Sunfield Center Blog

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At Sunfield Center, we strive to provide you with the most up to date information in the fields of Autism, ADHD & Disruptive Behavior as well as Anxiety Disorders. We hope that you will find the information below beneficial.


Moving from crib to bed: When and how to make a smooth transition. By: Hannah Levine, Amy Nasamran, M.A., & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Bedtime can be especially tough for toddlers who are beginning to transition from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a big girl or big boy bed. For parents, figuring out when and how to make the transition to a big kid bed can be daunting.



Who is treating my child? By: Nicole Ferszt, B.S. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. With the ever-increasing trend towards specialization in medical education, all patients have felt the frustration of never-ending doctor’s appointments. While, as a patient, you most likely understand the value of receiving highly specialized care, it is difficult to keep tabs on what each member of your healthcare team is in charge of. To help clarify, here is a brief breakdown of the services they can provide, starting at the beginning.



Building a Bright Future: Transition Planning During High School By: Sabrina Riera, MPH & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Middle school is nearly over, and high school is just around the corner. If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, this means it’s time to start planning for your child’s future. Early and well thought-out planning allows you to feel more at ease knowing that your child will have all the supports they need to have a smooth and successful transition into adulthood.



Overcoming Test Anxiety By: Hollis Wyatt, Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience some anxiety in test taking situations. On one hand, low levels of anxiety can positively influence one’s performance on tests. However, too much anxiety can have negative effects on one’s ability to perform.




How to Prepare your Toddler for a New Baby By: Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. The arrival of a new baby can bring many exciting changes for a family. Families often rejoice at the news of a pregnancy and eagerly prepare for the arrival of their newborn. Moms and dads alike often can’t wait to meet their newest family member!




Parent Teacher Conferences – Tips for Parents By: Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Now that the school year has started and students are settling into their new classrooms, parent-teacher conferences are right around the corner. Parent-teacher conferences can be a good opportunity for parents and teachers to create a home-school partnership that can help facilitate student learning and growth over the year




Parenting & Guilt By: Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Sure, you could be more on top of things, plan more activities and play dates, and be more engaging and fun. But we as parents can only do our best given all the daily responsibilities we juggle in order to provide and care for our children.



Social Media Use Among Today’s Youth By: Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Research has found that children and adolescents are spending a substantial amount of time using screen-based media and engaging in media use more than they do in any other activity other than sleeping.



Siblings at Higher Risk of Developing Autism: Intervention Findings By: Allison Salk, B.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Approximately a fifth of newborn children with siblings on the autism spectrum will develop an autism spectrum disorder themselves. Research is being conducted to develop early interventions for these at risk siblings.



Vaccines & Autism: Another Study Finds No Link By: Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. Much research over the past decade have demonstrated no connection between the MMR vaccine and ASD. The most recent study to debunk the myth that vaccines cause ASD was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.



Autism & Transition: Young Adults Struggle to Enter the Adult World By: Amy Nasamran, M.A. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. A recent study has found that young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are exceptionally at risk for struggling in their transition from high school into adulthood.




Summer Planning for your Child  By: Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. As the sun has started to reemerge after a long winter, many parents begin looking ahead to the summer. As a parent of a child with special needs, planning for your child’s summer may at first appear to be a daunting task. But with early research and planning, there are many programs available to provide an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for each unique child.



Plan for Success: Making a Smooth Transition into Adulthood
By: Sabrina Riera, Rachel Christensen, MSW, & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
In the past two decades, the prevalence rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have increased significantly; since 2009, rates have increased a startling 23%. As an increasing number of identified teens with ASD are growing up, there is a great need to provide services to make a smoother transition into adulthood; however, little is known about this process at the current time and available services are often limited and poor in quality.


How to Make Homework Time more Fun & Efficient
By: Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Homework may be a source of anxiety for both children and for their parents. Oftentimes, parents wonder how to be involved and make sure work gets done while still allowing their child autonomy and independence.



Review of “Parent-Implemented Social Intervention for Toddlers with Autism: An RCT”
By: Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Studies on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) reveal that parental involvement is key to positive improvements and long-term change. The current study was created in order to examine the effects of parent-implemented interventions on outcomes of children with ASD.


Holiday Tips for Parents
By: Amy Nasamran, M.A., & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
As the holiday season approaches, families are looking forward to celebrating traditions, taking a much-needed break from work and school, and reuniting with loved ones. The holidays can often be an exciting and enjoyable time. The rush of the holiday season can also be particularly stressful for parents and children alike, especially for children with psychiatric disorders, like anxiety, depression, or ADHD.


Caring for a Child with Cerebral Palsy
By Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Although CP is a life-long condition, treatment, therapy, and, in some cases, surgery may help a child to feel more comfortable and confident in his or her everyday life.



Back-to-School Dos and Don’ts
By: Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Starting a new school year on a good note can influence a child’s attitude, confidence, and social and academic performance for the entire year.



Selective Mutism
By: Allison Salk, Natalie El Alam & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. 
It is not uncommon for children with Selective Mutism to go undiagnosed for months or even years after symptoms first arise because adults often believe that children will outgrow their symptoms with continued social exposure, maturity, and age6.



