Hearing Symbols

Hearing Symbols

When parents think about their child’s experiences at school, they imagine them sitting quietly in front of the teacher, or at a desk, scanning a book or worksheet. They imagine that if everything is working right, the child has no obstacles to recognizing letters, or shapes or symbols or numbers; that the child understands how to turn pages of the book, and write the letters of his name, and answer a question in an appropriate way. Most parents simply can’t remember the process of figuring out how to “be” in a classroom, any more than they can remember what it was like

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

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

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

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