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December 2011 Newsletter
December 7, 2011
December is always a busy month, and we hope that everyone reading this newsletter remains healthy and happy, taking specific steps to lower stress, such as getting regular exercise and enough sleep!

As it happens, this month Dr. Hallowell is introducing two new programs - one for teachers and one for chiropractors.  The teacher development program is particularly interesting as it demonstrates how to use a strengths-based approach while educating kids with ADHD.  We encourage parents reading this newsletter to alert their local schools that this new, video-based program is available.

In keeping with our desire to help our readers understand all their treatment options, this month Becky Shafir reviews pir-HEG, an alternative treatment for chronic distraction.

We wish you a happy end of the year and will be back with more in 2012.  As always, please feel free to send us your questions.


Melissa Orlov, editor  

Edward Hallowell, M.D


Dr. Hallowell describe the new Teacher Program to help children with ADHD



Q:  Starting college should be exciting for an 18 year old, but my son is steeped in fear and dread about his January matriculation! He realized that even though his attention has improved since beginning Adderall last winter, he does not have the self discipline to make himself study for any length of time. What can you recommend? We are really quite desperate for help.


A:   Please make sure he works with the college for getting the accommodations and support he needs. Too many students go off to college and stop taking meds and/or don't take advantage of what the school offers them.  (Some estimate the number of college students who stop regularly taking meds may be as high as 70%!)  The school may offer specific study support, for example.  It may also be time for an ADHD coach who can help him feel more secure in his ability to organize himself. I suggest you contact the The Hallowell Centers for coaching (please see additional information below in Coaches Corner) and the Edge Foundation.  Getting a coach set up right away could give him confidence in the transition he is making. 


And, don't just focus on scholastics. Right now you can make sure he knows how to do laundry, has a basic system for keeping his living space neat (bins can help with this), and has a good reminder system (perhaps using his cell phone to set audible reminders of things he needs to do.) 



Q:  I am 57 and love the seasons, however, I noticed that the presence or absence of the sun has a greater effect on me this year. Leaving work at 5:30pm when it's pitch black can't be changed, but what can be done at the office or home during the day?


A: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or "winter depression" is very real - on average 6.1% of the population experiences SAD while another 14.3% experience experience similar, though less marked symptoms (they are "subsyndromal"). A study showed 9.7% of the people in New Hampshire suffered symptoms of SAD while only 1.4% of people in sunny Florida showed similar symptoms. Shorter days with less sunlight in New England can have a significant impact on mood, sleep and energy. Fortunately, there are some very effective solutions. Consider a "Happy Light." There are table top, standing lamps, reading lights and wake-up lights. You can do an internet search to find the right style and price for you.  Click here for an example of a light therapy lamp. In addition, exercise (particularly exercise outdoors) can elevate mood. 

Teacher Strategies to Help Students with ADHD

Dr Hallowell announces an instructional program designed for the countless teachers who have devoted numerous and exhaustive hours working to ensure that each child receives their lesson instruction in a format they can comprehend. Most teachers will agree that there are many different learning styles and that eventually, with enough patience and adjustment, most students will benefit from one that is tailored to their needs.


The needs of students with ADHD often do not fit into these recognized learning styles and most teachers have not been professionally trained to recognize or address these specific needs.


Mining Magnificent Minds or MMM, was aptly named by Dr. Hallowell to highlight the embedded jewels - talents, skills, and interests - that teachers can mine in ADHD students. The MMM package includes 10 professional development videos plus support and feedback with 9 independently downloadable webinars spaced throughout the academic year, a website for information exchange, and call-in sessions with question and answer feedback. Priced to fit any school budget, packages are tailored to support from one to more than twenty teachers at each participating school.


"I do not treat disabilities; I help people unwrap their gifts" is Dr. Hallowell's motto, and with this program, he genuinely wishes to translate this philosophy to teachers. Please click  MMM to watch the demo and learn more. If you have questions, please email info@adhdforteachers.com or call 617-969-1906.


ADHD Certification Program for Chiropractors 

Dr. Hallowell announces the development of an online, on-demand certification course developed for Chiropractors to help their ADHD patients. "A Dr. Hallowell Protocol, SHINE for Doctors - Special Help Integrating Neurological Experience™ is a 14-video series that provides clinical neurological information on ADHD. Specifically tailored for chiropractors, this certification program combines Dr. Hallowell's positive strength-based approach with chiropractic protocols.


