How Occupational Therapy can help your child with ADHD/ADD

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are trained in task analysis so they can work with children, families and their family health and school teams to identify their strengths and challenges in an activity, the factors in the activity and the environment that affect their participation in the activity. OTs not only help the child learn the skill, they may also modify the activity or adapt the environment so the child can participate fully and perform the task. Simple changes, like an adapted pencil grip, carrying around a fidget toy or adjusting the classroom and/or desk & chair set-up, can help a child be more successful. Here are some strategies you can try at home to help your child: Use a visual timer during tasks where your child has difficulties focusing: Analog clocks show the passage of time more visually than digital clocks, which allows us to anticipate events. To provide further visual cueing and reduce anxiety of not knowing when time is up/being told to end an activity “all of a sudden”, try a sand timer or a Time Timer so your child can see how much time is left! Try a visual schedule for daily routines: A visual representation of the various...

PARENT LIKE A SHARK AND RAISE A CONFIDENT CHILD
Parent Like a Shark and Raise a Confident Child

As a psychologist and consumer of pop culture (and popcorn!), I love borrowing from unlikely sources to inspire those “aha” moments that help children and families. ABC’s Shark Tank, a personal favorite in my go-to TV line-up, is one of those sources. It’s a show where brave entrepreneurs lay it all on the line for approval, mentorship and yes, even money, to propel their biggest dreams. So maybe you’re thinking, sure, my kids come to me for money, but where are you going with this? Bear with me. Here’s my pitch. Children crave and require unconditional love. They need to know you love, accept, and support them, no matter what, even when their ideas, dreams and behaviors don’t make a lot of sense to you, or you’re certain their strategies will fail. So what can the sharks in business teach you about raising confident children at home? Here are 4 strategies inspired by the tank. Avoid the whole “you’re dead to me” shtick: It probably goes without saying that Kevin O’Leary’s classic line, “you’re dead to me,” spewed when an entrepreneur fails to see the world from his perspective, is to be avoided. Your child will disagree with you at some point...

A FREE LECTURE FOR ADULTS WITH ADHD
A FREE Lecture for Adults with ADHD

Improv for Adults with ADHD: How Improv Can Help You Find Answers Within Yourself This talk will discuss how Improv techniques can help you improve communication skills, learn to self-regulate and boost social skills. The evening will also include a free Improv session that will introduce you to our upcoming Improv workshop, I-Zone For Adults with ADHD. Speaker: Deborah Levine, Ph.D. RSW Featuring: David Boyce, Actor, Improv Instructor When: Monday, January 30, 2017, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Where: The Possibilities Clinic, 55 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 305 Registration is FREE, but you must call to reserve your seat. Space is Limited. Register by phone: 416.482.5558 or email...

8-WEEK MINDFULNESS & EMOTION REGULATION WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN
8-Week Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation Workshop for Children

8-Week Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation Workshop for Children 8-11 years old Starts Thursday, Feb. 16th for 8 Weeks from 6-7:30 PM Ends April 13th with no session March 16th due to March Break 8 x 90-minute sessions. Cost: $375 Reserve your spot today by calling us at 416-482-5558 or email This eight-week program will engage children in mindfulness-based activities and introduce them to emotion regulation coping skills. Through mindfulness exercises, children will learn strategies to help cope with attention difficulties, anxiety and hyperactivity. The interactive group format will engage children in a fun and relaxing way to boost confidence, reinforce positive behaviour and promote positive social behaviours and well-being. What to expect from this workshop: Improve Focus By learning how their brain responds to stress & by practicing strategies to calm their mind, your child can become better at self-regulating. Taking Action Mindfully Learning to express gratitude and compassion, your child can build the awareness and understanding of others' feelings. Sharpening Your Senses By mindfully observing their senses, your child will become adept at sharpening their attention and enhance memory and creativity. Understanding Emotions: As your child learns new ways to cultivate a positive mindset, they prime their brain for learning and for building healthy relationships. Reserve your spot today by calling us at 416-482-5558 or email    ...

FOUR WAYS TO MAKE ANY TOY EDUCATIONAL
Four Ways to Make Any Toy Educational

Seems to me there is a whole lot of pressure on parents to buy toys that are “educational.” With the holidays around the corner, you might be looking for that perfect educational toy to complete your shopping list. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know what the heck an educational toy is. Really, I don’t. But from the looks of it, a toy is “educational” because 1) someone says it is, 2) it’s sold in a fancy store with other “educational” products, and 3) you’re told, more or less, “buy this toy and you’ll stimulate your child’s brain.” Sadly, these toys aren’t cheap, especially those backed by experts selling fun-tastic fertilizer for growing brains destined for the Ivy League. Thankfully, I can forgive my parents for failing to buy me fancy, educational toys. Instead (how dare they?!) they bought me, well, toys. Plain old regular toys. And sometimes they didn’t buy me toys at all (the nerve!). Sometimes I played with pots (gasp!), yarn (yikes!), and, wait for it, sticks (noooooo!). All these items were toys, if I chose to impose my imagination on them, and my parents made sure I did so by granting me free, unstructured time...

