Posts Tagged ‘ADD’
The following article was contributed by Jeremy Fordham Ph.D. programs in medicine, they are typically not versed enough in health care to know that there has been controversy about the long-term effects of ADHD medicine.
Misdiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHDNearly 1 million children in the US are potentially misdiagnosed with ADHD simply because they are the youngest and most immature in their kindergarten class. This is according to Todd Elder’s research at Michigan State University as reported in Science Daily. Think about this for a minute. Almost 1 million children are potentially misdiagnosed with ADHD. And what happens when a child is misdiagnosed? More often than not that child is prescribed to take behavior-modifying stimulants such as Ritalin and they don’t need them!
Diagnosing ADHD or Misdiagnosing ADHDThere are two important criteria to look at in the diagnosis and misdiagnosis of ADHD. The first is the most obvious criteria. Look at the behaviors a child is having, doing, exhibiting. For example, can they sit still for a lesson or while you read to them? The second criteria is critical! What is the age of the child doing the behavior, and do look at others of the same age. If a child can’t seem to sit still but he is only 5 and the rest of the children are 6 or close to being 6, that is a big difference! It is much harder for a 5 year old to sit still than for a 6 year old to sit still. Teachers and medical practitioners need to remember this when evaluating whether a child has ADHD.
Additional Situations to Look at Regarding Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD1. Is the problem you are seeing situational (e.g. Only one parent sees it as a problem; at school they don’t seem to have the problems, when they are with dad they don’t seem to have the problems, or when they are with mom they don’t seem to have the problems.) 2. If only one parent is having problems with the child, it may be a problem with parenting skills (e.g. Yelling at the child such as “You don’t act like you want to be part of the family.” or “Get up right now or else” and then not follow through with a consequence.). 3. If the teacher is the only one having a problem it may be a problem with the way the teacher is dealing with the child or it may be an inexperienced teacher. 4. Other times a child is misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder is when the actual problem occurs through a shutdown of either their auditory system or their vision system.
- When the auditory or vision system becomes overloaded, it shuts down and needs a break. When either of these systems shuts down temporarily, the child often appears to be not paying attention. What is happening is either the vision system or the auditory system is resting.
- Unfortunately, often the child has trouble bringing themselves back to the activity at hand. A gentle reminder to come back to the activity is all that is needed in this instance, and it may need to be given each time they aren’t paying attention until the child learns to come back on their own.
So, what happens educationally when your child has ADHD?
Educational Problems Caused by ADD/ADHDAlthough attention deficit disorder (ADHD) is not a learning disability, ADD/ADHD obviously affects performance in a school setting, as well as affects other parts of their life. Kids and adults with ADD have neurological gaps that interfere with the cognitive processes of memory, concentration, and attention span. In other words, kids with attention deficit disorder have often missed out on instruction because they were distracted and attending to other things instead of the instruction that was being given. Assignments, especially homework may be missed because they were distracted and attending to other things instead of the assignment that was being given. When kids aren’t paying attention in class, they often miss bits and pieces of skills, content, and the easy tricks to becoming efficient learners. Dr. Daniel Amen states that school problems can include: o Restlessness o Short attention span and distractibility o Impulsiveness o Procrastination o Trouble shifting attention o Forgetfulness o Writing disabilities o Reading disabilities o Visual processing problems o Auditory processing problems o Unusual study habits o Difficulties with timed situations such as timed tests.
ADHD and Learning Disabilities or DyslexiaAbout 70% of kids with ADHD also have dyslexia, learning difficulties or learning disabilities. School age kids may have problems with reading, spelling, writing, penmanship, or arithmetic. The question then becomes one of, how do I help my ADHD kids to do well in school when they have such trouble attending to the instruction? How do I help them to improve their memory, mental energy, organizational skills, and expressive vocabulary so they can succeed in the school setting? There is a lot you can do to help your ADHD child in school. The key is to determine what specifically is interfering with their learning. Is it only the ADHD, or have they been misdiagnosed with ADHD? Are there other underlying causes interfering with their learning in addition to ADHD? For more information on the underlying causes of learning problems, you will want to check out our comprehensive behaviorally based learning assessment. It is critical to your child’s success, whether they have attention deficit disorder or not or whether they have been misdiagnosed with ADHD or not, to find out what other underlying causes may be contributing to your child’s educational struggles. Once you know exactly what is going on, there is so much you can do to help your child whether they have ADHD, have been misdiagnosed with ADHD or have a learning difficulty or learning disability.
