Browsing: Developmental Disabilities

Help for ADHD Kids During the Dreaded School Circle Time

Sitting still can be difficult for very young children. For children with ADHD sitting still can be impossible. Most schools now use an activity called circle time to instruct children on all sorts of academic subjects. While sitting in a circle is better than being strapped to a desk, for children with ADHD, this is still a difficult school activity.

Fortunately there are strategies and devices help all children stay engaged during circle time and for children with ADHD these strategies can mean the difference between learning and sitting in a 'time-out' place for most of the day. This list of suggestions can help all elementary school children and may even be helpful for use in pre-school children.

Prior to sitting at circle, children should be allowed to engage in some form of gross motor activity (eg stretching, jumping jacks). This may be necessary not only 2-5 minutes before circle time but may also be necessary during this time if the amount of time that the children are expected to be still is greater than 20 minutes. Children with a lot of energy may need to run around for longer than 5 minutes and if a recess break can be scheduled to occur just before having to sit still, disruptions will be minimized.

All children need a recess break, preferably in a green space. We know from countless studies that both green spaces, such as parks and tree lined backgrounds, and physical activity will improve the hyperactivity, impulsive behavior and inattentiveness of ADHD. All children benefit from green space and exercise but for children with ADHD, twenty-thirty minutes of active outdoor play is as important to their therapy as medical treatment.

The trend for many schools is to eliminate recess but most teachers are coming to find that skipping recess is counter productive and that all children are more attentive after a fresh air break. Parents of children with ADHDF should insist that their child's school includes a fresh air break in their curriculum.

Once circle time has started, a small doodle notebook can keep a hyperactive child busy as will a quiet 'job'. Some teachers give fidgety kids a pile of crayons and ask them to sort them by color, other children are asked to sharpen the classroom pencils. Rubber bands can be color sorted and marks can be organized and wrapped in rubber bands. Creative teachers have found that giving active kids a 'job' during circle time can keep kids attentive and engaged.

Some schools have had great success using 'talking sticks' during circle time. For impulsive ADHD children this reminder of when it is not appropriate to talk can be a powerful and useful tool. It is also important for the teacher to communicate to the children what activity is acceptable during circle time as many young children do not intuitively know what the expectations are. Children with ADHD may be especially unaware of the teacher's expectations and clear and age specific instruction regarding the rules of circle time are essential if children are to learn during this school activity.

Many ADHD school age children find it difficult to sit still during circle time. The School and classroom strategies above above can help make circle time an educational, relaxing and productive time for every child in the classroom.

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ADHD Stimulant Use and Abuse on College Campuses

Eighty percent of college age kids report using Adderall to improve their academic performance. There are some Neuro-biologist who believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this practice. They argue that in this increasingly competitive academic climate, “Cognitive Enhancers” are appropriate. If you look at the most recent statistics from the CDC on the rate of ADHD diagnosis and treatment, it would seem that many students, parents and teachers agree with this conclusion.

I attended a conference in November where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presented findings that had been published in the MMWR the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report regarding the diagnosed ADHD rate in this country. The report looked at the number of diagnosed cases of ADHD from 2003 to 2007 and found that the rate of diagnosis of ADHD in this country had increased by twenty-two percent. This put the number of children diagnosed with ADHD in this country, as of 2007, at a staggering 9.5 percent. There is every indication, that the number in 2011 is even greater than that.

As relating as these numbers were, even more concerned was the fact that the number of older teens receiving a diagnosis and treatment for ADHD increased tremendously. The rate of ADHD in older teens in 2003 was 9.6 percent while the rate of older adolescents with a diagnosis of ADHD in 2007 was 13.6 percent.

The CDC was uncertain of what had caused this precipitant rise but the researchers speculated that the current pressure on teenagers to excel at school and the competitive nature of college admission might be playing a role in this increase. Historically, the rate of ADHD diagnosis has declined with age. ADHD was once considered a developmental disorder and, even today, most psychiatrist agree that a good number of children diagnosed with ADHD will outgrow their symptoms by adulthood.

Symptoms of ADHD generally improve in the late teen years but these new findings from the CDC are indicating that other factors may be at play that are changing the course of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder treatment. Of the older teenagers diagnosed with ADHD, about 60 percent are on medication.

The problem with the diagnosis of ADHD is that conditions such as sleep deprivation, that run rampant on college campuses, cause ADHD symptoms. Stimulants greatly improve the ADHD symptoms caused by sleep deprivation. In the old days we drank coffee. Today these kids pop an Adderall. Sixty Minutes did a report on Adderall use at universities and reported that while four percent of college age students had a legal prescription for an ADHD stimulant, 60-80 percent of college seniors had taken Adderall at some point in their college years to enhance performance.

It is clear that the stimulants are being used by college age students as performance enhancers. In 2008, the British Journal Nature published an article entitled, “Cognitive Enhancers.” In this article the authors stated that there was nothing wrong with using stimulants as brain enhancers and reported that taking Ritalin to help you do better in school was no different that wearing glasses to see better. Several ethicist and scientist weighed in on this discussion after the article was publised and agreed with the authors that “Brain Enhancers” were here to stay and that we should embrace their use.

I disagree. I believe that if you are sleep deprived that you should sleep. Taking any medicine unnecessarily is simply dangerous. You may say, “Well you use caffeine, what is the difference?” I believe that there is a difference. For one, caffeine is not a controlled substance. For two, it has been around for thousands of years and is considered by most researchers to be extremely safe and lastly it is a plant compound with other organic benefits that a chemical such as Adderall, that is manufactured in the laboratory, does not have.

The use of stimulants as cognitive enhancers are appropriate for people suffering from ADHD symptoms but are not appropriate for the general population.

