Parent Stress Related to Obtaining Appropriate Education for their Children

Being a parent of a child with special needs can be stressful, and ensuring they are getting an appropriate education can be a major trigger of stress.

A parent of a special needs child gets a note in the mail indicating that their child’s therapies at school are changing, and the school has adjusted the schedule to meet the child’s needs. The note continues to read that the child’s progress has indicated “his progress has been significant and the same level of service may no longer be necessary.” The first thing that goes through the parent’s mind is “Wait that is not what we agreed upon in the IEP, how are the therapies changing, how is the school making that determination and decision without me?” At this point the parent’s anxiety level is rising, as she thinks “Now what do I need to do, do I need to contact my advocate again, do I need an attorney this time, or maybe they are right.” At times ensuring your child’s educational needs are met can be chaotic and anxiety provoking.

To better understand the origin of how some of these feelings are developed; let’s take a closer look at two different but common ways children with special needs obtain special education services.  In these examples, we will pay attention to the stress related to different parts of the process.

Stress related to the education system is one of the biggest stressors for parents of children with special needs concerns such as “Will he learn to read like the other children,” and “My daughter needs assistance with staying on task, she simply can’t sit still.” In some cases, special needs children obtain assistance from the very beginning. For parents of these children, the watch worried as their child either struggles with milestones or shows progress and inexplicably regresses back and loses abilities they once had. For the other children whose disability is not as obvious, parents experience an extensive amount of frustration. Common statements such as “If he simply followed directions he would be fine,” “Ms. Smith, you need to be more consistent with punishments because he is out of control,” and “Mrs. Johnson you should put him on medication because he behavior is too disruptive.” Many parents have to fight to obtain accommodations and when they do feel they have arrived at a solution to their child’s needs they are terrified their services will be decreased or disappear.

Whether you are unsure your child is receiving the appropriate accommodations, need assistance with advocating, and or would benefit from having an experiences educator/advocate/clinician in your corner. I can help; I work closely with parents to help them understand advocating strategies, how to interpret assessments, as well as how to gather the needed information to support their requests for services. Together we can improve your child’s chances of getting what they need!

For many parents when they are assured that their child is getting the appropriate services it puts their mind at ease and they feel significantly less stress and relief. Contact us and we can meet for a consultation.

Preventing Stress: Helping Families with Special Needs Children

“Every morning I wake up and try my best to get him ready for school but every moment is a struggle. I do my best to promote his independence; I wait patiently for him to get dressed and redirect him when he gets off task, and I try my best to comfort him when he seems anxious.

In general, he moves really slowly and even though I have shown him many times in the past, I have to keep re-teaching him the same routine. Often, I feel overwhelmed because I worry if he will be able to complete normal everyday tasks without my help.

I try to empower him to do his morning routine and little by little I help him, and at times, I feel so sad because I realize that other 11 year old boys do not need the same reminders. Other boys his age do not need help eating breakfast. And then after the struggles of the morning routine, I finally get him to school.

Once at school, I get the reminder from the secretary in attendance, ‘It’s really important that he come on time.’ It’s so overwhelming because no one seems to know what I am going through, I am saddened by the isolation and fear the tantrums of the morning to come.”

“What am I to do?”

This is just a short story of a typical morning of a parent of a child with special needs; more specifically an 11 year old boy with a Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD). Many parents will never experience nor understand the daily demands, and emotional stress and enamoring joy of being a parent of a special needs child. Many parents report that they feel very sad because their child struggles doing the things other kids have no problem doing.  With the stress accompanies the wonderful gift of watching their success.

When anxiety and sadness are overwhelming, parents of special needs children suffer and so do their children. Examples such as increased irritability, which effects the special needs child, the other children in the house, and spousal interactions. In addition, many special needs parents ignore their own needs and will always put their own needs aside.

This can be dangerous because, when parents ignore their own needs they typically ignore their own health. Parent health is especially important when a family has a special needs child because they may need a significant amount of assistance over the course of their parent’s lifespan.

