Conflict, conversation and tips on positive communication

I have often remarked that my child would make a great politician, lawyer or lobbyist, because he never gives up on a fight.  But with school holidays increasing tensions, it seemed likely that we were not the only family experiencing some difficulty communicating.


Coping with a child who argues at the drop of a hat can test your patience, even when you are secretly in awe of the voracity of their tenacity - it can be exhausting.   

The word ‘no’ or a statement like “this is not negotiable” can be akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull –  so, get ready for them to charge.  Because those living with ADHD have a tendency towards a lower-than-average tolerance for any departure from what they consider to be fair, whether it’s rules for a game or requests for doing something around the house.

You can help your child learn better coping and communication skills, the first step is to have a discussion about the level of arguing in your home. However, do not initiate this discussion in the middle of an argument—or even right afterward.  Pick a moment when things are peaceful. Be sure to include all involved parties: the child with ADHD, any siblings and your spouse.  Start the conversation by discussing how each person feels about the constant arguing. 

Your goal is to get everyone to agree on...

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Year in Review



We wanted to update all of our members and supporters about our activities in 2015, prior to the AGM next year. 

Learn, Strive, Thrive is not only our new tagline but it is at the core of everything we do.  So, as you will see from the picture above the focus of this yearly reflection is LEARN.

ReflectReflecting on 2015 includes thinking about what worked, what did not work and what we could have done differently.

Our Top 10 Achievements for this year....

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Surviving the Holidays (Support Group Reflections)

The festive season is purported to be the season of joy and there is no denying it can be that.  However, for many of us this time of year presents some unique challenges - particularly if you live with ADHD.

This week the adult support group explored the importance of remembering the positives, "the wins".  It was a great topic of conversation, which came about as a result of the December theme of surviving the holidays.  This has provided some reflective thinking amongst the team about recalling how you've persevered in the past and remembering your fortitude in dealing with past difficulties. 

This can help you find the strength to manage your current challenges. So we wanted to share a few phrases to help get you through the tough times.  Because healthy self talk can help you feel better and inspire you to get through difficult times. 


The reality is though...

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ADHD and Teenage Meltdowns

The teen years present new challenges for all parents, because growing up and out, seemingly overnight doesn't come without impacting the entire family. 

The roller coaster of the teenage years has more gut churning twists and turns than Magic Mountain (USA).  The intense emotions, defensiveness and assertion of independence, hit you like the g-forces you get from roller coasters, the kind that are capable of transforming your stomach contents into airborne projectiles.

Its a ride you somewhat willingly embark on as a parent/passenger but as you start the descent down the first drop, the adventure begins filling you with various sensations - fear, excitement, weightlessness, nausea.... 

The explanation for the various sensations experienced on a roller coaster loop are associated with Newton's laws of motion and the physics of circular motion.  While the teen roller coaster is largely the result of 'raging' hormones, and when these hormones combine with the ADHD brains impulsivity and emotional intensity - your roller coaster will most likely come with fireworks.



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You, Me and ADHD / LD

It is important to nurture a child’s perception of themselves as a learner.   This can become complicated by a neurological condition like ADHD and associated conditions, such as learning differences.  

These differences, which some people refer to as a disability or a disorder are the result of neurological wiring which alters how the brain functions.  Making it difficult to learn the skills appropriate for an individual's age, intelligence and education.

The reality is that if a parent, caregiver or teacher is unaware of a child's brain wiring being different, they might see a capable, talented child not trying hard enough. But, this could not be further from the truth.

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LADS Education Awards

Last week we recognised those who innovate, advocate and empower people living with learning and attentional disorders.   Award Recipients: Jane Genovese, Claire Orange, Katrina Bercov, Elena Trethowan, Kristy Auld, Singleton Primary School and Liwara Catholic Primary School.   Over coming weeks we will be sharing more about these schools and individuals, the work they do and the awards they received.

Sometimes we are asked why are the Education Awards important, well there are a number of reasons.  But, primarily we know that educational disadvantage compounds over time and can impact on an individual’s ability to go on to higher education, secure a job or maintain relationships.  Recognising schools and individuals who enable people of all ages to learn, strive and thrive – encourages others to do the same.

This is significant particularly in light of research released in August by Professor Desiree Silva, Telethon Kids Institute, revealing both boys and girls with ADHD are significantly less likely to reach the minimum benchmark scores for numeracy, reading, spelling and writing.   Children with ADHD are being disadvantaged from an early age in key areas of learning and this is incredibly concerning because “a child with poor educational outcomes will often go on to struggle in adult life.  It can impact their ability to go on to higher education, secure a job or maintain relationships."

Findings snapshot for children with ADHD in year 7


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ADHD and Mindfulness

How can anyone with ADHD meditate?

It’s a word that is bandied about frequently and freely these days, and quite often without a lot of substance behind it…Mindfulness

The media keep telling us that its good for us all to practice it, for children to learn it at school, for adults to use it at work….. but what does it actually mean, and why should we be using it?

Mindfulness is a technique originally adapted from Buddhism.   It is the practice of being aware of whatever is happening now, and not wanting it to be different in any way.  It is the practice of being present, not considering the future or the past.  It is taking note of the sights, smells, sounds, emotions and the tactile responses you may have to something.

Mindfulness training has been seen to have restorative and preventative health benefits, including: Building psychological resilience and self-care to prevent burnout, General physical and mental well-being, Depression and depression relapse prevention, Stress and stress-related conditions like Psoriasis, Insomnia, Tinnitus, Anxiety and excessive worry, Chronic pain and stress involved with serious health problems.

An easy exercise for beginning mindfulness practitioners is to....

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Too good to be true

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is...

We are continually flooded with the latest breakthrough and it can be difficult to sift truth from reality.  Marketing and PR can be slick and can catch you unaware. 

You can only make the best decision for you and your family, when fully informed.  A testimony from someone on facebook, while it looks good on the surface might not be right for you. 

The issue

There are many treatments and interventions available for learning and attention conditions, like ADHD and LD. Some have a strong evidence-base and are likely to be effective. Others have little or no scientific evidence to support them and are likely to be ineffective and possibly even harmful.

The solution

There are a number of signs that indicate that a treatment or intervention is likely to be ineffective. When teachers and parents are evaluating a treatment/intervention be on the look out for the following signs.  Not all treatments/interventions are considered equal in efficiency or efficacy.  While some clearly exhibit reasons for caution, there are some effective treatments/interventions which might cause you to pause for thought. 

It is important to take a cautious approach and not accept claims at face value.

What to look out for...


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Members of LADS past and present will be aware that we have previously prepared a newsletter, called LADDER.  Over the past 20+ years this has tended to be published and printed 2 to 4 times a year, depending on capacity.

As we near the end of Learning Differences Week 2015, we are excited to be launching the new look LADDER, which will be easily accessible on your desktop or smartphone and include...

  • regular content updates;
  • updates on current research;
  • tips for all ages - child, teen and adult;
  • insight from professionals in a range of sectors;
  • profiles on people, places and organisations who support the ADHD / LD community;
  • advice for those who treat, teach and work with someone who has ADHD / LD, plus
  • real stories on how people living with ADHD / LD learn, strive and thrive

You can be part of busting myths, challenging misconceptions and changing the conversation about ADHD / LD.

We are very excited about this new format and what it means for you and the broader community.  If you would like to be part of the LADDER Team, as a researcher, writer or contributor visit the volunteer page to sign up.


LADDER provides information of a general nature and is for information and educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice.




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