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Acromegaly: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Acromegaly, also referred to as hyperpituitarism, is a condition in which the growth hormone is produced in larger than normal quantities. In this condition, the size of the bones of hands, feet and face increase in size and this is why this condition is often referred to as gigantism. The condition occurs normally in men and women, generally in the age group between 30 and 50 years.

Causes: In general cases, the main source of the hypersecretion of the growth hormone is a pituitary tumor or an adenoma. Since the pituitary is the gland that is responsible for the secretion of hormones that stimulate specific organisms to produce hormone like thyroid hormones, Prolactin, etc, the functioning of other organs may also be affected. Acromegaly is hard to diagnose in early and as a result, the growth hormone is hypersecreted for a prolonged period. In some rare cases, the condition may also result from tumors of the adrenal glands, lungs and pancreas.

Symptoms: The hypersecretion of the Growth Hormone by the pituitary leads to the enlargement of the bones, muscles, cartilages, organs and tissues. Some symptoms of the condition include thick, oily, coarse skin, enlarged lips, tongue and nose, snoring while sleeping due to the obstruction of the upper airway and deepening of voice because of the increase in size of the vocal cords and sinuses. A person suffering from Acromegaly may also show symptoms like headaches, weakness, fatigue, excessive sweating and body odor and impaired vision. In women, it may also lead to breastfeeding discharge and disruptions in the menstrual cycle. In men, it could cause impotence. Acromegaly is also known to cause hypertension, diabetes, and increased chances of getting a cardiovascular disease. The disease has a very insidious onset and progresses very slowly.

Treatment: The most common means of treating Acromegaly is radiation therapy which may be used as a primary treatment or it may be combined with drugs and surgery. The therapy is given in doses that are given over a period of four to five weeks. With the help of radiation therapy, the Growth Hormone levels in the patient's body can come down by around 50% in a period of 2-5 years. However, the downside of this medication is that the production of other hormones by the pituitary are affected negatively. Brain injury and vision losses are two other risks that are related with radiation therapy. Surgery is also done in order to remove the adenoma in order to restore the pituitary to its normal condition.

If the primary surgery fails, then for complete remission induction, dopamine and somatostatin analogues along with Growth Hormone-Receptor antagonists are given to the patient. The main aim of treatment for Acromegaly is to bring the pituitary gland to function normally such that it produces normal quantities of the growth hormone. Also, in order to control the symptoms, medication is administrated and dietary sodium is restricted, ie, a diet that is low in salt is provided.

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Where to Begin With Non-Prescription Treatment for ADHD

Many parents who have children who have just been diagnosed with ADHD, ADHD inattentive (ADHD-PI) or Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) do not want to immediately start their child on medicine but do not know where else to begin.

The most frequent question that I receive from parents and patients is, “Where do I begin If I want to try something other than medicine?” The following article outlines a step wise approach to non-pharmaceutical treatments that parents can try prior to initiating a prescription medicine.

Discuss any treatment plan that you start for your child with your doctor prior to starting the treatment. I have numbered my treatment recommendations in sequential order.

1. Diet

The ADHD-PI diet (anyone's diet for that matter) needs to be as free of junk food as possible. If there is any chance that the person has even a mild allergy to milk, wheat, eggs, seafood or nuts, those food items should be eliminated.

Diet supplements such as multivitamin with iron and an additional Omega-3 fatty acids, Neptune Krill Oil is my choice, should be taken. The multivitamin needs to have zinc, iron and magnesium.

A cup of caffeinated coffee or tea in the morning and again at 3pm is helpful. You will need to avoid this if you have sensitivity to caffeine (for some people caffeine causes their heart to race or causes stomach upset). The exact dose of caffeine is about 100 mg and that is the amount of caffeine in one 8 oz cup of American Coffee. The caffeine content in teas varies a bit but a 16 oz cup of iced tea has about that same amount. You can find the caffeine content of most beverages my searching the internet.

2. Sleep

All individuals with ADHD-PI will need to be sleeping a minimum of 8 hours a day. Many people with ADHD have sleep problems. The remedies that have helped these issues include taking an Epson salts bath prior to sleep, drinking a cup of Sleepy time tea, avoiding caffeine and exercise within 3 hours of bedtime, and using a white noise MP3s or relaxation CDs at bedtime. If none of the above work, one 3 mg Melatonin, 1 hour before sleeping will help the person sleep.

3. Exercise

Exercising and preferably aerobic exercise is essential and extremely beneficial for treating ADHD. Begin with 20 minutes of brisk walking. If this is a child, go with the child. Bring along flash cards or school notebooks and quiz the child as you walk. Do not come up with an excuse for not exercising. Try to increase the amount of exercise time to at least 40 minutes, 4-5 times a week. There is no need to invest in any expensive equipment. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes.

4. Additional Supplements

The best data we have for improvement of inattention with supplements is for:

Omega-3 fatty acids (If you are doing the above you will be getting that in the Krill Oil).

Iron, Zinc and Magnesium (if you are doing the above, the multivitamin and Epson salts includes these).

Caffeine (if you are doing the above, this has been done).

There is some evidence that a few other supplements may help. They include:

Pcynogenol, You can see this post on ADHD Inattentive and Pycnogenol for more Information

Bacopa Monnieri. You can see this post on Bacopa Monnieri for ADHD Inattentive for more information.

There are no studies done specifically on the following supplements but some folks swear that they help in Invention and you may want to give them a try. They include:
Ginseng Energy, Ginseng has stimulant properties and it has been shown to improve cognitive performance in normal subjects in a few medical trials.

Ginkgo. There is research indicating that Ginkgo Biloba is helpful for the treatment of Dementia and a few studies have shown in to improve cognition.

