If you are a parent, grandparent, or educator, you may know the frustration of loving a child deeply yet struggling to manage behavior that is defiant, impulsive, compulsive, or destructive. Additionally, children may be successful behaviorally but struggle academically regardless of effort. As we care for children, it is the loving adults’ responsibility to find ways to set all children up for success to the best of our ability. Dr. Sanam Hafeez of the Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services shares that desire.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a sought-after television, media, and print personality, often appearing on the Dr. Oz Show, CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, and WPIX new shows, as well as contributing to newspapers, journals, and magazines (print and online), such as Fortune magazine, WebMD, Yahoo! Health, MSN Health and Lifestyle, Business Insider, and US News and World Report.
We asked Dr. Hafeez some questions to better understand the need for Psychological support to help children be successful in managing the pressures of childhood today. Those responses are included below. To find out more about the diverse services and extensive experience of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, please read more at: ComprehendtheMind.com.
1. Why did Dr. Hafeez choose Forest Hills for her practice?
I grew up in Kew Gardens, a sister neighborhood to Forest Hills. Forest Hills is where I shopped, ate, and saw many of my own doctors. I still do! It is a large yet small neighborhood. It’s one that is old-fashioned, gentrified even, maintaining its quaintness while welcoming new additions, both businesses and residents.
2. What distinguishes Forest Hills from other neighborhoods?
Like my native Kew Gardens, it is beautiful with its Tudor homes and its tree lined streets that speak of another era altogether, allowing us New Yorkers, to enjoy New York in a tranquil and scenic time-out. Its accessible by subway, the LIRR, buses and the Grand Central Parkway, not to mention the great Queens Boulevard. It’s nice to be 20-30 minutes from midtown Manhattan both by car and train, but I often find that you don’t need to go there because Forest Hills offers it all!
3. A report by Fox News Health states:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken note of just how much time people are spending playing video games and is now considering adding “Gaming Disorder” to its official list of diagnosable diseases.
What is your opinion on the “Gaming Disorder”?
As a neuropsychologist, and a specialist in child development, I see an alarming increase in use of cell phones, tablets, and excessive playing of video games, both in young children and teenagers. The threat and risks to their mental health, development, and future prospects, are very real. There is a significant amount of data and empirical evidence that points to tangible damage from excessive gaming. Classifying it as a disorder is not a stretch at all. I think we are looking at an epidemic.
4. As parents, we’re facing extensive amounts of “disorders” in our world today, ones that our own parents had never even heard of in the past. What do you think are the contributing factors to these disorders, namely ADD, ADHD, and learning disabilities?
Multiple items can be identified as contributing factors. Today, there is more awareness of developmental risks, changes, and consequences. Adding to those factors is the decreased ability of even busier parents to meet the needs and challenges of their own lives as well as the demands of the children. Children are inundated with the ever present media (TV, streaming movies, and shows, cell phones, tablets, video games and social media) which play critical roles in the rise of the ‘disorders’ we see around us. The pressure on children to perform in school has created an increased focus on the use of drugs to treat everything from poor attention to declining grades to a rowdiness.
5. What are your hours of operation?
We are open Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 6:30 p.m. We have a location on the Upper East Side on East 79th street as well with some weekend hours.
6. Are your services covered by health insurance?
Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services is unique in several ways. One of the most obvious is that unlike other neuropsychological assessment practices, we accept almost ALL commercial insurances. We also accept credit cards. Our fees for uninsured patients are very reasonable.
As an educator for nearly thirty years, I’ve had a steady flow of challenging students mixed into each class. My ultimate goal is to help each and every child be successful by determining their needs and working with the school and family to meet those needs. Sometimes, in order to find that success, outside support is needed in the form of counseling, behavioral interventions, and yes, even medication. One of my favorite success stories involves a student who entered my third grade class absolutely refusing to read. This was one symptom among others indicating that something was amiss.
After observing various facets of this child’s behavior over the next 4 months, I recommended that the parents discuss the situation with the pediatrician. They were referred to a psychologist who was able to provide a diagnosis with a treatment plan.
Over the next several months, this young man grew in his confidence and enjoyed a new sense of “rest” in his body that enabled him to engage in learning like he hadn’t in the past. I was also able to provide him with needed accommodations. End of the year assessment results resoundingly confirmed that the parents had made a wise choice in seeking outside help.
Not every story has such a positive ending. Too many parents refuse to seek help because they are concerned about labels or stigma being associated with their child. However, when a child’s success is a priority, then their loving adults need to set aside such concerns in pursuit of enabling children to be all they are designed to be.
Please visit www.ComprehendtheMind.com to learn more about their practice, services, and fees.