Benefits Of Technology In Counseling

Technology has become genuinely helpful in treatments and medications in today’s generation. And when it comes to accessing care, it also contributes a lot to the gain of people’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. That is because technology provides the most convenient means to help counselors, therapists, doctors, and other medical professionals to accomplish their work more effectively and efficiently. Experts use high-tech methods for better describing, managing, conducting, supporting, delivering great services to their clients or patients.

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Since people are now more engaged in technology, they prefer to use it most of the time. The convenience it gives is the main reason they are so open about incorporating technology in their lives. Since many individuals who require mental and emotional help want the process to be done online for the sake of convenience, immediate access, and affordability, they turn to professional counseling. That is because people believe they can be more comfortable sharing even their darkest secrets without any hesitations. And since there is not much pressure compared to face-to-face interaction, counselors can focus and dedicate all their attention and time to their clients online.

How Counselors Utilize Technology

Resource And Information – Counselors utilize technology in various forms. There are words, video, graphics, and even three-dimensional virtual situations. It helps professionals conveniently access the materials available in the databases with customer information and adhere to understand and satisfy their needs. It binds counselors in a dynamic and rapidly growing collection of sequence, processing, and knowledge concerning emotional and mental health care services.

Resource and information support counselors to obtain adequate levels of technological literacy to understand their nature and role in people’s personal and professional lives. It promotes alternative steps that need to be taken to ensure not to create obstacles for some clients, especially when handling private details.

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Communication And Collaboration – Technology is significant in resources and information as it serves as an essential input for all types of organizations. Professionals use technology for chat rooms, e-mail, virtual shared environments, bulletin boards, online conferences, video conferencing, and other electronic meeting services. Technology enables people to connect despite being far from each other. It also contributes to collaborative work so people can exchange information and create shared decisions. All these technological means assist clients while eliminating the social stigma associated with receiving mental and emotional counseling or other forms of therapy.

With technology’s advancement, clients can ethically and officially protect their profession and clients by using all known and reasonable security measures. Both can agree to solidify interaction through uniform standards of training and practice of counseling in the presence that includes a holistic counseling experience.

Productivity And Innovation – Technology supports the development of maturing software and Web-based programming that launches new levels of available tools. These technological innovations sustain the needs of any customized services for the counseling profession. These high-tech tools help counselors build and create anything, including personalized business cards, Website links, schedules, and appointments. Some examples of interactive tools that help counselors include conversion of text to speech, typing skills, electronic data transfer, and graph creation. Technology also helps in determining the interactive effects of popular and newest prescription drugs.

Counselors and clients benefit from technology as they can effectively harness the power and function of both hardware and software. Counselors have a great advantage in handling multiples clients without thinking about the limitations of their technological competence. It is a viable interactive medium that removes pressure and uncomfortability during counseling sessions.

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Delivery Of Services – Growing in popularity is counselors’ use of technology to meet clients and deliver counseling services in a virtual or online environment. Technology has been great at providing convenience when it comes to the distance-related matter of counseling. Counselors utilize technology to immediately address their patients’ needs and assist them on scheduled time regardless of the situation.

Aside from that, counseling’s delivery of service can increase consistency as both patients and professionals come up with regular involvement. That is because technology offers better access to healthcare professionals who may not be available in their geographic location. And since there is an alternative to face-to-face sessions, clients or patients can feel financially better because they can remove travel expenses. They can also have access to more specialists and select healthcare who can work with their schedules better.

Takeaway

It is significantly important to understand that though technology contributes mainly to the futuristic progress of counseling, it is still not perfect. There are still tons of considerations that need to be taken as some pitfalls can happen almost instantly. Thus, counselors should provide the best mental and emotional services to their clients during limited nonverbal or extraverbal behavior. Online counseling can be a great help as long people take it seriously.

 

Counseling In The Technologically Innovated World

The most common form of counseling, also known as talk therapy, aims to provide overall assistance and guidance to individuals trying to resolve their issues personally, socially, or psychologically. Counseling is administered by licensed professionals called counselors who know how to identify goals and potential solutions to people’s life problems and difficulties. But with the constant change and specific life matters that everyone faces, challenges emerge. Fortunately, alongside the difficulty of providing counseling services is the opportunity given by technological advancement.

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Convenience And Accessible Time For Counseling 

Technology is now an essential part of counseling as it potentially increases free time in the lives of patients and practitioners. Those individuals who previously could not find even a little dedicated time for counseling sessions could now access professional help through the tip of their hands.

With the help of mobile devices, both patients and medical professionals can interact and assist in building a relationship. Aside from that, mobile devices or smartphones can support better communication, especially in remote areas where counseling is somehow out of reach. The best part of utilizing mobile gadgets is that both patients and professionals can secure convenience, affordability, and fewer restrictions.

