Book review for grieving children

For children, learning to cope with different every day emotions is quite the task. However, when a child experiences bereavement, it can be especially difficult to help them navigate such foreign and painful emotions. While there are several books aimed at helping children grieve the loss of a loved one, there is one in particular that I like:

When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief by Marge Heegaard

This book is written for children of all ages, but because of the reading level, I find it is best for children 5 to 6 years and older. One of the best features of this book is that it offers a simplicity that makes it comprehendible for children. It takes into consideration the concrete thinking style of most young persons and delicately explains the finality of life.  This is important, as most children have difficulty with understanding such an abstract concept.

The book is formatted with black and white illustrations so that the reader can color in the pages, which I find to be more interactive and allows for creative expression and emotional release onto each page. I appreciate how the author encourages children to ask questions about death, which is a dialogue that I take up in therapy with such patients. The text is written in such a way so as to validate and help children understand the intense emotions of grief.

I also like how the text encourages children to release their intense emotions in ways that are healthy and appropriate (e.g., through physical exercise). This is especially important for children who have difficulty with verbally expressing or sharing their emotions.

For parents who are more interested in a story-telling book about grief with colorful illustrations, or for younger children, I also recommend these two books: I Miss you: A First Look at Death and Always and Forever

If you live in the New Orleans metro area and would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Lawing to discuss grief therapy for your child, please call (504) 289-5995.

ADHD Assessment

This article from Psychology Today is over a year old, but a great resource for anyone wondering if ADHD is over diagnosed, under diagnosed, and likewise, over or under medicated:…/adult-adhd-overdiagnosed-…

Symptoms of ADHD can exist independently, and sometimes they coincide with other issues. Alternatively, other symptoms may look like ADHD but in fact are the result of a different underlying issue (for example, anxiety, stress, depression). Therefore, testing for ADHD is comprehensive and often includes a clinical interview, collateral interviews with parents and teachers, record review (if possible), behavior rating scales, measurement of intelligence, objective measurement of attention and impulsivity, and other psycho/emotional rating scales.

In other words, there are several other issues that need to be ruled out, and testing usually takes anywhere from 4-7 hours. Psychologists do not simply run down a symptom checklist to determine if an individual meets criteria. There are many other factors possibly at play and these must be fully explored.

Dr. Lawing provides ADHD testing for children and adults. Please call 504-289-5995 for a free testing consult to determine if psychological testing is warranted.