Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, Ed.D., LPC, BCN, LLC
Educational Psychologist, Therapist, and Board Certified in Neurofeedback.
Author of It's Gonna Be Ok: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child's Mental Health.
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge Integrative and Pediatric Mental Health Expert
Dr. Roseann is a mental health trailblazer, founder of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann, LLC who is, “Changing the way we view and treat children’s mental health”.
Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the autism and action podcast. Today we've got another very special guest for you. Chris Hanson is also with us.
Hey, Chris, how's it going, everybody?
So our special guest today she is an awesome mental health Trailblazer. She is the founder of the global institute of children's mental health and media personality who is changing the way that we view and treat children's mental health. She is known for brain based solutions for struggling kids and Her work has helped 1000s reverse the most challenging conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, mood, lime pans, using proven holistic therapies. She is often featured on dozens of media outlets. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here today. Roseanne Miss Roseanne cabana hunch?
Well, I'm so glad to be here. I love to support families with autism, and I have been supporting families with autism for really three decades. So you know, it's always a wonderful, it's always in my experience. When I have kids with autism, I know how hard it is for parents, I've had actually had families who had multiple kids with autism. And sometimes they're just like their behavior their brain can be really challenging to work with. But some of my greatest successes have been with kids with autism. So it's always a privilege when a family comes to me.
Well, awesome. In your new book called our it's going to be okay. was released back in May, right? Yes, in it. And one of the parts that Tasha was talking about just now, as she introduced you is the holistic part. And that's a very big component to your book. The awesome if you could tell our listeners a little bit more about what that includes, and maybe dive into some of the nutritional aspects.
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, for 30 years, I only been using holistic therapies because pretty quickly, I realized that medication and straight talk therapy really were ineffective for things like autism and ADHD and pan's pandas and Lyme and OCD. They just weren't working. And so back in the early 90s, I literally just went to the microfiche in the library and started doing research and I thought to myself, why is nobody talking about things like nutrition, nutrient supplementation, you know, through through vitamins, neurofeedback, biofeedback and other types of psychotherapy, not just talk therapy, because the data was there. And so, you know, in all of my work, what happened is I became that person that everybody brought their kid to when they couldn't find a solution when they tried medication eight times, and then their kids became psychotic, or, you know, they went to talk therapist after talk therapist or in many times kids on the spectrum, the parents knew something was amiss, and nobody could figure it out. And so I was that person that not only figured things out, but really gave you treatment plan and so my book is going to be okay really income campuses, my brain behavior reset method and how my all my work is and and really simplistically, what we know about the brain and the nervous system is if it's activated, if it's stress activated, which all kids on the autistic spectrum, are activated, do you see it with their behaviors that are rigid, you see it in all those dysregulation forms their gut, their stomach, um, you know, the the gastrointestinal issues they have, you know, they're stuck behaviors, their sensory processing problems, you know, and so when you regulate the nervous system, you're able to think, pay attention and take action. And then you come in with new learnings. So unless you're priming their brain to learn, they're going to not be able to learn in the same way, this is what we know. So I break it down and I talk about the eight pillars of mental health. And I give you all the research 40 pages of research citations, but really the act exact way on how to incorporate many different modalities for neurofeedback, biofeedback, breathwork, meditation, nutrition, supplementation, why is detoxification important? How do you do it? sleep? What's what what is normal sleep? How do we turn it around? I mean, these are all common issues. Every single one of these genetic mutations, right? Things that parents have no idea are impacting their kids mental health, which may feel overwhelming, but I always say to parents, no, you need to change that dialogue. This is the path to start. Concretely addressing things that we know are problems instead of guessing, which is the standard of care and mental health is to guess. I think this so I think we should try this medication. So I am not opposed to medication. I'm 100% opposed to medication, when there's no evidence to support it for that clinical condition, and a 100% opposed when it's the first choice, we've so many effective alternatives, right? vitamin D, why are we not putting every kid on vitamin D, when we know it's the, you know, help. It's a hormone regulator, the body, there are so many kids with nutrient deficiencies that create mood and behavioral problems, vitamin D, zinc, other nutrients can be so powerful for kids and I love when I work with a family in a short amount of time, they're like, this one thing made this huge difference, you know, so we need to get that information out there. And that's what this book is all about. Awesome.
