The Best Advice for Parents with a Child Starting Speech Therapy

The Best Advice for Parents with a Child Starting Speech Therapy

As parents, any time we perceive our child is struggling, it’s natural to struggle along with them.  If you and your child are new to speech therapy, it’s no different, and the prospect of beginning a program can be daunting.  Here is information to help guide your decisions and help you and your child feel comfortable.

Finding the Right Fit

One of the best ways to ensure your confidence is selecting a speech therapist who puts you and your child at ease.  Start by examining candidates’ credentials, and don’t be shy about asking for information.  Explore backgrounds and licensing information.  Note there are numerous online programs which are worthwhile, but do your homework to verify whomever you’re considering has a degree through an accredited program

Teach2Talk points out it’s generally in your child’s best interests to choose a speech pathologist with experience as well, rather than someone who has recently graduated.  Also, when talking with candidates, think about not only whether you feel comfortable with how each one communicates with you, but also consider how your child communicates.  You want your youngster to feel relaxed about therapy, not nervous or misunderstood.

What to Expect

Once you find the right fit, there is a fairly standard procedure you can expect a speech therapist to follow.  The first thing will be an assessment of your child, examining where delays might be.  Some of the details a speech pathologist might screen include the ability to make certain sounds, the ability to comprehend and use language, and the ability to use language socially.  From there, your therapist will develop goals and a program to help meet those goals.  Oftentimes there are things parents can do at home to enhance the child’s therapy program as well. 

At-Home Exercises

Parents often feel helpless when their children are struggling with a communication issue, but thankfully, there are many ways you can help your child.  On top of that, several at-home exercises are fun for you and your youngster, so you can both look forward to the time together.  You can play games like hopscotch, with your child repeating a word every time she hops on a number.  Practicing lip, tongue, cheek, and mouth movements is also helpful, so you can turn blowing on dandelions, playing a harmonica, or sipping drinks through a straw into subtle and fun therapy exercises.  And don’t forget classic tongue twisters!  When you serve up some ice cream, don’t hesitate to turn it into speech therapy-fun with, “I scream you scream, let’s all scream for ice cream!”

Rethinking Routine Activities

There are probably some things you and your child already do together which, with a bit of tweaking, could be considered part of your supportive activities.  For example, when your child is painting or coloring, talk about the colors and ask your child to repeat them back to you.  Have your kiddo ask you for the colors she wants, and build on the conversation as skills improve.  Similarly, putting together puzzles and playing games can be part of therapy.  Ask your child to identify objects, and coach her with prompts.  Keep things light, fun, and encouraging, rather than turning it into work.  Think of it as a time for making memories for you both, not just building skills.

Easing your Child’s Anxiety

Kids are often self-conscious about anything that makes them “different,” and Speech Buddies points out it can help build your child’s confidence to meet other children with similar speech challenges.  Being with other kids who have common concerns can provide a sense of belonging.  Also, be conscious of how you communicate with your child.  Avoid finishing sentences for her, maintain eye contact when you’re talking together, and be patient with your child’s side of the conversation. 

Starting anything new feels challenging, especially when it comes to your child’s well-being.  Research therapists to find the right fit, learn what to expect, augment your child’s program, and help your child feel at ease.  Facing the process together and making preparations will make you both feel better and will help ensure success. 

By Jenny Wise, mom to a child on the autism spectrum

Cyberbullying – New Online CE Course

Cyberbullying is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews evidenced-based research for identification, management and prevention of cyberbullying in children, adolescents, and adults.

Cyberbullying is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews evidenced-based research for the identification, management, and prevention of cyberbullying.

Bullies have moved from the playground and workplace to the online world, where anonymity can facilitate bullying behavior. Cyberbullying is intentional, repeated harm to another person using communication technology. It is not accidental or random. It is targeted to a person with less perceived power. This may be someone younger, weaker, or less knowledgeable about technology. Any communication device may be used to harass or intimidate a victim, such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer. Any communication platform may host cyberbullying: social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), applications (Snapchat, AIM), websites (forums or blogs), and any place where one person can communicate with – or at – another person electronically. The short and long-term effects of bullying are considered as significant as neglect or maltreatment as a type of child abuse. 

