Articles by Ellen Braaten, Co-Director

Ellen Braaten, Ph.D. is co-director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. She is co-author of the book Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up, which was released in August 2014.

 To learn more about Ellen, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team.

Q+A: Is ADHD Overdiagnosed?

July 17, 2019

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Q+A: Is ADHD Overdiagnosed?

I’m often asked if ADHD is “overdiagnosed.” Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common – and some might argue one of the more impairing – childhood disorders.  Approximately three to five out of every 100 school-aged kids meet criteria for ADHD. Interestingly, research has shown that ADHD is both over and […]

Q+A: My child was diagnosed with ADHD and I don’t see problems at home. Why is school so tough for him?

April 26, 2019

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Q+A: My child was diagnosed with ADHD and I don’t see problems at home. Why is school so tough for him?

My child was diagnosed with ADHD.  He’s taking medication and I don’t see many problems at home, but his teacher constantly complains about issues at school. Why is school so tough for him? Children with ADHD can have a tough time in school because their challenges with attention and organization tend to interfere with their […]

What Is Autism Spectrum?

March 30, 2019

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What Is Autism Spectrum?

Children with autism have significant challenges with social interactions and communication and a very restricted repertoire of activities and interests.  Issues with social reciprocity are very severe (it’s not just being shy or a bit detached) and include: 1) difficulties with nonverbal behaviors, such as very poor or nonexistent eye contact; 2) an inability to […]

What Is Conduct Disorder?

March 14, 2019

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What Is Conduct Disorder?

Mark, age 13, was referred to my office for an evaluation because he had just set his third fire in the house, and this time the fire led to thousands of dollars of damaged furniture. He had been suspended from school for breaking windows and spray-painting graffiti on the outside of the school building. One […]

Q+A: What’s the Difference Between Slow Processing and Other Disorders?

March 4, 2019

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Q+A: What’s the Difference Between Slow Processing and Other Disorders?

What is the difference between Slow Processing Speed, Auditory Processing, Sensory Integration, and Autism Spectrum Disorders? They all seem so similar. Is there a lot of misdiagnosis? – Patrice B., Facebook   This is a great question and one that I hear frequently. There’s a good reason why you’re asking it. These four disorders share some symptoms in common. […]

Q+A: My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Anorexia

February 27, 2019

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Q+A: My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Anorexia

My daughter was diagnosed with Anorexia and the therapist said we’d be getting homework assignments and using a “variety of techniques.” What does that mean? There are a number of techniques and homework assignments that therapists use to treat eating disorders that have been found to be very effective in understanding and changing behaviors. They […]

What is Bulimia?

February 26, 2019

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What is Bulimia?

For more information about eating disorders and ways you can help make a difference for a young person in your life, or for yourself, please visit NEDA the National Eating Disorder Association website. #NEDAwareness *** Christine never worried too much about her weight until age 18 when she arrived at college and started putting on the […]

What is Anorexia?

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What is Anorexia?

For more information about eating disorders and ways you can help make a difference for a young person in your life, or for yourself, please visit NEDA the National Eating Disorder Association website. #NEDAwareness *** Marsha was never satisfied with her body during middle school.  She would complain she was fat and refused to eat, despite […]

What Are the Treatments for Eating Disorders?

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What Are the Treatments for Eating Disorders?

For more information about eating disorders and ways you can help make a difference for a young person in your life, or for yourself, please visit NEDA the National Eating Disorder Association website. #NEDAwareness Because eating disorders are complex – and are caused by multiple factors – treatments need to address multiple influences. The major treatments […]

What if My Child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

January 24, 2019

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What if My Child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

The first time I met Jacob’s mother, she came into my office in tears.  “You won’t like my son,” she said. “He is in the car in the parking lot and refusing to come in to see you, but this is nothing new. Yesterday he wouldn’t get dressed so I took him to Kindergarten in […]