Parenting Tips

Tips To Help You Have A Better Day With Your ADHD Child

Parenting an ADHD child can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences in your life. Here are some ideas to assist you. 1)Provide structure and routine. Children with ADHD need help with organization and following through. They do better when rules and expectations are clearly stated. Behaviour charts are a good way to establish clear rules and encourage compliance. Children love to earn rewards, and they will feel proud of themselves for being successful. 2) Catch a kid doing something good. Children with ADHD thrive on positives. Unfortunately, they often experience the opposite. Praise your child efforts as well as the outcomes. This focus is important to build confidence, encourage the child to try new things and set a tone for positive interactions. There are many strategies that are important, but they won’t be effective in the long run if the child does not feel worthwhile, valued and confident. 3) Set situations up for success. ADHD children need to be reminded of the rule/expectation before doing it. This is because they often rush into situations without thinking things through. For example, before a friend comes to visit, remind him or her of what to expect and how to respond. Role play...

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...

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...

Schooling Your Child’s Education: Getting the System to Work for You

All children in Canada have the right to public education, but getting educational needs met is easier for some than for others. Special ­needs children may require adaptations to the curriculum or extra support from paraprofessionals. Often, advocacy and collaboration with schools will be necessary for parents of these children, but both these tasks require some knowledge of how to navigate the system. Many of the parents who come to our clinic find that this can be a complex and frustrating process. As such, we’ve outlined some basic tips for parents below. Whether you’re just familiarizing with your child’s school or already have them on speed­ dial one, having good communication and a good sense of your child’s learning needs can only help your child have the best experience possible in the public school system. 1. Terms of the Trade: know the ABC’s of IEP’s (etc). Like all institutions, the education system has it’s own lingo and set of acronyms which aren’t necessarily obvious. Below is a list of some common terms you might encounter: Term Definition IEP (which stands for: “Individual Education Plan”) A plan which outlines the special educational programs and services that the child will receive. Psychoeducational Assessment An assessment completed or supervised by a registered...

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...

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...