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Strengths in ADHD

The Engaging New Ideas in Education speaker series wrapped up its 2011-2012 season with a presentation that examined the areas in which children with ADHD excel.

“Too often the literature on ADHD is deficit-focused—identifying areas in which these children perform worse than children without ADHD,” explains Emma Climie, director of the Strengths in ADHD research lab. “The research we are doing highlights areas in which children with ADHD demonstrate ability, rather than disability.”

According to Climie, children with ADHD are usually described as energetic, lacking focus and unable to sit still. But, she feels these descriptors are only one small aspect of who these children are as many are successful academically, socially and athletically.

“I’m hoping that the research I am doing at the University of Calgary will help to change the perception of these children. I am looking at not only understanding their abilities but also how we can implement programs in schools that will help children with ADHD as well as their peers be more successful.”

Climie says she took this unique approach because she prefers to see the positives in children and wants to find a way to use their strengths to support areas of weakness.

“To me, it makes more sense to focus on what kids can do rather than what they cannot do.”

Climie’s current project includes an exploration of factors related to success in children with ADHD, including emotional intelligence, executive functioning, social/emotional well-being, creativity, and family functioning. Results from a large-scale project examining strengths in children with ADHD were presented, along with preliminary results from a school based pilot intervention project.

“This presentation connects with everyone—parents, teachers, anyone who works with children with ADHD. It’s was a great opportunity to share our research and research direction with the community.”

View Powerpoint Presentation (PDF)

Dr. Tom Strong

Introduction by Associate Dean, Research Tom Strong.

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Emma Climie

Education professor Emma Climie promotes the positives in children with ADHD

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