Newsletter: September 19, 2011

Table of Contents

  1. 2011-12 CHADD Edmonton Program
  2. Sensory Smart Tip
  3. Core Social Skills
  4. Dr. Russell Barkley – November 7 in Edmonton
  5. LDAA Conference 2011
  6. Catholic Social Services’ Family Living Program
  7. ADHD Parent Support Group Meeting, October 2011 / A Composite Journey
  8. Education: How Children’s ADHD Symptoms Affect Parents’ Feelings & Behavior

Message from the President

Hello everyone,

“Most people regard ADD as a problem, which it can indeed be. But I look at ADD as a potential blessing – with emphasis on the word potential. The goal is to sculpt ADD into a blessing.”
Dr. Edward Hallowell (blessed with ADD and dyslexia)

I found the above quote in one of Dr. Hallowell’s books and realized it’s a positive way to view ADHD. In my mind, the emphasis is on the word sculpt which speaks of labor toward a wonderful and fulfilling end product.

CHADD Edmonton 2011/12 Program

You’ll find the program for the year in this newsletter and also on our Events page.

October 5 Parent Support Group Meeting

Our October support group meeting is primarily intended for parents but anyone can attend. Heather Reimer, a former special education teacher, mother and advocate of two special children, found that there was not a lot of direction for a parent in her situation regarding what to expect from a school system or the community. She hopes to provide parents in this session with guidance and resources for supporting their children.

Sensory Smart: Handwriting vs. Writing

Lori Fankhanel, founder of Sensory Processing Disorder Canada (SPD Canada) has passed along practical information about discriminating between the act of handwriting and writing (or composing). It comes from the Sensory Smart News website. I am including the article, “Sensory Smart Tip: Recognize that handwriting and writing are two different skills, and focus on composing separately.”

Core Social Skills Groups

Corinne Eckert, Psychologist, is once again offering social skills programming this fall, winter and spring. Corinne writes:

“New this year we have added a level III, which deals with peer interaction skills like dealing with feelings, dealing with conflicts, problem solving, etc. Also, this year the students who take or who have taken our social skills programs are eligible to participate in the twice monthly fun night sessions sponsored by the Learning Disability Association of Alberta so they can continue to practice their skills in a safe and supervised social environment. They have not started yet but please contact them for further info about these sessions at”


**Dr. Russell Barkley** – Monday, November 7, 9 to 4 PM

Book your day off to spend with Dr. Barkley, a world-renowned and well-respected ADHD researcher and clinician who will be presenting a 6-hour seminar at the Meyer Horowitz Theatre on the U of A campus. See the poster attached. Your CHADD executive is working to finding a room on campus where we can watch the webcast of his presentation. A nominal fee will be charged for your participation. Stay tuned for further details.

2011 Conference – Transcending Barriers (November 24-25, Red Deer)

This conference in Red Deer focuses on strategies to improve learning and quality of work life through the use of assistive technology, building capacity and effective policy. This is an excellent conference for those with LD and/or ADHD. Check their website for further details:

Family Living Program

Catholic Social Services (CSS) offers numerous workshops for individuals struggling with depression, anger management, relationships, etc. Please see below for further information about workshops, cost and registration. Please understand that we offer this information as a service but cannot guarantee the quality of the workshops or any intended outcomes. Do your own research and ask CSS any relevant questions before registering and paying.

Post-secondary Support for Students with Disabilities

If you are a post-secondary student in Edmonton and have a disability, support and services are available to you. Here is contact information for U of A, Grant MacEwan University and NAIT.

Specialized Support and Disability Services (SSDS) – University of Alberta
Ph: 780-492-3381 / Email:

Services to Students with Disabilities (SSD) – Grant MacEwan University

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) – NAIT
Ph: 780.378.6133 / TTY: 780.474.5883 / E-mail:

Health Professionals List

We have heard from so many people looking for experienced and knowledgeable professionals who can diagnose and/or treat ADHD in children, adolescents and adults. We want to update a reference list of professionals and you can help. If you have had excellent service from a family doctor, pediatrician, psychologist or psychiatrist, please check with him/her first and with their consent send us the name and contact information for our list. The professional should be: knowledgeable about ADHD and its symptoms; willing to listen carefully to you; able to diagnose and recommend appropriate medical treatment; and willing to take the time to adjust dosage or consider other medications.


