ADHD/ADD

ADHD Research Continues

Dr. Almagor is currently helping to recruit participants for a joint research project being conducted by professionals from CAMH and York University. The purpose of the study is to better understand the performance calibration in children aged 8 -12 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with/without Comorbid oppositional defiant behaviours and a community sample of typically developing children. See below for more information or click here to download the brochure as a PDF.   Purpose of Research: Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and disruptive behaviours tend to overestimate performance with scholastic achievement, social interactions, athletics, and behaviour, in comparison to parent and teacher ratings, despite experiencing difficulty in these domains. The current study aims to evaluate confidence in performance, termed performance calibration, as children complete tasks in general knowledge, mathematics, and emotional recognition. The goal of this work is to contribute to the current literature by providing a developmental lens to performance calibration, comparisons across groups and domains of performance, as well addressing the utility of in-vivo judgments about performance. Who Can Participate? We are seeking children with a pre-existing diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder made by a professional, with/without oppositional behaviours between the ages of 8-12 years old. What is Involved? The study has 3 components: Children will be asked...

CADDAC Invites You to Participate…

Making decisions about the treatment of behavioural problems in children is very difficult for most parents, who experience uncertainty regarding the use of psychosocial and pharmacological therapies, and who may feel overwhelmed.   CADDAC invites caregivers to participate in a one-day meeting of clinicians, researchers, parents and representatives from the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada and Tourette Canada to discuss the creation and use of decision aids for parents of youth with disruptive behaviour disorders. The goal of this one-day meeting is to discuss the use of decision aids for families to help reduce decisional conflict and encourage active decision-making. Participants will receive an honorarium of $200 for transportation costs to the meeting and child care expenses. This study has been approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 23rd at the Tourette Canada headquarters at 175-5945 Airport Road, Mississauga, starting at 9:30am. Please contact CADDAC by email or phone if you would like to participate, 905-471-3524 or heidi.bernhardt@caddac.ca The meeting will be divided into two parts. PART ONE Interactive educational discussions of the rationale for the creation of decision aids for families with youth with disruptive and aggressive behaviour. PART TWO Small group interviews involving up to 7...

iNeedtofocus: ADHD in the age of Tablets

“Difficulties with attention? Yes she does, but not all the time. She can pay attention to her tablet for hours” - are the words we often hear from parents who visit our clinic. These parents are not strangers to the mesmerizing power of tablets, which seem to draw the attention of children like moths to their iridescent glow. Many have experienced the profound ability that tablets have to calm fussing babies, enrapture busy toddlers and entertain children and teens who otherwise can’t seem to focus for long enough to finish their math homework. But what is the nature of the power that these tablets seem to wield on children’s attention? And what is its relationship to ADHD? Those who are reading this are likely from a generation when the mode of play was tinker toys rather than tablets. The launch of the first ipad was in 2010, meaning that these devices, Ontario’s most popular hand-held object next to a Tim Horton’s double-double, are also younger than the average child we see at our clinic! Because of their newness, the literature on these devices and their impact on ADHD is scant, often leaving more questions than answers. But this is not to...

Welcome to the ME Zone! An Introduction to Mindfulness Training for Kids

Lots of children, and children with ADHD especially have difficulty maintaining attention and staying focused; struggle to understand and regulate intense emotions, and act in impulsive ways. With all of the demands and excitements of everyday life including school, friends, family, technology, games, sports etc. it can be hard for any child to focus on one thing at a time and to be fully present in their everyday life. With ADHD the ability to stay focused and be present is that much more difficult. Difficulty with attention and over stimulation can also make self-regulation difficult for children with ADHD leading them to have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviours. 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. Emerging research in the field of mindfulness meditation for ADHD demonstrates that mindfulness training has the ability to strengthen attention, executive functioning and emotion regulation for individuals with ADHD. The use of mindfulness training is increasingly being applied to work with children with ADHD. When children with ADHD are exposed to mindfulness training at a young age, mindfulness has the ability to strengthen a child’s...

The Pros and Cons of ADHD Medications

On March 30th, 2015, Health Canada released an alert emblazoned with the headline "ADHD drugs may increase risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours in some people; benefits still outweigh risks." Since the release hit the newswires and the media outlets, our clinic has been contacted by patients and their families who are justifiably concerned and in some cases quite alarmed. I’d like to take a moment to do what I can, as a medical doctor and as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist specializing in the field of ADHD, to answer those questions and calm any fears you may have. Let me state clearly and for the record, that Health Canada warnings are not a cause for panic. They’re meant to raise awareness of “possible” risks associated with medications, whether they be for ADHD, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition. They are meant to make patients aware so they can then better manage their condition with the help of their doctors and their families. In terms of ADHD specifically, however, this release gives us the opportunity to address and examine the important issues, facts and misconceptions surrounding ADHD treatments. What they said… The main points made in the Health Canada release address...

2015 Shire Canada ADHD Scholarship Program

The Shire Canada ADHD Scholarship Program was created to help people with ADHD who are pursuing higher education. This year 5 scholarships will be awarded each valued at $1500 CA as well as one year of ADHD coaching from the Edge Foundation. The Possibilities Clinic Director, Dr. Almagor is very pleased to be one of the judges and is looking forward to reading application essays from across the country. The Shire Canada ADHD Scholarship Program Application Deadline is April 20, 2015. For complete rules and eligibility requirements, click here....

12 ADHD Tips for Happy Holidays!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and possibly the most stressful. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re managing the holidays and kids with ADHD. 1. Here’s a biggie to start… There is no real evidence to indicate a link between ADHD and sugar. There are personal accounts of a connection, but so far no solid scientific study to back it up. Best advice? Use your best judgment. You know your child best. There are other reasons you might want to consider limiting your child’s sugar intake of course like basic health and well being. 2. While there is no definitive scientific link between sugar and hyperactivity - there is some evidence of one between food dyes and an increase in ADHD symptoms. That being the case, keep in mind that most candies - candy-canes included - contain artificial dyes and it might be a good idea to limit their intake. Some children seem to be very sensitive to these effects and some not at all. You know them best so go by your past experiences to do what’s right for YOUR child! 3. Get moving! Instead of staying cooped up inside with family or video games, send...

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...