A great deal of the information about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder focuses on the problems people with ADHD have accomplishing tasks and meeting goals, but a newly published study suggests that plugging into their more creative side may have positive results.
Young adults with ADHD showed more creativity compared to those without the disorder, according to researchers at the University of Michigan and Eckerd College.
They found that ADHD individuals preferred different thinking styles. They like generating ideas, but are not good about completing the tasks.
Lead author Holly White, an assistant professor of psychology at Eckerd, and Priti Shah, an associate professor at U-M, replicated a study they did in 2006 which found that ADHD individuals show better performance on standardized creativity tests.
In the past, research was focused on how well individuals with ADHD did on standard laboratory measures of creativity.
Shah said that while they knew people with ADHD did better in the lab with divergent thinking, they were not at all sure if that would translate to real-life achievement. “The current study suggests that it does,” Shah said.
Divergent thinking involves generating several possible solutions to a problem. Some people can only see a straight path or a single route to a solution or goal, people with ADHD, however, often see lots of different ways to get to the same point.
ADHD is neuropsychological disorder that involves inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Most individuals get the disorder in childhood and it persists into adulthood. It has impaired the person’s ability to adjust academically and socially.
Sixty college students (half with ADHD) completed a questionnaire about their level of achievement regarding creativity in 10 areas, such as humor, music, visual arts, culinary arts, invention and writing. Those with ADHD scored higher than individuals who didn’t have the disorder.
Another questionnaire assessed the respondents’ preferred creative style: clarifier, who defines and structures the problem; ideator, who like to generate ideas; developers, who elaborate or refine ideas and solutions; and implementers, who incorporate a refined idea into a final product or solution.
Non-ADHD participants preferred problem clarification and idea development. ADHD individuals liked the ideator style.
Knowing the creative style can help identify careers suited to the strengths and weaknesses of individuals with ADHD, the researchers said.
Researchers also note that their results could be partially attributed to testing college students, who may be a uniquely motivated and successful population with ADHD. They did, however, ensure that the ADHD and non-ADHD participants in the sample were similar in academic achievement. Individuals who are not succeeding as well academically may benefit from understanding that there may be tradeoffs associated with ADHD. With extra motivation to overcome difficulties in planning, attention, and impulsivity, they may be able to take greater advantage of their creative strengths, Shah said.
The findings appear in the current issue of Personality and Individual Differences.
Eighteen year-old Diana Ortega wasn’t even born when high school students spilled out into the streets of East Los Angeles to demand quality education at the height of the Chicano Movement and the history-making 1968 “Walk Outs.”
But last week she was one of several local high school students who took to the stage for the reading of three short plays focused on the lives of three of the movements’ activists.
Students at Monterey High School, a continuation school in East Los Angeles, wrote the plays during a semester-long playwriting class. Seven students, handpicked by their principal, wrote “2011 Meets 1968,” a series of one-act plays based on interviews with participants in the 1968 Walk Outs. For many of them, the experience was eye-opening if not cathartic.
“I didn’t think I was going to get anything out of this. I though it would be like talking to old people about things I didn’t care about, but the truth is I don’t want this to end,” Ortega told the audience at Plaza de la Raza’s Margo Albert Theater on March 3.
The young playwrights were assigned to interview journalist Luis Torres, artist Ofelia Esparza and educator Paula Crisostomo —three individuals whose lives were transformed as they fought discrimination and for parity in education for East Los Angeles students.
The “Through the Ages” class is a dialogue between different generations but it is also a literacy program. “The goal is to make them better readers, writers, communicators and collaborators, while engaging them in their own history,” Theresa Chavez, artistic director of “About Productions” told EGP. The “Through The Ages” class is part of About Productions’ Young Theaterworks program.
Chavez notes that the program has only been executed at continuation high schools where the students are struggling in some fashion. The schools’ schedule lends itself perfectly to the program while helping students who need it the most, and have little access to art.
“It engages them, keeps them in school, it increases their reenrollment, the days they are in school. And because it’s their storytelling… They feel connected to it, they feel engaged, and committed to it,” she said. “It’s a transformation in terms of their own academic work but also in terms of their voicing, both literally and figuratively.”
