November 18, 2011 - Anyone who has or knows someone with children struggling with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) understands the challenges those children and young adults face as they grow up.
While the obstacles can sometimes be difficult ones, today’s researchers also recognize the incredibly strong capabilities of children affected by ADHD. That said, most research is deficit-based, highlighting areas in which these children struggle; consequently, the positive abilities of ADHD children are often overlooked.
For Pat and Connie Carlson, learning more about and celebrating the positives attributes in ADHD kids is something that has affected them personally. Their son was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, and so they understand the struggles of both the child and the family. Now, their understanding of ADHD and their philanthropy has led to the support of the Strengths in ADHD Research Project.
With a generous gift from the Carlson family, the Project has set a goal of better understanding children with ADHD from a strengths-based perspective. “Specifically, we are interested in identifying areas in which children with ADHD are successful and what factors help to support their success,” explains Emma Climie, a Faculty of Education Assistant Professor and the recipient of the Carlson Family ADHD award.
The Faculty of Education incorporates two important aspects into this research – psychology and education. Researchers will be able to pass on what they learn to new teachers in the B. Ed. program as well as to school psychologists in the Educational Studies in Psychology programs, which will allow a more widespread understanding of children with ADHD and the strengths that they possess. “We plan to share our research findings with families, parents, teachers, and other professionals who work with children,” says Climie.
The Faculty of Education has planned a special event to mark the gift from the Carlson family. “We’re pleased and honoured to celebrate the importance of the Carlson’s donation by hosting a very special evening on November 21st,” says Dennis Sumara, dean. “We’re bringing to Calgary Dr. Sam Goldstein, a renowned researcher from the University of Utah, to talk about this key subject--resilience in children with ADHD.”
Goldstein specializes in school psychology, child development and neuropsychology. He is an Assistant Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine and Affiliate Research Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. Dr. Goldstein is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Attention Disorders and Contributing Editor to Attention Magazine. He has authored, co-edited or co-authored thirty-five clinical and trade publications, including twenty-one textbooks. He has also authored two dozen book chapters and nearly three dozen peer reviewed scientific studies.
Dr. Goldstein’s talk will begin at 7:00 pm, and a light reception will be held following his presentation. While there is no cost to attend this event, registration is required to plan for adequate seating and refreshments. Demand for seating is expected to be high for this evening, and reservations will be taken on a first-come, first served basis.
Updated November 24, 2011: Click here to Listen to the Carlson Family Lecture