Dear Parents and Colleagues– I want to share this letter I received from one of our parents who brings her elementary school aged son to us to help with his executive functioning, anxiety and behavior challenges, I think many of you can relate. Dr. Nach, Pres., Support for Students Growth Center

May 5, 2020

Growing up and into my adult life, I took the ability to plan, organize, and execute tasks for granted. This came naturally to me so I assumed that it also came naturally to everyone else. It wasn’t until my son was born that that I began to see things differently. My son is extremely bright, but he has his challenges. As he grew older and school became more difficult, he began to exhibit an increase in non-compliant behavior and have tantrums in school. His teachers and school administrators worked with us to try to determine what was triggering his behaviors and develop strategies to overcome them. The strategies developed helped to improve some of the behaviors but he was still struggling with controlling his outbursts in class. I knew he was able to do the work and began to suspect his behavior was manifesting as a result of anxiety.

The recent school closures due to COVID-19 and working with my son through eLearning was an eye opener. I began to see firsthand how he approached his school work, what triggered his non-compliant behavior, and what his coping mechanisms were. When given an assignment where he was asked to provide answers that required more than a single sentence or where he had to give examples and provide evidence from text he read or different sources, he would stare at the blank sheet of paper in front of him and not know where to begin. I witnessed him grow increasingly frustrated and agitated with himself and the assignment. This would inevitably result in a tantrum. When the tantrum passed and he was ready to return to work, I would sit with him and ask him questions to draw the information out and organize his thoughts. It was apparent that he understood the assignment, had the information needed, and knew what he wanted to say. What he couldn’t do, was get his thoughts out or get them organized. Then it clicked. He wasn’t lazy, bored in class, or a behavior problem. He was frustrated and did not know how to figure out a solution. What I took for granted and came so easily to me was a struggle for my son. I realized that not everyone has strong executive function skills. How could it be expected of him to be able to plan, organize, or structure his thoughts when he has never been taught how to do this? I am grateful for this realization as now I know how to help my son and find resources that will empower him.

A feeling empowered mom, Shirley A.
Boca Raton, Florida

Virtual – Nationwide – Proven Social Skills Groups

(since 2012)

Now is the time to help ensure your children will experience success, socially and emotionally, while practicing “physical distancing”.

By Learning and Practicing how to Communicate and Socialization they will feel Empowered now and when they are around their peers, in person, once again.

Each group meeting includes a “Parent Component” to empower parents with “TOOLS” to help empower their children.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation we will continue offering virtual-groups in the safety and convenience of your own home, now and throughout the summer. Over a dozen unique groups, for children, teens and young adults, who may have:

High-Functioning Autism
Social Anxiety

You can count on our programs continuing to run “virtually” throughout the summer and year-round.

To sign-up or if you have questions simply contact Paula at 561-990-7305 or text 954-290-9612.

Summer Special

11 consecutive group sessions for the price of 10 for $700. (Reg. $770)

With the added hardship many families are experiencing due to COVID-19, we would like to offer new participants a cost-free initial consultation*.  Please phone, text or email to schedule a ZOOM or phone consultation with Dr. Eric Nach.

*New participants must schedule a virtual placement interview to ensure proper group placement.

What Can Parents Do to Build Resiliency in Children?

The Components of Resilience:
1. COMPETENCE-the ability as parents to know and recognize what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills so they feel competent. It is helpful to understand it is necessary to allow young people to recover themselves after a fall.
Reflect on your child’s competence and ask yourself the below questions:

  • Do I help my child focus on his strengths and build on them?
  • Do I communicate in a way that empowers my child to make his own decisions or do I lecture or guide her to my solution?
  • Do I let him make safe mistakes, so he has the opportunity to right himself, or do I try to protect her from every fall?

2. CONFIDENCE– Children need confidence to be able to navigate and survive in the world. Inspire them to think out of the box to jump over obstacles and recover from challenges.
In thinking about your child’s degree of confidence, consider the following questions:

  • Do I praise him/her enough? Is it honest praise? Don’t say, “Your so smart. “ Say instead, “your hard work is paying off.
  • Do I encourage her to try a little harder because I believe in her or do I push her to beyond realistically high expectations?

3. CONNECTION– Connection with others, at school and within the community. This offers young people the security that allows them independence and to be creative in forming solutions in real life. Children with close linkage to family, friends, school and community develop solid sense of security, producing strong values and prevents them from seeking “destructive alternatives”.
Mull this over when considering your child’s connection:

  • Do we build a sense of physical safety and emotional security in our home?
  • Do I allow my child to express all types of emotions, or do I squelch his unpleasant feelings? Is he learning that going to other people for emotional support during difficult times is productive or shameful?
  • Do I understand the challenges my child will put me through is part of her path towards independence and normal for her development, or will I take them personally and let my feelings harm the relationship?

4. CHARACTER– Children need a clear sense of right and wrong to ensure they are prepared to make wise life choices.
Ask yourself these basic questions:

  • Do I help my child understand how her behaviors affect others; the good and the bad ways.
  • Do I notice and respect when my child sticks to something?

5. CONTRIBUTION– Young people who contribute to the well-being of others will receive gratitude, they will learn contributing feels good. As a result, they may turn to others when they need help without shame. Children need to realize that the world is a better place because they are in it.
Consider the following questions below while evaluating sense of contribution:

  • Do I create opportunities for my child to contribute to others in the world who may be less fortunate with freedom, money, human contact and security as they need?
  • Have I empowered my child the belief that she can improve the world by contributing in some specific way?

6. COPING– Young people learn to cope effectively with stress they are more prepared to overcome life’s barriers and challenges. Instill positive, adaptive coping strategies to effectively teach stress-reduction skills.
Some questions to ask ourselves include:

  • Have I taught my child the difference between a real emergency and something that just feels like a crisis?
  • Do I model positive coping strategies, such as mediation, exercise, good nutrition and adequate sleep?

7. CONTROL– Young people who have learned privileges and respect are earned by demonstrated responsibility are able to make wise decisions and feel a sense of control. Once young people realize they can control the outcomes of their decisions and actions they learn the consequences of their decisions. On the other hand, if parents make all the decisions, they are denied opportunities to learn control.
Consider these questions regarding control:

  • Do I help my child understand that life’s events are not purely random, and most things happen as a direct result of someone’s actions and choices?
  • Do I reward demonstrated responsibility with increased privileges?

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014). Building the 7 Cs of Resilience in Your Child. American Academy of Pediatrics, 1-3.

Isolation is a Darkroom for Expanding Negative Thoughts

During this time of extreme physical and social isolation, most of us have increased moments of negative thinking. Fear-based thinking  expands and uncertainty and unpredictability can lead us to heightened anxiety, depression and a host of physiological and psychological  problems. PLEASE, if you or someone you love or even like a little bit are becoming increasingly negative and isolating, don’t wait, get professional help. There are many professional willing and able to help, NO-ONE HAS TO DO THIS ALONE!

Since 2012, The Support For Students Growth Center has been providing Social, Behavioral, Emotional and Academic counseling, groups and therapies for Children, Teens, Young Adults and their Families. We specialize in ADHD, High Functioning Autism/“Asperger’s”, “Giftedness”, Social Anxiety and more (ALL SERVICES are VIRTUAL and NATION-WIDE). PLEASE, GET HELP IF NEEDED, NOW MAYBE THE TIME TO ACT.

FYI- I was inspired to write this after hearing a local community leader discussing the suicide death of a local 13 year old boy, who apparently became increasingly negative and feeling hopeless and was not able to let anyone know.