Newsletter, August 18, 2011

Table of Contents

  1. Message from the President
  2. 2011-12 CHADD Edmonton Program
  3. Having Trouble Sleeping? September 7 Adult Support Group Meeting
  4. Dr. Russell Barkley – November 7 in Edmonton
  5. Fall Sibshops
  6. Advocacy Workshop For Children With Special Needs
  7. ADHD Coach – Helping Hands Lifestyle Management
  8. Education

Message from the President

Hello everyone,

For those of you with school-aged children, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, as the commercial tells us (aside from back-to-school shopping)! For many it also indicates a new beginning and so it is with us at CHADD Edmonton. We have a new program starting in September with many excellent speakers and opportunities to sit together and share meaningfully about the challenges of ADHD.

2011-12 CHADD Edmonton Program

The next 12 months marks the third full year of our existence as a support group with round table sessions and numerous guest speakers for anyone affected by ADHD. Below, you will find the year’s agenda that you can print and post as a reminder of what’s in store for the year. There may be some changes as plans are finalized but you will receive word of them once decisions have been made.

Having Trouble Sleeping? September 7 Adult Support Group Meeting

Our guest speaker is Paul McCann, who is a nurse clinician working out of the Walter C. McKenzie Hospital (U of A). He will be addressing sleep issues that affect those with ADHD and providing practical suggestions for getting a better night’s sleep. Please RSVP if you plan to attend. Find more details below.

Dr. Russell Barkley – November 7 in Edmonton

Dr. Russell Barkley, internationally recognized as an expert in ADHD, is sponsored by LDA, to conduct a day-long workshop. You will want to hear this passionate and articulate advocate for ADHD. Check their website for further information on location and costs: http://www.LDAlberta.ca. CHADD Edmonton will look at accessing the webcast for a group of participants. Stay tuned!

Fall Sibshops

These workshops will provide opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health, mental health and developmental needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context. They intersperse information and discussion activities with new games (designed to be unique, off beat and appealing to a wide ability range), cooking activities art and recreational activities and special guests. Check below for dates, times and locations.

Advocacy Workshop For Children With Special Needs – Saturday, August 27th

Sensational Futures is running their next workshop for professionals and families working with children with exceptional needs. This workshop focuses on tips and strategies and resources for collaborative approaches on advocacy. Pre-registrations will be taken via e-mail (loridon@shaw.ca) for the lower price. It will still be $35.00 cash at the door if you do not pre-register. Find further details below.

ADHD Coach – Helping Hands Lifestyle Management

Leanne Weidman provides coaching for individuals with ADHD. She offers successful strategies for managing anxiety and one-on-one coaching for skill development, time management and numerous other skills. Her contact information is found below.

Education

This is a new section for our e-newsletter that presents research reviews and other information that will help keep you abreast of what is happening in the world of ADHD research. Included are: How Children’s ADHD Symptoms Affect Parents’ Feelings & Behavior, For Better Grades Try Gym Class. Articles are found below.

Rachel Rogers, Chapter Coordinator
CHADD Edmonton Chapter
Email: adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca

1. 2011-12 CHADD Edmonton Program

Adult Support Meetings

September 7: Having Trouble Sleeping? Paul McCann, Nurse Clinician, U of A

November 2: Round table

January 4: What’s a Comorbidity? ADHD and Other Mental Health Conditions. Dr. Paul Soper, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

March 7: Round Table

May 2: More than Meds – Integrative Therapies for ADHD. Dr. Pratap Chokka, Psychiatrist

July 4 Round Table

Parent Support Meetings

October 5: A Composite Journey (navigating the community resource maze). Heather Reimer, former special education teacher, mother of two special needs children, advocate

December 7: Round Table

February 1: Alberta Employment and Immigration Income Support (Parents and Adults). Dave McNaughton, Income Support Specialist. Disability Related Employment Supports (Adults). Sandra Mazur, DRES Specialist

April 4: Round Table

June 6: TBA

August 3: Round Table

2. Having Trouble Sleeping? September 7 Adult Support Group Meeting

DATE: Wednesday, September 7, 2010

TIME: 7:00 to 9:00 PM

LOCATION: Misericordia Hospital, Rm B-014, 16940 – 87 Avenue, Edmonton, AB.
(Take stairs beside elevators to basement, turn right through doors, first room on right.)

