A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

ABP (American Board of Pediatrics) provides certification for general Pediatricians - FAAP, as well as sub-board certification for Fellowship trained Developmental/Behavioral Pediatricians, who handle all types of developmental, behavioral, learning and most mental health problems of children and adolescents, including ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism spectrum disorders, PDD, etc. It also provides sub-board certification for Developmental Pediatricians who specialize in the Syndromes, often genetic, which occur in childhood and adolescence. The latter group may also see children with specific learning and developmental syndromes, such as Autism and Dyslexia.

ABPN (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology) provides certification in the specialty fields of Psychiatry and Neurology. Those with "Child" as part of their descriptors will have done some training at a pediatric site, such as a children's mental hospital or other facility. They may also have done a rotating internship in Pediatrics, or more rarely, two years in general Pediatrics. Those who are triple Board Certified will have had specific general Pediatric rotations, not just those about Mental Health and Neurology. They will also need to take the American Board of Pediatrics exam to become triple boarded.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder. Typically, children with ADHD have developmentally inappropriate behavior, including poor attention skills, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These characteristics arise in early childhood, usually before age 7, are chronic, and last at least 6 months. Children with ADHD may also experience difficulty in areas of social skills and self-esteem. There are four classifications of ADHD:

ADHD Combined Type (meaning the child/adolescent is struggling with both inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsiveness)

ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type (meaning the child/adolescent has symptoms of inattention, but no hyperactivity) - this type of ADHD is commonly referred to as ADD

ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type (meaning the child/adolescent has symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or both, but no inattentiveness)

ADHD Not Otherwise Specified (meaning the child appears to have symptoms of ADHD, but a particular type cannot be specified)

Alateen is a community resource providing support to anyone affected by a relative or friend's drinking. There are over 24,000 Al-Anon and 2,300 Alateen groups meeting in 115 countries. Alateen is part of the Al-Anon fellowship designed for the younger relatives and friends of alcoholics through the teen years. Members conduct their own meetings with the guidance of an Al-Anon member Sponsor. Alateen follows the same Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and principles as Al-Anon.

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BCD (Board Certified Diplomat) is board certification granted to practitioners who have demonstrated a high level of competency and experience in their field.

Behavior Theory asserts that behavior is fashioned through various forms of learning, including modeling, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning, as well as intervening variables. Behavioral therapy focuses on eliminating the involuntary, disruptive behavior patterns that are causing problems, and substituting for them appropriate patterns, using the techniques mentioned above to change response to a given stimulus.

BIP (Behavioral Intervention Plan) is a plan to teach a child proper behavior and social skills. It should be positive in nature, not punitive.

Brief Treatment is an intervention that provides focused treatment for a specific client-identified problem when only a small number of sessions are possible or necessary.

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CEDARR (Comprehensive Evaluation, Diagnosis, Referral and Re-evaluation) Family Centers offer Medicaid-eligible families information on specific disabilities, treatment options and referrals to community supports and assistance for their children with special needs.

CFIT (Child & Family Intensive Services) is an intensive home and community based clinical treatment and case management program which provides six hours of service to a child and family per week for up to 10 weeks as medically necessary and authorized by insurance. This program is only for children ages 3-18 (older if in DCYF custody or still in high school) with commercial insurance plans that include CFIT in their benefits (currently Blue Cross of RI and United Health Plan, not RIteCare).  Benefits may only be utilized one time per 12 month period.

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is the nation's leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S. Chapters offer support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others.

CAITS (Child & Adolescent Intensive Treatment Services) are provided to children with Medical Assistance (or Medicaid-eligible) between the ages of 3 to 21, who are at high risk for out-of-home placement due to serious emotional and/or behavioral issues. These children are able to remain in their homes and community only by receiving intensive, home-based psychotherapeutic and case management services. CAITS (formerly known as CIS) is a 16 week intensive, home-based program available to families one time per 12 month period.  Specific services include home visits; coordination of additional services; collaboration with schools, primary care physicians, recreational and/or child care programs, etc; parenting skills and behavior management; individual, family, group therapies; psychiatric evaluation and medication treatment when necessary.

Client-Centered Theory (Rogerian) posits that people have the capacity to find their own answers to emotional and life problems and that the role of therapy is to help the client mobilize his/her own resources.

