|Happy May! It's a time of rebirth and the dash towards summer! This month we hope you'll find our articles, such as the one on the importance of mindfulness training for both kids and their parents, or the fun reader's tip for helping kids with ADHD learn to organize their homework useful and inspiring!|
Much (though not all) of what is highlighted this month is free, including a new app by Dr. Hallowell that will help you make your life less CrazyBusy and a working memory, executive function and CogMed memory training workshop in the Sudbury office. There are links to numerous articles we think may be of interest, as well.
Keep sending us your tips about dealing with ADHD so we may share them with our readers!
Q: I have a 5th grade student with anxiety issues. It is testing season and that stresses him to the point that the tests are not considered valid. Do you have suggestions on how I can try to help him relax? I tried to get him into a counselor and was successful, but there have been some outside problems with that as well.
A: Test anxiety can be addressed in a few different ways. I find it most helpful to:
First, identify the cause of the anxiety:
- Is the student prepared?
- What are the study strategies; are they efficient?
- What kind of preparation will give the student the best chance at scoring well?
Next, determine how the student manages his/her anxiety overall. A combination of regular practice with physical exercise, relaxation exercises and biofeedback are often very helpful approaches.
Q: My grandson was diagnosed with ADHD when he started school and is now 21. After watching the Revolution video and hearing Dr. Hallowell say it is good to know when you have ADHD, I am still very frustrated. He has been at a community college for 3 1/2 years and is still not going to graduate with a 2 year degree. He struggles and I don't know how to help him. He knows he has ADHD and is on Adderall which helps immensely but he still seems to be in denial and won't accept help. He won't listen to advice on how to get on track and I am beside myself. What can I do?
A: It's frustrating to be in your position, but you can't force him to come to terms with his ADHD. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that the medication is all they need for treatment, thereby missing many things that can help, such as ADHD-oriented study skills training, coaching and more. You might suggest that he request extra time for tests if he doesn't yet have it - this can help him demonstrate what he has learned, without the time constraints. Position the idea as a fair way for someone who works more slowly to demonstrate what they've learned...nothing more. He would get this from the Resources Dept. at his college.
Research suggests that those in their early 20s often don't believe they need help for their ADHD...but then do realize it in their late twenties, as their friends move on with their lives and they themselves remain stuck. Your best bet is to continue to show him how much you love and support him and make yourselves available to him. Leave out a few books on ADHD (Delivered from Distraction is a good one) and remind him that when he is ready to get additional help, you'll be there for him. As the saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink..."
|Diet and ADHD
I am often times asked about the importance of diet on ADHD. I believe that our diet has a strong impact on our behavior and mood. I recommend that you eat whole grains and homemade foods and also limit artificial coloring, flavors and high fructose corn syrup. These changes are very important in managing ADHD symptoms.
In addition to adding healthy food choices, I also recommend supplements, particularly fish oils. It is safe to advise that a child take up to 2.5 grams per day of an omega-3 supplement like fish oil, and an adult can take up to 5 grams per day, as long as the fish oil is free of toxins. I personally take Dr. Barry Sears brand and it is available at this website. I cover supplements in greater detail in my book Delivered from Distraction. Equally important to what you add to your diet, is what you eliminate from your diet. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the elimination of artificial colors, especially red and yellow, and food additives such as aspartame, MSG and nitrates. Sugars have not been proven to cause ADHD, but a healthy diet should include only a small amount of these calories per day. It is also recommended to avoid or limit the use of caffeine. Read about these suggestions and more in Dr. Hallowell's ADHD Diet Menu.
Effective treatment must also include regular exercise, sleep, possible medication and a strong interpersonal connectedness to friends and family. I truly believe that a comprehensive treatment plan, one that takes into account many and varied interventions, is the best treatment. Over time, it can help a person of any age who has ADHD find a new life.
Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.