We began last month to include the Education section that presents research reviews and other information. Below is this month’s selection: How Children’s ADHD Symptoms Affect Parents’ Feelings & Behavior.

Rachel Rogers, Chapter Coordinator
CHADD Edmonton Chapter

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. Sensory Smart Tip

Recognize that handwriting and writing are two different skills, and focus on composing separately.

Developing handwriting skills, and handwriting at length, is often difficult for kids with sensory processing disorder. There are many issues involved in handwriting, including memory, language processing, posture, muscle tone, body awareness, tactile issues, and so on. If your child is having difficulty handwriting, get it evaluated by a sensory smart OT. Once you are able to identify which issues are at play, you and the OT can work on those with your child. I will do a future newsletter on the sensory piece of handwriting. For now, let’s look at the composing aspect of writing for school.

When you separate out composing from handwriting, it can greatly help a child who has uneven skills. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want to say and not being able to get it down on paper with a pencil, unless it’s not knowing what to say and having handwriting problems to boot! As a professional writer and editor, I am very much aware that too often, we mush together the many different elements of writing and editing, which can intimidate and confuse a novice writer. There’s really no reason for it. After all, in the olden days when I was a secretary, my bosses regularly composed their letters via dictation, and I used a Dictaphone or Gregg shorthand to record what they were saying. Bestselling romance novelist Barbara Cartland composed all her books by dictating them to a secretary.

Here are some tips to help your child with SPD approach the composing aspect of writing without becoming anxious and frustrated.

1. Use technology for composing. Provide, or have your child’s school provide, assistive technology such a keyboard, iPad, or dictation software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking (R). It takes time to train such software, and some kids may find it too frustrating to make connections, so you may want to try it before committing to using it.

2. Use old-fashioned dictation. Your child can dictate his book report to you or someone else while you type it. You can record it on your smart phone, a low tech tape recorder, or other technology, then play it back and type it out for her.

3. Have her write freely for a few minutes for practice. Have your child sit and write anything she wants, using handwriting or a keyboard. This will encourage self-expression. Praise her for the effort and don’t make corrections. Let her get used to the idea that she actually can compose her thoughts and “write.” If she’s stumped on a topic, provide a simple one, and reward her for writing anything on the subject. If she’s very anxious, start small, free writing for as little as one minute.

4. Encourage composing letters and messages that are short form. A child who composes emails to his cousins and scrawls funny little messages to mom and dad on the family blackboard will have an easier time approaching a larger writing task than a child who rarely practices expressing himself through writing.

5. Focus first on ideas and how they’re related to each other. Visual mapping using bubbles, or Inspiration software which allows you to do this easily on a computer, works well for some kids. Other kids need to talk them through with a parent or teacher before starting the process of writing.

6. Focus next on the organization of ideas and sentences. Kids with sensory issues often have a very hard time with organizing time, possessions, and their thoughts. They also may not realize that a report or letter should have a beginning, middle, and end, or that a sentence has certain elements that make it a complete sentence. Focus on these elements of composition before looking at the mechanics of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. It will help your child better understand the craft of writing as composing and take away the pressure of having to remember all those visual pieces that are involved in writing on paper or on the screen (such as capital versus small letters).

7. When working with a computer, let her pick the font and its size. Crazy though it may sound, some kids with visual issues may have an easier time composing on a computer screen, using a keyboard, if they can choose a font that is appealing to them visually. You can always change it later before printing it. Your child with visual issues may need the type to be very small or very large, or find that the letters are easier for her to read in a font that you personally find too “out there.” Consider adjusting the computer screen too to reduce glare and provide more or less contrast. In our focus on handwriting and its sensory issues, we can forget there are sensory issues with computer screens and devices, too!

