Archive for ADD

ADHD Podcast

I’m please to let you know that I’ve launched an ADHD Podcast. It is available on iTunes, Zune and Blackberry. Of course, you can just go to the site and listen to the shows right there.

It is a weekly ADHD Podcast, and I aim to bring you tips, strategies and tools to help you to live better with ADHD.

You can find the show here:

1) ADHD Podcast

2) ADHD Podcast on iTunes

Please listen in – sign up to get new episodes delivered automatically, and please join the discussion by commenting on the episodes – we’d love your input!

Best,

Dr. Kenny

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Britney Has ADHD

britneyspearscropped Britney Has ADHD

Britney Spears has ADHD (picture from Wikipedia.org)

It has just been reported that Britney Spears has ADHD. The Grammy winning pop star, who holds Guinness World Records, and has her own Star on the Walk of Fame has now shared that she has ADHD.

Britney has taken on the role of a judge on the singing reality show “The X Factor”, and she is now currently filming for the show. During the filming of auditions, Britney reportedly needed to take breaks, and the explanation was that she has ADHD, and that she had to take breaks during the long filming sessions.

The reports also go on to explain that Britney was diagnosed with ADHD when she was young, and used to take medication for it. Her doctors apparently have now forbidden her from taking ADHD medication for reasons related to other mental health concerns. Here is a link to one of the news reports about this story.

Now that Britney has come forward and shared her diagnosis of ADHD, she joins other celebrities like: Howie Mandel, Ty Pennington, Adam Levine, Michael Phelps, Karina Smirnoff and many others.

I personally view this as a brave and helpful admission. Millions of kids and teens get diagnosed with ADHD, and they feel that they are disordered, and they wonder if they will have a positive future because of their “Disorder”. Having celebrities come forward to share their diagnosis helps kids to realize that they can be successful even though they have ADHD.

While I view Britney’s disclosure as a positive, I have come across some comments on social media sites (which I don’t want to support with a link right now…) who say that Britney is “blaming” her behavior on ADHD, and how awful is that. They are suggesting that she is acting like a diva, and using ADHD as an excuse.

Before responding to this, I’d like to share that I have no direct knowledge on Britney’s diagnosis or medical care – I only know what I’ve read online. And saying that – here’s my response: Britney apparently disclosed to her employer (Simon Cowell) before signing on for the show that she has ADHD, cannot take medication for it, and needs to take breaks at times because of it. Simon apparently agreed to this before hiring Britney. Britney can’t take medication for ADHD, and instead she is using strategies to help herself to function well. And let’s remember – although an ‘audition show’ makes it seem like 1 hour for each city (i.e. the LA auditions only seem to take 1 hour), in fact, they are filming for very long days… (and of course there is much more involved – make up, lighting, direction, breaks, etc.) They just edit it to seem short for us – the viewers.

In my understanding of the situation, Britney is acknowledging her challenges, putting strategies and supports in place, and working to function in the best way that she can. I think that is a great model for others to learn from and to emulate. I would not try to tear her down for being a diva and blaming it on ADHD.

The reality is that ADHD medication is helpful for Adult ADHD, and it is not the whole solution. There is some research that shows that most of the time, ADHD medications do not fully treat the symptoms of adult ADHD. So, it is very important to use strategies and to develop skills to improve functioning with ADHD. This is even more important if someone is unable to take medication.

Why can’t Britney take medication for ADHD?

There aren’t any reports that I’ve read which explain this in more detail. One news report said that she can’t take medication for ADHD because of mental health issues. While I don’t know what these are for Britney, it is possible that she has had one of these challenges: intolerable side effects from ADHD medication; mood instability from ADHD medications (i.e. depression or induction of hypomania or mania), sleep disruption, significant decreased appetite, etc. In other words, I’m guessing. I’m sure she has expert and capable doctors.

The take away I encourage you to get from this is: Britney is a talented star, who has ADHD, is using strategies to manage it because she can’t take medication (on doctor’s orders). That’s a great example for all of us.

What impact do you think this admission will have for you, or your kids with ADHD, or the people you work with (if you’re a professional working with people with ADHD)?

Please share your thoughts or comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

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ADHD and Post-Term Births… Don’t Believe Everything You Read

sleep 300x200 ADHD and Post Term Births... Dont Believe Everything You ReadA new study just came out in the International Journal of Epidemiology, called: “Post-term birth and the risk of behavioural and emotional problems in early childhood”. It was published online on May 3, 2012.