You are not alone; many people struggle with these difficulties on a daily basis. Troy and the Success Source have specialized training to provide individual counseling and hold groups to assist parents with special needs children. We can help you with finding a balance to increase the quality of yours and your child’s life.

Franklin Lakes Career Counseling

Franklin Lakes Career Counseling

Do you wake up in the morning and absolutely dread the thought of going to work? Maybe you are going to FSU and have no idea what to major in? Maybe you’ve hit a plateau at your job, or you’ve come to a dead end with no higher pay or challenging tasks in your future. Whatever the case may be – do you just feel totally and completely done?

It’s time for a change.

If you live in the Franklin Lakes area and you’re ready to give your professional life a boost or an overhaul, Franklin Lakes Career Counseling can help. Give us a call and let’s get started!

Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Reach for what you want!

Many people believe that part of being an adult is having a responsible, grown-up job, and keeping it – even if you hate it. However, you can still be a responsible adult and find a job that both pays your bills and that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out.

Your Franklin Lakes Career Counselor will help you identify your strengths and your weaknesses. You’ll discover what you love doing and what you hate doing. You’ll be able to make realistic career goals, and also define what success means to you personally.

Let’s start achieving your goals today! Call us for an appointment!

Don’t wake up one more morning just praying you’ll get fired so you’ll have an excuse to move on and find something else. Call us today at (201) 425-1981 and see one of our counselors this week – possibly even today!

We can’t wait to see the things you’ll accomplish and the goals you’ll reach. Let’s get started today!


ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) Franklin Lakes Counseling

ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) Franklin Lakes Counseling

In (ODD) Oppositional Defiant Disorder, children show a pattern of defiant, hostile behavior to authority figures in their lives. These problems of defiance are particularly seen when children are hungry, stressed, or tired.

But, there is a difference between ODD and occasional disobedience. All children at one time or another will argue, talkback, be disrespectful, disobey their teachers, or ignore their parents. Oppositional behavior is a part of growing up and development of children and adolescents. However, oppositional behavior should become a concern if it is frequent and consistent.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is usually seen in multiple settings, but it is most notable at home or at school. A child with ODD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. Troy, at Franklin Lakes Counseling, offers counseling for children with ODD and for those wondering if their child perhaps has ODD.

During this time, Troy will also look for other important disorders that may be present, such as: ADHD, learning disabilities, mood disorders, stress, or anxiety.

Signs of children experience Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) include:

  • Deliberately upsetting siblings or people
  • Blaming others for personal mistakes
  • Being annoyed easily
  • Hateful tones
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Excessive arguing with adult figureheads
  • Spiteful or vindictive behavior
  • Aggressiveness to peers
  • Difficulty having friendships
  • Academic disability

If you are concerned about you child’s behavior or your own ability to parent that child, Troy can help you. The earlier this disorder can be managed, the quicker and better the results.


Franklin Lakes Counseling Autism

Franklin Lakes Counseling for Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by impairments in language and social interaction and by excessively repetitive and ritualistic behaviors. Onset is before the age of three, and though severity of symptoms may change over time, they typically persist in some form throughout life. A recent study reported the prevalence of autism in 3-10 year-olds to be about 3.4 cases per 1000 children.

Autism is part of a group of disorders called autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), also known as pervasive developmental disorders. ASDs range in severity, with autism being the most debilitating form while other disorders, such as Asperger syndrome, produce milder symptoms.

Estimating the prevalence of Autism is difficult and controversial due to differences in the ways cases are identified and defined, differences in study methods, and changes in diagnostic criteria.

Autism is about four times more common in boys than girls. Girls with the disorder, however, tend to have more severe symptoms and greater cognitive impairment.

Troy, at Franklin Lakes Counseling, offers counseling for children and adolescents facing Autism. If you would like to make an appointment for your child, please call Troy at (201) 425-1981.


