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

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, May 11 and 18, 2021, 7:30 - 8:00 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 child can achieve...

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...

Exploring Emotions With Children: How Are You Feeling Today?

Our children have complex feelings and thoughts but often cannot express themselves because they do not have the words to match what they feel inside.  We can help our children learn some of those words by naming them when they are younger and talking about feelings daily or after a specific event has occurred.  This is a good strategy for basic emotions that you can interpret by the expressions and body language of a child (mad, sad, scared, happy).  Here are two ideas to help guide your children to explore their emotions. Use emotion word lines to explore feelingsHere are some emotion word lines to explore with your child - is it important to recognize that one word doesn't always capture the magnitude of a feeling. The more words children have to express their feelings, the more likely they are able to identify, communicate and manage their feelings. Mad -> annoyed -> angry -> furious -> fuming -> enragedSad -> unhappy -> disappointed -> downcast -> miserable Happy -> cheerful -> delighted -> excited -> joyful Scared -> nervous -> afraid -> frightened -> terrified Use storytelling to identify and talk about complex feelingsIt can be a little more difficult to be able to capture adequately how your...

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 ...

Introducing the Possibilities Clinic Assessment Award

By Edward Donnell Ivy, MD MPHDirector of Community Outreach and EducationPossibilities Clinic It is my pleasure, as Director of Community Outreach and Education at Possibilities, to introduce the new Possibilities Clinic Assessment Award. Each year, three students will receive the clinic’s most comprehensive psychoeducational assessment, called a Signature Assessment, at no cost to their families, to help support learning. Students with learning challenges who are unable to access an assessment privately due to financial need while on a waitlist for a publicly-funded assessment can be nominated jointly by a school principal and social worker. Principals and social workers from public schools across Ontario are eligible to nominate up to two students per school with family permission. I am proud to be part of this initiative—and to be a part of the Possibilities Clinic where science, support and synergy are the guiding principles. These principles have helped me tremendously in my own life, and I hope they can help students eligible for this assessment award, too. I grew up in rural North Carolina. My family was very poor—our lives shaped by poverty more than possibilities—and my parents warned me that the world could be very cruel to those who looked like us. My school picture,...