8. Teach your child that editing can come later. Most of us edit as we write to some degree but an anxious child can get too caught up in “getting it perfect” right away. Teach your child that even the greatest writers go through multiple drafts of what they write, and focusing on the ideas and how they’re expressed is the first step of editing. Yes, if she notices she forgot to capitalize the first letter in the beginning of a sentence, or misspelled a word, she can correct that, but that’s not what she should be looking for until she’s made certain the ideas are expressed the way she wants them to be. Reading the composition out loud can be extremely helpful.

9. Work on spelling separately. You may notice your child’s spelling is better when handwriting is not involved because by not focusing on the handwriting element, he frees himself up to pay closer attention to his spelling. Experiment with having him dictate how to spell the words, or keyboard them. Have him go over spelling words by keyboarding them or spelling them aloud—perhaps while walking in a circle, spinning on an office chair or Dizzy Disc Jr.(r), or jumping on a mini trampoline. Some kids find that learning word roots is very helpful with spelling.

10. Keep the atmosophere positive as you break down the task. Whenever your child expresses anxiety about a large task, stay positive and break down the large task into smaller tasks. As they say, every great journey starts with one small step!

3. Core Social Skills

Corinne Eckert Child & Adolescent Psychology: Training in Core Social Skills

Level I: “The Hidden Conversation”
Level II: “Successful Communication”
Level III: “Positive Peer Interaction Skills”

Target Group: Children who may have difficulty interacting successfully with others due to social skill deficits.

Level I: The Hidden Conversation

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 responding appropriately to these messages, as well as sending messages that help them interact more successfully with others.

Emphasis will be on the following:
• Learning vocabulary for feelings and how they 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.

Level II: Successful Communication

Some students have difficulty interacting with others because they have not developed effective communication skills. They may have difficulty listening and responding appropriately to others to keep the 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. Perhaps they have difficulty knowing how to express emotions and needs in an effective manner. They may experience anxiety and withdraw from social experiences, or peers may withdraw from them.

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 an effective way
• Understanding figurative speech (sarcasm, irony, similes, metaphors, etc.)

Level III: Positive Peer Interaction

This program is for students who would like to gain greater self-control within themselves in relation to emotions and handling difficult situations. They may not know how to handle problems involving peers, or be able to engage in effective conflict resolution. So they may react in a passive manner, without their needs really being met, or they may act in an aggressive manner, trying to solve problems and have their needs met in a way that might actually distance themselves from their peers. They may not be aware of the power that they truly possess, or the steps, to manage their own emotions and situations in an effective and successful way, which in turn creates stronger, more positive social relationships.

Emphasis will be on the following:
• Dealing with feelings (anger, fear/anxiety, disappointment, failure, humour, embarrassment)
• Understanding the feelings of others
• Recognizing stress signs and causes; Self-monitoring stress levels; Stress prevention
• Positive thinking – the connection between our thoughts and our feelings
• Being assertive
• Accepting consequences
• Problem solving and conflict resolution (negotiating, compromising, cooperating, etc.)
• Dealing with teasing, peer pressure
• Self-control

Description: These therapeutic and psychoeducational programs consist of 9 sessions each. There are 8 student sessions, 1 hour and 30 minutes in length. These sessions consist of discussions, demonstrations, videos, games, roleplays and lots of hands-on opportunities to practice new skills. Lessons will be based on the curriculums “Navigating the Social World”, “Social Skill Strategies”, concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner, as well as drawing on many other age-appropriate resources and strategies. A group session for parents before the start of the course will provide an overview of concepts to be covered and key vocabulary terms so they may support their child in practicing and mastering the skills taught during and after the program. Print information will also be provided in order to facilitate generalization of skills to the school setting. A brief written summary will be provided following the last session outlining each child’s progress and recommendations.