The press have widely reported that this study shows that when a pregnancy goes beyond 42 weeks, then a child is more than two times more likely to develop ADHD in early childhood.

You can find many media references to the study, and here is the link to a BBC article entitled: Overdue babies: ‘Risks for those born after 42 weeks’.

I am largely annoyed with the difference between what the study reports, and what the press are saying.

What The Study Reports:

First of all, this study is very interesting from the perspective that we often think about prematurity as a risk factor for ADHD, as well as other medical, learning and emotional issues. However, we don’t really think of a baby being ‘post dates’ as an issue for ADHD or other emotional or learning issues. The researchers point out that as a pregnancy goes beyond 40 weeks, the placenta may not be able to meet all of the needs of the baby, and thus going past dates may cause problems too.

This study followed the pregnancies of 5145 children in a large population-based prospective cohort study in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Mothers enrolled between 2001 and 2005. Of the births, 382 (7%) were born post term. The researchers had all of the mothers complete the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at the ages of 1.5 and 3 years old. This questionnaire has parents rate a wide range of symptoms in their children, and then the software calculates the scores, and provides a rating (based on parent report) on several different scales of emotional functioning – such as: anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, ADHD, aggressive behavior, etc.

Please realize that questionnaires do not diagnose ADHD. Questionnaires can provide data, which can help an experienced clinician to conduct a more detailed assessment to see if ADHD (or any other condition) is actually there.

The research report says: “post-term born children had a higher risk for overall problem behaviour [odds ratio (OR)?=?2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI)?=?1.32–3.36] and were almost two and a half times as likely to have attention deficit / hyperactivity problem behaviour (OR?=?2.44, 95% CI?=?1.38–4.32).”

Let me highlight an important point there: “two and a half times as likely to have attention deficit / hyperactivity problem behaviour“. The questionnaire doesn’t diagnose ADHD, rather it points out that these children have more ‘ADHD problem behavior’ compared to babies born at term.

As an experience clinician and expert in ADHD, I know that it can be very difficult to diagnose kids with ADHD at a young age. It certainly can be done at 3 years old, but I am very cautious about a diagnosis at that age, and I certainly put a lot more work into it than just having the parents fill out a questionnaire. Personally, I would find this information more reliable if the researchers were able to provide follow up at school age – i.e. at 6 years old. That would give us a better idea of how the child was doing (of course I do understand that there are big issues with funding, timing, etc., but I still would love to see data at 6 years old).

Furthermore, I am left wondering: “is the relationship between post-term birth and ‘ADHD problem behavior’ truly a causal relationship?”
In other words, if we accept that the behavior ratings at 3 years old are accurate (i.e. there are more ADHD problem behaviors), then do we know for sure that this was caused by post-term birth?

Maybe there was another variable at play here.

In a cohort of over 5000 women, approximately 4% of them would be expected to have ADHD. That works out to about 200 women. It would be much more likely for these women to have children with ADHD problem behaviors irrespective of when their child was born (premature, on time, or post-dates). And what if they were more likely to refuse intervention from the doctor, and wait for nature to take its course? Then we may believe that it is going ‘post dates’ that is causing ADHD type symptoms, when in fact, we are just screening out for moms who have ADHD symptoms. Now, I have no science to back this up, and I do not believe that the mothers were screened themselves for ADHD. So this is complete conjecture. But, I think it’s an interesting theory.

Before I get flaming comments here, I’m not suggesting that women who refuse induction of labor, or who want to let nature take its course all have ADHD. Far from it. I’m just putting forward a theory which may refute the theory that it is a causal relationship between post-dates birth and developing ADHD.

What The Media Is Reporting:

The media is reporting that kids born post-dates (i.e. after 42 weeks) are over 2 times as likely to have ADHD. I read one report which went so far as to suggest that mothers should consider having a C-section before 42 weeks to help to prevent ADHD (I can’t find the exact news report to link to here, but trust me, I read it).

In Summary:
As you can see based on what I wrote above, I believe that these claims are over-simplified. I am not convinced that post-term births increase the risk of ADHD. This study has opened my eyes to the possibility that post-term births may be a risk factor for ADHD, or possibly other learning or behavioral issues, but it is by no means conclusive research. It’s my opinion that the media are over-simplifying this, and it may create more backlash and stigma for ADHD patients and their moms (like the mother-in-law saying: “I told you you should have listened to the doctor and had an induction of your labor at 41 weeks. The fact that you waited too long caused my grandson’s ADHD…”).

