Newsletter: December 31, 2013

AAGE – ADHD Association of Greater Edmonton

We are a registered non-profit society whose objective is to offer information and support to those living with ADHD in the Greater Edmonton Area through awareness, education and resources.

Happy New Year!

You are invited!

Parent Support Group Meeting – Wednesday, January 8 (7-9 PM) @ Misericordia Hospital, Room B-016

Round table discussions.

Adult and Partner Support Group Meeting – Wednesday, January 22 (7-9 PM) @ U of A Hospital, Classroom A

University Hospital, Walter Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre. (See attached map, including directions).

Dr. Robin Smith will attend as a resource person, on the topic of medications. Partner Support Group will stay with the main group for this meeting. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Events Review

Parent Support Group met on December 5 to hear Dr. Marliss Meyers speaking on the topic of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Her presentation was lively and informative with lots of positive feedback.

The Adult Support Group met on December 18 for round table discussions that centered around, “How do others (family, friends coworkers etc.) handle the ADHD diagnosis?”

Upcoming Events

January 5: Michele Pentyliuk will be speaking about the changing role of school psychologists at the Parent Support Group.

February 8: Family Pool Party. Please join us for free fun on Saturday, February 8th. We have the pool at the Grand Trunk Fitness and Leisure Centre from 4 to 6 pm and the Viewing Room for food and socializing from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The rental includes the pool (5 lanes), waterslide, hot tub, and steam room!

You don’t have to swim or enjoy the hot tub if you’d prefer to sit and visit, but we need at least one parent from each family to attend. We need one adult in the pool for every three children 8 and under.

Grand Trunk Fitness and Leisure Centre
13025 – 112 Street, Edmonton

Please RSVP so we can plan ahead: adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca.

February 19: A representative from DESCA will be speaking to the group about employment support at the Adult Support Meeting. Distinctive Employment Counselling Services of Alberta (DECSA) develops and provides services to assist individuals with employment barriers achieve paid and meaningful employment and assists employers find engaged and capable employees. As a community based, non-profit organization with decades of experience (since 1977), DECSA’s programs and services include: employment preparation, career counselling, placement services to people unable to find employment through traditional means, individualized one-on-one and group services for people experiencing a wide range of barriers to employment. http://www.decsa.com

March 5: Corinne Eckert, Registered Psychologist, will speak to the Parent Support Group about social skills training for ADHD children.

May 2014: Dr. Russell Barkley will again be presenting at a conference the first weekend in May. Watch for further information.

To access his presentation from the November 2011 conference, you can go to this URL: http://adhdedmonton.com/resources-links/presentation-notes/

Click on the “Word” doc link under the heading: Dr. Russell Barkley, ADHD from A to Z: Advances in the Understanding of Attention Deficit Disorder, November 2011.

Connections

AAGE works closely with other groups in the area that offer information to our members about speakers, workshops and activities that they are sponsoring . Please check our website for links to:

Learning Disabilities of Edmonton (www.ldedmonton.ca)

Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, Edmonton Chapter (www.TSEdmonton.com)

Corinne Eckert, Child Psychologist (www.corinne@eckertchildpsych.ca)
“I am now taking registrations for the January, April and July Training in Core Social Skills programs. Interested parents should call me to discuss their child so we can make sure the program is a good fit for him/her. As always, the programs include 8 student sessions and 2 parent sessions that are also open to teachers of participants. If teachers are not available to attend, parents can take program information to them so that they can use the language and philosophy in the classroom, which will help participants generalize the skills even more. I am also happy to come in and consult with teachers or school staffs on how to embed this training in day to day routines.”

Education

Educating ourselves about ADHD or Executive Dysfunction is one of the most important tools one can use to assist with coping strategies. Following are some sources for information.

