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Dr. David Callies, Child & Adolescent Psychologist
 

Welcome to Gyro Psychology Services!

We provide psychological testing, assessment and treatment services to children, adolescents, young adults and families with a wide variety of mental health and behavioral needs. Gyro Psychology Services is committed to providing effective and compassionate psychological care that is grounded on sound research, practice and discipline.

We’ll collaborate with professionals who are involved in your child’s health care and education so that your child can reach their full potential in all areas of their lives.

Join us! We would be honored to be your partner in the behavioral healthcare of your child, adolescent and your family.

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Improving your Child’s Self-Control

Improving your Child’s Self-Control

It can be frustrating and embarrassing when your child has a temper tantrum while shopping in a crow[...]

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

Nurture Versus Nature: Finding My Identity As an Adopted Child

In my senior year of high school, I took AP Psychology. A chapter that particularly interested me outlined the debate of nature versus nurture. What had more of an effect on a developing child, genetics or environment? My psychology book went more in-depth, using examples of how psychologists would study children that were adopted. These children were separated from their parents at birth and raised by another family in a different environment. The psychologists would track down the adopted children and compare them to their birth parents. Sometimes there would be striking similarities between the child and their birth parents, but at the same time there were similarities between the child and their adoptive parents.

The reason why this concept intrigued me so much is that I was adopted when I was six months old. On May 8, 1996, I was born in Incheon City, South Korea and my mother gave me up for adoption that same day. A foster family took care of me while a family in the United States received a phone call that there was a baby girl up for a closed adoption. Six months later, that very same family picked me up from the airport in New York and became my family. That day I gained a mom, dad, older brother and sister.

They say in the teenage years, you begin to search for your identity, for what makes you so uniquely you. Over time, my search for my own identity has resulted in the following: I love playing sports, I am allergic to nickel, I'm very stubborn and have a quick temper, but I have great compassion for others, math is my worst subject and I'm almost freakishly good at darts.

There are many other things that define me, but when I read about the discussion about nurture versus nature, I suddenly had many more questions. Does my love for sports come from my adoptive parents? Were my birth mother or father allergic to nickel? All these questions were overwhelming me and there were very little answers.

I recently turned 18 years old. Because I had a closed adoption, I did not previously know much about my birth parents. But now because I am an adult, my adoption agency offers the option of connecting me to my birth mother. My mom encouraged me to try to find my birth mother, but I didn't know if I wanted to. I took time to consider it, but eventually I decided that I would look for my birth mother in my own time. Right now I have a loving family and even though I am interested in finding my birth parents, it doesn't have to be something that happens right away.

I want to personally address some aspects of adoption that I have experienced. I have and always will be very open with the details of my adoption. I know that my birth mother was young, unmarried and gave me up so that I could have a better future. The only difference between me and a non-adopted child is that I just happen to have two more parents. Questions about my adoption don't bother me because I am not ashamed. Rather, I think of my adoption of something that makes me unique because no one adoption story is exactly the same. My mom used to read "Legacy of an Adopted Child" to me when I was little and I think it perfectly embodies what it means to be an adopted child.

"Legacy of an Adopted Child"
Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives, shaped to make your one...
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it. ne gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
One gave you up ... that's all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me, through your fears,
the age old question unanswered throughout the years...
Heredity or environment, which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling neither.
Just two different kinds of love.

~ Author Unknown ~

Courtesy of the Huffington Post & Amanda King
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9 hours ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

A Teens Story on How She Transformed Math From Misery to Magic

I am not writing a blog about math because I love it. I hated math in grade school. When I was 8 years old I told my parents that I was stupid and would never understand it because math was "for the smart kids." Today it hurts me to hear the words smart or dumb in the classroom because I know that I would have been the "dumb kid" if I hadn't decided to convert math problems into stories. This lack of math motivation amongst us kids is a huge problem because math is vital to our future careers. According to research, majoring in math correlates to a higher salary. So how do we make math engaging for the masses, and what is one thing that humans all over the world love?

Storytelling.
Everyone knows Cinderella, Pinocchio and Superman, and you remember those stories for a lifetime. However, you probably will not remember the formulas you memorized in middle school. The math problems do not have colorful plots with characters that you could relate to like a movie or book. Context and stories matter when it comes to learning and retaining knowledge, and that's why most kids, particularly girls, rapidly lose interest in math by fifth grade.

Arithmetic starts with adding and subtracting apples -- something that kids can use in their daily lives. But by fifth grade, math becomes a frantic and mysterious search for x. So how do we combine these two forces, math and stories, to make formulas more memorable?

When you are learning a lesson or moral in a story you do not even realize you're being taught. Not only do you retain it, you become so engaged that you strive to become the hero in the story. This is because stories have been used to teach us since the dawn of humanity. Every culture, empire and civilization has fables that feature a hero whose action-packed journey shows us how to behave and prosper as a successful individual. It was never intended for stories to be separated from learning. Not until the last century did we build a brick wall to separate facts from fun, leaving colorful narratives on one side and equations on the other.

