Episodes

Episode 99: Ready. Fire. Aim!

Episode 99: Ready. Fire. Aim!

When you shoot before you aim you get bad results. But that’s what everyday impulsiveness looks like for someone with ADHD. Pencil tapping, restless legs, inability to sit too long, distracted mind, interrupting others, and getting bored too quickly are some additional commonplace behaviors that highlight the habits and symptoms of those with ADHD. But beneath the surface the mismanagement of the goals, missing the forest for the trees, shooting from the hip, or regretting bad decisions is invisible to the naked eye.

On today’s podcast, clinical psychologist, celebrated author, and director of the Brown ADHD Clinic for ADHD, Thomas Brown, Ph.D. discusses the complex syndrome of ADHD and its developmental impairments which often are situationally specific and its chronic and ongoing interference with life can be exhausting.

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Episode 98: The Truth About Reading

Episode 98: The Truth About Reading

The answer to the question “What percentage of 16 million children living below the poverty line have a book in their home?” is 33%.  While that is devastating, the real question is, does this query truly capture the complexities of developing reading skills in children living in these disadvantaged circumstances and would the exposure to more books promote the development of reading. The first truth about reading is that it is a skill; a skill that needs to be learned and taught. It takes systematic instructional effort to create access to the treasures that are underneath the surface of printed words. And the true failure in education is not approaching “reading” that way.

On today’s episode, Louisa Moats, Ed.D., a teacher, psychologist, researcher, graduate school faculty member, and author of many influential scientific journal articles, books, and policy papers, will educate everyone how the brain was not wired for reading and how the complexities involved in acquiring proficiency in reading warrants special attention and specific training of educators who are in charge of making our children literate. We cannot talk about Executive Function and students’ capacity to manage information until we address the issue of successful transition from learning to read and then reading to learn.

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Episode 97: ExFiles Client Story 7 – No More Square Peg in the Round Hole

Episode 97: ExFiles Client Story 7 – No More Square Peg in the Round Hole

Violet is the first to admit that people like her, who themselves have ADHD, suffer from “foot in mouth disease”. Getting herself in a jam by blurting out things, starting things but not finishing, procrastinating, and allowing chaos to continue without intercepting it with some remedy were a few things that made Violet’s life with ADHD harder than it needed to be. Becoming a parent to two kids with ADHD at a time when neither she or husband were diagnosed yet was brutal. But this a story of Violet finding her footing in challenging circumstances where respite came when she began to rethink solutions by reframing the problem. As lawyer by training, Violet always knew how to advocate or make her case, but through therapy and our work together, Violet has learned the secret to building a team that makes anything in the world possible.

Join us today to hear how a mom with ADHD champions harder than anyone in her life because she knows you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and you shouldn’t try to!

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Episode 96: Pro-EF School Culture

Episode 96: Pro-EF School Culture

Thomas Wolfe said it best, “Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs”. A school culture and a home culture can have a profound impact on children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Executive Function engages the brain’s self-guiding system that takes us from challenges to mastery, from self-blindness to self-awareness, and from indifference to self-compassion. And that’s why it is important that growing brains and young learners from kindergarten through high school receive specific guidance to develop these skills with a strong cultural guardrail that sets the stage for future resilience in anticipation of elevated demands and ongoing everyday unpredictability.

Today’s episode features a team from the Springer School and Center from Cincinnati, Ohio who discusses how their school engages the school leadership, teachers, students, as well as parents to cultivate and promote the ProEF Culture. Springer’s Principal Eldrich Carr, School psychologist and Center Program Coordinator Dr. Mary Mulcahey, and Springer’s Director of Learning Programs Carmen Mendoza will share how best to help children that we know need help.

**Podcast episodes are now being number to reflect the current number of all published episodes including ExFiles and Big Picture. There are no episodes between 83 and 96. Sorry for any confusion!**

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ExFiles: Client Story 6 – Rise Like a Phoenix

ExFiles: Client Story 6 – Rise Like a Phoenix

Well-cultivated attentional processes help orient us to the right information in the environment which in return, presents us with the greatest opportunities for learning and success. But research shows that those diagnosed with ADHD possess far less interest in tasks and particularly, those tasks that present with delayed rewards. The entire academic experience – working hard on something that builds knowledge over time even though momentarily it appears to serve no purpose in the immediate life – creates an insurmountable challenge for those who are bright, but have ADHD.

