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Autism Treatment: Science Hijacked to Support Alternative Therapies 
Check out these links to the same article and decide on your own. The key here is to focus on what has valid support or you could harm your child. What is agreed on for the time being is that frequent speech, occupational, social skills training, social interaction in various therapies that use these techniques help children with autism make progress. Engaging with a child with autism in 20-25 hours a week of therapy that demands specific social and verbal responses from the child seems to produce the best results for the time being (see "summary" link). The problems with the "protocols" used in the approaches in this study is they do not account for the fact that it requires a great deal of time in which a child with autism is interacting with another family member and or treatment team member. That engagement, something, that those with autism often avoid, has its own positive effects that have been scientifically supported. ( Summary and link to research )
The article which spawned this post can be found at the following two places:
PsychPort link
Chicago Tribune link

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VALLEY RESOURCES, UPDATED ENTRY (Service of Mental Health Coalition of the RGV) 
The Rio Grande Valley is filled with resources we all need to be aware of both private and public. People often state to me things like, "I've live here all my life and I didn't know we had ....."

Recently (10/09), I confirmed that the UTPA Speech and Hearing Center is willing to see adults on Medicaid or no insurance that need "non-acute"(not immediate) services that they cannot get elsewhere. Simply call:

Mrs. Cynthia Chapa at: Cyndy@UTPA.edu
UTPA Speech and Hearing Center
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539

Dr. McCoy, as president of the Mental Health Coalition of the Rio Grande Valley is current exploring whether similar resources could be found for those in need of Occupational Therapy services.

Together we are changing the "I didn't know...". To start with there are many non-profit resources available through 211. You can call 211 or you can access the services through the website at this link TEXAS 211

I entered Mental Health in the service box and Hidalgo in the county box, and learned we have a residential treatment program here in the Valley! I had no idea, it's called:


Cameron County Learning Center (JJAEP)
2310 W. Highway 77
P.O. Box 69
San Benito, Texas 78586
956/361-4628 (fax)
Joe Ann Arreola, Program Director

Unaccompanied Minor Program
Brownsville, Texas
956/544-7286 or 546-0617 (fax)
Hector Zuniga, Executive Director

Hidalgo County Learning Center (JJAEP)
3017 S. 10th Street
McAllen, Texas 78596
956/994-0373 (fax)
Joe Izaguirre, Executive Director

La Esperanza Home for Boys
23011 Rio Rancho Road
Harlingen, TX 78552
956/421-3379 (fax)
Hector Zuniga , Program Director

OUT GOAL FOR THIS SET OF ENTRY'S: To provide information about Valley resources so that we can all utilize them more effectively. Especially, so people can have one place to come to to get direction or information on mental health, healthcare and related resources whether public or private. People have their individual services online, and 211 and UnitedWay provides information on mostly or only nonprofits, respectively. Here we will even highlight private companies and resources in different blog entries.

So in addition to the services through 211, Cameron County Commissioner's Court has a Mental Health Task force which has put together a list of resources for the Lower Valley which includes some Upper and Mid Valley resources: Cameron County Mental Health Task Force

More resources are to be posted to this site, so continue to revisit.

Your's Truly, Dr. J

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Pictures and bios coming soon!!!!!

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HOME WORK AND ADHD--"Let's Git 'er dun!" 
Getting homework done and often be challenging for a child with ADHD. It often leads to tears and hair pulling of both the parents and the child. One family recently informed me that if they don't get the homework done before the medication wears off and then what normally takes 15 minutes takes three hours. What are your problems are the severe not sometimes adding some rewards can make all the difference. It may be as simple as, "you can watch your favorite half-hour show as soon as your homework is done," or as complicated as a system of daily, weekly, and semester reward. Often such a complicated system is helpful because there are many barriers to getting homework done, such as actually getting the homework folder, the homework sheets, and other homework materials home. Having a reward system that actually correction of all this behavior can make homework fun and desirable, and much simpler for the parent to deal with. Below are several different examples of how the homework folder system can work for elementary and middle school students. I find that most high school students do not like to do this because they find it embarrassing; however, it may be helpful for them to do on their own and only have their parents checking it at home in private, and creating the most appropriate rewards; which for teens is often monetary or involving time friend on the phone or chatting on the Internet, though many still enjoy gaming and various types. The Wii is encouraged because of the family interaction and stimulates. Read More...

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Many people find peace hard to obtain during the holidays. There are many painful things that come to mind, often having to do with family. If there isn't peace in your family,these things are often on your mind. Your mind often thinks about things you wish you can do to create peace. However, often, the sad reality is there is nothing you can do to change the way things are. Your best bet is to accept that. Accepting that and focusing on the things you have control over is often called the practice of "radical acceptance." This is something I teach patients to practice all the time. I even practice it myself. However, there are some things which seem to just agitate like a virus that won't go way. Sometimes, you need to practice a radical form of radical acceptance. If you are not spiritual, you may be left with the behavioral and cognitive approaches that I teach many clients; e.g., do something nice for someone else, i.e., create peace in someone else's life. Acts of kindness are the antidote to many ills that befall our minds and hearts. No matter how poor you are, you can always give a smile, hold open a door, pick up something that somebody dropped, give a compliment etc. Often you will find that the thing that was bothering you has left your mind, and is no longer so troublesome.

However, sometimes there are those thoughts and pains that will not be denied, Read More...

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