But it is essential to note that while technology may be a good source of collaboration, it can still fail in some aspects. Both patients’ and professionals’ safety and privacy can be at risk. That is because utilizing technology in counseling only works when information gets transmitted online. Therefore, information leaks and hacks can become more of a concern. Aside from that, while technology offers convenience, it lacks in response to critical situations. Meaning, it would be difficult to access treatment when it gets badly needed by patients.

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Utilization of Virtual Augmented Reality 

Technology has come a long way at it now proved that it is capable of almost anything. Thus, the utilization of virtual-augmented reality in counseling is becoming extremely sophisticated. In addition, it can support patients-professionals relationships so that both can benefit from the look and feel of in-person counseling.

A recent study about patients’ simulations shows that virtual-augmented reality can be an effective instrument for the increased brief clinical interviewing skills applicable for people who have behavioral problems. Therefore, shortly, everyone can expect VR technology to help provide standardized and more accessible clinical training in environmental exposure.

But then again, though VR technology sounds very promising, it may still have difficulties in erasing the patients-professionals barrier. Yes, it can be useful in various situations, especially when the concern is an in-depth understanding of the patients’ condition. However, VR cannot process immediate support and assistance from a trained counselor. It would be very difficult to assist the patients’ severe symptoms of a mental health condition. The scope of treatment can be limited to instructional procedures only, which is typically not effective in more complex situations.

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Computers And Internet Can Save The Day

As bad as the situation of individuals could get, they can still rely on counseling anytime and anywhere. They can utilize technology and the internet due to the flexible nature of online counseling services. It has been the common practice preferred by both counselors and clients nowadays. That is because online counseling’s primary goals are designed to cater to accessibility, affordability, and convenience.

Some experts believe that the even more encouraging effect of digital interventions in counseling is to provide a positive experience for patients to convince them to go on and consider seeking face-to-face counseling. And since there is a positive approach in online sessions, patients and professionals can build strong connections even before they get in touch personally. Thus, most experts believe that online counseling can bridge the gap of social interaction. In addition, technology can help encourage patients’ to verbalize particular subjects of their conditions and even make personal interpretations.

But despite the compromising benefits of online counseling, there are still some issues that it needs to address in particular. The most common thing that patients and professionals complain about it is miscommunication. Professionals cannot easily access body language information from the patients, leading to a greater risk of missing significant non-verbal cues. In some aspects, the patients might also have problems bringing their complex thoughts and emotions into words. And the worse of all, a very unreliable internet connection may jeopardize and interrupt the delivery and flow of the counseling session.

Final Thoughts

Counseling in a technologically innovated world comes with pros and cons. If people want to utilize convenience and affordability, that is okay. However, they should also consider looking at some important factors that might affect the counseling service. Technology is okay as it provides great benefits when it comes to immediate response. However, it might threaten human-to-human relationships at some point. So, again, people should take time to learn what is more convenient and effective for their mental health needs.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Full-Spectrum Light Therapy

In recent years, several technological advancements have made our daily lives more comfortable. From communication to education to gathering information, technology has made these tasks more convenient and reliable.

But apart from these, technology has also been helpful in terms of medical treatment. For example, technology paved the way for the development of light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

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The seasonal affective disorder consists of episodes of depression and/or restlessness that occur regularly during particular times of the year. Winter depression is the most prevalent form of SAD. It exhibits repeated episodes of specific symptoms that occur in the fall or winter. The symptoms include:

  • Oversleeping 
  • Craving for energy-rich foods
  • Weight Gain
  • Social withdrawal

If left untreated, this condition can get complicated. It can lead to serious problems, including school or work problems, substance abuse, self-harm, and other mental disorders. Also, it can generally remit during the upcoming spring or summer.

The specific cause for SAD is unknown. But the reduction of sunlight exposure can end up triggering SAD. Seasonal changes can also disrupt the circadian rhythm and the internal body clock. It can then trigger winter depression. The significant drop in both the serotonin and melatonin levels can drop significantly and lead to depression. 

Some are more likely to develop SAD than others. Those who have major depression or bipolar disorder are more likely to develop SAD. Having relatives with SAD or another form of depression also increases the risk of acquiring SAD. Finally, living far from the equator can increase the risk for SAD due to a significant drop in sunlight exposure.

People who experience SAD need to get as much natural light exposure as possible, especially early in the morning. However, this may not apply to some areas due to the darker winter months. Thus, the use of light therapy coupled with other primary treatments for SAD can significantly improve your condition.

What is full-spectrum light therapy?

Full-spectrum light therapy is primarily used for treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Also known as “winter depression,” it occurs typically during this period due to the lack of sunlight. The therapy makes use of light therapy boxes with full-spectrum lighting, which mimics the wavelengths of natural daylight. Exposure to this light has been said to work well with treating SAD and other types of depression.

