Author: The Possibilities Clinic

Coaching for ADHD and ADD: Different Stories, Common Goals, Tailored Approaches

Research shows that ADHD Coaching has a positive impact on the lives of children and teens (Ahman et al., 2017), college students (Prevatt & Yelland, 2015), and adults (Kubik, 2010). Gains in time management, motivation, self-esteem, and learning and study strategies have been documented, along with diminished feelings of distress. At Possibilities, we offer ADHD Coaching from regulated healthcare professionals to people of all ages. Our clients are courageous and inspiring as they move towards change. Here are some of their stories. Max is 10 years old. He is shy and curious, and his face boasts a flash of freckles and a spontaneous grin. ADHD is not a new diagnosis for him; it’s been on his IEP forever, along with a significant Learning Disability in reading. Book reports are tough, graphic novels are easier, and drawing is a skill he practices daily. Emily is 16. Her vintage-inspired glasses make her look smart, and she is. Early on she was identified at school as being gifted. Emily works harder than her classmates to achieve solid grades, and has big dreams of becoming an architect or doctor. Emily’s ADD was caught somewhat late in the game—just last year.  Gritty persistence that yielded decent grades...

Going Green: ADHD and a Walk in the Park

With the advent of Earth Day 2021 it seems a great time to explore the effects of green spaces on ADHD. Here’s a scientific study you need to know about. In 2009, Andrea Faber Taylor and Frances Kuo from the University of Illinois published a paper in the Journal of Attention Disorders called Children with Attention Deficit Disorders Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park.  Before we get to the findings, here’s some background. Faber Taylor and Kuo talk about theories of ADHD. One—called Attention Restoration Theory (ART)—suggests that there are two types of attention exercised by all brains. One type is deliberate, effortful focus, the kind you use when you are deliberately learning something that can’t be grasped easily. The second type is involuntary, effortless attention, the kind we exercise when we aren’t learning something specific or hard, but just absorbing the world around us or making fast connections when learning is super easy or entertaining for our brains.  Scientists thinking about Attention Deficit Disorders have hypothesized that the second kind of attention is intact in ADHD—the kind where you can absorb what is pleasing around you without too much strain. So, individuals with ADHD can focus on activities they enjoy for hours without much fatigue....

Taming Your Child’s Tantrums: Why Tantrums Happen and How You Can Help

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] When it comes to most things, knowledge is power. This applies to handling challenging situations with our children, such as tantrums and big emotions. We want to empower parents and caregivers to be better equipped to respond to their children’s tantrums. Learning about why tantrums occur and what practical skills can help us as parents as well as our children has so many advantages including an improvement in parent-child relationship, improved self-regulation and problem-solving skills in our children, and even a reduction in parent stress! Two of our child and adolescent psychologists, Dr. Jill Shuster and Dr. McKenzie Vanderloon (Supervised Practice) are hosting a two-evening workshop in May. Please keep reading to learn all about the workshop and how you can join!   Two Night WorkshopFor Parents of kids ages 3 -12 years When: Tuesday, October 19 and 26, 2021, 7:00 - 8:30 pmWhere: Virtually through ZoomCost: $150 per parent(s)Register at workshop@possibilitiesclinic.comSpace is limited to 25 participants to allow for questions and discussion Dr. Jill Shuster and Dr. McKenzie Vanderloon will explain why kids have tantrums, how you can become a better predictor of tantrum triggers, how to navigate the Tantrum Cycle, and ways you and your...

Language Development Pro-Tips From our Speech-Language Pathologist

There is a world of possibilities, with books and toys, to stimulate your child’s imagination and language during their early years.  Reading is perhaps the one singular most important activity to help stimulate language development for children.  Reading to your children long after they can read to themselves helps to continue their development of ideas and thoughts beyond their reading level.  A close second to reading to your child, is talking while playing with your child. This is why toys are often considered children’s ‘work’ and learning to play with toys is an important foundation skill.  Ages 0-2 Books for this age group include board books and illustrated books.  Board books allow infants to touch, feel, bend, mouth and throw the books without damaging the pages!  Many board books have stories (such as Good Night Moon), some have few to no words at all (Good Night Gorilla) and some help children learn specific vocabulary (such as colour and shape books).  Illustrated books for this age group include stories that can be read to your child even though they are not speaking or do not understand the vocabulary.  These books often have beautiful illustrations to help capture a child’s attention (The Moment you were Born, You are my Happy). Toys are...

The Amazingly Fantastic and Wonderfully Inspiring Power of Words!

by Michelle Pearce, MD, Jill Shuster, PhD, CPsych and Sandy Lane, MA, SLP  At Possibilities we think a lot about neuroscience. We think about how the brain develops and how that development influences thoughts, feelings and actions. If we asked child development experts what Top Five Factors support healthy brain development, we’re certain they would say 1) necessities of life like food and shelter, 2) love  3) health, and 4) education. What’s number 5? We would say...

New Location. New Look. New Services. New Outreach.

There are new developments at the Possibilities Clinic, and we’re excited to tell you about them! NEW LOCATION  We’ve moved to 1920 Yonge Street, Suite 200. That’s just south of our previous location. Our new office building has convenient, indoor access to the Davisville subway.  Patients have appreciated attending appointments through secure video sessions over the past year. We’ll offer Telemedicine sessions into the future, even after COVID-19. These sessions are convenient for our clients, and allow our clinicians to assess and treat with accuracy. Video sessions have also made it possible for patients across Ontario to seek our specialized services without needing to travel to Toronto.  If a visit requires an in-person appointment for a specific reason, it will happen at our new office. In-person visits will occur only if it is deemed safe to do so by our clinicians offering the appointment. At the current time, all appointments will remain virtual over Telemedicine.  NEW LOOK Our logo has changed, too! Do you see ripples radiating from the letter o? Throw a small stone in a still lake and you’ll achieve the same effect. Possibilities—for you or your child—are like ripples. They expand, multiply and radiate with one single action. Every day, our Multidisciplinary Team...

Dr. Doron Almagor discusses living with ADHD on CTV’s Canadian Health & Family hosted by Dr. Marla Shapiro

Are you an adult living with ADHD? If so, you know about the challenges ADHD can bring to your life. You have goals and dreams, just like everyone else. But ADHD can make it difficult to achieve everything that is meaningful to you. You’re not alone. An estimated 4 to 6% of Canadian adults are living with ADHD. Statistics also show that most adults with ADHD are not receiving appropriate treatments to help them reach their full potential.  Be informed. Understand what we know from science. Consider your options, based on facts and not assumptions. And hear directly from adults who are living their best lives with the support of current, scientifically supported treatments.  Here’s your chance to learn more. Canadian Health & Family, a program hosted by Dr. Marla Shapiro, will present an episode devoted to ADHD called, ADHD: Living A Full Life. Canadian Health & Family episodes focus on disease awareness and prevention, with discussions from Canada’s most recognized medical experts. The upcoming show will feature the Possibilities Clinic’s Dr. Doron Almagor. Dr. Almagor is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, and in disorders that often go along with ADHD like...

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

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] 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...