Episodes

Episode 76: Working Out Your Heart

Episode 76: Working Out Your Heart

What’s common between a soccer mom who has a flat tire on the way to her son’s game, a Wall Street dad who just got told to stay in the office for the markets in the East to open, and a middle school girl who just got her new smart phone? They are all struggling to cope with feeling either anxious, lonely, stressed out, or tired. A dysregulated frontal lobe system often causes our executive function to crash and burn. Through mindfulness, one can cultivate a form of awareness that can bring attunement to knowing what you’re doing as you’re doing it.

On today’s podcast our guest, Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD), a psychologist and educational consultant specializing in mindfulness, talks about the elements of mindfulness training and flexibility training.

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Big Picture 5: ADHD Matters

Big Picture 5: ADHD Matters

Psychologist and author Alexandra Horowitz says “Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.” It’s a gift to have such attentional acumen, but not everyone is lucky to have such a natural capacity for discrimination. In fact, in a neurogenetic and neuropsychiatric disorder like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the brain isn’t wired to successfully ignore things once they get noticed.

In this big-picture episode, Sucheta discusses how and why ADHD is more like a disorder of Executive Function rather than simply a disorder of attention and how the management needs to include a comprehensive neurogentic & neurocognitive approach that centers around medication, behavior therapy, environmental modifications, and skill development .

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Episode 75: Twinning with Your Future Self

Episode 75: Twinning with Your Future Self

If you are taking a stroll on the beach while you have parked your car at a meter, you have to set aside some mental resources to think about the time and to make decisions to either return to your car to add money to the meter or take a chance or bear the pain of having to pay a fine later. But the human struggle of balancing the desire to be in the moment while also considering the future is exacerbated by conditions such as ADHD and that’s why many people struggle to cater to the needs of their future self while being their current self.

On today’s podcast, our guest Ari Tuckman, Psy.D., a practicing psychologist, author of “ADHD After Dark: Better Sex Life, Better Relationship”, and a host of the Podcast “More Attention, Less Deficit”, talks about the disorder of ADHD and how it is truly all about executive function and shortening the unimaginable distance between the need of the current self and future self.

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Episode 74: The Forgotten Injury

Episode 74: The Forgotten Injury

If an athlete on the high school varsity football, lacrosse, or soccer team happens to be more than typically distracted, taking too long, has become inconsistent with routines or happens to frequently doze off in history class, the teacher’s first assumption might be to question the student’s motivation and him hitting his head three weeks ago might be long forgotten. But the data shows that 12% of those children with a mild brain injury continue to have persistent symptoms beyond 1 year and it is vital that all those involved educating such children be informed about the nuances of this hidden epidemic.

On today’s episode, Dr. Ann Glang, a special education researcher who for over 25 years has designed and studied interventions to support children and adolescents with TBI, educators, and families, will share how a brain injury as a condition differs from other disabilities and how best to support the needs of these students in the classroom and beyond. Considering the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries in children is on the rise, it is no surprise that they all end up in our schools and many in regular classrooms. By learning about the educational impact of such injuries to the brain, teachers and parents will gain the power and agency to make a difference in the life of every child.

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Episode 73: Purpose or Perish

Episode 73: Purpose or Perish

The greatest philosophical writings over the centuries have often examined the idea of the meaning of life. After the World War II, Viktor Frankl’s writing often explored the idea of the existential vacuum, which plagued those who entered the concentration camps giving them no reason to fight for life. What we realize now is that a sense of purpose and meaning plays a vital role as it offers protection from life’s undeniable hardships and discovering that purpose for oneself can be the meaningful journey in and of itself.

On today’s podcast, our guest William Damon, Ph.D., a professor and psychologist at the Stanford School of Education, says that stress isn’t the biggest problem growing up today: It’s meaninglessness. Tune into Sucheta’s interview with Dr. Damon as they discuss how to help children build meaning beyond themselves.

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Episode 72: Good Readers Are Good Thinkers!

Episode 72: Good Readers Are Good Thinkers!

Traveling through time, visiting imaginary places, witnessing wars and famines, and reliving crusades, is all made possible by reading. It engages visual imagination, invokes emotions, and challenges our preconceived notions and it single-handedly helps us change our mind.  The reading journey begins from making sense of a written word to gathering new information from English, science, or social studies texts to eventually connecting it all to one’s own knowledge, ideas, and beliefs. But such a profoundly relevant, complex, and meaningful learning process is often overlooked.

On today’s podcast, my guest Kelly Cartwright, Ph.D., who’s motto is “Good readers and good thinkers” joins us to discuss why educators must make every attempt to teach executive function skills to actively support reading comprehension.

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Big Picture 4: Organized Mind = Organized Life

Big Picture 4: Organized Mind = Organized Life

Our lives have become so complex that surviving without shopping lists, calendars, scheduling apps, timers and alarms is nearly impossible. On top of that, sometimes, the information overload gets so out of hand that there’s no time left to pick our scattered selves up to set helpful systems up in the first place. In order to help raise organized and independent school-ready children it is important that parents do their bit that goes beyond just the neat and tidy homes.

Tune in to today’s Big Picture episode as I discuss the myths surrounding developing the mastery of organization skills, the role of organization of space, time and tasks in successful goal-management, and the connection between an organized mind and an organized life.

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Episode 71: Lizard Brain, Wizard Brain

Episode 71: Lizard Brain, Wizard Brain

Rarely in a curriculum while learning, we ask children where they feel their emotions in their own bodies and whether those feeling change as their emotions change. Children who feel safe to tackle challenges, assured that they have the skills they need and are comfortable to seek help when needed, do well in school and life. Though in its early stage, research in contemplative studies and mindfulness practices is beginning to show a promising impact of such training on children’s emotional regulation and self-control.

On today’s podcast school psychologist, Debra A. Krodman-Collins, Ph.D., NSCP, RYT, co-author of S.T.O.P. and Relax; a yoga-based curriculum, will discuss how to use yoga-based self-calming techniques for school-aged children to conquer their primitive lizard brain with the wizardry of executive function. With focused and intentional effort to connect mind and body, one can master the mechanism that governs Executive Function.

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Episode 70: The Invisible Giant

Episode 70: The Invisible Giant

Other than air, what is invisible, omnipresent, affects every single human being and yet is taken for granted? The answer is the cultural norms. They are the unspoken rules of social behaviors and shared conventions that everyone is expected follow, but may be doing so without really connecting it to the WHY.

On today’s podcast, our guest, distinguished university professor and professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, Michele Gelfand, Ph.D., discusses the concept of looser or tighter cultures and how our deep cultural programming shapes our views and informs our implicit understanding of what’s permissible in public versus private settings. In order to achieve goals we aspire, we need strong Executive Function and self-regulation skills that allow us to activate versus inhibit certain decisions and actions. However, without the true understanding of the social or cultural context or the understanding of social conventions, one might fail to comply because of having failed to code-switch.

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Episode 69: Examining the Struggle

Episode 69: Examining the Struggle

One shouldn’t be discouraged by the fact that learning is full of struggles as these struggles are inherent to the process of gathering facts, acquiring new knowledge, and gaining vivid insights. However, the struggles that go beyond a certain threshold built into learning should be examined and responded to. On today’s podcast, author, life-long learner, and experienced educator,  Kathleen Kryza, discusses the relationship between student struggles and the incorporation of brain-based differentiated instruction and cooperative learning to elevate the learner experience.

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