How do you use full-spectrum light therapy?

Full-spectrum light therapy is a simple and straightforward process. During full-spectrum light therapy, you simply have to sit or stay near a light therapy box. This box will emit an artificial bright light with filtered UV rays, which duplicates the natural daylight.

Do full spectrum lights really work?

Yes, it does but do note that full-spectrum light is not a suitable treatment option for everyone. Some people may experience successful results with full-spectrum light therapy in addressing SAD and other types of depression. However, therapists would often combine this treatment with other methods to achieve the best results.

What is the best light therapy lamp for SAD?

The best light therapy lamp for SAD should have at least 10,000-lux light box intensity. It should be able to filter out harmful UV rays to avoid the risk of eye and skin damage. Just a reminder that the best way to use the light therapy lamp is at least 16 to 24 inches distance from the face.

Does light therapy really work for wrinkles?

Various types of light therapy address numerous concerns from aging, depression, and other disorders. A specific type of light therapy called red light therapy (RLT) is used to solve skin conditions, including wrinkles. As its primary purpose is for anti-aging, RLT uses red light with a low wavelength.

Is full spectrum light dangerous?

Aside from reported minor side effects like headaches, full-spectrum lights are generally considered safe. Most wavelengths from full spectrum lights are not harmful because they can filter out dangerous UV light.

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How long does it take for light therapy to work?

Many people who use light therapy usually respond to the treatment within 3 to 5 days. However, some may take longer. The improvements may come in the following week for those who didn’t see or experience any changes within the first week. But still, it can take longer than that.

Do full spectrum light bulbs help with vitamin D?

Yes. Some full spectrum light bulbs can help with vitamin D synthesis, particularly those with ultraviolet B (UVB). Full-spectrum light bulbs that generate UVB of around 290 and 315 nm helps our skin produce vitamin D.

What color is full-spectrum light?

Full-spectrum lights appear blue or white-colored and simulate natural light to the human eye. These high color-spectrum sources have a CRI of around 80 and 90.

Is LED Light Full Spectrum?

Not all LED lights are full spectrum; it depends on the manufacturer. However, most LED manufacturers produce LEDs with full-spectrum lights in various color temperatures.

Is 5000k full-spectrum?

The typical full-spectrum light has a color temperature of 6500k to match the natural daylight color. However, 5000k also meets the standard of full-spectrum lights as it can filter out yellow light from ordinary incandescent light. Some people prefer 5000k full-spectrum lights to the higher 6500k.

Are SAD lights bad for your eyes?

No. The recommended light therapy boxes for SAD are usually safe for the eyes. These lightboxes can filter out harmful UV rays that are dangerous for the eye and the skin.

Can you wear glasses during light therapy?

While there is no reason you cannot wear glass during light therapy, it is not recommended for SAD treatment. Wearing glasses or contact lenses may decrease light therapy treatment’s effectiveness in achieving optimal results.

Is red light therapy a hoax?

At present, there is still little research around RLT as an effective treatment process. Although several studies show its potential applications, there is still a need for extensive clinical studies to determine conclusive evidence of its effectiveness.

Can full spectrum lights cause skin cancer?

No. The full-spectrum lights design makes it so that it does not expose cancer-causing UV rays directly to the skin. Thus, you can use full-spectrum lights with confidence for an extended time.

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In summary, full-spectrum light therapy is a  primary treatment used to control seasonal affective disorder, including winter depression. It mimics natural daylight using full-lighting therapy boxes that produce blue or white-colored light.

Light therapy is a proven approach to treating SAD that works for most people. It works in conjunction with other primary treatments. The recommendation is to use at least 10,000-lux light box intensity that can filter out harmful UV rays. 

Generally considered safe, although full-spectrum light therapy can cause minor side effects like headaches. Recommended light therapy boxes for SAD filter out damaging UV rays and are safe for your eyes. It is also safe for your skin, so you can rest easy while getting light therapy. 

On average, people respond to the treatment within 3 to 5 days, but it may take longer for some. To maximize the effectiveness of the treatment, it is not advisable to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. In addition to its effects on SAD, full-spectrum light therapy can also aid in vitamin D’s natural production. 

It is natural to feel sadness at times occasionally. However, if this feeling lasts long during a particular season, it is advisable to seek medical assistance. This is crucial, especially if you experience drastic changes in sleep patterns, dependence on substances, and self-harm thoughts. 

Unfortunately, the exposure to this condition can intensify with the increase in exposure to light from our gadget screens and the pandemic’s seclusion. If this is so, then full-spectrum light therapy may just be the solution to getting back your colors besides the blues.