If you tend to put off spring cleaning, or if you are overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling a large job, a more painless way is to approach it in chunks. You can get lots done by envisioning each step of your clean up action plan. If you imagine and speak aloud your action plan, the job is 50% completed! So take a deep breath, stand in front of the target space (garage, room or closet) and don't lift a finger until you are able to answer all these questions:
* What needs to be cleaned, tossed, etc?
* How much time will it take from start to finish?
* Do you need to purchase cleaning supplies?
* Will you need assistance?
If you are planning to hire outside help for things like window washing, trash removal, or carpet cleaning, call now. These companies get very busy at the beginning of a new season.
If you are not sure how long to keep documents, purchase a HomeFile system. It gives you guidelines for what to keep, what category to keep it in, and when you can toss it. Archive old tax document backup in storage boxes labeled with the tax year. Check out more cleaning tips here. Rebecca Shafir M.A.CCC (Clinician at the Hallowell Center) can be reached at the Sudbury Hallowell Center or at 978-287-0810 x117
Just Released! - Dr. Hallowell's FREE CrazyBusy App Dr. Hallowell just launched the CrazyBusy App based on his best selling book CrazyBusy. This new app will help you determine how you spend your time and how you value each activity. Do you really spend your time doing what you want, or are you caught in the maze of busyness? Be sure to enter our CrazyBusy New Word Contest. Gemmelsmerch, Gigaguilt and Screensucking are words invented by Dr. Hallowell. Our latest creative submission was provided by Alison: Neurodiversity - a world where diversity of brain styles thrive. Join our contest and enter to win a Pro Version of the CrazyBusy app. Learn More at www.crazybusywithdrhallowell.com.
Free Teleseminar for Chiropractors - Shine for Doctors is a certification program that trains chiropractors on how to provide non-drug relief to patients with ADHD. If you are a D.C., and want to learn more, sign up for the May 15th free teleseminar at www.shinefordoctors.com. Free for Parents - Working Memory: Strengthening the Weak Link in ADD/ADHD/LD/ Executive dysfunction - Please join us in our Sudbury office from 7:00-8:30 on Thursday May 31, 2012. Researchers consider working memory to be the most powerful executive function and the weak link in children with ADHD and learning problems. Working memory is often considered to be a more significant indicator of academic success than IQ. The good news is that working memory can be improved with the right training. Parents will learn about the most robust program available - Cogmed Working Memory Training - and other strategies for helping your child succeed in academics and in their social life. Learn about, see and experience what Cogmed Working Memory Training can do for your child this summer. Presented by Rebecca Shafir M.A. CCC, author, Speech Pathologist and Cogmed coach. Registration is necessary, as seats are limited. 978 287 0810 x117.
Own It Project - Adam Levine, Lead singer in the band Maroon 5, encourages young adults to "Own" their ADHD. Create a video depicting how you take responsibility for your ADHD and you might win a prize. Learn more at The Own It Project.
Hallowell Hawaii Family Retreat -
Much more than a tropical vacation, families will explore and discover one of the most pristine, diverse and beautiful environments in the world - the north shore of Kauai. Families will enjoy fun and adventure with a goal in mind: removing obstacles, breaking-down barriers, and creating a more united family unit. The retreat will be a combination of wellness retreats and adventure programs. This unique approach to family treatment will provide the opportunity to improve and increase family communication, deepen relationships, and learn from other families' experiences. If you are tired of treatment-as-usual, and ready to see what adventure lies in store for your family, please contact: Denise Boline at 212-799-7777 x 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(space is limited to 5 families)ADHD Aware - This non-profit organization seeks to empower people with ADHD, and educate and enlighten others. Dr. Hallowell is on the Professional Advisory Board. Find out more at ADHD Aware.
Resources for Children with Special Needs - Parents looking for information regarding their child with special needs will find this Resource very useful. Find it at www.specialneeds.com.