What do you think? How do you respond to the research, and the media reporting of it?
Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Best,
Dr. Kenny

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Why I Like NBC’s “The Voice” and Its ADHD Lessons

230px TheVoiceTitleCard Why I Like NBCs The Voice and Its ADHD Lessons

The Voice (picture from wikipedia.org)

In general, I’m not one for reality shows, especially not ones about singing (maybe it’s because I can hardly carry a tune…). But, something about the promos for “The Voice” caught my attention. This season (season 2), I caught a couple of the early shows – with the blind auditions, and I’m now watching the final shows (to see who’s going to win!).

As a doctor who specializes in ADHD, I think “The Voice” has some important lessons for parents of kids and teens with ADHD, as well as Adults with ADHD, and I’ll share them with you here.

If you’re not familiar with “The Voice”, it has some interesting twists on a singing competition show.

Firstly, on this show, the judges aren’t just judges, they’re coaches. The four coaches are: Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Ceelo Green and Blake Shelton. While they do ‘judge’ throughout the competition, they each choose contestants, and they coach them. The coaches help to develop their singer’s talents, and help them to do the best they possibly can during the show. Through the course of the show, the contestants get great advice, training and encouragement from their coaches, and viewers can see how close the relationships develop during the course of the show.

ADHD Lesson: getting coaching from people who have been where you are, and can help you to go where you need to go, can be life altering. When it comes to ADHD treatment, there are doctors, therapists and other health professionals, and now there are also expert ADHD Coaches – who can help you in many ways as well. To find out more about coaching, visit the ADHD Coaches Organization.

Secondly, when the contestants audition, the judges are ‘blind’ to what they look like. The judges have their chairs turned backward, and they can only hear the singer’s voice when they’re deciding if they want to choose them for their team. This is a real twist, because the judges have to choose the contestants based solely on their voice, and not on how they look. We all know that certain people look like stars, and many people don’t. In some reality shows, a person’s look has a big impact on whether they’re chosen. In this show, people are chosen based on their own merit. Although the world doesn’t always work that way, it’s great to see it happen.

ADHD Lesson: Many times, kids, teens and even adults with ADHD are judged negatively because of their ADHD symptoms (i.e. they’re too inattentive, or too impulsive in a situation). We need to help people to see ADHDer’s talents and actual abilities. Often, they’re incredibly talented in particular areas. Hopefully, people can look past ADHD to see the talent, and hopefully, good treatment for ADHD will help people to develop their talents, and share them well with others.

Thirdly, I love how many contestants and participants make so many sacrifices to pursue their dream of singing. Early in the season, there were many people who left their jobs, left a semester at college or made other sacrifices to be able to attend the auditions. And not all of them even got chosen for the show! From my perspective, even if they weren’t selected for the show, those participants were hugely successful for choosing to pursue their dreams.
To quote Zachary Scott: “As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.” (source Brainyquote.com)

Fourthly, many of the show’s contestants/singers are singing for reasons which are much bigger than just themselves and their dreams. Many are singing to stay true to themselves and to support their families; to honor and thank those that believed in them; and Erin Willette even stayed in the show and sang when her father passed away in between the auditions and the live battle rounds. Although she was quite emotional about it, she knew she had her father’s love and support, and both of her parents (and her family) wanted her to pursue her dream. What a gift her family gave her, and what a gift she gave her dad – for him to see her pursuing her dream (and succeeding!) in his final days.

ADHD Lesson: Combining points 3 and 4, we learn that it’s important to pursue our dreams, and to work for a reason bigger than ourselves.
For many of us, getting through the day to day and week to week can be challenging (especially when dealing with ADD/ADHD in ourselves or our children). And it may seem selfish, indulgent, or just absurd to take the time to dream again, or to connect with our long lost dreams. And it is still important to do! Why do you get excited when you see an underdog win a gold medal in the Olympics? Why do we love hearing the back-story of someone who goes on to do great things? Because it inspires us. It touches us deep insider – where we have our dreams, goals and our greatness. And when we hear their story, we briefly remember our greatness. Make a decision to pursue your dreams again. You don’t have to quit your job, or move to Los Angeles right now, but if you love music – start playing your guitar again, or start singing again. Maybe there’s a local ‘open mic’ night, and you can enjoy connecting with your creative side again. Or the church choir would love to have your voice join them…