Eneida Ortega, 16, agrees that the class takes commitment. She said students had to meet writing deadlines “so that our mentors could check it and revise it.”
Nineteen-year-old Oscar Lechuga said students did not want to miss the class because “we only get to see each other twice a week for four hours,” and missing meant they were letting down their team.
“2011 Meets 1968” was inspired by their previous play, “By the Hand of the Father,” which explored the writers’ personal histories, according Chavez.
“We asked the students to go back to their own families or whoever they might be who could tell them where they came from, what their history might be, how they came to the states or how they specifically got to L.A.,” Chavez told EGP.
The theater company’s next project “Evangeline, The Queen of Make-Believe,” also relates to “2011 Meets 1968.”
“Each [high school] session is slightly different, it just depends partially on what we are working on professionally because we like to make a bridge between what we are doing content wise and what they are going to explore. So that when they come to the theater to see our work that we are doing, there’s even a deeper connection and we can engage them in that work as well,” Chavez said.
Students said that writing about the activists really affected them.
“Ofelia [Esparza] has inspired me to never give up and be proud of who I am because that’s what is important in life,” sixteen-year-old Melissa Sanchez told the audience.
The short play “About…Ofelia Esparza” recounts the artist’s experience with discrimination in the years leading up to the walk outs, which she participated in with her children.
“I’m 77 and I have had a good life. At times it has been hard being a Chicana. Some times you have to speak out and you have to stand your ground to be who you are,” the students wrote.
Sanchez, Lechuga and Ortega wrote “About..Paula Crisostomo,” an honor student who helped organize the 1968 Walk Outs.
“What are you worried about Paula? The only pi you should be worried about is the pie you’re going to cook…You’re not going to graduate, you’ll be pregnant by summer,” the students wrote that Crisostomo’s geometry teacher told her.
“I expected to have a boring conversation I didn’t expect her story to be so interesting, she had many challenges that shows how much of a strong person she is,” Sanchez said.
“The truth is she is one of my role models because she really helped la Raza and just looking into her eyes I could tell that she has experienced what I have in my life,” added Lechuga.
It was a new experience for the students to have their work displayed publicly.
“We do our assignment and no one ever notices us except the teacher,” Ortega told EGP. “It’s a great experience to go through something I would never have courage to do on our own.”
Virginia Garcia, 16, described the entire experience as simply “inspiring.”
Learning about the past is empowering because “that’s the only way to know where to go from there,” Esparza said, noting that it was a little strange to see her character portrayed.
“Where we are today is great, but there’s more to do” she said, noting that many of the original walk out participants went on to become doctors and lawyers, and “they’re the main part of change.”
The “desprecio” (disdain) and discrimination of Mexican-American and Latinos continues to happen but “…you need to be strong to know what your history and respect your own background, not be ashamed,” Esparza said.
Journalist Luis Torres, a writer for his school newspaper at the time of the walk outs said the 1960s was an exciting but turbulent time for his generation.
“It was very moving for me to see these students translate those experiences into a different context for a contemporary audience. I enjoyed talking to them; enjoyed meeting them… appreciated the spark in their eyes,” Torres told EGP.
The students confessed that they didn’t know anything about the walk outs before they began the class—they hadn’t even watched the 2006 film Walkout, directed by Edward James Olmos. Their own parents are immigrants, so they did not have first-hand experience with the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles. However, some of them did have experience protesting in pro-immigration reform marches in recent years and say the “Through the Ages” program has helped them feel more confident and capable.
While the program had its first run at Monterey in 2001, the program travels to different schools, said Rose Portillo, program director of “Through the Ages” Young Theaterworks.
“2011 Meets 1968” was written by Eneida Ortega, Benjamin Villareal, Virginia Garcia, Jorge Leal, Oscar Lechuga, Diana Ortega, and Michelle Sanchez; under the guidance of mentors Marco Rodriguez, Tomás Benítez and Daniel Chacón; the scripts were performed by Marissa Herrera, Xavi Moreno, Roberto Alcaraz, Laurel Ollestein, Daniel Chacón, Tomás Benítez and Rose Portillo.
