ADHD Awareness Day 2014

LDAWE Guest Blog Post by: Dr. Sharon Burey

ADHD Awareness Day on Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where: Caboto Club

Time: 9am -1pm

Guest Speaker: Dr. Sam Chang, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Moderator: Dr. Sharon Burey, Behavioural Pediatrician

Cost: FREE

Register at: www.adhdwindsor.com  or by calling Dr. Sharon Burey’s office at 519-919-9988

Target audience: Parents, teachers, social workers, health professionals, child and youth workers, caregivers, etc.

 

Hello all,

A new school year is upon us and it is time to focus on creating an environment for our children and adolescents, so that they can be successful at school, home and in social environments.

This year’s ADHD Awareness Day has a phenomenal guest speaker in Dr. Sam Chang.

Dr. Sam Chang, is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine. He is also an accredited faculty with the Reach Institute of New York. He is the Medical Director of the Adolescent Addictions Program and admits to the Young Adult Program Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, both located at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. He is also the Provincial Adolescent Psychiatric Consultant for the Alberta Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC); does numerous clinical trials; and continues to see new consultations in his office. (Excerpt from CAADRA 2011 conference materials.)

Dr. Chang will discuss ADHD in the context of substance abuse. Following his presentation there will be a panel of community service providers. At that time, we will all find out more about existing and new services that are available in our community.

We are truly looking forward to your presence and participation. Please invite your friends and family.

I recently saw an article from the American Academy of Pediatricians that I believe as a community we need to pay attention to. It relates to the well being of our pre-adolescent and adolescent children. As we focus on creating environments that foster the success of our children, this is one concrete step that we could take as a community. I am talking about SLEEP. Sleep is the foundation of how we heal, cope with life’s daily challenges, focus and pay attention. The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for a later school start for adolescents.

I believe that as a community, we can do this. It will take the voice of parents and teachers and professionals to achieve this – but it can be done! This is something that Parent Advisory Councils could bring forward to school boards.

 

Let Them Sleep

AAP Recommends Delaying Start Times of Middle and High Schools to Combat Teen Sleep Deprivation

AAP LogoStudies show that adolescents who don’t get enough sleep often suffer physical and mental health problems, an increased risk of automobile accidents and a decline in academic performance. But getting enough sleep each night can be hard for teens whose natural sleep cycles make it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m. – and who face a first-period class at 7:30 a.m. or earlier the next day.

In a new policy statement published online Aug. 25, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends middle and high schools delay the start of class to 8:30 a.m. or later. Doing so will align school schedules to the biological sleep rhythms of adolescents, whose sleep-wake cycles begin to shift up to two hours later at the start of puberty.

Click here to read more.

AAP Policy Statement

 

See you on October 16, 2014 at the Caboto Club.

Sincerely,

Sharon Burey MD FRCPC MPLc

ADHD Awareness Windsor
Consultant Behavioural Pediatrician
Adjunct Professor Pediatrics, Windsor Program Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Western University

Scary Week at LDAWE Summer Camp

Week 2 of our Summer Enrichment Camps are in the books… and what an exciting (and scary) week it was!  The Campers at both sites have been sharing their thoughts, feelings, and activities throughout the week on our Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

Week 2 in Windsor: Eco-Explorers

During the week, the campers practiced their literacy, math, and adaptive technology skills using the computers, iPads, Smart Board, and playing various games. They went on nature walks, researched their favourite animals, learned about fossils, took pictures with some scary animals (i.e. snacks and spiders), and at the end of the week they put all of their accomplishments into a scrapbook.

Learning about Nature

 

Scary Animal Photoshoot

 

Eco-Explorer Scrapbooks

The theme for next week’s Summer Enrichment Camp in Windsor is the Amazing Race World Challenge.

 

Week 2 in Windsor: Lights, Camera, Action!

During the week, the campers practiced their literacy, math, and adaptive technology skills using the computers, iPads, Smart Board and playing various games.  They practiced their persuasion skills by making a commercial for the item of their choice (See Sample 1 and Sample 2).  They also got to practice their creative writing and acting skills by making movie trailers using iMovie on the iPad.  Scary movies were a hit, with 3 out of the 4 movie trailers having a scary theme.  On the last day, the campers got to watch a movie while eating popcorn.

Lights, Camera, Action

The theme for next week’s Summer Enrichment Camp in Essex is the Wacky World of Science.

For more information about our programs, check out our website at www.ldawe.ca.

Stepping Stones

I am incredibly fortunate to work with amazing people at LDAWE.  We are lucky to be able to hire amazingly compassionate, talented, and knowledgeable people.

Many people have asked me what we look for when we hire someone.   Mainly, we look for people that appear to be genuinely interested in working with people with disabilities.  Experience is helpful, but we are also willing to train someone if they appear to be a good fit for our organization.  We are also an equal opportunity employer, which means that we provide employment opportunities to people who have disabilities as well.