Does Your ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder) Child Dread Going to School?In my 37 years of experience as an Educator, a Learning Disabilities Specialist, and an Educational Therapist, I have found that kids struggling with ADD/ADHD often feel stupid, like a failure, and dread going to school. They may get frustrated with schoolwork because they missed out on instruction due to the difficulties caused by their attention deficit disorder. They may feel that their work isn’t going to be good enough so they stop trying. They may even get to the point of hating school. Ultimately they may not be able to get into the college of their choice or get the job of their choice. At times it can be extremely clear to a parent and teacher that a child possibly has ADD/ADHD. This is the child that won’t sit still, may jump out of their seat, and is disruptive in class as well as at home.
However, there are times when an ADD or ADHD child isn’t disruptive in class, so it may take a long time for teachers to notice their problem.They are often thought of as the ‘day-dreamers’ or ‘absent-minded professors’. For instance, Eric wasn’t disruptive in class. He sat quietly; his behavior didn’t cause any trouble for the teacher. His teacher realized that he was a bright student, but he had failing grades. He was found to have ADHD without hyperactivity. An accurate diagnosis of attention deficit disorder is helpful when dealing with the child that exhibits ADD/ADHD symptoms. However, the actual label of ADD/ADHD isn’t as important as being able to know and recognize the symptoms and to know how to treat or deal with the symptoms.
The following symptoms or signs can be indicators of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)The DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD has provided this modified form for information purposes and should be used only by trained health care providers to diagnose or treat attention deficit disorder. I have provided this form as an indicator to parents, however, a trained health provider is needed to officially diagnose and treat ADHD. I. Part A: Having six or more of the following symptoms of inattention for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level: Inattention Do you have children that:
- Do not give close attention to details or make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities?
- Have trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities?
- Do not seem to listen when spoken to directly?
- Do not follow instructions and fail to finish schoolwork or chores?
- Has trouble organizing activities?
- Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time?
- Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)?
- Is often easily distracted?
- Is often forgetful in daily activities?
- Fidget with their hands or feet or squirm in their seat?
- Get up from their seat when it is expected that they should remain in their seat?
- Run about or climb when and where it is not appropriate? (Adolescents or adults may feel very restless.)
- Often have trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly?
- Often is “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”/
- Often talks excessively?
- Often blurts out answers before the questions have been finished?
- Often have trouble waiting their turn?
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)?
Based on these criteria, three types of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) are identified:1. ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria 1A and 1B are met for the past 6 months. 2. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met for the past six months. 3. ADHD, Predominantly Hyper-Impulsive Type: if criterion 1B is met but criterion 1A is not met for the past six months. *American Psychiatric Association: diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000. A definitive diagnosis for attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) can only be done with either an EEG which determines brain waves or from a Spectogram which maps out brain activity.
Common Symptoms of Attention
Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)A lot of emails have been coming in regarding attention deficit disorder, often referred to as ADD and ADHD recently. Parents are wondering if their child has attention deficit disorder. Some parents are being told by their child's teacher that their child has ADD. Others are questioning it themselves. ADD or ADHD is nothing to be scared of. I know life can be quite difficult at times when you have a child with ADD. Not only have I taught many students over the years with ADD, one of my son's also has ADD. The good news is there is a lot that can be done to get through life and learning with greater ease once you know what is going on. One of the most critical things is to understand what is going on, then you are able to deal with it and cope with greater ease. Here is a list of common symptoms of ADD/ADHD:
Eighteen typical symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) are:
- Not following through with instructions.
- Not paying attention appropriately to what they need to attend to.
- Seeming not to listen.
- Being disorganized.
- Having poor handwriting.
- Missing details.
- Appearing to be easily distracted.
- Appearing fidgety.
- Being verbally impulsive.
- Difficulty waiting for their turn.
- Acting on impulse regardless of consequences.
- Do not give close attention to details or make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
- Have trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities
- Fail to finish schoolwork or chores
- Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time
- Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
Note: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)Remember, not all people with attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) have all of these difficulties, and they usually do not have all of these difficulties all of the time. It is also important to know that everybody has some of these symptoms some of the time. There are many things you can do as a parent to help your kids with attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD). Look for part two where I will go into more depth on attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) In the meantime, for more information on attention deficit disorder you will want to check out
Help Your Kids Improve Reading SkillsAs a parent you do have the power and ability to help your kids improve their reading skills. There are 4 easy to implement activities that each take just a few minutes a day to improve reading.