If stories are a part of who we are as humans, then why not teach math as a heroic journey in which the characters are numbers and the problems are compelling stories? Why not slay the dragon of Pi and live happily ever after in the faraway land of Algebra?

On the non-profit website, Storybookmath.org, we make videos and curriculum that do just that. We ask ourselves what are the three necessary ingredients to create a story? You need a hero (preferably with some odd idiosyncrasies and sidekicks), a colorful setting and a problem to solve -- and math is really good at solving problems.
For example, we created a video about a late night talk show where the guests were three statistical concepts -- the mean, median and mode.

Each guest explained his/her way to calculate the average number in a group of numbers. The "mean" was bossy, tough, but overall just an average guy -- pun intended. The "mode" character was an egotistical fashionista because the mode is the most frequently repeated number in an average, and, therefore, the most popular. The "median" was a geeky character who was always trying to get in the middle of the numbers. After watching that video, you'll never forget mean, median and mode because they became familiar, fun characters. Math, like everything else in life, becomes memorable when it's a story.

You can do this with any mathematical concept, like fractions. When changing a fraction into a decimal, you must divide the top number by the bottom number. It seems simple, but how do you make this memorable for a third grader? And how do you make these into a story? First, we have to ask what characters do third graders love? They adore stories of cowboys, princesses and pirates. If we make the top number a cowboy and the bottom number a horse, for example, it's easier to remember which goes into the "division house." Should horses sleep inside? No, the only logical thing to do would be to put the cowboy in the house. That's another simple story that captures the concept.

So if you are a teacher, a parent or student who hears the words "smart or dumb" in math class, think of a fun story and the math will soar like superman.

Courtesy of the Huffington Post & Vanessa Thompson
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2 days ago  ·  

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Here's a 14yo teen's experience of what it's like to be bullied.

If you or someone you know is being bullied at school or elsewhere please talk to your parents, school counselor and/or teacher about what's happening. You can also give us a call at 360-236-0206. We're here to help. ~Dr. Dave Callies

GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

This Is What It Really Feels Like to Be Bullied

I couldn't fall asleep last night. As I lay there staring at the celling, I tried to piece together what must be wrong with me. I'm a total loser with no friends. I am not invited to any parties, and the only person who likes to hang out with me during free time is the school nurse. I kept wondering how I was going to force myself to go to school the next day. How was I going to walk in the door? I kept wondering, how I was going to face the pain for another day?

I have been bullied since the first day of kindergarten. I can dissect everything a dirty look has to say within seconds. I have perfected the feeling of being isolated, and I am an Olympic athlete when it comes to eating lunch alone. My room is covered with inspirational quotes: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "If they don't like you for being yourself, be yourself even more." I'm constantly being told that it will all get better. That if I can get though the hard part, if I can hug the monster, one day all of this will be in the distant past, and the kids who torture me now will just be a mere blimp in my oblivion.

I have been trying since the first day of kindergarten when the mean girl took a permanent maker to the picture of a flower I spent all day working on to convince myself that the future will be better, but I am tired of coming home crying. I am tired of eating lunch alone in the ink section of the Staples two blocks away from my school. I am tired of being the victim of "catty girls" and "stupid boys." I am tired of waiting for some future that seems farther and farther away each morning I have to convince myself to go to school. I am tired of playing the friend game. I am tired of being punished for being myself.

When I was in fourth grade, Lindsay* dumped a mixture of Oreos and dirt right onto my head. I didn't even flinch. Instead I smiled and twirled. My grandmother once told me that if you smiled at someone they couldn't help but smile back. So that's what I did. I looked Lindsay right in the eyes and hoped that she would smile back. She didn't. Instead she laughed. She laughed at the freak that smiled and twirled after cookies and dirt were thrown on her head. When people talk about bullying they never seem to grasp the kind of pain I feel every day walking into school. It's the kind of pain that's hollow. The kind that makes you feel like shattering glass. The kind of pain that makes your heart physically hurt. I have lost all my ability to walk though hallways smiling, with my head up high. I forgot how to wave at people I don't know. When I walk though the halls, I look at my phone. I scroll though Facebook, I text my parents, I watch TED talks. I get to class; I sit down, look at my watch. I tell myself that there are only X amount of hours left in the day and that I'll be safe soon, curled up in bed with Netflix and tea.

Tomorrow morning I will wake up and play "Shake it Off" really loudly, then I'll proceed to tell myself all the anecdotes I have spent hours studying of celebrities who survived bullying. Finally, I will drag myself out of bed, force myself to wash my face, put makeup on, wear decent clothes, brush my hair and eat breakfast. I'll tell myself again and again that it will be okay until I am out the door and biting my nails on the walk to school. I don't want it to be like this.

I want school to be a safe place. I want to be able to walk though hallways with my head held high. I want to be treated like I am somebody worth something, I want to have friends and people waiting for me at lunch, but more than anything, I want to wake up one morning truly happy without a worry of what will happen next. I want to be able to walk out the door ready, and excited for a new day. I want to wake up one morning and not have to reassure myself that everything will be okay. I don't understand why I am not allowed to have that.