Enhancing Mental Health Amidst Current Difficulties

 

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A young man’s death by suicide startled entire Arizona in 1998. He was a sophomore at the University of Arizona. During that time, schools and colleges were short of mental health help and guidance. The entire country was struggling to reach out to students who were suffering from depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health problems.

Forward to today, as the current pandemic interferes and produces significant anxiety and stress to each of our daily lives, it has undoubtedly aggravated prevailing mental health problems among old and young people, a lot of whom have had to crawl to return to their homes or even find homes after abrupt campus lockdowns that needed adapting quickly to homeschooling or distance learning tools and settings. This is truly a devastating shift for students. But the ways that people from college communities reach out to each other during these times can definitely help deal with this young generation’s mental health, subsequently facilitating to lower the risks of suicide.

Solitude and seclusion – both of which can increase in this period of required physical distancing – are relevant risk factors for mental wellness challenges, along with suicidal behavioral patterns. Studies have shown that strong supportive connections and feelings of togetherness to fellow students, friends, family members, and teachers are efficient defensive factors that can significantly reduce the risk for self-harm and improve emotional wellness.

University programs worldwide have worked with schools to help them utilize an evidence-based strategy for suicide prevention and mental health improvement. This strategy may play a vital role in developing a culture of compassion and a safety net for students’ mental health. It entails establishing mental health as a top priority and executing an interdisciplinary leadership group that comprises students, teachers, and administrators. This group manages the progress and expansion of a broad plan for supporting students’ mental health and decreasing the risks for suicide and substance abuse.

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More and more students are currently remotely engaged and are continually doing so throughout the end of the year, perhaps beyond this year. It is crucial to implement additional methods of creating effective approaches for student learning and mental health maintenance and improvement.

We suggest that universities and colleges aim to:

Encourage Social Bonds. The requirement for physical distancing doesn’t literally mean the loss of social connections. Teach the students to cultivate their friendships and keep in close contact remotely with their schoolmates and classmates. Some channels for building social bonds may include online study partners and study groups. Students may stay connected with their clubs and online networks and even join college-launched online social events. Teachers may also be there to support the students remotely.

Identify Who Are At Risk. Schools must recognize which students are at risk of having mental health conditions or suicidal behaviors. When keeping in touch with students through phone, text, email, or social media platforms, teachers and administrators can implement active listening concepts. If a student states a concern, be there to listen on all three levels – what the issue is about, how they are actually feeling, and how they respond to the situation. Ensure that teachers and students know where to go if they happen to identify fellow students who have developed depression or frustration. Additionally, schools can provide tips and recommendations to families on how they will know if their kids are in need of mental health support.

Improve On Help-Finding Behaviors. Young students who require help but are hesitant or uncertain about getting it might find it harder now to find support and get the care they need. In this unfamiliar environment, counseling facilities can launch virtual discussion clusters, particularly for students, so they can have a go-to if they want to talk about something that’s worrying them.

School faculty and other staff can also keep track and reply to posts that college students share on social media. Encourage students to bond and connect online. This will allow them to share their questions and feelings that faculty members might not respond to right away.

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Conclusion

Are you worried about a student? Don’t hesitate to ask him through a private message. “Are you feeling fine?” Find a specific reason why you are asking the question, like, “You seem unusually quiet today.” You should also know which agencies or groups to refer students who need support or other types of help. Also, make sure that these students know where to go or whom to call when they feel anxious, worried, or afraid that they might harm themselves.

Taking this mental health crisis in a broader scope will help develop a protective space for struggling students to live through these current difficulties. Mental health should be everyone’s concern, most especially now that we adapt to the fast-changing circumstances.

 

 

Teaching Senior Family Members How To Use A Smartphone

It has been a breeze to teach my child how to use a smartphone. If I’m honest, I don’t think I have given them a proper lesson. One day, I’m helping them click the videos they want to watch on YouTube. The next day, they can already open my phone, find the app, and look for their favorite clips.

teaching-senior-family-members-how-to-use-a-smartphone
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However, the same cannot be said for my parents, who were both in their mid-60s. Out of all the things that they could want last Christmas, they asked for iPhones. Mom said, “My friends at the senior center were brandishing their new smartphones. Perhaps it’s not too late for us to get them, too.”

My sister supported the idea 100%, but I didn’t. She was only cool with it because she would go away once the holiday season was over. As for me, I would be left to teach our elderly parents how to use their iPhones. And I already knew it wouldn’t be easy.

Still, for the sake of my two favorite seniors in the world, I thought of how I teach them how to operate a smartphone.

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Set Up The Apps Accordingly

When the iPhones arrived, I let my parents took them out of their boxes and inspect the gadgets. They turned them up and down and side to side, reveling at how sleek and slim they looked. When they asked me to open the devices for them, I took the smartphones out of their grasps to set them up first.

