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Archive for December 2016


A Gift that Gives for a Lifetime

Big stack of colorful Christmas presentsWhen my empathy feels like it’s running low, I call up a few important memories. One makes me smile every time. It is my mother pulling the car over on the busy Boston Jamaica Way, turning on the car’s flashers, rummaging through our beach cooler, and handing over half of her tuna fish sandwich to a homeless guy. For several summers, he’d claimed a small spot to call his home along the Emerald Necklace, a loop of winding river, old trees, and beautiful parks surrounding the city. Whenever he was there, she’d make it her business that he had something to eat.

How do you show your empathy to your children so they will learn by example?

Empathy is most often a gentle, un-publicized, and ongoing gesture. Empathy isn’t a grand gesture. It is not a one time conspicuous donation or 20 hours that fills a community service requirement. It runs deep in our bones and soul. It is a mysterious mixture of warm feeling towards others paired with our remarkable brain skill of adopting another’s viewpoint, the proverbial walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Most often, empathy is nearly invisible, a deeply caring personal gift that we won’t ever see given from one person to another – but fortunately – here’s one that we can read about. It warms the heart during this winter’s cold and pulls us out from our often hurried, impersonal days. I hope you take a moment to read this New York Times article. And please share this post with family and friends.

Please contact Dr. Rao about reproducing any material found on these pages.

What to look for in a Practitioner

If you have a child that is struggling, and you want to find a practitioner to help, here are some helpful tips:

  • Look for a practitioner who listens – not one who jumps into immediate labels. Labels like ADHD, Executive Functioning or Sensory-Integration – especially when assigned in the first meeting, really don’t mean much or help in the long run. They can be helpful as a quick starting point, but they grossly over-simplify reality.
  • Look for a practitioner who is more practical and willing to be creative in solving problems and struggles, sees things from different angles, joins with you, and doesn’t rely too much on off-the-shelf… one-size-fits-all... techniques or terms
  • You are the consumer: interview them to see if they’re the right fit. You should only meet  for 1-2 sessions and then decide to stay or find others.
  • Don’t assume all practitioners are equal in skill and experience. we’re no different than any other specialized profession. We’re like plumbers, electricians, lawyers, surgeons, pilots, contractors… experience and training and talent vary considerably!

Please contact Dr. Rao about reproducing any material found on these pages.