When it comes to helping to motivate kids/teens and adults with ADHD, it’s important to have a great ‘reason why’. People with ADHD don’t pursue goals ‘just because’. The daily, mundane, boring (and seemingly irrelevant tasks) don’t get done just because they should. When there is a great reason why – that motivates ADHDer’s to do great things. So, think about some great reasons why. And if you have a child or teen with ADHD, take the time to help them to find the reason why things are important (like Math homework that they think will never be relevant in their life… try putting a dollar sign in front of the numbers :-)) With a strong ‘reason why’, the contestants in “The Voice” are more compelling, and in real life, if we have a strong ‘reason why’, we work much harder to pursue what’s important to us.

Finally, one of the reasons that I love “The Voice” is the huge respect I have for Adam Levine, the singer from Maroon 5. Not only is Adam a great singer, a great coach on the show, and the coach who won in season 1 of “The Voice”, he is also an adult with ADHD.

Not only is Adam an adult with ADHD, he is one who is sharing it widely, and using his position of celebrity to help others who have adult ADHD. Up to 60-70% of kids/teens with ADHD still have it as adults. However, most believe that they have outgrown it, and don’t need any more help. Adam’s message is simple – you may not have outgrown it, and you should review it with your doctor, and get the help you need. Recently, Adam has worked with Shire to create the “Own It Project” target=”_blank”, which encourages adults with ADHD to ‘own their ADHD’, and if that’s you – you can submit your story to qualify to win a prize.

Adam is doing a great thing to raise awareness of adult ADHD, decrease stigma, and to help others. And for that, I’m grateful.

When it comes down to it, I don’t mind whether you watch “The Voice”, or whether you ever will. Hopefully, these reflections will help you in your life (or your loved one’s life) by taking the messages and applying them to your situation.

Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

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ADHD & New Year’s Resolutions

Today is January 4, 2012, and I sent an email today to my email subscribers asking them two simple questions:

  1. What is your #1 New Years Resolution this year?
  2. Have you achieved your New Years Resolutions in the past?

I asked people to just hit ‘reply’ and send in an email to let me know the short answers to these questions. On other occasions, I have used ‘survey software’, which makes it easy to tabulate and summarize responses, but this time, I thought if people just had to hit ‘reply’ in their email, then they’d be more likely to respond.
And did you ever respond!
In the first 8 hours after the email was sent – I received 153 email responses!
I am appreciative, honored, and touched by the emails sent. I wanted to summarize some of the comments and issues which came forward.
First, I’d like to give you some background.

The Issue With New Year’s Resolutions:
Every January 1st, many people ‘resolve’ to improve things in their lives. The gyms are full, the diet clinics are doing brisk business, and people plan to change their lives.
And by Valentine’s day (or maybe even by January 7th?), the resolutions are gone, forgotten, and things are back to ‘normal’.

And when it comes to people with ADD/ADHD, it can be very hard to make and keep resolutions. The symptoms of ADD/ADHD include poor focus, distractibility, impulsivity, etc. And, many people with ADD/ADHD have executive functioning difficulties. One executive function is: goal directed persistence! If everyone in society has trouble with keeping resolutions, how easy is it going to be for people who have trouble with ‘goal directed persistence’?!

And when it comes to family members who care for their loved ones with ADD/ADHD, they often get so burned out by their daily support and advocacy that it can be hard to focus on themselves…

So, with all of the odds against us here, why did I want to talk about New Year’s Resolutions?

It is my personal belief that we need to continuously strive for improvement. We need to evaluate where we are, and continuously set goals to reach the next step.
And not everyone agrees with me… BUT on New Year’s – this is a chance when everyone is considering New Year’s Resolutions. Many people are thinking about setting goals, and they want to achieve them.
I view this as a chance to help you – if you want it.

Your Responses To My Email Questions:

154 emails in the first 8 hours!
The first 80 or so got personal responses, and then I had to just read the emails, because I was running out of time.
I did read every email, and let me say this:
I am very touched and appreciative to each and every one of you who wrote in (and if you respond after this post goes live, I will happily read your email as well!)
As I was reading your emails, I realized that when you wrote in, you were letting me in to your hopes, dreams, and sometimes wounds (from previous hopes and dreams which didn’t go well). I was touched and honored that you were kind enough to share this very personal information with me. And I don’t take it lightly.