This course will describe specific cyberbullying behaviors, review theories that attempt to explain why bullying happens, list the damaging effects that befall its victims, and discuss strategies professionals can use to prevent or manage identified cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a fast-growing area of concern and all healthcare professionals should be equipped to spot the signs and provide support for our patients and clients, as well as keep up with the technology that drives cyberbullying. Course #21-32 | 2019 | 40 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

COURSE DIRECTIONS


Cyberbullying is on online course and provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Laura More, MSW, LCSW, is a healthcare author and licensed clinical social worker. Laura was one of the founding partners of Care2Learn, a provider of online continuing education courses for the post-acute healthcare industry. She now provides healthcare authoring services. She has authored over 120 online continuing education titles, co-authored evidence-based care assessment area resources and a book, The Licensed Practical Nurse in Long-term Care Field Guide. She is the recipient of the 2010 Education Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Edie Deane, MS-CCC, is a creative leader who infuses all her work with an entrepreneurial spirit. Edie’s career spans healthcare areas from hands-on service to e-business. Her portfolio of experience includes:  leadership, strategic and business development as online education company Care2Learn’s founder/owner; operations, administration, and education/training in national rehabilitation companies; and development of an e-learning department in a prominent healthcare software company. Edie currently owns ED Consulting & Coaching, focused on services for the LTPAC ecosystem. 

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHAProvider #AAUM); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the TexasBoard of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and techniques for helping children to navigate their emotions.

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and techniques for helping children navigate their emotions.

Emotional regulation is the ability to manage one’s emotions in order to respond appropriately to life’s inevitable ups and downs. It assists with competent decision-making, augments memory for critical events, and enables productive interpersonal relations. Inappropriate emotional responses are implicated in academic struggles, social difficulties, and many forms of psychopathology. Although children with emotional regulation issues may be at a disadvantage, adults can employ a variety of strategies to help them succeed.

This course provides techniques clinicians can use to model effective communication in therapy sessions and strategies to assist children with navigating the often confusing world of emotions, giving them the skills they need to manage their own feelings. Course #31-17 | 2019 | 68 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

COURSE DIRECTIONS

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm is on online course and provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP, is a Parent Educator, Professional Development Instructor and Speech-Language Pathologist working with children in a school setting. She received her B.A. in history from Queens College and her M.S. in communication sciences from Hunter College. Adina is the founder of ParentingSimply.com. She delivers parenting classes as well as professional development workshops for Speech-Language Pathologists, teachers and other health professionals. Adina is available for speaking engagements. You can reach her at asoclof@parentingsimply.com or check out her website at www.parentingsimply.com.

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores how the digital world is affecting teens of successive generations.

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores how digital media is affecting teens of successive generations.

It is becoming clear that the effects of digital media are affecting each successive generation of teenagers in ways that are only now beginning to come into view. iGen’ers’ communication and behaviors differ from those that characterized the Baby Boomers, Millennials, and the XGen’ers. We now know that the adolescent brain is still developing, and some digital behaviors do affect ongoing brain growth. Neuroplasticity can be affected by repetitive or obsessive behaviors, and the digital world offers risks for those adolescents who may engage in excessive video gaming. This course is for professionals, teachers, and parents who are seeking any available information that will help them to monitor their adolescents’ online behavior, teach teens how to remain safe while online, and model appropriate digital behaviors. Included are strategies that can help contribute to a balance between the digital world and the real-time, face-to-face lives of older children and adolescents. Course # 31-18 | 2019 | 52 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

COURSE DIRECTIONS

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents is online course and provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janet Harrison, PhD, CCC-SLP, has been an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education in Speech-Language Pathology at Purdue University, an Associate Professor at Marshall University and an Assistant Professor at Valdosta State University. Prior to her university positions she was Administrative Director of Clinical Services, Devereux Hospital & Neurobehavioral Institute of Texas, and developed a clinical program as the director of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Devereux Hospital & Children’s Center of Florida. Dr. Harrison has worked extensively in both medical and educational settings for intervention with children and adolescents who have language disorders as well as emotional/behavioral disorders.

