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Hi folks,

Its October! Nights are getting chilly, at least here in New York. Halloween is around the corner, and school, well school is happening, in some form or fashion. I hope it is not too much of a struggle at your house.

In this edition of TECA Insights, we have some good tips on trick-or-treating. What I like about this article is that they just tell you upfront to prepare for a tantrum. Wiser words were never spoken. However, there are ways to mitigate the inevitable meltdown. It’s worth a read to help yourself prepare. Additionally, I found an interesting article on disability rights history that focuses on the 504 sit-ins back in the 1970s. We owe a lot to these pioneers who helped lay the foundation for the rights our children have today. Finally, I wanted to highlight a post that helps us to understand the subtext of some of the phrases kids default to when they don’t know how to express their anxiety. It can be easy to hear our children’s words without considering the meaning obscured by a complaint or rigid behavior.

I hope you experience some “ah-ha moments” when reading these articles, along with the others we have include. 

As always, I hope you stay safe and healthy!
Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director

Halloween is right around the corner and here are a few tips to help kids get ready. Happy trick or treating!

Trick or Treating Tips

  • Trick or treating is exciting no kid wants to stop getting free candy. Create a schedule ahead of time for your child. Decide how long you will go trick or treating and when you will stop.
  • Have something positive to go home to, perhaps a favorite snack or surprise gift to celebrate the end of the night.
  • If you have a child with special diet concerns or severe behavioral issues talk to your neighbors ahead of time. You will be surprised how often neighbors want to help. Give them the treats your child can eat ahead of time so that your child can go trick or treating. Let them know about any sensory issues or concerns.

Prepare for a Meltdown. Read more at National Autism Resources.


Short History of the 504 Sit in

In 1973 the first federal civil rights protection for people with disabilities, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act was signed into law. What section 504 says is “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall solely on the basis of his handicap, be excluded from the participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Essentially it said no program receiving federal funds could discriminate against a person with a disability. Read more at DREDF.


14 Phrases Kids Said That Were Code Words for ‘I’m Anxious’

As children, it can often be difficult to effectively communicate what we’re feeling. We might think whatever’s going on in our head is “normal,” so asking for help never even crosses our minds. Or maybe because we didn’t quite understand what was going on, we did the best we could in those moments of struggle to “reach out” in our own little ways.

Not until we’re older and looking back do we realize we’ve probably been trying to combat our anxiety for quite some time now, and that people — ourselves included — just didn’t really know what the “signs” were. That is why we asked our Mighty mental health community to share with us things they said as a kid others may not have realized were code for: “I’m anxious.”

Here is what the community had to say: Read more at The Mighty.

New Insights Into Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Rejection sensitive dysphoria is not a formal diagnosis, but rather one of the most common and disruptive manifestations of emotional dysregulation — a common but under-researched and oft-misunderstood symptom of ADHD, particularly in adults. Rejection sensitive dysphoria is a brain-based symptom that is likely an innate feature of ADHD. Though the experience of rejection sensitive dysphoria can be painful and even traumatic, RSD is not thought to be caused by trauma. Read more in ADDitude.

The ‘Emotion Chart’ My Therapist Gave Me That I Didn’t Know I Needed 

I’ve always described myself as an “after-reactor,” meaning I don’t typically react to things as they’re happening. I intellectually process what’s happening, whether it be bad news, an overwhelming task or a hard situation, but can often have a hard time feeling it.

I can’t lie, this has served me well. I can be pretty great at handling stress, compartmentalizing and temporarily putting away feelings I’ve deemed unhelpful. It’s easy for me to “leave things at the door” when I go to work, because you can’t be distracted by things you’re not processing, right? This is how I learned to function in high school. This is how I juggled so much in college. This is largely still how I function now. Avoid bad feelings. Suppress and move on. Emotions can’t hurt you when you don’t feel them… Read more at The Mighty.


Here Are Some Dos And Don’ts Of Disability Language

What’s the right way to refer to someone in a wheelchair, or a someone who can’t see, or see well, or a person who can’t hear, or hear well, someone who doesn’t speak, who has noticeable trouble understanding things, someone who is sick a lot, or always in pain, or who just seems strange or “off” in some undefinable way?

The contentious debate never seems to end over what are the right and wrong words and phrases to use to discuss anything to do with disabilities and disabled people. The question resists all attempts to forge broad consensus. Disabled people, their families and friends, their allies and casual acquaintances, and their antagonists can’t agree on which words strike the right balance between accuracy, clarity, realism, and positivity. Some of us hammer away at words we find outdated and offensive. Others look around, confused, wondering when the disability words they once learned as progressive suddenly became not only passé, but provocative. Read more at Forbes.

Why We Let Our Kids Backtalk

On a hike the other day, our almost-eleven-year-old was done. He’d wanted to hike to a certain spot, and his youngest brother (age 6) was bawling that he was too tired to walk any further. I mostly agreed with him. So did his middle brother (age 8). We’d also run low on water and snacks, and there were more people on the trail than we’d expected. So we turned around. Our 11-year-old shouted at my husband from down the trail, “YOU’RE ANNOYING!” and took off. I clenched my jaw before my husband reminded me: we let our kids backtalk. Read more at Scary Mommy.


Is your Child in Safe Brain or Survival? with Mona Delahooke, PhD

It can be worrisome when a child isn’t engaging academically. Our instinct might tell us to start reasoning with a child or push them to learn. Mona Delahooke, PhD, author of the excellent book, Beyond Behaviors, counsels us otherwise. We need to discern if a child is in ‘safe brain’ or survival brain, and take action accordingly. See the video at Bright & Quirky.


High Fructose Intake May Trigger Impulsive Behavior, Aggression, and ADHD

Factors such as sugar intake and obesity have been linked to several behavioral disorders such as bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study looks at how fructose and uric acid may trigger hyperactive behavior.

The study by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of Denver, and New England Inpatient Specialists was recently published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. The researchers hypothesized that hyperactive disorders such as impulsivity and mania go back to ancient foraging instincts triggered by a high intake of fructose. Read more at Science Times.


This Simple Sleep Formula Calms My Racing ADHD Brain

The struggle is real but getting a good night’s sleep is possible if you have ADHD. I know this because I studied my own sleeping habits and those of the many individuals with ADHD whom I coach, and I came up with an ADHD-proof formula for getting to bed. Read more at ADDitude.

Thanks for joining us again this week. We hope you enjoyed this edition of TECA Insights. Please let us know what you think.  If you come across an article or resource that you think our community would benefit from, please share it with us. We look forward to hearing from you!