Tantalizing your tastebuds at Date with a Star January 25th!

Make a date for a delectable dinner with friends, and your personal celebrity escort.
Can’t wait to find our where you will be dining? Reserve an exclusive table now Don’t miss out on celebrating our 16th Annual Date with a Star with LDAM!
Don’t miss out on celebrating our 16th Annual Date with a Star with LDAM!
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Arrowsmith Open House Nov. 17th, 2016

04-06-2014 8-41-45 AM

Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba celebrates its fourth year of offering the Arrowsmith Program to Manitobans. The experience – and the results – continue to be amazing!

If you are curious about results that change the lives of children and adults overcoming learning disabilities, join us for the Arrowsmith Program Open House on Thursday, November 17th 2016.

The Open House is your opportunity to see how the program helps to transform struggling learners into confident contributors, by strengthening weak areas of the brain through intense, targeted cognitive areas through customized exercises in children 7 years and older, youth and adults. You’ll meet the Arrowsmith teacher and other parents whose families have benefited from participation in the program.

Because we have room for a few new students in January 2017, we invite you to click here for more information LDAM Arrowsmith Open House on Nov 17th 2016, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions about how the Arrowsmith Program transforms lives. If you are considering registering your child, youth, or yourself for the January 2016 or September 2017, please call to connect and to register for this life-changing first step – a short introductory information session.

Location: 617 Erin Street in Winnipeg

To register please call: 204-774-1821 extension 14.

Agenda: The evening starts at 7:00 pm and ends at 9:00 pm. There will be a presentation at 7:30 pm.

LDA Manitoba Arrowsmith Coordinator Cher Benoit will present, and some of the parents of returning students will also attend. This is your chance to get a deeper understanding of how the program will work for your child, youth or self.

Learn about neuroplasticity and how it is engaged in the Arrowsmith Program by strengthening specific underlying cognitive areas of the brain that are weak, making learning difficult or blocking progress.

The Arrowsmith Program also includes a comprehensive assessment as the basis of individualized programming, which occurs after full program registration is complete.

More background information about how the LDA Manitoba Arrowsmith Program transforms struggling learners into confident contributers is available here:  One pager – Re Arrowsmith 2016


Posted in Arrowsmith, Events

Register now for August YeS-L Program for Youth with ADHD and LD

Teenage BoyYouth learn through leading!

In August the Youth Engagement STREAM Leadership (YeS-L) Program inspires and empowers 12 – 15 year olds with ADHD and learning disabilities to practice and share their skills to motivate and activate others.

Seven sessions August 9th – 30th, Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm present activities that recognize individual strengths and build self-management, emotional IQ, self-advocacy and leadership skills.

Focusing on unique personal strengths, YeS-L Program participants are encouraged in activities that build self-management, emotional IQ, self-advocacy and leadership skills. Youth also learn how to facilitate the same growth in younger youth who experience learning disabilities or ADHD.

In seven evening sessions, held twice weekly, youth will experience the following:

• Enables youth to use positive messages and experiences about learning and learning disabilities to inspire, motivate and activate others.

• Provides opportunities for youth with leadership potential to develop and practice their skills.

• Creates future community leaders who are able to help build a more supportive and empathetic environment for youth with learning disabilities.

Leadership Group flyer Summer 2016 to learn more about the program and to register.

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Reading Heroes take A WALK IN THE PARK!

Join us for a special day in May! Our 6th Annual WALK IN THE PARK is happening on Saturday, May 28th at St. Vital Park from 1-4pm. This year we are expanding our theme to add:  Reading Heroes!walkinthepark

Bring and celebrate your favourite young reading hero – no matter how old or young! To gather pledges see the attached information / pledge package  2016WalkInThePark.revised copy . Teams are Welcome!