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!


Eating Disorder Toolkit – New CE Course

Eating Disorder Toolkit is a new 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides an overview of the current research on the prevalence, treatment, and role of the RDN in the care of eating disorders.

Eating Disorder Toolkit is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides an overview of the current research on the prevalence, treatment, and role of the RDN in the care of eating disorders.

Eating disorders (ED) are severe psychiatric disorders that are associated with increased levels of social, psychological, and physical impairment as well as high levels of morbidity and mortality. This toolkit will address the three main eating disorders as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5): Binge Eating Disorder (BED), Anorexia Nervosa (AN), and Bulimia Nervosa (BN). The previous catch-all category of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) has been replaced with Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED) and will not be discussed in this course.

Goals of medical nutrition therapy for eating disorders will be discussed, along with steps in the Nutrition Care Process. Laboratory values to monitor, signs/symptoms and risk factors to consider, and treatment guidelines are provided. A final section includes a case study, resources for both clinicians and clients, and screening tools to assess the presence of an eating disorder. Course #11-27 | 2019 | 21 pages | 10 posttest questions

COURSE DIRECTIONS

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Ross, MSH, RDN, LDN, FAND, is an instructor in the College of Health at the University of North Florida (UNF), where she is currently completing her doctorate in clinical nutrition. Her areas of focus include counseling, intuitive and mindful eating, binge eating, impulsive & compulsive eating, eating disorders, weight concerns, recipe modification, insulin resistance, and maternal/infant nutrition. Jen received her BA in Human Services from Elon College, and BSH and MSH in Health Science/Nutrition from UNF.

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is a CPE Accredited Provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR #PR001). CPE accreditation does not constitute endorsement by CDR of provider programs or materials. Feedback for this activity can be sent directly to CDR. Professional Development Resources is also a provider with the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition (#50-1635) and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 75 CDR-approved online CE courses for dietitians. Click here to view all.

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Florida Dietitian License Renewal

Florida-licensed dietitian nutritionists (LDNs) have an upcoming license renewal deadline of May 31, 2019.

License Renewal Requirements:

CE Required: 30 hours every 2 years, including: 
2 hours Preventing Medical Errors (required each renewal) 
3 hours HIV/AIDS (required first renewal only) 
Online CE Allowed: 20 hours (10 hours must be “live”) 
License Expiration: 5/31, odd years

Still need CE? You can earn up to 20 hours per renewal through online courses @ PDR. We report to CE Broker for you! Order now and Save 20% on courses:

Florida dietitians save 20% on CE courses @pdresources.org

Over 50 online courses to choose from! Online courses allow you to earn CE whenever and wherever YOU love to be. Check out our Closeout Sale to save even more on CE.

Enjoy 20% off ALL Online CE courses for your Florida LDN license renewal. Use coupon code PDR423 at checkout to redeem. Valid on future orders only.


Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Therapy Tidbits – March/April 2019

The latest volume in our Therapy Tidbits series is here:

Therapy Tidbits – March/April 2019 is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the March/April 2019 issue of The National Psychologist.

Therapy Tidbits – March/April 2019 is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the March/April 2019 issue of The National Psychologist, a private, independent bi-monthly newspaper intended to keep psychologists informed about practice issues. The articles included in this course are:

  • Major Push Seeks to Expand RxP Jurisdictions – Discusses the efforts of the RxP movement, including challenges along the path to prescription authority for psychologists.
  • Controversy Swirls around APA Guidelines on Men, Boys – Explains the purpose of the APA guidelines, and the criticism they have undergone.
  • PSYPACT Almost Ready to Take Effect – Introduces what PSYPACT is and explains what needs to happen for it to commence.
  • Retirees are Untapped Market for Psychologists – Explains how psychologists can help those planning for retirement, and those who are in process of it.
  • Integrated Care is Future for Psychology – Acknowledges the changing healthcare platform and provides suggestions for future psychologists to excel in integrated care.
  • Rule-Making, State Boards Reshaping Psychology – Questions the TSBEP decision to grant unsupervised practice to masters-level Licensed Psychological Associates (LPAs).
  • Pain Management Demands Attention to Mental Health – Discusses how psychologists can be integral in ending the war on prescription drug abuse.
  • Choosing Interpreter Requires Considerations – Provides points to consider when choosing an interpreter for use in clinical practice.
  • Practicalities in Animal Assisted Therapy – Provides practical, experience-based advise on including animals in your practice with patients.