In my email to you, I wrote the list of the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions according to About.com. They are:
1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2. Fit in Fitness
3. Tame the Bulge
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Quit Drinking
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized

But I wanted to know what your top resolutions were.
While this isn’t an official ‘tally’, here are some of the top themes which came up over and over again when you wrote in your #1 New Year’s Resolution:

  1. Have more patience (with my ADHD child, spouse, or with myself)
  2. Declutter, and get organized
  3. Lose weight/gain health
  4. Spend more time with friends/better connection with family
  5. Save more money/spend less/earn more
  6. (I resolve to) Not make any more resolutions because I always let myself down
  7. I don’t make resolutions, I work on year round improvement

When it came to the question of “have you been successful with resolutions in the past?”, the answer was a resounding “No”. Though there was a (powerful) minority who have been partially or fully successful in the past with resolutions.

There were several emails which I’d like to quote:

Regarding question 1: What is your #1 New Years Resolution this year?

John said: For the first time, to set goals for myself.

N. said: This year number one is : Take care of myself FIRST.

A humorous response: Marvin wrote: I’m a 70 year old who was diagnosed with ADHD almost 20 years ago. I have had the same resolution for several years and am one of the few people I know who has consistently been successful in keeping theirs: No new tattoos. (Of course I don’t have any old tattoos).

Regarding Question #2: Have you achieved your new years resolutions in the past?

Suzy said: (I don’t achieve my resolutions because) Like you said…..I don’t persevere. Top resolution should be to be more self disciplined…..that would take care of a lot!!

Kay wrote: No it is the same each year, the list is the same…. same goals, same ending.

Psalm says: Resolutions are rather intimidating to me. I prefer to think of goals, such as small, incremental, attainable goals.

Jennifer: I have not always achieved my resolutions but I have when I am very specific with the goal.

N. wrote: Yes, I achieve them because I type them up and paste them inside my wallet, checkbook, reading material etc and post them where I will see and be reminded of them every day plus I announce them to my inner circle for support.

Of course, as you can see – your wisdom came through in the emails. As you were sharing your comments, many of you revealed the answers to success with setting and achieving goals and New Year’s Resolutions.

And remembering the importance of the fact that we are in the area of mental health, there were some emails which were very personal, and acknowledged how hard things can be for people. Here is one example:

As J. wrote: My New Years resolution is to learn to live with ADD and all it brings, to fight the bully at work who constantly yells at me and to not commit suicide because of my poor self-image. Have I achieved my past new year’s goals? No, of course not.

Of course, I personally emailed J., and encouraged a visit to the doctor and/or therapist to work on J’s issues and challenges. (Our thoughts and prayers are with you, J!)

After reading 154 emails with people’s hopes, dreams, wounds and fears, I reiterate that I was personally touched and honored that you shared all that you did.

In the next few days, I’ll be sharing some thoughts and ideas for your on how to do well with your New Year’s Resolutions this year. Your emails have motivated me a lot to make sure to give you some helpful tips and strategies.

I’ll wrap up with this:

Jamie wrote: “Thanks…just curious…what were yours?”

When it comes to resolutions, I do take the time to review the past year, take stock, and look forward to the new year, and I do set goals. I set specific, measurable goals, with deadlines on them (3 month, 6 month, 9 month, 12 month) – and my goals are written down.

My three main goals (or goal categories) this year are:

  1. Family: Support my family more and increase my connection with them
  2. Health: Improve my health and well-being
  3. Finances: Improve my business and financial well-being

Thanks again, and watch for more updates in the coming days.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

p.s. please share your thoughts and comments below in the comments section…


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Holiday Message: Most Of All, Remember…

As we get closer to the Christmas break, life gets much busier…

Whether this is a religious holiday for you or not (i.e. Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza…), no doubt your life has gotten much busier in the past few weeks.

And things become all about the work get togethers, the ‘secret santa’, the family functions, trying to honor family traditions, and of course – trying to find the “right” present for your loved ones.
And if it’s for your child, no doubt, there is the ‘hot gift’ of the season, which is way too hard to find… (I suspect those toy companies do it on purpose!)

This time of year can be very stressful and challenging.
We all put too much pressure on ourselves for the holiday season.

And during all of these stresses and pressures – there’s one important thing to remember: and that is WHY we do all of these things…

Think about it for a moment:

  • Why do you want to get your child or loved one the ‘right gift’?
  • Why do you want to spend time with family? (even if it is your parents, or in-laws, or aunts and uncles who are judgmental, don’t understand you, and don’t ‘get’ ADD…)
  • Why do you try so hard to keep ‘family traditions’ alive?

