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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

January 8th, 2019

Leveling – and Financing – the Entrepreneurial Playing Field for People with Learning Differences

$100,000 investment

Over the years you have heard stories from me about how the positive traits of ADHD can provide entrepreneurial superpowers when managed correctly. Traits such as creativity, empathy, risk tolerance and the ability to hyper-focus on a task are all valuable in the entrepreneurial and business world.  David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue, and Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, are clearly success stories demonstrating what can be accomplished through grit and determination despite – or because of – having learning differences.

I also have heard from many, many people with learning differences that they have numerous great ideas that could become great businesses. They truly aspire to become that next iconic success story but, they lack the know-how to get their business off the ground or to get it to the next level. In reality, the biggest issue is they do not have the funding to make a go of it. Many have been unable to accumulate enough assets in their career or are unable to tap family members for investment. Banks or traditional investors can be risk averse and may not relate well to the ADHD entrepreneur.  Consequently, there remains this dream business that is tantalizingly out of reach. This dream that won’t go away, and they can’t get anyone to listen, let alone write a check to fund it.

Well, that’s about to change. The folks over at InventiveLabs, Rick Fiery and Tom Bergeron, continue to plow forward with their vision of enabling and leveling the playing field for people with learning differences. They have been able to work with an amazing investment group that is focused on funding businesses that are associated with their program. This investment group’s mission is to create successful businesses and they want to give back to the learning differences community. The group is offering an astonishing $100,000 investment for InventiveLabs annual Pitch Competition this spring.  It is not all just about money, it is also knowledge – selected teams will be able to attend the InventiveLabs Accelerator at no cost to prepare their pitch deck for their presentation to investors.  At a minimum, you will learn how to get you business funded if it is not quite ready for prime time. And, you may just win that investment and get a team of mentors to help you grow your business to the next level.

Rick and Tom tell me this is not a charity, they are looking for real businesses with real potential. In fact, if you already have a business up and running with revenue, you will have a leg up on the competition. But, if you have that truly game changing idea, they would love to see those too. The purpose is to give people an avenue for funding that may not exist. To get venture capital these days, having an MBA from Wharton or Harvard is almost a requirement. This gives you an alternative path to success to where you can get your business to the next level. The folks at InventiveLabs want to show the world the hidden potential that exists in the community and this is their way of unlocking it!

Does this describe you: “I have so many ideas, but I don’t know where to start”? This may be your golden opportunity to make that dream happen. I always say people with ADHD have a unique understanding of time. It is either “Now!” or “Not Now”. The time for you to move on this opportunity is now! The application deadline is February 4th!

For more information go to the InventiveLabs website and click through to their Pitch Competition and fill out an application – what do you have to lose? www.inventivelabs.org/pitch-competition.


December 31st, 2018

Happy New Year 2019!!!

