IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION TO THE PUBLIC
RE: CLAIMING SOCIAL WORK FEES AS A TAX DEDUCTION
As of September 26, 2012, counselling services provided by Registered Social Workers (RSWs) can be claimed as a medical expense tax deduction when you file your income tax return. In other words, Registered Social Workers are now authorized “medical practitioners” for the purpose of claiming medical expenses.
To access the CRA Chart list of professions in each province and territory so authorized, click on the following link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns300-350/330/ampp-eng.html. You can find more information at the following link: www.cra.gc.ca/medical
Treatment of ADHD involves what is called a multi-modal
approach. Whether it is for a child with ADHD or an adult with ADHD, effective
management of symptoms should include behavioral interventions, medical
interventions and educational/workplace interventions.
We have known for decades that the first-line, effective
medical treatment for ADHD is medication. Patients have very effective response
rates to stimulants, some to non-stimulants, and others sometimes to
anti-depressants prescribed specifically for ADHD.
Psychological treatment can be helpful to both the child and
the parents. The most researched, “evidence-based” is behavioral therapy. This
may be helpful for the older child, but more and more, it is recommended that
the parent of the child with ADHD receive the behavioral coaching – to then act
as their child’s “frontal lobes.” Additional psychological support can be
needed if the child has co-morbid (meaning simultaneous) disorders, such as anxiety or depression.
Finally, the third area requiring action is in the school system for a
child with ADHD, or in the workplace for an adult with ADHD. While a child is
developing executive function skills, it is necessary to build a short term
safety net – putting structures and supports in place in the classroom to
enhance the student’s strengths and compensate for his/her weaknesses. For an
adult with ADHD, paying attention to the workplace structure, routines and
“fit” is essential.
Treatment of ADHD requires this holistic approach, and
therefore, a number of support people to assist the child/family.
Either in person, over the phone or online, I provide ADHD coaching and
evidence-based counselling. Contact me to discuss how I can help you address all
these areas effectively, and coordinate your team of experts.
From a single-session consulation to a series of planned coaching sessions, let me help you organize an integrated treament approach to managing ADHD.
Summer is a wonderful time to be a child – days of fun-filled adventures, and none of the pressures of the school year. But for
parents, especially those of children with special needs such as ADHD, summer poses a number of challenges.
Preparation is key! A lack of planning and structure for your child’s day can spell disaster. It is known that children with ADHD have
trouble with transitions. Here we are, just a few days after the end of school, and some of these children are already struggling with their freedom.
Just because other children may be lying around, enjoying some well-deserved down time, doesn’t mean this is a good plan for your child.
In fact, it will likely be a bad idea. Children with ADHD need a structured day to feel secure.
Knowing what is happening today, and even for the rest of the week, will help them organized themselves. Similar to a school week, have an organized plan for your child from Monday to Friday. Break the days into chunks – keep mealtimes regular, and schedule some quiet time/nap time out of the heat. Children with ADHD need lots of exercise, so pencil it in – or simply add it in with a walk home from camp instead of a drive, or swims in the evening before bed. It doesn’t have to be organized sports, but make sure burning off steam is part of the plan.
Some children continue on their medication for the summer – this can help them perform well at camp or in other scheduled activities where focus,
attention and impulse control is to their benefit. But other parents chose to take a medication holiday when school is out – this is an option, but one that needs to be planned for…with extra
time built in for exercise, stimulation and good nutrition.
Enjoy the good weather, keep your structures in place, and have a great summer.
As a parent, thinking about the use of medication for a child is very difficult. Not only do you have to manage the process of absorbing your child’s ADHD diagnosis, often you are then presented with the option to treat with medication.
That’s because medical practitioners look at medication as a “first-line treatment” for ADHD. What that means is that for many, many years, a number of medications have proven effective in addressing symptoms of ADHD. They are used in combination with other forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy, parent education and exercize to combat and hopefully reduce symptoms that interfere with daily life.
As a clinical social worker, I don’t diagnose or prescribe medications. But I can help clients learn as much as they can in order to make the best choices for themselves or their children. And I help you to address the feelings you are having about making these decisions!
Accept that you and your partner (if you have one) come to this with your own opinions and personal values about the use of prescription drugs. Mix that in with the advice of your physician who is advocating a trial of medication. If possible, ask others who have seen the effects of medication – such as your school’s principal, special education teacher etc. Seek out other parents who have tried them.
ADHD symptoms in children or adults can be improved with the use of appropriately prescribed, and monitored medication. The goal is symptom reduction, so that daily tasks such as school performance or workplace success is enhanced. They don’t work for everyone, and different drugs might need to be explored to find the best match.
For yourself, or your child with ADHD, find out as much as you can, and then make a decision based on good science, and your own instincts about what is best for your family.