My argument is this:
We do all of these things so that we can hopefully experience an EMOTION.
All of this hard work, to get us to FEEL a certain way.

What is this feeling that we drive ourselves so hard to feel?

[highlight color="FFFF00"]In my view, we’re pursuing this: an emotion of connection, closeness and love.[/highlight]

And in our day to day lives – we are so busy, so concerned about the stresses of the day, and week, and month, that we don’t often stop and take the time to feel this life-fulfilling feeling with the people we love – especially if they have ADD/ADHD and we have to work so hard to support them… (or if we ourselves have ADD and have trouble keeping up with day to day life…)

My advice to you- and my ‘christmas message’ to you is this:

Take the time to experience that loving connection and feeling with your loved ones this holiday season.
Make THAT the specific goal, and find the time to do it.

For many people, the busy holiday season doesn’t actually lead to this feeling of connection, closeness and love. It just leads to stress, overwhelm, upset, and a desire to get back to the routine of work…
Or maybe you’ve heard yourself saying to yourself under your breath: “I need a holiday after my holiday!”

Now, I’m not saying that you need to avoid the family traditions, and the get togethers, and all of the busy things you want to do, or feel you need to do.
Rather, I’m suggesting this:

1) Be easy on yourself. Don’t push yourself so hard that you get run down, overwhelmed and are ready to snap. That doesn’t serve you, and it doesn’t serve the ones you love. If your house isn’t perfectly neat, or if the Christmas meal is missing the cranberry sauce (or if it’s even take out from a chinese restauarant!), be easy on yourself, and remember, the point of the holidays is a feeling of connection, closeness and love.

2) At some point in your holiday schedule – take some time to do something with the people you love most – and make sure that you nurture a sense of connection, closeness and love.
This may mean going for a walk, or going bowling, or just having a quiet chat when no one else is around.
And when you do this – be sure to open up, and share your feelings. This part is so important – because that will show your loved ones how you really feel.
You may even want to explain how you do all of the holiday ‘activities’ and traditions to try to make it a special time for the family, so that your loving connections will get even stronger. Talk about how important your loved ones are to you, and how much they mean to you.
Give specific examples of things they’ve done that you love and/or are proud of.

Don’t use general statements, like: “You know I love you son.”

Rather, use very specific comments like, “I love you just for who you are. And when you stood up for your friend who was in trouble last September, even though that was a hard time for you, I saw the power of your character, your loyalty and I was so proud. I love you for who you are.”

When a comment is general, kids and loved ones think you just read it out of a book. But when you open up, and acknowledge them for what they’ve done and who they are – then they know you mean it. Everybody appreciates when someone sees who they really are, and acknowledges them for being themselves.

And of course if this is a religious and/or cultural holiday for you, be sure to consider and pray on the true meaning of the holiday. This can deepen your spritual connection, which can be beneficial to you in so many ways.

I wish you happy holidays, and I want you to know that I truly appreciate you for allowing me to participate in your journey with ADD/ADHD. I am honored, and I really appreciate you.
I hope you have happy, fulfilling, connected and loving holidays.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you think this message can help someone else, please forward it to them.

Best,
Dr. Kenny

p.s. If you find this message helpful, you may also find my book: Attention Difference Disorder helpful. It is for parents of kids and teens with ADD/ADHD. You can find it on Amazon.com here. Depending on when you order, Amazon may be able to still get it to you by the holidays!

p.s.

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Practice Gratitude Regulary

This past week, it was US Thanksgiving. When it’s Thanksgiving, people (generally) have a great time with friends and family, and have a wonderful, satisfying meal together.

And… most people take some time to consider what they are thankful for.

I am thankful for so many things. Including:

  • My Family and Friends
  • My Health
  • My profession, and the ability I have to help people on a day to day basis
  • The fact that I was born at the time I was (we live in amazing times, with incredible opportunities)
  • The fact that I was born in Canada (it may get cold here, but it is one of the best countries in the world, in my opinion)

And I’m also thankful to you - my blog reader or subscriber – because you’ve chosen to share your journey with ADD/ADHD with me, and you allow me to come onto your computer screen, or into your email inbox to share my thoughts, perspective and advice. I also really appreciate your comments, feedback and participation in the dialogue.