Thank you! Thank you for being a part of my community.  We work hard to bring you useful and entertaining material, but it would all be for naught if you didn’t take the time to read it. So, again, thank you, thank you, thank you.
What’s my message to you for 2019? Would you like me to have a message, or are you tired of messages? Maybe you’d prefer a couple of jokes, or a reliable cure for hiccups (the reason there are so many is that none of them is reliable), or my recipe for red beans and rice, which, honestly, is to die for. I learned it when I was in medical school at Tulane in New Orleans. Mmmmm, makes me hungry just to think about it. Or maybe you’d like another photo of our new puppy, Max, now 75 pounds, only 7 months old.
But no, I am going to send you a message. I can provide all those other options in future newsletters if you’ll write to me and tell me which you want (drhallowell@gmail.com). My message for 2019 is one I am sure you have already guessed. It is terrible that I am so predictable. The sun rises, the sun sets. Taxes are due April 14. You set off fireworks on the Fourth of July. And Ned’s message? Love, love, love.
Okay, so I say connect. Because you can’t love everyone. By the way, if you are one of those people who doesn’t know how to love, I have a guaranteed way for you to learn. This method is foolproof and will work on anyone, any age.  Get a dog. But coming back to love and connection, these are the absolute proven keys to everything that matters most in life. This is a solid fact. Health, longevity, happiness, it all comes back to love and connection (and a dog, or a cat if you must).
What do I mean by a connection? Anything you feel joined to, part of, desirous of, close to, emotionally attached to, moved by, motivated by, inspired by. Anything that gives meaning or joy to your life. A piece of music, a work of art, a football team, a meadow, the restaurant where you met the woman or man you love, the street where you found that 20-dollar bill when you really needed it, the boss who gave you a break when you really needed it, your grandmother, fudge, a funeral when it’s done right, New York at Christmas time, Cape Cod in the summer, oysters on the half shell, red beans and rice made by me, your children, the nap you take after Thanksgiving dinner, the tears you cry on someone’s shoulder, the person whose shoulder you cry on, the person who shows you how to forgive, the person who betrayed you asking for forgiveness, the light at the end of the tunnel, the single red geranium in a clay pot on the kitchen table there to greet me in the cottage I rented all by myself one summer week, heavy rain in the middle of the night when you’re in bed, any child looking up at you with trust, people over 40 who have not become cynical, my wife Sue, Tabasco, the memory of my cousin Lyn who died way too young, the sound of waves crashing onto the shore at Harding’s Beach where Lyn loved to walk, honeysuckles in Chatham, boiled lobster, my best friend Peter, playing squash, delivering babies, a straw hat with a red band, hoopla wherever it happens like at the Puerto Rican restaurant we ate at the other night, the Messiah, Fenway Park, snow before it becomes a problem, polite and humble people, the works of Samuel Johnson, every episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, pasta, feta cheese, taramasalata, church music, Christ Church Cambridge, the memory of our dog, Ziggy, the fact that hope still does spring eternal, the works of Dav Pilkey, the Lincoln Memorial, and that we are all connected, you, and I, and all the rest of us, now and forever.
Happy 2019!
Blessings upon all of you!
December 28th, 2018

Parenting, College Support, Mindfulness and Homework Workshops in NYC

Jan 15, 2019 to Feb 19, 2019
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM United States / Eastern
$450.00 Regular Price
Hallowell NYC

Workshop info:

Scientific research shows that your mind can be trained just as your body can be trained with practice. We go to the gym to workout and strengthen our bodies. Come to this workshop to train and strengthen your mind. You will learn ADHD friendly mindfulness tools and techniques that increase your focus and ability to center yourself, calm your inner chaos, and improve your interpersonal effectiveness. You will experience an increased engagement in all aspects of your life and will be better able to manage daily stress.

Jan 14, 2019 to Feb 18, 2019
4:30 PM to 6:30 PM United States / Eastern

Coming Soon!
$750.00 Regular Price
Hallowell NYC

Come join us at the Hallowell Center for our newest 6-week group for kids ages 11 to 14 who are interested in learning more efficient ways to study, stay organized, and manage their time inside school and out.

The full 6-week package is priced at $750.00 and includes a copy of Executive Functions at Home and School: Six Skills Young Learners Need to Succeed by our own Christina Young.

To register, please contact the front desk at 212.799.7777 or info@hallowellcenter.org


Tuesday, January 8, 2019
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM United States / Eastern

Coming Soon!
$55.00 Regular Price
Hallowell NYC

Presented by Andrea Elrom M.A.Ed., ACC
Tips, Tools, Strategies, and Your Role – 2 Hour Workshop for Parents*

January 8, 6-8pm OR January 17, 10am-12pm

Register at info@hallowellcenter.org or by calling 212.799.7777

Workshop created by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ADHD-CCSP, PTS Coaching

*please do not bring children to workshop

Monday, January 7, 2019
10:00 AM to 5:30 PM United States / Eastern
$900.00 Regular Price
Hallowell NYC

Monday, January 7, 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Led by Dr. Jocelyn Lichtin, PhD

This workshop is a day-long course in executive functioning and related college-readiness skills for college students with ADHD.  It derives from evidence-based – specifically, cognitive-behavioral – interventions for ADHD that have been shown to lead to significant improvements in ADHD-related symptoms and impairment.

Objective:  Students will learn strategies that lay the groundwork for positive habits, academic success, and personal growth.