Approximately 4% of the US adult population, or 8 million adults, have ADHD. Furthermore, 50% of children and 80% of adults who have ADHD remain undiagnosed.


Dr. Hallowell states, "When a group of chiropractors asked me to create an educational program to teach interested chiropractors what I knew about ADHD, I was pleased to do so.  Almost everyone who comes to see me is interested in finding ways of dealing with ADHD that do not involve medication."  


To learn more about the certification course for chiropractors, visit:

Shine for Doctors  If you have questions, please email info@shinefordoctors.com or call 617-969-1906. 


Families and ADHD Treatment

What works best for families when they have a child being treated for ADHD? This is the question asked in some recent preliminary research done in San Diego with a socioeconomically diverse group of 28 families. The research was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders in October, 2011. The families highlighted four elements of treatment that they found particularly valuable:

  • Having an active role in the treatment decision making process that takes into account both treatment of ADHD as well as quality of life issues.

  • Learning that ADHD is a biologically based condition with a strong genetic component, rather than learned behavior or laziness. Parents were most likely to embrace this idea when the physician valued their input and used a joint decision-making process.

  • The ability to consider many treatment options, both medicinal and alternative. The majority of parents were open to the use of medication to treat their child's symptoms, but gradually so, after considering other options. Families in the study expressed frustration when they thought they received only limited information about treatment options.

  • Parents also desire supportive counseling for themselves.

We were delighted to see the results of this study, as it aligns exactly with what we have been doing at the Hallowell Center for years. We use a holistic, collaborative process with families in making treatment decisions, and make sure that they are well informed about all treatment options. Hallowell Center physicians listen carefully to patients and their families in a non-judgmental way and arrange free discussions with the Center's clinicians who offer alternative treatments. These include dietary modifications, bio/neurofeedback, coaching, meditation, social skills training, executive function training and exercise. Please visit the Sudbury Hallowell Center for a list of new services, groups and events.  


pirHEG - An Effective Alternative Treatment for the Chronic Distraction of ADHD       

Question: What do migraine headaches, reactivity and distractibility have in common?

Answer: They can all be reduced with pirHEG (Passive Infrared Hemoencephalography).


Hallowell Center Alternative/Complementary Services typically attracts patients who have had a poor response to medication or have concerns about possible side effects. One of the therapies we offer is pir HEG. This system was originally developed as an alternative intervention for migraines. It increases prefrontal brain activity, which can significantly reduce headache symptoms for 90% of patients in less than 10 sessions. The pirHEG responds to blood flow dynamics via a forehead sensor, making the system also well suited for exercising brain activity in the key area of interest to those with ADHD and emotional reactivity - the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is the primary site of executive functioning and is typically sub-optimized in patients with ADHD. Within the last 10 years the administration of pirHEG has increased as a treatment for ADHD.


pirHEG works by providing feedback that helps patients increase control over the inhibitory effects of the prefrontal cortex. This allows for easier and smoother sustained attention to tasks, and changes in emotional responses so that they are less rapid and strong for those responses that don't call for a rapid or strong response. Research on its effects can be found here.  


The improvements the treatment creates remain in effect after treatment is completed, barring any trauma or head injury. Patients who choose pirHEG sometimes use it as a first link treatment instead of medications, while others also try medication.  


For FAQs on pirHEG, please visit the Sudbury Hallowell Center or contact Rebecca Shafir, M.A. CCC at 978-287-0810 x117



A Helpful Suggestion From One of Our Readers -Pick up a tennis ball in each hand and alternate bouncing each one 10 minutes a day. This helps with Pre-Frontal/Occipetal Connections/Focus. 

ScienceDaily.com Offers a Digest of the Latest in Research Reports About ADHD. 


Dr. Hallowell: The Importance of Teachers - In his talk to parents and educators, Dr. Hallowell emphasized the role teachers play in the lives of children with ADHD. A helpful hand, extra patience and time, support for parents, and differentiated education can help circumvent a child with ADHD from feeling worthless and possibly self-medicating with drugs or developing other risky behaviors. Read more from the Northshore Education Consortium in Beverly, MA .