Course #11-26 | 2019 | 19 pages | 10 posttest questions

  • CE Credit: 1 Hour
  • Target Audience: Psychologists
  • Learning Level: Introductory
  • Course Type: Online

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635).

COURSE DIRECTIONS

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You’ll have 3 years from purchase date to complete for credit.  Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Preventing Medical Errors for Florida SLPs

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines how medical errors can be prevented in the practice of speech-language pathology.

Preventing Medical Errors in Speech-Language Pathology is a 2-hour online CEU course for Florida SLPs.

The intent of this course is to include all of the elements required for an approved medical errors course for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists, including topics and case examples that will resonate with both novice and seasoned clinicians. It is a required course for Florida licensees and satisfies their biennial requirement. It is intended to be of clinical interest to all SLPs and audiologists who wish to increase their awareness of the ways in which patients can be harmed and the many strategies for anticipating and avoiding such undesirable outcomes.

This course addresses the impact of medical errors on today’s health care with a focus on root cause analysis, error reduction and prevention, and patient safety. Multiple scenarios of real and potential errors in the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology across the continuum of practice are included, along with recommended strategies for preventing them. Evidence shows that the most effective error prevention occurs when a partnership exists among care facilities, health care professionals, and the patients they treat. Course #21-31 | 2019 | 45 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

CE INFORMATION

ASHA-logo-long-PS-575

This course is offered for 0.2 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area). 

ASHA credit expires 2/25/2024. ASHA CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the quarterly completion report from the ASHA Approved CE Provider (#AAUM5150). Please note that the date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter in which the course was completed. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635). 

Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Dietary Supplements & Mental Health

Research into the link between dietary supplements and the treatment of mental health shows promising results. Here's a quick intro.

Mental illness has become a widespread epidemic across not only the United States, but around the world. Depression, in particular, is increasingly common—shown to affect up to 20 percent of the general population during some point in their lives. The current treatments available for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, including medication and therapy, do not always provide relief for patients. In fact, as many as half of all patients who are prescribed an SSRI for depression will find the first medication they try insufficient.

People are turning more to alternatives in the hopes of better treating their mental health conditions. This has led to a sizable market of people seeking relief not found in conventional medications and treatments. Certain forms of dietary supplements, especially those that contain probiotics and enzymes, have shown promising results in clinical trials and hold the hope of a new way to treat these serious and often life-threatening illnesses.  

Dietary Supplement Use

About half of all Americans take a dietary supplement, and many of these are people looking to find a natural treatment for their mental or mood conditions. This can be due to side effects experienced on psychotropic medications or a lack of sufficient relief of their symptoms. Chronic mental health issues, such as a major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety, are a predictor of dietary supplement use. Medical practitioners as well are searching for innovative alternatives to standard mental health interventions that provide better results.

Dietary supplements can present an affordable alternative when the cost of medication and ongoing therapy is prohibitive, which is the reality for many patients. In a 2002 study, it was found that 35 percent of internet users searched for information on alternative and complementary treatments for their medical conditions, and this number has skyrocketed in the years since.

Much research has shown that a person’s diet can significantly affect their mental health, both directly and indirectly, by influencing the production and use of key neurotransmitters in the brain. However, many people following a standard American diet struggle to get adequate intake of essential nutrients.

For many years, treatments were centered on influencing the brain’s chemistry directly via medications that increased neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Now the focus has turned to exploring the impact of digestive health on the brain.

The Brain-Gut Axis

Increasingly, researchers are learning more about what is termed the “brain-gut axis.” This connection between the central nervous system and the digestive tract was discovered in the last few decades and has been investigated for antidepressant and anti-anxiety efforts. It’s theorized that the brain and digestive system communicate continuously with one another. Psychiatric disorders have been linked to changes in the bacteria that live inside the gut.