Franklin Lakes Mental Health Counseling

Franklin Lakes Mental Health Counseling

One of the biggest reasons mental health is down and depression is growing in Jersey is because of the numerous, various problems that we all face. Unemployment is up, the brutal Jersey winter is slowly leaving  , and the ocean water is freezing. Times look bleak.

One of the biggest reasons mental health is melancholy is because of the problems we face.

But there is good news!

Problems are nothing new, and no matter where you live – even Franklin Lakes – we can all overcome problems. One thing that еaсh of us has in common, regardless of our background, culture, gender, or geographical location iѕ problems.

We all face problems every day; family problems, relationship issues, personal matters, and even minuscule problems – such as the car frozen over and we don’t have a snow brush. Evеrуone faсеѕ сhаllengеs аnd has thіngѕ theу wаnt to сhangе, but ѕоmе peорlе deаl wіth thingѕ more quіcklу аnd еаѕily thаn оthers.

So what can you do to improve yourself and your city?

The people that face life’s problems with ease are the people that have motivation, optimism, and confidence. It’s their confidence and motives that get them through obstacles.

Life іѕ not easу and it’ѕ no ѕurрrisе that manу of uѕ have loѕt оur ѕpark, оur enthuѕiаѕm, our passion, to live lіfе to the fullest. If you find yourself struggling through life, with problems arising everywhere, there are plenty of ways to get your confidence and motivation back. Always hold your goals dear to you and work hard to be the best you could possibly be without dwelling on your mistakes.

That mindset will change you and Franklin Lakes.

To reach Troy and schedule an appointment, call us at  (201) 425-1981


I live in Bergen County. Do I need counseling?

Do I need counseling? I live in Bergen County– the weather is okay, the town is lovely – everything in life is going okay. What are the signs that I may need to see a Bergen County Counselor?

Have you ever stopped and thought, “Do I need to see a counselor?” There are millions of people that have the belief that you only need to see a counselor or therapist during a life crisis: a death in the family, a bad break-up with a loved one, a serious life change, a job loss, and the list could continue. And although counseling and therapy helps tremendously in those situations, counseling and therapy can benefit in any situation.

Here are some issues you should consider if you are thinking about counseling in Bergen County:

  • Do you feel stuck?
  • Do you feel like you are in a rut and can’t seem to get out?
  • Do you not enjoy life as you used to?
  • Are you eating well?
  • Are you sleeping? Do you get a good nights rest?
  • Are you constantly worrying? Struggling with anxiety? Struggling with your weight?
  • Do you have issues that come up when you are stressed? Do you struggle with anger?

Even More:

  • Are you changing careers and need some guidance?
  • Are you in a big transition?
  • Is life at a stand still?

Whether you are in a rut, or are in an unfulfilling relationship, counseling with Troy at Bergen Hills gives you a safe place to express yourself. Sadly, many people seek counseling as a last resort. They think seeking a counselor is a sign of weakness or giving up.

But in reality, seeking a counselor in Bergen County is one of the strongest things that you can do. Seeking a counselor is quickly moving towards a goal – a goal to a better you. Seeking a counselor means you are not giving up on life – you are seeking the best.

What is stronger that that?

What if life isn’t falling apart? Can I still benefit from seeing a counselor?

You don’t have to be at the end of your rope to seek counseling. Even if you are climbing successfully, a counselor can see things that you could never see. Think of it this way: You may be strong, but your weakest side is the one you cannot see – and we all have a side we cannot see (tried staring at your back lately?). This is where a counselor at Bergen Counseling can help push you further.

Interested in scheduling an appointment for counseling or therapy in Bergen County? Or maybe you just have some questions for Troy? We’d love to hear from you.

Call us at (201) 425-1981. We are conveniently located in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

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Franklin Lakes ADHD Counseling

Franklin Lakes ADHD Counseling: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, can affect young and old lives – from personal to professional. There is a common misconception that ADHD is only found in children; however, this is not true.

