Newsletter: February 16, 2011

Table of Contents

Literacy and Learning Day
Adult Support Group Meeting, March 2
Activity Night for Children/Youth
Social Skills Programming
Dads Matter
Diet and ADHD
Fine Motor Fun
Self-Help Strategies for Children with Sensory Issues and Sensory Processing Disorder
Literacy and Learning Day, April 9

The 9th annual Literacy and Learning Day is organized for parents and is free!

Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011

Venue: Grant MacEwan University – City Centre Campus

Keynote Speaker: Robert Paul Ocker -The Parent Shift

Register online at: http://www.literacyday.ca

Adult Support Group Meeting, March 2

Our Adult Support Group meeting in March will feature Shelly Morrison, Professional Organizer. She will provide information on the attitudes/beliefs behind disorganization and some practical tips for making life easier. Come out for a lifestyle change! Please RSVP if you plan to attend: adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca.

What Can A Professional Organizer Do For You?

Shelly Morrison, Professional Organizer, is a trained professional organizer and western Canada’s first certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization. She will address:

healthy attitudes to consider
thoughts or beliefs that may get in the way
why do we keep?
questions to ask
criteria setting
acquiring habits
ADHD support group meetings held 1st Wednesday of each month, 7 PM. Come expecting to support and be supported. Garden Café (Tim Hortons) available around the corner. RSVP to adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca.

Activity Night for Children/Youth

Ola Perry is organizing a gym night on Wednesday, March 9th from 6 to 8 PM for children grades 3 and up at Holy Trinity High School in Millwoods. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children with ADHD to connect with peers and for their parents to connect with others who are also affected by ADHD. Please feel free to bring siblings. For more information please see the attached poster (CHADD Activity Night). to adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca.

Social Skills Programming

We are forwarding information for Corinne Eckert, Psychologist, who is facilitating two sessions in the spring. One is for children grades 4-6 and the other is for youth grades 7-9. Direct your inquiries to Corinne as she can best answer any questions you may have.

Training in Core Social Skills

Level I: “The Hidden Conversation”

Target Group: Children in grades 4-6 who may have difficulty interacting successfully with others due to social skills deficits.

Purpose: Children can have difficulty interacting with others because they miss the subtle nuances of social interaction, or what we call social cues. They hear the words people say, but don’t understand the full message because they do not understand the “hidden conversation” — that is the part of the message that is made up of all the nonverbal ways we communicate. They also may be unaware of the subtle messages they send, unintentionally, through their own body language or tone of voice.

Our goal is to help children enhance their ability to interact with others by learning the importance of nonverbal communication and how “hidden” messages are sent to us and by us. Children will become more proficient at recognizing and responding appropriately to these messages, as well as sending messages that help them interact more successfully with others.

Description: This therapeutic and psychoeducational group consists of 8 sessions. Each session is 1 hour and 30 minutes. There will be discussions, demonstrations, videos, games and roleplays. Lessons will be based on the curriculum “Navigating the Social World”, as well as drawing on many other age-appropriate resources and strategies. We will focus on group instruction, but also individual coaching. Sessions are fun and relaxed, with skills being taught and practiced through a hands-on approach. A group meeting for parents before the start of the course will provide an overview of concepts to be covered so they may support their child in practising and mastering the skills taught. Print information for teachers will also be provided in order to facilitate generalization of skills to the school setting. Impressions on each student’s progress and recommendations will be provided to parents either by phone, email or through a brief 1-1meeting following the last session.

Emphasis will be on the following:

Learning vocabulary for feelings and how feelings are communicated.
Recognizing, understanding and responding to nonverbal and contextual cues from others (body language, facial expression, etc.).
Recognizing and using voice cues such as tone and volume to communicate effectively.
Looking at our own nonverbal communication and recognizing how it can affect the messages we send and how others receive them.
Understanding how our messages and behaviour can positively or negatively affect our ability to build social relationships.
Date: Wednesdays, March 9 – May 4, 2011 (no class during spring break).

Time: 5:-6:30 PM. (parent session is Monday, March 7 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.)

Cost: $378 (There are 8 child sessions and 1 parent session for a total of 9 sessions @ $42/session) *Cost of psychological services are reimbursed by many employee extended health insurance plans and Blue Cross. Appropriate receipts will be provided. Payment may be made with post-dated cheques for each session. *Make cheques out to Eckert Counselling Services.

