ADHD Awareness Windsor Workshop – October 18, 2013

LDAWE Guest Blog Post by: Dr. Sharon Burey

ADHD AWARENESS DAY WORKSHOP

OCTOBER 18, 2013 in WINDSOR, ONTARIO

FREE EVENT

Hi. My name is Dr. Sharon Burey and I am a Consultant Behavioural Pediatrician. This is my very first blog ever! I am really excited about stretching myself and joining the Learning Disabilities Association of Windsor-Essex in providing top-notch experiences, information and stories about ADHD and Learning Disabilities.

After practicing pediatrics for some time and specializing in children who have learning and behaviour problems, I realized that most of the action ― that is anything that is substantially going to improve health outcomes ― happens outside of the office. This was the driving force behind the creation of ADHD Awareness Windsor. I realized that partnering with service providers within the community, such as the Learning Disabilities Association of Windsor-Essex, would provide a more complete path to wellness for my patients and their families. It was also exciting getting out of the office and working in the community. For more information about ADHD Windsor, please visit our website www.ADHDWindsor.com.

I believe that healing and wellness take place not just in homes and hospitals and doctors’ offices but in the community. The community is a place where we all live. The community represents our beliefs, our hopes and our dreams about our own lives and the lives of our children. The community normalizes a belief system of healing and wellness for the societies in which we live. The community’s beliefs about healing and wellness have a role in shaping our personal beliefs about healing and wellness. And so it is, that over the past several years of ADHD Awareness workshops we have seen improved knowledge and help-seeking behaviour in our community when it comes to ADHD. The results of surveys filled out by attendees each year as well as yearly reports can be found at www.ADHDWindsor.com.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to this year’s ADHD Awareness event. It will take place on Friday of October 18th at the Caboto Club in Windsor, Ontario. You may register at the website noted above. The event is free. This year we will have Dr. Yousha Mirza, a local Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, as our keynote speaker. Community partners who provide services for children with ADHD and Learning Disabilities will be available to answer your questions and provide you with information. This is a very important opportunity for all parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with ADHD to touch base with our service providers. The support networks that we create in our own lives make the difference between success and failure.

One of the most extensive studies on the best treatments for ADHD was the Multimodal Treatment (MTA) 1 study for ADHD in children. One of the most important findings was that it was the children who received the most support ― medical, social, academic, psychological and financial ― who did best.

We now know that medication is just one part of the management of ADHD. In fact, there are a number of children who do not do well on any medication; in those cases other treatments have to be marshaled. New research on exercise, lifestyle and diet shows that these factors are extremely important in modifying the effect of ADHD on children and adolescents and their families.

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to leave comments or just vote yes or no.

Take care of yourselves and I hope to see you on October 18, 2013!

References

1. Molina, Brooke S.G.; et. al. The MTA at 8 Years: Prospective Follow-up of Children Treated for Combined-Type ADHD in a Multisite Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2009, Vol 48 (5):484-500.

Work Place Accommodations

Workplace Accommodations: Know your rights

By: Cam Wells

The Learning Disabilities Association is an example of an organization offering one of the most valuable disability services of all. In Ontario, as part of the Ontario Disability SupportPutting the pieces together program (ODSP) a person with a disability, whether physical or neurological, may be entitled to employment support.

Employment support is a process of assisting individuals with disabilities in not only finding a steady job, but also to ensure that said individual is being treated fairly. This can be done by creating an accommodation plan, which can include a modified workload or adapted duties. It can also include things such as providing mediation in the event of workplace issues.

To begin the process one must apply through the provincial government and be granted ODSP, then select a service provide for employment support. Then the potential employee must work with the service provider to develop a plan.

Too many times I hear of a person with a disability not knowing they have the right to ask, or of an employer hesitating to hire such people for fear of extreme costs to accommodate. This is very rarely the case, many times accommodations cost little or nothing. In these economic times we as a society do not need to make the job search worse for these people.

It is crucial that employers recognize individuals with disabilities as having hopes, dreams and capabilities all their own. An example of an employer with this outlook is Mark Wafer, a Tim Horton’s franchisee, who makes a consistent practice of hiring workers with disabilities.

