Author: The Possibilities Clinic

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...

POSSIBILITIES WORD OF THE WEEK: OFF-SEASON

by Brenda S Miles, PhD, C PsychClinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist Last week we kicked off our new Possibilities Word of the Week Project. We’ll provide one word each week. You choose how to run with it. The goal is to inspire you; not to frustrate or overwhelm you. During this difficult time of COVID-19, we’re not asking—or even suggesting—that you structure every hour of every day to recreate your child’s school day or keep your children amused. If you’re trying your best to keep your family safe, then you are doing a tremendously good job. Think of our word of the week not as a mandate, but as a small dose of direction to help you navigate this challenging time. Our new word is off-season.  COVID-19 has stopped visits to the gym. It has stopped professional athletes from entering stadiums and arenas. It has stopped your children from playing sports with teammates. Physical distancing makes team sports impossible—and games with groups of neighborhood friends are not advised, either. For children and teens who thrive on physical activity—and that’s most of them!—these restrictions might feel unbearable. But here’s something to keep in mind. No professional athlete ever plays a team sport throughout the year. Professional athletes...

POSSIBILITIES WORD OF THE WEEK: IGNITE

by Brenda S Miles, PhD, C PsychClinical Paediatric Neuropsychologist Raising children is challenging—joyous, but challenging. COVID-19 hasn’t made parenting any easier. Of course you have concerns. Protecting your family’s health is first and foremost. If you’re also concerned about learning while schools remain closed, you’re not alone. We hope this series can help.  This is the first posting from our new Possibilities Word of the Week Project. This week’s word is IGNITE. How can you ignite learning in your child or teen when schools remain closed?  You can, because the brain is an incredible thing. But before we talk brain, you might have a more pressing question. How can a single word be helpful at a time like this? Does that sound right? It’s a good question.  Single words can inspire. Single words can motivate. Single words can ignite action.  COVID-19 is a heartbreaking time for the world. But if we must find an upside, this extended break from school presents a unique and unprecedented opportunity for the brain to come out swinging. It can learn, and it’s ready to learn. So we’ll give you one word a week. You choose how to run with it.  Please trust that one word is enough—especially if your child’s...