AGENDA

Having Trouble Sleeping?

Many people with ADHD struggle for consistent and restful sleep. Paul McCann, nurse clinician at the U of A, will be addressing issues surrounding sleep.

Come expecting to support and be supported. Basement (B-016), Misericordia Hospital. Garden Café available around the corner.

ADHD support group meetings held 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM.
Respond to adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca, using subject heading “CHADD Edmonton”. Please indicate number of people attending.

3. Dr. Russell Barkley – November 7 in Edmonton

Check this website for further information on location and costs: http://www.LDAlberta.ca. CHADD Edmonton will look at accessing the webcast for a group of participants. Stay tuned!

*******

The Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta is pleased to bring Dr. Barkley to Alberta on Monday, November 7, 2011. He is an internationally renowned expert on ADHD. Dr. Barkley will conduct a 6-hour seminar on ADHD in Edmonton at the Horowitz Theatre on the University of Alberta Campus. The seminar will be live streamed for participants logging in from Mountain and Pacific Time Zones. Get together with others to access the live stream and share the cost. More information can be obtained from LDAA.

Registration: $110 for in‐person or online attendance. Registration available at http://www.LDAlberta.ca in early June.

Who Should Attend? Teachers, Physicians, Psychologists, Disability Service Providers, Mental Health Workers, Parents, People Living with ADHD.

This session is an ideal professional development opportunity for schools. Register to attend online, and gather a group together and participate from your staff room.

(780) 462‐9497 / info@LDAlberta.ca / www.LDAlberta.ca

4. Fall Sibshops

These workshops will provide opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health, mental health and developmental needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context. Check below for dates, times and locations.

Workshops for siblings of children with special needs!

Join us! These workshops will provide opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health, mental health and developmental needs to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context.

Sibshops are lively, pedal-to-the-metal celebrations of the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of kids with special needs. Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, others a not-so-good thing and for many somewhere in between. They reflect a belief that brothers and sisters have much to offer one another, if they are given the chance.

The Sibshop model intersperses Information and discussion activities with new games (designed to be unique, off beat, and appealing to a wide ability range), cooking activities, art and recreational activities and special guests.

Sibshops seek to provide siblings with opportunities for peer support. Because Sibshops are designed (primarily) for school aged children, peer support is provided within a lively, recreational context that emphasizes a kids’-eye-view.

Sibshops are not therapy, group or otherwise, although their effect may be therapeutic for some children. Sibshops acknowledge that most brothers and sisters of people with special needs, like their parents, are doing well, despite the challenges of an illness or disability.

For more info, contact Debi Currie at 780-496-7318 or debi.currie@edmonton.ca

6 – 8 year olds: Saturday, Sept 24 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Fort Edmonton Park / #417787 / $26.75

9 – 12 year olds: Saturday, Nov 19 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Muttart Conservatory (9626 – 96 A St) / #417788 / $32.10

13 – 15 year olds: Saturday, Oct 22 10:00am – 2:00pm
Edmonton Valley Zoo / #417789 / $32.10

To Register call 311 or http://www.edmonton.ca/ereg. Registration began July 15, 2011.

5. Advocacy Workshop For Children With Special Needs – Saturday, August 27th

Sensational Futures is running their next workshop for professionals and families working with children with exceptional needs. This workshop focuses on tips and strategies and resources for collaborative approaches on advocacy. Pre-registrations will be taken via e-mail (loridon@shaw.ca) for the lower price. It will still be $35.00 cash at the door if you do not pre-register. Find further details below.

