Giving ADHD A Creative Rethink

One of our recent posts was all about looking at ADHD "Symptoms" as "Superpowers" (Thank you ADDitude Magazine for the phrasing). While surfing the internet ocean of information about ADHD we ran across this from Scientific American blogger Scott Barry Kauffman. In it, he asks us to think about "The Creative Gifts of ADHD". Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience indicates a link between people with ADHD and creativity. The Link? A difficulty suppressing brain activity in what Kauffman refers to the “Imagination Network“ in a previous article. (This one is all about Neuroscience of Creativity another interesting read that says that the whole "right brain/left brain" concept only scratches the surface.) Seems that the what educational systems often deem a "disability" might actually be, with the right training and focusing techniques, "immensely conducive to creativity". If our default position as healthcare provides, educators and parents is to see ADHD as a flaw or a fault that needs to be "fixed", we maybe, as Kauffman says "letting too many competent and creative kids fall through the cracks." We should be cultivating the gifts given to kids with ADHD rather than "curing" them - Time to be giving ADHD a creative rethink. Read Kauffman's full article...

Halloween tips for Parents of kids with ADHD
Halloween tips for Parents of kids with ADHD

Halloween is fast approaching as you can see by the drawings on our office chalkboards (thanks to all the kids who drew us some spooky masterpieces!) Like all children, kids with ADHD can’t wait to head out into the evening looking for ghostly adventure! To help you make the most of the spookiest night of the year here are some halloween tips for parents of kids with ADHD courtesy of Possibilities' own Dr. Almagor. First – remember - Halloween is supposed to be about having fun. Let your child enjoy Halloween. The last thing you want is to let them feel excluded because they have ADHD. If you’re worried about candy overload remember there’s more to Halloween than candy. Focus on the costumes, the decorations, the stories, the adventure of being out and about after dark – for some kids this is the coolest thing of all. Second - Take a moment to get in the right headspace… as a parent you’re probably focusing on all the challenges (aka hassles) the night presents like buying the candy, getting costumes together, leaving the office on time… you’re exhausted and you haven’t even knocked on the first door yet! The best way to handle the...

Autism meets Siri – and the result will make you smile.
Autism meets Siri – and the result will make you smile.

If you didn't love Siri before you may just fall for her now. Siri, for those of you who don't own know, is the helpful built-in artificial intelligence that comes as part of the Apple OS on iPhones and iPad everywhere. She speaks 9 languages (so far) and is called upon often by people like me to find out about the weather, to check when I have to be at the dentist and to locate the nearest Starbucks is. But I have to admit - after reading this article from the New York Times - I may be greatly underestimating Siri's power. Dr. Almagor asked me to post a link to this article in advance of an article we are working on reviewing the apps that available to help in the treatment and education of kids with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. It's the story about when Autism meets Siri, and how technology is encouraging a 13-year old boy to connect in ways his mother never dreamed of...

ADHD Myths and Misconceptions
ADHD Myths and Misconceptions

A diagnosis of ADHD can be a daunting. There are a lot of misconceptions and preconceived notions about what having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Let’s clear up some of the ones that seem to be the most prevalent. Myth: It’s not a real disorder Let’s start with one of the major ADHD myths - ADHD isn’t real; it’s not a legitimate diagnosis. In reality, ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that has been clinically observed for more than 100 years and is recognized today all major medical associations and government health agencies due to overwhelming scientific evidence. Myth: ADHD is a “Boys Only” Disorder In actuality, girls are just as likely to have ADHD as boys but because this myth is out there and boys may show more of the visible “hyperactive” symptoms rather than the less obvious “inattentive” symptoms, boys are more likely to be diagnosed. The breakdown of “who” has ADHD according to CADDAC is as follows: ADHD is the most common mental health disorder in children. 80% of those diagnosed with ADHD in childhood maintain the diagnosis into adolescence and 60% are still affected by core symptoms into adulthood. No matter what it might seem like in the media, ADHD is underdiagnosed and...

ADHD clinic opens doors and the Possibilities are endless!

ADHD clinic Possibilities, opens doors to patients Oct. 1, 2014 Under the direction and leadership of Dr. Doron Almagor, MD, The Possibilities Clinic ushers in a whole new level of diagnosis, treatment for those dealing with ADHD and related disorders. The Possibilities Clinic offers family model programs developed specifically to assess, treat and support individuals dealing with ADHD and related conditions, as well as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Centrally located at Yonge and Eglinton, this patient focused ADHD clinic will offer integrated medical and psychotherapy services grounded within a positive developmental framework. Team members work together to provide a comprehensive and unified program of treatment and coaching tailored to each patient's needs and goals. Available services will include medication consultations, individual and group psychotherapy, group sessions and educational interventions. "Being able to offer my patients the best quality treatment and ongoing support - that's why I made the decision to open Possibilities," says Dr. Almagor. "I wanted their experience at my ADHD clinic to be as stress free, seamless and as comfortable as possible; that way they can concentrate on doing the work they need to so they can go further than they ever dreamed possible. That's where Possibilities came from." In addition...

ADHD Students: Tips to help create a more focused classroom
ADHD Students: Tips to help create a more focused classroom

ADHD Students and Teachers - This one is for you! It's back to school and the Huffington Post pulled together a great list of ADHD tips that may help teachers who have ADHD students in their classrooms. Here are a few of the tips they mention but you can see the complete list by clicking here. ADHD students need structure - Make lists, tables, reminders and previews to help them keep up. Make sure ADHD students sit at the front of the class or even better arrange the seats in a circle. This lets ADHD students stay focused because someone is always looking at them. Make eye contact, as often as possible. Use names. Nothing gets your attention quicker than your teacher calling your name. Make sure they get out and enjoy recess. Physical activity is vital for mental focus. Stay alert to situations that might cause over stimulation. Make large tasks smaller by breaking them down into smaller more manageable sections. Reward good behaviour with positive feedback. A pat on the back goes a long way to keeping ADHD students engaged. Incentivize – remember how you loved getting that gold star or being able to erase the chalkboard. ADHD students...