Helping Your ADHD Child Win the Homework Battle

Getting homework assignments done can be a huge struggle for kids with ADHD. It is important as homework problems are often a reason kids with ADHD fail in school. However, with some planning, you can help make homework less of a struggle for both you and your child. .… READ MORE

Homework battles

What We’ve Learned About Trauma and Learning Challenges

What are traumatic events?

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines a traumatic event as “a sudden and unexpected occurrence that causes intense fear and may involve a threat of physical harm or actual physical harm. A traumatic experience may have a profound effect on the physical health, mental health, and development of a student.” These events are often referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Traumatic events can arise from neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.

The impact of trauma on learning

Recent neurobiological, epigenetic, and psychological studies have shown that traumatic experiences in childhood can have many long term effects.They can:

  • Diminish concentration, memory, and the organizational and language abilities children need to succeed in school.
  • Lead to problems with academic performance,
  • Result in inappropriate behavior in the classroom, and difficulty forming relationships.

According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser-Permanente, these impacts can add up to poor academic performance, and later problems in life, including:

  • Risky health behaviors,
  • Chronic health conditions,
  • Low life potential, and
  • Early death.

Resilience can make the difference

According to a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, entitled Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Lifelong Consequences of Trauma, past traumatic events do not necessarily dictate the future for the child.  The report authors cite the ability of “protective factors” that can counter adverse childhood experiences and  build resilience that allows a child to thrive. They state:

“Children survive and even thrive despite the trauma in their lives. For these children, adverse experiences are counterbalanced with protective factors. Adverse events and protective factors experienced together have the potential to foster resilience. Our knowledge about what constitutes resilience in children is evolving, but we know that several factors are positively related to such protection, including cognitive capacity, healthy attachment relationships (especially with parents and caregivers), the motivation and ability to learn and engage with the environment, the ability to regulate emotions and behavior, and supportive environmental systems,including education, cultural beliefs, and faith-based communities.”

Toward a practice of building resilience

Today, research is leading to a better understanding of the role that non-cognitive capabilities – e.g., grit, self-control, perseverance and delay of gratification play in a child’s ability to succeed in school.  Paul Tough, bestselling author of How Children Succeed and Helping Children Succeed, outlines this research in a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, “How Kids Learn Resilience.” These non-cognitive capabilities form the foundation of the executive functioning skills everyone needs to perform well both in school and at work. Executive function coaching, a proven method for helping students with learning challenges, succeeds because it builds both interpersonal relationship skills and non-cognitive capacity.

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Why is Checking-In an Important Part of ADHD/EF Coaching?

Source: Why is Checking-In an Important Part of ADHD/EF Coaching?

The Edge Path

Traveling down the educational paths of high school and college are quite challenging with ADHD. If you need a guide to help you navigate the paths safely and efficiently than Edge Foundation’s ADHD Coaches are the guides you seek. Let … Continue reading

Do you ever feel like this with ADHD?

ADHD Depression Busting Tool Kit

ADHD and Depression is Serious Business

It’s important to start this post by saying that depression can be a serious, life-threatening condition. If you are feeling hopeless, worthless, irritated, chronically exhausted or have lost interest in things you once loved, you shouldstart by talking to your physician or a therapist. Look for someone who has experience in diagnosing ADHD and working with the co-occurring conditions that can come along with ADHD. (The last thing you need to do is see someone who doesn’t understand or even believe in ADHD!)

A professional can help you determine what the appropriate course of action  to help you break free of your depression. You don’t have to suffer depression alone. Get some help for yourself, right away.  Talk to your parents, friends or even a crisis hotline.  Don’t suffer alone!

What to Do About ADHD and Depression Starting NOW!

Sure calling a doctor or therapist is a great idea, but you may be wondering what you can do for depression right now. After all, depression is something that can be hard to overcome.   (And it doesn’t take holidays!)   You can use all the help you can get to breaking through to the other side of depression! Why not try what Gayle Wilson, ADHD coach, shares with her clients. She calls it her “Depression Busting Toolkit” or “12 Mental Lifesavers.”

ADHD Depression Busting Toolkit: 12 Mental Lifesavers

  1. Talk about it.  Pour out your soul to a sympathetic ear.
  2. Go to the dogs (play with your pets).
  3. Run away (literally). Do something physical. (Yes, we keep saying this over and over. Exercise is critical to healthy living with ADHD!)
  4. Laugh your head off. Watch a funny TV show, ask someone to tickle you, Google “funny” or “hilarious,” check out the comedy channel on hulu.com, or watch an old Road Runner cartoon, etc.
  5. Get to work. Lose yourself in work.
  6. Compartmentalize. Focus on what you can do right now. The old adage, one day at a time, has stood the test of time because it works! Sometimes getting off the couch and doing something, anything, can make a big difference to feeling better.
  7. Write. Right now. Paying attention to what you are thinking. Write it down. Be sure to turn off the critical inner voice and just let your thoughts go.
  8. Identify something you care about more than yourself.  Is that a friend? A charity? Your grandparents?  Now do something, anything about it.
  9. Bring beauty into your life. Buy some flowers, take some pictures, make a painting, clean your room.
  10. Learn the lesson. Explore what there is to learn in what you are experiencing.
  11. Be well read. Let fiction carry you away.
  12. Have faith. Turn to your spiritual practice
  13. Curb self-defeating and negative thoughts with an ANT.

Daniel G. Amen, M.D., author of Healing ADD and Change Your Brain, Change Your life, coined the acronym A.N.T.’s — or automatic negative thoughts. Turns out there is a connection between what we say to ourselves and how we feel. If we control what we think, we can control how we feel.

Gayle Wilson gives each of her clients a little plastic ant and a poem. Print out the poem and put it on your desk. Read it when you need to turn your thoughts away from the dark side. Sure it’s a little dorky, and Gayle’s no poet, but these simple words have helped many other people. So there’s no harm in trying it, huh? You can control what you think and change how you feel about yourself.

11-26-2009-11-41-35-amA.N.T.s: AUTOMATIC NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Gayla Wilson 12/07

Place this little Ant on your desk, in your pocket or your purse.
Let it remind you, your thoughts can be adverse.
Listen to what your brain tells you
The next time you get into a jam
and you hear “I’m stupid”; “I always mess up”
“Why can’t I ever just push through?”
Write it down, tell it to scram.

Is this thought a fact?
Or, is it the same old you?
If it’s true…change it.
If it’s a lie, answer back.

These are your thoughts
You write the script
Be they pleasant and pleasing
Or harmful…
They’re your thoughts,
You can answer back

The damage CAN be reversed.
It is up to you
Their weight and importance
Are set by you. You take control.
Kill the ANT!

Do you have tricks that help you beat the blues? Please share them!