Psychology | Neurodiversity

Social Anxiety and Sensory Processing Sensitivity

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I am a loud introvert.

There, I said it.

My entire life I was told I was an extrovert, and I agreed — after all, I don’t appear shy, and am usually fairly talkative.

People saw an outgoing, social person, but what they didn’t see were the after-effects. If I spent more than a couple of hours socializing, I would get home and do two things:

  1. I would experience a high degree of retrospective social anxiety, going over every interaction in my mind, critiquing every word I said. Did I talk too much? Did I say the wrong things?
  2. Then…

Psychology | Mental Health | ADHD | Addictions

As if we don’t have enough to deal with already.

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Confession time: I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

I know it, I don’t do much about it, and if you ask me I’ll deny it.

I don’t drink a huge amount and I don’t drink during the day, but I drink more than I should more often than I should. I can go a few days without drinking, but then when I do drink I make up for lost time.

Alcohol helps soothe my nerves and calm my overactive brain — albeit, temporarily. I know the data shows alcohol makes these things worse in the long run, in addition…

ADHD & Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

What the current research tells us (or doesn’t)

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Why are some people with ADHD so sensitive? We’re extra.

There are a number of possible reasons for people with ADHD experiencing emotions more intensely than others. People with ADHD often experience emotional lability (Sobanski et al., 2010), emotional impulsivity (Barkley, 2015), and negative intent attribution (Andrade et al., 2011).

There has been a lot of discussion about Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria in the ADHD community over the past few years. The detailed descriptions of what RSD feels and looks like resonates with so many people who also have ADHD. …

Education | Neurodiversity | Mental Health

And everything to do with self-worth, daily functioning, quality of life, and mental health.

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Many children with ADHD are identified as struggling with focus, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and other symptoms when they start school. This is because the demands of our traditional school system are often unrealistic even for typically developing children, let alone children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Sit still, stay in your seat, pay attention, stop wiggling, did you hear what I said? Follow instructions, don’t talk out, raise your hand, and keep your hands to yourself please!

Oftentimes it is teachers who approach parents with concerns about a student, citing these difficulties, and encouraging caregivers to speak to their child’s paediatrician, or asking…

I never thought I would tell this story publicly.

Image created by author, photo taken by author’s grandmother

I was ashamed, embarassed. I am now 38 years old and still reluctant to share.

The reason I am doing so is because now I have a child who is 8 years old and was mistreated at his former school.

The other reason I am sharing my story is because I work with children who have been, or are being, bullied and I want them to know they are not alone.

Students with ADHD are twice as likely to be bullied at school when compared to their neurotypical peers (Unnever & Cornell, 2003). …

MWC Work | Neurodiversity

I returned to a career that I never thought I’d love again.

Photo by Archie Binamira from Pexels

From the time I was in middle school, I told everyone that I wanted to be a social worker or a psychologist. I was determined and driven, and I never doubted what or who I wanted to become.

I was willing to work really hard to get there.

I took a three-year full-time program from 2003–2006 and graduated with honours with a diploma in Child and Youth Work. A year later, my partner at the time (currently my husband) was offered an amazing career opportunity.

In 2007, we moved to another province for him to pursue a job — it’s…

Animal Behaviour

Strengthening our relationships with our dogs

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Originally posted on March 29, 2013

Training using positive methods helps to build and solidify our relationships with our dogs

I am currently on maternity leave and have a 4 1/2 month old son. I am humbled to admit that since all of my focus and energy have been on my son, I temporarily forgot this most basic principle.

I have a 6.5 year old German Shorthaired Pointer named Maddy. She is extremely high-energy, intelligent, and well, usually nutty. She loves to work. For a while I got sidetracked from our training as my husband and I navigated the wonderful new world of parenthood.

I am sad to admit that I started to get…

Animal Behaviour

Bite Inhibition: Teaching your dog to have a gentle mouth

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It is very important to remember that all puppies need to be able to bite and chew so they learn about the strength and power of their jaws and teeth and, most importantly, learn how to control them.

It is very important that they have safe and appropriate outlets, such as chew toys, for the very normal mouthing and chewing behaviours. Chewing and performing natural doggy behaviours is enriching and enjoyable for them.

Animal Behaviour

Our expert advice to reduce unwanted barking

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Do you notice that with the warmer weather your dogs bark more than they do during the deep freeze of winter? I sure do!

With more smells in the air, more people and dogs out walking, and longer hours of daylight, there is more stimulation and excitement.

So what can you do about it?

Be Proactive

  • What does that mean? Keep your dog busy before he starts focusing on the neighbourhood kids walking home from school. …

Animal Behaviour

On-leash reactivity is one of the most common reasons people contact me for private training.

Photo by Auréanne Mailhiot on Unsplash

Many dog lovers are puzzled by their dog’s aggressive displays (or otherwise anti-social or embarrassing behaviour) when passing dogs on leashed walks, especially when that same dog can get along just fine with other dogs in the home and some are even social butterflies off-leash at the dog park.

So why is meeting other dogs while on leash so problematic?

There is not a simple answer and there are many factors at play when dogs become reactive, but I will focus on the main issues.

Jillian Enright

CYW, BA Psych with 20+ years experience. I write about mental health, neurodiversity, ADHD, advocacy, education, and parenting. Founder of ADHD 2e MB.

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