R. Boccamazzo


There’s an app for that: online resources for mental well-being and support

One of the questions I’m frequently asked by our young clients and their parents is, “What other resources are out there for [insert their concern here]?” I chuckle at how obvious a topic this can be, especially for our blog, but seeking out other resources can be helpful. First and foremost: if you have any psychological concerns, of course seek

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I was sitting around bored, one day…

Boredom can be a good thing, and summer is a great time for it. This may seem counter-intuitive advice coming from a social skills coach for a program with a thriving (and awesome) summer camp program, but your kids need some boredom and unstructured time. Structured activities are beneficial, especially if you have concerns about your kids spending too much

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Achievement unlocked: relationship

With a lot of the teenage guys with whom I work, dating is a serious goal and a serious headache. Most of them have a lot of misperceptions about what it takes to—in their words–“get a girlfriend.” There are many misperceptions about this process—and it is a process…an ongoing one. My hope is that teenagers (and parents) walk away with

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Developmental vs. Chronological Age: What’s the difference?

A psychologist at my first internship rotation hammered into all the students who would cross her path the concepts of developmental age and chronological age. She emphasized how important they would be in all of our future careers—she was right. But how are they important to parents? Chronological age is pretty straightforward: it is simply how physically old your child

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Dungeons & Dragons & Social skills

What is Dungeons & Dragons? Why does Aspiring Youth use it in one of our social skills groups? And why is it one of our most popular groups? While some of our students’ parents have played it themselves, many don’t really know what it’s all about. Read on if you’re either unfamiliar with the game or how we use it.

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So, they play video games. But what does that mean?

Video games have grown up – as have those who play them (average gamer age is 35). Some classics like The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Brothers are at least 30 years old, so it’s safe to say that video games are part of our culture. Despite this, I routinely encounter clinicians and parents who use the term “video

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Why it might not be ADHD

Difficulties with a child’s attention or ability to sit still are significant concerns for a lot of parents who come to my office. They hope to find answers, and at the same time avoid over-pathologize their child. However, psychiatric diagnostics is a complex concept, and even if there is significant difficulty paying attention or holding still, it may not be

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Why Games? Why Not?

When I consult with parents about our Aspiring Youth groups, they often ask me why I use so many board and card games. Most Aspiring Youth participants are dealing with challenges from social anxiety or something called executive functioning (more below) – or a bit of both. With a little thoughtfulness, games help our students work on both. Given it’s the holidays, here are some

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Autism in Love Screening and Q&A in Bothell

Aspiring Youth was recently asked to lead a discussion for King County Public Library. We are honored to have the privilege and are proud to send one of our lead facilitators, R. Boccamazzo PsyD, who wrote the below post: “Given the prevalence of the autism diagnosis (1 in 68), this movie is for everyone.” Frequently, I encounter individuals who believe that

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