  • Dr. Rabiner: As awareness of ADHD in adults increases, so do efforts to develop effective treatments for adults that can complement, or substitute for, medication. One promising treatment is mindfulness meditation training. In mindfulness training, individuals learn to orient their attention purposefully towards the present moment and to approach their one’s experience with curiosity, openness, and acceptance.Mindfulness meditation may be particularly well-suited to address ADHD in adults because it focuses on promoting the regulation of attention. Prior studies also suggest that mindfulness training can enhance aspects of executive functioning and may contribute to better emotion regulation, areas where many adults with ADHD struggle.

    A study recently published online in the Journal of Attention Disorders [Mitchell et al., (2013). A pilot trial of mindfulness meditation training for ADHD in adulthood: Impact on core symptoms, executive functioning and emotion dysregulation. DOI: 10.1177/1087054713513328] provides the most rigorous investigation to date of mindfulness meditation training for adults with ADHD.

    Twenty-two adults with ADHD (average age 38, 12 females) were randomly assigned to an 8-week group-based mindfulness meditation training program or a wait-list control condition. This random assignment methodology had not been utilized in earlier research on this approach and represents an important strength of the study. Nearly all participants were on ADHD medication and continued with their treatment during the study.

    Mindfulness Training

    Each session lasted 2.5 hours and was supplemented with daily at-home practice. Weekly sessions began with a brief opening meditation, followed by a discussion of in-home practice, introduction of new exercises and practice, a review of at-home practice for the upcoming week, and a closing meditation. As noted above, the overall goal of mindfulness training is to help individuals learn to orient their attention purposefully towards the present moment and to approach their one’s experience with curiosity, openness, and acceptance.

    You can learn more about this approach, and read an interesting interview with the psychologist who developed the program.

  • ADDitude Magazine has excellent articles about childhood, adolescent and adult ADHD and is worth signing up for their weekly newsletters. Their latest newsletter lists the Top 10 Articles for 2013.
  • Webcasts:ADDitude Magazine‘s ADHD Expert Podcasts and Live Webinars address topics that will  help you better manage symptoms, your family, and your life. They are  hosted by top experts in the field, all of whom are contributors to ADDitude Magazine.
  • Totally ADD: Rick Green is a comedian and writer who, along with his wife Ava, have produced this website that addresses the issues of ADHD. Rick shares his own journey through Adult ADHD with a comedic approach toward his challenges. This website offers many resources and webinars addressing childhood and adult ADHD.
  • Book Review: In Grain Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter, MD and renowned neurologist, along with Kristin Loberg, looks at the possible affect gluten may have on ADHD and other neurological disorders. His premise i,s “The cornerstone of all degenerative conditions, including brain disorders, is inflammation, which can be triggered by carbs, especially those containing gluten or high in sugar.” It cites some scientific studies which basically support good nutrition for brain health. It is an interesting read but as in all “new studies” it will need the test of time and experience to prove its effectiveness. Submitted by Dorothy Comfort.

AAGE Executive News

  • We want to thank Charlotte Schuller for volunteering to help us with the distribution of our outreach materials. These materials are to be distributed to educational institutions, medical offices and facilities, and any other locations that will reach those affected by ADHD. You can download this flyer.
  • Welcome to our new board member, Jody Draganiuk!
  • We would like the names of general practitioners, psychologists, and psychiatrists who are able to treat ADHD children and adults. Please email them to adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca.
  • If you have a book or an article that you think would be interesting to parents, children, teens, or adults, please nominate it for a review that could be published in our newsletter.
  • Check out our new WEBSITE. It is done! Comments are welcome.
  • We are still looking for volunteers to fill the position of Treasurer and member-at-large on our executive. Email us if you can help out.

AAGE Executive

Rachel Rogers, President
Cathie Crooks, Secretary and Webmaster
Chris Evans, Member-at-Large and Acting Financial Manager
Dorothy Comfort, Member-at-Large and Publisher of the E-newsletter
Jody Draganiuk, Member-at-Large

ADHD Association of Greater Edmonton
Email: adhdgreateredmonton@yahoo.ca
Website: www.adhdedmonton.com