It’s important to know that we only hire people on a part-time basis.  There are only 2 positions at LDAWE that are full-time (my position as Resource Manager and my boss’ position as the Executive Director).

The main positions for which we hire are:Reading the Paper

  • Adaptive Technology Trainers
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Job Developers / Coaches
  • Lead Facilitators
  • Program Facilitators
  • Tutors

The level of experience necessary, the number of hours, and rate of pay vary depending on the position.  When hiring, we typically hire students or recent graduates in the following fields:

  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Social Work
  • Child and Youth Workers (CYW)
  • Developmental Support Workers (DSW)
  • Educational Assistants (EA)

Many of the people we hire are using these positions as a stepping stone on the way to their ultimate career goal.  While this may upset some companies, it is actually part of our plan.  We want to be able to expose as many people in the above mentioned fields to learning disabilities (LD) and ADHD.  We give our staff members first hand experience and provide them with insight, tips, and strategies for how to best help people with LD and ADHD reach their full potential.  We hope that as they continue on their career path they use the skills they learned from LDAWE.

As a result, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have had the opportunity to work with many compassionate, talented, and knowledgeable people over the past decade.  I am often very sad when some of them move on to work for other companies.  However, knowing the difference they are going to make in the lives of people with LD and ADHD throughout their careers makes it all worthwhile.

The Big Ask…

MoneyI have mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, “My Biggest Secret,” that one of my least favourite parts of my job as Resource Manager of LDAWE is the fundraising portion of the job.  Don’t get me wrong… I love it when people give us money, donate in-kind items, or attend fundraising events.  What I don’t like is having to ask people to do it.  I would rather write a grant proposal or negotiate a service contract instead of asking people or companies for donations.  Despite my hesitations, I of course do ask people for donations (I do want to keep my job, after all).

However, despite our best efforts, funds raised through donations and fundraising comprise a very small portion of our overall annual revenue (4.4%).  I often ask myself why this is the case when learning disabilities and ADHD affect 10% of the population.  I have come up with the following thoughts:

  • The majority of the clients we serve are low-income.  Many are in receipt of Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, the National Child Benefit, etc…  While they may greatly appreciate the service we provide, they are not in a position to make a donation to the Association.
  • Learning disabilities and ADHD are not sexy or cute.  We don’t get to put pictures of cute little puppies, kittens, or babies on our marketing material.
  • Learning disabilities and ADHD are invisible.  Some people still try to argue that they don’t exist, and that the person is just lazy or had bad teachers/parents.  To them, I say they should sit in on one of our programs… they’d realize within the first 5 minutes that learning disabilities and ADHD do exist.
  • Sadly, there is still a stigma around having a disability.  This means that we often can’t get permission to use pictures/videos of our actual program participants or clients to show what happens in our programs or to share our success stories/testimonials.  This also means that we haven’t been able to find any of the highly successful Windsorites (we know many of you are out there!) that are willing to disclose their learning disability or ADHD and potentially become a champion for our cause.

Giving Tuesday CAMany of you probably heard that Tuesday, December 3, 2013, was the first annual Giving Tuesday in Canada.  Where Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about getting deals, Giving Tuesday is about giving back to your community.  This movement celebrates giving and encourages more, better, and smarter giving and volunteering during the giving season.  We would love it if you would consider making a donation to help people with learning disabilities and ADHD in Windsor – Essex reach their full potential.  Donations can be made safely and securely online, through CanadaHelps.

Finally, I would like to thank our core staff members and volunteers who attend our fundraising events and make donations whenever you can.  I know it’s not easy going back to your same family members and friends ask them to pledge you for the annual walk-a-thon or to buy tickets for a fundraising event.  Please know that your efforts are greatly appreciated by not only myself, but all of our clients and program participants.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

LD Awareness Month

LD Awareness MonthOctober is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month.  

The theme this year is, “LD is NOT who I am, it’s what I have.”  In keeping with this theme, LDA Chapters across the province of Ontario are reminding their communities that people with LD are creative. They are intelligent. They have hobbies. They are brave. They have hopes, and they have dreams. They are many things beyond their disabilities. In fact, they are just like the rest of us; the only difference is that they have different learning needs.

Learning disabilities are neurological disorders that interfere with a person’s ability to store, process, or produce information. Learning disabilities come in many forms and affect people with varying levels of severity; regardless of age, race, creed, social or economic status. It is a lifelong condition that affects 1 in 10 Canadians with average or above average intelligence. This means that in Windsor-Essex County alone, there are over 38,800 people living with learning disabilities (based on 2011 Census data).  Learning disabilities are the signal largest disability population.