5. A More Thorough Medical Evaluation

If none of the above measures have made a dent in the inattention, then a further thorough evaluation is in order. This evaluation will include psychological testing as well as medical and laboratory testing. There are many medical problems that can cause ADHD like symptoms but that are not caused by ADHD. A thorough medical evaluation is the best way to insure that there is not another diagnosis causing the ADHD symptoms.

6. Therapy and Training

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Free Cognitive Therapy site here), Brain Training (Free Brain Training), Organizational Training, Life Sills Training and Social Skills Training have all been shown to be very helpful for understanding the symptoms of ADHD and ADHD-PI. This therapy and training becomes imperative if there are symptoms of depression, anxiety or other social, emotional or psychological problems. The most appropriate training and therapy will depend on the particular symptoms that the person is experiencing.

7. Medication

If none of the above measures have helped, a trial of a stimulant of non-stimulant medication is in order. Your doctor can help you decide what medicine may work best for the particular symptoms that you or your child is experiencing. There have been years of studies performed on the stimulants. While they seem invasive, addicting and unsafe, the many studies performed on these drugs have found just the opposite.

The stimulants do not cause heart problems, the stimulants when appropriately prescribed for ADHD do not cause addiction and in fact my lessen the risk of substance abuse in people with ADHD and the stimulants do not cause any long term medical problems. This post answers some of the questions that you may have about the safety of stimulants treatment for ADHD.

To outline, the best way to begin the treatment of ADHD is to do the following:

Insure that the person's diet is adequate.

See to it that they are getting enough sleep and exercise

Supplement their diet with an Omega-3 fatty acid and a multivitamin.

Test them more thoroughly to rule out other medical problems that look like ADHD but are not.

Provide counseling and training

Initiate a trial of ADHD medication.

Taking this step wise approach to the treatment of ADHD will allow patients and parents to start with the most minimally invasive interventions for ADHD and ADHD-PI and to only move on to more invasive therapies as needed.

There are several excellent books on the treatment of ADHD and the books that I use the most can be found at the bottom of the Primarily Inattentive ADD resource page.

If at any point in the process the person's symptoms worsen, an appointment with the medical provider will be necessary. It is important that patients and parents inform their doctors of the plan of action. Working as a team, you and your doctor will best be able to treat the symptoms that can be so disruptive for people living with ADHD, ADHD Inattentive and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo.

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How To Go About Building A Wheelchair Ramp And What Are The Factors To Consider?

A wheelchair ramp is another basic tool for the disabled wherey it helps them roll through the grounds of public access areas or buildings without great difficulties. Without one, it is actually tough for them to move around on the streets like what a normal human being can do. Wheelchair ramps may not be necessarily used by wheelchair disabled, but anyone who requires an incline plane to push their wheeled objects around ie pushing trolleys or carts.

It usually comes in 2 types, one that is permanently set up and another is only semi-permanent. Permanent wheelchairs ramps are usually built with cement and found in public access areas or buildings where the semi-permanent ones are usually portable or built upon the ground. A good example of semi-permanent one is those that are used for vehicles ie facilitating the disabled board and alight. When building a wheelchair ramp, you really need to consider whatever which type is more suitable for you.

Another factor that you should consider when building one will be how steep you want it to be. Remember to think about safety when deciding the level of steepness as you would not want to see wheelchairs tipping backward when moving up the ramp. This is very dangerous. Especially for public access area with permanent setup, it is recommended to build one that is not so steep. According to ADA (American with Disabilities Act) standard, the degree of incline of slopes for wheelchairs for public access areas is 1:12. Other factors to consider would be factors like the landing as proper landing is also needed. We need to give sufficient space for wheelchair users to land especially when coming from top down.

So how exactly do we build a wheelchair ramp? Well, of course it is essential that you should check the guidelines of ADA on the material and planning requirements. Next, you should check your local authorities on what are the governing laws for building one. Thirdly, examine your nearby ramps to have a rough idea what kind of ramp you are going to build. Fourth, measure the actual environment and start planning the construction according to scale. You should plan for your budget too. Check for any hidden objects below the ground if digging is required. Usually things we are concerned will be power or telephone cables. Lastly, submit your plan or proposal to the relevant authorities or governing bodies for approval. Once approval is granted, you should get ready a list of what are the materials needed according to your budget. Finally, you may start building one that you have always dream of.

Always remember to check all the necessities before starting to build your ramp. It may not be as easy as what you think since extra care must be given.

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Do Food Color Additives Affect ADHD Behavior?

On March 30th and 31st of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Advisory Committee, will meet to discuss whatever, “Available relevant data demonstrate a link between children's consumption of synthetic color additives in food and adverse effects on behavior. ”

This FDA meeting is long overdue. Europe began to band the use of certain food dyes and preservatives after a well-respected study was published in the Lancet in 2007. The Lancet study was a case / control trial that ended up showing a convincing link between hyperactivity and inattention in children consuming food dyes and preservatives. The authors of the Lancet study concluded, that “Artificial colors or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.”

According to the FDA, Americans consume five times as much food dye as they did 30 years ago. During this same time we have seen an exponential increase in the number of children and adults diagnosed with ADHD. All of us should be infuriated by the fact that, in Europe, McDonalds uses real strawberries to color their strawberry sundaes while in theU.S. the sundaes are colored with red dye # 40.

The British government now requires food label warnings on any foods that contain food dyes. Not wanting a warning label on their food products, every major American food manufacturer selling food in Europe has removed food dyes from their European products. These companies produce foods that are to be sold in Europe, with natural colorings. The same foods, that are to be sold in the US, contain synthetic dyes.

