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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

A resource about ADD, ADHD, and mental health




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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

June 19th, 2015

Screen Time Help for Parents

Still nagging your kids about their screen time? Frustrated and annoyed? Looking for a better way?

Look no further: I am super excited to be a part of the Screen Time Sanity Telesummit – a FREE event which you can listen to from the comfort of your own home. I’m one of ten renowned Experts in Parenting, Gaming and ADHD, helping YOU create a positively-focused Screen Time Sanity Plan that works for YOUR family.

Interested? Click here to find out more about the SCREEN TIME SANITY TELESUMMIT (July 20-24th)

Please join the Telesummit as my guest. Here is what we have planned for you…

  • Dr Edward Hallowell will discuss: How to Teach Your Busy Family Responsible Strategies for Screen Time and Electronics Usage
  • Dr Randy Kulman will discuss: Minecraft and other Popular Video games: Learning vs. Limits
  • Elaine Halligan will discuss: Managing screen time with Communication and Connection (not Coercion and Control)
  • Dr Laura Markham will discuss: Siblings and Screens: How to teach emotional intelligence, communication, and problem-solving skills in the daily screen wars
  • Bonnie Harris will discuss: Engaging Your Child in Screen Time Agreements and Contracts — before the power struggles begin
  • Elaine Taylor-Klaus & Diane Dempster will discuss: How to stay Calm and Confident during Screen Time Struggles: Avoiding Triggers, Managing Expectations & Staying Sane
  • Laurie Dupar will discuss: Making Sense of Screen Time in a Media Manic World
  • Alan Brown will discuss: It’s Not Just the Kids: Healthy Screen Habits for Parents and ADHD Adults
  • Shanan Winters will discuss: Surviving My 30 Day Screen Free Experiment
  • Cynthia and Andy Crossley will discuss: Pulling It All Together with Everyday Good Habits


Join me and thousands of others on July 20-24 for the SCREEN TIME SANITY TELESUMMIT!

                                                          Grab your spot for this one-of-a-kind FREE event!

We could all use some Screen Time Sanity (and a little help along the way)!


P.S. Feel free to spread the word or shout from the rooftops about the SCREEN TIME SANITY TELESUMMIT.   Forward this email to your friends, colleagues and family members – anyone who wants to overcome screen time frustrations and create the family life they want. They’re sure to appreciate the invitation.

P.P.S. You may be asking “exactly, what is a telesummit”? The SCREEN TIME SANITY TELESUMMIT. is a seminar in which many experts share their knowledge – all by telephone or computer! When you register online you get dial-in information (and a weblink) so you can listen in the comfort of your own home, work, car and even on vacation.  You’ll have FREE access to each and every one of these Screen Time Sanity sessions as well as 24-hour access to each expert’s audio recording after the call.

June 19th, 2015

How to Conquer Overwhelm and Reduce Stress with Adult ADD / ADHD

FREE Teleseminar

How to Conquer Overwhelm and Reduce Stress with Adult ADD / ADHD

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Time: 9:00 to 10:00 pm EDT

Instructor: Tara McGillicuddy

During this 1 Hour FREE Teleseminar Tara McGillicuddy will provide Tips and Strategies to help Adults with ADD / ADHD Conquer Overwhelm and Reduce Stress. These Tip and Strategies will help adults with ADD / ADHD add and increase Peace and Harmony in their lives.  Tara will also allow time to answer questions from Live Teleseminar attendees. There is a FREE 1 week replay for this Teleseminar for everybody who registers before the Live Teleseminar begins.

Sign up here:

June 16th, 2015

Executive Function, ADHD, Summer Workshop for Teachers

June 23 and 30, 9:00am-1:00pm. For special education and general education teachers at both the middle school and high school level. All adolescents need support to develop strong executive functions and to work independently, cope with personal and academic challenges in healthy ways, and work to their full potential. In this interactive workshop, teachers will create and share strategies to help students strengthen executive functions and improve their competency and contribution in class.

Topics covered will include:

  • Six key executive function skill sets for adolescents
  • The relationship between executive functions, mindfulness, and growth mindset
  • Key components of working memory and attention
  • Case studies of students with executive function challenges and interactive discussions to identify language and strategies to intervene
  • Register at HallowellNYC.com
June 11th, 2015

The Hallowell June ADHD and More Newsletter is Out

Read and sign up for our information-packed newsletter here.

June 9th, 2015

ADHD and Life as a Mom, a Psychologist, a Parent, and a Spouse

Life is an adventure, and over 30 years ago, in my early years of parenting I never dreamed that my struggles with a son with ADHD and dyslexia and an absent-minded professor husband would lead to the joys I experience today.  And yes, the apple never falls far from the tree, and it took winning the Nobel Prize (in Economics) to encourage my husband Robert Shiller to self-identify as an individual who likely has ADHD.  (To read my husband’s Nobel biography, click here: his elementary school teachers saw him as uncontrollably restless and talkative.)

But, the early years of my own parenting weren’t easy.  I wrote the book “Rewards for Kids!  Ready-to-Use Charts & Activities for Positive Parenting” (with Meg Schneider, published by The American Psychological Association, 2003) partly as a self-help measure.  If I could just make my “home laboratory” into a professional project, it would stimulate me intellectually and make the daily struggles a little easier!

Indeed, reward plans were the key to solving many of the potential roadblocks that could have prevented my sons from achieving success.  And they allowed me to keep the focus on the positive.  While I am actually not a behavioral psychologist – I think children’s emotions absolutely need to be attended to – the truth is that children who have challenges of many kinds respond very well to rewards plans.  (Well, actually practically all children respond well to reward plans.)  But, they are particularly useful for kids who struggle somewhat harder to accomplish tasks at home and school, to keep on track, to inhibit impulses, and to get along well with others.  And they’re helpful for parents to keep them focused on children’s positive traits and to limit the need to incessantly correct and control problem behaviors.

