Neurofeedback to Become “Head Strong”

I’m reading a new book, Head Strong by Dave Asprey, in a personal effort to lose weight — I mean, increase my energy! Just kidding — it’s all about losing weight and looking good. As much as I want to buy into this philosophy, I am aware that I don’t really trust Asprey’s claims. Is it true that if you eat foods with polyphenols, so-called “plant chemicals,” such as blueberries, that the molecules will somehow digest, find their way into your brain, and “grow new neurons” (52)? If I ingest good fats with DHA, will that really mean I will



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

A Fair Copy

What are the mechanics of writing? I’m not thinking of what English teachers are looking for: spelling, grammar, capitalization. I’m describing the kinesthetic movement of a pen across paper as ideas flow from the mind in time with the forearm. The pen responds to pressure points on the inner middle finger, the bottom of the thumb, and the pad of the forefinger. Applying this subtle pressure, and coordinating my thoughts in time with my wrist’s slow movement across the page, allows me to express myself. Recently I heard a lecture by the novelist and travel writer, Paul Theroux. He spoke

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

HSP – Highly Sensitive Person

HSP – Highly Sensitive Person

Sometimes common words are used to describe medical conditions. “Overweight” is actually used as a measurement, between “normal” and “obese”. By contrast, sometimes exotic words are used to describe common experiences, such as PreMenstrual Dysphoria Dysfunction (PMDD). (Yes, you can read between the lines on that one.) There are lesser-known diagnoses or descriptions of behaviors that are outside the norm. We’ve all heard of “Gifted”, “Gifted and Talented Education” (GATE), and possibly “Highly Gifted,” but there are actual criteria for meeting this designation, such as scoring above 130 on an intelligence test such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children

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 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

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