The Lancet study that I discussed above did not test the effect of food dyes on kids with ADHD. The kids tested were sampled from the general population. The researchers who conducted this study took genetic laboratory tests from these kids prior to starting the study. They suspected, at the time of their study that the kids that had an adverse reaction to the food dye and preservatives would have a certain genetic make up that would predispose them to these reactions.

The researchers came up with their gene theory because they were trying to understand and give an explanation for why certain, well performed, food additive research studies showed consistent behavioral changes in children who consumed food dyes while other studies could not replicate these findings.

A follow-up paper with the results of their gene study was published a few months ago. They found that the adverse effect of food additives on ADHD symptoms was moderated by histamine degradation genes and by a DAT1 gene. They concluded that the inconsistencies in previous reports regarding food additives and hyperactive and inattention symptoms might be explained by gene variations influencing the action of histamine.

These findings confirm what the researchers had predicted that the food dyes may be causing more hyperactivity in certain kids and adults with genes that react poorly to these food dyes. We know that the DAT1 gene is one of the genes that have been linked with ADHD symptoms so it would seem obvious, given the findings of this recent study, that we should (at the very least) avoid giving food dyes to kids diagnosed with ADHD .

In the US this will not be easy. Food dyes are present in junk food but they are also present in most food that is packaged and brightly colored. Sodium Benzoate has also been linked with ADHD like symptoms and it is a food preservative found in many packaged foods. The best we can do for now is to diligently read food labels and avoid the dyes that are the most likely to worsen ADHD symptoms. These would include: certified color Red # 40, Blue # 2, Yellow # 5 (Tartrazine), Yellow # 6 (Sunset Yellow), as well as sodium benzoate.

We will need to follow the Food Advisory Committee hearings carefully. It would seem that the evidence that we have now is convincing enough to warrant the FDA banning or placing warning labels on foods that contain food dyes. Only time will tell if the FDA agreements.

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The Best ADHD Diet Includes Vegetables

A good diet is imperative for people with a diagnosis of ADHD. One of the most important components of a healthy ADHD diet is eating a good amount of vegetables. Vegetables are important for ADHD because all vegetables have polyphenols. The polyphenols are a huge class of natural supplements that have been used of late to treat everything from cancer to ADHD. Polyphenols occurs in all plant food and are known to be powerful antioxidants but recent studies have found that certain polyphenols act to normalize vitamin, mineral and hormone levels in the brain and in other organs in our bodies.

The mechanisms of action and the benefits of vegetable polyphenols go even beyond the improvement in this normalization of nutrient use and reduction in oxidative stress. We know for sure that vegetables help cognition and may even help the cognitive deficits found in ADHD. A study performed at Harvard and published in the Annals of Neurology, looking at data for over 13,000 women; found that total vegetable intake was significantly associated with less cognitive decline. As more research is completed we learn more about the importance of a vegetable rich diet and we learn how fruits and vegetable consumption helps our brains and other organs function better.

Much has been written about the Mediterranean diet and its role in increasing longevity but far less has been written about this diet and brain health. The Mediterranean diet is very rich in polyphenols. Supplements such as coffee, pycnogenol, ginko-biloba and soy based phosphatidylserine are all polyphenols. They are all anti-oxidants but the ADHD benefits that they confer all come from confer different mechanisms.

Some studies indicate that in ADHD polyphenols repair the alteration of the metabolism of some trace elements which is part of the problem seem in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are several polyphenols that have been found to be helpful in the treatment of ADHD. Coffee is a polyphenol in the Phenolic acid class. It has been found to help memory and attention in ADHD.

Pycnogenol is a strong polyphenol in the same class of polyphenols as red wine, dark berries, and grape seed extract. Pycnogenol has been found is several studies to improve the symptoms of ADHD and a recent study found that pycnogenol improved the zinc, iron and copper profiles of children with ADHD offering one explanation of how polyphenol may help ADHD. More information on pycnogenol and ADHD can be found at this post.

One of the most studied polyphenol is soy. Soy is in the flavanoid class of polyphenols. The benefits of soy are many but a new study in the Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition, published in November of 2010 determined that soybean derived phosphatidylserine improves memory and cognition and other studies have found Phosphatidylserine helpful in the treatment of ADHD.

Catechins are polyphenols found in green and white tea, chocolate, berries and apples. The catechins have also been found to be helpful for ADHD cognition. A recent study of 700 adults published last year, in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, found that “Tea consumption was associated with better cognitive performance in community-living Chinese older adults. limited to particular type of tea. ”

You can get polyphenols into your system by eating supplements but multiple studies have shown the absorption and the benefits of polyphenols are greater if you eat polyphenol rich fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately vegetables are, in this country, under consumed by children so supplements must fill the gap left by dietary inadequacies.

I believe that a good ADHD diet and having your kids eat vegetables is so important that several years ago I started a garden in my yard. I wanted my kids to grow vegetables that they would nurture, love and then eat. I have grown carrots, radishes, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, corn, peppers and eggplant and with the exception of the eggplant, my kids have devoured all their vegetables. My kids love picking the cherry tomatoes right of the plant and popping them into their mouths, they love the carrots and often pick them before they are ready because they are sweet and cute and the fresh corn is like candy to them.

A diet rich in vegetables can help children with ADHD. Parents should make a point of insuring that their children consume as many vegetables as possible in order to improve ADHD behavior.

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Elimination Diets Help ADHD But Dyes and Preservatives May Not Be the Culprits

The Lancet will soon publish the results of the 'Impact of Nutrition on Children with ADHD (INCA)' study. This is yet another, very well done, study on elimination diets and ADHD. The results of this study reported two findings.

The first finding was that a strict elimination diet improved symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, oppositional behavior and inattention. The second finding was that the benefits in these behaviors did not correspond to an increase in blood IgG levels (a blood measure of an allergic reaction) in the kids that had behavioral changes. The second finding is interesting because it shows us that testing for IgG will not always tell us that a child has a food allergy.