  • Each child/youth Reading Hero will receive a special prize.
  • Early registration will be added to a draw for a movie evening for a family of four!
  • Top pledge winner will receive a tablet; second prize – a Scholars Choice Prize Pack! Registration is 1:00pm. Face painting and games follow, then the Walk (2K), BBQ, and games.
  • Enter a Raffle for an amazing Sphero 2.0 or a 50/50 raffle. There are also free raffles for prizes for children and youth.Support and encourage children who make that extra effort in reading and support programs that help them take-off into the amazing wide world of literacy and self-confidence.     Walk with READING HEROES on May 28th!





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Arrowsmith Founder coming to Winnipeg!

Woman Who Changed Her Brain  US CND Cover Final   We are pleased to announce that we are bringing the Director of Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program, Barbara Arrowsmith Young, to Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 6th. Barbra will be speaking from 7:00 – 9:00pm at the Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium in the St. Boniface Research Centre.  See details on attached poster. Barabra Arrowsmith Central poster 2016

The Arrowsmith Program is built on the practical application of the neuroscience of neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to change and rewire itself through intensive and focused effort.  The genesis of the program was Barbara’s struggle with her own severe learning disabilities and her efforts, begun as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, and success in overcoming her cognitive deficits through intensive brain exercises utilizing specific areas of the brain that correlate to the weaknesses.  Her journey of discovery and innovation as she developed and rigorously applied these exercises is described in her compelling book, The Woman who Changed her Brain.

The Arrowsmith Program of cognitive exercises is implemented in Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, and South Korea.

LDA Manitoba has been offering the program since 2013 and we have seen first hand its remarkable and sustained results. Please join us for this fascinating (and free) presentation as Barbara explains how to address some of the most complex neurological challenges in a systematic way and the life changing outcomes.

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Date with a Star – 2016!

Don't miss out on celebrating our 15th Annual Date with a Star & LDAM's 50th Anniversary!!

Mark your calendar, order your tickets and join the celebration of our 15th Annual Date with a Star! The Gala Reception will be hosted by the much-loved entertainer and icon, FRED PENNER!

See our event page on this site for more details or our event website www.datewithastar.ca

Posted in Events

Arrowsmith Program Open House – Oct. 22nd

arrowsmith poster pic

We are holding an Arrowsmith Program Open House on Thursday, October 22.

The evening starts at 7:00 – and we are open until 9:00pm. There will be a presentation at 7:30pm.
Click for poster: LDAM Open House – Oct. 22, 2015

Location: 623 Erin St.
To register please call: 204 774 1821 -13.

This is an opportunity to learn more about neuroplasticity and how it is engaged in the Arrowsmith Program.  We are in our third year of offering this unique program which strengthens the underlying cognitive areas of the brain that are weak and making learning difficult or blocking progress. We have seen amazing results! See attached for details re the LDAM Program. One pager – Re Arrowsmith 2015


Posted in Arrowsmith, Events

Arrowsmith: Winnipeg Parent Night Launches Our 3rd Year of offering Arrowsmith Program


04-06-2014 8-41-45 AMLDA  Manitoba is delighted to be starting its third year of providing the groundbreaking Arrowsmith Program. The experience – and the results – have been amazing!

We still have room for a few additional students for the Fall and we are holding a Parent Information Night on Wednesday, September 2nd for the parents of  new and returning students. The event will start at 7:00 pm and end at 9:00pm at our neighbour’s space (Bookmates) at 623 Erin Street.

To receive a flyer on the event please email: ldamanitoba4@mymts.net

For more information call: 204 774 1821 – 13.



Posted in Arrowsmith, Events

The Path: Coming to Terms with LD and AD/HD

Executive Director’s Note: Below is an article I wrote for the Manitoba Child Care Association newsletter in 2002, when I had been with LDA Manitoba for two years.  It still reflects the phases in the parenting journey expressed to me by parents over the last 13 years, over the phone, in emails, in person, and in parenting classes* and workshops. Remember, raising a child with learning disabilities and/or ADHD is a challenging but rewarding experience.

*If you are interested in our parenting classes – please see our calendar for upcoming classes.

