SMARTer CARE Newsletters

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    Strategies for Summer Break 6/10/24

    Most people look forward to summer break – vacations, warmer weather, not having to wake up early for school. However, for many kids and families, summer breaks can be challenging because of the change from the usual routine. This is especially true for children and youth with mental health and developmental concerns, for whom structure […]

    Understanding Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: Mechanisms, Applications & Considerations 5/31/24

    Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) represent a class of antidepressant medications widely prescribed for various mood and anxiety disorders. Here, we provide an overview of SSRIs, including their mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic applications, adverse effects, and considerations for clinical practice. By synthesizing current research and clinical insights, we hope to enhance understanding of SSRIs […]

    Sensory Processing Concerns: What is it and how can a Sensory Diet help? Part 2

    In our last newsletter, we discussed Sensory Processing Disorder’s symptoms, possible causes and where to refer our patients suspected of this. This week we will discuss possible treatment and activities that are beneficial. Treatment Most OTs will work in session to develop sensory activities that can help with sensory processing concerns. This is referred to […]

    Sensory Processing Concerns: What is it and how can a Sensory Diet help? Part 1

    Case Presentation 7 year old boy with chief complaint of “frequent meltdowns”. Additional history: daily meltdowns (crying, hitting) with loud sounds or when asked to wear certain clothing; wants to make friends but poor boundaries and accidentally hurts peers at school when he is playing with them; hard time sitting during seat work at school […]

    Medication Treatment Algorithm for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care 4/16/24

    Adolescent depression is a significant mental health concern, with potential long-term implications if left untreated. While psychotherapy remains a cornerstone of treatment, medication can be an essential component for moderate to severe cases or when psychotherapy alone is insufficient. This medication treatment algorithm outlines evidence-based pharmacological interventions for adolescent depression, incorporating safety considerations, efficacy, and […]

    Tapering Antipsychotic Medications in Children and Adolescents:  Part II 4/2/24

    Continuing the discussion on the Off Label use of antipsychotic medications for minors, this edition of our newsletter addresses considerations in tapering and, when feasible, discontinuing treatment with these agents. Case Vignette: Steven is a 13-year old boy with autism, mild intellectual disability and expressive speech delay who presented 2 years ago with concerns related […]

    Tapering Antipsychotic Medications in Children and Adolescents: Part 1 3/21/24

    Although pediatricians do not often initiate prescriptions for antipsychotic agents, this and a subsequent e-newsletter edition discuss important issues in their use that can be of relevance to pediatric practice, both in managing acute clinical situations and in managing care for youth with longer term needs for these medicines. About 1% of children ages 7-12 […]

    Free Digital Supports for Kids & Families 2/28/24

    An important new resource for families with kids, teens and young adults up to age 25 has been launched by California’s Department of Health Care Services as part of the state’s CalHOPE program. This is a resource for youth and families that should be added to a provider’s tool kit in assisting patients and their […]

    Deprescribing Psychotropic Medication 2/7/24

    Medication regimens that were once good, might not be the best choice now. While psychotropic medications can be remarkably helpful in the management of many behavioral health disorders, it is not infrequently the case – particularly with children and adolescents— that revisions in established medication regimens are appropriate as the patient goes through the developmental […]

    Compassion Fatigue 1/11/24

    This week we would like to focus on you! As healthcare, emergency and/or community service professionals we are privileged to be able to offer our skills and compassion to those suffering from physical and emotional health challenges, yet while doing so we must attend to our own needs to sustain our physical, mental, emotional and […]