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  1. boys adrift: the five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men

  2. jeffrey swan, ma • licensed professional counselor • Nurtured Heart Approach Certified Trainer • Co-founder Austin Child Therapy • grant counselor at cedar creek elementary school • father of teenage boys who is this guy?

  3. develop an understanding of factors related to boys’ academic and social struggles • discuss how these factors are rooted in changes in schooling, developmental factors and in changes in society goals for today

  4. i do not pretend to know your job or how to do your job • i will likely say something with which you STRONGLY disagree alongside something with which you STRONGLY agree. please keep your mind open for the things with which you can agree • i promise, with 100% certainty, that by the end of the class, i will have said at least one thing that you can pick up and use immediately to your satisfaction. 2 disclaimers + 1 promise

  5. more complicated academic tasks pushed down into lower grades • shift from experientially “knowing how” to “knowing that” – didactic knowledge • are these changes are really big deal? factor 1: changes in school

  6. Would you expect EVERY 3½ year old to read? • Would you require EVERY 5 year old to read? • Would you require EVERY 5 year old to interpret the internal emotional state of another person? factor 1: changes in school

  7. structural differences between boys and girls emotion processing in the brain • language centers related to negative emotion • -Girls – negative emotion processing closely associated with language areas of the brain • -Boys – negative emotion processing localized primarily in the amygdala factor 1: changes in school

  8. timeline of development of language for boys versus girls • would you require EVERY 5 year old to read? • would you require EVERY 5 year old to interpret the internal emotional state of another person? factor 1: changes in school

  9. will to power • links between VGs and aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect and cardiovascular arousal, AND TO DECREASES IN HELPING BEHAVIOR factor 2: video games

  10. VGs reward kids when the real world fails to do so which impacts what a kid actually associates as a worthy “target” to aim for. • This causes changes in the brain region that mediates “targeting” or identifying appropriate goals (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex - DLPFC) factor 2: video games

  11. -questions to ask yourself as a parent about a video game: • -does the game involve some characters trying to harm others? • -does this happen frequently, more than once or twice in 30 minutes? • -is the harm rewarded in any way? • -is the harm portrayed as humorous? • -are non-violent solutions absent or less “fun”? • -are realistic consequences for violence absent from the game? factor 2: video games

  12. ADHD med as the gateway drug… • Who first suggests the diagnosis of ADHD? Doctor, mom, dad, teacher, other professional? factor 3: medications for adhd

  13. pleasure reward pathway (nucleus accumbens) • nucleus accumbens – stimulant mediations can cause permanent damage to this brain region, which is responsible for translating motivation into action. You may feel hungry or sexually aroused, but just won’t feel motivated to do anything about it. Results in lab animals indicate that “animals look normal, but they are lazy. They don’t want to work hard for anything, not even to escape a bad situation.” factor 3: medications for adhd

  14. IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE – combine the changes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with the damage to the nucleus accumbens and you have a child (or young adult) who has difficulty identifying an adequate target or goal AND who has difficulty putting himself into action toward a target once it has been identified. factor 3: medications for adhd

  15. changes in the environment, such as toxins in the water, contribute to changes in the male brain and body development that delay puberty, increase obesity, and increase the incidence of “ADHD” Factor 4: Endocrine Disruptors

  16. Culturally defined competence is critical…what, if any, are the rituals or rites of passage into Manhood do we have for our boys? • For some cultures where this can be defined, it may be completely intellectual • For some cultures it may be more of a physical trial Factor 5: Revenge of the Forsaken Gods

  17. Media portrayals of successful males have changed over the last 50 years. Factor 5: Revenge of the Forsaken Gods

  18. book: boys adrift: the five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men, by leonard sax, MD, PhD jeffrey swan, ma, lpc phone: 512.732.9120 ext 22036 email: jswan@eanesisd.net Web: http://ccecounselor.weebly.com/ resources + contact info

  19. if you have found nothing else overly useful, inspiring or insightful, try the skinny pepino at manuel’s. now that right there is something you can pick up and use to your satisfaction immediately. 100% iron-clad promise