Articles

“Ask Cathy” Column: July 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: I have a 13-year-old in public school. She has developmental and physical disabilities. I feel she struggles with anxiety but I’m not finding any program that supports her for Psychiatry. Can you help me to understand how I might find support? Each time I take her to a psychiatrist, I am having to private pay. 

A: I’m  going to assume that your daughter has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that provides her modifications and support services within her public school. Please understand that this IEP can also identify the need for psychiatric and counseling services so that you do not have to pay out-of-pocket. This may be a service that you need to fight for, but it will be worth ….

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The Great Divide

The Great Divide: What do we need to keep in mind when faced with a mental health situation?

Almost everyone reading this article knows someone who is affected by mental illness—their own or that of a friend or family member. What do we need to know if we are going to be supportive? What are the resources available in our community and region for treating mental illness? Can these mental illness crises be more than Hobson’s choices, with only one course of action, one lifeline?

Cathy Purple Cherry contributes to this discussion in What’s Up Annapolis Magazine in the FULL ARTICLE HERE.

life skills

“Ask Cathy” Column: April 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: Do you personally believe it is dangerous to teach our kids how to make fire or cook with gas? Do I need to worry about putting in a  new gas stove?

A: Yes, I believe it is dangerous to teach our children to do anything that can cause a life-threatening event. I believe they struggle with judging what is right and wrong and they don’t always know what is inherently dangerous. This is compounded by the fact that they frequently perseverate over things they find fascinating. Fire can be one of these fascinations. I would strongly recommend not having a gas stove in your home or even having free access to matches or other fire starting elements.

Q:  I have ….

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life skills

“Ask Cathy” Column: December 2016

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”
Q: Can you tell me how old your son was when you started thinking about his adulthood?

A: Yes, he was about eight. As the regular education school work became more and more difficult for my son, I stopped worrying about his ability to add three-digit numbers and became focused on the development of life skills. When my son was in middle school and his teachers sent homework home, I did not “do” my son’s work for him. I wanted his team to understand how difficult and, at times, ridiculous the work was. I set a timer and left him to try to complete the work. He rarely got past the first question.

My son is gifted in many ways but the work ….

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life skills

“Ask Cathy” Column: October 2016

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”
Q: What safety precautions can you implement to help with elopement?

A: I recognize that this is an incredibly difficult behavior. One of the simplest strategies to begin with is to situate your child closest to your bedroom. In my home, my son on the spectrum was located directly above our master bedroom intentionally so that we could hear his footsteps. The stair is also directly in front of our bedroom door. Thus, he must pass our room to get out. If building from scratch, these are easier strategies to implement. However, in existing homes, apply the same strategies even if the rooms are on the same floor. As my child got older, some of his behaviors dissipated. So, while you may ….

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