1.    Wondering:  When parents first notice that their child has difficulties with things that most kids don’t seem to have trouble with, they usually feel a mixture of protection and confusion. Parents naturally apply extra effort and assistance with their child.  At the same time the child show signs of being different in positive ways – they have certain tendencies and abilities that are exceptional strengths. This is the wondering phase – seeing differences and not being able to interpret them.

2.    Worrying:  When children fall behind their friends in important ways they start to show frustration and they try very hard to keep up, often including inventing ways of masking the difference to achieve the same result, like memorizing books by ear, giving in to get along, or being extra assertive to control the pace of activities. Parents continue to apply extra effort and assistance with their child, sometimes holding back to see what the difference really is.  They worry that the promise their child shows will not be realized because the differences and deficits put too many roadblocks on known paths to success and opportunity. When extra effort helps but doesn’t solve the problems, a nagging insecurity begins to take root.

3.    Assessment:  Sometimes initiated by the school, sometimes by the parents, assessment occurs when difficulty in keeping up or fitting in becomes very noticeable. The rule of thumb is the earlier the better.  When they first get the assessment, parents may feel a sense of relief, as they finally have some answers, and can hopefully access resources.

4.    Grieving:  Includes, denial, anger, and bargaining. This is a phase most parents go through, perhaps most acutely after the child is first assessed, when fear of the unknown is greatest.  It is often repeated, in a milder form, as milestones come up. Children also grieve their disability, and fear that they will forever be seen as different by teachers and classmates.

5.    Advocating: for Remediation / Accommodation / Emphasizing Strengths: Parents begin consciously advocating for one of these kinds of help for their child: remediation, accommodation and strength-based programming.   If parents don’t have any traces of the same learning disability and/or AD/HD, they may vigorously pursue remediation to try get their child caught up to their peers. If they have some of the same characteristics or if the child’s learning disability or AD/HD is clearly severe, they may pursue accommodation first or most vigorously, to make school and other activities less stressful and painful for their child.  They may also emphasize strengths, because they strongly believe in their child’s unique abilities, and also to store up self esteem against the struggle with deficits.

Most parents eventually pursue all three avenues of assisting their children. All are important for the long-term success of the child. Parents learn to explain to their child the reason for, and goal of, each form of assistance. They also teach them to appreciate and acknowledge   the effort being made by others on their behalf. The learn celebration of effort and small successes paves the way to bigger successes!

6.    Fatigue:  Many parents report they haven’t read a book in years that wasn’t related to their child’s disability.  They spend much of their time researching, planning, monitoring, worrying, assessing, consulting professionals and other parents, advocating with the school, implementing remediation in programs at home and with specialists, plotting activities that will result in success and fun … not surprisingly, fatigue and burn-out often set in.

7.    Acceptance:  When all the championing, grieving, helping, struggle are put in perspective, and the parent fully understands their child can and must make their own way, with the normal supports any adult child expects, perhaps ramped up a bit in some areas.

8.    Self-advocacy – Helping the child become self aware, and a self-advocate:  This is an important step that takes considerable knowledge on the part of the parent. However when parents have been active advocates for their child, they have modeled advocacy to their child. Self-advocacy becomes a natural next step. It means stating needs, making clear requests, and negotiating with respect for the other’s position.

9.    Normalizing:  Sometimes early, if the family is familiar with the learning disability and/or AD/HD and successful with it, but usually well into the journey, and most often after meeting with other parents of learning-disabled children, things fall into perspective. The parents see their child’s differences as normal for someone with an LD and/or AD/HD and they are able to set reasonable expectations that guide and facilitate their child’s development.

10.    Celebrating:  After reasonable expectations are set, there is much to celebrate in children with learning disabilities and/or AD/HD, both in difficulties overcome and inherent potential realized.  And really, this has been a part of each phase of the journey!