Courtesy of Anna Koppleman & the Huffington Post
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3 days ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

Children Who Can't Pay Attention/Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Parents are distressed when they receive a note from school saying that their child won't listen to the teacher or causes trouble in class. One possible reason for this kind of behavior is Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Even though the child with ADHD often wants to be a good student, the impulsive behavior and difficulty paying attention in class frequently interferes and causes problems. Teachers, parents, and friends know that the child is misbehaving or different but they may not be able to tell exactly what is wrong.

Any child may show inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, or hyperactivity at times, but the child with ADHD shows these symptoms and behaviors more frequently and severely than other children of the same age or developmental level. ADHD occurs in 3-5% of school age children. ADHD typically begin in childhood but can continue into adulthood. ADHD runs in families with about 25% of biological parents also having this medical condition.

A child with ADHD often shows some of the following:
~ trouble paying attention
~ inattention to details and makes careless mistakes
~ easily distracted
~ loses school supplies, forgets to turn in homework
~ trouble finishing class work and homework
~ trouble listening
~ trouble following multiple adult commands
~ blurts out answers
~ impatience
~ fidgets or squirms
~ leaves seat and runs about or climbs excessively
~ seems "on the go"
~ talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly
~ interrupts or intrudes on others

There are three types of ADHD. Some people have only difficulty with attention and organization. This is also sometimes called Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. This is ADHD inattentive subtype. Other people have only the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms. This is ADHD-hyperactive subtype. The Third, and most commonly identified group consists of those people who have difficulties with attention and hyperactivity, or the combined type.

A child presenting with ADHD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. A child with ADHD may also have other psychiatric disorders such as conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder. These children may also have learning disabilities.

Without proper treatment, the child may fall behind in schoolwork, and friendships may suffer. The child experiences more failure than success and is criticized by teachers and family who do not recognize a health problem.

Research clearly demonstrates that medication can help improve attention, focus, goal directed behavior, and organizational skills.

Other treatment approaches may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills training, parent education, and modifications to the child’s education program. Behavioral therapy can help a child control aggression, modulate social behavior, and be more productive. Cognitive therapy can help a child build self-esteem, reduce negative thoughts, and improve problem-solving skills.

Parents can learn management skills such as issuing instructions one-step at a time rather than issuing multiple requests at once. Education modifications can address ADHD symptoms along with any coexisting learning disabilities.

Courtesy of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
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5 days ago  ·  

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GYRO’S DAILY WELLNESS TIP

The Importance of Grandparents

Grandparents are like a shady tree lovingly showering their cool shade to the grandchildren. They are all love and warmth for grandkids, whom they can never see hurt or crying. Grandparents are the happiest people on earth when their grandchildren bring laurels and excel in life.

There are many reasons why kids simply love there grandparents.

Patience-
Grandparents are obviously more relaxed than the parents, as they have completed almost all worldly responsibilities of raising a family. They listen to the grandchildren patiently and do not get irritated easily. They have the time and wiser experience to listen and understand the kid’s problems. Due to this reason often children share more secrets with grandparents than parents because they do not have the fear of being rebuked. Grandparents have the patience to teach slowly and as many times required. They are less demanding and hence allow the child to learn at her own pace.

Quality time-
Grandparents enjoy playing with kids, telling them interesting stories and happily involving the kids in all their activities.

The warmth and infinite love-
Grand mom will happily cook all the favorite dishes of her dear little grand daughter and grandpa will immerse himself completely in his grandson’s school science project. The unending love of grandparents makes the child feel important. Grandparents are ninety percent love and just ten percent scolding.

Slower pace of old age-
The comparatively slower pace of the aged grandparents matches with that of the little grandchildren who are slowly learning the ways of life. A child can easily follow the ways of folding the paper to make a paper boat, as grandpa folds it slowly!

The many interesting anecdotes-
Grandparents have a treasure of real life stories from their own well lived life. They teach many things to the kids from their own wide experiences by narrating events from their own life. Kids listen to these stories lovingly, as the olden days of their grandparents sound like fairytales. Stories of grandma listening to the gramophone and grandpa traveling in a horse driven cart with a hat and a stick are like fairytales as these exists only in the museums now! The presence of grandparents makes these past things real for the new age kids.

Mutual exchange-
Just as the kids know about the past from grandparents, grandparents too learn about the modern things from the grandchildren. So many grandparents are learning to operate mobile phones and computers from the grandchildren. Such mutual exchange makes them both feel wanted and important.

Learning morals-
For grandparents morals are not thing, rather a subject, to be left to the moral science class. They lovingly teach morals to the unknowing child through interesting stories and as and when situations arise.

Teaching social etiquette and good manners-
When a parent asks a child say ‘good morning’ to someone, the child sometimes feels challenged and does not obey. But if a grandparent asks the same, they do without a second thought. There is something magical in the unconditional love of the grandparents.

Grandparents are certainly treasures of love and wisdom who enrich our life!

Please share what your gandparents have done to enrich your life and the lives of your children?

We look forward to hearing from you!
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6 days ago  ·  

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