Connecting Brain and Behavior: The Neuropathology of Autism
By: Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Although the neuropathology of ASDs is still largely unknown, the scientific community has made great strides in unlocking the secrets of these pervasive developmental disorders in recent years.



SibshopsSiblings are Special Too
By: Natalie El-Alam, Allison Salk, Rachel Christensen & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
It is important that parents of a special child are aware of some of the difficulties that typically developing siblings may experience in this unique sibling relationship. In addition, it is also crucial that parents are cognizant of the many ways that they can support their typically developing child.



picky eating

Picky Eating and Tummy Troubles: How to Improve Mealtime for Your Child
By: Rachel Christensen, Allison Salk & Suzi Naguib, Psy. D.
Many children with ASD have difficulty with eating certain foods or may have very specific food preferences 1. Research has shown that there are a variety of reasons why individuals with autism may have limited food choices.



phobia anxiety childrenMy Child’s Fears are Getting Out of Hand!
By: Rachel Christensen and Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Most children have something that scares them. Not only is experiencing fear or anxiety common, it is also part of normal development. Although fears are typically transient for most children, for some kids, this fear response may seem excessive or out of proportion to the actual danger.


toilet training autism

Effective Interventions for Toilet Training Children with Developmental Disabilities
By: Hallie Rosenthal, Sabrina Riera & Suzi Naguib, Psy. D.
Are you experiencing difficulty in toilet training your child who is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? If so, you share a common experience with many parents of children with ASD. Research shows that while typically developing children are usually toilet trained between ages 2–3, toilet training is often delayed and at times never achieved in children with ASD.



Effective Treatments for Children with Autism
By: Sabrina Riera and Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Has your child just been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? You are not alone in feeling emotional, overwhelmed, or just plain confused on what to do next. What services are out there? What are the best treatments? Which ones will deliver the best outcomes?



Behavioral Treatments for Sleep Disturbances in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders 
By: Abbey Herringshaw, Rachel Christensen, Sabrina Riera & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. 
Is getting your child who is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to sleep at night a struggle for your family? If so, you are not alone. Research shows that sleep disturbances are more common and pronounced in children with disabilities (Christodulu and Durand, 2004).



school shooting how to help children

Helping Children Cope with the Recent School Shooting in Connecticut 
By: Rachel Christensen, Sabrina Riera, & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
After a tragic event like the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it is only natural for us to feel a mixture of grief and anxiety; we are saddened by the loss of so many young lives and concerned for the safety of our children and community.



mindfulness parenting sunfield center autism suzi naguib rachel christensen abbey herringshaw

The Problem of Automatic Reactions in Parent-Child Interactions and How Mindful Parenting Can Help. 
By: Abbey Herringshaw, Karina G. Campos, Psy.D., Rachel Christensen & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Imagine that you, as many parents do, have just asked your child to clean his or her room. Your child ignores your request or simply says, “No.” a cycle of automatic reactions between parents and children tends to occur when challenging situations arise. Mindful parenting has been shown to help break these cycles while helping to create more positive parent-child interactions.



Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Available Resources for Families. 
By: Abbey Herringshaw, Suzi Naguib, Psy.D., & Karina G. Campos, Psy.D.
Learning that one’s child has autism can often come as overwhelming or frightening news. However, early identification allows parents to access available resources. Research shows that early intervention treatment services can greatly improve a child’s development.

adaptive physical activity program for adults with autism spectrum disorder sunfield center

Adapted Physical Activity for Adults Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
By: Leah Ketcheson, M.A., Suzi Naguib, Psy.D. & Karina G. Campos, Psy.D.
The health related benefits of engaging in physical activity have been well established and include, an increase in general health status (Warburton, Nicol, & Bredin, 2006), improved cardiovascular health (Morris & Froelicher, 1993), an increase in psychological benefits (Biddle, Fox, & Boutcher, 2000), and improved muscular strength and endurance (Pollock, et al., 2000).



resources for adults with autism aspergers ann arbor michigan sunfield centerAdults Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Available Resources. 
By: Abbey Herringshaw, Karina G. Campos, Psy.D. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Although receiving a diagnosis can be difficult for many, for some, receiving a diagnosis as an adult can also provide enormous comfort. In this blog, we aim to provide a starting point and framework for individuals who are interested in learning more about available resources for adults with ASD.



parent child interaction therapy ann arbor michigan sunfield centerParent Child Interaction Therapy: A Guide for Families Struggling to Manage their Child’s Disruptive Behaviors. Nov. 201
By: Abbey Herringshaw, Karina G. Campos, Psy.D. & Suzi Naguib, Psy.D.
Parenting is not always easy, particularly when a child’s temperament negatively affects his or her ability to adapt to the demands of daily life. Parents of children with behavioral difficulties, often experience increased frustration and higher levels of depression, particularly mothers. Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically-supported treatment approach designed to help parents manage problem behaviors while building a stronger relationship with their child.