Location: Leo Nickerson Elementary School, 10 Sycamore Avenue, St. Albert

Registration: Complete the attached registration form and send along with payment to: #301, 10222-140 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 2L4

Questions may be directed to Corinne Eckert at (780)454-4634 or ceckert@telus.net

Facilitators

Corinne Eckert is a child and adolescent psychologist who works with children and families in private practice, as well as providing behaviour consultation and assessment to schools. She has worked in schools as a teacher and school counsellor, as well as in children’s mental health as a therapist. She has facilitated many children’s groups, as well as parent sessions and teacher/educational assistant training in child mental health and strategies/skill building.

Sue Barrie has a nursing background and has worked in special education for 24 years. She has training in child development issues such as behaviour management, self-esteem building and anger management. Sue has worked as a Lifeskills Facilitator in St. Albert schools, helping students from grades 1-9 learn skills to interact successfully with others.

Training in Core Social Skills

Level II: “Successful Communication”

Target Group: Student in grades 7-9 who may have difficulty interacting successfully with others due to social skills difficulties.

Purpose: Students can have difficulty interacting with others because they have not developed effective communication skills. They may have difficulty listening and responding appropriately to others in ways that keep a conversation “flowing”. Students may also have difficulty knowing how to initiate conversations or join in to those that are already ongoing. They may not understand “conversational manners” that make the conversation a positive experience for both parties. Some students may also have difficulty knowing how to express emotions and needs in an effective manner, so that their needs do not get met, due to lack of confidence or perhaps an excess of negative emotion. Understanding how to participate effectively in groupwork at school can be a difficult experience. Those with such difficulties can experience anxiety or may withdraw from social experiences, or even feel that peers withdraw from them.

Our goal is to help students enhance their ability (and confidence) to interact with others by building skills in effective communication.

Description: This therapeutic and psychoeducational group consists of 8 sessions. Each session is 1 hour and 30 minutes. There will be discussions, demonstrations, videos, games and roleplays. We will be learning and practicing skills in a fun and relaxed way through hands-on activities. Lessons will be based on the curriculum “Navigating the Social World”, “Social Skill Strategies: A Social-Emotional Curriculum for Adolescents” as well as drawing on many other age-appropriate resources and strategies. We will focus on group instruction, but also individual coaching. A group meeting for parents before the start of the course will provide an overview of concepts to be covered so they may support their child in practicing and mastering the skills taught. Print information for teachers will also be provided in order to facilitate generalization of skills to the school setting. Impressions on each student’s progress and recommendations will be provided to parents either by phone, email or through a brief 1-1 meeting following the last session.

Emphasis will be on the following:

Conversations (initiating, listening, interrupting, staying on topic, conversational manners).
Offering and asking for help.
Asking questions.
Joining in.
Including others.
Expressing emotions and needs in a cooperative way.
Understanding figurative speech (sarcasm, irony, similes, metaphors, etc.).
Date: Wednesdays, March 9 – May 4, 2011 (no class during spring break)

Time: 7 – 8:30 PM (parent session is Monday, March 7 at 7 – 8 PM)

See above for cost, location, and information about facilitators Corinne Eckert and Sue Barrie.

Dads Matter

This is a session for fathers or male role models who want to be more involved in their children’s education. It takes place on Tuesday, March 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

Are You the Man in Someone Special’s Life? (Yes, Mom Can Come Too!)
Dads Matter – and ‘dads’ come in all different packages…fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, stepdads, etc. Are you a dad or male role model who wants to become more involved in a child’s education?
Join Steve Davies, Head Teacher from Coopers Lane Primary School in Lewisham, England for an entertaining and informative evening about how dads/men can fully engage in their children’s lives – and why it’s critically important to children that they do! It’s never too late to become involved so sign up today!

Tuesday, March 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Ramada Conference Centre (Wildrose Ballrooms)
11834 Kingsway Avenue
Free parking in the Ramada Hotel parking lot

To register visit http://tinyurl.com/dadsmatter or call Kim at 780.429.8040.
Please note that this session is for adults only. Photographs may be taken at this event, which may be used on the District’s website and in other publications.
For more information, visit:
http://www.epsb.ca/familiescommunity/ or http://www.ecsd.net/parents/parent_sessions.html

Diet and ADHD

Dr. David Rabiner, a clinical researcher from Duke University, publishes his reviews on basic research dealing with ADHD. Here is his review of diet and ADHD.

