Infant Sleep Training Methods Compared

The longstanding debate over sleep training methods, in particular those that include some aspect of  “crying it out,” picked up a new chapter recently after a new study was published in the journal Pediatrics.  What was more unique about this study was its head to head comparison of two methods, one using graduated extinction (the technical […]

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Breastfeeding May Boost Child IQ By Increasing Subcortical Grey Matter

While many the medical benefits of breastfeeding such as improved immune function have been clearly established, its effect on child behavior and cognition has somewhat more difficult to determine.  This has been due to a variety of reasons.  Because randomization is not possible for breastfeeding studies, researchers have had to rely on naturalistic study designs.  […]

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Extreme Picky Eating Linked to Mental Health Problems

A parent’s concern about their young child’s picky eating is one of the most common presenting complaints to primary care clinicians.  Generally, if a child is growing and otherwise healthy, the most common response is reassurance and some helpful strategies for how to help kids slowly expand their food repertoire.  This strategy usually works well, […]

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Praising Children: The Type of Praise Matters

The topic of praising children has become passionately debated of late.   While it generally has been highly encouraged for decades as a way to motivate kids and build self-esteem, there has more recently been some concern raised that praising children too much might lead to a lack of effort and a generation too dependent on […]

Coaching Parents About Time-Outs

              by Allison Hall, MD (Note: this post was primarily written by my colleague, child psychiatrist Dr. Allison Hall who, aside from seeing children and families directly, trains other counselors and therapists in parent behavioral training techniques. If you are interested further in the topic, she will be presenting […]

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Musical Training Linked to Enhanced Brain Maturation

Patients who come to see child psychiatrists like Dr. Jim Hudziak at the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families may leave with a prescription, but it often is not for a medication.  As part of a model he developed called The Vermont Family Based Approach (VFBA), there is increased emphasis on incorporating wellness and […]

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Omega-3s Founds to Improve Child Aggression

 The benefits of Omega-3 supplementation has been touted for a wide range of therapeutic and health promotion uses.  While there is emerging data for problems such as ADHD, the literature has still suffered from issues such as small sample sizes, lack of randomization, short duration, and lingering questions about optimal dose.  This recent study sought […]

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Behavior Problems and Screen Time: What Causes What?

There have been many studies that have demonstrated links between excessive childhood screen time and negative outcomes including attention problems and aggression. Most of them imply causation but generally can’t prove it because the studies don’t measure child behavior before the screen time occurs.  Yes playing Minecraft for 6 hours per day might cause problems, […]

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AAP Releases New Child Media Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published an updated policy statement paper on recommended limits for media usage in kids.  The new report is designed to incorporate the increase of “new media” devices such as mobile phones and computers that are making up an increasingly larger portion of the total time. The trends necessitate […]

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Parent Training Rated as First Line Treatment for Preschool ADHD

Recent practice guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics now include a recommendation for assessment and intervention for ADHD before they begin elementary school, but many clinicians are unsure about exactly what treatment to recommend.  A recent paper sponsored by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and published in the the journal JAMA […]