ADHD/ADD

The Practice of Mindfulness

In the most basic terms, mindfulness can be seen as the practice of paying attention to the people, places and things around you. This includes personal behaviours, emotions, and their related triggers and responses. Jon Kabat Zinn, creator of the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program, defines mindfulness as: “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” This definition adds flesh to act of paying attention and differentiates being mindful as being present and attending to every moment while not holding any judgment or opinions about what is happening. How many adults can find moments in their week where they are truly mindful? The intent behind this state of present-focused awareness makes it harder than it sounds and practicing being mindful can help us self-regulate throughout our day. Self-regulation is our ability to maintain an optimal state in the given context by adjusting our level of alertness and engaging in behaviours that are socially adaptive. How does mindfulness come into play?  The “moment to moment” awareness from being mindful requires the ability to focus and also recognize the many thoughts, feelings and sensations that happen to and around us. This skill...

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...

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...

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...

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for ADHD

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT was developed over 40 years ago and has empirical support in proving effective in treating depression and anxiety. More recently CBT has been shown to be an effective addition to medication in treating ADHD. Unlike regular supportive therapy, results come more quickly with CBT. Benefits accrue even after a dozen therapy sessions. The focus of CBT is on the way momentary thoughts and long-lasting beliefs about ourselves and others control how we feel and behave. CBT is a tool for getting organized, keeping focused and becoming better at controlling anger and improving relationships with others by tackling the illogical thoughts and unfounded expectations that stop us from interacting the way we want. CBT explores the “distorted thinking” that keep us from doing what we want. Some examples: Over-generalizing. Making a broad conclusion based on a small misconception. This small faulty conclusion becomes the basis for looking at other situations which may have nothing to do with the situation which cased the initial misconception. For instance, “I’ll never be able to pass the physics exam, if I can’t remember what movie I saw last night.” All or nothing thinking. (also known as black or white thinking). Interpreting a situation we...

5 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Self-Regulation in Children with ADHD

Mindfulness has become a buzzword as more and more people are looking for a way to combat stress and find peace within our busy lifestyles. Mindfulness meditation is a therapeutic technique derived from eastern philosophy that aims to reduce arousal, guide attention to the present moment, increase awareness and promote non-judgmental observation. Not only is mindfulness useful for bringing calm to our busy, anxious and hectic society, it is also an excellent therapeutic tool for children with ADHD to increase self-regulation and harness a greater ability to focus. 1. Mindfulness can strengthen the neurodevelopment of self-regulation When introduced at a young age, mindfulness has the ability to strengthen a child’s neurodevelopment of their capacity for reflective reprocessing. This means that a child’s ability to reflect. on and interpret their actions and the consequences of their actions can be heightened. By strengthening a child’s reflective reprocessing mindfulness addresses the core factor of self-regulation. 2. Mindfulness can aid in a child’s learning process experience increased levels of stress and anxiety compared to children without ADHD. Symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention, especially in the classroom, create a barrier to learning and increase anxiety for children, parents and teachers. With the practice of mindfulness meditation children with ADHD...

11th Annual CADDRA ADHD Conference

11th Annual CADDRA ADHD Conference   Friday, October 16th / Saturday, October 17th / Sunday, October 18th   Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel 1128 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4R5 Canada This conference will focus on the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, adolescents and adults.Medical and health care professionals working in the field of ADHD will enhance their knowledge and skills by attending keynote talks, seminars and workshops scheduled in the two-day meeting. It will be preceded by two accredited pre-event options: ADHD Institute workshops or ADHD Research Day. Who Should Attend Paediatricians, psychiatrists, family physicians, psychologists, neurologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, other professionals and trainees. Conference Committee Doron Almagor, Lauri Alto, Matt Blackwood, Don Duncan, Karen Ghelani, Martin Gignac, Andrew Hall, Julia Hunter, Declan Quinn, Joseph Sadek, Derryck Smith. To register or for more information please click here....