Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Show #41 Joan LaStrange - Moms Discussing Medication

A while ago, my friend Joan LaStrange and I sat down to talk about our boys, ADHD, and medication. This is a great conversation for any parent who is considering meds for their child- the ins and outs of the day to day, as experienced by two moms of kids with ADHD. We talk about our doctor's recommendation, whether to try drug holidays, and how meds are not a cure but a tool for treating ADHD.

Joan has been on the Board for our local CHADD chapter for the past three years, and is one of the moms I can always count on for great advice and a big shoulder when I am having crazy moments with my kids. This will be a little like listening to your friends chatting rather than expert advice, but it is the "consumer reports" or field guide to meds and kids with ADHD, from our experience.

The conversations with Joan will appear in three parts, to keep the show length at 30 - 40 minutes.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Buyer Beware- How to Find the Best Information, and Avoid Being Taken to the Cleaners

Caveat Emptor is the famous legal phrase that translates into "Buyer Beware." And in the land of learning disabilities, we need to be smart and saavy consumers, and be able to spot the deals that are simply too good to be true.

This podcast is a departure from our recent string of interviews and information. I was looking around the web to bring you any of the latest news about ADHD, and I found a press release from someone who proposes to cure ADHD is three to 5 sessions, asserting that this is a "fake" disease.

This hit a nerve with me. Parents of kids with LD have a hard enough time trying to find out the root cause for their child's struggle, without having to deal with a bunch of self-proclaimed experts telling them the problem is all in their head. It's a challenge to sort out credible information from that designed solely to sell you a magic or miracle cure, at god knows how much money. But the truth is, as parents of kids who struggle, we would gladly pay whatever was necessary to cure our kids. But our kids don't attend Hogwarts, and Dumbledore is not stepping out of the shadows to cure all our problems with a wave of the wand. The problems are real, and require real solutions.

So in this show, I list the things to look for when trying to figure out whether information you read online or see on TV is credible. The list of things to look for has been complied by the Government Information Office (those nice people in Pueblo, Co.) and Schwab Learning. You need to be careful and check the education of the individuals spouting information, their training, their basis, their profession, the source for their expertise, and the like. For example, one popular book is called "Without Ritalin" promising an easy way, without meds to conquer ADD. But the book is written by an optometrist. Not even an opthalmologist, who has been to medical school, but an optometrist, who practices behavioral optometry, a proposed treatment for learning disabilities that has never been shown in any clinical study to have any lasting result.

Should you believe this man, who is telling us maybe what we want to hear, or someone like Dr. Mel Levine, instead. In contrast, Dr. Levine went to Brown University as an undergrad, was a Rhodes Scholar, attended Harvard Medical school, was chief of his division at Children's Hospital in Boston, an affiliate of Harvard , and currently pactices out of UNC Chapel Hill. He has written the definitive textbook on Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. To me, based on credentials alone, there is no contest. I'll take a smart guy trained at the best schools in the country, if not the world, who has been practicing developmental pediatrics for years over an optometrist, on the subject of ADHD, thank you very much.

(and if I could use non-podsafe music, the song I would have played is "We Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. Instead, I play Ritalin by the Codaphonics, available on the Podsafe Music Network.)

Click here to Download Show #40- Caveat Emptor

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dale Brown, Part II

In the second part of my conversation with Dale Brown from LD Online, we talk about using professional coaches for ADHD and other learning disabilities, when positive reinforcement works best, and the latest goings on at LD Online.
Dale knows from personal experience what it was like growing up with learning disabilities, and how hard it is to get the help you need. As parents, we need to know how to help our kids learn these self-advocacy skills, because they need to take charge of their learning issues. And there's no one better to learn from than Dale, who has not only advocated for herself, but has been instrumental in helping others learn to advocate for themselves in the workplace.

Click here to listen to Show #39: Conversation with Dale Brown, Part II

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Friday, January 12, 2007

LD Online's Dale S. Brown

LD Online
is one of the best reference sites for learning disabilities on the internet- and one that has been around the longest. Dale Brown is Senior Manager of LD Online, as well as an author of 5 books on learning disabilties and one of the initial organizers of the self-help movement for the disability community . She worked in public service for over 25 years, including positions at the US Department of Labor, where she helped ensure the Jobs Corps program was accessible to students with disabilities. She is the "go to" expert for information on employment and accomodations for people with learning disabilities.

In this 2 part conversation, Dale and I talk about what it was like for her growing up with Learning Disabilities, before the IDEA and laws that require schools to make accommodations for students with different educational needs. We talk about the importance of teaching children self-advocacy, positive reinforcement, and being realistic with them about their capabilities. In part II, we discuss Coaching, allowing kids to make mistakes and accept challenges, and identifying their strengths. We also discuss LD Online, the resources available, and what's coming in the near future. I know you'll get alot out of these conversations.

While Dale's learning disabilities include ADD, I've placed these interviews in our ADHD month series, to help parents realize how many successful people have learning disabilities, and what we can do to try to make sure our kids are part of this success story.

Listen for the announcement of the upcoming contest where we give away copies of Dr. Mel Levine's wonderful book, A Mind at a Time!

Please email us at; voicemail (206)666-2343

Click here to download a Conversation with Dale Brown, Part I

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Conversation with Dr. Kathleen Nadeau

Show #37, ADHD Month Show #1: Conversation with Dr. Kathleen Nadeau

Dr. Kathleen Nadeau is one of my heroes. The opportunity to speak withe her for the LD Podcast was one of the highlights of 2006 for me. For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Nadeau, she is a clinical psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Florida, and has specialized in the issues of attention and learning disorders for more than 20 years. She currently serves as Director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland in Silver Spring. She lectures and gives workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics including: Giftedness and ADD (ADHD), Workplace Issues for Adults with ADD (ADHD), Women and Girls with ADD (ADHD), College Students with ADD (ADHD), and Life Management Issues for Individuals with ADD (ADHD).

Dr. Nadeau is the author of more than ten books on ADHD. Her best-selling children's book Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention, is now in its third edition. Her two books for teens, School Strategies for ADD Teens and Help4ADD@HighSchool are both top-selling books for adolescents with ADD (ADHD). She is also the author of A College Survival Guide for Students with ADD or LD.

Dr. Nadeau turned her attention to adult ADD (ADHD) in the early 1990's and is the editor of the first book for professionals on adult ADD, A Comprehensive Guide to ADD in Adults: Research, Diagnosis and Treatment. She followed this book for professionals with several books directed at helping adults with ADD better manage their lives. These include the best-selling book ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, Adventures in Fast Forward - Life, Love & Work for Adults with ADD, and ADD in the Workplace.

For the last decade, Dr. Nadeau has devoted her attention professionally to the issues confronting girls and women with ADD (ADHD). Her groundbreaking 1999 book, Understanding Girls with ADHD, co-authored with Drs. Quinn and Littman continues to be the only book that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of girls. She was co-editor of ADDvance: A Magazine for Women with ADD and is co-founder of the non-profit organization, The National Center for Gender Issues and AD/HD. In 2002, Dr. Nadeau co-edited with her partner, Dr. Quinn, two volumes on these important topics, Understanding Women with ADHD and the only text on ADHD in women for clinicians, Gender Issues and ADHD: Research, Diagnosis, and Treatment.

In our conversation, we discuss how ADHD tends to look different in girls than in boys; when you should treat ADHD; why many parents are reluctant to consider medication as part of an ADHD treatment plan; and how some basic organization and problem-solving strategies can make your home less stressful.

Click here to download Show # 37- Conversation with Dr. Kathleen Nadeau

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