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October 2011 Newsletter
October 25, 2011
This month we have tried to broaden the types of resources we are offering, including a number of recorded interviews and videos.  Of particular interest may be this week's video of Dr. OZ interviewing Dr. Hallowell and Sue Hallowell on the topic of ADHD and marriage, and an interview with Dr. Hallowell on dyslexia.  Please let us know your thoughts about these changes!  (We hope you'll like them, but want your honest opinions!)

Dr. Hallowell's newest book, Shine, was published by Harvard Business School Press not too long ago.  In it he talks about how to get the best out of yourself and others in a work situation - very relevant in these days of way-too-much-to-do at work!  This month we publish a short excerpt on procrastination and have an interview with Dr. Hallowell in our resources section, but there is much more.  Perhaps you'll want to delve into it further!

As we speed towards the holidays, please remember the importance of making time for family...and for taking care of yourself.  In fact, while you're thinking about it, why not block out one half a day sometime in early December just for you?  You can figure out what you'll do in that slot later... 


Melissa Orlov, editor


Dr. Oz Show



Ned and Sue Hallowell on the Dr. Oz Show! 




Q:   Our 19 year old son was just diagnosed with ADD and Dyslexia. His academic life has been very difficult. Do you have any recommendations for me on how I might best support him, and also for him on how best to manage his day to day life?


A:   Dr. Hallowell also has both ADHD and dyslexia! Here are some ideas for you:

  • Learn all that you can about ADHD and dyslexia so that you and your son know what the options are. Delivered from Distraction is a great overview of ADHD (and has an audio version). Positively ADD is a book written for teens that profiles people with ADHD who have struggled, then succeeded. (It's written for a high school age audience, but has terrific stories.)  In the resources section this month there is an interview with Dr. Hallowell about dyslexia. 
  • Take advantage of school services and accommodations - if your son is in college he should work with the learning specialist there to get accommodations to help him succeed. These might include reading machines, extra time on tests, etc. They'll likely want to see his test results for this. 
  • Consider careers that take his strengths and learning issues into account. With dyslexia, for example, it might be difficult to be a lawyer due to the heavy reading load. The Hallowell Center in Sudbury, MA has a career specialist who works with college age people to help them identify areas that match their interests and strengths.
  • Pursue optimizing treatment even if there are setbacks. Treatment for ADHD takes lots of experimentation to get right. 70-80% of adults can find a med that helps ADHD symptoms without bad side effects...but this often takes time.


Q:  My son recently had his medication switched from Adderall to Vyvanse.  I am looking for a symptom checklist that I can have his teacher complete to help his doctor determine if the dosage is working. Does something like this exist?  


A:  It is important to monitor children with ADHD in the school setting. We recommend the ADHD Monitoring System as a simple, cost-effective way for parents and teachers to easily track behavior, academic performance, quality of student classwork and homework.


Stop Procrastinating...Now

We all know what a problem procrastination can be on our productivity. According to Dr. Hallowell, "we procrastinate because we all have too much to do, and we want to dodge things we don't like." A Harvard Business Review article summarizes experts' opinions, including Dr. Hallowell's, in these five principals to follow to avoid deferring important work:

  1. Figure out what's holding you back - Once you've identified the reason, you can break the cycle. There are two types of tasks most often deferred: The ones you don't like, and the ones you don't know how to do.
  2. Set deadlines - Break the project down into manageable segments, and assign deadline for each piece. Adding appointments in your calendar will help you address these segment each day, which in turn contributes to your sense of progress. Use Post-It notes whatever visual cues will ensure you don't avoid the project.
  3. Increase the rewards - We often dally because the reward is too far off. Focus on short-term rewards, and if there aren't any, insert your own. Treat yourself to a coffee break, or a quick chat with a co-worker once you've finished a task. You can also embed the reward, like working with someone on a particularly difficult project or setting up a game for yourself so that doing the task isn't so boring or onerous.
  4. Involve others - One of the principles Dr. Hallowell often repeats is "Never worry alone." Turn to a trusted colleague or a friend for advice, ask them to review your work, and even enter an anti-procrastination pact: hold each other accountable to deadlines.
  5. Get in the habit - Hallowell says that he used to be a procrastinator but trained himself to stop. "I don't procrastinate at all now. Putting it off doesn't make it go away. Getting it done does," he says. There are immediate benefits when you start getting things done right away, and it's a habit you can cultivate. Try noting the progress you make each day, and see yourself, and talk about yourself with others, as someone who gets things done.
To read the entire article, which includes two case studies, please visit the Harvard Business Review:

Concerns about Stigma Undermine ADHD Treatment for Adolescents

A study published recently in the Journal of Adolescent Health examined what factors are important when a teen does not receive treatment for ADHD with some interesting results. 


