LACIA in the Media

Understanding ASD

Dr. Allison Kawa, a clinical psychologist and Director at the Los Angeles Center for Integrated Assessment, talks about understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the variety of challenges faced by different genders in terms of coping and diagnosis. She covers the common ways that ASD presents itself in males vs. females, and why dangerous misdiagnoses so often occur. Her broad areas of expertise include learning and processing differences, attention disorders, autism, and anxiety or mood issues.

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Dr. Julie Caplan joins Rachel and Stephanie on the podcast to discuss how ADHD manifests differently in boys and girls. Dr. Caplan explains ADHD, how it shows up differently from “traditional ADHD” in girls, and why it often gets missed in girls. She further discusses the insatiability of people with ADHD and what parents should look for in their learners if they suspect ADHD.

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Should We Worry About Screen Time…

How much screen time is too much? That is a loaded question many parents are asking during this unprecedented pandemic and the answer isn’t exactly simple. In the past, many pediatricians have set guidelines and time limits on screen time; now those are thrown out the window as millions of students have been faced with distance learning and changes in how they socialize. There is no better time to have this discussion today with our guest, Dr. Allison Kawa.

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Part 1: Learning the Business…

“I’ve been running a business for ten years and …they don’t teach you how to run a business in psychology school,” says Allison Kawa, PsyD, yet she’s successfully founded and owned more than one. In this episode, Dr. Kawa shares how she’s become a businesswoman and psychologist.

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Part 2: Learning the Business…

“Dr. Kawa shares a lot about being a working single mother, how she took career chances, and how she learned to become a very successful business owner…especially coming from a discipline where how to launch and operate a business was not taught in school. In the second half of our interview, listen to Dr. Kawa to learn the ‘can do’s’ for professionals who want to run a business too.”

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Screen Madness!

Is screen time the assassin of youth, the elixir of connection, or possibly both?

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Healthline article with Dr. Allison Kawa

“’Younger children do not have the self-management capacity to sit in front of a computer, keep track of Zoom schedules and time passage, and monitor their work pace, because the parts of their brains that mediate these skills simply are not developed yet,’” she explained, adding that these are developmentally inappropriate tasks for kids.

~Written by Leah Campbell, Healthline Media

PsychCentral article with Dr. Allison Kawa

“Symptoms can improve or become worse based on stress factors in the kids’ lives or how well the family manages their ADHD. ‘Things like the fit between the student and their academic or home environment, level of stress, and even activity level all play into the severity of symptoms,’ Kawa explained. 

For example, ‘many kids who would have probably fallen into the ‘mild’ category pre-COVID-19 are looking more ‘moderate’ and ‘severe’ given the stress of quarantine, limited access to exercise, and distance-learning demands,’ Kawa said.”

~Written by Steven Rowe, PsychCentral

Parents article with Dr. Allison Kawa

“‘Peers become more important to kids during this time, and one of the changes that goes along with that is a desire for privacy — in the bathroom, while dressing, with diaries, and so on,’ says Allison Kawa, Psy.D., a Los Angeles child and adolescent psychologist. It’s hard not to take this new phase personally, but the challenge for you then is to let your kid have some time by herself while continuing to keep her safe. Luckily, it’s easy to strike that balance.”

~Written by Leslie Garisto Pfaff, Parents Magazine

Babygaga article with Dr. Allison Kawa

“‘If explaining isn’t the style you want to go with when teaching your toddler the concept of time, you can always keep it basic by making it visual.’ Allison Kawa, Psy.D., a child psychologist in Los Angeles, says when a child can see what’s going on, they can absorb more information.”

~Written by Katrina Butcher, Babygaga

The Parenting Asperger's Blog with Dr. Allison Kawa

“And so I frequently will have these assessment meetings with parents and then I’ll give them a homework assignment. I’ll say, ‘Go home, go watch your movie. Go watch your kids’ second birthday party and their third birthday party. Go watch Christmas. See how they work. See how they are interacting with you. Look through your baby books. Help to jog your memory,’ because that early history is such an important part of the diagnostic process.”

~Interview by Dave Angel, The Parenting Asperger’s Blog

AnswersToAll article with Dr. Allison Kawa

“Sensory dysregulation tends to get better with neurological maturation, but in many cases, it does not go away altogether,” says Allison Kawa, PsyD, a Los Angeles child psychologist. “Most people learn coping strategies as they grow up.

~Written by Joe Ford, AnswersToAll

SheKnows article with Dr. Allison Kawa

“Parents should find someone they trust who can give them a bird’s eye view of their child’s strengths and weaknesses to help prioritize a treatment plan. An expert in the field, such as a developmental pediatrician, developmental psychologist, or caseworker, can give parents the guidance they need to navigate the beginning of a child’s program, especially at a time when parents are feeling vulnerable and confused.”

~Written by Michelle Maffei, SheKnows Media