Through the Ages” is a non-profit program that is currently funded by the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. ‘About…Productions’ is supported in part by the California Community Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Commission, The Pasadena Cultural Affairs Department, and private donations.
Valerie Mia Juarez contributed to this story.
Legislation to ensure that parents who provide health care insurance to their children until the age of 26 through employer-based policies do not pay higher state income taxes, has passed the State Assembly and is now headed to the Senate.
Assembly Bill (AB) authored by Assembly members Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) and Henry Perea (D-Fresno) passed unanimously.
“We need to make this simple reform so that our tax code is not an obstacle for parents to keep their children insured,” said Blumenfield. “This is a tough job market and, as young adults transition into work, they have the lowest rate of access to employer-based insurance.”
Blumenfield said taxing benefits gained through new federal health care legislation could be a disincentive to work, and added that legislators are working to get the law passed before the state tax-filing deadline.
Under federal health care reform, parents can now keep older children on employer-provided health insurance policies. Under federal tax law, the value of these benefits is exempt from federal income tax. California has not yet followed suit.
Assembly Bill (AB) 36 excludes from state income tax calculations the value of health care benefits and reimbursements for medical care provided by the parent’s employer to an adult child 26 years or younger. The bill also allows self-employed individuals to deduct the cost of health insurance provided for an adult child through the end of the taxable year in which the child turns 26. It also applies in scope to expenses incurred and benefits provided on or after March 30, 2010.
More information is available online at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.
A third executive of a Los Angeles toy company has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to launder almost $9 million for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia using teddy bears and Topo Gigio mouse dolls.
Meichun Cheng Huang, 57, of Irvine, a co-owner of Angel Toy Corp., entered his plea to one felony count of conspiracy on March 4 in Los Angeles federal court before U.S. District Judge S. James Otero.
Previously in the case, Ling Yu, 52, of Arcadia, CEO and co-owner of the toy company, and firm accountant Xiaoxin “Judy” Ju, 48, of San Gabriel, pleaded guilty to the same charge, prosecutors said.
The three were arrested last July at the downtown business on Alameda Street, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“It’s no small irony that a multi-million-dollar company which promoted itself as retailer of cuddly stuffed animals was allegedly acting as a financial linchpin for drug trafficking operatives in Colombia and Mexico,” ICE Director John Morton said after the arrests.
“It may be a toy company, but we believe these defendants’ pursuits were anything but child’s play,” he said. “Businesses that launder profits for drug trafficking organizations should be on notice there will be a high price to pay for helping further these dangerous criminal enterprises.”
According to an indictment, Huang and Yu directed their Colombian and Mexican clients to drop cash off at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters or deposit it directly into the company’s bank accounts.
After receiving the money, Angel Toy executives wired it to China to purchase stuffed animals and dolls, according to ICE.
The toys were subsequently exported to Colombia, where an associate apparently arranged for their sale, ICE said.
The Colombian pesos generated by those sales were then used to reimburse Colombian drug traffickers, a money-laundering process known as a “black market peso exchange,” said then-Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office investigated the case along with ICE.
“This sort of scheme does go on in other contexts, but linking teddy bears to the drug business — that’s one for the record books,” Brown said last July. “The money goes to China, the toys go to Colombia, and the profits go to drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia.”
The drug proceeds, which were laundered through numerous cash deposits in the United States, were returned to clients when the stuffed animals and dolls were exported to the foreign countries and sold to generate local “clean” money, according to ICE.
The arrests stemmed from a five-count indictment that charged five defendants, including the co-owners of Angel Toy Corp., and Jose Leonardo Cuevas Otalora, 50, a Colombia-based businessman who allegedly oversaw the importation of the toys into his country, prosecutors said. The fifth defendant in the case is Angel Toy Corp. itself.
Immigration officials were working with the Colombian National Police and the U.S. Department of Justice to arrest Otalora, according to ICE.
The charges include conspiracy to structure cash transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements, prosecutors said.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of more than $8.6 million dollars, which is the amount of money allegedly laundered over a four-year period, from 2005 to 2009.