Of the 41 (82%) of 50 children in tested the restricted diet group, 32 (78%) had improved behavior as measured by both questions and pediatrician evaluation. Thirty of the kids that had improved improved symptoms on the very restricted diet were then 'challenged' with foods such as chicken egg, peanut, soy, milk, fish, and wheat. Nineteen of the thirty, 63%, had a relapse of symptoms.

If we go back to the original number of 41 kids we see that almost half of them seemed to have symptoms that improved when they did not eat certain foods and worsened when they ate them. This study involved different individual diets for each participant but all children started on a diet of nothing but rice, meat, vegetables, pears, and water, the diet lasted 5 weeks and was sometimes complimented with potatoes, fruits, and wheat.

The elimination diet is one of the few treatment that has been shown in a clinical trial to markedly improve Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Given that this ADHD co-morbidity is especially disrupted to families and schools, the findings of this study may be the answer that many parents and teachers have been longing for.

As is often the case in the study of Inattentive ADHD, the measures that the researchers looked at to gauge improvement in attention were not as accurate as the measures taken for the symptoms of impulsive behavior, oppositional behavior or hyperactivity. It is therefore not clear from this study how much benefit was derived from the restricted diet with regards to improving attention.

The recommendations that the authors give at the end of this study differ obviously from current medical recommendations. The study recommendations are a radical departure from the manner in which pediatrician and psychiatrist have viewed a child's diet, and it's role in symptom control, in the past. What they recommend is that ALL kids with ADHD should FIRST be treated with a psychiatric intervention and only if this does not help should behavioral therapy and drug therapy be initiated.

This is what they say, in their own word. “Our study shows reasonable effects of a restricted elimination diet in children with ADHD, with equal effects on ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. diet should be diagnosed with food induced ADHD and should enter a challenge procedure, to define which foods each child responds to … In children who do not show behavioral improvements after following the diet, standard treatments such as drugs, behavioral treatments, or both should be considered. ”

These findings tell us that diet can help the symptoms of ADHD but the authors, while suggesting the same treatment, different from the most popular elimination dietories. The most popular theories regarding the success of eliminationd diets claim that it is artificial dyes and preservatives that are the causes of ADHD behavior in children. If I am understanding the study findings, the authors disagree. These researchers believe that certain foods cause kids to have sensitivities of reactions to them and that these food may be foods that are, not necessarily, full of artificial ingredients. The INCA reseachers contend that it is the proteins and other components of these 'allergy causing' foods that cause a particular child to be sensitive to it and this is what causes the hyperactivity, oppositional behavior or other attention behavior behavior.

Elimination diets can help the symptoms of ADHD and may be the first line of treatment for many children and adults that have symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, impulsive behavior and oppositional behavior. Parents and patients should always check with their doctors before initiating any diet program.

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Fighting Aspergers Syndrome With Your Child

If your child is going through Aspergers syndrome treatment, there are many things that you can do to help him. First of all, you should always give him moral support. Children (and even adults) with Aspergers syndrome feel left out. They have difficulty in understanding the world and the people around them. It is also called 'Aliens syndrome' (because they feel like all the other people around them are aliens).

So what is treatment of this syndrome?

This treatment is always symptomatic. There is no one particular treatment given to a child. Since he may have many symptoms, a combination of 'Aspergers syndrome treatment' is given to him. Therapies are given with a combination of a few medicines. These medications are given for hyperactivity or depression. Some doctors may not give the child any medication and may stress on therapy. Do not ask him to give your child medication as your child may not require it and may suffer from various side effects.

Also, the care takers, the parents, the school teachers should be involved in Aspergers syndrome treatment therapy.

The various treatments are

1. Communication training: Communication training is given in order to improve the communication and social skills, so that the child can speak up properly.
2. Emotions management: Emotions treatment is given in order to help the child express his emotions and to understand other people's emotions better.
3. Physical / sensory treatment: Sensory treatment is given if he is sensitive to Voices or touch or colors.
4. Training for parents: Parents are given training to help the children at home and also to have with the child to make him feel comfortable.
5. Co-ordination training: This is given to the child to make him walk and work properly.

Also many more symptomatic therapies are given to the child. Some specialists may suggest herbal medication along with Aspergers syndrome treatment. Also it is important that the treatment should be started at an early age to help the child recover better. If it is diagnosed in adults, the treatment should be started as soon as possible. Adults may have difficulty with therapy and may take longer to achieve desired results.

Will my child get cured?

There is no complete cure for Aspergers syndrome. However, with treatment, he learns to socialize and to cope up with day today challenges. He can learn to work properly with other people.

Best of luck with the Therapy.

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School Communication and the Child With ADD

Of all the accommodations recommended for the child with ADD, perhaps the most important is an established system of parent teacher communication. We all know of the school disasters and heart breaks that can occur as a result of faulty parent / teacher communications it is best to be proactive and as early as possible in the ADD child's diagnosis form a parent / school communication plan.

The best ADD school communication procedures are established every year before school begins. A phone or email exchange is often required to establish how best to pursue ongoing communication through the school year but it really never too late in the school year to begin. You may meet with some resistance as some teachers preferred to communicate only as needed but this may not be the best plan of action for children with ADD.

Ongoing communication is required for several reasons. When communication only occurs when there is a problem, teachers dread having to inform the parent of the problems and parents perceive the communication as a reprimand or a failing on their part. With an ongoing communication plan, these emotional changes between parent and teacher can be avoided.

Prior to setting up the ongoing communication procedure the parent and teacher should meet to discuss the areas of difficulties that the child has had in past school years. Behavioral, organizational, attention and social issues should be discussed. The parent and teacher should agree on a communication 'form' that addresses all these areas.