Researchers determined that teens who were more likely to have been treated were rated by themselves and parents as more impaired and who had more positive attitudes toward medication. Researchers found that socioeconomic status, insurance coverage, and parent ratings of their child's behavior were not significant predictors of whether a teen received mental health services. The most significant predictor was adolescent's concerns that ADHD was stigmatizing. These teens were far less likely to have received treatment in the past year than other teens.


Stigma is generated both at home and in school. Help your child understand that it is the untreated ADHD that often creates school and social problems. Educate the whole family and talk openly about the symptoms and how they show up (i.e. distraction might mean you don't remember to write down your homework assignment fully...so if this is a pattern you'll need to create a better system.) Parents can help their children feel less stigmatized by:

  • "accepting" ADHD without fear or drama,
  • reinforcing what a child does well (he/she hears enough about what they don't do well outside the household),
  • being a strong advocate at school,
  • helping the child differentiate between their symptoms (i.e. distraction that might lead to forgetting to turn in homework) and who they are as people (i.e. smart, funny, creative, etc.) Learn more  here  


Ned Hallowell: What is Going on in the ADHD Community - Dr. Ned Hallowell gives a candid interview about diagnosis, treatment, the ADHD community, advocacy, public perception, and ADHD help. Listen to the show live off this link or on iTunes.   


Dr. Hallowell Discusses Dyslexia - Dyslexia poses reading difficulties, but there are creative ways to deal with this condition. Dr. Hallowell, an expert on dyslexia and ADHD, says "it is a tragic mistake to consider these learning challenges as disabilities." Listen to the People's Pharmacy podcast with Dr. Hallowell and Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, and author of My Dyslexia, a memoir.  

Shire Expands Scholarship Program for Individuals with ADHD - The Shire ADHD Scholarship is for individuals in the United States diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who are pursuing higher education at a college, vocational school or technical school. The scholarship includes a $2,000 monetary award and offers a prepaid year of ADHD coaching services provided by the Edge Foundation. Fifty one-time scholarships will be awarded on June 12, 2012. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2012. For information visit The Shire ADHD Scholarship


8 Hidden Toxins: What's Lurking in Your Cleaning Products? - We assume they are safe. But in fact, many popular household cleaners are dangerously toxic and there's no federal regulation of chemicals in household products. Learn about the eight scariest substances hiding under your kitchen sink, and how to replace them with safer, more natural options that really work at this link


Growing Up with ADHD - Blake Taylor, a first-year medical student, discusses growing up with ADHD, in his new book ADHD & Me. He presents and interesting view on why he believes that people with ADHD are more likely to be targets for bullies (Read here ) and how, with hard work, a supportive family, encouraging teachers and caring physicians, Blake learned how to subdue distractions, control his hyperactivity and impulsivity, and conquer the social awkwardness that often accompany ADHD. He describes his obstacles and triumphs here.
In the News


Marriage Advice with Ned and Sue Hallowell on the Dr. Oz Show on October 17th - This informative and enjoyable interview details the joys and trials of an ADHD marriage. The segment includes the four warning signs to determine if ADHD is ruining your marriage, the two things to help your partner focus better and a humorous depiction of how the brain works by an audience member. "ADHD undiagnosed ruins marriages," says Dr. Hallowell. "But, when ADHD is diagnosed, you see marriages saved - brought back from the brink of destruction." Click to watch the  Dr. Oz video.  


Are Americans More Prone to A.D.H.D.? -

Dr. Hallowell weighs in as to why he believes Americans lead the world in diagnoses of mental health problems. Read the discussion at NYTimes forum.     


ADHD Diagnosis Now Possible for Kids As Young As 4 - New guidelines for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest ADHD can now be diagnosed in children as young as 4 years old and recommend behavioral treatments, not drugs, for the youngest kids with the disorder. Expanded knowledge in the past decade has enabled the identification of younger children, which can help them better succeed in school. The report will be published in the November 2011 issue of Pediatrics. To learn more, and to access the updated AAP consumer resource book entitled "ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know", go to this link.      


ADHD Meds Do Not Increase Severe Heart Events in Children

In a study published online in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics and funded by a manufacturer of ADHD medications, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers finds that ADHD meds do not increase the risk of cardiovascular events in children and adolescents. Learn more here.

Use of ADHD Meds Has Grown Steadily - A new government report, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, finds that using prescribed stimulants to treat ADHD has grown steadily, though slowly. Stimulants work well, but only 60 percent of children with ADHD are treated with medication. Those with more severe symptoms are more likely to take stimulants, and those with milder symptoms are more likely treated with psychosocial treatments or non-stimulant medications. Learn more here  


Study Explores Link Between Ads, Parental Influence and Food Choices made by Children - A new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics explores the relationship between fast food advertisements, parental influence, and the food choices made by children. For parents that are concerned with the advertising messages directed at their children, researches learned that children are influenced by the messages, but that parents still have a strong influence on their children's choices if they are consistent with their long - term messages about healthy eating. Learn more here

Coach's Corner

One of the members of our free Adult ADHD Support Group heard about this pilot program and suggested we share it with our readers.