Now, where's the best place for families to find your book,
you can go to Amazon and you can search, it's gonna be okay. Or you can just go to it's gonna be okay, calm, or Dr. Roseanne, calm. They're all they're all paths lead to that.
Awesome. And then everything about concrete strategies. On the nutritional side of things like it, maybe what are some of them the most, most impactful that you found in recommending to parents?
Yeah. And you know, please know that I understand. Nutrition is hard changing, your nutrition is hard. And when your kid which most kids on the spectrum have sensory processing problems, I know changing their food, because of the texture and the rigidity of their behaviors is even harder. So I respect that. I honor that I'm not saying this for my white cat, you know, castle and saying this is what you should do. I'm saying do what you can. But what we do know is what you put in your mouth affects your brain. I mean, we can pretend like that, you know, eating Cheetos once in a while. It's a good idea. I'm here to tell you it's not, you know. So what is the basic basic way to power up your brain, whether you're on the spectrum, whether you're a mom, who's in perimenopause, whether you're an 83 year old grandmother taking care of your, your, you know, your grandkids, these is the same diet, and it has all the research behind it anti inflammatory diet. So it gives the nutrients so that the brain and body can work better. And it's also anti aging. So, you know, it really pairs it up. What is that? So that's reduced or eliminated sugar, gluten and dairy. Okay, I know that's hard, you feel like that's hard, I promise you. It's not when you change what you're doing. And it's very accessible. But what it is that people aren't doing number one, particularly for kids on the spectrum, is giving them a lot of healthy fat. So things like avocado, eggs, hummus, salmon, coconut oil, almond nuts, really jacking that up, and we'll talk about why and then consistent non dairy protein, you never want your kids to go more than four hours without a non dairy protein source. And that is simple, because we need stable blood sugar, right? So our kids on the spectrum are much more easy to dis regulate to benign sources, right? their socks don't fit, right. It's like, it's like the end of the world. Right? And we have to honor that. We can't say that's not a real experience. You know, people who aren't a special needs Mom, I'm a special needs mom. And my my youngest has dyslexia, he's totally rocks, rocks reading now he's great. And my older son has pan's from Lyme disease. So he's had extended periods of sensory processing issues. And it's rough, it is brutal, and can be one of the biggest behavioral triggers of our kids. So understanding that those issues can affect the textures can be a problem. I promise you though, when we work on regulating a kid's nervous system, even with as simple as doing meditation or breath work, they're going to be more open to eating. It's what I've seen happen hundreds of times in these 30 years, right? I don't even get I was like mom and dad unless they can have a smoothie. We're not touching the food until I regulate them a little bit because they're just going to tell you no and then it's like that's not the hill you die on. Right? So super important to get fat, super important to get consistent. protein and the fat is important because it helps the neurotransmitters communicate. It helps populate the gut bacteria Yeah, and for those of you that don't understand this, and I dive really deeply in such a nerdy but understandable way in my book about gut, the gut, the gut in the brain have the almost the same amount of neurotransmitter activity. And they both impact each other. It's called a bi directional influence. And kids on the spectrum 100% of the time, unless you're addressing it have a gut issue. And they're not going to have appropriate neurotransmitter activity in their gut, and it must be addressed. So even the American Academy of Pediatrics, which they revised their autism guidelines after a dozen years, about a year and a half ago, they even said, kids on the spectrum have gut issues. And I was like, oh, Praise the Lord. They've acknowledged it, you know? Because, right, because then they can say to parents, like, your kid might need a probiotic, right? And it's not as simple as that. But that's a start. So super important, that consistent protein, you can all do that mom and dads and grandparents and caregivers, you can.
And I think we would all benefit from that as parents just as much as doing it for our children as well. Because I know if you're a special
need parent, you need to regulate your nervous system. This is not an easy job.
