Mindfulness Prescription for ADHD

Does it sound crazy to ask someone with ADHD to practice … focusing on one thing? For a relatively long time? Yes, it is counterintuitive. However, there is strong evidence that this simple activity works to reduce the side effects from ADHD, and that it can be learned by almost anyone, including younger children. The important take-away is that it is a skill that can be used, and produced on demand in a stressful situation, to improve the outcomes of everyday frustrations. Look at the picture on top of the page: it is full of details, and it’s hard to

Flowing Thoughts, or the Curse of Cursive

My concern for all kids is whether or not they are developing a “flow” in their thinking and expression of their thoughts. Personally, I think there is a pervasive shift in the way we are communicating (a lot more oral communication and visual communication, and a lot less written). Are schools stuck in the old ways? But… how are we going to communicate / transmit ideas without being fluent written communicators? I don’t see how we can have logical arguments without being able to point to specific ideas or thoughts — it’s hard to know exactly what someone said or

Tending to Homework

Tending to Homework Have you ever raised vegetables in a garden? Let me describe the process… there are rewards, and there is work, and it is in fact a lot like doing homework. Gardens are places of intentions. It’s so exciting to mix up the fresh soil, and if you want to grow from seeds, you’ve had some fun shopping for seeds, fantasizing about the plants you’ll grow, the delicious food and meals you’ll be making…. Rewards will come in the future. Probably. There are some assumptions: you have, or can buy, some good, fertile soil; you have access to

Virtual Reality Tests Reality of Executive Functions

Virtual Reality Tests Reality of Executive Functions OK, parents, you’ve decided to take the plunge and have your kid tested for ADHD. How does this happen in the doctor’s office? You’re nervous, your child is nervous, you’re all alone in the room with the doctor, and your child is perfectly still and silent. Where are the signs of ADHD? In a medical setting, how you and your child describe his or her behavior count for most of the diagnosis. The doctor will probably not witness these behaviors him- or herself, but will most likely ask some pointed questions and conclude

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and chocolate

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and chocolate Stress. It happens to everyone, but it happens every day to someone with ADHD, particularly a child or adolescent. Somehow there is something that they do “wrong,” sometimes just by being thoughtless. Of course, a better description would be “thought-free” — his or her thoughts were not on what someone else was thinking, or might do, or might think. Nonetheless, it is considered rude, and the ADHD sufferer gets told that he is wrong just for being the way he is. The cause of just being born with ADHD, or just

ADHD Awareness Month, October, 2013

ADHD Awareness Month, October, 2013 It is not exactly a “Hallmark Moment” to celebrate, having ADHD every day of your life. However, there are many ways that we can learn how ADHD affects individual people whom we know, and how we can be more patient and understanding so that we reap the benefits of their gifts. This site, ADDitude, has many resources for any month of the year. In particular, though, there is an expert giving a free webinar, and I recommend it to anyone interested in this subject. His name is Thomas Brown, MD, and he’s written many excellent

The “Myth” of ADHD?

The Myth of the ADD Myth Review of The ADD Myth: How to Cultivate the Unique Gifts of Intense Personalities by Martha Burge (San Francisco: Conari Press, 2012) Ms. Burge asks some provocative questions in this book, such as, “Intensity: Gift or Disorder?” While the word intensity here has a specific meaning, as described by Dr. Kazimierz Dabrowski as a particular giftedness, I appreciate her implication of how “intense” a person with ADHD can be. People with ADHD really are intense people; they feel intensely, they think intensely, they play intensely… and they fall apart intensely. Ms. Burge, a life

Middle School & High School – Organizing Materials

This is not “my” system; I have been inspired by several other people who have worked out functional systems. In particular, I refer to these two authors: That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun (2010) & Seeing My Time by MaryDee Sklar (2012) Supplies needed: A 1” binder for each subject – total 5 binders – different colors 5 packs of 5 tabbed dividers for each subject For an example, see: http://www.staples.com/write+on+tab+dividers/directory_write-on+tab+dividers? A pack of 5 dividers – transparent, with pockets (sometimes these are with the folders) For an example, see: http://www.staples.com/Avery-Two-Tone-Double-Pocket-Insertable-Plastic-Tab-Dividers-5-Tab/product_710149?cid=PS:GooglePLAs:710149&KPID=710149 Loose-leaf paper, with a reinforced

Twice Exceptional Learners Are “2E”

The term “2E” refers to being Exceptional, as in gifted, and Exceptional, as in having special learning needs. Many children who have learning differences/disabilities are also gifted, perhaps in math, the arts, or other areas. A thought-provoking theory about giftedness is that these special traits or talents are “intensities”.  I like this description for many reasons, one being that it honors the basic abilities that most people have to create, to think mathematically, to understand literature, to relate on some level to the creation they are witnessing. For example, most people shudder at the thought of public performance, but they

Good Nutrition Can Lessen ADHD Symptoms

I just recently read this information in “ADDitude” magazine online. They outline several ways to relieve symptoms of ADHD without medication. I have seen these ideas discussed over the past several years, and some in particular ring true: – fatty oils / fish oil – iron, zinc & vitamin C and vitamin B6 – lots of protein in the diet to keep energy steady throughout the day They note that for the fish oil, “The best supplements have two or three times more EPA than DHA.” I know that the “gentle” forms of iron work much better — the other types