The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

Over Diagnosing ADHD

Ask the Experts by Nicole Runyon

Q. I recently read that children with ADHD symptoms have parents who are overwhelmed and anxious.  How does an overwhelmed, anxious parent create symptoms of ADHD in their child?

A. One thing to keep in mind is that ADHD is often over diagnosed, and in this case, I am talking about children who may exhibit some ADHD symptoms but should not be considered ADHD.  It is important to understand the core issue with these children and once we do, we can work ...

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Self-care: Everyday Mindfulness

Ask the Experts by Mavis Emma Faruolo

Q:  I've heard the term 'self-care' used in writings about wellness, but I'm not sure how to have better daily self-care. What are some ways I can get started?

A:  Self-care is the responsibility you take for your overall health. You can boost your wellness by adding new practices, increasing ones already working, or decreasing unhealthy habits. Keep in mind that small steps work best, for example, focus on establishing one new practice at a time. It ...

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The Value of Pet Relationships to Families

Ask the Experts by Corinne Martin

Q. Our family would like to adopt a pet . We have two young children  ages 7 and 10.  What would work best in our household with two working parents?

It seems that every child's wish is to have a puppy or kitten.  Who can resist a cute little furry friend?  The relationships between a companion pet and children is wonderful, but timing is important, and choosing the right pet for a family's environment and schedule.

We recommend that most ...

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Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Kindergarten Essentials

Ask the Experts by Dona Johnson-Beach, Pam Cronovich and Melissa Sharp

Q:  We are looking at enrolling our child in kindergarten this fall. How do I know if my child is ready? I know there have been some changes from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) about the age of enrollment, please explain.

A: Children entering kindergarten would benefit in having some readiness skills in place to help them meet the excitement and challenge of kindergarten.

Students entering kindergarten can ...

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Attention Deficit and Sleep Apnea - What Can We do?

Ask the Experts by R. Bart Sangal, MD

Q. I'm concerned that my teenage daughter may have an attention disorder. She's easily distracted, disorganized, forgetful, and loses things all the time. College is only two years away - how can we help her?

A. She may very well have attention deficit (ADD/ADHD,) a brain disorder that begins in childhood. Left untreated it can cause poor performance in school. It can affect her ability to do her homework and maintain positive personal relationships. It ...

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Lewy Body Dementia: Mysteries Unveiled

Ask the Experts by Sarah Thurston, LMSW

Q. My 71 year old husband was recently diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. He is still able to recognize me and make his needs known, but he is experiencing sleep problems and he is seeing things that are not really there which is making him angry and depressed. I want him to be able to stay at home for as long as possible, what help is there for this?

A. You mentioned sleep issues and hallucinations. Individuals with Lewy body dementia (LBD) can also experience ...

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Alzheimer's - Know the 10 Signs - Early Detection Matters

Ask the Experts by Barbara Roden

Q. I am 82 years old. Last week in the middle of a conversation with a friend I simply forgot what we were talking about. I completely lost my train of thought. Then, just yesterday, I became disoriented when driving to the beauty salon I've patronized for the past 30 years and couldn't remember how to get there. Do I have Alzheimer's?

A. Those can be very scary situations but don't necessarily mean you have Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is just one ...

Read more: Alzheimer's - Know the 10 Signs - Early Detection Matters


Aging Parents and Financially Troubled Children

Ask the Experts by Michael Kelly

Q. I am retired and my adult child is borrowing money from me. How can I get him to pay me back, or pay my other children if I die?

A. This is a common problem where adult children are forced to turn to their aging parents for financial assistance.

A written promissory note should always be used when loaning money to a family member, including a child. While it may seem impersonal and cause some tension, imposed legal responsibility is often exactly what the ...

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Art Therapy Can be Helpul for Children With Speech Delay

Ask the Experts by Theresa Quinn

Q: My child has speech delay. Can art therapy be helpful? Q: My child won't speak outside of our home. What does an art therapist do to help?

I can address both of those questions together. Speech delay, detected in early years, can have physical and/or brain circuit origins, or is part of overall developmental delay, and impacts a child's physical ability to speak and/or understand language.

"Selective mutism," apparent in early school years, and characterized ...

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Eat This, Not That!

Ask the Experts by Shirley Dunlap and Dan Kellogg 

Q: Does eating meals at regular times make any difference in making better food choices?

A: Yes, particularly when following the recommendations to "build" healthy meals and snacks. Eating at regular, consistent times - using the basic food groups - provides our bodies and brains with the energy and nutrients to perform at our best.

As we use energy, it needs to be replenished at different intervals. Meals should be eaten ...

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Knowing the Symptoms of Heart Attack Can Save Your Life

Ask the Experts by Sarine John-Rosman, MD

Q.: My 48-year-old sister just learned she had a heart attack and needs two stents to open blocked arteries in her heart. We were young when our parents died, so we have little family medical history. At 44, I never considered I might be at risk for heart disease, especially since I am in relatively good physical shape. Should I make an appointment with my doctor, even though I don't have any symptoms?

A.: Meeting with your physician to discuss your concerns, ...

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Mindfulness Can Fit Into Anyone's Lifestyle

Ask the Experts by Lori Warner, PhD

Q: I've heard about mindfulness, but I'm not into meditation. Last time I tried it, I just fell asleep. How can I be a mindful parent?

A: Many people think mindfulness and meditation are the same. Mindfulness is a broad concept that means having nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening around you. Mindfulness can be an active, energetic process, or a quiet, thoughtful one, depending on what is happening. Some people find meditation is a helpful tool to ...

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The Dangers of 'Pharm' Parties

Ask the Experts by Beth Walsh-Sahutske, MA LPC

Q: Our family has two teenagers now and we are very careful to monitor our liquor cabinet and be aware of drugs and alcohol. I've heard about "Pharm Parties." What are these and what do I need to watch for with my children?

A: I am always glad to hear that parents are informed and aware of substance abuse trends as even very well behaved kids may experiment. A popular trend has been pilfering prescriptions from the medicine cabinets of friends and ...

Read more: The Dangers of 'Pharm' Parties


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