Absolutely, absolutely. Now, outside of the solutions that you just mentioned that that's a really wonderful starting place. Do you have any other suggested natural resources or natural, holistic methods that you would like to share?
Yeah, um, and I think the first thing that I tell all parents that I work with is that they've been down a hard road, right. And I know this is a mom with a kid with a disease. And just with all these 1000s of parents I've worked with is the first stop that is something that parents have the hardest time with, is they need to believe that they can help their child and reduce their kids behaviors or sometimes even reverse it. They have to hold the vision of healing and seeing that and I don't want people to think that's corny they're just so afraid. I mean, I've been driving the worry train myself at you know in the past and when you get off the worry train, you start to say wait a second, I'm harming myself and my family with all this worry. That doesn't mean you don't have things to worry worry about. I'm not gonna say that you can't live in there. And you need to focus on seeing the success that is the number one thing a parent needs to do when that happens, everything changes. And you know, what are other solutions so I'm a huge fan of neurofeedback. I've been doing neurofeedback for almost a couple decades now. It's it's one of those things that I have evolved because actually a kid on who would have been diagnosed on the spectrum and he didn't have a label at that point. Who was so impaired his mom took them to get neurofeedback. And he went from still to this day being the most impulsive, unfocused child I'd ever ever worked with across income level and problems and race and ethnicity, whatever he is the most impacted kid I've ever seen. And he went from having the attention span of maybe just a few seconds to walking up to me in the street and saying, Hey, hi Dr. Roseanne and looking me in the eye, and I just a flurry of, of swears came out of my mouth and I was like what medication he would have his name on. And his mother said neurofeedback and I was like, I must learn this, I must learn this. I knew I knew about it. I knew the research. So it's a way to teach the brain how to go from a dysregulated state to a regulated state. Through the use of computer computers. The computer gives the brain feedback and the brain just learns a new way to respond. And it's healthy, it's safe. It's 1000s of research studies and 3000 peer reviewed studies and has a proven track record with kids on the spectrum. We work locally with people in our Ridgefield, Connecticut center, but we actually do neurofeedback with people all over the world and we send them equipment. Not everybody's a great candidate to do remote neurofeedback, you got to be committed, you got to be able to say I'm doing two or three sessions a week. So the computer gives the child or adult feedback. And the brain in two to three seconds says I want this feedback and it goes from that unhealthy to that regulated state in two to three seconds. The first time you're hooked up, it just doesn't learn to go to that that healthy response overnight. It has to do with over a series a session and most people are doing 40 or so sessions it's definitely committed to time and money. But if the changes are lasting, as far as 10 years out through research And it's really been a game changer for a lot of kids on the spectrum or ADHD or OCD. I mean, we use it with a lot of clinical issues, or diagnosed or not, you know, so it's a wonderful tool, I wish more parents knew about it because even just to restore things like sleep, you know, which can be such a nightmare for kids on the spectrum. When you're sleeping, you know, 90% of brain detoxification occurs when you're asleep. So if kids aren't sleeping, which is you know, such a common issue in autism, um, then everything isn't working break the behaviors off, things are harder for the sibling, things are harder for the parents, things are harder at school. So just restoring sleep can have such a positive domino effect. You know, so I love neurofeedback. It's something I'm really passionate about wish more people did it now. Okay, Chris.
Okay, I was just gonna say it seems like a lot of these strategies, and these pillars in your book very much have a ripple effect on each other.
Yeah, yeah. And they're synergistic. I mean, so like, changing your diet, right? And doing things like breathwork coupled with neurofeedback really works really well. And then even to do the traditional things that kids on the spectrum, do occupational therapy, right? Physical Therapy, working the storage with function, so skills, they all blend together, because if you know, my brain behavior reset method is all about regulating the nervous system coming in with new learning. So when we come things down, all of a sudden kids are alert, they're absorbing, they're communicating, right? Then they're able to take more out of those lessons at school, which you're like, why isn't this kid generalizing, which means Why are they applying this, you know, they can do this here, but they can't do this here, right, which is a big problem in autism. Because one of the biggest issues in autism from a brain perspective, I do these things called a cue eg brain map is in a child with autism, their communication lines in their brain don't work the same, they tend to be hyper active, or hypo active, meaning lots of over communication so that you see these stress responses and these rigidity, or low communication, which means you they can do this here, and they can do this here. But if you change the situation, they can't seem to do it, right. And we're always kind of like perplexed by it, it has to do with how the brain is talking to itself. You know. So as simple as that, and there's great solutions for it, but we're not talking about it, which is why I'm grateful to have this opportunity to enlighten parents because there are practitioners all over the world that do neurofeedback.