Only recently did researchers find there is a separate nervous system located inside the intestine, which produces the same neurotransmitters as the brain. An imbalance of these neurotransmitters in the gut can create problems, just like it can with the brain. These problems present in the form of gastrointestinal symptoms.

The Birth of Nutritional Psychiatry

Nutritional psychiatry is a term that encompasses this new frontier of psychiatry which explores this brain-gut axis further, focusing on how diet affects each individual’s mental health. Dietary supplements can be an important factor, filling any nutritional gaps as well as providing additional support for the body.

A type of dietary supplementation of particular usefulness is probiotics. Probiotics (often called “good bacteria”) are microorganisms that live naturally in the digestive system. Forty types of probiotics have been identified as naturally occurring in a healthy human gut. Supplementation can be effective when an imbalance of gut bacteria is suspected. Probiotics have been shown to provide a therapeutic effect for many patients, not only in regard to their digestive problems but also with their mental health.

Another useful dietary supplement is digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes are crucial to the natural breakdown of foods in the body. Studies have shown that many people with depression and anxiety lack sufficient enzymes, making proper absorption of vitamins, minerals and medications a challenge. The introduction of digestive enzymes as a dietary supplement allows the body to properly absorb these elements, potentially improving depression and anxiety symptoms.

Probiotics and prebiotics have gained massive popularity in recent years and are now the third most sought-after natural product in the United States. Therefore, the addition of probiotics and prebiotics to a product can significantly enhance its profitability. With the possibility of not only supporting digestive health but improving mental health, this number can only grow. Enzymes, too, have shown a significant benefit to patients suffering both digestive woes and mild to moderate mental disorders.

Gastrointestinal Disorders and Mental Health

Mental health and gastrointestinal disturbances are often linked, as with the case of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one study of 44 adults who were suffering from both IBS and depression, over half of the patients in the non-placebo group had a significant reduction in their depression scores after six weeks. One theory is that for some patients, by clearing up worrisome physical symptoms, mental health improves.

However, direct activity on neurotransmitters has also been demonstrated. In the study, changes were seen in the limbic system, which is responsible for processing emotions. This suggests the use of probiotics in some patients could play an essential part in improving their mental health. The addition of probiotics was also shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays a major role in neuroplasticity and memory and is usually reduced in patients diagnosed with depression.

Research Findings for Probiotics

While studies are still limited, findings have been extremely promising. Numerous studies have suggested that using a dietary supplement featuring probiotics and enzymes can improve the symptoms of certain mental health conditions, especially major depressive disorder. Probiotics, in particular, have been demonstrated to positively affect neurotransmitter activity, thereby improving depression and anxiety in some patients.

This is mainly due to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is also a target of most antidepressants. While antidepressants prevent the reuptake of serotonin into the synapses, probiotics may regulate the amount of serotonin produced and improve the body’s ability to use this crucial neurotransmitter. 

Precautions

As certain dietary supplements have the potential to have adverse interactions with prescription drugs or other supplements, the patient must always consult with their doctor and inform them fully of all dietary supplements they’re taking. Side effects should be reported promptly.

In Conclusion

A review of the current literature shows a promising link between dietary supplements, enzymes and probiotics, and the relief of mental health symptoms, and probiotics manufacturers are taking note. Sufficient evidence suggests that adding specialized dietary supplements with enzymes and probiotics to the diet of someone suffering from depression or anxiety may be beneficial, whether or not they’re currently taking a prescription for the condition. With these findings, more manufacturers are opting to further explore the link between dietary supplementation and mental health treatment.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Nutrition and Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Concepts is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines how what we eat influences how we feel, both physically and mentally. While the role of adequate nutrition in maintaining mental health has been established for some time, just how clinicians go about providing the right nutritional information to the patient at the right time – to not just ensure good mental health, but actually optimize mood – has not been so clear. With myriad diets, weight loss supplements and programs, clients often find themselves reaching for the next best nutritional solution, all the while, unsure how they will feel, or even what to eat to feel better. On the other side of the equation, clinicians so often face not just a client’s emotional, situational, and relational concerns, but concerns that are clearly mired in how the client feels physically, and what impact his/her nutritional health may have on these concerns. For example, research into the role of blood sugar levels has demonstrated a clear crossover with client impulse control. Additionally, the gut microbiome, and its role in serotonin production and regulation has consistently made clear that without good gut health, mitigating anxiety and depression becomes close to impossible.