- Improve reading fluency in 5 minutes a day
- Improve spelling and learn the 8 ways we put letters together to make words
- Improve reading comprehension by playing a reading comprehension game
- Improve writing skills using specially designed graphic organizers
Improve Reading Skills: Reading Fluency TrainingReading fluency training is one of the easiest activities for parents to do with their kids to improve reading skills, and it only takes 5 minutes a few times a week to make a dramatic difference. Reading fluency training works to improve reading skills whether you have LD, dyslexia, are falling through the cracks, or are even gifted. You may not realize how important reading fluency and accuracy is, so here is an example on how it impacts your reading or your child’s reading. For example, you are reading a passage and read Susan can go to the store. You finish reading the selection and go to the questions and there is a question that asks, Why couldn't Susan go to the store? You think to yourself - What…I read Susan can go to the store. This question doesn't make any sense to me. BUT, what the sentence actually said was…Susan can't go to the store. Your eyes skipped the apostrophe t…The whole meaning was lost. That is one of the things that the Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills reading fluency training program corrects. With improved reading fluency, you don’t skip or omit words or parts of words. You don’t miss out on important pieces that are critical to reading comprehension. That is why it is important to have accurate reading for reading comprehension.
The CNN Survey concludes that at some point most parents turn to medication as a treatment to deal with their child's ADHD. The second most effective treatment parents have used is to make a switch in schools - to a school that is better equipped to work with children with attention deficit disorder. When I speak to parents about attention deficit disorder I always try to be sure they are in the know on what they can do as well as what some of the best ways to advocate for their child in the school system. Many teachers are not equipped to deal with attention deficit disorder and don't want to deal with it. However, I don't know that there is a classroom in the US, or worldwide for that matter that doesn't have at least one ADHD student in the class. (Approximately 9-10% of the population has ADHD). So, in my opinion what is key is for parents to build a strong working relationship with their child's teacher to help them help their child navigate through their education while learning to deal with their ADHD. There are many behavioral ways of dealing with attention deficit disorder that can be easily implemented in the classroom. Additionally, medication is sometimes warranted, but I always say, exhaust every other possibility first. Then if you still need to go the medication route, do it. If your child needed eye glasses you would not 'blink an eye' over the decision, you would get them glasses. If your child needed a hearing aid, again, you would do it. If your child does need medication to be able to function in a classroom because every avenue has been pursued and they still can't focus, do it. But, medication is only one piece of the puzzle. Even with medication, behavioral interventions often still need to be in place and followed through on. So educating your child's teacher is often imperative in helping them have a good school year. When you create a good working relationship with your child's teacher you will have greater success in helping them understand what they need to know and do to help your child. Here is a link to the CNN survey
What can you do during the winter weather to help your kids improve their skills? This question is a frequent one for me. Parents are always interested in helping their kids, but it is sometimes hard to stay motivated, especially during the winter months. The following activities work well with all kids, whether they have dyslexia, LD, ADHD, are falling through the cracks, or are gifted. I have done the activities successfully with all of them! I have two favorite things to do to not only help my kids, but to stay motivated doing it too. The first thing is to have more frequent game nights, playing educational games - learning games like The Sentence Zone, The Comprehension Zone, or The Math Zone. When you play games with your kids, they build skills while having fun and get a lot of modeling from you too. At the same time you get to have quality family time, so it is a double win situation. The other activity I like to do is to have an evening where I might turn the heat up a degree or two, and everyone gets dressed in ‘summer’ clothes, and we have a ‘picnic’ on the floor of the living room. Afterwards, we might tell stories to each other – what I call ‘add-on stories.’ In these stories one person starts off and then the next person adds on to the story. We keep going round and round and the story gets longer and longer. The only thing is, the kids have to pay attention and so do you, so what you add on makes sense to the story. This builds listening comprehension and memory as well as a really good time. Hope this is helpful! Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