Brain Games to Improve Mental Fitness - Mental acuity is critical, especially as we age. Crossword puzzles are initially helpful, but once we master the patterns and word associations, they no longer provide the same challenge. What can be done to promote optimal cognitive aging? Physical exercise is critical, as are mental exercises and Mindful Listening. Rebecca Shaffir, a clinician at the Sudbury Hallowell Center, explores this topic in an article from Boston Brain Fitness.
National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week -
May 6 - 12, 2012 - This week celebrates and aims to promote positive well-being, mental health and social development for all children and youth. Learn more at here.
Research Points to Benefits of Mindfulness Training - Relationships between the parent and a child with ADHD are often strained due to the ADHD behavior of the child and the reactions of the parent. The long-term effect of the child's impulsivity creates automatic reactions from the parent based on predictive behavioral expectations, the parent's own upbringing and the high likelihood of the ADHD trait in the parent. An 8 week study points to the effectiveness of Mindfulness Training for children with ADHD and Mindful Parenting for their parents. Read more in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.
Calm and Connected: Parenting Workshop **available via teleconference - MORNING (10-11:30 am) - begins Wednesday, June 6th; EVENING (7-8:30 pm) - begins Wednesday, July 11th. This six-session workshop provides practical education, tools, strategies and support for parenting children with ADHD. Cindy Goldrich Ed. M. will help you develop specific strategies to establish appropriate rules and expectations; increase your child's cooperation; reduce homework stress, and bring back your joy and connection with your child. FEE: $600 for single registration $900 for a couple. For more information or to register contact Denise Boline at 212.799.7777 Denise@HallowellCenter.org
Free Webinar on ADHD and Anger - Melissa Orlov and Zoe Kessler will be discussing ADHD and anger in adult relationships this Thursday, May 10 at 8pm eastern time. Learn more at Psych Central.
CHADD REGIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE ON ADHD MAY 19, 2012
- Join the largest one-day conference on ADHD at the CHADD Regional Education Conference on May 19, in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Hallowell will present the opening keynote address: Strength Based Approach to ADHD. Learn the skills that will pay off immediately at home, at school, or at the office. For more information and to register, visit www.chadd.org email: email@example.com; Phone: 800-233-4050
| In the News|
What Separates Successful from Frustrated Entrepreneurs? - The difference between the successful business owner and the frustrated one is the ability to harness and direct his or her mental powers. Entrepreneurs have what Dr. Hallowell calls "Pop": grit, combined with imagination and optimism. Interestingly, many of the tenacious assets that enable such creativity and ingenuity can also be vulnerabilities if not managed. An example of an asset is being tenacious and competitive, but the corresponding vulnerability is being stubborn. Check out this interesting list and learn how to gain a greater feeling of control in the May issue of Success Magazine.
How Bubba Watson used ADHD to win the Masters Tournament - As a boy, Bubba Watson would practice hitting golf balls for hours in his backyard, learning to make them move as he envisioned they should. Combining this agility with his unique way of approaching problems enabled Bubba to win this year's Masters Tournament. Dr. Hallowell comments on how ADHD worked to his advantage in this NPR article.
Is your ADHD Affecting Your Work? - Losing your to-do list? Daydreaming about the weekend? Dr. Hallowell recommends that you share with your boss some specific strategies to help keep you on target. Read the list of recommendations in this ADDitude article.
Dr. Hallowell Praises the Teacher of the Year - Mrs. Eldredge, Dr. Hallowell's first grade teacher, encouraged and supported him when the other students teased him about his reading difficulties. Teachers wield enormous power over students, and he believes that teachers who better understand learning disabilities, including ADHD, can have a dramatic impact on our children. Learn more at adhdteachers.com.
Don't Miss an Opportunity to Praise a Child With ADHD Children with ADHD drink up praise because they generally receive very little of it. Praise helps them step up and out of the hole of self-doubt and into the light of confidence. Dr. Hallowell explains that the key to praise is knowing when and how to use it in this ADDitude Magazine article.