In addition the 'update' form should have information regarding the school work and homework that the child will be required to complete and the time frame that the child has to complete each assignment. Many teachers draft an outline of weekly work and the teacher need not redo this outline. Simply attaching the outline to the update form will be sufficient communication.

I feel as though the best communication system involves a preferably short weekly email updating the parent on:

  • Upcoming Assignments
  • Progress in ongoing assignment
  • Behavioral / Attention / Social issues Update
  • Organizational issues update

The form should be short in order that the teacher can complete it with ease and so that the parent will be continuously informed regarding the ADD child's most pressing school issues.

I have made a form in 'word' that addresses these 'update' issues but you find these type of forms that are adaptable for this purpose on teacher's or education websites. The Parent / Teacher communication form can be emailed on printed out.

In some schools the form goes home every Friday in a folder and is due back on Monday. Parents know to look for this form at the end of the school week. Other teachers prefer to send a similar form out at the beginning of the week reporting on issues encountered in the previous week. The latter gives the teacher time over the weekend to reflect on the week and then complete the form. Either method is fine as the important thing is that there is communication.

For the ADD Child, school communication can mean the difference between success and failure. A simple system of communication between parent and teacher is easy to implement and will, in the end, make the parent, teacher, student and school relationship, a much better one.

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The ADHD Answers You’re Looking For

Parents look for ADHD answers … sometimes in the wrong places. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, partly because so many kids are affected by it (around 3-5% of all children), and partly because adults somehow expect children to act up and misbehave at some point.

Below are the top five most common concerns of parents who have kids with ADHD. Hopefully, these ADHD answers can help guide you in your quest for effective ADHD management and treatments, as well.

Is ADHD just a phase?

Respected pediatric, psychiatric, and psychological associations have classified ADHD as a real disorder. It is not purely a phase that comes with childhood, in the same ways bed-wetting or lack of motivation is in fact, ADHD is widely accepted by specialists to be the most common mental disorder of children and adolescents. And while it is argued that ADHD does not have a real cause and is harder to identify than most other physical and psychological conditions among children, ADHD answers a lot of questions bewildered parents want to ask when they're confronted with its symptoms. To make sure that you're dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, however, it's best to approach a health care practitioner who specializes in ADHD to give your child full diagnostic interview and testing.

What are the most common symptoms of ADHD?

Parents looking for ADHD answers first have to observe if its most common symptoms are diagnosed in their kids. Core and vital signs include hyperactivity, pronounced susceptibility to concentrate or stay focused, and being impulsive and disruptive. More often than not, the consequences involve trouble at school, downward-spiraling academic performance, fights with other children or persons in authority, higher incidences of injury, and other events that are usually believed to be caused by antisocial behavior.

Aside from a thorough assessment based on your child's history (including health, family, and school matters), you may have to answer ADHD question sheets to verify and diagnose your child properly, as well as to detect if he or she might be suffering from an identical different disorder.

Do I need to enrol my ADHD-affected child in a special-education class?

It is really up to you, the parent. But federal laws have made it mandatory for most schools to have the proper facilities for assessing and evaluating if their students have disorders like ADHD, which can hinder their education. This is further reinforced by the reintroduction of the Individuals with Disabilities ACT (IDEAS) of 1997. It guarantees the proper kind of services and public education for children aged 3-21 who have learning disabilities. Fortunately, it also lists ADHD as one of the qualifying conditions for special education. Your child's school can provide the ADHD answers you seek, so set up a meeting with your child's homeroom teacher, psychologist, or guidance counselor. They can either offer an individualized education program, or in the case of less severe manifestations of ADHD, introduce behavior therapy.

Behavior therapy aims to answer ADHD question of can my child learn self-control in a classroom set-up? Understanding what triggers your child's ADHD can be beneficial to school staff and extremely, to students with ADHD. They can set up the classroom with specialized seating arrangement, modify certain school regulations and implementing a more structured system to avoid triggers, introduce activities that can improve social interaction with other kids, and also provide daily or weekly reports to parents about their kids. Nowadays there are plenty of ADHD answers to school-related questions, just as long as you keep the communication lines with your child's educators open.

If my child has ADHD, will he or she be more prone to depression?

Clinical studies reveal the correlation of certain mood and anxiety disorders with ADHD: about 15-20% chance of co-occurrence with mood disorders, and about 20-25% for anxiety disorders. There is also a larger chance of a child with ADHD experiencing sleep disorders, impairments in motor skills, memory, and cognitive processing, and being opposition defiant. Popular ADHD answers include medication and, as mentioned above, behavior therapy. Both are important as long-term techniques to help your child function as well as he or she could in school, at home, or anywhere else.

Are treatments for ADHD expensive and effective?

Fortunately, there are now safe, natural, and effective ADHD answers for your child's needs. Before, as soon as someone gets diagnosed with ADHD, prescriptions for medication were routinely given to patients. And yes, these can prove to be quite expensive. A better alternative would be to turn to a more holistic approach that addresses everything about your child and not just their ADHD symptoms. Consider their diet, schedule, interests, and physical activities so you can come up with solutions that are tailor-made for them. For instance, getting them in organized sports and hobbies can help burn excess energy and also provide the chance for them to interact properly with kids their own age.

Also bear in mind that most prescribed ADHD medications are stimulants, which can further trigger hyperactivity. To answer a commonly asked ADHD question about medication, choose natural ingredients instead. Look for proven and soothing herbal and botanical extracts in prepared form, such as Hyoscyamus, which helps reduce restlessness, hyperactivity, nervous mannerisms like fidgeting, and outbursts. Also consider Tuberculinum which helps address irritability and is a natural stimulant; Arsen iod, an herbal extract that promotes balance and help to reduce frustration and temper tantrums; and Verta alb to soothe the nerves of hyperactive kids.

