Thursday, 25 October 2012

Art Therapy

Anyone can benefit from Creative Art Therapy and need not be an Artist

Creative Art Therapy assists with improving concentration and focus, increases self-esteem and provides support while learning to cope with impulsivity. Creative Arts Therapy sessions can alleviate feelings of isolation that may accompany a variety of diagnoses such as ADHD. While talk therapy is included, Creative therapy uses all the arts as a language through which to release feelings while communicating to others many emotions which may sometimes be challenging to express in words. For more information please contact: Susan Leopold, Creative Arts Therapist at 416-792-2824. 

About Susan:

Susan Leopold, BFA, MA, Creativity Arts Therapist,( currently completing MA in Creative Arts Therapy & Creativity Development at Pratt U) has a strong background in creative expression (an award winning illustrator  and visual artist and OCAD University instructor/guest lecturer) and became interested in its therapeutic benefit for children, adolescents and adult clients.  Gaining her clinical training at Toronto General Hospital and the Hincks Dellcrest Centre, she has worked with clients affected by ADHD using a variety of creative approaches including art, play, sand play and music to encourage and nurture their self expression. She works with clients on a one on one basis.     

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for ADHD at ADDvance Treatment Centres, Toronto

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy? (CBT)

Clients and therapists work together to identify and understand problems in terms of the relationship between a person’s thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that has been extremely well researched and found to be highly effective for a wide range of problems. CBT has been shown to be effective for:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Phobias
• Social anxiety
• Anger difficulties
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• ADD/ADHD and Other emotional and physical difficulties

What happens in CBT?

The aim is for the client to develop skills and strategies that can help to manage their difficulties, and to generate solutions to problems that are more helpful than their current way of coping. Learning these skills and strategies can continue to be used throughout the client’s life.  This applies whether the client is an adult or child.

After an initial assessment to discuss a client’s problems, therapy usually focuses more on present difficulties.  An understanding of a person’s life experience is helpful to see how difficulties have developed over time. The therapist and client will work to identify goals that are important to the client, and develop a shared treatment plan. These goals reviewed and monitored on an ongoing basis during therapy until the goals have been achieved or a plateau has been reached that is desirable to the client.

CBT is often time limited, where the number of sessions is often agreed between the client and the therapist.  The usual number of treatment sessions is 12.  This can then be reviewed during the course of treatment, and extended if required.

Treatment sessions are usually an hour, and may be weekly initially. They may progress to twice a week, or may occur more intensely such as once or twice a week for a few hours.  As CBT is an active therapy, success of therapy is dependent on the client completing tasks between sessions, which is referred to as “Homework”.

Many different workbooks are used in conjunction with other “paper and pencil” tasks for homework and in-session education.  Other tools include CD’s and recordings, depending upon which techniques and modalities are being used.

          Individual or group treatment following assessment includes:

Learning use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques includes learning to think differently, by examining thoughts and how they affect behavior for:

·         Decreasing Anxiety through exploration of fears and worries
·         Decreasing Anger by exploring feelings and emotions
·         Decreasing depression through examination of negative thinking and distorted thoughts
·         Decreasing Stress by learning about the mind-body connection
·         Improving mood and activity level by exploring activity and activation
·         Dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms and attempting to extinguish them

ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning Skills:

Specific techniques are reviewed and taught, to allow clients to develop and integrate skills the required to maintain an environment that allows them to function at their best.  This includes:

·         Improving communication skills
·         Skills training in organization and planning
·         Setting goal-oriented priorities
·         Problem solving, and learning how to persevere in stressful situations
·         Managing distractibility
·         Managing anger and frustration
·         Overcoming procrastination

Monday, 15 October 2012

Creating A Successful Partnership -- Your ADD/ADHD child and School

Teacher School Meeting – Do’s & Don’ts

«  Schedule meetings in person rather than by phone
«  Be organized before you meet
«  Give the teacher a heads up
«  Set enough time aside for the meeting
«  If possible invite the psychologist
«  Bring pen and paper
«  Be on time!
«  Be a good listener

«  Encounter a teacher first thing in the morning
«  Drop in on a whim after school
«  Communicate big messages by email
«  Only listen to your child’s side of the story
«  Be late!