While the majority of people with learning disabilities are able to cope and become successful adults, some people need extra help.  In fact, according to the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada’s PACFOLD (2007) study:

  • Canadians with LDs (in some ages) are twice as likely to report that they did not successfully complete high school (i.e. 28.3% of adults with LDs aged 20 to 29 versus only 14.3% of the general population of the same age).
  • People with LDs are also more likely to drop out of high school before graduation.
  • Nearly 1/3 of parents who have children with a LD reported that they could not afford the learning aids their children need to succeed academically (i.e. tutoring, assistive technology, etc.).
  • Canadians with LDs overwhelmingly achieve lower than Level 3 in prose literacy (the desired threshold for coping with the increasing skill demands of a knowledge society).
  • Canadians with LDs are 2 to 3 times more likely to report high levels of distress, depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, and visits to a mental health professional and poorer overall mental and physical health compared to the general population.

In response, LDAWE provides families with the tools they need to help them succeed.  LDAWE assists children, youth, and adults with learning disabilities, and those who support them, through information sharing, support, and relevant programs.  Not only does LDAWE have a wide variety of programs and services for people with learning disabilities, the Association works closely with local school boards, social assistance programs, and like minded organizations to help people with learning disabilities achieve their full potential.

Her Fast Mind DVDIn celebration of LD Awareness Month, LDAWE is hosting the event, Her Fast Mind Documentary Viewing & Discussion with Award-Winning Author, Zoë Kessler.”  The event takes place on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 6:30pm at the Caboto Club in Windsor.  The documentary, Her Fast Mind: An in Depth View at ADHD as it Affects Women, by Dr. Timothy S. Bilkey will be shown. It features two successful women with ADHD and discusses their challenges and experiences with ADHD.  After the screening, Zoë Kessler will give us a first-hand account of her experience as a women with ADHD and how it has affected her life. There will be an opportunity to ask Zoë questions and a book signing for those interested in purchasing her newly published book, ADHD According to Zoë. For more details or to register to go: www.herfastmind.eventbrite.ca.

LDAWE is also accepting applications for the Reid Family Scholarship.  Two awards of $500 will be given annually, one to a student at St. Clair College and one to a student at the University of Windsor, who has documented learning disabilities.  The deadline to apply is Thursday, December 12, 2013.  Go to LDAWE’s website for more details and to download the application form.

Would you like to help LDAWE spread the message of understanding and support for all people with learning disabilities?  There are many ways you can help.  Consider one of the following:

  • LD Awareness MonthAttend the Her Fast Mind event taking place on Thurs, October 17, 2013
  • Share this posting with others using the social media feeds below
  • Become a member of your local LDA Chapter
  • Volunteer at your local LDA Chapter
  • Help LDAWE in completing its mission of assisting children, youth, and adults with learning disabilities, by making a donation to LDAWE through CanadaHelps.org

Welcome!

WelcomeFirst, I want to thank you for taking a look at the Learning Disabilities Association of Windsor – Essex County’s blog!

We have been around in Windsor since 1993, and we were able to open our office space and hire staff in 2001.  Our growth over the last 12 years has been indescribable.   Since the opening of the office, we’ve been able to increase:

  • the number of staff members – from 2 to 30
  • the number of programs – from 1 to 17
  • our annual revenue – from $68,000 to $363,000
  • the number of annual contacts – from 438 to 4011.

Now, instead of just offering child services and programs, we offer services and programs for children, youth, and adults.  We’ve been able to bring some well known experts to Windsor to speak about learning disabilities and ADHD, such as Rick Lavoie, Dr. Umesh Jain, and Dr. Russell Barkley and celebrities such as Henry Winkler (aka “The Fonz”), Marlee Matlin, Rick Green, Lesley Andrew, and James Redford.

However, even in the face of all of this success… we still receive one or two calls every month that start off with the words, “I never knew you existed.”  These individuals are often upset and angry and want to know why their school, therapist, caseworker, family, friends, etc… never told them about us before.  Unfortunately, this is a question we cannot answer for them.

We’ve been making a concerted effort the last couple of years to reach out to more people by hosting high profile events, being interviewed on the radio, distributing information to all of our local schools and agencies, and through our website and the use of social media through FacebookTwitter, and recently Pinterest.  We’re now adding this blog to the mix.  Over the past 20 years, we have been blessed with amazing staff members and volunteers; and this blog will be no exception.  Our contributors are experts in their fields, and we can’t wait to see their posts.  Our contributors include:

  • Educators
  • Assistive Technologists
  • Learning Strategists (post-secondary students)
  • Job Developers/Coaches
  • Behavioural Pediatrician
  • LD/ADHD Advocates
  • Parents of Children with LD/ADHD
  • Adults with LD/ADHD

We will be posting blogs every Tuesday and Friday morning.  We hope that you’ll read our blog posts and comment often.  Please don’t forget to share them with anyone you believe may benefit… you may just open a door for someone that never knew that help was out there.

Once again, welcome to our new home!