The ADHD Effect on Marriage is now available in Audiobook, Nook and Kindle versions -   Awarded the "Best Psychology Book of 2010" by ForeWord Reviews, The ADHD Effect on Marriage is an invaluable resource for adult couples in which one or both of the partners have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The audiobook is especially valuable for those with ADHD who find reading a book to be arduous.


12 Things High School Students with ADHD Want Teachers to Know - This helpful resource for teachers and parents addresses the concerns teens with ADHD have, but may not vocalize. An example is "I work best when I know exactly what you expect from me. I will do best if your expectations are in writing so that I can refer back to them if needed. The more detailed your classroom and class work plan is, the better I will do." This site also has information on helping parents with the Homework Wars. Learn more at healthcentral.com.


Worry? Anxiety? Learn How to Deal With It - Millions of people worry, and women are particularly susceptible to it. "Worry is bad for you, it makes you sick and depresses your immune system," says Dr. Hallowell. In this WCBS News video, Dr. Hallowell lays out three strategies to manage worry:
    • Never worry alone - tell your problems to close friends and family
    • Get the facts - know the details so your imagination doesn't run wild
    • Make a plan - you are always better off in an active mode than a passive mode. Map out 3 to 4 plans and keep revising them.

Finally, experts agree, never worry about your past because you can't change it.


The ADHD Effect on Couples CE Seminar Starts Jan 10  - Special Discount for Newsletter Readers 

We invite therapists and counselors to join Dr. Edward Hallowell, Melissa Orlov, Dr. Kevin Murphy, and Sue Hallowell LICSW for an upcoming CE seminar to learn the skills you need to effectively help couples struggling to manage ADHD. Even if you are experienced at working with ADHD couples you will find this course enlightening and immediately useful.


This acclaimed seminar (100% of past participants would recommend it to a colleague) is taught by phone in seven sessions and qualifies for 21 CE credits.


Newsletter readers can get a special discount for the program.  Register before January 4 and take advantage of both the early registration discount and a special Hallowell Connections Newsletter refund of $50, making the total course price only $299!  Just enter "Hallowell Connections" in the messages box at registration. Please visit the The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for detailed information. 

In the News


Is the ADHD Brain Different in Function and Structure? Neuroscientists report that the brain area responsible for organizing mental activity

in children with ADHD worked much harder and possibly less efficiently than in children without attention problems. Researchers used a functional magnetic imaging scanner to measure 19 affected children and 23 other children while performing simple sequential steps. The findings indicate that the function and the structure of the brain may be different for children with ADHD. This may be why they have more inattentiveness, impulsivity and focus problems and why we believe that those with ADHD are some of the hardest working people we know - you just don't always 'see' all that work. Learn more at the wsj.com.


Gene Variation in Kids with ADHD

Researchers have discovered 4 genes that are different in a subset of 10% of children with ADHD. The genes affect neurotransmitter systems in the brain that have been associated with ADHD. Researchers believe the findings provide a genetic explanation for a subset of children with ADHD. Learn more at this link.


Lonely in Relationship? - What are the characteristics that might indicate that your partner has ADHD. Did he once lavish you with attention, but no longer does? Is she like having another child in the house? Are you always nagging him or her to follow up on tasks? If so, Melissa Orlov suggests some specific steps you can take to start to turn this situation around: 

  1. Name it correctly - Learn the signs of ADHD, it may be brain chemistry at the root of his inattentiveness.
  2. Set up time for each other - yes, you may have to be the one to do all the scheduling, but go with it. It can really help bring back the romance.
  3. Encourage your partner to seek treatment - "encouragement" is the key word here - don't turn this into a battle over control.
  4. Don't take it personally - your partner does love you, but make sure you also take care of your needs too.

Don't stay lonely. Attention and communication are essential to a good relationship. Read the article at Huffington Post.


Women are Taking More ADHD Medications -  Women are taking 2.5 times more ADHD medications now than in 2001. This far surpasses use of these kind of medications in men. The Medco report can not point to the reason for this increase, so it is unclear if more women are developing disorders or if the clinicians are now better able to diagnose these conditions.