ADHD and Controversy - Is ADHD "real", or are we trying to solve our over-stimulated and hectic lives with a pill? Read more on this topic in this Harvard College Conte Center blog. The ABCs of ADD - In advance of Dr. Hallowell's talk to the Conte Center at Harvard College, Sarah Andrew Roehrich addresses some common questions about ADHD. Read the article here. Parenting Kids With ADHD - The toughest job you'll ever love? No one said parenting a child with ADHD is easy... from the messy rooms, to the homework assignments that last all night, your child with ADHD can at times push your buttons, and at other times, tug your heartstrings. Dr. Hallowell explains that parents need to hang in there, help their child build up their confidence, and manage the urge to react to others' comments in this ADDitude article.
Greetings From Vienna Austria! - Sue and I went to Freud's home at the famous No. 19 Bergasse, and reveled in how many qualities Freud had in common with people who have the trait now called ADHD. He was fiercely independent and spoke his mind, even if it meant going totally against the grain of common wisdom. His ideas shocked the daylights out of people....and they still do! I think this is why I so admire Freud, even though I disagree with much of what he wrote. The man was a true pioneer, a visionary, a seer, an innovator, and a consummate dreamer. He marched to the beat of his own drum, as do most people with ADHD. He loved to travel and did much of his best writing when he was on the move. He also couldn't write without the stimulation of tobacco or cocaine. When he had to give up tobacco due to cancer, he complained he could no longer write. He was also extremely impatient, famous for tapping the couch, commanding his patients to get on with their associations and stop dawdling! Whether we want to say he had the trait we now so misleadingly call ADHD or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is how much he had in common with those of us who do.
People With ADHD Are Spicy - Carol Smaldino writes people with ADHD don't blindly follow rules in this Huffington Post article. She compliments Dr. Hallowell for addressing the characteristics of people with ADHD honestly, and not trying to sugar-coat the ADHD dynamics. The Hallowell Center in New York (and MA) is also applauded for bringing effective ADHD evaluations to the community. Read more here. Right Dosage is More Important Than The ADHD Medication Chosen - The importance of working with your doctor to make sure you are getting the right dosage of ADHD meds has been confirmed by recent research into Adderall and Focalin, which suggests that the right dose is more important to symptom management than the medication chosen. Read the story here. Angry and Frustrated at Your ADHD Partner? - Marriages in which one or both partners have ADHD often exhibit destructive patterns. This is especially true if the ADHD is not diagnosed. A symptom such as distraction can lead to a reaction of anger by the non-ADHD spouse, which in turn may lead to a reaction to the reaction. Melissa Orlov spells out some specific recommendations to help resolve the anger and frustration in this article at SpecialNeeds.com
Do Your Peers Think That Poor Parenting Causes ADHD? - An informal survey conducted by Parents Magazine confirms what many parents of children with ADHD already suspect; that our friends and peers think that ADHD is due to parenting deficiencies. The concern is that as long as family failure is perceived to be the cause of mental illness, children will not receive the support they need. Read more in this New York Times Magazine blog
Seeking Young Adults with ADHD - Researchers in the Iowa ADHD and Development Laboratory in the Department of Psychology are seeking young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 for a study regarding the causes and correlates of ADHD. Participation requires a visit to the University of Iowa campus. Contact the research team at (319) 335-3519 or at IowaADHD@gmail.com for more information.
The Value of Classroom Observations
As an Educational Consultant, I assist parents in navigating the special education process. I guide them in locating a new school placement, join them in school meetings with administrators and teachers, and I also perform classroom observations of their children if they express concern about their child's performance or placement.
Parents often ask me, "What will you learn from observing my child for 1-2 hours?" Although this is only a snapshot of time in relation to an entire school year, much valuable information can often be gained. Whether the child is in elementary, middle school or high school, I can gain a sense of the teaching style and often determine answers to the following questions:
* Is the teacher utilizing different teaching approaches to reach children with ADHD or learning disabilities?
* What is the pace of the instruction in the classroom?
