to fall asleep independently.  The ideal time to teach a baby to fall asleep independently is between 5 and 9 months, and the transitional object should be introduced before that – put with the baby every night and during naps.

A fabulous little book addressing all the childhood hurdles in a practical, easy to digest way.

By Virginia Arnott

Through The Looking Glass Conference

Inside Out Therapy Group Directors, Lisa Cooper and Kathleen Langford have been selected to present at the National OT Mental Health Conference – Through the Looking Glass in Sydney on 27th October 2017.

 

They are looking forward to presenting on the unique role Occupational Therapists provide in bridging the gap between physical and emotional health.  An honour to be selected from a large number of abstracts (check out our abstract below), they are also looking forward to learning from other Occupational Therapists across the country and sharing this knowledge with the Inside Out team.

 

 

Occupational Dysfunction in Child and Adolescent Mental Health: 

Bridging the Gap

Children’s occupations are broadly grouped into their student, leisure and self-care roles.  Successful functioning within these roles relies on the integration of numerous skills and abilities.  Occupational dysfunction is often overlooked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  Currently, Occupational Therapists are employed in Specialised and Acute services in Perth, with one position in an outpatient clinic.  An audit of children undergoing assessment at the statewide Complex ADHD Service found a strong correlation with complex ADHD and significant occupational performance impairment.

A high proportion of children with significant mental health problems also have difficulties with attention and concentration, motor coordination, sensory processing and self-regulation.  Developmental difficulties are associated with immature social-cognitive skills, social relationship problems and difficulties in emotion and behaviour regulation.  As developmental and mental health difficulties often present similarly, differential diagnosis is essential.  Occupational Therapists provide a unique role in bridging the gap between physical and emotional health.

Refer to conference website here.

Research Into The Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Approaches

Would you like to know more about the research into
the effectiveness of Occupational Therapy approaches?

Please click here for a
comprehensive reference list.