Author: The Possibilities Clinic

Possibilities Clinic presents at 16th Annual CADDRA Conference!

Our Team will be speaking at this year’s 16th Annual CADDRA Conference! CADDRA, the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to sharing the latest science on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD with medical, healthcare, and research professionals. Dr. Doron Almagor, a Child and Adult Psychiatrist and Director of Possibilities, along with Dr. Joan Flood, a Family Physician focused on ADHD treatment  and advocacy, and Dr. Brenda Miles, a Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist focused on Learning Disabilities that occur with attention challenges, will discuss how ADHD can be evaluated, diagnosed and treated virtually. In “Lights, Camera, Action! Leveraging Telehealth for Successful ADHD Outcomes,” the team will discuss evidence supporting the use of Telemedicine in ADHD diagnosis and treatment. They will also share their lessons learned from COVID-19—when pivoting quickly to Telemedicine was essential—and strategies for improving screen presence to support trusted and effective collaborations with patients. This symposium is designed to inform Family Physicians, Nurses / Nurse Practitioners, Pediatricians, Pharmacists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Residents / Students, Social Workers, Therapists, Researchers about virtual practice in ADHD diagnosis and treatment.  When: Saturday, October 24, 2020 Time: 12:15 PM - 1:45 PMFor more information to to CADDRA 2020 16th Annual ADHD Conference ...

Dear Possibilities, My child is struggling to read.

Dear Possibilities,My son is going into Grade 4 and struggles to read. I’ve worked hard to get him extra help, and his teachers have been really understanding. Right now he has some accommodations, like extra time to do his work. Sometimes he uses a computer for homework which helps. At the end of Grade 2 he was having a hard time sounding out words. So I got him a tutor and we haven’t stopped. He’s been seeing his tutor every week for over a year now. But my son’s reading hasn’t improved much and he’s getting more and more frustrated. The school wants to add modifications to the accommodations. Is this the next best step? What more I can do to help my son read? Signed,Searching for Solutions Dear Searching, These are great questions—and worth spending some time on! Of course we could start with a general definition of accommodations and modifications, but that sounds rather dull for us and for you. And if we start and end with definitions, we’ll probably fail to address the most important information—like the real implications of accommodations and modifications for your child’s learning in the long-run. So let’s start with a story, then swing back and...

DEAR POSSIBILITIES

Your questions about ADHD and Learning Disabilities answered byBrenda S Miles, PhD C Psych, Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist and Dr. Doron Almagor, MD MRCPC, Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist Dear Possibilities,I was recently diagnosed with ADHD at age 61. Long story, as you can imagine. Now I’m on Concerta which has given me so much focus! I never knew it could be this way! But I’m concerned about retirement and the end of my health plan coverage. I have two questions. How can I afford to pay for this prescription as a retired person? And what’s the impact on me (or anybody, really) if a prescription is stopped, especially if it’s working.Signed,Never Knew It Could Be This Way Dear Never Knew, These questions are great for so many reasons! And readers who are far from retirement—keep reading. There are answers here that apply to you, too. Now, back to you, Never Knew...

INTRODUCING OUR TELEMEDICINE SIGNATURE ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES, ADD/ADHD AND MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES

How did COVID-19 affect services at Possibilities? When the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting Ontario, Possibilities transitioned all in-person appointments to secure video sessions to protect the safety of our clients and our community.  We were able to continue most of our assessments and treatments over secure video appointments, providing uninterrupted help throughout these difficult times. Video sessions have allowed most of our services, such as ADD/ADHD assessments, coaching, medication consultations, clinical therapies and tutoring services to continue to be provided, right from the safety of your home. Learning Disability testing—the portion of our comprehensive Signature Assessment that examines learning and cognitive abilities—has not been offered in the last few months, as the usual protocols for this type of assessment have typically involved in-person testing over many hours and sessions. Over the last few months, we have consulted peer-reviewed research, and clinicians involved in the development of standardized tests, to determine how Learning Disability tests and associated cognitive measures could be adapted for secure video sessions while maintaining accuracy and safety. Some clinics are doing in-person psychoeducational testing. Why isn’t Possibilities doing this yet?  We recognize that some clinics have started providing in-person psychoeducational testing. However, because of the extended time needed for the psychoeducational...

DEAR POSSIBILITIES

Your questions about ADHD and Learning Disabilities answered byBrenda S Miles, PhD C Psych, Clinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist and Dr. Doron Almagor, MD MRCPC, Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist Dear Possibilities,  I’m a 34 year-old father and lawyer living in Los Angeles. Recently I was diagnosed with ADHD. I’ve been working with a coach and making progress. I’m really happy to know that it was ADHD (and not me) that has given me trouble all these years! I’m still working through lots of shame and guilt about some major mistakes in my life, but I think it’s time to finally try medications and maximize what I can get from coaching. But I want only the best medication and I don’t want to take any chances. What’s the best medication available right now in 2020?  Signed,Wanting the Best in LA Dear La La Lawyer, Ah, Los Angeles—sun, surf, celebrities and, of course, the biggest botch-up in Oscar history! We remember it well. It’s 2017 and Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are announcing Best Picture of the year. Beatty examines the card, hesitates, and then says, “La La Land!” The cast and crew run to the stage, hug, cry, and celebrate. Warm feelings all around, right? And then...