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Hand Mapping and Fine Motor Development in Preschoolers

Fine motor work generally refers to 'working with the hands'. Many of the actions come naturally to most individuals. Usually we do not need to focus on bringing a spoon to our mouth or a tissue to our nose, but for those with fine motor concerns, it is not so natural.

The first step in focusing on fine motor development is to recognize the terminology. Finger pads are simply a person's finger tips. Pincer grass is when a person can hold a small item, like a piece of dry circular cereal, between their thumb and index finger. Finger opposition is the ability for the thumb to touch the finger pads. Finally, the tripod grass is when a person typically holds a pencil or crayon. The item rests along the side of the longer middle finger and is grasped between the pads of the thumb and index finger.

When dealing with fine motor delays or the initial development of these skills, incorporating fun activities makes the process (or therapy) go along more quickly. Some simple activities can include:

* pegs placed on a pegboard
* washing hands with scented soaps
* using hand lotion (rubbing it in through the tops and bottoms of each hand and in between each finger)
* sorting small items (like dry cereal) into small, clean trays (ice cube trays or egg cartons work nicely)
* using a spoon in a mug 1/4 filled with jelly beans to relocate each bean to a color specific designation
* use tongs or tweezers to sort small to large size items
* place pennies in a piggy bank
* roll balls of clay in between the palms of both hands or on a flat surface like a table

If the tasks are a little to difficult for the student, not because of physical limitations, but focus – break the task down to simple steps. Truly give specific steps for each movement and / or show by doing it yourself first.

Any activity that incorporates hand movement is perfect for developing the fine motor skills. Some examples would be:

* rolling, tossing or throwing a small ball

* find the coin game – two people needed for this game. One person takes the coin and mixes which hand the coin is accused in (usually done behind the persons' back) while the other person has to patiently wait. The coin holding person brings together clitched hands out in front of them and the other person must decide (guess) which fist the coin is located. If the person guesses correctly – it is their turn. If the person does not guess correctly then the coin person gets to do the 'mix-up' again. The key to extending the fine motor work is to be sure that the person needing the work has to place the 'guessed' coin (using pincer grass) onto the other person's opened hand (palm up). If that person is the guessing person, then they should take the coin (pincer style) from the coin holders open hand. This game is a lot of fun to do while waiting for appointments.

* do the wooden puzzle boards that come with the tiny knobs. If the board puzzles do not have the small knobs, add your own. This is really easy using push pin style tacks. Push a tack into the center of the wooden puzzle piece and remove. Dab a bit of wood glue or super glue onto the metal pin and bottom of the plastic tack topper. Push the pin back through the same pin hole and let dry. Do this with all of the pieces of the wood puzzle.

Fine motor work can be integrated into almost any event with simple alterations to how a person holds, throws or distributes the pieces needed to complete the activity. Next time you are playing a board game that has small objects, observe how the players grasp and relocate the pieces. In other activities notice how a person will toss a foam ball or tap a bouncing balloon. Simple observations and corrections can go a long ways in adding to the developing skills of the preschool leveled student.

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Flat Head Syndrome – A Guide to Head Shape Abnormalities in Infants

What types of head shape deformities are seen in infants?

Deformational plagiocephaly (Often known as flat head syndrome) is an abnormal shape of a baby's head caused by external forces. The baby's head may appear to be misshapen or asymmetrical immediately after birth, or the abnormal shape may become noticeable n the first few months of life. Parents and carers are often the first ones to notice the unusual shape of the head and usually bringing it to the attention of the GP or health visitor during a regular check up. Head shape abnormalities are usually more noticeable at bath time when a baby's hair is wet and in babies with little hair.

Deformational brachycephaly is when the entire back of the baby's head is flat (central flattening) and the head is very wide. The forehead is often bossed or prominent on both sides, and the height of the head is very high. Often, babies with this problem have a history of excessive time in carriers and car seats, or suffer from medical conditions that do not allow the baby to be placed on the tummy. Treatment through orthotic management attempts to correct the disproportation of the head shape and the associated deformities.

Asymmetrical brachycephaly is a common type of brachycephaly where the head is excessively wide and is also asymmetrical. Treatment through orthotic management focuses on improving both symmetry and the proportions of the baby's head.

Deformational scaphocephaly is characterized by a long and narrow head shape, sometimes caused by consistent positioning of the baby on his or her side. Like symmetrical brachycephaly, scaphocephaly is mainly a deformity of proportion, although the elongated shape can also produce abnormal frontal and posterior changes in the head.

Premature infants are particularly given to scaphocephaly, because a side-lying position is often used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for easy access to monitors and other equipment. Treatment through orthotic management focuses on normalizing the proportion and overall shape of the head.

Craniosynostosis is caused by the suture between the plates of the baby's head fusing together prematurely, and can occur at any of the sutures between the 5 plates of the baby's skull. The area that has fused does not grow at the same rate as the rest of the skull which can cause pressure to the brain. This is a rare condition affecting only 1 in 2500-3000 births. Treatment of craniosynostosis is surgery to remove the section of fused skull and allow normal development. This is usually performed by a neurosurgeon or a craniofacial surgeon.

What causes deformational plagiocephaly?

There are several causes of deformational plagiocephaly, and some of them occur before the baby is born. Restricted space inside the mother's womb can create excess contact in certain areas of the baby's head. This is often the cause of deformation in infants positioned in a breach position, cramped in utero due to multiple foetuses, or in babies who spend excessive time with the head confined in the birth canal. Suction or vacuum instruments can also create forces that can deform the newborn skull, which is soft and pliable. After birth, the skulls of premature babies are particularly susceptible to deformation because they are thinner and more fragile than those of full term babies.

