House Calls Herald 08 – Summer 2010

Summertime Structure
How it can save your sanity!

By Billy Kaplan, LCSW
HCC President & Clinical Director

“Summertime, and the living is easy…” When I think of this song, and the summertime, I like to think of my own childhood playing freely in the park, which is now just across the highway from the offices of House Calls Counseling. Summertime was simple and carefree for me and my parents. I imagine the same was often true for you when you were a kid.

I know, though, that for those of you who have children with attachment- and trauma-related problems, the song likely sounds something like, “Summertime, and the living ain’t easy!” I’m sure that, for you, summertimes tend to be full of conflict, tantrums and stress. If I may quote a former president (whatever your politics), “I feel your pain.”

Click HERE for the rest of the article!

Chicagoland Summer Activities

For your convenience, we have compiled a short list of camps in the Chicagoland area that current and former House Calls Counseling clients have reported positive experiences with. Click on the name of the camp to browse to its website.

Overnight Summer Camps
Wonderland Camp (Salvation Army): This camp is free for wards of the State of Illinois and low-cost for former wards. Located in Wisconsin, the camp picks up campers throughout the Chicago-land area. They have a great camper to staff ratio and excellent structure.

Camp Echo (Evanston YMCA): This camp is generally more expensive, but scholarships are available. Located in Michigan, the camp picks up kids in Evanston. They also have great camp to staff ratios and excellent structure.

Day Camps
Chicago Park District:

  • Special Recreation Day/Night Camps: Offered at select locations, day/night camps offer a wide range of activities for children and adults with disabilities. Programs are taught by specially trained instructors and include arts & crafts, field trips, sports, games and much more. Length of camp and fees vary by park.
  • Special Recreation Sports Camp: Children and adults with disabilities across the city will learn to play with a concentration on exercise, sportsmanship and friendly competition. Available camps include: basketball, biking, fitness, floor hockey, gymnastics, in-line skating, soccer, tennis and volleyball. Length of camp and fees vary by park.

Suburban Park Districts: most have special recreation summer-camp programs. Check with your community.

Kids Bowl Free: At the bowling alleys listed on this site, kids get to bowl two games per day for free, they just have to rent shoes. Parents can do the same for a $25.00 fee for the entire summer.

Attention Deficit Disorder or Sensory Integration?
By Jackie Zagrans, LMFT
HCC Psychotherapist

Sensory processing disorders are often misdiagnosed as Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention-Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) because the behavioral symptoms can be very similar. However, it is important to know the true derivation of these symptoms so that the best interventions can be applied. Optimal treatments for the two disorders are different. If a child is dealing with sensory integration (SI) issues, interventions specific to those concerns can help keep him/ her off needless medication.

Sensory integration problems occur when a child cannot efficiently process information from the five senses: sound, sight, taste, smell, and touch. This sensory malfunction then has a negative impact on the development of skills in learning, behavior, and socialization.

The “look alike” symptoms of Sensory Integration Dysunction and ADD/ADHD are typically seen as inattention, impulsivity, and fidgety movement.

Click HERE for the rest of the article!

christine_moerTherapeutic Parenting: Finding the Positive
Christine Moers

Christine Gonzales, mother of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, video blogs about how to stay positive when her kid tries extra hard to prove his inner badness.

Click HERE to watch the video!

deep_springsRussian Adoptees Get a Respite on the Range
By Kirk Johnson

EUREKA, Mont. – Hundreds of adopted children, most of them Russian, have come here to northwest Montana to live and perhaps find healing grace with the horses and cows and rolling fields on Joyce Sterkel’s ranch. Some want to return to the families that adopted them, despite their troubles.

Others, like Vanya Klusyk, have seen far too much of what the world can dish out.

Vanya, 17, suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, which affects his reasoning ability, his impulse control, his intelligence and even his height. Then there were the beatings in the Russian orphanage, he said, where he lived from age 8 to 14, until a California couple brought him to America.

Click HERE to read the rest of The New York Times article!