So if good mental health begins with good nutritional health, where should clinicians start? What advice should they give to a depressed client? An anxious client? A client with impulse control problems? This course will answer these questions and more. Comprised of three sections, the course will begin with an overview of macronutrient intake and mental health, examining recent popular movements such as intermittent fasting, carb cycling and ketogenic diets, and their impact on mental health. In section two, we will look specifically at the role of blood sugar on mental health, and research that implicates blood sugar as both an emotional and behavioral regulator. Gut health, and specifically the gut microbiome, and its influence on mood and behavior will then be explored. Lastly, specific diagnoses and the way they are impacted by specific vitamins and minerals will be considered. Section three will deliver specific tools, you, the clinician, can use with your clients to assess, improve and maximize nutrition to optimize mental health. ourse #11-06 | 2017 | 21 pages | 10 posttest questions

Nutrition and Depression: Advanced Clinical Concepts is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines how what we eat influences how we feel – and what we can do to improve both.

Depression is an increasingly common, complex, inflammatory condition that co-occurs with a host of other conditions. This course will examine how we can combat depression through nutrition, starting with an exploration of the etiology of depression – taking a look at the role of neurotransmitters, the HPA axis and cortisol, gene expression (epigenetics), upregulation and downregulation, and the connections between depression and immunity and depression and obesity. We will then turn our attention to macronutrients and investigate how factors such as regulating blood sugar, achieving amino acid balance, consuming the right fats, and eating fruits and vegetables can enhance mood, improve our decision-making, enhance cognitive processes, and reduce inflammation. From there, we will look at just how we go about the process of building a better brain – one neurotransmitter at a time. Exercises you can use with clients are included. Course #31-02 | 2018 | 42 pages | 20 posttest questions    

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Florida OT Renewal FAQs

We let you know last month that your Florida OT license renewal deadline has been extended and is now due by midnight on June 30, 2019. Click here for more info on the extension. Since then, many questions have been asked about how this will work.

Here’s the gist of it: If you have not completed all 26 of your required hours by 2/28, you’ll have until 6/30 to do so. If you have, any courses you take 3/1 forward will count toward your next renewal.

Brent Cheyne, OTD, OTR/L, FOTA President advises: “I recommend that every OT practitioner do their best to complete all the necessary CEs and to renew their license as soon as possible. This licensure renewal extension was intended for those suffering hardship and delays related to the Hurricane, and it was not intended to be taken advantage of by the whole of OT professionals in the state. You can avoid any undue complications, or unforeseen difficulties by renewing before the original date.”

Here’s a quick reminder of your renewal requirements:

CE Required: 26 hours each renewal, including: 
2 hours Preventing Medical Errors (required each renewal) 
2 hours Florida Occupational Therapy Laws & Rules (required each renewal) 
1 hour HIV/AIDS (required first renewal only) 
Online CE Allowed: 12 hours (14 hours must be live) 
License Renewal Deadline: Original 2/28/2019 | Extension 6/30/2019

If you have already met your CE requirements and are ready to renew, click here to renew your license with the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy.

Still need CE? You can earn up to 12 hours per renewal through online courses @ PDR. We report to CE Broker for you. Order now and Save 20% on courses:

Florida OTs Save 20% on CEUs @pdresources.org

Enjoy 20% off ALL Online CE courses for your Florida OT license renewal! Use coupon code PDR420 at checkout to redeem. Valid on all future orders thru 6/30/2019.

You can take the same required courses (medical errors & laws/rules) 
each renewal period. The board considers it a “refresh” of the knowledge.

We report to CE Broker for you – so you don’t have to! 
All courses are reported within a few days of completion.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!