    For a meaningful meeting try to remember:
«  You and the school are working towards the same goal: your child’s success
«  The ADD child requires more direction, supervision and monitoring
«  To listen to what your child’s teacher has to say
«  Stay calm even if you find yourself getting upset or frustrated
«  To always ask for clarification
«  You “do not” have to make any decisions on the spot

   What to Discuss at the Meeting
«  Your child’s strengths
«  Any relevant personal or social problems that may impede on                                              our child’s learning
«  The teacher’s / your concerns
«  What your teacher is seeing at school regarding the concerns
«  What your child is reporting at home regarding the concerns
«  Making a realistic plan and how to implement it
«  Schedule a time to meet again (if necessary)

  After the Meeting
«  Document what was said
«  Create a master file with all correspondence letters and log phone calls
«  Mark your calendar for the next meeting
«  If meeting did not go well don’t be afraid to raise your concerns at the next level
«  Give positive feedback when things work at school

  Year End
«  Meet with principal to discuss next year’s placement
«  Write a letter to next year’s teacher
«  If possible have your child meet with their teacher for the following year

Recipes by our ADHD Nutrionist, Kate Leinweber

"Kate Leinweber, B.Sc, RHN, Microbiologist and Registered Holistic Nutritionist has been working in the field of nutrition for over 6 years.  Kate’s background in microbiology and immunology has provided her with the skills to understand the complex interaction of food, nourishment and well-being.  Her expertise helps her to assist clients in achieving their optimal nutritional goals."


In this recipe, a blender is used to “hide” the vegetables. If you like chunky chilli omit the blending step.

1 lb ground beef or lamb (optional)
1 zucchini
2  carrots
1 sweet potato
1 pepper (any colour)
3  cloves garlic
1 onion
1 can tomatoes
1 cup chicken or beef stock (ideally from the freezer section)
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 can black beans
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

Garnish: Cheese and Avocado. (Avocado can be mushed in until it disappears).

«  In a large pot sauté onions and garlic until onions are clear
«  Add ground beef and spices and cook through
«  Roughly chop veggies. In a separate pot steam veggies until tender. Mix veggies with stock and blend with a hand blender. Add to other pot with meat
«  Add canned tomatoes,, black beans and corn
«  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes


1 tbsp butter
1 sweet potato, sliced
3 green onions chopped
1 small head broccoli, chopped
12 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste, herbs to your desire, cheese of choice, grated

«  Use a pan that can go into your oven. Cast iron is great
«  Melt butter in pan on medium heat and add sliced sweet potatoes to cover bottom of pan, add a splash of water and cover
«  Cook until sweet potatoes start to get soft Whisk eggs, add salt & pepper and pour oversweet potatoes
«  Sprinkle in broccoli & green onions. Cook for 5 minutes
«  Sprinkle Cheese on top and transfer to oven set to Broil. Keep an eye on it. It is done when it puffs and slightly browns on top

Baked Fish

1 lb fish (salmon, arctic char, black cod, or rainbow trout)
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp fish sauce
Pinch of cayenne
1 tbsp fresh herbs of choice
½  tsp sea salt
1 tbsp butter

«  Place fish in buttered baking dish and sprinkle with lemon, cayenne, fish sauce, herbs, and salt
«  Dot with butter
«  Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes

Upcoming Events By Kate Leinweber - ADHD Nutritionist

UPCOMING EVENTS presented by Kate Leinweber, our ADHD Nutritionist!

Kids in the Kitchen - a 4 week program for kids to learn about healthy cooking. Mondays Oct 15 - Nov 5 4-5:30pm.

Fizzie Bevvies -Healthy Homemade Pop and Heatlhy Probiotic Boost great for the Brain! Monday October 15 6:30-8pm.
Fun Fermentation - Boost the Immune System and Brain health with Home fermented foods. Thursday October 18 7-9pm.

Harvest Fermentation - Traditional Sauerkraut & Kimchi to increase probiotics in your diet. Monday October 29 6:30-8pm.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

ADHD/ADD Coaching: Our Coaching Team

The ADHD/ADD Coaching Team at ADDvance Treatment Centres -- A specialized ADHD/ADD treatment centre in Toronto for adults, teens and children

Robin Storfer, MSW, ACPC, ACC,

Robin is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in supporting families impacted by ADHD. Since Robin’s son was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, it has been her passion to coach, educate, and empower families in order to help the family unit thrive. Robin combines her Social Work background and coaching skills with her enthusiasm about ADHD education/knowledge to bring a personalized approach to every client’s experience. Robin also has a keen interest in providing workshops that help families understand ways in which they can work together and ways they can work within their school and community environment.

Ari Petroff, Certified ADD Coach (ADD Coaching Academy, US)

Ari has been involved in coaching of adults and students since 2006. Ari has a personal knowledge of ADHD, being diagnosed with it in 2002. Since achieving his accreditation he has continued to build his practice ranging from adults needing help, to coaching university students from Seneca, Ryerson, York U and McGill. Ari talks to various groups to help explain ADHD and identify where coaching can help individuals to achieve their personal goals.