ACCEPT THE ASSIST IN ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: LESSONS FROM COVID-19 AND GRETZKY-99

by Brenda S Miles, PhD, C PsychClinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist Welcome back to our Possibilities Word of the Week. Admittedly, it’s been a few weeks. But during that time we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to determine how best to assist you going forward. This Word of the Work will be our last—at least in its weekly format—because we’ve listened to you and found new ways to assist.  If you haven’t caught the key word I’ve used twice already, it’s assist. Assist is our word of the week—and assistance is something we could all use right now in the midst of a global pandemic. COVID-19 is a threat the world wasn’t prepared for. Scientists are rallying to find a vaccine. The rest of us are rallying to adapt, looking for different ways to do the same things we’ve always loved doing. When science comes through with a vaccine, our lives will hopefully return to hugs, concerts, and dinners with friends we remember so fondly. But some things may never return to their pre-COVID state—and some things may be changed forever. How we view Assistive Technology is one of those things I hope gets a reframe. At Possibilities, computers and secure video connections like Zoom...

POSSIBILITIES WORD OF THE WEEK: MATCH

by Brenda S Miles, PhD, C PsychClinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist A few weeks ago we kicked off our new Possibilities Word of the Week Project. As COVID-19 continues, so does this initiative. We hope you find a small dose of direction—and a big dose of inspiration—amidst so much uncertainty. This week’s word is match. It feels like the right word for right now, especially with so many parents telling us that school expectations for on-line learning have been a struggle. One mother described a fire-hose effect—a constant stream of worksheets and assignments coming from cyberspace with such force and frequency the family feels like they’re drowning. And often, little or no work is getting done. So what does the word match have to do with these struggles? Well, I’m a hopeless romantic. And yes, I love all those movies where lonely people meet and fall in love. The subplots vary, but all happily-ever-after stories have one thing in common: love happens when there is a match. Mismatches, on the other hand, are disastrous. They are heartbreaking, painful, and draining. When your child’s skills don’t align with work that is expected, there is a mismatch. And the tantrums, and refusals and frustrations that happen are heartbreaking, painful and draining.  At...

Remote Learning During COVID-19: How Strategies from Occupational Therapy Can Help

by Sarah Ohana, OT Reg. (Ont.) & Paula Riczker, OT Reg. (Ont.), The Possibilities Clinic COVID-19 as a rapidly evolving situation; we hear that every day. What has evolved for you, as parents, are more responsibilities, more concerns, more stressors, and more unknowns in a time of great uncertainty. We imagine you are wearing multiple hats right now. At least three come to mind: parent, teacher, tutor (not to mention cook, cleaner, washer of dishes and clothes, and the list goes on). It’s normal to feel overwhelmed right now. These are unprecedented times for everyone. And for children and adults with ADD or ADHD, many challenges have intensified. Routines have changed, and on-line learning and remote work are new expectations.  As Occupational Therapists, we’re hearing lots of concerns from families about remote learning. How can you support your child or teen with this new reality? Here are some common questions we’ve been answering, and strategies we hope you find helpful.  How can I get remote learning started at home?  Collaborate with your child to determine the most helpful organizational system for assignments and deadlines (e.g., Google Docs, a smartphone, an agenda, a whiteboard?).Leave one browser open on a computer—or as few as possible—to minimize visual distractions and support attention. Model self-talk and discuss...

POSSIBILITIES WORD OF THE WEEK: INVENT

by Brenda S Miles, PhD, C PsychClinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist Another week, another word. This week’s word is invent.  If you’re a fan of ABC’s Shark Tank, you’ll know the show is filled with entrepreneurs hoping to make it big with their one-of-a-kind inventions. Whether it’s a tray for a wheelbarrow so gardening tools stay within reach, a flower with a string that catches hair before it clogs the bathtub drain, or a tiny magnet with a metal loop that holds eyeglasses on your shirt, these inventions have one thing in common. They all solve a problem.  With schools still closed, why not encourage your kids to solve some problems and create inventions of their own? In the last few weeks, parents have told me stories—quite proudly—of how inventive their children have become. One child created a bubble-blowing device with items found around the house, and I’ve heard of many other examples of budding ingenuity! Inventive people have been grouped in terms of personality traits and common characteristics. Lists vary, but here are a few basic themes. Inventors are: Curious about the worldRecognize good opportunities Identify problemsAct to solve the problems they have identifiedPersist through challengesTake pride in their workShare their knowledge with the world COVID-19 has been...

POSSIBILITIES WORD OF THE WEEK: DREAM

by Brenda S Miles, PhD, C PsychClinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist It’s week three of our new Possibilities Word of the Week Project. We hope this initiative provides a small dose of direction and a big dose of inspiration as your kids continue to stay home 24/7 during COVID-19.  Our word this week is dream.  Big dreams are important. They make life exciting, and they propel us to achieve great things. “Dream” is a big word at Possibilities. In fact, when we meet children and teens for the first time at our clinic, we ask them to complete our Possibilities Dream Profile. The first question is this: Someday I want to be the world’s greatest __________________________. Some children say “athlete”. Some say “scientist”. Some say “comedian”. Dreams belong to the dreamer; there are no right or wrong answers here. Dreams are interesting things. They are sparkly and shiny, and far more exciting than homework or chores. Dreams are powerful things, too, because they keep dreamers striving for a very long time, even when rewards aren’t immediate or guaranteed! Your child might bail quickly on a math problem but spend hours shooting a puck or throwing a basketball—over and over—trying to perfect a shot. You’d see the opposite if...