I may have done things differently and merely guided them through the setup process, but my folks had no idea what to do. Even if they could see the screen options, they were too scared to mess up or, worse, break their iPhones.

Once the phones had been registered to Apple, I created two different folders on each gadget. One of them contained the apps for contacts, text messages, calls, alarms, gallery, camera, and other miscellaneous items. The other was filled with Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, FaceTime, and more “fun” applications.

Some might think that it was overkill, but taking this extra step meant that the elderly would only need to focus on two folders instead of flipping through different slides. That would have made my parents’ heads spin.

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Make Your Explanations As Simple As Possible

Since we got them the same model that I used, it was easy to hand the smartphones back to my parents as I held my device for proper presentation. After figuring out which hand was more comfortable holding the new gadget, I proceeded to teach them the basics. E.g., turning on the phone, finding a contact to text or call, and using FaceTime.

We spent an hour doing those three things, but I took that as a win. The lesson time shortened because I tried to explain everything in the simplest possible way. It could have taken us all day, primarily if I used all the technical terms.

On the second day of our iPhone 101, my folks wanted to learn how to play music and videos and take pictures, so that’s what we did. I also gave them a list of the apps found in separate folders to look for them on their own. On the same day, they managed to video chat with my sister and see and play their theme song via Spotify.

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Try Not To Get Frustrated When The Ask The Same Questions One Too Many Times

The thing I dreaded happened not too long after our first lesson. I came home from work and noticed that my parents’ car was parked at the curb. When I stepped into the living room, they greeted me quickly before telling me that neither could turn on their iPhone. So, I showed them how it’s done. Some days later, I found them waiting at home for me again. This time, they asked me to help them reply to a friend’s text message.

Did I feel frustrated? Of course! Mom and Dad bombarded me with similar questions in the next few weeks. Sometimes, they would even call our landline phone in the middle of the night to ask how to do this or that, as if we had never gone over it before.

Despite that, I never expressed my frustration with my parents. I figured that getting mad at them for something this small could make them feel bad and rejected. Thus, I created a detailed booklet for them, complete with the images on their screen when they clicked the right things. It seemed to help because the calls I received significantly reduced after that.

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Final Thoughts

Elderly parents want to feel like a sense of belonging in a world where everyone’s nose is almost touching the screens of various gadgets. If your folks want to learn how to use a smartphone, there’s no valid reason for you not to do it. After all, giving them a crash course to iPhone usage is nothing compared to everything they have done in your favor while you’re growing up.

Home Schooling Approaches During COVID-19

 

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As the coronavirus started to proliferate, schools immediately closed, shutting down facilities and moving classes online. This led to a lot of parents to play a new role – as a teacher.

With over 50,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States, governments have implemented social distancing measures and stay-at-home guidelines. Some officials in the government have announced that schools will remain closed until spring, while others have already continued their summer classes online, anticipating the probability of remote instructions for the fall season. Amidst the pandemic, the necessity for children and adults to be educated at all levels persists.

Many families right now are assisting their kids’ homeschooling. With this, they must keep in touch with their current school. It is true, though, that not all schools are reasonably capable of providing remote learning, which may add to the challenges that parents are facing with their K-12 students. Also, some of these students do not have Internet access in their homes or to any electronic devices for homework.

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Bearing in mind the daunting situation that parents are now finding themselves in, they, along with some researchers, reached out to educators to better understand the different strategies to homeschool for the short and long terms.

Short-term Strategy

Educators agree that what students across the country are experiencing now is not the conventional homeschooling setup, and they would rather call it ‘schooling at home.’ Instead of abiding with the strategies created by parents, students are following the guidance from their corresponding schools via online learning, while lesson plans are brought home. But despite the guidance, managing the K-12 arena can be exasperating for parents. It does take a lot of patience, according to most parents that were interviewed about how they were doing and feeling about the whole thing. It is truly understandable, as they are not only parents, but they’ve also become substitute teachers.

Long-term Strategy

Parents who have been contemplating homeschooling after the pandemic has subsided must comprehend the tremendous commitment needed. In the first place, they must be willing to invest their time and effort, just as these are the virtues that you are asking from a private or public school teacher. What’s another important thing here? Organization.

Source: booktrust.org.uk

Josh, a student we will use as a sample, has a school schedule that starts at 6 AM, beginning with breakfast. He then starts his school with the math subject, with his mom concentrating on teaching the subject to him and his younger sister. His lessons would often get done by lunchtime. For supplementation, his parents enrolled him in activities like dancing and joining interesting clubs where he can interact with other students. Josh says that as long as his schoolwork and other classes are done, he can have the rest of the day all to himself.

This is a long-term approach for parents. Educators state that families must try to understand educational requirements and create a plan that encompasses several years of school. They also need to think about the outcomes and what they want their children to do after high school graduation. Parents should recognize their children’s strengths and weaknesses to encourage them to do better and pursue what they’re really best at.