Level 1: The Hidden Conversation

St. Albert:

Date: Wednesdays – Nov 9 – Jan 11, 2012 (no classes during xmas break) *Parent session Wed. Nov. 2
Time: 5:00-6:30 p.m. (7-9 yr. olds)
6:45 – 8:15 p.m. (10- 12 yr. olds)


Date: Mondays – Nov. 7-Jan 9, 2012 (no classes during xmas break) *Parent session will be Wed. Nov. 2
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 (8-11 yr. olds)
6:45 – 8:15 (12-14 yr. olds)

Level II: Successful Communication

St. Albert:
Date: Wednesdays – Feb. 8 – April 4 (no class during spring break) *Parent session will be Wed. Feb. 1
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 (8-11 yr. olds)
6:45 – 8:15 (12-14 yr. olds)

Date: Mondays – Feb. 6 – April 2 (no class during spring break) *Parent session will be Wed. Feb. 1
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 (10-13 yr. olds)
6:45 – 8:15 (14-16 yr. olds)

Level III: Positive Peer Interaction

St. Albert:
Date: Wednesdays – April 30 – June 18 *Parent session will be Wed. April 25
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 (7-9 yr. olds)
6:45 – 8:15 (10 – 12 yr. olds)

Date: Mondays – May 2 – June 20 *Parent session will be Wed. April 25
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 (8-11 yr. olds)
6:45 – 8:15 (12-14 yr. olds)

If your child already possesses the skills taught in Level 1 or II, he/she may enter directly into Level III. These levels are not prerequisites.

Cost: $42/session (There are 8 child sessions and 1 parent session, so total cost = $378)

These sessions are taught directly by psychologists, along with highly skilled special needs professionals. *Cost of psychological services are reimbursed by many employee extended health insurance plans and Blue Cross. Health Services costs can also be claimed on income tax returns. Appropriate receipts will be provided.

Location: St. Albert: Leo Nickerson Elementary School (10 Sycamore Ave.)
Edmonton: Glenora Community League (10426-136 St.)


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/teacher 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.

Monica Das is a psychologist (provisional) who works with children and families in schools as well as a children’s special needs society, where she provides behaviour consultation and assessment services. She has been facilitating interdisciplinary children’s programs for the past 10 years and has specialized in an integrated approach to working with children of all ages and needs.

Danielle Sinette has worked with Edmonton’s children and youth in various capacities for the past 8 years: as a preschool instructor, a special needs aid, and as a life skills group leader. She has a Masters degree in Special Education and believes in facilitating inclusion in communities as well as in schools.

Registration: Please email to request a registration form. Mail the form with payment to Corinne Eckert at: #301, 10222-140 St. Edmonton, Alberta T5N 2L4

Email or call (780) 454-4634 to discuss whether this group would be appropriate for your child.

4. Dr. Russell Barkley – November 7 in Edmonton

Check this website for further information on location and costs: 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

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 / /

5. LDAA Conference 2011

The LDAA Conference (Transcending Barriers: Levelling the Playing Field for All) will be held November 24 and 25 at the Capri Hotel in Red Deer, Alberta

Enhancing capacity through insight and understanding of policy and technology.

For more information visit School rates are available!

6. Catholic Social Services’ Family Living Program

Catholic Social Services’ Family Living Program is now offering the workshop schedule for 2011. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Kari Boult, FLP Coordinator, at 780-420-6081.


Handling Anger Level One, $300 / person
August 10 – October 12, 2011 (ten Wednesday evenings) from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at Catholic Social Services East Office (8212 – 118 Avenue in Room 035).

This workshop is designed to help you learn how to handle your anger effectively. The goal is to learn to express anger in a healthy way without hurting others, yourself or your relationships. By the end of the program, you will have practised and begun to integrate new behaviours in communication and personal problem solving and become aware of the underlying “triggers” for your anger. Topics included are: anger and its uses, sources of anger, understanding the anger cycle, becoming familiar with what makes us angry, learning alternative ways of expressing anger and dealing with rage, and learning how to use anger appropriately to enhance your relationships at work and in your personal life. Facilitator: Carol Smith

Mindfulness & Mastery of Emotions Level One, $250 / person
August 23 – October 11, 2011 (eight Tuesday evenings) from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Catholic Social Services South Office (8815 – 99 Street in the 3rd Floor Boardroom).