Workshop and Trade Show: Back to School Advocacy

Sponsored by Sensational Futures

“Empowering parents, teachers, and other professionals by providing supports and strategies for children with exceptional needs.”

http://sensationalfutures.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Tips and Strategies on collaborative advocacy for pre-school and elementary and Jr. High and High School students with special needs.

Ms. Jennifer Mitchell, registered psychologist, will facilitate a panel of experts on this subject.

Panel guests are: Ms. Danette Anderson, Supervisor of Leadership services with Edmonton Public School Board, Ms. Debbie Engel Edmonton Catholic School Board Chair, Ms. Kathryn Burke author of Accidental Advocate and owner/operator of LDExperience, and Ms. Wendy Suave from Edmonton Regional Coalition for Inclusive Education (ERC).

Who should attend: Both professionals/educators/consultants, and for families of children with special needs, it is important to gain knowledge on resources and ways to advocate for your students/child’s rights. This workshop will be an introductory course.

Schedule:

9:30 am- Doors open, for trade show
10:00- 11:00- Workshop begins promptly with introductions of the panel.
11:00- 11:10- Brief intermission
11:10-11:40 – Further discussion and strategies presented by the panel
11:40- 12:00 – Question and answer period of the audience
12:00-1:00- Trade show, and opportunities to speak with the panel guests.

Location: Taylor College & Seminary – 11525 – 23 Avenue NW, Edmonton. Easiest access to Taylor College is off 23 Avenue either eastbound or westbound at the entrance off 115 Street which is west of Saddleback Road. There is an open parking lot right in front of the main entrance to the Seminary; the restricted parking is only during Monday-Friday so you can park anywhere in the visitor or staff parking. Signs will be posted on the main door of the seminary which is the building in the North end of the College, just off of 23 Avenue.

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 August 20th.

Fee for workshop is $25.00 per person. Cash registration is available on the day of the workshop the fee will be $35.00 per person. The last two workshops were sold out and the room has seating limits so please register early.

6. ADHD Coach – Helping Hands Lifestyle Management

Leanne Weidman provides coaching for individuals with ADHD. She offers successful strategies for managing anxiety and one-on-one coaching for skill development, time management and numerous other skills.

For further information or to register for any programs please contact:
Leanne Weidman / 780-719-4620 / weidmanl@hotmail.com

7. Education

This is a new section for our e-newsletter that presents research reviews and other information that will help keep you abreast of what is happening in the world of ADHD research. Included are: How Children’s ADHD Symptoms Affect Parents’ Feelings & Behavior, For Better Grades Try Gym Class. Articles are found below.

How Children’s ADHD Symptoms Affect Parents’ Feelings & Behavior

ADHD in children puts stress on parents. In fact, parents of children with ADHD report greater parenting stress, less satisfaction in their parenting role, and more depressive symptoms than other parents. They also report more negative interactions with their child. This is certainly not true in all families where a child has ADHD but instead reflects average differences that have been found.

How do ADHD symptoms in children affect parents’ feelings about parenting and their behavior toward their child? And, does this differ for boys and girls? These questions were the focus of a study recently published online in the < Child Abnormal of>[Glatz et al., (2011). Parents’ reactions to youths’ hyperactive, impulsivity and attention problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Published online July 13, 2011.]

Participants were 706 children (376 boys and 330) and their parents from a mid-sized town in Sweden. They were drawn from a 5-year longitudinal study which included nearly all youth from 4th thru 12th grade in this town. Youth were between 10 and 12 at the start of the study and well into adolescence by the conclusion. This was not a sample of youth diagnosed with ADHD but a regular community sample.

Three waves of data were collected from parents (over 70% mothers) with roughly 2 years between each wave. Measures collected during each wave included the following:

Child ADHD symptoms – Parents rated their child’s ADHD symptoms using a standardized rating scale.

Youth defiance – Ratings of children’s oppositional behavior.

