Give A Dog A Bone

Dog lovers and caring friends, Leahy Learning will be collecting dog bones, toys, kongs, nyla, and monetary donations for this great cause:

There will be a donation bin at the office, contact Meghan with any questions.

Midtown Men Perform at West Catholic

Did you see Jersey Boys? Do you wish you had? Would you like to see the original cast perform  in Philadelphia? Well, you are in luck. On Saturday, November 4th, you can be part of a private show, enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Georges Perrier, and meet special guests Joe Piscipo and Big Daddy Graham. And it is all for a good cause.

As many of you know, I am a little nuts about “the learning”, as I like to call it. But there is one man who might rival my nuttiness in his love for education. That man is Mike Marone. A good friend and respected colleague, Mike and I met in graduate school, while studying counseling at Villanova University. Since then, we have had the opportunity to work together on a number of projects and serve on various committees and boards. Mike is the currently the Director of Ministry at West Catholic High School in Philadelphia, PA.

West Catholic has been struggling to raise money for their extracurricular enrichment programs. That’s where Mike comes in. As the Philadelphia Inquirer explains, “It is with the altruism of Robin Hood and the demeanor of a more strapping Friar Tuck that Marone, a former football player for St. John Neumann High School in South Philadelphia, approaches fund-raising for West Catholic.” He’s put together a great show on November 4th. Everybody from Leahy Learning will be there. Call 215-386-2244 ext. 232 for tickets. They are selling out fast.

City to Shore Ride 2011

Congrats to Erin Sweeney and all the ladies on another terrific ride this year!

Leahy Learning supports the Wild Hogs again this year in the City to Shore Ride.

Bridging the Gap – A Campus Survival Guide

On Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 9pm EDT, I have been invited to present a webinar entitled, “Bridging the Gap – A Campus Survival Guide”, for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA).

In our webinar, Dr. Lisa Mimmo Banister and I will discuss the college experience. It can be very overwhelming for all students, but especially for those with ADHD. So much has changed since their parents attended college, and often, parents are unaware of what can and must be done in order to empower their child to find success with confidence.

Our workshop will provide a survival guide for parents and students once they arrive on campus. The goal of our presentation is to provide clarity regarding academic, social, and environmental concerns. Attendees will be able also to understand how to identify the warning signs of mental health issues that commonly co-occur with ADHD, especially in the college environment.

If you are not a member of ADDA, you might want to consider becoming one today so that you can join us on Wednesday evening. Lisa and I are looking forward to sharing the information and resources garnered from our practices. If you have questions or content you would like us to address, drop us an email, we’d love to hear from you.

Awesome Autoresponse

Finally, someone has perfected the out-of-office email. Yahoo news has been kind enough to publish it in this entertaining article. The article breaks down the cultural nuances of the autoresponse message and analyzes the genius of a man named Josh Kopelman.

I will simply share his message with you so that we can all cut and paste and edit and head to the beach:

I am currently out of the office on vacation.

I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return – but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I’ll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time to deal with something urgent.

That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. So, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

  • If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to interruptyourvacation@[redacted].com and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
  • If you think someone else at [the company] might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…

Warm regards,                                                                                                                Josh

Enjoy the remaining days of summer and, now that you have this helpful template, any future vacations without any interruptions from the workplace.

Lost Albino Llama

On my way to a meeting in Center City today, came across this stapled to a phone poll on Locust Street. As usual, I had many questions. Oddly, though, my first thought upon seeing this was, what makes an albino llama burp?

Transition 101: High School to College – An Overview

Exciting news! On Wednesday July 20, 2011 at 9pm EST, I have been invited to present a webinar for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA).

So many elements have changed dramatically in the college application process. Things are very different today than they were just four or five years ago, not to mention back when the parents of today’s college applicants headed off to campus. Often, because the process and the environments have changed, parents are unaware of what can and must be done in order to ensure their child a successful college placement.

Entitled Transition 101: High School to College – An Overview, my workshop will provide an overview to inform parents of what needs to be done – from their child’s freshman year of high school until his or her first day of college. The goal is to provide clarity by breaking the process down into manageable steps that will make life easier for both parents and students.

Check out ADDA’s website for more information and be sure to join me on Wednesday, July 7th for the webinar. It’s never too early to start preparing for college!

2011 NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Champions

Congrats Katie Blumenthal and Gettysburg Lax on winning the 2011 NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Champions! Way to go!

Leahy Learning Coat Drive

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the Bowling Party at Overbrook Golf Club last week! We collected more than enough coats to call the coat drive a success.

For those of you who could not make it and would still like to donate coats, we will be collecting them at the office until this Thursday, February 10. We will be delivering the coats to the Salvation Army in West Philadelphia next week. If anyone would like to help load the cars or transport the coats, let Meghan know. Everyone’s efforts are appreciated in our latest community project!

Homework Hassles

Attention Magazine asked six experts:
If you could advise parents of children with ADHD about the subject of homework, what would you consider the three most helpful pieces of information?

Thrilled to be asked to contribute to CHADD’s Attention Magazine article on homework. Here’s an excerpt of my three most helpful strategies:

by Meghan S. Leahy, MS, NCC

Homework can be very stressful for both adults and students. The best approach is to find a system that works for everyone and make it a habit. Discovering the system that works best can be tricky. It takes experimentation, creativity, and patience. Also, the system needs to be flexible, re-examined, and tweaked over time. For students with ADHD, the key is flexible structure. Adults have to remember that it is their job to implement this structure for students in a positive manner. It is the student’s job to engage in the homework process and complete the work. This is an important relationship. Adults need to find a balance and model productive behaviors while allowing responsibility for quality homework completion to remain with the student. Students are empowered by adults who can honestly and enthusiastically help them discover success in small, continuous steps.

Here are a few helpful tips:

 Image Make a plan. Know what is required; awareness is key. Each night, have the student make a list of all the work that needs to be done, for that night and for the week. Discuss a plan of attack for completion. How will the work be broken down?
 Image Use your words and laugh a lot. Research has proven that positive reinforcement is the most successful way to motivate students with ADHD. Avoid negative language and always ask open-ended questions—remember to wait for a reply. Realistically, not too many students enjoy homework. Don’t judge. Address the fact that it is a reality that must be accepted and talk it through. Some students need to vent. Let them discuss how hard life can be—as long as they are talking while they work.
 Image Redefine “perfect.” There is no such thing as perfect, so help your students to set reasonable goals that will make them (and you) “perfectly” happy. At the end of each marking period, reward progress, examine setbacks and set new goals.
Meghan S. Leahy, MS, NCC, is the director of Leahy Learning and a clinical associate at the Penn Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
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