Topo Gigio was a character on a children’s puppet show on Italian and Spanish television in the early 1960s and began famous worldwide when the cute rodent appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Topo Gigio remains a Latino cultural icon.
Otero set Oct. 31 to sentence Huang, Yu and Ju, prosecutors said.
Southern California boasts more manufacturing than any other region in the United States, which remains the world’s largest manufacturing economy, according to a report issued Tuesday.
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.’s study, “Manufacturing: Still a Force in Southern California,” concludes that it is a myth that manufacturing is disappearing from the region and that all operations are moving to countries with low-cost labor.
“Industrial restructuring has intensified, making U.S. manufacturing more competitive than ever,” said LAEDC Chief Economist Nancy D. Sidhu, the report’s author. “The U.S. share of global manufacturing has remained at or above 20 percent for most of the past two decades.”
The United States is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, generating $1.6 trillion of output, 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Productivity in the sector is also very high, with manufacturing jobs often paying premium wages and benefits, the LAEDC reports.
In Los Angeles County, manufacturing employed 389,300 people in 2009 and the value of manufacturing shipments in the county was $153 billion in 2007, the last year for which data was available.
Manufacturing is what the economic development group calls a “high-multiplier” activity because it creates jobs for suppliers and other local businesses in areas like energy, freight transportation and business and professional services.
The top five industries in the county, based on 2007 dollar revenues, were petroleum refining, computer and electronic products, food products, aerospace and fabricated metal products. Fifty-six percent of the county’s manufacturing workers produced durable goods, such as computers, transportation equipment and metal products. The other 44 percent made non-durable goods like apparel and food.
The largest industry is computer and electronic products, with 51,323 jobs, though the sector has also suffered some of the largest declines in employment over the past
A 30-year fast food franchise operator has opened a Del Taco restaurant on East Washington Boulevard in the City of Commerce.
Franchisees Linda Vanderweel and Austin Berry opened the doors to their Mexican fast food restaurant on Tuesday, with a pledge to support local community groups.
“We are excited to become part of the Commerce community and support schools, youth sports, churches and non-profit organizations by hosting fundraisers at the new Del Taco,” said Berry.
Vanderweel owns and operates three other Del Taco restaurants.
Del Taco operates or franchises more than 525 restaurants in 18 states.
What should you do when aliens land in your yard and abduct your mom? Go after her!
In Disney’s new 3-D animated movie “Mars Needs Moms” opening this weekend, nine-year old Milo can’t wait for his mother to leave him alone. She is always telling him to eat his vegetables and do his chores!
But the aliens think Mom is swell, and they want her for themselves.
They whisk her away in their giant spaceship so she can teach their robots how to care for their own Martian kids.
Good thing Milo woke up just in time to also get zapped inside the spaceship that is taking his mom away.
Together with new Earth and Martian friends, Milo travels through Mars to take on an alien nation in an effort to prove that he needs his mom more than they do.
Seth Green provides the motion capture acting, and Seth Robert Dusky provides the voice acting for Milo, while Joan Cusack plays the mom.
The movie is directed and written by Simon Wells, and produced by Robert Zemeckis. The animation studio ImageMovers also made “Monster House,” “The Polar Express,” “Beowulf,” and “A Christmas Carol.”
The movie is based on a book by Berkeley Breathed. Check local listings for show times.
An unscripted television series axed by FOX two years ago was last week’s seventh most-watched program, only trailing three “American Idol” episodes and three popular CBS dramas.
Now on ABC, the debut of “Secret Millionaire,” where the affluent go undercover to help those in need, averaged 12.67 million viewers to finish as Sunday’s most-watched program and seventh among prime-time programs broadcast between Feb. 28 and Sunday, according to live-plus same-day figures released Tuesday by The Nielsen Co.
The audience was ABC’s largest in the Sunday 8-9 p.m. time slot with regular programming since a March 30, 2008, episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which averaged 13 million viewers.
“Secret Millionaire” was canceled by Fox in December 2008 after six episodes aired on that network.
