Monday, March 26, 2012

Parent workshop: Communication Skills

A great opportunity for parents!!! 
Kuwait's Applied Behavior Center (ABC) is providing a workshop on teaching communication skills to your kids.  ABC of Kuwait provides early intervention for kids with Autism and related disorders.  This specific training will focus on the communication aspect of developmental delays.  All relevant information is below.  Book now as seats are very limited!

Note: If you cannot make it to this event, please make sure you call and ask to be part of ABC's contact list.

Teaching Functional Communication Skills
Applied Behavior Center of Kuwait will be hosting a parent workshop focusing on teaching communication skills to children with speech delays. The workshop will be presented by Certified Behavior Analyst, Amy Atwell of the New England Center for Children.  

This workshop will demonstrate how incorporating B. F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior, as well as an understanding of how to capture & contrive motivation, promotes the development of functional communication. This would help in decreasing challenging behavior through teaching your child how to have their needs and wants met without resorting to inappropriate behavior. Specifically, parents & caregivers will be given the following:
·       The technical definition of “positive reinforcement” & strategies for identifying your child’s reinforcers
·       Guidelines for selecting functional communication targets
·       Teaching, prompting, & error-correction procedures to be utilized when conducting communication training
·       How to contrive situations to teach functional communication
·       How to make every the environment and any experience a learning opportunity

The workshop is open to all parents interested in learning about language development.  A certificate of attendance will be provided to all attendees. The workshop also meets the requirement for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s).

Date: 8th of April
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Place: Burj Jasim Tower, 23rd floor, Soor St, Kuwait City (opposite the Discovery Mall / Ice Rink)
Fee: KD15

Please contact ABC of Kuwait at 2296-0991 to reserve a seat or for further information.  Please feel free to visit our website

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bigger size, worsened value

Even though I blog from Kuwait and often talk about culture specific problems, the issues tackled in this blog are global.  I got an email from a design team from the U.S.  who worked on an "infographic" which aims to raise awareness and educate people around the issue of obesity.  It is very well done, and is a true eye-opener especially since we can see the same rise in obesity rates here in Kuwait.  I agreed to share the graphic hoping someone in Kuwait can work on one for us as well...  It ALL starts with education.  Educate yourselves, and let us educate our youngsters.  They deserve to live a better, healthier and longer life...
***Follow the link on the picture for a larger view
Provided by:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day

Yaaayyy!!! Another excuse for me to be cheesy...  This song reminded me of my school days (I won't say which school days precisely:P) and it is a wonderful mixture of cheesiness and tenderness... 
Happy Happy Mothers' Day

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Workshop: Friends

I absolutely LOVED doing the Friendship workshop I mentioned (here) for the children of Little Moms Group.  They were excited and interactive.  They asked ALOT of great questions.  I will hopefully be doing the same workshop in other venues.

Find out more about Little Moms Group:



Twitter: @littlemomsgroup

Or Facebook

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Call me a Doctor. Stat!

Adorable! Genius! A new after-school program for kids is here called Young Doctors Academy.  What is it about?  Here is what they say they are about:
A private after-school program in Kuwait for students aged 7-13 bringing the world of medicine into the classroom and learning all about health and our fascinating body in a fun and interactive way!

We are a private after-school program in Kuwait for elementary students ages 7-12 aiming to bring the world of medicine into the classroom where they will be learning all about health and their fascinating body in a fun, interactive manner through:

• hands-on activities
• group discussions
• experiments
• games
• simulated role play
• reading and math skills
• medical case scenarios
DescriptionWe also aim to develop scientific inquiry, nurture problem-solving skills, enrich english language and broaden academic vocabulary within each child.

Our units cover:
* Circulatory System
* Respiratory System
* Digestive System
* Neurology and the Brain
* Vision and Hearing
* Musculoskeletal System
* Infectious diseases
* Genetics
* Immunology
* Nutrition

You can also find out more by visiting their Facebook page: /YoungDoctorsAcademy 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


A journal entry so inspiring, I wanted to share with you... This is the story of the adoption of a girl named Ghela. Please read and follow the link below for the full journal entry...