I just read this by Lindsey Petersen of 5kidswdisabilities and thought you would all appreciate it. It rings true for so many parents, not just those of ADHD kids. Hope you enjoy... The ABCs of ADHD December 27, 2009 by 5kidswdisabilities The ABCs of ADHD/ADD I’ve read the articles and books on ADHD. I know the discipline methods, rewards and time outs, the methods of Ross Green (from The Explosive Child) and the medications that work best. But I also know the realities of ADHD, having 2 children with ADHD and 2 with ADD. In real life terms, the ABCs of ADHD/ADD are: Attention! Always on alert for dangerous situations due to impulsive behaviors, such as running across streets without looking, grabbing a butcher knife to cut the end off a banana, running up the down escalator, and grabbing the dog or any other animal roughly and the dog (or other animal) retaliating by biting (or scratching.) “Be careful! Be careful! Be careful” is the parent mantra. Climbing climbing climbing: out of the crib at age 15 months, out of the bedroom window when a teenager, on rock walls and curbstones and couches. Don’t touch that! Don’t do that! Don’t hit her! Don’t pull that! Don’t eat that! Don’t hurt it! Don’t break it! Exhausted parents trying their best to keep up. Friendships are difficult. Go! Go! Go! They’re always on the go! Helpless parents, unable to control their child’s behavior, especially embarrassing in the grocery store under the staring eyes of others, judging them. If only he’d… If only she’d…. Parents dream for a different lifestyle. Jumping Bean: he goes here and there from friend to friend to friend, never staying long enough to establish a real friendship. Kitchen walls are written on, bathroom doors have holes kicked in, curtains are ripped, bedrooms are messy. LOVE. Parents give unconditional love, but the behavior doesn’t change because the ADHD remains… MEDICATION! MEDICATION! MEDICATION! Alleluia when it works!!!! Not paying attention in school so schoolwork suffers: not paying attention for homework, so it’s a nightly fight: not paying attention to other’s feelings, so no friendships are formed. Overload happens easily and tantrums result. Keep it quiet. Keep it simple. Keep it under stimulated for peace. Psychiatrists are our best friends! Questions! Questions from them all the time! Especially hard to escape when you are stuck riding in the car together. Rewards for good behaviors; stickers, ice cream, Playstation, tv. Self-esteem is low, parent and teacher patience is limited so he’s always the troublemaker and never measures up. Time-outs in the seat till we’re blue in the face. All the time spent in time-outs would add up to a year in the life. Understanding is needed from parents, family, friends and teachers; understanding is often in short supply. Very draining on all, child and adults. Whining, whining, whining until their parent’s ears hurt. X-rays, CAT Scans and emergency room visits: active behavior results in injuries. YIKES! What has he done NOW?!?! Zest for life would be a polite way of putting it… |...................... Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
This comment was just left by trexpaddock after viewing the following video. I wanted to go into more detail for you on this post. It is difficult to tell if you don't understand learning disabilities well, or are just 'dumbing down' the material to the point it becomes confused. Hi Trexpaddock, I do try to make things clear and somewhat simplified - rather than speaking in technical terms. The breakdown I was referring to between the brain and the hand is actually called finger agnosia. It is written about in the book Windows Into the ADD MIND by Dr. Daniel Amen. Finger agnosia is when a person struggles with the mechanics of writing or when you try to write your brain becomes scrambled. Common symptoms of finger agnosia include:
- Messy handwriting
- Trouble getting thoughts from the brain to the paper
- Staring at writing assignments for long periods of time
- Writing sentences that don't make sense
- Frequent spelling and grammatical errors
- Many erasures and corrections
- Timed writing assignments are particularly hard
- Printing rather than writing in cursive.
- Print as often as possible
- Learn to type or use a computer
- Try out different types of pens and pencils - also different types of pencil grips
- Break down assignments and long reports into parts (an easy way to learn how to do this is by using Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills
- Write an outline of the assignment to help keep you on track - use graphic organizers that are in Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills
- Write down your ideas before worrying about spelling and grammar
- Whenever possible, dictate your answer or report first
- Use a binder/organizer to keep your writing assignments together
- Modify writing workload
- Avoid timed situations; give tests orally if necessary
- Avoid having other students grade your work
Back to School… What can you do to make your life a lot easier? Anna Weinstein from education.com contacted me earlier this week and asked if she could interview me about what parents of LD children could do to help there kids have a great start to the school year. We recorded the interview, so you can hear it here. Here are a few of the highlights that you will hear Bonnie talking about: At 4 min: There is a special tip regarding school supply tips to help your child be more organized. At 6 min: How do you organize your homework area At 7:29 min: Specific supplies that help the homework time At 15:53 min: How much time should kids spend on homework – especially when they have dyslexia or LD? At 17:30 min: How do you talk to teachers? At 21:05 min: Specific things to tell the teacher to set your child up to have a great year At 25:40 min: Can you just contact the teacher via email or does it have to be in person? At 29:44 min: Isn’t there a system put in place already for me to meet all of my kid’s support team? At 31:54 min: Doesn’t the teacher already know what my child needs – he was pulled out last year for services? At 38:45 min: Why you want to have a clear understanding of what is going on with your child At 40:00 min: Ways to keep track of your child’s assignments At 42:40 min: Parent self care & support for parents At 47:30 min: Evening family routine At 51:27 min: Best way to speak with the teacher or principal Listen to it here!