Jason Froats, Hons BA, ACC, Performance Coach

Jason identifies himself as a performance coach – specializing in helping young adolescents(15+) and adults effectively manage their ADHD and co related disorders (such as general/social anxiety, OCD and Tourettes) He focuses on helping clients achieve improved performance and success in school and work, serving clients internationally, across the United States and Canada in both English and French. Jason helps clients gain better awareness of their often overlooked strengths and how ADHD specifically affects them. Having ADD himself, Jason intimately understands the challenges both students and professional can face in their lives, school and careers. Jason received his coaching accreditation from CoachU and is an graduate of the ADHD specialized coach training from JST Coaching LLC and is actively a practicing coach with the Edge Foundation.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

ADHD Breakfast Ideas for Kick starting your day!

ADD/ADHD Nutrition Tips for Kick Starting Your Day!

Here are some Breakfast ideas from our ADD/ADHD nutritionist, Kate Leinweber

The 5 Minute Breakfast Fix
Smoothies are a quick breakfast and easily pack in nutrient dense foods to start your day off right. Choose from the list below and create your own. In each smoothie include at least two fruits, one protein source, and one healthy oil.
  • Fruit - Banana, Mango, Mixed Berries, Apple, Pear, Melon
  • Protein - ½ cup Plain Yogurt, 1 tbsp Nut Butter
  • Healthy Oils - ½ an avocado, ¼ cup shredded Coconut, 1 tbsp Flax seeds, 1 tbsp Hemp seeds
Place into a blender and add Unsweetened Nut Milk, Whole Milk or Water to blend well.

The Sit down Breakfast
Classic Eggs on Toast. Eggs are a high quality protein source as well as they provide phospholipids which the brain needs to function. Enjoy Eggs on Whole grain Toast. Variations on cooking.
  • Basted Egg: Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Crack eggs in and add a splash of water. Cover and leave for ~3 minutes or until the white is cooked, but the yolk still runny. The butter and water combination protects the yolk from the hot cooking surface. Use sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Scrambled: Melt butter in a pan on medium-low heat. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk with some sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour into pan and stir with a spatula until cooked. The low heat and slow cooking keeps the nutrients intact.

Breakfast on the Run
These travel well so you can eat your breakfast on the commute, or in the first few minutes of class.
  • Whole Grain Toast with Nut butter, and a banana.
  • Banana with a handful of nuts.
  • Whole Plain Yogurt with fruit & honey.
Tip: Make your breakfast the night before. In the morning just grab it from the fridge and go

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

ADHD Nutrition: Label Reading

Nutritional tips by Kate Leinweber, an ADHD/ADD nutrionist at ADDvance Treatment Centres -- A specialized treatment centre and clinic for adults, teens and adolescents with ADHD/ADD

Visit our Website

Label Reading

All foods that are in a box, bag, can, or any kind of packaging have been processed and often have food additives that can negatively affect our brain.

How to read a food label?

Food labels have 2 parts
  • Nutritional Facts
  • Ingredient List

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts look at the content of only a few nutrients per serving size. It does not look at the overall quality of the product. I never read this part of the label. I care that whole natural ingredients are in the foods I buy.
Important questions to ask that are left unanswered by the Nutritional Facts:
      • Are the calories devoid of vitamins and minerals? i.e. Empty Calories?
      • Are there any other minerals besides Sodium?
(there are at least 19 others our bodies need!)
    • Are the carbohydrates simple or complex?
    • Are the vitamins listed from the natural source or synthetically derived in a laboratory?
    • Is there anything toxic added to the product?

Ingredient List

It is in the ingredient list that we can answer the questions above as well as tell us if there is anything added as preservatives that can cause damage to our brain. In general the shorter the ingredients list the better, and if we cannot pronounce any of the words, it probably should not be going into our body.
Food additives to watch out for
  • Carcinogens
  • Digestion disrupters
  • Neurotoxins
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (canola, corn, sunflower, safflower), Trans Fat, Red AC, Sunset Yellow FCF, Orange Yellow S, Tartrazine, Stannous chloride, MSG, Saccharin, Sugar, -ose, Aspartame, Benzoic acid, BHA, BHT, Calcium or Potassium benzoate, Sulfate/ite, Nitrate/ite, Propyl p-hydroxybenzoate, paraben, Sulfur dioxide
Granola bar Ingredient Comparison: Granola bars are one of the most difficult foods to buy with high nutritional qualities.