HOME DESIGN FOR ADHD & BEST PRACTICES
Home Design for ADHD & Best Practices

Well, the 2017 IKEA catalog has arrived and already I feel a love-hate relationship brewing. Sure, a love-hate anything is probably not healthy, but let me clear my cluttered desk with a quick swoop of the arm (oops—grab coffee cup before it topples) and settle into my quiet chaos as I explain. The IKEA brand boasts clean lines and organized living, not to mention fabulous meatballs and short pencils you can pop in your pocket if you choose to walk away with something other than furniture on a visit to any IKEA store. Seeing everything in its proper place—on shelving and on hooks, in bins and in baskets—is truly inspiring, and definitely worth loving on page after glossy page. But picture-perfect configuration can be deflating, too, (hence the hate part) if you scan your home and are smacked with strewn knapsacks, a scattering of shoes, and a tornado of toys. It’s easy to grant yourself a pass, and that’s more than fair. Comedian Phyllis Diller once said, “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.” How true! And with limited hours in any day, it goes without saying that meal prep, bath...

FREE ADHD WORKSHOP NOV. 29TH WITH GILLIAN CHOW
Free ADHD Workshop Nov. 29th with Gillian Chow

Registration is FREE, but you must call to reserve your seat. Space is Limited. Register by phone: 416.482.5558 On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm we'll be hosting a free workshop for parents who have a child/children with attention and emotion regulation difficulties. This talk will discuss practical and everyday techniques to help your child with focus and self-regulation. The workshop will be by Gillian Chow, MScOT About Gillian Chow: Gillian Chow is a registered Occupational Therapist with an interest in children’s mental health and a passion for working with children and families. Through her work with Autism Ontario Kids Camp and Giant Steps Toronto, she has gained diverse experience working with school-aged children with ASD, Learning Disabilities, ADHD and sensory issues. At Possibilities, Gillian works with families to enable their child to achieve their everyday goals and academic success. Registration is FREE, but you must call to reserve your seat. Space is Limited. Register by phone: 416.482.5558...

PASS!

PASS! is a Performing Arts & Social Skills group that engages children and parents in creative ways to give your child the skills and confidence in social settings. The program uses different theatre techniques, including improvisation, creative movement and breath & emotional awareness, to help children become more socially aware. The next session begins Wednesday, October 19, 2016 and will run for six consecutive nights, 6 – 7:30pm. If you are interested in participating or for more information, please contact The Possibilities Clinic at 416-482-5558....

Helping Your Child with ADHD: Techniques to Regulate Emotions
Helping Your Child with ADHD: Techniques to Regulate Emotions

ADHD and Emotion Regulation: Emotion regulation is our ability to provide adequate control over emotional responses. While difficulty with emotion regulation is not a symptoms of ADHD, individuals with ADHD tend to get flooded or overwhelmed with emotions. Strong and intense reactions can sometimes have positive consequences, such as getting really excited about a family trip, but these reactions can also make getting through the day a challenge. Emotion regulation is a skill that can be learned, often with the help of parents or other adults. Here are some strategies that may help at home or at school: Provide as much consistency as possible. Regular mealtimes and sleep schedules are essential for children's emotional and physical development. Talk about your feelings when appropriate. Encourage your children to talk about their feelings. Label your child’s feelings and discuss emotions as they arise in books or television shows. Model emotion regulation. What strategies do you use when you are feeling frustrated or worried? Practice deep breathing. This is a tool that the whole family can practice and it can be used anywhere! If you are looking for more support, psychotherapy using collaborative problem solving or cognitive behaviour therapy may help your child and family. What is...

Four Ways to Create a Love of Story in Struggling Readers

A few years ago I found myself at a screenwriter’s course over two days in Toronto. Okay, I guess it was more of a mini-introduction for hopeful enthusiasts than a full course for the paid movie writing professionally if you insist on being technical. But for two very intense days I listened to Hollywood script doctors describe the elements of a good story—the kind of story that keeps you on the edge of your seat even when you already know that the good guys will win, the unlikely couple will fall in love, and the world will pull through despite imminent threats and cataclysmic countdowns. Good stories are big business—whether in books, on television or in films. Good stories keep us watching. Good stories keep us reading. Good stories keep us listening. As a child psychologist, I often meet parents whose children are struggling to read. Usually, those children are challenged at the single word level, meaning they find it hard to sound out letters and to blend those letters to sound out words. It’s tough to appreciate any story—and to keep track of even basic ideas—when sounding out letters and words is frustrating and exhausting. So what is a parent to...