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Removing a child from a traumatic environment does not remove the trauma from the child's memory.

Simple rules adhered to when children are young can prevent more serious problems later.

If you (parents) tend to overreact to your child's misbehaviour - your child learns that he can't trust you. Mom, Dad, stay regulated!

"Cutting" is a visible sign to the world that you are hurting.

The best inheritance  parents can give their children is a few minutes of their time each day.

The challenge of adolescence is to balance the right of the parents to feel they are in charge with the need of the adolescent to gain independence.

"Unexpressed feeling never die. They are buried alive and come back later in ugly ways." (Stephen Covey)

The quickest way to change your child’s behaviour is to first change your own.

"The thing that impresses me most about North America is the way parents obey their children"    (King Edward VII , 1841-1910)

"Parents aren't the cause of ADHD, but they are part of the solution." (Kenny Handleman, M.D.)

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Brain Facts # 5

Lifelong Neuroplasticity


Historically, it was thought that the human brain was a fixed and essentially limited system that only degraded with age. This view saw the brain as a rigid machine in many ways, pretty much set after childhood. By contrast, we have now come to appreciate that the human brain is actually a highly dynamic and constantly reorganizing system, capable of being shaped and reshaped across the entire lifespan. It is believed that every experience alters the brain’s organization at some level. The central concept in this new approach is neuroplasticity, the brain’s lifelong capacity to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. This includes both the lifelong ability to create new neurons  and to create new connections between neurons .

A young brain allows for fast learning, as well as for potentially faster repair. As we age, the rate of neuroplasticity declines, but does not come to a halt.  As the noted neuroscientist, Dr. James Zull  puts it: “We now know that every brain can change, at any age. There  is really no upper limit on learning since the neurons seem to be capable of growing new connections whenever they are used repeatedly.”

Lifelong neuroplasticity has major consequences for brain health and fitness. It means that our lifestyle and actions play a meaningful role in how brains physically change throughout life. Neuroplasticity gives us the power to resist the effects of decline or disease by supporting our ability to accumulate knowledge and experiences.


Once children are in school, adults tend to be preoccupied with whether they are learning their alphabet and arithmetic. But if a child is having learning difficulties, the first thing we need to look at is not his letters and numbers but his ability to pay attention and to regulate himself. If a child doesn’t have this ability, then we need to work on that ability with the child. You cannot jump over this vital internal milestone. There is no point in pushing a child to learn how to spell triangle or add 15 + 27 before he learns how to look, listen and stay calm. First things first.

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+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you [...]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First [...]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain [...]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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See more of our workshops


2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca


Parents' Comments

“Our psychiatrist recommended Rick to help us sort out behaviour management issues for our autistic son. He was an invaluable help.”

(C.C. – Sarnia)