Learn more at psychcentral.com

Why the Shortage of ADHD drugs? - What is the reason for the recent shortage of prescription ADHD drugs? Dr. Hallowell was interviewed by WBUR and asked his opinion. He said he had been told it was due to federal quotas on how much of the drugs can be made. The reporter states that the pharmaceutical companies are blaming the Drug Enforcement Administration, who declines to accept blame. The good news, according to Dr. Hallowell, is that stimulates can often be substituted for other brands, and it is not dangerous to go without your prescription for a few days. Rather, it is uncomfortable, like working without your eyeglasses. Read more at  Commonhealth.wbur.org.     

Coach's Corner

Strength-based ADHD Coaching Helps College Students Succeed 


College students who have ADHD can benefit from supportive strengths-based coaching. Usually college-age clients are very aware of their weaknesses and not so aware of their unique gifts and talents. As a coach, I make it a point to find out what academic, athletic, musical, artistic and/or social skills my clients have and enjoy. This set of strengths is constantly referred to throughout the coaching engagement in order to bolster the student's self-esteem and help them stay motivated as they work on improving their ability to succeed in the college environment.


The college environment offers many challenges: lack of structure, the seemingly endless amount of time outside of classes and all the new and exciting social activities. ADHD students' propensity to live in the moment make deadlines seem far into the future as subjects for papers swirl in their minds for days and weeks without anything written down. Plus, students stay up late and then are unable to wake up for class, thus missing critical lectures.


I encourage students to set specific goals for their current semester and/or the entire academic year. Academic goals include achieving a specific GPA, earning a particular grade in an individual course, attaining perfect attendance in class, etc. Personal health goals might include eating a certain number of meals a day, taking medications routinely, getting up at set hours, working out a certain number of hours a week, etc. Other goals could include special interests such as recording a CD with their campus band or obtaining a specific internship position.


The next step is coming up with a plan, for today, tomorrow or this week, based on the students input combined with the many improvement strategies recommended by experts and former college students with ADHD. As a coach, I help provide customized approaches based on the student's situation, personal preferences and learning style. The student is then encouraged to try a new behavior, strategy or approach for a defined period of time.


In the next session we review the progress and celebrate the successes and problem-solve the issues. Adaptations to the plan are made jointly so that the student can start implementing the suggestions the very next day.


Supportive and strengths-based coaching can assist ADHD college-age students set goals, better notice long-term consequences, assess the pros and cons of various choices, learn study strategies and establish habits that lead to success. These skills will lead to a smoother transition to college life and help those who falter recover positive momentum.  


If you would like to find out more about ADHD coaching for college-age students please contact Robin Roman Wright at the Sudbury Hallowell Center at (978) 287-0810 or coachrobin@leadershipandcareers.com.

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


Calm and Connected: Parenting your Child with ADHD, starts 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 In-Depth - Start Turning Around Your Relationship, January 9 - March 5, 2012, by phone -  8:30pm EST. This seven session phone seminar with Melissa Orlov will help couples learn what they need to know and do to change the course of their marriage for the better.  For details, go the  ADHD Effect In-Depth Phone Seminar.


The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for Professionals, January 10, 18, 24, 31 and Febuary 7, 13 (Bonus session 2/21), By Phone. 8:15-9:45pm EST and are recorded if you miss one. This seminar, taught by Dr. Edward Hallowell, Sue Hallowell, LICSW, Dr. Kevin Murphy and 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  


"ADD & Loving It" Free Screening, January 11, 2012
The Hallowell Center of New York will host a free screening of "ADD & Loving It", a humorous and informative film about ADHD.  Immediately following the film, Dr. Hallowell and his staff of specialists will host a lively discussion.  Reservations are required as seating will be limited.  For information or reservations call:
212-799-7777 or email:  denise@ADHDnewyork.com
"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.  

"Reigniting Romance" February 2, 2012, 8pm. Phone lecture by Melissa Orlov.  Learn more at ADDResources.   

Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, March 27, 2012, McCall Middle School, 458 Main Street, Winchester, MA 7:00 - 9:00 pm.  The event is Open to the Public. For information, go to:
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email: morlov@hallowellconnections.com
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