This course is designed to help parents identify the source of their child’s behavior and learn what they can do about it.

During each class, we provide proactive strategies for raising children with difficult temperaments and developmental differences. Parents will learn to customize their approach to fit their child’s unique profile.

Different approaches for different kids!

Is this program right for me?

By design, these groups have been mixed, focusing on children of different ages with different issues. The Foundations course is for children who range in age anywhere from preschool to early adolescence and have any type of developmental difference - just challenging temperaments or specific disorders - including, ADHD, Autism Spectrum and other problems with social development, Learning Disabilities, Anxiety and other Mood Disorders, etc. Some participants will have children with relatively mild problems; others, more challenging. The whole idea is to individualize your approach to behavior management. We will review some universal principles but one strategy will not fit all. By hearing about different children, you will enlarge your own behavioral tool kit. You will learn how to understand your child’s unique developmental profile, and then individualize your approach.

The other courses are also aimed at kids with a variety of developmental differences, but the target ages differ depending on the course. For example, Between Parents and Adolescents is for parents of teens. First Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask is for parents of kids who are any age.

What’s this program based on?

Nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Shapiro ran parent groups in his General Pediatrics practice based on Russell Barkley’s Defiant Children program. Over the years, he has modified the program to include the ideas in Ross Green’s The Explosive Child, Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism, William Carey’s work on temperament - and more. The material presented in this class is based on the work of these innovative researchers; Dr. Shapiro has developed a program that integrates the best of these time-tested approaches to give parents an approach that’s understandable and effective.

Want to learn more about Dr. Shapiro and the origins of this class? Read the article about "The Child Whisperer" that appeared in the August 2015 issue of the Washingtonian magazine.

Want to learn more about collaborative problem solving? How to change your approach as your children get older? How to know when to push a bit more and when to back off? Listen to a podcast in which Dr. Steve Silvestro interviews Dr. Shapiro about these issues, and more from March, 2016.

Does it really work?

For every course we've taught, we have asked parents to complete behavior rating scales at the beginning and the end of the course. 75% of class participants report substantial improvement in their children’s behavior. In addition, caregivers will meet others who share their experiences, which will help them feel less alone in their challenges. Moreover, when parents and extended family have differences of opinion or style, this course often helps bring them together and reduces household tension.

What should I expect when I come?

You can find a copy of the course materials here. Each week, there will be a specific topic. We will present some new concepts and strategies. Discussion will be structured but very informal and relaxed. Questions and comments will be encouraged. We will talk about how to implement strategies for different kids in different homes. There will be “homework”. Detailed handouts will be provided to share with others involved in your child’s life. Talking about what to do is important but actually doing it is what matters. Each session begins with sharing homework successes and frustrations. Respectfully and non-judgmentally, we will offer each other suggestions and fine-tune our approaches. Your kids need time and understanding. You do too.