Parents opt for homeschooling programs for several reasons. A study published last month revealed that in 2012, more than 90% of parents who homeschooled their children were anxious about the environment in terms of drugs, safety, or negative peer influence. Another 64% requested for more lessons on morals and religion. Other reasons had kids with disabilities or mental and emotional problems.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

These reasons reflect the unclear outcomes for homeschooling programs. It is possible, though opinions of both critics and the supporters are true. Some students do not succeed when they are homeschooled. Ultimately, the end game for providing their students with an effective and safe homeschool experience boils down to the parents’ commitment.

This huge transition in routine can take a massive toll on parents’ well-being, which online counseling apps like BetterHelp can address. They also have social media extensions, which both kids and parents can benefit from.

Homeschooling is also a job. If parents are willing to be the teacher and instructor, then they must make time to educate.

 

 

 

How Universities Are Fighting COVID-19

Students from Syracuse University participate in a U.S. Diplomacy Center simulation. (State Department photo)

Source: state.gov

Over the past month or two, as the COVID-19 pandemic in America has become over-emphasized and magnified, it is also clear that it will soon be necessary for colleges and universities to recognize their resources to help in their battle against the deadly virus. Recently, there have been campuses answering phone calls, research laboratories, using faculty expertise, and applying campus leadership to assist others who are similarly affected with the pandemic. Below is a list of some specific examples.

Temporary Hospitals. Middleburg College, Tufts University, and New York University prepared and modified their campus dorms into temporary hospitals to accommodate beds for patients who are no longer accepted in city and community hospitals. Others, like Ohio and Wisconsin University, are ready and waiting to convert their dormitories into hospitals should there be a need to do so.

Trials, Testing, and Disease Tracking. Researchers are now using university health facilities to experiment on certain medicines that may be able to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, and the University of Nebraska is one of those that were approved to perform clinical trials of the medication Remdesivir. This anti-viral was used during the Ebola outbreak. Other institutions that are doing the same are the University of California San Diego and the medical centers in San Francisco and Irvine.

Montgomery County with drive-through COVID-19 testing

Source: pa.ng.mil

On the other hand, students have also been coming forward to share information and innovative solutions. A team of students from Cornell College, for instance, has donated processing power from their arena computers to a worldwide network of computers to create an international supercomputer that is mimicking COVID-19 proteins.

Finally, John Hopkins University has also formed its COVID-19 global tracker that would show how the virus has been spreading globally, down to the individual city level. This tracker was created by Lauren Gardner, a professor and her student Ensheng Dong.

PPEs And Testing Kits. All over the world, engineering schools and university facilities have started to work on making personal protective equipment, such as face shields, coats, and gloves. Tennessee State University utilized their existing 3D machines to create some parts of the face shield, and the Stony Brook University also did this. Other major universities have also worked to come up with materials to make 7000 testing kits. There is a national, regional, and global shortage of collection kits right now.
A group of researchers from Chicago University and the Argonne National Laboratory have just discovered a train of the SARS-CoV-2 protein, which is the primary virus that leads to the symptoms of COVID-19. This finding makes it possible for SARS medications can be developed to help treat the Coronavirus.
The smaller colleges chipped in as well, starting in Missouri and Salisbury. The students there have come together and collect healthcare materials from their athletic and academic centers and had PPEs made so they can donate these to their neighboring hospitals. Maryland University is doing its part too.
Providing Accurate Information. Students and teachers are helping provide correct public health details regarding their town in terms of the number of positive cases and recoveries, among others. They gather information from disease specialists and other health professionals and then share these details through social media, cable, the local radio stations, and newspapers.
Photo of scientist talking with teachers.
Source: giss.nasa.gov

Leadership in Universities and Colleges. School administrators must be acknowledged and praised for the way they have led their institutions as well as the several communities that they have served. They are currently struggling with intensely tricky tasks such as:

  • Evaluating and planning the expenses needed to keep the schools and communities financial stable for the long-term
  • Screening the types of demands received daily while pursuing effective learning strategies for students, teachers, and university staff
  • sharing the school’s resources in a way that it helps serve the country during this devastating crisis.

 

 

Gadget Overuse May Create Symptoms Similar To ADHD

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Mobile devices, such as tablets and phones, are increasingly becoming an essential part of everyone’s daily lives. If you walk down the street, you will always see a few people talking or texting on their cell phones. Children use their cell phones to do research and to socialize.

“We don’t always know causation in psychology — especially without being able to measure something for a long time — but there are a lot of correlational studies that are pointing to social media and digital phone use,” says  Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist. However, medical professionals warn that children who overuse gadgets are in danger of developing symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that children who have ADHD may be overly active and may have difficulty paying attention. A survey the CDC conducted in 2011 reports that ten percent of children in the USA have ADHD. The CDC estimates that more than six million children in the USA have ADHD. The CDC further states that ADHD is the most common disorder among children.