Client Directed Outcome Informed Therapy (CDOI) is an approach to treatment that follows the client's lead in all aspects of treatment, including guiding, executing, and evaluating progress. Therapists "partner" with clients to facilitate their unique processes of change and achievement of their desired outcomes.

CMT's (Care Management Teams) determine the best type of care for kids heading towards residential placements. In some cases, the appropriate level of care might be an enhanced community-based program rather than a more restrictive residential placement. Care Management Teams are composed of staff from appropriate community agencies, and is co-chaired by DCYF and a local provider, usually a community mental health center. Families are encouraged to participate in these planning meetings.

Coaching helps a person address specific concerns with specific skills, while providing encouragement and advice.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) involves helping an individual identify irrational beliefs and thoughts, and uses various Cognitive and Behavioral techniques to treat common disorders, such as anxiety or obsessive/compulsive behavior. Research shows that CBT can be as effective as psychotropic medication in changing how the brain handles situations that once prompted an obsessive/compulsive response in patients.

COZ (Childhood Opportunity Zone) is a school-based family center through which human services are provided (in 20 school districts in Rhode Island). There are currently two COZ's in Washington County: North Kingstown COZ (at Davisville Elementary School) and the Westerly Integrated Social Service Program (WISSP) at Westerly High School.

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DAS (Diagnostic Assessment Services) are provided by DCYF for youth referred through the Family Court to determine the appropriate level of service for disposition by the Court on wayward/disobedient petitions. DAS can provide both inpatient and outpatient assessments when necessary.

DCYF (Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families) was established by the state legislature in 1980 by merging children's programs previously administered by four different state agencies. The Director of DCYF is also a member of the RI Children's Cabinet, which addresses cross-departmental issues relating to children's needs and services. RI is one of a small group of states that integrate the three major public responsibilities for troubled children, youth and families in one agency, i.e. child abuse/neglect, children's mental health, and juvenile delinquency. All persons in Rhode Island are required by law (RIGL 40-11-3) to report known or suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families within 24 hours of becoming aware of such abuse/neglect.

DHS (Rhode Island Department of Human Services) administers support services for income eligible residents including: income supports, Food Stamps/SNAP, Medicaid coverage, child care assistance, and services for the elderly and children with special health care needs (CEDARR, PASS, HBTS, Katie Beckett, Kids Connect, Early Intervention, Respite Care).

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has been developed to treat patients with Borderline Personality Disorders, as well as other difficult disorders, in an optimistic way. DBT maintains that some people, due to invalidating environments during upbringing as well as biological factors as yet unknown, react abnormally to emotional stimulation. Their level of arousal goes up much more quickly, peaks at a higher level, and takes more time to return to baseline. This explains why borderlines are known for crisis-strewn lives and extreme emotional lability (emotions that shift rapidly). Because of their past invalidation, they don't have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. DBT teaches skills that will help in this task.

DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional difficulties, including severe mental illness. DO's have spent four to six years in residency and Fellowship training after completing medical school. They have taken the specialty board examination(s) and some will become child and adolescent psychiatrists.

DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) is an official manual of mental health problems developed by the American Psychiatric Association. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other health and mental health care providers use this reference book to understand and diagnose a mental health problem. Insurance companies and health care providers also use DSM-IV terms and explanations when they discuss mental health problems.

DSW (Doctor of Social Work) is the doctoral degree in the field of social work. DSW's may provide direct clinical services as well as hold research and university teaching positions.

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EI (Early Intervention) is a process for recognizing warning signs that individuals are at risk for mental health or developmental problems and taking early action against factors that put them at risk. Early Intervention can help children get better more quickly and prevent problems from becoming worse. In RI, the Early Intervention Program provides specialized services to infants and toddlers (ages birth to three), who are at-risk for or are showing signs of developmental delay.

ED (Emotional Disturbance) is a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time to a marked degree that adversely affects performance: a) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; b) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; c) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; d) a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or e) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) claims to relieve the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems using movements of the eyes similar to those which occur naturally in REM sleep. EMDR is generally built into a larger treatment program.

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Family Systems Therapy theorizes that family members interact in patterns which maintain the family's equilibrium. The theory acknowledges that families use messages and rules to shape members, which are rarely, if ever, explicit or written down. These messages give power; they induce guilt; they control or limit behaviors; and they perpetuate themselves and reproduce.

FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) is an individualized educational program designed to meet a child's unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit.

FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment) asks why a child behaves the way he/she does, given the nature of the child and what is happening in the environment. It is a process for collecting data to determine the possible causes of problem behaviors and to identify strategies to address the behaviors.

FCCP (Family Care Community Partnership) is a new system of care designed to help families in need by providing a team of professionals, who collaborate with parents and their child(ren) to develop a personalized, coordinated care plan that "surrounds" families with supports that address the issues confronting them - from basic needs, to mental health and behavioral counseling, to health care, educational needs and more.  A unique care plan, utilizing services from local professional resources, as well as family, friends, and other "natural supports," is devised with each family to help them achieve their goals.

FSRI (Family Service of Rhode Island) is a non-profit organization that provides a wide array of behavioral health, social, and educational services to primarily low-income children, adults and families throughout RI. FSRI's South County Office is located in North Kingstown. Counseling services are also available through the WISSP Center in Westerly. Many services provided by FSRI are delivered in families' homes.

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HBTS (Home-Based Treatment Services) is help provided in a family's home to provide either after-care or to prevent hospitalization of a child.

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IEP (Individualized Education Program) is a written statement of a child's current level of development and an individualized plan of instruction, including goals, specific services to be received, the people who will carry out the services, the standards and time lines for evaluating progress, and the amount and degree to which the child will participate with typically developing peers. The IEP is developed by the child's parents and the professionals who evaluated the child and/or are providing the services. It is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) for all children in special education, ages 3 and up.

IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is a structured program for children/adolescents similar to Day Treatment/Partial Hospital Program, offering short-term day, evening, or combination. Services generally consist of intensive treatment within a stable therapeutic milieu for those individuals who can be safely treated in a less intense setting than partial, day evening program, but require higher level of intensity than that available in outpatient therapy. A typically site-based IOP operates for a minimum of 3 hours a day, 3-5 days a week.

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JD (Juris Doctor) is the degree given to an attorney.

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LD (Learning Disability) is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. An LD may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.

LCDP (Licensed Chemical Dependency Professional) is a counselor who has worked in the field for at least 6,000 hours and studied for 270 hours in the substance abuse field. The person will have had to demonstrate competence in the field through two exams.

LCDCS (Licensed Chemical Dependency Supervisor) is someone who is already an LCDP and has been providing supervision, met educational requirements, and passed a competency test. Both the LCDP and LCDCS are independently licensed in the State of Rhode Island.

LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker) has a master's degree in social work and two years of supervised experience. Social workers provide various services, including assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, case management, hospital discharge planning, and psychotherapy.

LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) has a master's (MA) degree in psychology, counseling or a similar discipline and typically has two years of post-graduate experience. S/he may provide services that include diagnosis and counseling (individual, family/group or both).

LMFT (Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist) is a counselor with an MS degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy with particular emphasis on relationships. Therapists specialize in helping clients deal with major life changes or transitions, such as marriage, divorce, job change and death in the family. They can also help when communication is an issue for families, couples or individuals.

LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) is placement of a child with emotional or physical needs in as close as possible to the regular education environment that permits the child to receive the most educational benefit. LRE is a requirement under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act).

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MD (Medical Doctor) may specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional difficulties, including severe mental illness. S/he will have spent four to six years in residency and Fellowship training after completing medical school. S/he will have taken the specialty board examination(s) and some will become child and adolescent psychiatrists. Developmental/behavioral pediatricians will also have a two or three year residency and two or three years of Fellowship training, and will have taken a specialty board exam, and usually will be more developmentally focused and not treat the more severe mental illness, such as psychosis. Developmental pediatricians, also fellowship trained and specialty board certified, will specialize in the more specific Syndromes, although they may also handle behavioral issues. These sub-specialists will have had additional special training in understanding and working with children and adolescents and their families.

M.Ed. (Master in Education) may do educational testing without supervision within schools.

MPH (Master of Public Health) is a degree earned usually in addition to other degrees- MD, DO, PhD, BA. Emphasis on Public Health issues, epidemiology.

MSW (Master of Social Work) social workers are educated and trained to consider their clients within a social context. They assist individuals, groups, or communities to restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, while creating societal conditions favorable to their goals. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior, of social, economic and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors.

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NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nation's voice on mental illness, a national organization including organizations in every state and in over 1,100 local communities. Dedicated NAMI members, leaders, and friends work tirelessly across all levels to meet a shared NAMI mission of support, education, advocacy, and research for people living with mental illness.

