Dr. Steve Hobbs -- Licensed Psychologist

Adolescents and Children: Learning & Behavior

Adolescents and Children: Learning & Behavior

Parenting our children and adolescents has never been more challenging. The pace of change has quickened, and expectations for parents and children in our community is high.

I have been working successfully with children and adolescents and their parents for over 35 years as a teacher and psychologist. My work has had two basic areas of focus - learning difficulties and behavior difficulties

In our highly competitive community today, caring parents want their kids to succeed in school. At times both they and their child’s teacher(s) are confused by what looks like performance well below ability. In my work with underachieving children and adolescents and their parents I help to identify the obstacles to performance and assist kids in overcoming those obstacles so that they can be confident and successful learners.

My approach to removing the learning barriers includes:

  • An initial assessment, and collaboration with teachers and other professionals who have had significant involvement with the child (including testing)
  • Providing learning strategies that help a child overcome identified learning deficits
  • Providing assistance with organization and test-taking for those who could benefit
  • Helping students better manage anxiety about school success and performance
  • Helping particular groups of students whose learning difficulties can go unrecognized. Gifted children (who tend to be perfectionistic, intense and sensitive) and children with ADHD (who have great difficulty paying attention and concentrating) are two of these groups.

While some children and adolescents face learning challenges, others face challenges that tend to be more social and behavioral in nature and may keep them from full and rewarding participation with their peers. Among these behavioral challenges are:

  • Social challenges such as Asberger’s and non-verbal learning disorders
  • Social and separation anxiety
  • Depression and other forms of anxiety that can both limit achievement and affect behavior and peer relationships - phobias and panic disorders fit in this category.
  • Struggles with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors
  • Dealing with bullies and bullying
  • High-risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug use

These groups are not mutually exclusive. Children and adolescents may be both anxious and depressed for example. But with all groups, in addition to building specific skills, I am seeking in my work with children and parents to strengthen a child’s resilience, flexibility, and self-esteem.