Archive for February, 2013

Interesting article on video modeling. The movement to go visual and stop relying exclusively on verbal teaching methods is one I think you all know I strongly believe in. Think about how you might use video modeling to teach your child a new skill (like introducing himself to a friend before a play date, or entering a classroom on the first day at school). Then try it out with a short video.

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Fitness & Exercise

I am now offering Developmental Fitness Training on Saturdays to teens and young adults. Click on the flyer below:

SpectrumShare Flyer Fitness

Fitness and exercise has always been an integral part of my life. I have long believed in the healing and regulating power of exercise, especially in helping those who struggle with anxiety and depression. Many new and interesting studies and articles are popping up all over the web and in scientific journals substantiating the claim that exercise not only makes us physically healthier, but also emotionally healthier.
Aside from the therapeutic benefits of exercise, we also need to consider the more widely known physical health benefits. Dropping levels of physical activity and a sharp increase in sedentary behavioral (video/computer games, television, etc) are quickly becoming behavioral norms for children, teens, and young adults. As a result, late onset adult conditions are now being found in children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels”. The comprehensive physical and emotional benefits cannot be denied.

You can get in touch with me for more details about Developmental Fitness Training by viewing the contact info section on the flyer above.


Anthony Miriello, MA DDMHS CPT

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Homework can be H*ll

The following is a helpful article on how to set homework goals, routines, age-appropriate time expectations, and manageable incentive plans to help your child complete homework. The author really lays everything out nicely – not just leaving you with a good concept that you cannot implement.


If other parents have good suggestions for how to overcome/better manage the dreaded homework time, PLEASE leave these suggestions in the comments section.

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Currently, I am working with a young man named “Fred” who is struggling to engage with new people. In particular, he is fearful of participating in basic greetings like “Hello” and “Goodbye”. This refusal has obvious interpersonal consequences. I have created the following social story (this is our second trip to 711), which I will give to the family to review a few days before our session. Upon our return from our last trip, Fred and I cartooned the way we felt during the interaction with the 711 clerk. Fred shared that it felt “Half and Half” which he later explained meant, “not terrible but not so comfortable”. The progress last week was eye contact with the clerk and and pinky wave 🙂 (i’ll take it). This week we’re going for a full hand wave and maybe even a quiet “Hey”.

The intention of this preparatory social story is to help Fred to know “what’s coming” and to provide him with a plan that he can rely on. In addition, by allowing for many different forms of greetings (like the wave instead of the vocalized “hello”), I am allowing Fred to gradually gain comfort with the complexness of the greeting process.

Check it out. Again, this whiteboard application can be downloaded for FREE on tablets (It’s called “JOT”).

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Executive functioning, visual mapping/planning, anxiety, and inflexibility. It’s all covered in a wonderfully easy to read peice by Jennifer O’Toole in this post.

Check it out (especially for the visual map that she provides at the bottom- SO COOL!):


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Social Stories are a wonderful way to make everyday situations into visual stories that can be referenced and discussed later. Here is one simple example of a social story I recently created with one of my clients based on a particular area of struggle. I used my IPAD and downloaded the free white board application “JOT”. It’s very simple to use.
The story below illustrates a very basic interaction between a brother and sister that always results in the loss of something desirable (toy). Having this simple script available for review can help your child more easily process what occurred that caused an undesirable result (and also help him begin to predict what will happen in the future if the behavior occurrs again). This story does not have alternative behaviors. After reviewing the simple sequence of events that took place, I suggest creating another story where you and your child identify alternative and prosocial options). Maybe the alternate behavior could be “Dom” going to his safe space to take a break with the Nintendo DS – this would then be illustrated and added to the story.

Jot from CSDdom1.1

Jot from CSDDom2.1

Jot from CSDDom3.1

Jot from CSDDom4.1

Jot from CSDDom5.1

Jot from CSDDom6.1

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