An Unlikely Source of Inspiration

An Unlikely Source of Inspiration

While walking my dogs, I often listen to the radio. Tonight there was a surprising speaker on the TED Radio Hour, a show normally devoted to scientific breakthroughs and the nature of reality/the reality of nature. Tonight I listened to an episode about resilience, which I misheard at first as “Brazilians.” It turned out the Carnival image that jumped to my mind was not far off the experience of the speaker, Monica Lewinski. (Her segment starts at 34:40.) Ms. Lewinski, much older and wiser than the 24 year old intern in 1998 who made a big, and a very immature, mistake, described

What If the Accommodations Are Working?

What If the Accommodations Are Working?

A conundrum: a high school freshman earns a 2.5 GPA, with an A in math and PE, a B in tech skills, and a C in all the other classes that require reading: English, geography, religion and Spanish. The accommodations of extra time on all exams, particularly midterms and finals, as well as providing audiobooks through Learning Ally, are in place and utilized by the student. He is enrolled in the school’s Directed Study class, so he can have time to work on assignments and get help from a credentialed teacher. He’s also a hard worker: a sincerely determined, hard-working

KDHD

KDHD

When you claim to be able to help others with executive functions, the assumption is that you are very good at them yourself. And yes, when it comes to school, I am very good at analyzing texts, writing, and completing homework assignments. I might even have some suggestions about organizing notebooks and assignments, and time management. I assume the student I’m working with is motivated to do well, and may just need some coaching, such as putting the assignment in front of his nose and pointing at a pending deadline, or providing a model of what the finished product could

Review: Not What I Expected by Rita Eichenstein

Review: Not What I Expected by Rita Eichenstein

I highly recommend this book for parents of atypical children: Not What I Expected (2015, Perigree Books) by Rita Eichenstein, PhD. Starting with the play on words on that other popular parenting book, you quickly perceive that Eichenstein is a wonderful, creative neuropsychologist who conveys her compassion for parents starting with the thwarting of their expectations for a healthy, normal child. The predominant theme in this book might be expressed in the saying, “Mourn the child you thought you had, then embrace the one you do.” The author uses the framework of the five stages of grief to give parents

Success Attributes: High IQ Not Required

Success Attributes: High IQ Not Required

Taking the perspective of the student sometimes requires putting oneself in a new situation. Personally, I have put myself as nearly in their shoes as I can by becoming a teacher at a high school. I’m new to the job, and they’re new to the school and the high school experience. I’m being asked to perform while not knowing the systems that are in place; so are the students. I expect there might be better ways to do certain things, but I feel like I need to put in more time and figure it out myself. I don’t like others

Having Enough Gas

Having Enough Gas

“Gas” usually produces giggles. We might be talking politely about farts. We might be talking about air, oxygen, bubbles, carbonation or steam. We’re talking about that invisible stuff which surrounds us, which is indispensible to us, yet we don’t even notice it. Recently, my son and I took up scuba diving. You must take a training course to learn how to use the equipment necessary to enter into an alternate reality. This includes reading gauges, compasses and computers, interpreting them, and sometimes changing your behavior based on their data. To enjoy this alternate reality, where you can float, fly, and breathe underwater, you must

It Just Sounds Cool: Hemispheric Asymmetry

It Just Sounds Cool: Hemispheric Asymmetry

We take a lot for granted during our waking hours: our bodies’ automatic breathing, automatic walking, automatic speech production. In fact, a problem for people with ADHD is the automatic speech production — words get blurted out that they wish had some filtering before exiting their mouths. Both automatic and volitional actions start in our brains. While we often cannot “sense” this, when there is damage to the brain, we see the actions are impacted. A common trauma to the brain is a stroke. Depending on where the injury happens in the brain, different actions — speech, walking, memory recall

Synchrony, or Growing Out of ADHD

Synchrony, or Growing Out of ADHD

Synchrony of waves helps regulate the brain and behavior. Thanks to a parent who passed on a recent NY Times article about adult ADHD, and how some people seem to “grow out of it.” (See “A Natural Fix…”) The article described research being done at MIT, where researchers have found another tool to diagnose ADHD medically: look to see if the resting brain has a “default mode” where several regions of the brain are interacting with each other. This work is based on the premise that we have “brain waves“. What is a brain wave? Believe it or not, you’ve

Not Just a Pretty Face

Not Just a Pretty Face

Channing Tatum… so Hollywood, right? “I have never considered myself a very smart person, for a lot of reasons,” he says. “Not having early success on that one path messes with you. You get lumped in classes with kids with autism and Down Syndrome, and you look around and say, Okay, so this is where I’m at. Or you get put in the typical classes and you say, All right, I’m obviously not like these kids either. So you’re kind of nowhere. You’re just different. The system is broken. If we can streamline a multibillion-dollar company, we should be able

The Secret of Happiness

Hmm, this wasn’t entirely mindful, but I was preparing a meal and I put on the radio. The show happened to be on happiness, and the scientific bases of happiness. The biggest contributor to being happy was being “present”, to be doing what you “should” be doing. The opposite of happy was to be doing one thing but thinking of something else. Being mindful generates a state of happiness… not when your mind is wandering. Which sounds exactly like the mindfulness practice for controlling ADHD behaviors and emotions. All you need to do when you are worrying or feeling frantic