Yeah. And what you're saying about generalizing to you kind of reminds me of something I heard Temple Grandin saying on one of her talks, where basically it's like, you know, you have a child enter a kitchen, and they see that kitchen is like one unit in one place. But if you start moving chairs around, like it becomes a totally different place all together like it. Is that sort of aligned with what you're saying, on the on the generalization 100%.
Right. So I understand it when it's the environment is set up exactly this way. But then I alter one component. And it's like I unlearned everything, right? Where a neurotypical kids can say, Well, this is kind of like what it is. So maybe I should do this. And that will work right? at us deeply subconscious level, they don't even have to think about it. But kids on the spectrum doesn't work that way. And it's because of the poor communication, which is why you'll see you know, kids that are that are high intellect, right, they're always called high functioning, they still stuck it, you know, think at all the social skills, right? But they are high intellect, they might have these exceptionalities right, or even splinter skills in certain areas are really high. And parents are like, but I don't get it, you know, they can't flush the toilet, they can't remember their bookbag they can't do all that. It's because of the lack of general generalization ability in their brain. They just don't have those connections in place. So the structures work, but they don't talk to each other. And that's where the learning comes. Albert Einstein had a genetic defect in his communication center of his brain. It had it could process information 400 times a rate of a normal brain. So I always talk about it as highways. So he had 400 highways instead of one. And in autism, the highways don't work. They're always on the back roads. I always say they have waves going all the time, you know? Yes. Right. You know, I mean, so so it helps and so once their communication centers work, right, not only do you see an uptick In processing, you see a regulation and behavior, you see that that, um, you know, I talk about resiliency all the time and resiliency of resiliency mindset, which is a term I've trademark is how you view, manage and recover from stress. And we know that kids on the spectrum often have difficulties in all three of these areas. And so when I start working in treating a kid, I'm looking for changes there, because that's real world, right? So are they able to recover? Do they understand things? Are you hearing connections come out of their mouth, instead of distress? Or they actually speaking about what's irritating them? You know, Mom, the toilet flushing startled me. I didn't know what to do, what should I do? Right? And it's like, oh, look, they're looking for a way to manage the stress. But if we don't come in with new learning, they're gonna keep acting the same way. And I think this has always been so shocking to me guys. Like I don't understand why nobody uses neuroscience to really change behavior because if we created this platform, you know, for parents for schools, right, which I'm working on, then we really can have such a deeper change particularly in an earlier age, which is so critical for lifelong success for all kids, but particularly for kids on the spectrum because they need so much more reinforcement because their brain doesn't generalize
this is just so much awesome information. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here today. Everybody y'all need to go check out her book. It's gonna be okay by Dr. Roseanne and you can find that on Amazon is there a website that they can go to to Yeah,
you can just go to Dr. Roseanne calm dr. oz r o s e a n n comm or it's gonna be ok.com and if you go to it's gonna be okay or doctors and and you buy the book. You get all these freebie gifts with it to
make sure we link to that on the show. Oh,
yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Dr. Roseanne Is there anything else at all that you would like to share with our listeners today? I just
think you know, as one special needs parent to another, be kind to yourself, take care of yourself. And you know, get off the worry train because it's so important. You're just going to harm yourself and you're not going to help your kid so take time for you. Even if it's 10 minutes a day. That's all you need. Do some breath or prayer, meditation, anything, you're going to benefit and your family's going to benefit.
Absolutely. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Okay, was that information overload
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