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Dealing with Challenging Behaviors “When Nothing Else Works”

“Most importantly it provides hope. In addition, no matter what discipline system that a program incorporates, this book provides the next step.”

--Bill DeMeo, author

Are you dealing with challenging behaviors either at home or in the classroom? When Nothing Else Works is filled with creative strategies to address and adjust problematic behavior. Bill DeMeo is one of our new Gryphon House authors and, as a way of introduction, we thought we would have him share about his book and a topic that doesn't get much coverage: How to Deal with Challenging Behaviors.

Q: Who might have an interest in your book?

A: Anybody who deals with challenging behaviors; it is a hot topic in our field today. The primary audience would be early childhood professionals, but it is also of interest to parents of young children. The book offers strategies to any daycare or preschool programs.

Q: How did you come to write this book?

A: The main reason is the number of young children expelled from early childhood programs because of behavior. In the program I was associated with, there were numerous children who had been expelled from other programs that we were able to serve. If other programs had had the knowledge and experience that we had, they may have been better prepared to serve children with challenging behaviors.

Q: Why is your book unique, and how does it differ from other books on the subject?

A: Most importantly it provides hope. In addition, no matter what discipline system that a program incorporates, this book provides the next step, the what do we do now? It includes the latest research, is evidence based, and is a collection of thirty years' worth of strategies gained from working with young children who exhibit challenging behaviors. Just to give you an idea of what kind of advice and activities can be found in the book, we thought we would give you an example.

How to Make a Fidget 


Fidgets are a variety of objects that can be used to help calm the body and mind when children feel the uncontrollable urge to move around. Fidgets can take several forms including stress balls and calming vessels. One of the most interactive fidgets comes in the form of a gel bag. Follow these simple instructions, and your children will be entranced!


  • hair gel
  • glue
  • 2 ziplock plastic bags
  • glitter or small erasers

What to Do:

  1. Put some hair gel in a plastic bag. Do not overfill--leave room for the gel to move around. Variation: If you don't have gel, you can substitute silly putty or shaving cream.
  2. Add glitter, letters, or small erasers.
  3. Seal the bag with glue.
  4. Place the first bag inside a second bag, and seal with glue.

Ta-da! Gel bag fidgets can be manipulated during story time, circle time, or whenever concentration and focus are needed.

Find out even more about author Bill DeMeo and other Gryphon House authors in the upcoming weeks as we launch our Author Q&A Series.  

Author Biography: Bill DeMeo, PhD, is a developmental psychologist who serves as a consultant for the Mayerson Academy. In addition, he runs a private practice in the greater Cincinnati area that specializes in serving children and families that other agencies are not able to serve. William is a nationally certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer, a National Assocation of School Psychologists-approved provider, and a national consultant for the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.

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