The Personal Wellness Course was co-designed by Stacey Vannah, a Health Education and Wellness teacher and Mimi Sorg, a Licensed Social Worker at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, ME. The class started with 14 students and ended the school year with 11 students. Stacey and Mimi used less than $500 to teach the course, which was furnished from a grant through the school based health center. 


From September to June, the group met weekly (three days one week, two days the next week). The students focused on:  

  1. Physical activities and team building exercises (aerobic workouts, cardiovascular and weight training, team building games, kick boxing, salsa dancing, training for a 5K, and bicycling),
  2. Nutrition (by preparing and learning about healthy meals and snacks and working in the community garden turning the soil, planting seeds, and harvesting preparing the crops), and
  3. Mental well-being (regularly talking about and working on things like self-esteem, positive self-talk, support, feelings, etc.) 

Pre-test and post-test results The majority of students reported:

  • an increase in the number of times they engaged in physical activity per week on their own.   
  • an increase in the number of minutes of daily physical activity.
  • an increase in overall daily fruit and vegetable intake.
  • a decrease in the number of minutes spent in front of the TV or playing a video game daily.
  • an increase in their ability to get up in the morning and stay awake without napping all day.
  • an increase in self-esteem.
  • an increase in self-confidence.
One student reported that the biggest difference for her, as a result of the course, was that for the first time in her life she actually felt good about herself. She no longer cared about what people said or thought about her. Another student said that it was good to finally have a support group of people to work out with. Ms. Vannah expects to see eventual increases in students' GPAs as the program develops. For more information about this program contact Stacey Vannah at: vannahs@link75.org or 207-729-2951 ex. 230. 


by Rebecca Shafir M.A.CCC can be reached at mindfulcommunication or  

(978) 255-1817  

Upcoming Events

Free ADHD Adult Support Group, Every Other Tuesday, Sudbury Hallowell Center. No registration necessary and free to the public. 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, For more information: Call Rebecca Shafir 978-287-0810


ADHD Yoga for Kids, Mondays, Hallowell Center NYC.    6 - 7 pm. For more information contact Denise Boline at 212-799-7777 or email denise@adhdnewyork.com


Getting Past Anger, Nov. 2, ADDA Webinar, Melissa Orlov. More information at ADDA.

23rd Annual CHADD International conference on AD/HD, November 10 - 12, Orlando
Disney's Contemporary Resort. Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Barkley will give a joint presentation on November 12th 8:30am-10:00am on ADHD: Gift or Curse.  Drs. Barkely and Hallowell have been viewed by some in the field of ADHD, both publicly and professionally, as espousing diametrically opposite points of view about ADHD - that it is either a gift or a curse. For more information visit CHADD Conference


Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, November 16, Maplewood, NJ.  7:30 - 9:00 pm at Jefferson Elementary School. Hosted by The Parenting Center of South Orange/Maplewood. Event is Open to the Public.  For information call:  973 762-5600, ext. 1850. or go to The Parenting Center


Calm and Connected: Parenting your Child with ADHD, December 7, Hallowell Center, New York City. This highly acclaimed 7-Session workshop is an excellent program for parents of children who are newly diagnosed as well as parents who are struggling in parenting their challenging children. Using a combination of education and coaching, specific strategies are developed to help you reduce chaos, establish rules, improve your child's self-esteem and bring back the joy and connection with your child. Contact
Denise Boline at 212-799-7777 or email denise@adhdnewyork.com


The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for Professionals, January 10, 18, 24, 31 and Febuary 7, 13 (Bonus session 2/15), By Phone. 8:15-9:45pm EST and are recorded if you miss one. This seminar, taught by Dr. Ned Hallowell; Sue George Hallowell, LICSW; Dr. Kevin Murphy; Melissa Orlov, will provide the information counselors need to improve their effectiveness when treating ADHD-impacted couples. For additional information go to The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for Professionals  


"Promoting Successful Learning and Lifelong Joy in this CRAZYBUSY world we live in" January 12, 2012, Kingsley Montessori School, Boston, MA. 6:30pm to 8:00 pm at Kingsley Montessori School. The Event is open to the Public. For information, go to The Kingsley School

Quick Links
  Hallowell Centers Sudbury, MA

  ADHD and Marriage Blog and Forum

  Hallowell Center New York

  Dr. Hallowell's website
email: morlov@hallowellconnections.com
phone: 508-545-2250 Hallowell Connections
web: http://www.drhallowell.com