Posts By: Rebecca Marshall

How are Food and Emotions Connected?

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Our culture now has a term for anger associated with hunger. Irritable, hungry people are often called “hangry”, a condition solved quickly by eating. While being “hangry” is not usually a serious problem, you may have wondered what kind of diet has been shown to be the best for brain and emotional health. Lean protein, […]

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How Does Sleep Affect Your Emotional Life?

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Parents of adolescents often tell me that their children stay up too late, usually on electronic devices, and that they are sleep-deprived during much of the school year.  Most parents assume that poor or insufficient sleep is impacting their teenager’s mood and ability to function optimally in school.  And they are usually right. Studies of […]

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Repressed Memories: Fact or Fiction?

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Do our brains protectively block our own recall of memories of traumatic experiences?  Repressed memories are thought to be blocked from one’s conscious awareness due to a high level of stress or trauma associated with the forgotten experience.  The validity of repressed memories – also referred to as dissociative amnesia or psychogenic amnesia – has […]

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Dyscalculia: Learning Disability in Math

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Parents of children struggling with math in school may wonder whether their child has a learning disability.  Dyscalculia is the name of the learning disorder specifically associated with difficulty grasping basic math concepts.  The difficulty is diagnosed as a learning disability when the child’s struggle cannot be explained by inadequate instruction or low intellectual ability.  […]

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Executive Function and the Regulation of Emotion in Development

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Mastery of the regulation of one’s emotions is a life-long process.  Psychiatrist Erik Erikson (1959) posited that humans must go through eight stages of social-emotional development as they mature into early adulthood and then on to later adulthood.1  Each stage involves a “crisis” of development, which is typically both cognitive and emotional in nature.  For […]

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Dyslexia and ADHD: The Importance of Psycho-Educational Assessment

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Parents of children struggling in elementary and middle school often wonder whether their child has dyslexia or an attention deficit.  Psycho-educational testing is important for differential diagnosis of cognitive and academic difficulties, as well as for the development of a treatment plan to help a child succeed in school. Children who are performing poorly in […]

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Academic Accommodations and ADHD

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Is your child eligible for academic accommodations?  Parents and students often wonder about qualifying for academic accommodations, including extra time on standardized testing, in the context of a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Academic accommodations typically granted for students who struggle with clinically significant attention problems include the following: Extended time on testing, including on […]

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Executive Function: What is it and why is it important for academic achievement?

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Executive function is a domain of cognitive ability that is comprised of a number of distinct yet related skills, including working memory, abstract planning, sustained attention, and mental flexibility.  The executive function system allows for the regulation, control, and management of learning.  As such, it is very important for strong academic performance and the development […]

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Anxiety and Executive Function

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Anxiety can affect a child’s functioning in many different aspects of his or her daily life.  While mild levels of stress can actually improve performance for some activities, clinically significant anxiety is detrimental to a child’s emotional well-being.  Chronic anxiety may be manifested as persistent worrying about school performance, an unrelenting focus on the appraisal […]

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Managing “Scanxiety”

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The term “scanxiety” commonly refers to the anxiety, worry, and fear associated with post-treatment follow-up imaging.  A follow-up MRI or CT scan months to years after enduring cancer treatment can lead to overwhelming feelings of anxiety in anticipation of the imaging results.  One of the reasons for such anxiety is that parents and children who […]

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