Do you feel easily overwhelmed by and react strongly to emotions ? Do you find it hard, as a result, to build healthy relationships? In this program you will learn to develop skills in paying full attention to your apparent “uncontrollable” emotions, thoughts and sensations and, learn to master your emotions more effectively. This will enable you to enhance your social and occupational functioning and thus, build a much more peaceful relationship not only with yourself, but others. This program is based on M. Linehan’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy model. Referrals are welcome. Facilitator: Diana Yiu, M.S.W., Clinical Social Worker.

Overcoming Depression Level One, $300 / person
September 19 – November 28, 2011 (ten Monday evenings) from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at Catholic Social Services East Office (8212 – 118 Avenue in Room 035). Please note: NO class on October 10 – Thanksgiving Day.

Are you feeling depressed, anxious or have low self-esteem? A lot of why we feel depressed, have low self-esteem, or have trouble being happy, stems in part from our choices, and our lack of tools to handle happy and sad situations. In this workshop you will learn to enjoy greater happiness, embrace hope, be more productive and love life. You will be able to change your thoughts and make better choices for more self-fulfilment. Topics included are: measuring your moods, identifying your personal goals, modifying negative thoughts, understanding what self-esteem is and how to get it! The “Ten Days to Self-Esteem” Workbook AND the “Feeling Good Handbook” by David D. Burns, M.D. are both included in this workshop. Remember you FEEL the way you THINK and you can CHANGE the way you FEEL. Facilitator: Debbie Hart

Setting Healthy Boundaries, $250 / person
September 20 – November 22, 2011 (ten Tuesday evenings) from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Catholic Social Services East Office (8212 – 118 Avenue in the Genesis Room)

A boundary or limit is how far we can go with comfort. Having an awareness of boundaries and limits will help you to discover who you are. Without boundaries, it would be hard to define yourself or have a healthy self. One of the keys to your boundaries is knowing your inner life (includes your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, values, decisions, choices and experiences). In our day-to-day experiences, we have many opportunities for growth. That growth includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms of your awareness, experience and consciousness. Awareness of our boundaries help us in that growth (personally and professionally). This program is designed to help you handle the daily demands of life in a way that protects your time and energy for the things that matter. It can help you to be clearer about what to include and what to leave out, so that you can fill the spaces of your life with the people, activities, and pursuits that are truly yours. Facilitator: Debbie Hart

Couples Communication, $350 / couple
October 4 – December 6, 2011 (ten Tuesday evenings) from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Catholic Social Services East Office (8212 – 118 Avenue in Room 035).

Do you want to reconnect with your partner? Learn practical and effective communication techniques to make your relationship the formula for success. Explore your differences and learn to support each others’ dreams and goals. Find out if you are truly “listening” to “hear” what your partner has to say and vice versa. Lots of issues and areas of concern are covered in this ten week program including strengthening and/or developing new skills in communicating, different communication styles, problem solving, negotiating, intimacy and learning how to “turn toward each other instead of away”. Included is “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman for each of you to start reconnecting with your partner! Facilitator: Irene Mitrowka

Handling Anger Level One, $300 / person
October 6 – December 8, 2011 (ten Thursday evenings) from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at Catholic Social Services East Office (8212 – 118 Avenue in Room 035).

This workshop is designed to help you learn how to handle your anger effectively. The goal is to learn to express anger in a healthy way without hurting others, yourself or your relationships. By the end of the program, you will have practised and begun to integrate new behaviours in communication and personal problem solving and become aware of the underlying “triggers” for your anger. Topics included are: anger and its uses, sources of anger, understanding the anger cycle, becoming familiar with what makes us angry, learning alternative ways of expressing anger and dealing with rage, and learning how to use anger appropriately to enhance your relationships at work and in your personal life. Facilitator: Carol Smith

New Beginnings, $250 / person
November 19 – December 10, 2011 (four Saturdays) from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Catholic Social Services East Office (8212 – 118 Avenue in Room 035). Lunch will be provided.