–  by Marilyn MacKinnon, BSW,
Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba

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Holiday Tips for Parents of ADHD Kids

The holiday season is potentially a wonderful time of the year for fun and special times.  School is out, routines are relaxed, there is more leisure time, more treats to eat and there is more time to spend with friends and family.  But it also comes with potential pitfalls such as increased worry, frustrations, sad memories, disappointments and fear.  This is true for most families but it is particularly true for parents with LD children such as ADHD.  The following are some ideas that might reduce stress during the holiday season.  Please join the conversation and if you have a tip please tell us and we will post them on our web site.

1.    Maintain Structure and Rules:  It is understandable to relax the house rules during the holiday season.  After all when school is out every day is a “Saturday”.  It is okay to bend the rules but make sure that your child clearly knows what is expected, except able and what is not.  Children operate best when they understand the rules and expectations at home as well outside the home.

2.    Review Behavioral Conduct:    Before you go out with your child, whether it is to the mall, going to a movie or going  out to a friend’s place or visiting family always review  what the plan is including   your expectations and the rules of conduct.   Be specific rather than providing general comments.  Do not assume your child know what is expected of him/her.

3.    Anticipating Triggers:  Know the situations that can be hard for your child so intervene early to avoid a meltdown.  As one parent suggested, have an “escape plan” that you can activate when things are not going well.  This is especially relevant during the holiday season when high demands are placed on you and your child.

4.    “Visiting Both Parents”:  The holiday season poses unique issues for children whose parents do not live together.  It is critically important that children (where appropriate) are given ample opportunities to see both parents.  Therefore, agree on a “visitation plan” and convey this plan to your child.  Yes, it is difficult, awkward and even emotionally painful, but focus on your child and make it a pleasant experience for him/her.

5.    Medication Changes:  If you are contemplating changing your child’s medication by either increasing or decreasing the dosage please do so only after consulting with your family physician and or mental health professionals.  Be certain that you are aware of the benefits and disadvantages of your decision.  It goes without saying that both parents have to be in agreement with this decision.  For older children asking for their opinion is extremely important and they need to be part of the decision making process.    However,   remember that ADHD doesn’t take a holiday and given the many challenges children with ADHD face during the holiday season, this may not be the best time to take a break from medication.

6.    Develop a Resource List:  Make a list of programs and make inquiries of programs and other community resources that might be suitable for your child during school break.  While you are at it, make a list of trusted and understanding friends and family members that can assist you with chores and child care.  It may come in handy and besides you and your child may welcome the break from each other.

7.    Live Within Your Means:  The biggest stressors during the holiday season are money (or lack of) and time (or lack of).  It is hard but these are two things within our control.  It is important to live within your budget, operate within your time limitations and more importantly keep your expectations in proper prospective.  Keep things simple.

8.    Practice patience.  Bad things happen!!  Arguments, meltdowns, misunderstandings, frustrations, conflicts etc. are going to occur.  These things happen in every family so you are not alone.  The best advice is to practice patience and tolerance.  What you don’t want to do is get emotionally stuck in anger and resentments.  Sometimes you just have to let things go and stop letting let bad events define who you or your children are as people.  Embrace the good moments.

9.    Ask For Your Child’s Opinion.   Parents should always have the final say on important matters but children should also be allowed to express their opinion or matters that affect them.  It is a sign of respect them you ask them for their input.  Let them participate in the family holiday plans.

10.    They Need Exercise:  If children had their way they would sit all day and watch T.V. or play video games.  These activities have their place and all children need some “down time”   but don’t let these things consume their day.  Children, especially children with ADHD need a healthy dose of physical activities every day.  Children need to burn off lots of energy so plan their day around physical activities.  Keep them busy!  Having said this, remember that they also need structured quiet down time.  So do you.

11.    Transitioning Back to School:  Holidays are going to come to an end and just like you had to plan for holidays you also have to plan to help your child successfully transition back to school and the return to the typical routines of home.   It might be helpful to think of a creative ritual to saying good bye to school.  A family supper or a conversation about the best moments of the holiday season comes to mind.  It is also an opportunity to get them excited about returning to school.

PS. There is a new Facebook resource for parents.
And Happy Holidays from the Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba!

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