NCC (National Certified Counselor) The National Board of Certified Counselors promotes quality counseling by offering this credential to counselors with a master's degree (MA) in psychology, counseling or a similar discipline and typically have two years of post-graduate experience. They may provide services that include diagnosis and counseling (individual, family/group or both).

NCSP (National Certified School Psychologist) is likely to have a graduate degree in psychology and be specifically trained to help students with school and personal problems. They work with teachers, parents, and others to help kids with learning and behavior problems. They may test for learning disabilities, and help develop individualized education plans (IEP). They only provide therapy if it relates to helping students, unless they are also certified or licensed in another area, such as clinical psychology.

Neurofeedback, also called neurotherapy or EEG Biofeedback, is a method which attempts to train brainwave activity, as measured by electrodes on the scalp, and is presented to an individual as feedback in the form of a video display, sound or vibration. It often uses computer-based feedback systems, or materials that change color.

NP (Nurse Practitioner) is a Master's or above level nurse with specific clinical training as described in their title: Pediatric NP, Family Medicine NP, or Psychiatric NP, for example. They can be independent practitioners with specific supervision by a physician. They have prescription writing privileges, including psychotropic medications, when they have had the appropriate psychopharmacology courses described in their licensing. Physicians Assistants are similar, although without the nursing background. They are descendents of the Corpsman military training. They undergo shortened training, mostly clinical, and with less theory than an MD or a DO, usually in an internal medicine or surgical sub-specialty.

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OCB (Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors) are associated with OCD (see OCD).

OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), an anxiety disorders, is a potentially disabling condition that can persist throughout a person's life. The individual who suffers from OCD becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are senseless and distressing but extremely difficult to overcome. OCD occurs in a spectrum from mild to severe, but if severe and left untreated, can destroy a person's capacity to function at work, at school, or even in the home.

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Parent Aide (PA) will provide home-based parenting skills training, household management (including budgeting), service coordination, and a variety of other supportive services for families open to DCYF.

PASS (Personal Assistance Services and Supports) offers consumer-directed personalized services and supports provided in home and the community for children with special health care needs with Medicaid coverage. Families select and train a community-based worker who is then hired by a certified PASS provider to provide a set of services to the child. An individualized plan is developed to assist the child in three key domains: ability to accomplish essential activities of daily life, ability to make life preserving decisions, and ability to participate in social roles and social settings. A licensed clinician is employed by the certified agency to ensure the plan is medically necessary and to monitor ongoing plan implementation.

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support) promotes positive behaviors in students. Strategies are developed that manage student behavior in classroom settings and outside of classroom settings. It is an all-encompassing system of behavior management, involving the entire school community (i.e. administrators, teachers, support staff, and students) so that behavior management is not produced in a piecemeal way. Instead, all students in a school are accountable with support to behave in ways that positively affect them personally, academically, socially, and from a health perspective. The three systems of support that are part of PBIS are Primary (Schoolwide), Secondary (Classroom), and Tertiary (Individual). Programs are behaviorally-based on practices that research has shown to be effective.

PEP (Positive Educational Partnership) is a six-year federally funded system of care initiative that provides case management and care coordination for children with serious mental health disorders and their families who are enrolled in participating schools and early childhood programs.  PEP services are individually crafted to build on the strengths of individuals, addressing their cultural and linguistic needs, and help children, youth and families function better at home, in school, the community and throughout life. 

PCNS (Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist) is a licensed registered nurse who has graduate preparation (Master's or Doctorate) in nursing and specialty training in mental health. They can function as psychotherapists and, with appropriate training, can obtain prescription privileges.

PCP (Primary Care Provider) is a physician, nurse practitioner, or other medically trained provider who is responsible for the provision of integrated, accessible health care services to individuals, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. PCP's are capable of handling a variety of health-related problems, of keeping a medical history and medical records on the individual, and of referring the person to specialists as needed.

PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) is one of the diagnoses in the Autism Spectrum, a cluster of disorders usually evident by age 3. Autism spectrum disorders are neurological disorders that tend to affect a child's ability to communicate, understand language, play and relate to others. Other diagnoses in the autism spectrum include, Autistic Disorder, Rett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in clinical or counseling psychology qualifies the professional to become a researcher as well as a practitioner. Psychologists with a PhD will frequently work in an academic setting and/or a clinical practice. PhDs are trained in psychological assessment diagnosis and treatment of the full range of psychological disorders.