New Beginnings is designed to help those who have lost a life partner through separation, divorce, or death. This workshop is for those wishing to focus on making a new beginning in their lives. Through a reflective process and sharing with others, this workshop provides an opportunity to grieve, to accept, and to make a “new beginning” after the loss. You will learn how to develop an action plan for moving beyond losses and it will help understand the emotional and physical effects of grief and the stages of grieving. Grief often makes us feel “stuck” in our lives with no idea how to move on. This class is designed to help you recognize where you are stuck and how to move forward towards a new life that offers hope and peace. We ask that participants be at least 6 months past their loss so that they are at a point where they are ready to explore how to move through the grief and look towards a new beginning. Facilitator: Tracey Taylor

You Just Don’t Get It, $50 / person

August 15 & 22, 2011 (two Monday evenings) from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm at Catholic Social Services (8212 – 118 Avenue); a light supper will be provided from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm. Deadline to register is August 10th.
September 19 & 26, 2011 (two Monday evenings) from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (venue information tba); a light supper will be provided from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm. Deadline to register is September 14th.
October 17 & 24, 2011 (two Monday evenings) from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (venue information tba); a light supper will be provided from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm. Deadline to register is October 12th.
November 21 & 28, 2011 (two Monday evenings) from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (venue information tba); a light supper will be provided from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm. Deadline to register is November 16th.
December 5 & 12, 2011 (two Monday evenings) from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (venue information tba); a light supper will be provided from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm. Deadline to register is November 30th.

Parents and Teens: Do you find yourselves having the same conversation over and over or arguing about the same issue without getting any results? Are you tired of that yet? You Just Don’t Get It is an introductory communication and conflict resolution workshop for Parents and Teens. On the first night, you and your teen will learn skills in communication such as how to appropriately express yourself and gain a better understanding of others and to help you become a better listener. On the second night you and your teen will learn skills to help identify your conflict styles and develop a step by step plan for resolving conflict and solving problems. Facilitators: Mediators from the Parent Teen Mediation program who are trained professionals skilled in communication and conflict resolution.

To register or to get more information for this program ONLY–call 780-471-1122 ext. 2557 and speak with the Parent Teen Mediation Program Coordinator.

Workshop Registration: Registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis. Register early to reserve your place in the workshop. (Catholic Social Services reserves the right to cancel scheduled workshops if a minimum number of registrants is not achieved. Full refunds will be issued in such instances).

Refund Policy: Refunds will only be issued if a workshop registration is cancelled at least (7) days prior to the start of a workshop. A $50 administration fee will be charged for cancellations. NO refunds will be made for non-attendance at workshops.

How to Register: Call 780-420-6081 to register or you can drop by the office (8212 – 118 Avenue) and speak with the Family Living Program Coordinator. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Debit Card, Money Order, Cheque and / or Post-Dated Cheques or Cash.

Fees: Our workshops are affordable; we can set up a payment plan that works for you.
Special Note: You must be 18 years of age to register for a workshop.

Workshop Leadership: Our workshop facilitators have post-secondary education in Social Work, Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy, Education, or Life Management Skills Certification. Your facilitator has extensive experience and is a team leader with skills and education in group process, leadership skills, and crisis intervention.

Limited subsidies are available and supported by The Sign of Hope Campaign and the Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association.

Courses and/or course dates are subject to change without notice. If you would like to be added to our email mailing list please email

7. ADHD Parent Support Group Meeting, October 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2012
TIME: 7:00 to 9:00 PM
LOCATION: Misericordia Hospital, Rm B-016
16940 – 87 Avenue, Edmonton, AB
(take stairs beside elevators to basement, turn right through doors, follow hallway to the right)


A Composite Journey
(navigating the community resource maze)

Heather Reimer, former special ed teacher, mother of two special children and advocate, speaks from the heart about the challenges of being a parent of exceptional children and finding the right resources for your child. Very practical and timely.

Come expecting to support and be supported.

Garden Café available around the corner.

ADHD support group meetings held 1st Wed of each month, 7:00PM. Respond to, using subject heading “CHADD Edmonton”. Please indicate number of people attending. Thank you.

8. 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 [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.

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