Allow me to tell you Ghela’s story first:
Ghela was pre-maturely born in a hospital – which is a blessing compared to other orphans in kuwait born in houses and left on the street. She stayed in the premature babies ward for 3 months during which the hospital has been trying to locate her mother who has provided them with a false civil identification card, a father’s name that did not exist and a wrong phone number. Since the mother could not be located, Ghela stayed in the hospital for One year 10 months – under a different name – before being transferred to the orphanage where she got her name; Ghela meaning ‘precious’
For the full Journal entry go to Specialmother's blog (link)

Sleep deprived and so I cried

It is interesting how this following study was presented (from:  We probably all know that sleep affects children's demeanor and behavior.  My first step with any new client is to do a full clinical interview with the parents, and sleep habits are ALWAYS discussed, although I may never have asked about snoring per se!  Please read:
Children who snore or who have other sleep-related breathing problems are more likely to have behavioral problems years later, according to a large, population-based study in the April 2012 Pediatrics.
The study, “Sleep-Disordered Breathing in a Population-Based Cohort: Behavioral Outcomes at 4 and 7 Years,” published online March 5, asked parents in England about their children’s snoring, mouth breathing, observed apnea and behavior, starting at age 6 months and periodically until age 7 years.
By age 4, children with sleep-disordered breathing were 20 percent to 60 percent more likely to have behavioral difficulties. By age 7, they were 40 percent to 100 percent more likely. The worst symptoms were associated with the worst behavioral outcomes.
Study authors conclude that sleep-disordered breathing early in life has strong effects on behavior later in childhood, possibly because of increased vulnerability during a critical period of brain development when there is the greatest need for sleep. The study findings suggest that these symptoms may require attention as early as the first year of life. - Snoring Linked to Behavior Problems in Children

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A LOYAC Summer

Thanks to The Buzz Fairy blog, I found out about the LOYAC summer program.  Here is the information:

LOYAC Summer Program 2012 – Our Summer is Brighter

LOYAC Summer Program 2012 is a six weeks program starting on 24th June 2012 till 2nd August 2012. This program aims to provide youth during their summer holidays with practical training to acquire valuable working experience. Also, they connect positively with their society by volunteering certain hours in community centers or awareness committees in addition to regular weekly meetings, different activities and valuable workshops.

Registration terms : - Age between 16 years - 27 years
- Minimum GPA 2.0
- Good Command of english language
- All nationalities are welcome
- Preference will be given to those who attended “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” or 7 Habits of Highly Effective College students” workshop.
- AUK Students who completed 60 credits or more are eligible for 4 credits upon successful completion of the summer program.

For more details contact :

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friends indeed

Next Saturday I will be presenting a (hopefully) interactive lecture for the 9-12 year old children of Little Moms group. This time the lecture will not be open for the public. It is very possible that I will be using the same presentation in the future for one of the private schools who have asked for it, and Little Moms may also host an open lecture in the near future.
The video below is not one that I used, I think it's cuter for us adults and less so for the kids, but I LOVE notebookbabies who have created and produced this video and another one I am using in the lecture. I hope you like it:)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wii are not moving

Currently (worldwide and in Kuwait) children grow up in smaller homes; often an apartment with limited outdoor access.  Parents started using electronics as a means of keeping their children busy.  But then in comes the wicked psychotherapist (i mean me, no offence other psychotherapists) telling them, PLEASE limit video and general electronic usage, to 2 hours/day maximum.  I may even suggest 1 hour/day for children in private schools, as their day at school is longer, therefore 2hours/day is excessive.  There are many reasons for limiting this usage, but today I am wish to write about something else.  Most parents agreed with me that limiting electronic games is a good idea, but some parents have said that active video games are the best tool to get their children to move and be more active.  Is that true?  

A new study, published in the March 2012 edition of Pediatrics magazine, suggests that active video games like Wii do not necessary get  children to be more physically active.  They do note, however, that if these games are used as an intervention method with a set time daily, it might help increase their physical activity (basically using them as a prescribed exercise tool).

Here is a synopsis of their findings:

RESULTS: There was no evidence that children receiving the active video games were more active in general, or at anytime, than children receiving the inactive video games. The outcomes were not moderated by parent perceived neighborhood safety, child BMI z score, or other demographic characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS: These results provide no reason to believe that simply acquiring an active video game under naturalistic circumstances provides a public health benefit to children.
Here is a link to the online journal edition (LINK)