PHP (Partial Hospital Program) is a short-term, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary psychiatric program that serves as a therapeutically supported alternative to or step-down from inpatient care. PHP is designed to provide stabilization of acute, severe mental illness. A PHP requires daily psychiatric evaluation and treatment comparable to that provided in an inpatient setting. A PHP may be provided by either hospital-based or freestanding facilities and must be available 6-9 hours a day at a minimum of 5 days per week. For children and adolescents, a PHP provides services similar to hospital level of care for those who have a supportive environment to return in the evening.

Play Therapy is a form of psychotherapy for young children that uses play situations for diagnosis and/or treatment.

PSN (Parent Support Network of Rhode Island) is an organization of families supporting families with children and youth who are at risk for or have serious behavioral, emotional, and/or mental health challenges, having consideration for their background and values. The goals of PSN are to strengthen and preserve families, enable families in advocacy, extend social networks to reduce family isolation, and develop social policy and systems of care. Parent Support Network accomplishes these goals through (a) providing advocacy, education, and training; (b) promoting outreach and public awareness; (c) facilitating social events for families; (d) participating on committees responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating policies and systems of care.

PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) is a licensed professional with a doctorate degree in psychology and who provides psychiatric services and psychological testing, but in Rhode Island, cannot prescribe psychotropic medications. They are trained in research, assessment, and the application of different psychological therapies. Clinical psychologists are concerned with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders and disabilities. However, in contrast to PhDs, the practices of therapists with a PsyD tend to place an emphasis on fieldwork and clinical experience, rather than research.

Psychodynamic Theory encompasses four major schools of thought: object relations, self-psychology, drive theory, and ego psychology. In psychodynamic therapy, the patient (as opposed to the client in other types of therapy) talks, and the therapist interprets the patient's words and behaviors. Dream interpretation may be a part of psychodynamic therapy. As with other types of therapy, some psychodynamic therapists may utilize other methods of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral techniques for specific problems.

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a common anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Family members of victims also can develop the disorder. PTSD can occur in people of any age, including children and adolescents. More than twice as many women as men experience PTSD following exposure to trauma. Depression, alcohol or other substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with PTSD.

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RIPIN (Rhode Island Parent Information Network) is a statewide, nonprofit agency that provides information, training, support and advocacy to parents seeking help for their children.

RNCS (Registered Nurse Clinical Specialist) have graduate preparation (Master's or Doctorate) in nursing and have specialty training in mental health. They can function as psychotherapists and, with appropriate training, can obtain prescription privileges.

RTI (Response to Intervention) is an alternative approach to traditional special education criteria for disabilities and a way to systematically document the performance of students as evidence of the need for additional services after making changes in classroom instruction.

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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act refers to the law that requires a percentage of federal funds spent on vocational education must be spent on the cost of special programs, services and activities for individuals with disabilities. This law is closely intertwined with P.L. 105-17 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act). Children with disabilities who are not eligible for special education may qualify for accommodations under Section 504 and have what are referred to as 504 Plans delineating these accommodations.

SED (Serious Emotional Disturbance) describes a diagnosable disorder in children and adolescents that severely disrupt daily functioning in the home, school, or community. Some of these disorders are depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, anxiety, conduct, and eating disorders. Serious emotional disturbances affect one in ten young people.

SSMHC (South Shore Mental Health Center) is the community mental health center for southern Rhode Island.

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TS (Tourette syndrome) is an inherited disorder of the nervous system characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal (phonic) sounds called tics. In a few patients, such tics can include inappropriate words and phrases. The symptoms of Tourette syndrome generally appear by age 7 and no later than age 18.

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WISSP (Westerly Integrated Social Services Program) is a Child Opportunity Zone (COZ) (see above). WISSP is a collaborative program funded by the state Department of Education which creates opportunities for existing community resources and WISSP staff to provide support services for students and families. The program assists in creating a safe and nurturing environment conducive to learning. WISSP is located within Westerly High School.

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YDP (Youth Diversion Program) offers case management services for youth ages 9 to 17 who need support due to family disruption, DCYF/Juvenile Justice involvement; or school failure. The youth cannot be open to DCYF services or have appeared before a judge although they may be involved with Court Services.

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