How to Break the Cycle of Childhood Trauma? Help a Baby's Parents

Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., and Kevin Fiori, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., discuss the importance of HealthySteps, a program that supports low-income parents' psychological and social needs. Dr. Briggs is clinical professor of pediatrics and psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Einstein and national director of HealthySteps. Dr. Fiori is associate professor of pediatrics and of family & social medicine at Einstein and a pediatrician and director, social determinants of health, in the office of community & population health at Montefiore.

Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., argues in a USA Today op-ed that mental health screenings should be a part of student checkups. Dr. Briggs notes that children with undiagnosed mental illness are at higher risk of suicide and alcohol and drug abuse and twice as likely to drop-out out of school.  Dr. Briggs is assistant professor of pediatrics at Einstein and director of the Healthy Steps Program at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore. interviews Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., about a new study which found 10 percent of low-functioning children with autism may "bloom," or outgrow, their most severe disabilities by adolescence. Dr. Briggs notes that the children who "bloom" typically do not have any accompanying intellectual disabilities and their mothers tend to be more educated, suggesting that low-income families are less able to access needed services and support. Dr. Brigg is assistant professor of pediatrics. (See related video: reaction to a recent CDC report on increased autism disorders.)

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MSN (via HealthDay) interviews Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., about a new survey suggesting many women find the recommendation to exclusively breast-feed for the first six-month of a newborn's life unrealistic and difficult. While Dr. Riggs points to some flaws in the survey that may have skewed the results, she notes the importance of working with each family to develop goals that are best for them. Dr. Brigg is assistant professor of pediatrics.

USA Today (via Healthday) interviews Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., about a new study in Pediatrics that found children with fathers who suffer from depression were 33 to 70 percent more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems of their own. Dr. Briggs is assistant professor of pediatrics. interviews Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., in a story on how actress Leelee Sobieski is limiting her 17-month-old child’s exposure to media and electronic gadgets. Dr. Briggs notes that research has consistently shown that interactions with parents and caregivers are more effective at teaching children than electronic devices – and that technological programs may actually have a negative impact on a young child’s mental and social development. Dr. Briggs is assistant professor of pediatrics.

The New Yorker published a letter to the editor by Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., about measures that can be taken to prevent the negative effects of childhood trauma from developing. Dr. Briggs notes that Paul Tough’s article (“The Poverty Clinic,” March 21 edition) presented a thorough review of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study, but failed to note current efforts underway to prevent ACEs, including Healthy Steps, a joint Einstein-Montefiore program that she directs. Dr. Briggs is assistant professor of pediatrics.