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“Parenting should be a separate developmental stage.” Dr. Rita Eichenstein is here today to talk with me about parenting and the changes that happen when adults adopt this new identity, particularly when parenting “atypical” kids. We focus on the stages of grief model that she discusses in her book, Not What I Expected, which walks through the classic 5-stage process in the context of having a child diagnosed with any number of neurodevelopmental concerns. Rita also shares several stories and examples of how to tweak your evaluation process to meet parents where they’re at in the model. Here are just a few things that we touch on:
- Why parenting should be a separate “developmental stage”
- Why you might say to parents, “tell me your story” instead of “what brings you in?”
- Why Rita sends a report draft to parents the night before feedback
Cool Things Mentioned
- Devon Maceachron’s mythbusters articles
- Welcome to Holland article
- Pediatric Therapeutic Assessment episode
- Rita’s website: www.drritaeichenstein.com
- Rita’s book, Not What I Expected
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About Dr. Rita Eichenstein
Rita Eichenstein, Ph.D., is a noted psychologist, pediatric neuropsychologist, and author, renowned in the field of child development, and author of the award-winning book: Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children. Dr. Rita has a private practice in Los Angeles, California, where she has served both atypical children of all ages, and their parents, for over 25 years.
Her life’s work has been to create a diagnostic and assessment environment that is warm, supportive, and accurate. Understanding that the child is not a single unit, but comes with an entire system of parents, siblings and families, the approach to working with atypical children must include the parents. An “atypical child” – a term coined by Dr. Eichenstein – encompasses children who do not conform to the usual expectations, whether because of a learning disorder, behavioral or psychological issues, medical problem, or another condition, as well as quirky kids, whose symptoms and behaviors defy official diagnostic categories, but who still face challenges.
You can find out more at her website: Dr. Rita Eichenstein dot com or check out her book “Not what I expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children” on Amazon.
About Dr. Jeremy Sharp
I’m a licensed psychologist and Clinical Director at the Colorado Center for Assessment & Counseling, a private practice that I founded in 2009 and grew to include 12 licensed clinicians, three clinicians in training, and a full administrative staff. I earned my undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina before getting my Master’s and PhD in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University. These days, I specialize in psychological and neuropsychological evaluation with kids and adolescents.
As the host of the Testing Psychologist Podcast, I provide private practice consulting for psychologists and other mental health professionals who want to start or grow psychological testing services in their practices. I live in Fort Collins, Colorado with my wife (also a therapist) and two young kids.
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