The premiere of the NBC competition series “The Next Great American Restaurant” which ran opposite “Secret Millionaire,” was fourth in its time slot and 65th among the week’s programming on the five major broadcast networks, averaging 4.59 million viewers.
With one-third of its schedule devoted to “American Idol,” FOX finished first for the week.
Thursday’s two-hour “American Idol” episode featuring the naming of its 13 finalists was the week’s most-watched program, averaging 25.26 million viewers. The 90-minute Wednesday and Tuesday “Idol” episodes were second and third for the week.
CBS had the week’s five most-watched scripted programs and finished second overall, followed by ABC in third, NBC in fourth and The CW in fifth place.
CBS’s “NCIS” was the most-watched scripted program, finishing fourth overall. A rerun of “Two and a Half Men” was the most-watched comedy, taking the ninth spot overall.
MTV’s unscripted series “Jersey Shore” was the most-watched prime- time cable program for the sixth time in seven weeks, but the USA Network was the most-watched cable network in prime time for the sixth time in seven weeks.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 3.76 million viewers for its prime-time programming. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.33 million viewers, followed by TeleFutura (780,000), Estrella TV (220,000) and Azteca America (200,000).
The week’s most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Thursday episode of a Univision telenovela. “Eva Luna” averaged 5.13 million viewers, which would have put it 55th among the programs on the five major English-language networks.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s Thursday,
Wednesday and Tuesday “American Idol” episodes; CBS’ “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los
Angeles” and “Criminal Minds”; ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”; and CBS’ “60
Minutes,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The Good Wife.”
Con casi dos veces el número de votos que su rival, el Concejal José Huizar ya se esta preparando para su segundo mandato representando al Distrito 14 de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles.
De acuerdo con los resultados no-oficiales de la elección del martes, Huizar recibió un 64,22 por ciento de los votos (9.266 votos) frente al empresario Rudy Martínez, quién recibió 35,78 por ciento (5.163) de los votos.
La gran ventaja fue difícil de descifrar justo antes de las elecciones ya que votantes regularmente criticaban a ambos candidatos por realizar campañas negativas.
“En los próximos cuatro años, quiero seguir mejorando nuestros corredores comerciales y buscar los medios para atraer más ventas y nuevos negocios pequeñas al Distrito 14 del Consejo. También continuare haciendo servicio al constituyente una prioridad para mi oficina y yo espero trabajar con los residentes del Distrito 14 sobre las nuevas formas de colaboración para servir a nuestra comunidad,” dijo Huizar, en una declaración escrita.
Tres otros titulares del consejo de la ciudad—Paul Krekorian, Tom LaBonge, Tony Cárdenas, Herb Wesson—también disfrutaron una gran ventaja en la elección. Los resultados más cercanos muestran al Concejal Bernard Parks, Distrito 8, ganando con un pequeño margen. Sin embargo, con un número desconocido de papeletas provisionales y de ausencia aún para ser cuentas, el ganador continua en cuestión.
Mientras tanto, Mitchell Englander será el nuevo miembro del Consejo de Los Ángeles en representación del Distrito 12, el titular Greig Smith no buscó la reelección.
En el concurso para representar los distritos de la Junta de Educación del Distrito Escolar de Los Ángeles, los tres candidatos al Distrito 5 no recibieron una mayoría de los votos, según los resultados preliminares de las elecciones. Yolie Flores no busco la reelección.
El martes por la noche Luis Sánchez, el jefe de la oficina de la presidente de la junta escolar, lideraba la carrera, seguido por el ex profesor Bennett Kayser, mientras que John Fernández, también profesor jubilado, estaba un distante tercer lugar. Sánchez y Fernández se enfrentarán en la segunda elección programada para el 17 de mayo.
Tres miembros titulares de la Junta, Marguerite LaMotte (Distrito 1), Tamar Galatzan (Distrito 3), y Richard Vladovic (Distrito 7) fácilmente tuvieron victorias a la reelección.
Además, dos titulares de la Junta Directiva del Distrito de los Colegios Comunitarios de Los Ángeles (LACCD)—Mona Field (asiento 1) y Miguel Santiago (Asiento 7)—también ganaron fácilmente la reelección. El Concejal de la Ciudad de San Fernando Steve Veres ganó el Asiento 3, con un porcentaje suficiente alto para evitar una segunda vuelta del 17 de mayo.