My good friend Janet O’Flynn, an Occupational Therapist with two children the same ages as my sons, designed lots of fun and creative charts  As our children grew, we supported each other in finding novel ways of solving a variety of problems; many of the reward plans we actually used are included as sample programs in the book.

Today, Janet and I are proud that all four of our children have achieved well in their chosen fields and are solid, well-adjusted individuals.  There are definitely those who believe that reward plans don’t foster internal motivation to achieve, but Janet and I strongly disagree.

As a psychologist, I encourage all parents to have hope for their children and to remain as positive as possible despite challenging behaviors.  Ned Hallowell’s message that parents must spend years helping to “unwrap the gifts” of ADHD and dyslexia is an accurate one.  But the rewards are well worth the effort.

June 9th, 2015

Things will get better. Take My Hand.

If You are Desperate. . .

Take my hand.  If you are desperate, just take my hand.  You don’t have to believe anything, just take my hand.  Listen.

It will all work out.  It has before.  It will again.  It will all work out.  It always has.  It will again.

Whatever it is that has you feeling desperate, it will pass.  Nothing lasts as it is.  Everything subsides.  Even pain.  Especially pain.

Stay with me.  Take my hand.  That’s what I need when I am desperate, and I’ve had serious moments of desperation in my life, more than a few.

Take my hand.  Please stay with me.  We are in this life together.

All of us.  Has someone betrayed you or threatened you?  That happened to me, once really badly.  It ended in forgiveness though.

Have you done something that’s gotten you into trouble?  Who hasn’t!

Are you desperately worried about someone you love?  That’s especially hard, because you have so little control.

Whatever your situation, you do have me, this voice, at least right now.  You also have everyone else in the world, it’s just pretty hard to feel their presence sometimes.  Pain isolates us. But everyone is out there, in some way radiating positive energy your way.  One day science will prove exactly how. They’re there and they’re with us from the afterworld, too, at least if you ask my opinion, but that’s a totally different topic.  You don’t need opinions and speculations now, you need solid comfort and relief.

Things will get better.  Take it to the bank.

You sure don’t need theories or slogans.  I Googled “feeling desperate” and got a lot of sites with solutions (usually for a fee, once you entered and scrolled down a bit), Biblical citations, and literary references to books like The Little Prince or Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Those books are wonderful fables, but you need something more immediate right now.

Like a guarantee.  Who doesn’t like a guarantee?  I can guarantee you, if you hang in there, things will get better.

Pain passes.  Humiliation passes.  Loss passes.  Death takes, and then subsides.  Betrayal passes.

If I knew exactly what was bothering you, maybe I could offer better help.  But maybe I don’t need to know, because feeling desperate, at its core, is pretty much the same regardless of the cause.

I’m still here.  I’m not going anywhere.  Things will get better.  Just hang in there.

Get angry at me if you’d like to.  When I feel desperate I often get angry at people who tell me things will get better.  How could they possibly know?  It makes me mad.

But it’s also what I want to hear because it’s what I want to believe.

Life is so hard.  For us all.  The good thing is it’s not hardest on all of us at the same time.  So when one of us is more or less ok, we can help offer hope to those who are in the depths.  It’s how we get each other through.

Each other.  See, we’re the key.  That’s not a theory, it’s a fact.  You know it, I know it.

We’ve all been in the depths.  If you’re there now, I can tell you, I’ve been there, too. Now, I have your hand.  Maybe then, you had mine.  So we can’t be all that far apart, if you get what I mean.

Being human keeps us close.  We all have to play by the same rotten rules.  Age, suffer, and die.  Lose everyone and everything.

Maybe not everything.  As long as someone has hope, there is hope.  And as long as there is hope, desperation will subside.

Please allow for hope.  Don’t block it out.  It will come.

When I’m desperate, the worst moments are when hope, all of a sudden, vanishes, and all I can see are the very worst outcomes.  It’s like a cloud blocks out the sun and my world goes dark.  It’s just a feeling that overcomes me, with no warning, in periods when I am living in fear, sorrow, or danger.  My world goes dark.

But, sooner or later, the cloud does move on, thank God, and the sun, such as it is, returns.  I say “such as it is” because in those periods even the sun doesn’t restore me completely.

It’s such a cliche but it’s so true: life is all ups and downs.  Thank God the downs don’t last forever, and I guess it’s just as well the ups don’t either.

If you’re in a down, please let me be with you.  Think of me, a person you don’t know, talking to you right now, a person who’s been very down, but who, right now at least, has hope.  Think of me just trying to get next to you in spirit to pump in some of the hope you don’t feel right now.

Hope is a potent force.  When I’m desperate what I need more than anything is hope.  Desperate basically means out of hope.  Full of fear, but no hope.

Take my hand.  Now let me transfuse some of my hope into you.  Just hold on, it comes through naturally, just like it did when you gave it to me back when.

Even if you can’t hold my physical hand, which you can’t of course because you are reading this and you don’t know me from Adam, even so you can still feel as if you were holding my hand through my words.  These are words of hope.

They are hard earned words.  I won’t tell you all the troubles I’ve seen, but I’ve seen many, and I’ve been places where I felt nothing but fear, where I felt no hope at all.

Let me hold you now.  It will work out.  It always has.  It always will.

Now, turn on a piece of music you love, let the music divert you and take you, and then come back and read this again, ok?


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