* How information and instructions are delivered to the child/class?
* How is the child interacting socially in group work?
* How is the teacher working with the child to correct behavior, for instance, if the student leaves their seat to walk about the room?
If, in elementary school, the student's instruction consists of written notes on the white board and completing worksheets as a means to learning, your child with ADHD may not be able to effectively process the information presented. Since my observation is solely focused on one child and their interactions, I have the opportunity to take detailed notes on everything the child says and does in the classroom.
A classroom observation can often help reassure parents that their child is receiving the correct instruction and support. During the observation I occasionally see opportunities to improve elements of a child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. I may also recommend to the parents to initiate a team meeting with the staff to determine if testing or any other adjustments should be made to their educational plan. Retaining an Educational Consultant or Advocate can greatly reassure parents that their children's educational plans are being followed. My goal is to help parents be the best advocate they can be for their child!
Christine L. Robinson, M.Ed. is a Certified ADHD Coach and Educational Consultant at the Hallowell Center in Sudbury, MA and New York. She focuses on coaching children and adults with organizational and time management challenges and those making business or personal transitions who are seeking optimal performance in their lives. Christine can be reached at 617-842-0634 or Christine@hallowellcenter.org.
Tips From Our Readers
We want your ADHD Management Tips! Here are some tips from our readers:
- I organize my day on a small scrap of paper. I first list things like meetings and phone calls I have to make, then add one or two small tasks that relate to my goals/dreams. I add 1-2 things to do if I have extra time. I've tried to use various types of calendars and books, but I lose them or they are not near me when I need them. I've learned that what I can fit on a small scrap of paper is as much as I can handle each day. This method has helped me get things done and become quite successful--I'm in Who's Who for two different fields. And to think I was kicked out of a private school for being dumb. - Jim
- When my son with ADHD was younger, I would look at his homework assignments, break it into manageable chunks, and write each little chunk on a post it note. He could then arrange his post it notes into any order he wanted. It worked so well that I started using a similar strategy myself! When he completed a mini task, he would discard the post it note. Now, he manages his own homework really well independent from me and I am proud of him." - Karen on Facebook
Our Facebook community has been busy sharing and interacting on all kinds of topics. Be sure to join in and LIKE Dr. Hallowell at www.facebook.com/drhallowell
First Tuesday of the Month, Free ADHD Adult Support Group Sudbury Hallowell Center. 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Note: no classes until September 2012.
Every Wednesday, Parenting the Challenging Child, New York Hallowell Center. 1:15 - 2:00 pm, A Drop-in Parent Support Group, Gain positive, constructive support from parents who understand the challenges of raising a child with ADHD. Brainstorm helpful solutions to difficult parenting issues. Share resources and receive feedback and targeted advice to improve your parenting skills and help your child gain confidence and success. Facilitated by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M.; Parent Coach Specializing in ADHD. For more information contact Denise Boline at 212 799 7777 ext 100 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 10, Free Webinar on ADHD and Anger - Melissa Orlov and Zoe Kessler will be discussing ADHD and anger in adult relationships this Thursday, May 10 at 8pm eastern time. Learn more at Psych Central.
May 11, NFI Essex Vermont - The New Frontiers of ADD
8:30am Registration; Morning Lecture: 8:30am - 11:45am - Delivered from Distraction, Afternoon Lecture: 12:45 pm - 4:00 pm - The management of ADD at home, school and in the community. Learn more at NFI Vermont
May 15, Free Teleseminar for Chiropractors,
3pm EST. Find out how to provide non-drug relief for patients with ADHD. Register at ShineforDoctors.com
May 19, CHADD Regional Education Conference on ADHD, Baltimore, MD. Dr. Hallowell will present the opening keynote address: Strength Based Approach to ADHD. For more information, or to register: www.chadd.org; email: email@example.com; Phone: 800-233-4050.