Una segunda vuelta será necesaria para el Asiento 5, Scott Svonkin se enfrentará con la maestra Lydia Gutiérrez.
Mientras tanto, todas las enmiendas de la ciudad de Los Ángeles fueron aprobadas con un amplio margen, menos la Proposición “O” que buscaba poner un impuesto sobre la producción de petróleo en la ciudad. Los resultados no oficiales demuestran que se derrotó por un estrecho margen, pero el resultado final podría depender de los votos finales y disputados.
El Secretario Municipal tiene hasta el 18 de marzo para completar el escrutinio oficial de los votos.
Durante un almuerzo presentado por club East LA Rotary, y en colaboración con Pan American Bank, el pasado 3 de marzo, la Supervisora del Condado de Los Ángeles Gloria Molina habló acerca de la condición del condado, incluso los esfuerzos para transformar al Este de Los Ángeles a una ciudad.
El 2009 se recolectaron las firmas para autorizar el análisis comprensivo de las finanzas de la zona no incorporada del Este de Los Ángeles. Y después de más de un año de buscar como financiar el estudio, localizar un analista para hacer la auditoria y determinar que temporada sería analizada, ahora el estudio esta en marcha.
“Es mi entendimiento que ese informe estará disponible muy pronto y espero que se pueda traer a la comunidad para que la gente pueda saber qué nivel de servicios existen y qué son los dólares generados por la zona,” dijo Molina.
Señalando que otras ciudades, como Commerce, Montebello y Monterey Park, en el pasado se aprovecharon para tomar zonas industriales, el análisis proporcionará la oportunidad para que los residentes puedan ver los costos actuales de los servicios, si el área puede autosostener el mismo nivel de servicios. Más tarde, los residentes podrán decidir si quieren votar a favor de convertirse en una ciudad.
Molina advirtió que los residentes deben ser más involucrados cívicamente para que el Este de Los Ángeles no termine como algunas ciudades del sureste del condado que han lidiado con la corrupción y ser económicamente solvente.
Ben Cárdenas, presidente de la Asociación de Residentes del Este de Los Ángeles (ELARA), informó a Molina que el condado esa semana acaba de proveer los datos a los asesores para iniciar el análisis fiscal. Además él dijo que el Este de Los Ángeles no sería como las ciudades del sureste porque los residentes están más comprometidos.
Se anticipa que el estudio será completado y hecho público en junio, Cárdenas dijo a EGP.
Eddie Torres, residente y empresario en el Este de Los Ángeles, pidió que Molina se comprometa a analizar los datos ella misma para que los residentes pueden sentirse seguros de si el mismo nivel de servicios se podrán sostener.
“¿Que [servicios] estoy recibiendo ahora, y qué pago actualmente? ¿Qué voy a conseguir entonces y que voy a pagar? Ese será el debate mientras que avanzamos,” respondió Molina.
Ella esta preocupada que entraran grupos de afuera que tratarán de manipular la situación y las elecciónes como en Bell, Maywood y por toda la valle de San Gabriel.
Respondiendo a una pregunta del público, la supervisora dijo que apoya los esfuerzos del Presidente de la Asamblea John Pérez para disolver a Vernon. Ella dijo que Vernon es básicamente un pueblo de la empresa y que los votantes están comprometidos porque son empleados de la ciudad.
“Esperamos que si todo eso funciona, que si eso ocurre [se deshace Vernon], [Vernon] no se va a poner en juego para nadie. Esperamos que va regresar nuevamente al condado como un área no incorporada,” ella dijo.
La Ciudad de Los Ángeles ya ha expresado su interés en la anexión de Vernon, que es considerada una base imponible enorme. Molina notó que Vernon también sería una carga.
Molina sugirió que si el Este de Los Ángeles se convierte en una ciudad—y Vernon es des-incorporado—podría anexar Vernon.
Sin embargo, ELARA no está interesado especular acerca de la anexión Vernon, Cárdenas dijo a EGP.