ADHD Presentations by Heidi Bernhardt RN

ADHD 101

This presentation will begin with a review of the etiology and epidemiology of ADHD, dispel myths and refocus the understanding of ADHD to that of a neurodevelopmental disorder rather than a behavior disorder. The course will include a look at standard DSM 5 symptoms, the variety of presentations, levels of severity, and how they impair a child’s daily functioning. The assessment process used to diagnose ADHD will be reviewed, along with common co-existing.

The Impact of ADHD on Learning

Have you wondered why children with ADHD struggle in the school environment? While ADHD is not a learning disability ADHD can significantly impact a student’s ability to learn and impair their academic achievement. Research on general academic outcomes will be reviewed during this presentation as well as the impact of ADHD symptoms on classroom functioning, typical presentations of ADHD symptoms seen in the classroom and some that may be commonly overlooked will be covered. Typical executive functioning impairments and other cognitive deficits will be discussed in detail.

Emotional, Social and Self-Regulation Difficulties seen in Children with ADHD (Part 1)

ADHD and Emotional Regulation and use of the ABC Chart (Part 2)

Although we tend to focus on attention difficulties when addressing ADHD it is often a larger impairment in self-regulation that causes difficulty for children and adults with ADHD. Social and emotional impairments typically seen in children with ADHD will be reviewed while delving into the underlying impairments in self-regulation that are present. The presentation will look at the consequences of emotional regulation impairment and why it is so common in those with ADHD. Ways to assist children with self and emotional regulation will also be discussed.  What external reminders and motivators are, why they are needed, and how to use them will be covered.  How to implement Strategies to assist with social skill, self-regulation and emotional regulation and use of the ABC chart will also be discussed.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): How to Use Collaborative and Productive Solutions for Better Outcomes

Symptoms of Opposition Defiant Disorder (ODD) are commonly seen in children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. What is ODD, is it a real disorder and how do common self and emotional regulation impairments lead to ODD? Can we rethink ODD to gain a better understanding of what is going on? Can the Collaborative Productive Solutions (formerly Collaborative Problem Solving Approach) started by Dr. Ross Green, lead to better outcomes for children and families dealing with this difficult disorder? All of these questions will be discussed and the concepts of the CPS approach reviewed with additional resources shared.

Transitioning from Childhood ADHD into Adolescent ADHD and Beyond: what parents need to know

 When children enter adolescence additional parenting challenges are a given. However, when these children have ADHD there symptoms and impairments make things even more challenging. This presentation will cover topics such as; increased academic challenges; driving; relationships, sex and unwanted pregnancies; smoking, alcohol, pot, stimulant medication and other substance abuse; continuing issues with emotional regulation; challenges in transitioning into adult health care;  and applying to post-secondary institutions.

 The Impact of ADHD on the Child, Parents, Siblings and the Family as a Whole

Parents whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD commonly transition through emotional stages while working their way to acceptance of the disorder. Parents and caregivers as well as those who work with families dealing with ADHD can benefit greatly if they know what these stages look like. How ADHD impacts the individual child with ADHD and other family members will be reviewed as well as what research tells us about how ADHD can impact family functioning as a whole. The question of how and when to inform a child about their ADHD will also be discussed.

ADHD Treatment

ADHD treatment should always be multimodal with the psychoeducation being the initial treatment offered. Different treatments such as lifestyle changes, accommodations in the home, school and workplace; and therapies such as, CBT, Mindfulness, relaxation exercises, relationship and anger management as well as tutoring and coaching will be reviewed.  The dilemma of medication will be discussed. How medication actually works, different types of medication, potential side effects and alternative treatments will also be covered.

ADHD in the Home, Parenting and Behavioural Strategies

ADHD is not due to lazy parenting! In fact parenting children with ADHD requires far more time and energy and the use of specialized skills. Some guiding principles and general messages to parents/ care givers will be reviewed before we look some specifics of how to interact with and monitor children with ADHD.  How we interpret “bad behavior” and how we deal with it will impact not only the child’s functioning but our relationship with that child for years to come. Organizational and problem solving strategies will be reviewed as well as external reminders, motivators and rewards.  Steps to creating a home care plan will be the final topic.

ODD and Using Collaborative and Productive Solutions

Symptoms of Opposition Defiant Disorder (ODD) are commonly seen in children with ADHD. What is ODD? Is it a real disorder and how can we rethink ODD to gain a better understanding of what if going on?  Can the Collaborative Productive Solutions (formerly Collaborative Problem Solving Approach) started by Dr. Ross Green, lead to better outcomes for children and families dealing with this difficult disorder? All of these questions will be discussed and the concepts of the CPS approach will be reviewed and additional resources shared.

What You Need to Know When Advocating for Your Child in the Ontario School System

One 2.5 to 3 hour presentation or broken into more than one presentation.

Understanding your Province’s Special Education system and how ADHD is recognized within this system is paramount when advocating for your child. This presentation will cover the Ontario Special Education system, exceptionality categories and the recent Ministry of Education Memorandum. Fear of labelling, the psychoeducational testing process and third party reports, navigating the IPRC process, and understanding and contributing to an IEP will all be covered. The presentation will close with a look at your child’s rights and a discussion on how you can be a more effective advocate for your child.