The skull is made up of several plates with fibrous sutures between them. This allows the skull plates to slide over each other to ease the passage of the baby's head through the birth canal. Usually, the head becomes more symmetrical and better proportioned within 6 weeks of birth if the deforming forces are no longer present. However, the flattened area may not resolve if the baby's head continues rests in the same position. This is particularly problematic if the baby has neck tightness at birth (torticollis).

Are there other causes of head shape deformities?

Another leading cause of abnormal head shape in young babies is neck tightness caused by congenital muscular torticollis or neck trunk muscle imbalance. Torticollis is usually caused by an imbalance in the sternocleidomastoid and other neck muscles, which results in the full range of motion in the neck. It is estimated that about 85% of the babies with deformational plagiocephaly also have some kind of neck issue.

Typically, the head of the baby with torticollis is tipped to one side and rotated to the opposite shoulder, causing the head to consistently rest in the same position. This constant pressure to the same side of the head causes flattening. Torticollis can also pull abnormally on the base of the skull and cause the ear on the same side of the flattening to be pushed forward. In severe cases, the forehead can also be pushed forward on the same side, the facial features including the eyes, cheeks, and the jaw may not be symmetrical.

Another postnatal cause of abnormal head shapes occurs when the back of the baby's head rests for prolonged periods of time against a hard surface like a car seat, bouncy chair, swing or push chair.

Before 1996, babies were put to sleep on their tummies, which varied the amount of force on the back of the head. Since the “reduce the risk” advice from the FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infants Death) as an effort to end the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies now spend all night on their backs until they are able to roll and reposition themselves.Unfortunately, the combination of the equipment we use to carry and position our babies during the day and placing them to sleep on their backs all night has led to an increase in head shape deformities. It is very encouraging that the incidence of SIDS has reduced by 40% following the introduction of “back to bed”.

The best way to reduce the potential for the head shape problems is to increase the time your baby spends on his or her tummy during the day while wake and supervised.

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Reasons And Treatment Plans Just for Dyslexia

For those who usually are not quite sure just what dyslexia is, it is a disease where a lot of people have problems understanding the written phrase. This usually comes on especially at the beginning of life when we are children. The larger problem with this illness is that within our own modern-day community, most people learn simply by studying. Subsequently, in case many of us possess issues reading, we all and then get difficult learning, that in turn leads to much more difficulty in studying because we all are not able to understand how. It gets a vicious routine.

Here, simply just what are the signs and symptoms of someone who has got dyslexia? Very well, the main common indicator is actually the particular solving of words and phrases when reading. For instance, given this kind of short word, “When i walked to the shop.” any man or woman having dyslexia could possibly read this as “When i up to proceeded to go the” or maybe quite possibly a few different other blend of those words and phrases. This kind of will certainly differ through individual to person. The point can be, when you're reading through content not necessarily because they've got intended, that is actually really complicated to obtain this real indicating of these paragraphs and learn by these people. Also, generally there are some other symptoms such as mixing up words within any phrase as well as also looking through from right to left. Certainly no two individuals could have this same signs and symptoms.

Therefore, what causes dyslexia? Although no-one is 100% positive, it seems, to be found at least coming from the actual analysis which has been performed, that dyslexia is definitely triggered by simply any hereditary problem of the human brain. The brain connected with any human being who experiences through dyslexia works in different ways as compared to what all of us would call a “common” mind. Far more significantly, this would seem which almost all kids which endure from dyslexia have mother and father or even grandma and grandpa which at the same time encountered from learning afflictions. For that reason, this appears that this problem can be passed down.

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White Noise and ADHD

Playing white noise in the classroom can help inattentive children learn. Researchers in Sweden have, over the last 10 years, been studying the effects of white noise on memory, attention and learning. Several published studies have found that white noise can improve cognition and that it diminishes distracting stimuli. Researchers have discovered that neurotransmitter levels change as a response to continuous random frequency noise and this may be the reason why these 'white sounds' can help inattention.

White noise is defined as a sound made up of random frequencies from the whole spectrum of noise frequencies. The human ear hears it as calming hum. Some people have said that white noise is soothing because it is the sound that we heard in our mother's womb and in fact, babies appear to sleep more soundly and be soothed by random frequency noise machines.

Over the years white noise has been successfully processed to treat migraine headaches, insomnia, tinnitus (ear ringing) and now, in Sweden, ADHD. The brain's neurotransmiter levels change as a response to noise frequencies and noise level. Studies have found that in dopamine deprived children with ADHD, white noise Improves inattention significantly by normalizing dopamine levels. Normal controls without a neurotransmitter problem are hindered in performance by white noise that is too loud.

The most recent study from the University of Stocholm tested secondary school children's ability to remember words with and without random frequency noise. In the classroom, the random frequency noise machine helped the memory of ADHD kids while it hindered the kids that had no attention problems.

According to Goran Soderlund, the lead researcher in the study, “There was significant improvement in performance for the children rated as inattentive by their teachers, and a significant decline in performance for those rated as attentive as noise levels were increased. practical applications offering non-invasive and non-pharmacological help to improve school results in children with attentional problems. ”

My mother recently saved my son a sleep MP3 that he took on the school camping and it never made it back home. With his own money he purchased this continuous random frequency sampler from Amazon. It has seven 15 minute track and my son reports that it is almost as good as Grandma's gift. The sampler plays while my son sleeps and while he does his homework and he looks to find it both soothing and focusing.

Parents of children with ADHD and inattention may find that a random frequency noise machine or a white noise MP3 will help their children's inattention. These MP3 are inexpensive and a are small price to pay for improving attention at home and at school.

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