Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can School Be a Positive Turning Point for Children with ADHD?

This week’s guest blogger is Mark Katz, PhD.

School can be a positive turning point in the lives of children with ADHD when we create a school culture that takes the danger out of learning differently. Schools can be places where successes far outweigh failures, where mistakes are seen as learning experiences—and where other children are quick to lend a helping hand, rather than a cruel remark.

One institute at the CHADD conference in Atlanta will share the ways some schools are successfully accomplishing this goal. The panel will discuss the specific practices these schools rely upon as well as how attendees can implement these practices in their local schools and after-school programs.

Joining me on this panel will be Marlene Snyder, PhD, a professor at Clemson University who is the national training director for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and the founding president of the International Bullying Prevention Association. Our third panelist, Jeffrey Sprague, PhD, is a professor of special education and director of the University of Oregon Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior.

We’ll also be talking about proven practices for preventing and reducing bullying at school. The national news media recently reported upon a series of tragic events where children and teens have actually taken their lives as a result of bullying. Many people are just now realizing how widespread bullying is, and how serious the consequences can be.

Some schools are intervening early in the lives of children with learning and behavioral challenges in ways that are preventing more serious problems down the road. We’re excited about these advances in the field of prevention and excited about having the opportunity to share them with attendees.

We’ve also set aside time to discuss how to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue among teachers, parents, and other caregivers. We’ll discuss helpful strategies that attendees can implement in their local schools and communities.

And we’ll learn how teachers, parents and others in a child’s circle of support are helping children with ADHD and other challenges find ways to view these challenges in a hopeful new light. We know from the research on resilience how important this is, and we’ll be discussing programs, practices, and resources that can help.

We hope you can join us in Atlanta.

A clinical and consulting psychologist, Mark Katz is the director of Learning Development Services, an educational, psychological, and neuropsychological center located in San Diego. He is a contributing editor to Attention magazine and a member of its editorial advisory board, a former member of CHADD’s professional advisory board, and a recipient of the CHADD Hall of Fame Award.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's So Great About ADHD Coaching?

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, returns as our guest blogger this week.

In my last post, I shared a few coaching tips for families with ADHD. But many of you might still be wondering—what’s so great about ADHD coaching?

ADHD coaching consists of a collaboration between client and coach to help the client move forward with his or her agenda, whether it be general (e.g., feel more satisfied with life, fit in better at school, enjoy work more, experience less daily stress) or specific (e.g., find more time for family, earn a job promotion, get accepted into college, or develop a healthy lifestyle). Coaching involves a free-flowing, creative process driven by the client and supported by the coach.

The coaching process offers a useful time and space for brainstorming options, exploring next steps, and engaging in simple coaching exercises to help the client and client family become more confident and motivated to achieve goals. In addition, coaching may involve accountability check-ins that provide the client with an opportunity to receive support, report progress, and share successes along the way. The sum of the experience for the client is a supportive environment in which he or she can explore new options and have a partner on the journey toward developing the life he or she wants. Ultimately, a trained coach will use his or her skill to evoke thought in the client and encourage the client to identify goals, as well as the actions that need to be taken to reach those goals.

Ready to learn more about coaching? Attend the information-packed preconference session, The Positive Impact of Coaching on Family Dynamics. Join us in Atlanta for CHADD’s annual international conference on ADHD from November 11 to 13!

Considered the founder of the movement for ADHD coaching for youth, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett is the cofounder of the Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching and the director of coach training for the Edge Foundation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

All Roads Lead to Atlanta

This week’s guest blogger is Rick Lavoie, MA, MEd.

The child with attention deficit disorder faces challenges in all aspects of life. This puzzling condition serves to complicate and compromise the child’s social, academic, and emotional development.

Teachers and professionals must be aware of the pervasive nature of ADHD and be willing to make accommodations and modifications in all activities and areas. ADHD is not simply a “school problem.” It impacts the child’s ability to function at home and in the community as well.

There is currently a virtual explosion of ADHD research being conducted throughout the world. Much of this research is poorly done and biased and is not valuable to parents and teachers who serve these students. However, there is also some research that can make significant, positive change in our schools and households.

So where does a concerned parent or professional get current information on the care and education of students with ADHD? All roads lead to Atlanta.

I am looking so forward to delivering a keynote address at the annual CHADD conference in Atlanta on Friday, November 12, 2010. This conference is widely recognized as one of the most effective and valuable meetings in our field. It provides an opportunity for you to meet with colleagues from all over the world and learn from some of the most accomplished speakers in education. Personally, I find that I learn as much as I teach at CHADD conferences.

See you there.

With every good wish,
Rick Lavoie

Rick Lavoie, MA, MEd, served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs for 30 years. He holds three degrees in special education and two honorary doctorates, and has served as a visiting lecturer at numerous universities. His numerous national television appearances include the Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, ABC Evening News, and Walt Disney Presents.