Unresponsiveness to Parental Correction – This scale measured how parents’ felt their child normally responded to parental attempts to influence his or her behavior. High scores reflect parents’ feelings that their child was unresponsive to such efforts.

Parents’ Feelings of Powerlessness – This scale measured parents’ perceptions of their inability to change their youth’s problematic behavior. High scores reflected a parent’s feeling that he/she was relatively powerless to change problematic behavior in their child. A sample item from this scale is “Have you ever felt on the border of giving up – felt that there was nothing you could do about the problems you had with the youth?”

In addition to collecting the above data from parents, children also completed scales that measures their perception of their parents’ warmth, coldness and rejection towards them. These scales were collected during waves 2 and 3.

– Study Hypotheses –

Because data was collected over a 5-year period, the researchers could test whether ADHD symptoms predicted parents’ perception of child unresponsiveness and their own sense of powerless several years later. The specific predictions tested were that: 1) child ADHD symptoms lead parents to perceive their child as unresponsive to correction; and, 2) feeling that one’s child is unresponsive to correction leads to increases in a parent’s feelings of powerlessness.

The longitudinal design also allowed the researchers to test how parents’ feelings of powerlessness may influence their behavior towards their child. They hypothesized that parents who felt more powerless would be perceived by their child to display less warmth and more coldness and rejection towards them over time.

– Results –

Results from this study were largely consistent with the above hypotheses. Parents’ report of child ADHD symptoms at time 1 predicted increased feelings that their child was unresponsive to correction 2 years later. In turn, parents’ reports of child unresponsiveness to correction at time 2 predicted increased feelings of powerless 2 years later.

The authors next tested whether parents’ feelings of powerlessness predicted youths’ perception of how their parents behaved towards them. Parents who reported more powerlessness at time 1 had children who reported more cold and rejecting parental behavior and reduced parental warmth 2 years later.

The above results were largely consistent across boys and girls. In addition, these results remained largely unchanged even when taking children’s level of defiance into account, suggesting that ADHD symptoms have a direct effect on the processes studied.

– Summary and Implications –

The adverse impact of children’s ADHD symptoms on parents’ stress levels, satisfaction in the parenting role, and even depressive symptoms have been known for some time. Results from this study suggest that it is not ADHD symptoms themselves that affect parents in these ways, but rather, it is parents’ perception that their child is largely unresponsive to correction that is most challenging.

Behaviors associated with ADHD appear to influence parents negatively because they are perceived to be largely outside parents’ control, which contributes to growing feelings of powerlessness. Feelings of powerlessness, in turn, can lead parents to behave towards their child in ways that children increasingly view as colder, more rejecting, and less warm. This cycle was largely similar for boys and girls and would be expected to have growing negative affects on children and parents over time.

What is somewhat ironic about these findings is that in children with ADHD, behaviors that reflect inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are believed to have strong biological underpinnings and are legitimately difficult for parents and children to control. Thus, it is not surprising that many parents experience children displaying high levels of these behaviors as unresponsive to correction, and these feelings are not necessarily inaccurate. What makes these feelings problematic, however, is that they contribute to growing feelings of powerlessness in parents, perhaps because the understandable difficulty parents have ‘correcting’ behaviors that reflect core symptoms of ADHD can lead them to feel less confident about influencing their child in other important domains.

An example may make this clearer. If I have a child with ADHD who is severely hyperactive, getting my child to significantly alter their activity level is going to be extremely difficult using the typical strategies parents might engage. It is easy to imagine how if I continue to focus on this, I will increasingly feel that my child is unresponsive to correction and develop a growing sense of powerlessness. Over time, this might contribute to my being less willing to try and exert influence in important areas where I am more likely to be successful, e.g., helping my child develop a particular skill or talent or helping him learn the importance of developing reasonable saving and spending habits.

