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

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

Upcoming Workshop on the Mindfulness Prescription for ADHD

Mindfulness Prescription for ADHD, and for Parents  Cultivate Compassion for Your Child and Yourself  Come discover this method to strengthen attention, manage emotions, and achieve your goals. Mindfulness has been established as a way to combat stress in everyday life. Parents of children with ADHD experience high levels of stress, which can be helped through these specific exercises of the breath and the body. We will be following Dr. Lidia Zylowska, MD’s mindfulness prescription for cultivating new habits to minimize the negative behavioral effects caused by ADHD. The method of self-care has been proven to be effective to reduce stress,

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

Mindfulness from Tai Chi

Mindfulness from Tai Chi A recent article, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, describes an experiment in which healthy young adults with inattentive type of attention deficit disorder showed improvements in specific tasks, after taking a Tai Chi class for 15 weeks. The results show improvement on the participants’ ability to focus, which leads the researchers to conclude that Tai Chi can help people with inattention improve in certain activities of daily living. That is, people are more “mindful” of what they are doing – a new definition of “staying on task.” This article intrigued me because it seems like

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