Jan 7, 2019 to May 6, 2019
6:30 PM to 7:45 PM United States / Central

Coming Soon!
$300.00 Regular Price
Hallowell NYC

The DBT group is comprised of 4 four week modules for a total of 16 weeks.

Starting January 7th, 2019

Individual modules – $300 each or $900 for all 4 modules

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that incorporates eastern philosophies of Mindfulness and Radical Acceptance. The Hallowell Center has specifically tailored this DBT workshop to fit the needs of the ADHD population. The workshop with focus on issues that those with ADHD struggle with on a daily basis and will help participants develop strategies to help manage those struggles.

Jul 14, 2019 to Jul 19, 2019
1:00 AM to 1:00 AM United States / Eastern

Coming Soon!
$1,295.00 Regular Price
The Homestead Resort – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

A summer camp like none other! Families will learn, connect, and explore together in the most beautiful place in America, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

To discuss how you and your family may benefit from this transformative experience, call Sue Hallowell, LICSW at (781) 820-0881.

New and returning campers welcome!
New Campers – $1295.00
Returning Campers – $795.00

Learn More!

December 27th, 2018

Resolutions Are Out. Gratitude Is In!

Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions this year, why not focus on what you’re grateful for in 2018?

Listen to Distraction S3 Mini 16 to learn why Dr. Hallowell promotes preserving and nourishing what you’re grateful for instead of making resolutions for the new year.

Happy New Year!

December 22nd, 2018

6 Ways to Give to a Special Someone This Christmas

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest

I received many thumbs up from the last newsletter about my Uncle Charlie and folks like him. One reader was particularly articulate: “How can my children interact with their older relatives with a  memory problem? I want my kids to know that the world is not all about them, that there is much to be learned from older people, and that all relatives are to be valued, not ignored. My kids ask, ‘What’s the point? Why bother talking to Grandpa? He won’t remember anyway.’ What do I say to them?”

Now there’s good parenting! Please explain to your kids that, even although the content or the memory of the conversation may be lost, this older person will feel really good. It’s the warm hug, the sensation of someone sitting shoulder to shoulder, the eye contact, the lively chatter or experiencing something out of the ordinary that makes someone feel good. These folks won’t quite know why they are smiling more, feeling brighter and a little more energetic after the interaction. They may not be able to thank the person who made them feel this way, but their heart, soul and general physiology will get a kick up. I have no hard evidence to support this,  unless we could put a person in a PET Scan before and after a positive 15-30 minute interaction and compare the levels of brain activation. I’d wager, based on what I have observed, that the differences would be startlingly significant and possibly endure for hours.

The activities I suggest need to include some talk, close physical interaction and a strong visual component to keep them engaged. Here are some activities or conversation starters your kids can try:

  1. Bring out an old photo album and go through it with them. Fill in the details from your memory to enhance the experience.
  2. Bring out a checker board or another board game and play. Point out their good moves, or just let them win already. If they have trouble with the game, get a 2nd person in on the act to prompt them.
  3. Share some magazines on a topic of their interest − fashion magazines, or a Sports Illustrated or a National Geographic where the pictures are dramatic.
  4. Teach them how to play a simple video game where they man the controls. Keep it simple and fun.
  5. Let them tell you stories of the war, or when they were kids. Forget yourself and get into their movie, try to see and feel the experience as they describe it.
  6. Download a video of a Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin or some famous singer from their youth in concert and sing along. Karaoke works great even if they can’t read the lyrics! Put a microphone in their hand and watch them become a superstar!

Have a back up activity in case the one you chose doesn’t pan out. Either way, your effort is one of kindness and affection. Better than a present or money, the gift of your time, gratitude and attention is what Christmas or any family gathering is all about.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you all!

Rebecca Shafir



December 21st, 2018

Give the Gift of Love!

As December 25th approaches, I can’t help but reflect on warm memories from holidays long gone, and encourage you to reach out to those around you regardless of whether or not they celebrate Christmas. It’s a time when everyone can give love!

Listen to S3 Mini Episode 15 and join  me as I reminisce about my favorite holiday and what the season is about. I hope you’ll be inspired to give the greatest gift, which is the gift of connection, the gift of LOVE. 

Wishing you a wonderful, safe and happy holiday filled with love and joy.

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