Author - Allison Levine

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Andrea Bushala, MSW, LSW is the Practicum Manager and Staff Therapist at The Theraplay Institute.  Andrea has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Miami University with an emphasis in child development. She obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago with a dual specialization in School Social Work and Children and Families. Andrea has worked at a community mental health clinic focusing on children and young adults experiencing anxiety and depression and in the public school system providing individual and group therapy for children ages 4-6. She is also a mom to four kids. 

Get your kids to stop fighting, TODAY!

Even though you may believe that the sole purpose of your children’s fighting is to drive you crazy, they are actually exhibiting basic survival behavior.  Human survival is based on ability to get needs met.  Children need food, shelter, clothing and their parent’s attention.  When your attention is in limited supply (and whose attention is NOT in a limited supply these days?), your children will do whatever it takes to get you focused on them again.

While many people believe that it is b...

Posted on July 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM by Allison Levine

Preparing Your Child and Family for Kindergarten

Are you a parent who has a child starting kindergarten in the fall?  Perhaps this is your first child going to kindergarten or this is your child’s first experience with a longer school day.  Not only does your child go through a transition when starting elementary school, but the entire family goes through a shift. 

This can be a very exciting time in a child’s life, as well for their family, yet it can also feel overwhelming and a bit scary.   Children all handle transitions differen...

Posted on June 09, 2014 at 11:00 AM by Allison Levine

Why Do Brothers and Sisters Fight?

Why do brothers and sisters fight? Even though you may believe that the sole purpose of your children’s fighting is to drive you crazy, they are actually exhibiting basic survival behavior.  Human survival is based on ability to get needs met.  Children need food, shelter, clothing and their parent’s attention.  When your attention is in limited supply (and whose attention is NOT in a limited supply these days?), your children will do whatever it takes to get you focused on them again.

...

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 7:15 AM by Allison Levine

Caring For Your New Baby: Beyond Feeding and Sleeping

You safely made it home from the hospital and sort of, kind of, a little bit, started to acclimate to the tiny human being who has joined your family.  Just as you begin to get in a bit of a routine (it’s all sort of hazy because sleep isn’t really included in your life anymore!), your partner returns to work.  Now what!?!  You’ve heard tons of advice, some solicited, some not, about the best nursing tank tops, types of bottles, formula brands, non-leaky diapers, miracle blankets, rocking ...

Posted on October 02, 2013 at 7:00 AM by Allison Levine

Sensory Integration and Mental Health

Could your child’s behavioral issues actually be problems with sensory integration?

Most people don’t ever think about the work our brains do to organize and interpret all of the sensory information going in—sight, sound, touch, body awareness, movement, gravity.  Most children develop this ability in the course of ordinary childhood activities.  But others encounter “traffic jams” in their brains which lead to sensory integration issues.  

 

Children who experience difficultie...

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

Sibling Rivalry

You start cooking in the kitchen after checking that Amy and Adam are playing nicely in the next room. Suddenly, your little Amy is running to you with teary eyes. When you ask her what happens, Amy says that her older brother Adam pushed her. You find Adam’s concerned look in the next room. He admits that he pushes Amy but begins to cry when you put him in a time-out chair. You overhear from him, “I hate Amy. It is not fair.”   

You may face this kind of situation on a regular basis. ...

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

When “Calm Down” and “Just Relax” Don’t Help: Caring for Your Child with Anxiety

When your child is clingy, tearful, anxious, and stressed, how do you offer your best caregiving?  This is a challenge that parents face on a regular basis when they have a child with anxiety.  Children who are anxious are challenging for even the “best” parents.  How can caregivers help kids maintain a healthy level of functioning when they are anxious because of traumatic events, transitions, emotional overloads, or everyday life?  Come learn some relationship-based approaches to managin...

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

Caring for your Child with ADHD

When a child is impulsive, hyperactive, and seems out of control, how do you remain calm and offer your best caregiving?  This is the challenge that parents face on a regular basis when they have a child diagnosed with ADHD.  Children who are agitated, dysregulated, or escalated are challenging for even the “best” parents. Often traditional reward/punishment approaches are not a good fit for these children and place more challenges on the parent-child relationship.  Children with ADHD are ...

Posted on October 01, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

Are You Tired of Time-Outs?

Your patience is running low, your frustration is running high, and your kid is running everywhere!  We’ve all had bad days when we’ve used up everything in our bag of tricks and nothing seems to calm the craziness.  Managing your child’s difficult behavior can be overwhelming, especially when it is a constant battle.  Often when children aren’t behaving well on the outside, they aren’t feeling well on the inside.  If time-outs and other traditional discipline methods don’t seem to be work...

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

The ABCs of IEPs

All parents want what’s best for their child.  If your child is having difficulty learning in school, getting help can be complicated, confusing, and frustrating.  The legal standards for special education and the process for meeting those standards is complex.  Trying to decipher the acronyms in the special education world is overwhelming.  IEP?  504?  IDEA?  RTI?  Tackling this task while caring for your child with special needs and managing all of your other responsibilities is nearly impo...

Posted on April 09, 2012 at 5:52 AM by Allison Levine