‘Western’ Style Diet Increases ADHD Risk
************************************************************************

In last month’s issue of Attention Research Update (helpforadd.com/2010/august.htm) I reported on an intriguing study examining the impact of an herbal treatment for youth with ADHD. Results from this randomized-controlled trial were quite promising and consistent with the idea that some individuals with ADHD have deficiencies in essential nutrients that compromise healthy brain development and result in ADHD symptoms. This idea has sparked the long-standing debate about whether dietary factors play an important role in the development of ADHD, at least for some children, and led to many studies of this issue. Although results of these studies elude any simple conclusions, dietary factors do appear to contribute to ADHD symptoms in some individuals.

Some have argued that research on the relationship between diet and ADHD is more important than ever because the diets of children in Western countries have shown steady increases in the amounts of heavily processed foods rich in saturated fats, salt, and sugars accompanied by decreases in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and folate. Is it possible that such ‘Western’ style diets are associated with an increased risk of ADHD, and perhaps a contributing factor to the high prevalence of the disorder?

This important question was examined in a study published recently online in the Journal of Attention Disorders [Howard et. al. (2010). ADHD is associated with a “Western” dietary pattern in adolescents. Journal of Attention Disorders]. Participants were 1172 14 year-old Australian adolescents and their parents who had been recruited into the study and followed since the mothers were between 16 and 20 weeks pregnant. The data collected in this study was part of a large-scale longitudinal investigation focused on a variety of issues related to understanding healthy and maladaptive development.

When youth were 14, parents were asked whether their child had ever been diagnosed with ADHD by a qualified health professional. One hundred and fifteen – nearly 10% – had been diagnosed, including 91 boys and 24 girls. These diagnoses were confirmed by reviewing children’s medical records. Primary caregivers also completed the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) in which they rated the typical intake by their child of over 200 different foods from nearly 40 different food groups.

Based on responses to the FFQ, 2 major dietary patterns were identified. The ‘Western’ pattern was positively associated with higher intakes of total fat, saturated fat, refined sugars, and sodium. The ‘Healthy’ pattern (these labels were assigned by the investigators) was positively associated with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and folate. Specific food types prominent in the Western diet included ‘takeaway’ foods (I believe this refers to ‘fast’ food’) red meat, processed meats, soft drinks, full fat dairy products, soft drinks, sugary foods, and fried foods. Prominent foods in the healthy diet included all types of vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, legumes, and fish.

Adolescents received scores on both diet patterns based on parents’ responses about their typical food intake. Those above the mean were classified as ‘high’ for that pattern and those below the mean were classified as ‘low’. Thus, each adolescent was placed in a high or low group for both the Westerns style and Healthy diets. By classifying participants in this way, the researchers could examine whether being high vs. low for a Western diet and a Healthy diet was associated with an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD.

Because many factors besides diet may increase risk of ADHD, the researchers measured a number of other variables that could potentially confound the results. These included maternal age at conception, maternal education, maternal smoking during pregnancy, presence of biological father in the home during pregnancy, family income during pregnancy, and the number of stressful life events experienced by the mother during pregnancy. In addition, data was collected on adolescents’ typical weekly level of physical activity and the number of hours they spent each day watching television, playing video games, or using the computer.

– Results –

After controlling for all the other variables noted above, adolescents in the ‘high’ group for the Western dietary pattern were more than twice as likely as those in the ‘low’ group to have been diagnosed with ADHD. These results were consistent for boys and girls. A high score for the Healthy dietary pattern, however, was not associated with reduced risk of having a diagnosis.

When the authors looked at specific food groups, high consumption of fast food, red meat, processed meats, and high-fat dairy products, potato chips, and soft drinks were all associated with increased risk of an ADHD diagnosis.

Increased likelihood of an ADHD diagnosis was also related to mothers having experienced multiple stressful events during pregnancy. The only variable associated with lower odds of diagnosis was physical activity, as youth who exercised at least 2 hours per week outside of school were less likely than others to be diagnosed.

– Summary and Implications –

Results from this study based on a large community sample of youth clearly indicate that a Western-style dietary pattern is associated with greater odds of having ADHD. This was true for both boys and girls. The Western-style diet identified in this study was one that was high in total fat, saturated fats, refined sugars, and sodium.

One possible interpretation of these findings is that diets high in these food elements play a direct causal role in the development of ADHD. However, there was no evidence that adhering to a healthy diet, i.e., one high in vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and fish, reduced the odds of being diagnosed. Thus, while Western style diets may increase risk for ADHD, the findings do not support the notion that adhering to a healthier diet reduces such risk. This does not mean that the healthy dietary pattern may not have had other benefits, but only that it did not alter the risk for ADHD beyond what could be explained by being high vs. low for the Western-style pattern.

