Well, the new rendition of psychiatry's diagnostic manual -- the DSM-5 -- was recently released, and not without controversy. Lots of folks are rightly wondering whether the manual -- which bases diagnostic categories primarily on maladaptive behaviors believed to cluster together -- is becoming obsolete, and whether there are better ways to communicate about "problems in living". Childhood psychiatric diagnoses saw some significant revisions, including the elimination of one diagnosis (Asperger's disorder) and the addition of a new one (disruptive mood dysregulation disorder).

If this is evolution, maybe I'll give some more thought to intelligent design...

28 Lives Lost

I’m writing here about the tragedy in Newtown, but reluctantly. A big part of me doesn't want to move beyond the strong emotions I felt in response to the incomprehensible loss of life that occurred on December 14th, 2012. There are truly no words for the unimaginable sorrow and loss of those whose loved ones died on that day...this is one of those times when that expression about words being insufficient is really true.

Pie Slicing

Another not-so-funny comic here, folks...a lot of kids are at risk for losing beneficial services because the forthcoming DSM-V doesn't include Asperger's disorder.  More evidence of the downside of using diagnoses to determine the services kids need.

DSM means Dysfunctional Stereotyping Methods?

Still Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Every 15-20 years, the people who take psychiatric diagnoses very seriously reconvene to figure out how to reconfigure the categories, presumably guided primarily by new research.  For example, the criteria (and names) for what is currently known as ADHD have been changed multiple times since I first memorized them.  And it's pretty clear that we still haven’t settled on how best to categorize kids who have explosive outbursts (a brand new diagnosis --

Annual Summit 2011

The First Annual Lives in the Balance Summit was held on November 12, 2011, in Augusta, Maine. Nearly 200 leaders, educators, parents, and staff members from restrictive therapeutic facilities from across North America participated in a full day of learning, networking, and honoring those who have been devoting their energy and talents to implementing CPS -- and improving the lives of kids with behavioral challenges and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers -- in their realms of influence.

Disparate Advice

As usual, this cartoon isn't really very funny at all. Many of the families that need help the most get bombarded with such different ideas for how to move in the right direction that they have trouble moving in any direction at all. So many of the people who are charged with helping those families don't have mechanisms for communicating with each other or a shared set of lenses and end up spinning their wheels in their efforts to help.  

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...

The Menu

As usual, this comic really isn't very funny. Too many adults can't think of any other way besides punishment to help a challenging kid.


Try ordering off the menu...it may take longer but everyone will benefit in the end!

Finding Meaning

I’m very sorry it’s taken me so long to write another Real World segment. It’s not as if there’s been nothing to write about.  Indeed, much has happened since my last segment.   We learned that over 60 percent of school-kids in Texas are suspended or expelled at some point during their years in school.  Dictators in several nations in the Middle East were overthrown, and there is hope that democratic institutions will take their places. There was a devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan. Osama bin Laden was found and killed.


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