Today, on ExFiles I interview my client, Ansley Kaplan, who candidly describes her journey as a determined young college student who showed up with a known diagnosis of ADHD, but without having a clue of the real ramifications of executive dysfunction that had coexisted silently for years. All her life, Ansley channeled her smarts to be #1 while internalizing the performance anxiety that had resulted from not knowing better methods, or how best to cultivate a flexible perspective or more refined ways to self-direct for superior future outcomes. At the end of our therapeutic work, Ansley emerges with tools and insights which now have opened the pathways which allow her to access her infinite potential without the anxiety of the unknown.

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Episode 82: The Clash of the Titans

Episode 82: The Clash of the Titans

Ancient wisdom has rightfully identified problems with the human mind which is ill-fitted to deal with the perceptual ambiguity that includes frequent gaps between one’s perceptions and reality. This creates a tussle between the intuitive system of the brain versus the reflective one, which often results in a “self-blind” mind that doesn’t know itself. As a result, the human mind and brain ends up spending a lifetime untangling the clash of the titans, or the intuitive and reflective systems.

On today’s podcast our guest, Christopher Chabris, Ph. D., a cognitive psychologist, an author, an Ig Nobel prize winner and a Professor at Geisinger, an integrated healthcare system, will discuss what cognitive psychology has discovered about mental illusions and it’s effect which leads us to harbor mistaken judgments about our true limitations. Because by design the brain doesn’t know how it operates and those interested in Executive Function, self-awareness, and self-regulation need to reconsider methods of coaching, training, or educating others.

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Episode 81: Augmenting Life with Technology

Episode 81: Augmenting Life with Technology

21st century living has put a strain on our brain’s capacity to plan for the future, process and retain information, and pursue the goals of a multifaceted life. And while moving through the highly-wired and totally connected world, one often wonders if we are truly benefitting from the advancements provided by the technology that has the potential to augment the brain’s limitations or are we being enslaved by it? Often the key is to take the time to assess and appropriate the use of technology to one’s own personal needs and then to develop the insight as well as the skills to avoid the built-in lure that pleases the thrill-seeking mind. With effective coaching and training, even those with executive function challenges can learn to augment their lives with a second brain.

On today’s episode, speech-language pathologist, author, and expert in assistive technology, Joan Greene, will discuss how to improve our relationship to technology while commanding it to serve our needs on a daily basis. Those who help others have no excuse but to up their technology game so that the brains that are wired with technology can fire together.

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Episode 80: Stuck in the Middle No More

Episode 80: Stuck in the Middle No More

In their song “Stuck in the Middle With You,” Scottish folk rock band Stealers Wheel’s lyrics go something like  this –”Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you, And I’m wondering what it is I should do, It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face. Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place.” These words capture the plight of a young and developing brain that often gets stuck in black and white thinking when caught in the throws of daily challenges, emotional setbacks, and unexpected wrenches. Simple redirection and cajoling is not enough to unhook that brain from the debilitating inflexibility and emotional stickiness.

On today’s podcast, our guest Hanna Bogen Novak, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Division Director at the Center For Connection, and co-creator of a curriculum called the Brain Talk Curriculum, will discuss the secrets of self-regulation, how best to understand the metacognitive needs of children with Executive function challenges, and how to provide strategies and resources that can enrich their lives.

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Big Picture 6: No Ordinary Play

Big Picture 6: No Ordinary Play

According to Dr. Stuart Brown, “divinely superfluous neurons” orchestrate a seemingly purposeless voluntary act that we call play. But let’s not underestimate the necessity and impact of play on the developing mind and overall human flourishing. Even though play is natural to babies, exciting to children, and helpful to even adults, not everyone gets equal opportunity to play and those who grow up with play deficits are known to either behave inflexibly or experience mild chronic depression.

In this big-picture episode, Sucheta will discuss the value of the everyday human experience of play that leads to playfulness in home and work life. Sucheta’s friends, Lisa & Laurie, will share their childhood memories that will be sure put a smile on your face. I hope you’re inspired to value play as you solve problems and think flexibly for everyday success.

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Episode 79: When Having It All Doesn’t Translate Into Having It Easy

Episode 79: When Having It All Doesn’t Translate Into Having It Easy

Americans were never that concerned about the issues of educating children until it dawned on everybody that children are in fact “economically useless, but emotionally priceless” as described by Viviana A. Zelizer. Since then, being over-consumed by current competition and future career success, well-educated upper-middle class affluent families, schools and communities are caught up in ensuring their children’s success, rather than preparing them for life.

On today’s podcast, our guest Suniya S. Luthar, Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College returns to obliterate the counterintuitive notion that privilege wipes away any liability. Her focus in this episode is school culture and how it can bring awareness to the social, psychological, and emotional risks that exist in these communities.

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