While it is tempting to conclude that the Western dietary pattern directly contributed to the development of ADHD in some youth, the authors are careful to note that the design of their study does not allow causal conclusions to be made. For example, although the consumption of a more ‘Western’ style diet may have “…promoted the expression of attention deficits” it is also possible that “…diagnosed attention deficits led to poorer food choices and a more ‘Western’ style diet.” For example, the authors suggest that their results “…could be explained by the tendency for adolescents experiencing emotional distress to crave fat-rich snack foods as a self-soothing strategy.” It is also worth noting that this study did not examine whether dietary changes can reduce ADHD symptoms and that the findings should not be interpreted in that way.

While no single study can fully answer complicated questions pertaining to the role of diet and nutritional factors in the etiology of ADHD, this research clearly highlights that a Western-style dietary pattern is associated with increased odds of having an ADHD diagnosis. This suggests, but does not prove, that dietary patterns may be implicated in the development of ADHD, and highlights the need for additional study so that a more definitive understanding of this important issue can be obtained. These findings also provide an reminder that although risk for ADHD has been strongly linked to genetic factors, it is important to continue the exploration of other factors that may increase risk. Such exploration should ultimately lead to a richer understanding of the disorder and how it develops, and hopefully to the development of more effective treatments.

Dr. David Rabiner, PhD
Associate Research Professor
Dept. of Psychology & Neuroscience
Duke University

Fine Motor Fun

Our guest speaker from February 2011, Kathy Mulka, OT is running a program for children with fine motor difficulties. We are forwarding this information as a service to our ADHD community. Please direct all inquiries to Unlimited Potentials.

Printing Power: Peer Group

Is your child struggling with his/her printing? Are their skills falling behind their classmates? Do they lack confidence to participate in art project and fine motor activities? Help them build their printing and fine motor skills in a fun and interactive printing group.

Who: Children ages 7 – 10
When: Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 6:30
Sessions will begin March 3 and run through to April 21
Price: $560.00 – includes materials and projects to take home

Sessions will include:

creative fine motor activities to build strength, precision and control for printing skills
multi-sensory printing activities with focus on letter formation, sizing, spacing and page organization
imaginative projects focusing on integrating skills learned during the session
parent education and strategies for home and school.
A printing evaluation will be required for new clients. Please contact Natalie at 780-438-7126 for more information.

Self-Help Strategies for Children with

Sensory Issues and Sensory Processing Disorder

Sponsored by Sensational Futures

Two informative workshops:

Saturday, March 19 – Eating Toileting, Sleeping

Sunday, April 30 – Success in School

Each session is from 10 am to 12 pm, followed by a trade show. Each workshop is $50 (both for $95).

Speaker: Ms. Rebecca Summach, O.T.

Who should attend: These workshops will most benefit parents and other adults who care for or work with children who have sensory issues, where those issues inhibit development. The self-help strategies demonstrated in these workshops will target increased independence for these children.

Topics:

Saturday, March 19: An overview of Sensory Processing Disorder and presentation of self-help strategies for eating, toileting, and sleeping.

Saturday, April 30: Tips and strategies that help children become more successful in school.

Schedule for each session:

10:00 – 11:30a.m.: presentation
11:30 – 12:00 noon: question/answer period
12:00noon – 12:30p.m.: trade show

Location: Taylor College & Seminary – 11525 – 23 Avenue NW, Edmonton

About the presenter:

Rebecca Summach is the owner operator of ‘Growing Changes,’ an occupational therapy service for children. http://www.growingchanges.ca/site/

Rebecca has 9 years of experience as an occupational therapist and specializes in assessment and intervention of children with developmental challenges. She graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor Degree with Distinction in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University.

Rebecca currently works with schools, and as a private practitioner in Edmonton, Alberta. She works with children with special needs from 0 – 18 years in preschools, schools, home agencies and hospitals, and works closely with the families of her clients. Her areas of focus include: fine and gross motor function, play skills, sensory integration and self-help skills such as dressing and feeding.

Rebecca recently completed a mentorship program with Dr. Lucy Miller of the SPD Foundation in Denver, Colorado, is close to completing her S.I.P.T. certification and recently completed the SOS.

Registration Information and Fees (which incl. GST):

Please make cheques payable to Sensational Futures and mail to:

Ms. Lori Fankhanel
c/o Sensational Futures
10816-42 A Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6J-2P7

For more information, please email Ms. Fankhanel at loridon@shaw.ca

NSF cheques will be charged a service fee of $50.00 and may lose a seat at the workshop. All cancellations will be charged a $25.00 processing fee. We regret that we are unable to receive credit card payments. Receipts will be provided on the day of the workshop. No refunds after March 12.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s