This argues for the importance of helping parents recognize that although children may be ‘unresponsive to correction’ when it comes to the core symptoms of ADHD that have important biological underpinnings, this does not need to generalize to other aspects of a child’s life where parents are eager to have an important positive influence. Clearly understanding that getting children to change core ADHD symptoms is difficult – many would argue that this is where carefully monitored medication treatment can play a useful role – may protect parents from feeling increasingly powerless about exerting positive influence on their child and help them remain engaged with their child in ways that children experience as warm, nurturing and supportive.

For Better Grades, Try Gym Class

New York Times Online, August 10, 2011 By Gretchen Reynolds

If you want a young person to focus intently in school and perform well on tests, should you first send him or her to gym class? That question, which has particular relevance for school districts weighing whether to reduce or ax their physical education programs to save money, motivated a number of stimulating new examinations into the interplay of activity and attention. Some of the experiments studied children; others looked at laboratory rats bred to have an animal version of attention deficit disorder. For both groups, exercise significantly affected their ability to concentrate, although some activities seemed to be better than others at sharpening attention.

The most striking of the new studies involved 138 schoolchildren ages 8 to 11 who were living in Rome. The children were physically healthy, and none suffered from serious attention deficits. But like most children that age, they found it difficult to remain fully engaged in their lessons as the school day wore on. As the study’s authors, all affiliated with the Foro Italico campus of the University of Rome, point out, children “who undergo prolonged periods of academic instruction often reduce their attention and concentration.”

To determine whether exertion could make students less distracted, the researchers, whose study was published last week in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, had the children complete several types of gym classes, as well as a typical instructional or lecture class. Just before and immediately after the classes, the children took a written test that required them to pick out certain letters from long chains of symbols in a short time. The test is widely accepted as a good indicator of a person’s attention and ability to concentrate.

The children’s test scores rose after each of the classes. But by a wide margin, their scores increased the most after a 50-minute gym class that concentrated on endurance exercise. In that session, the young students ran, walked, skipped and otherwise kept moving for the duration of the class. Afterward, according to their test scores, they were much better able to focus.

Interestingly, the children did not improve as much after a 50-minute gym class that required them to learn new drills with a ball. That session, which was “geared toward the development of both motor control and perceptual-motor adaptation abilities,” required more thought than the endurance class, the researchers wrote. Afterward, their scores on attention tests rose, but not by as much. The researchers speculated that asking the students to both think and move was too much, inducing “an excessive stress load” on their brains.

These findings resonate intriguingly with those of other newly published experiments involving lab rats bred to have the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These rats are twitchier and even less capable of settling down than typical rodents. They also can’t seem to stop investigating meaningless stimuli. When researchers shine a light into these rats’ cages, the animals keep going to the glow, long after they should have learned that the light was unimportant.

But researchers at the department of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth University found that giving adolescent rats access to a running wheel for three weeks before starting to shine the light in their cages significantly altered how the young animals responded. The exercised rats noticed the light, investigated it a few times and then moved on. Running had enabled the attention-deprived rats to better focus on what was meaningful — or not — in their cages.

The full effect of exercise on attention, though, remains tangled. During a separate part of the experiment that presented the A.D.H.D.-afflicted rats with a learning challenge, the animals that had exercised were no better than sedentary rodents at figuring out that a different light cue meant food. Exercise did not seem to boost their intellect, just as the Italian schoolchildren didn’t focus as well if their gym class added mental tasks to the physical exertion. “There is still a great deal that we need to learn about which parts of the brain preferentially are affected by exercise” in animals or people with attention deficits, said Andrea Robinson, a doctoral student at Dartmouth who conducted the rat experiments.

Still, she continued, the current findings are encouraging. “The implication is that exercise might in fact help to treat” young people with A.D.H.D. and, more broadly, enable all children to better absorb lessons in geometry or geology. “If I had to extrapolate” to children from her group’s findings in rats, Ms. Robinson said, the lesson would be, “let kids run around” during the school day and don’t require them constantly either to sit or to think. Or, to be more blunt, it may be time to start looking at gym classes not as lost academic hours but as a means to scholastic enrichment.

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