Below is a video that shows how ADHD can effect adults also:

ADHD can be detrimental from child to adult. ADHD is often described as a “hidden disorder” – meaning it can go unnoticed and untreated for years. In our experience, our counselors and psychiatrist have helped many people with ADHD have successful lives in their careers and personal lives. If you think you may have ADHD, examinee some of these common symptoms:

  • You get distracted in the middle of conversations
  • You can’t seem to pay attention and stay on task
  • You tend to overthink past mistakes
  • You are described as a bad listener
  • You can’t seem to follow directions
  • You can’t seem to pay attention as you read this article
  • You are disorganized and procrastinate often
  • You misplace everything
  • Yo have poor self control
  • You interrupt others

Treatment of ADHD

If you went through the list above, and feel as if you have ADHD, you are not alone. But before you diagnose yourself with ADHD, having some of the symptoms does not mean you have ADHD.

There are different treatments for ADHD: some are psychotherapy based; such as learning skills and techniques to handle common symptoms. There are also medications that can help.

If you think you have ADHD, you are not alone. Contact Troy in Bergen County to schedule an appointment, and start making important changes to alleviate ADHD symptoms.

ADHD Quiz for Child ADHD

Bergen Country Child ADHD Counseling Quiz

If you suspect the person is experiencing ADHD, use this symptom checklist to better determine. The American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) considers it necessary that the following be present before diagnosing a child with ADHD:

  • The behaviors must appear before age 7.
  • They must continue for at least six months.

The symptoms must also create a real handicap in at least two of the following areas of the child’s life:

  • in the classroom
  • on the playground
  • at home
  • in the community, or
  • in social settings

There are some circumstances in which a child or adolescent’s behavior might seem like ADHD, but might not actually be ADHD. Many other conditions and situations can trigger behavior that resembles ADHD. For example, a child might show ADHD symptoms when experiencing:

  • A death or divorce in the family, a parent’s job loss, or other sudden change
  • Undetected seizures
  • An ear infection that causes temporary hearing problems
  • Problems with schoolwork caused by a learning disability
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Insufficient or poor quality sleep
  • ADHD Therapy Advice

It is normal for every person to zone out in a boring biology class, forget their homework in the kitchen counter, and act in a excited—high energy way. This is not ADHD. Persons with ADHD experience these issues to a degree that is drastically negatively impacts their performance in school and in life.

When helping someone with ADHD, a multimodal approach is often used. Medication in combination with therapy has been found effective in treating ADHD. Informing teachers, coaches, and others is also an effective approach to ensure appropriate approached to learned are used with the person with ADHD.

ADHD Counseling Therapy Action Steps

Below are several action steps for helping a person with ADHD.

1) Medication

Certain medicines can help people with ADHD by improving their focus and attention and reducing the impulsiveness and hyperactivity associated with ADHD. People with ADHD used to have to take medicine several times a day, but now there are some that can be taken at home once a day in the morning.

2) Counseling Therapy

Counseling can be used to help the person learn new strategies for coping with ADHD symptoms. In addition, family counseling helps treat ADHD because it keeps parents informed and also shows them ways they can work with their kids to help.

3) Maintain structure and supervision.

One of the hardest parts of helping a person with ADHD is that a higher level of structure will consistently be necessary. Parents of ADHD persons often ask “when can we finally relax the increased structure we have created to monitor our person’s school performance and home behavior?” The answer is often that parents should maintain the established structure until the person leaves for college. This does not mean being a prison warden, this means adding additional structure and supervision to help the person be happy and succeed .

4) Remember ADHD is a Disability.

Parents must remember that their person with ADHD has a neurologically based disability, and that there is a “can’t do” as well as a “won’t do” component to their unthinking actions. This means that parents of person with ADHD need to provide an extra helping of grace, patience, and forgiveness with their person.

5) Help them build on their Strengths.

Having ADHD is not just practically difficult for a person, it is also emotionally difficult. Parents and caretakers should be a constant positive force in the life of a person with ADHD. In addition, help the person find and build on his or her strengths. Personal strengths always overshadow the weaknesses caused by having ADHD.