What ADHD Medical Professionals Need to Know About ADHD in Canadian School Systems

Understanding your Province’s Special Education system and how ADHD is recognized within that system is paramount when reporting, advising and advocating for students with ADHD. This presentation will cover topics on; provincial special education systems, is yours one of exceptionality or inclusion; is there an ingrained fear of labeling within your system; how do third party reports impact a student’s right to receive special education resources; ADHD students’ rights in elementary, high school and post-secondary systems. Preparing adequate post-secondary documentation for a student entering college or university will also be covered. The session will include an open discussion allowing time for questions on individual cases.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand how ADHD is recognized in their province’s special education system and become aware of the difficulties this may cause in accessing resources
  • Document their patient’s impairments to better secure resources
  • Recognize when a patient’s rights are not being met within a school system

Understanding ADHD as a Disability in the Post-Secondary Environment

This presentation covers an overview of the CADDAC’s policy paper on ADHD in the post-secondary environment, appropriate medical documentation required to request accommodations at the post-secondary level, common impairments seen in students with ADHD linked to appropriate accommodations and what psychoeducational testing can and cannot tell us about a student’s impairments.

Adult ADHD

For at least 60 % of children with ADHD impairing symptoms continue into adulthood. This presentation will look at what is involved in an adult ADHD assessment, how ADHD impairments are similar and differ from childhood.  EF impairments and cognitive impairments continue but often take a larger toll when seen in adults. Factors that influence the degree of impatient that ADHD causes will be reviewed.

ADHD in the Workplace

This presentation will review the potential strengths and impairments ADHD symptoms could cause in the workplace, how to assess these and if and how the employee might discuss this with their employer. How adult ADHD symptoms present in a workplace setting and what potential strategies and accommodations can be implemented for specific impairments will be discussed at length.

Psychoeducation Tools for the Busy ADHD Practitioner 

The first step in a comprehensive treatment plan is always psyhcoeducation of the caregivers of those impacted by ADHD, as well as the patient. Although medical professionals working with families and adults understand this, there is very little time in a busy medical practice to spend on lengthy education sessions. Families continue to express their dissatisfaction with the amount of time their practitioner has to spend educating them about the disorder often leaving them with questions and uncertainty.  Their next stop is generally the Internet, where they are likely to access as much misinformation as accurate up-to-date research based information. This session will present easily accessible online resources that CADDAC and others have developed as ADHD psychoeducation tools for practitioners to share with their patients. New resources for preparing adequate post-secondary documentation for a student entering college or university will also be covered.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Acknowledge that the first step to a comprehensive ADHD treatment plan is psychoeducation of the caregiver and patient
  2. Become aware of and share easily accessible, medically accurate, ADHD educational resources with their patients and their caregivers
  3. Understand the necessity of comprehensive medical documentation for their patients to access post-secondary accommodations and how to use the CADDAC Chart to produce appropriate reports

 The Socioeconomic Cost of ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) impacts Canadian society well beyond its significant effect on individuals and their families. This presentation will discuss some of the current costs of ADHD on our healthcare, education, justice and social service systems.  and its  impacts workplace productivity.  Left untreated, ADHD impedes an individual’s ability to attain human and social capital and thereby impacts the Canadian economy.  In contrast, if the Canadian and provincial governments invest in the provision of adequate diagnostic, treatment  and effective intervention services for the prevention of additional disorders, for ADHD, substantial economic and social benefits will follow.

ADHD PREP (Two Day Parent Readiness Education Program)

Day One Topics to be covered:

ADHD Overview

  • What ADHD is and is not
  • Symptoms of ADHD as defined in DSM 5, how these present and can be misinterpreted
  • Primarily inattentive ADHD (ADD) and how it presents differently
  • Why ADHD in girls is often underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed
  • Commonly occurring coexisting disorders
  • What is involved in a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis of ADHD

ADHD and Learning

  • Past studies and what they tell us about academic outcomes
  • Executive Functioning (EF)impairments and ADHD
  • How EF impairments impact children with ADHD
  • Other common cognitive impairments in children with ADHD
  • Common classroom presentations of EF impairments

ADHD and Self- Regulation

  • Common social and emotional impairments in children with ADHD
  • How these impairments present
  • Research on social skills training
  • Parent Friendship Coaching
  • Self-regulation and why it is impaired in children with ADHD
  • How these impairments present

ADHD and Emotional Dysregulation 

  • Symptoms of emotional regulation impairment
  • How this differs some mood disorders
  • Why this is so common in children with ADHD
  • How we regulate emotions
  • The emotional regulation fuel tank

The Treatment of ADHD

  • The multimodal treatment of ADHD
  • Medication
  • Psychosocial
  • Alternate treatments

Day Two Topics to be covered:

ADHD and the family

  • Parental impact and stages of acceptance
  • Impact on siblings
  • Impact on the child with ADHD
  • Impact on the family as a whole

ADHD Parenting and Behavior Intervention

  • Parents with ADHD
  • Parenting Tips
  • External reminders
  • Organizational strategies
  • How to correctly use consequences
  • External rewards
  • Token reward systems
  • Behavioural Contracts


  • What is ODD
  • Collaborative Problem Solving Approach

School Observations, Classroom Strategies and Accommodations

  • Questions to ask about your child’s functioning at school
  • Classroom accommodations and strategies
  • Communication between home and school
  • Daily report cards
  • Self-monitoring systems
  • Homework issues

School Advocacy

  • Understanding your province’s Special Education System
  • What is an IPRC?
  • What is an IEP, IPP, etc?
  • Required documentation
  • Roadblocks

Download this Page