Children will not develop ADHD if they overuse gadgets because ADHD is a genetic condition. “Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are at a much higher risk of developing noncompliant or negative behaviors than a child who does not have ADHD.”  Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC added. However, overuse of devices can cause symptoms that are similar to ADHD. When you misuse gadgets, you do not focus. Instead, you can. You become used to fast-paced information, and that is fragmented and scattered.

If you think your child is at risk of developing these behaviors, you can consult online platforms like BetterHelp. A trained professional can help guide parents in navigating these symptoms.

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In a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, they found that children aged eight to eighteen spend approximately seven and a half hours each day on their gadgets. Reducing that amount to one hour per day will be a significant accomplishment.

It is suggested that children should spend only one or two hours each day on their gadgets. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preschool children should also spend only one or two hours each day on their mobile devices.

Overusing gadgets can become something similar to an addiction. Children would want to go back to using their mobile devices because they find them more fascinating and interesting compared to reading a book or sitting in a classroom. When eating with their family at a restaurant, children would be staring at their mobile devices instead of socializing and bonding with their family.

Children often enjoy playing with their mobile devices, such as a cell phone or an iPad. Some parents use it as a reward when their children are suitable. There are even parents who use it as a reward for very young children who go to the bathroom during potty training.

When a parent is diagnosed with ADHD, the whole family has to be careful in their use of gadgets. Even if the children are not yet diagnosed with ADHD, they are predisposed toward developing it because their parent has it. It is advisable to limit their use of gadgets to once or twice each day with each time-limited to fifteen to twenty minutes.

“It is a social theory which examines the long-term effects of television. The research shows that too much time spent in front of the TV watching violent programs leads to ‘the mean world syndrome.” As UA Huntsville psychologist Pavica Sheldon explains. It is not surprising that negative effects are resulting from spending too much time on television screens, tablets, and phones. If you spend too much time on your mobile phone, you can become scatterbrained.

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One of the difficulties with gadgets is the fact that children view devices such as television, tablets, and iPads as toys. Games can cause different areas of the brain to adapt and learn to quickly scan information to score points or to unlock new characters. This is different from what is required of the mind in environments such as the classroom where the pace is slower.

But technology is not all bad. Gadgets can have positive uses. Mobile devices can be valuable tools in socialization and bonding. It also provides a platform to spread awareness on how to improve our well-being. The important thing to remember is to use technology in moderation.

The Dangers Of Mobile Devices For Kids With ADHD

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Parents of children with ADHD know that it is not true that a child with ADHD is unable to focus. Children with ADHD can concentrate intensely on technology that fascinates them, such as social media, surfing the internet, texting, or mobile phone games.

Some children can become intensely fascinated by a game or an app but would later become tired of it and move on to something else. However, children with ADHD are in greater danger of becoming cognitively and behaviorally dependent on their mobile devices.

What Are The Warning Signs

“People who talk about tech addictions often express frustration with their smartphone use, or they can’t understand why kids game so much.” Christopher J. Ferguson Ph.D. in clinical psychology said. Children who have become overly dependent on their mobile devices would use their cell phones even if there is no good reason to do so. And when they are not using their cell phones, they would be thinking about it. They would even ask for it.

“Parents also face unique challenges in restraining their kids’ usage and rehabilitating their habits and relationships with technology, due to the highly personal and addictive nature of smartphones, as well as the positive aspects of technology.”  Jyothsna Bhat, PsyD said. Children often argue with their parents regarding the amount of time they spend on their cell phones. Whenever they hear their mobile phone’s alert tone, they would immediately interrupt what they are doing to check their cell phones. They are often unaware of the large amount of time that they spend on their mobile devices.

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They tend to become agitated or distressed whenever their cell phone is turned off or when their cell phone is out of their reach. And they cannot decrease the amount of time that they spend on their mobile phones.

What You Can Do

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents start teaching their children the appropriate use of cell phones when they are very young. Children who are aged two and below should be discouraged from using mobile phones. For older children, the Academy recommends that parents supervise their children’s cell phone usage.

They should limit the time their children spend on their mobile phones. And they should check what content their children are accessing. They should not allow cell phones inside their children’s bedroom to make sure that their sleeping habits are healthy. “limit screen time for younger teens; show interest in them, their ideas, opinions, dreams; engage teens in conversations about choices, relationships, and future plans; and provide opportunities for them to explore their own point of view through conversation without judgment.” Sandi Lindgren PCC, LICSW added.

Parents should lead by example. They should follow the rules that they expect their children to follow. It is a good idea to specify areas of the home where cell phone use is not allowed, such as the living room or the kitchen or the bedroom. Or parents can specify certain times when cell phone use is not permitted, such as during meals or bedtime.