The $64,000 Question

Guest Blog Post by: Erin Plumb

 

Hello My Name Is…

So I am new to the blogging world. This will be my first ever post and as such I thought I would take the time to introduce myself to you.   My name is Erin. I am an assistive technology trainer who works in a variety of places, including LDAWE, with a variety of age groups and disabilities. I have been an advocate for persons with disabilities for over 20 years. LDAWE asked me to create and facilitate a course for Adults with LD several years ago as Bev, our phenomenal Executive Director, and I share a passion for this under-serviced group.

What do I mean when I say under-serviced? Well, let me explain. Children within the public and separate boards have reasonable access to assessment, accommodation and funding for both. Young adults in either college or university have similarly comprehensive access. Adults by and large do NOT. That is not to say that parents and educators don’t struggle implementing reasonable and equitable accommodation; but, simply that adults have a couple extra hurdles.

Sculpture by artist Su Blackwell featured on the National Art Society. Click on the link to hers and other fantastic art. http://nationalartsociety.com/?p=4165

Sculpture by artist Su Blackwell featured on the National Art Society. Click on the link to hers and other fantastic art.
http://nationalartsociety.com/?p=4165

An Unhappy Ending

Once upon a time, before EQAO testing, IPRC and IEP meetings; there was no standardized system that existed province wide. There was limited resources for exceptional children in terms of testing and accommodation. Special education existed as a separate program for only the most severely disabled children. Many learning disabilities (LD) had not even become widely know to educators and parents. Even today many LD’s are poorly understood and many difficulties persist due to the invisibility of the disability. Adults who attended schools during this time were most often referred to as poor students who were perhaps lazy, deviant, or intellectually stunted. Unfortunately this fairytale does not end with “they lived happily ever after” for those involved.

The Woes of the Many

Screen shot 2013-07-19 at 1.28.59 AM

Many of the adults I have met over the years have expressed fear and loathing as the most prevalent feelings associated with their school years. Many didn’t read well, had poor writings skills and were singled out for it. For many it has led to lower literacy, poor self esteem, and less employment opportunities. Many are chronically under or unemployed. Many end up on Ontario Works and ODSP without even the knowledge that they have rights much less how to stand up for themselves. Many who were either not diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Many who become frustrated, disillusioned with society, angry and isolated. The many are a growing group representing as much as 2.5% of the Canadian population.

The Vicious Cycle

Vicious Cycle 2The biggest problem for this group of “many”is access to funding and support. If they missed out on meaningful diagnosis they run the risk of being trapped in a vicious cycle. A diagnosis is required for any formal accommodation; however, without an understanding of strengths and weaknesses many adults don’t know what they need to succeed and have difficulty asking even for informal accommodations. Assessment is a pricey undertaking especially if you have a fixed or limited income. School or training without accommodation is difficult or impossible. Many adults also have profoundly negative feelings of school based on their experiences and inherently mistrust education. With limited education this population has limited employment opportunities. A lack of accommodation coupled with all the problems associated with poverty leads to difficulties retaining permanent employment. Rinse, lather, repeat. At least until utter the frustration and perceived futility of the exercise causes complete disengagement from the goal of success within the society.

The $64,000 Question

Given the amount of barriers and the difficulties overcoming these barriers is there a functional solution? Can we as people of many different abilities devise an equation that is balanced? My writings on this blog will not likely solve all of these problems; however, I do have some ambitions and caveats.

Stuff that I will do:

  • create a positive space for adults with LD to talk openly about their experiences and ideas
  • try to shed some some light on the available community resources for this group
  • create awareness of  the needs of adults as distinct from those of children
  • discuss possible solutions both high and low tech
  • encourage society at large to embrace inclusivity and understanding

Stuff that I will NOT do:

  • give specific advice to individual cases
  • tolerate any hate speech or demeaning commentary towards any group of society regardless how angry/frustrated someone is with that group
  • engage in an “us vs. them” mentality

I will be writing 9 more blogs throughout the year. It is my sincere desire to generate some discussion so that we can use the collective wisdom of our experiences and ideas for change to make a difference.

Did I mention I am new to blogging? I managed to post this before I wanted to, not figure out how to add tags, AND delete the title while doing so. So here’s hoping the edit will address some of those issues.