Managing Your Emotions After Your Child’s Special Needs Diagnosis
July 28, 2014 | Inspiring Stories
About The Author
Rita Eichenstein, Ph.D., is a renowned psychologist and pediatric neuropsychologist and the author of Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children (Perigee, April 7, 2015). An expert in the fields of child development and special education, Dr. Eichenstein maintains a private practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers in Los Angeles, California, where she specializes in child assessment and counseling parents of atypical children. Dr. Eichenstein’s life’s work has been to reach out to, support, and counsel atypical children and their parents. An atypical child – a term coined by Dr. Eichenstein – is a child who does not conform to the usual expectations, whether because of a learning disorder, behavioral or psychological issues, a medical problem, or another condition (such as learning disabled, ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette syndrome, autism disorder, twice exceptional, or gifted). Aytpical also applies to “quirky” kids—children, teens, college students, and graduate students whose symptoms and behaviors defy official diagnostic categories but who still face challenges. An interactive and solution-focused clinician, Dr. Eichenstein works with clients by providing practical information, diagnostic support, and detailed feedback to help them resolve current issues. She incorporates a blend of conventional and alternative approaches, drawing upon state-of-the-art discoveries in neuroscience, psychological theories, and educational research in order to offer a treatment plan that will be effective for both child and parent. Dr. Eichenstein provides thorough evaluations and comprehensive, clearly written reports for parents, schools, and medical affiliates. Over the past two decades, as Dr. Eichenstein worked with thousands of children and parents, she established a paradigm for the complicated and profound emotional challenges parents face when they learn that their child has “unique” issues. Early in her career she realized that spending hours with parents poring over a detailed report and test results, and then offering them a diagnosis and treatment options for their child, did little to help them manage their own emotional response to the overwhelming news that their child was “not what they expected.” Dr. Eichenstein’s groundbreaking book, Not What I Expected, helps parents of atypical children to better understand, identify, and address the minefield of emotions they will encounter. In teaching them to recognize the what, why, and how of their personal feelings, she gives parents license to accept their lives and nurture themselves for their own sake and for the wellbeing of the entire family. Her practical tools and anecdotal advice for coping, calming, focusing, and moving forward empowers parents to better navigate the challenges of atypical parenting. Valued for her clinical expertise and compassionate understanding of atypical children and their parents, Dr. Eichenstein has been a guest lecturer at schools, educational and business conferences, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and corporations. She has worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services and has presented at numerous educational teacher-training conferences. Dr. Eichenstein is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 40: Neuropsychology; the National Organization for Neuropsychology (NAN); the California Psychological Association (CPA); and the Los Angeles Psychological Association (LACPA). She has been an affiliate member of the Association of Educational Therapists (AET). In addition, she serves on the advisory boards of Park Century School in Culver City and the Pacific Point School in Santa Monica, and has strong working relationships with many of the private schools in the Los Angeles area and colleges across the United States. A regular contributor to NYMetro Parents, Dr. Eichenstein’s expertise has been featured in a variety of print and online media outlets including Boston Parents, Paper, CafeMom, CanadianLiving.com, Care.com, Deseret News, EverydayHealth.com, Georgia Family, Prevention.com, Scholastic.com, SheKnows.com, and Time Magazine, among others. She is a frequent guest on national, local, and syndicated radio programs across the country. Posts from her popular blog, “Positively Atypical! by Dr. Rita Eichenstein,” have been recommended in The Huffington Post “Links We Love” section.
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