These restrictions will allow everyone to gain more control over their mobile phone use. And since family members are not distracted by their cell phones when they are together (such as during meals), they are encouraged to talk to one another, and this improves the family’s relationship.

Parents should provide alternatives to using mobile devices. Instead of spending hours using their mobile phones, children could spend a few hours at a pool, or a museum or a park.

As they grow older, your children will rely more and more on their mobile devices and similar technology. The goal is not to completely abstain from using mobile devices. Proper use of technology is essential to your children’s education and, eventually, to their career.

The goal is to teach your children to use their mobile phones wisely and to be able to control the amount of time that they spend on their mobile phones. Their mobile devices will benefit them if they learn to use them properly.

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If setting rules on cell phone use does not work, parents can ask for help from a mental health professional. They can start by seeking advice from online counselling platforms like BetterHelp. Talking to a professional provides many benefits that parents can utilize. These experts can give behavioral and cognitive interventions for their children. These interventions are designed to treat their children’s dependence on mobile devices.

If you are uncertain how to deal with your child’s dependence on their mobile phone, you can start by talking with them openly and honestly. Just remember to be patient with them as you find ways to teach them how to use their mobile phones wisely.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Technology For People With ADHD

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Technology is a valuable tool for many individuals. But many people are wondering whether technology is good or bad for people who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“The very nature of ADHD implies that the child will have difficulty with self-control, paying attention, listening to instructions at home and school, and following directions.”  Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC explained. People who have ADHD tend to be impulsive, hyperactive, and inattentive to such a degree that it interferes with their daily lives. They tend to squirm and fidget. They are not comfortable trying to stay still for long. They are often impatient.

They often make mistakes because they have difficulty paying attention to details. They have a hard time maintaining their focus even during conversations. They are easily distracted. And they often fail to finish assignments or tasks.

Advantages Of Technology For People With ADHD

Technology can be beneficial to adults and children who are suffering from ADHD (read further in FamilyHype’s Xbox 360 Games for Boys page). People who have ADHD usually have difficulty paying attention to details, completing tasks, in an organization, and in managing their time. This makes it hard for them to complete projects or to meet deadlines at work or in school. “They live their lives immersed in technology, surrounded by cell phones, computers, videogames, digital music players and video cams,” Sheldon said. “We need to understand not just how they use these new tools, but how they are affected by them. Topics such as cyber bullying, addiction to cyber porn, and overall addiction to Internet games are something we need to study more.” UA Huntsville psychologist Pavica Sheldon elaborates.

There are computer software and apps that can assist people who have ADHD fight distraction. These software and apps can also help these individuals to stay organized and to achieve their goals.

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Children who have ADHD can use electronic timers to help them stay on schedule as they work. The use of technology inside the classroom resulted in children who have ADHD being less distracted.

In a study involving students who have ADHD from the third grade and the fourth grade, it was determined that improved performance in mathematics resulted from the use of computer-assisted instruction in mathematics.

Using alerts on computers and phones can assist adults in being on time for meetings and in shifting mental gears and doing another task. Alerts can be used to allocate periods for specific activities such as writing memos or responding to emails. This helps prevent adults from hyper-focusing on only one activity.

“There is also little doubt that all of the new technologies, led by the Internet, are shaping the way we think in ways obvious and subtle, deliberate and unintentional, and advantageous and detrimental.” That is according to Jim Taylor Ph.D. Technology can help individuals who have ADHD meet their deadlines. It increases their productivity and improves their focus. But only if the technology is used correctly.

People with ADHD can also take advantage of online counseling apps like BetterHelp to better attend to their needs. With the use of technology and social media, professional help has been made more accessible for them.

Disadvantages Of Technology For People With ADHD

The use of technology is increasing, whether it is for personal use or whether it is inside the classroom. Many people are wondering if technology is a distraction for people who have ADHD.

In a study involving fifty children aged between six and sixteen years old in which twenty-nine of the children have ADHD, it was discovered that the children who have ADHD showed more problems when they play video games. The study also showed that children who have ADHD are at higher risk of becoming dependent on video games.

In a study of five hundred thirty-five students in elementary school, it was determined that there is a significant correlation between the severity of ADHD symptoms and the intensity of addiction to the internet. The study indicates that those who exhibit the symptoms of ADHD, such as impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention, are at higher risk of becoming addicted to the internet.

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It is recommended to set periods that are free of technology such as during meals and family celebrations. It is also recommended to specify areas where technology should not be used, such as in the bedroom or outdoor spaces.

People who have ADHD can also use apps and computer software to shut down their tablets and phones at scheduled times automatically. They can also set their mobile devices to the do-not-disturb mode during the technology-free periods.