The Family Center: Resources for Families, Individuals and Professionals

Serving our community through programs and resources vital to today’s families.

Making Dinner Time Family Time

Ask the Experts by Chef Bobby Nahra

Q: I'm a working mother with young children. When I come home from work getting dinner on the table is a stressful chore. I would like to turn it into a learning activity - to teach them cooking skills and healthy eating habits - but finding the time and ways to do so is so difficult in our active schedule. Please share your tips!

A: Try not to look at making dinner as a dreaded task. You can do some simple things ahead of time to make the process more fun ...

Read more: Making Dinner Time Family Time


Behavior Changes Can Signal Depression in Teens

Ask the Experts by Valerie Southall

Q: I've recently noticed a friend of mine has been acting withdrawn and different than he used to. He's been missing school more and not participating in social outings or responding to texts when I ask him to get together. I'm worried that he may be depressed and I don't know how to help him. Are there things I can do, or ways I can reach out to get him help?

A: Being a teenager is very hard. Your body starts to change as well as your voice and appearance. ...

Read more: Behavior Changes Can Signal Depression in Teens


In-home Physicians Services are Available

Ask the Experts by Dr. Farzin Namei

Q: My husband is ill and often immobile. It's very hard for me to get him to his medical appointments. I've heard of some organizations offering home visits - how do I know if we are eligible and what kind of care is offered?

A: From what you describe, your husband could benefit from a home care physicians service. These services are like the old-school medical house calls.

Comprehensive health maintenance and preventative care and treatments for acute and ...

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About Power of Attorney Documents

Ask the Experts by Mike Kelly

Q: What is a power of attorney and how do I know if I need one for my elderly father?

A: A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that provides authority from one person, called a Principal, which allows another person to take actions on behalf of that Principal. A POA can be specifically limited to time and scope or it can be very general and be unlimited as to time and scope.

The most commonly used POAs are called Durable Financial Powers of Attorney and ...

Read more: About Power of Attorney Documents


Help with the Stigma of Autism and the Hope of ABA

Ask The Experts by April Ceno and Frank Pinkham

Q: My child is diagnosed with autism. Public outings are challenging as people say rude things or stare. How can I educate people in that moment? I've also heard a lot about therapies/treatments for children with autism, specifically Applied Behavior Analysis. What is ABA and is it a good choice for my child?

A: The stigma families with an autistic child face is common, unfortunately. Often, these situations lead parents to become discouraged ...

Read more: Help with the Stigma of Autism and the Hope of ABA


Does spring fever really exist?

Ask the Experts by Amy Lawrence

Q: Every spring I start to feel more energy and have an overall happier sense of well-being. Does spring fever really exist?

A: In a nutshell, yes. Research shows that spring fever exists especially in northern latitudes where the seasonal changes are most drastic.

Although spring fever cannot be caught like a cold and fails to be recognized as an authentic medical diagnosis, the term itself describes what our bodies go through as the season transitions from ...

Read more: Does spring fever really exist?


Drug Use Trends in Middle and High School Age Children

Ask the Experts by Scott Masi

Q: I know that drugs are more available for teens these days. As a parent of a middle-schooler I want to be proactive - what should I be looking for? Are there differences in what is available to them compared to what was available when I was a teenager?

A: As parents, we base much of our perception on how it was when we were young. Today's youth are influenced in many different ways, in a very dynamic environment. There is constant exposure during a very vulnerable ...

Read more: Drug Use Trends in Middle and High School Age Children


Educating Children About Addiction

Ask the Experts by Shannon Rozell

Q: Alcoholism runs in my family (father, grandmother and a few aunts/uncles/cousins). However, I have never had an issue because after seeing the wreckage alcoholism caused in my childhood home and life, I chose not to drink alcohol. I have two children and one is adopted. They have never witnessed the behaviors associated with over consumption of alcohol or drugs. Should I have any concerns about educating my children about addiction?

A: This is a fantastic ...

Read more: Educating Children About Addiction


Talking About Marijuana with Adolescents

Ask the Experts by Paddy Laske and Sonya Thompson

Q: Marijuana, legal or illegal is a hot topic. Why is talking about marijuana with adolescents important? What should this talk look like? What if your teen shuts you down? How can you be supportive while addressing your concerns?

All substances including marijuana are harmful to the still developing adolescent brain. Your teens remote control, also called the prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain that weighs decisions and emotions does not ...

Read more: Talking About Marijuana with Adolescents


Phonological Awareness, the Foundation to Reading Success

Ask the Experts by Angelina Spiteri-Bender

Q: How can I best prepare my child for reading expectations in Kindergarten?

A: Phonological Awareness underlies all reading skills. Before children open their book to read, or hold their pencil to write, the groundwork must be laid.

Although this sounds complex, it is simple. Think of the act of reading yourself. When we open a book, we automatically recognize that the sentences on the page are made of words. We have learned that those words are made ...

Read more: Phonological Awareness, the Foundation to Reading Success


About 'Cough CPR'

Ask the Experts by Ronald C. Strickler, MD

Q: Recently I have heard of a technique that may help someone stop a heart attack if you are alone - called cough CPR. What exactly is this and is it real?

A: I saw this myself, through a chain email - that victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and vigorously. The writer goes on to explain that deep breaths before each cough get oxygen to the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart to keep the blood circulating.


Read more: About 'Cough CPR'


Helping a Loved One with an Addiction Problem

Ask the Experts by Lisa Kaplan

Q: I have a family member who is abusing alcohol and other drugs, but doesn't think he has a problem. I am so stressed out and I don't know where to turn. What are my options? What should I do?

A:  Education is the key when dealing with the disease of addiction. A good thing to try to remember, in dealing with your loved one, is that addiction is an illness, not a moral issue, or a matter of self-control. 

Although it may seem like you are on an island ...

Read more: Helping a Loved One with an Addiction Problem


When to Choose Elder Care Options

Ask The Experts by Kris Scarfone and Kristin Whitney

Q: My elderly mother is forgetful at times. Recently I visited and noticed mail piling up on her table. I'm concerned about other things as well. When/how will I know it is time to get help for her - either in her home or consider a move to an assisted living facility?

A: The decision to help an aging parent get in-home care or move to an assisted living facility is a difficult one, both practically and emotionally. There are some common indicators ...

Read more: When to Choose Elder Care Options


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