Granola* (rolled oats*, evaporated cane juice*, soy oil*), tapioca syrup*, brown rice flour*, invert cane syrup*, raisins* (coated with sunflower oil*), sunflower seeds*, flaxseeds*, hemp seeds*, acacia gum*, evaporated cane juice*, sea salt, natural flavor, molasses*. *Organic.

Sea salt provides all minerals (not just sodium) Molasses provides a big hit of vitamins & minerals

      • Granola: whole grain rolled oats, whole grain rolled wheat, brown sugar, sunflower oil, high fructose corn syrup, dried unsweetened coconut, honey, sodium bicarbonate, natural flavor, whey protein concentrate
      • Sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and palm oil*
      • Crisp rice: rice flour, sugar, barley malt, salt
      • Non-fat milk
      • Corn syrup
      • Semisweet chocolate chips :sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract
      • High fructose corn syrup
      • Brown sugar
      • Corn syrup solids
      • Glycerine
      • Dried whole milk
      • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil*
      • Cocoa processed with alkali
      • Cocoa
      • Sorbitol
      • Soy lecithin
      • Salt
      • Natural and artificial flavour
      • Glyceryl lacto esters of fatty acids
      • BHT (preservative)
      • Citric acid


High fructose corn syrup (corn derivatives show up 4 times): genetically modified, wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels Natural Flavor: often includes ingredients like MSG or other hidden toxic products BHT: Has been shown to increase hyperactivity and involved in cancer risk

Best Option: Make Your Own!

Super Simple Nut/Seed Bar
  • Nut or Seed Butter (use seed if schools aren't allowing nuts)
  • Rolled Oats
  • Pumpkin Seeds (high in Zinc)
  • Sesame Seeds (higher in calcium than Milk)
  • Honey (local, natural, unfiltered)
Mix all together until it reaches the consistency where you can roll it into a ball or press it in to a baking sheet. Form into whatever shape desired and put in the fridge. No baking required! This is a lot of fun to make especially for kids who get to lick their hands clean after!

Monday, 1 October 2012

ADHD and Nutrition tips

Kate Leinweber, our ADHD/ADD Nutritionist, discusses some nutritional information.


Why Flax and Hemp?

  • Flax is high in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These healthy fats convert into DHA and EPA; crucial fats that makes up the brain and nervous system. The only other sources of omega-3’s are oily fishes. For an extra boost, add 1 tbsp of flax or hemp oil extractions to your smoothie.

Why Coconut?

  • The fats found in coconut are short-chain saturated fats. These are a healthy source of saturated fat and are used by our organs for energy. They contribute to balanced blood sugar levels, sustained energy through the day, and support the immune system. For an extra boost to your smoothie use 1 tbsp coconut oil.

What does Whole Milk/Yogurt Mean?

  • When dairy products are referred to as WHOLE it means it has not gone through a process called Homogenization. This is a very hot and pressurized process that damages the important proteins and fats found in dairy products. Goat’s dairy is almost always non-homogenized and the protein and fat molecules are smaller and easier for humans to digest.

Cooking Fats:

  • Butter is very stable to cook with and protects the part of the egg in contact with the hot cooking surface. The yolk holds all of the delicate and nourishing nutrients. Heating this part of the egg too high can damage these nutrients and make them hard for our bodies to digest. Protect these nutrients by using a stable cooking fat.
  • Vegetable based oils should not be used to cook with except for Olive or Grapeseed oils which can be used at low temperatures.
  • Unsaturated fats are very sensitive to Heat, Light & Oxygen and when damaged can displace healthy fats from the brain.

Do I Need to Buy Organic?

  • Buying Certified Organic foods ensures that pesticides were not used, that sustainable farming practices were employed, and that animals were fed organic feed and treated humanely. This comes with a large price tag since the farmers have to pay for the certification process. By shopping locally at farmers markets and smaller businesses you can find foods that have been produced according to sustainable organics practices, but without the inflated prices since the farms may not have gone through the expensive certification process.
  • Pesticides are fat soluble which means they build up in meats and dairy products. These foods are the most crucial to find naturally or organically raised. Conventional produce can be peeled or washed in some soapy water or apple cider vinegar to remove the majority of pesticides.

The Brain Blahs (or Non-Foods that negatively affect the brain by stealing nutrients)

  • Sugar, White Flour, white pasta, white rice, cakes, cookies, Juice, Pop, caffeine. Sugar is a nutrient vacuum and steals vitamins and minerals from our body.
  • Trans fats, Deep Fried Foods, cooked vegetable oils.
  • Chemicals: Additives in packaged, canned, boxed, or bagged foods can inhibit brain function or prevent the absorption of nutrients.