Now – I love Thanksgiving, and I think it is a wonderful yearly ritual.

And I encourage you to practice gratitude more regularly than once a year.

When I say ‘practice gratitude’, I mean that I encourage you to take a few moments, and quiet yourself down. Get comfortable, slow your breathing, and even close your eyes. Think about who and what you are grateful and thankful for. And then feel the feelings of gratitude and love for what you are focusing on. This exercise can take just a moment, and it can be tremendously helpful for you.

When you achieve a state of gratitude (with true feeling and emotion), it changes how you feel, as well as how you interact with the world and others. This can help you in our stressed out, overly busy world – especially if you have ADD/ADHD yourself, or if it’s in your family.

I encourage you to practice gratitude regularly – ideally daily.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

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Long Term Stimulant Use Improves School Grades

When kids or teens are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, doctors generally recommend medication to help to control the symptoms.The most commonly used medications include the stimulant medications – namely medicines like: Concerta, Adderall, Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Metadate CD, Ritalin LA, Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, and others.

While there are many studies showing that the ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity improve with the medicine, and cause short term academic improvements, there has been a lack of research to show long term academic benefits.

The studies summarized here clearly document that ADHD stimulant medication helps with long term academic success.

In this research, the research team followed 5700 children from birth until 18 years old. In that group, 277 boys and 93 girls were diagnosed with ADHD. Of those with the diagnosis, some decided to use medication, and some did not. When kids took ADHD medication, they generally started in elementary school, and took it for (on average) 30 months (i.e. just under 3 years).

Of the ADHD kids who were taking medication, by 13 years old, the medication children had improved reading scores compared to the kids with ADHD who had not taken medication. Children taking medication were more likely to attend school (i.e. less absenteeism), and they were 1.8 times less likely to be held back a year at school.

The lead researcher, Dr. Barbaresi was quoted as saying: “We can’t simply focus on the symptoms of ADHD,” Barbaresi said. “We really need to be focusing on the risk for poor outcomes in school and in other aspects of the child’s life,” he said. “That’s why we have to recognize these children and make sure they get appropriate treatment.”

To read more about these studies, click here.

What do you think? Has ADHD medication helped your child (or yourself) over the long term? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Best,

Dr. Kenny

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Stop Your Child’s Negative Thoughts

Kids and teens with ADD/ADHD often have what we can call: “Gremlins”. These can also be called: ANTS = Automatic Negative Thoughts.

Everybody gets these, but automatic negative thoughts can be particularly difficult and damaging to kids and teens with ADHD.

And, most of the time, parents feel helpless (or helpless and frustrated) when they can’t seem to help their kids get past these negative thoughts.

ADD Coaching Diane O’Reilly (from Indigo Tree Coaching) is featured in this video which discusses this issue and will help parents to better understand the issue of ‘gremlins’ and also give you some strategies to help you to help your teens.

Step 1: Watch this video:

Step 2: Join us for a live ADD Coaching call for the Attention Difference Disorder Insiders Membership site. The live call is on: Monday November 21st at 8 pm Eastern Time.
[hyperlink family="impact,chicago" size="18" color="B10000" textshadow="1" alignment="center" weight="bold" style="normal" lineheight="110" linkurl="http://attentiondifferencedisorder.com/members/join-insiders/" linkwindow="_blank"]Join Insiders >>>[/hyperlink]
We hope this information will help you to get your kids ‘unstuck’ from their gremlins.
Best,
Dr. Kenny
p.s. There are many more benefits to being an ‘Insider’. Click here to learn more.

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Procrastination in ADHD Kids and Teens

Does your ADD or ADHD child procrastinate a lot? If you’re like most parents, the answer is yes. And it likely leads to frustration, hassles, and maybe even battles.

And most parents are thinking: ” This whole thing could have been avoided, if my son (or daughter) didn’t leave this till the last minute!”

Procrastination is a complicated issue. There isn’t a one size fits all answer to it. To fully understand what’s going on with procrastination, and to help you to find solutions for it, I’ve interviewed Diane O’Reilly, from Indigo Tree Coaching below. She’ll help you to understand what’s going on with clutter, and also how to develop strategies to improve it.

To Join The Attention Difference Disorders Insiders Membership and

Participate in the Coaching Call for Parents

of Kids and Teens with ADD/ADHD:

“Overcome Procrastination”

>> CLICK HERE NOW <<

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