May 31, Free for Parents - Working Memory: Strengthening the Weak Link in ADD/ADHD/LD/ Executive Dysfunction, Sudbury Hallowell Center - 7:00-8:30pm, Parents will learn about Cogmed Working Memory Training and other strategies for helping your child succeed in academics and in their social life. Presented by Rebecca Shafir M.A. CCC, author, Speech Pathologist and Cogmed coach. Registration is necessary, as seats are limited. Please register at 978 287 0810 x117
Starting June 6, Calm and Connected: Parenting Workshop **available via teleconference - Wednesdays 10 - 11:30 a.m (begins June 6th), and 7 - 8:30p.m.(begins July 11th). This six-session workshop provides practical education, tools, strategies and support for parenting children with ADHD. Cindy Goldrich Ed. M. will help you develop specific strategies to establish appropriate rules and expectations; increase your child cooperation; reduce homework stress for you and your child, and bring back your joy and connection with your child. FEE: $600 for single registration $900 for a couple. For more information and to register contact Denise Boline at 212-799-7777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 9 - 11, ADHD & Your Marriage, Chautauqua Institution, NY.
Join Melissa Orlov and a small group of other couples for three afternoon sessions on how ADHD is impacting your marriage. Specific course registration will be posted when it becomes available. Learn more about the course at Chautauqua Institution, a wonderful place to vacation in western NY state.
July 16-20 - Dr. Hallowell's ADHD Summer Enrichment Camp @ Leelanau - Dr. Hallowell is pleased to announce his Summer Enrichment Camp @ Leelanau. The focus will be: "Super parenting for ADD - An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child" It's open to adults of all ages and professions and children entering grades 5 through 12. Learn more at Leelanau School.
August 6-10, Unwrapping the Gifts: A Strength-Based Approach to ADHD Across The Life Span,The Cape Cod Institute. The goal of diagnosis and treatment is to transform ADHD from a chronic liability into an overall asset in life. The purpose of this seminar is to show how to do precisely that and to present all the exciting new information we have learned about ADHD in the past decade. Learn more at The Cape Cod Institute.
Hallowell Centers' Unique Philosophy:
At The Hallowell Centers, we offer a variety of diagnostic and assessment tools to help us evaluate and understand your specific needs. Based on what we learn, we then suggest a customized treatment plan, drawing from a cross-section of treatment modalities that may be used individually, or in conjunction with one another. This strengths-based plan is designed to leverage each individual's unique gifts to help overcome their cognitive and emotional problems.
Getting started is easy. Simply place a call to one of our new patient specialists:
New York: 212-799-7777 Sudbury: 978 287 0810
The Hallowell Centers first search for what is good, strong and healthy in a person, then secondarily what is in need of remediation.
Free ADHD Adult Support Group, First Tuesday of the Month, 7 - 8:30 pm. No registration necessary.
Mindfulness Skills for Adults with ADHD, Develop mindfulness skills and explore how they are helpful for adults with ADHD. You will learn the basics of mindfulness meditation through ADHD friendly activities. Sarah Reiff-Hekking at 978 287 0810 or Sarah@TrueFocusCoaching.com.
Business Goals Group, Connect with like-minded business people and: Establish a business baseline, clarify the business of your dreams, create goals for the next year and create a process to achieve those goals. Sarah Reiff-Hekking at 978 287 0810 or Sarah@TrueFocusCoaching.com.
Parenting Your Child with ADHD, This 6 week education and support group offers positive, constructive support for parents who have children with ADHD. Shelley MacLeod 978 287 0810 x119
New York City, NY:
For all classes, contact Denise Boline at 212-799-7777 or email email@example.com.
Parenting the Challenging Child, a Drop-in Parent Support Group, Gain positive, constructive support from parents who understand the challenges of raising a child with ADHD. Brainstorm helpful solutions to difficult parenting issues. Share resources and receive feedback and targeted advice to improve your parenting skills and help your child gain confidence and success.
Calm and Connected: Parenting your Child with ADHD, This highly acclaimed 6-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.