Drug or Non-Drug ADHD Treatments, What Works Best?

Many people in the ADHD community insist that non-Drug ADHD Treatments simply do not work. When a study is published indicating a positive effect from taking Zinc or from computerized working memory training, most ADHD authorities insist that the study was small, or poorly done, or that it did not have a good control group. These concerns are all valid but they apply to the research performed on drug treatment as well.

The US Department for Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) set out to critically review all the studies that had been performed, from 1980 to 2010, on the benefits of behavioral therapy and stimulant ADHD treatment.

AHRQ is this country's healthcare watch dog agency and they have been asked to look at diseases and their treatments to determine what interventions really work. As the amount of money spent on health care increases, questions such as, “What ADHD treatment really works?”, Become critically important.

According to the AHRQ webpage, their mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all American by generating the knowledge and tools required to improve the quality of life, save lives, and gain value for the health care dollars that we spend.

When the AHRQ looked at 30 years worth of ADHD research, what they found was pretty amazing. The agency published their findings in an October of 2011 report. Their report states that many of the studies performed over the last 30 years did not meet the criteria necessary to deem them 'good' studies, (for all the same reasons that I mention above regarding the non-drug treatment studies), but from the few good studies that were performed, there were only able to conclude that, in terms of long term benefits for ADHD symptoms:

1. Parent training worked well for diminishing the ADHD behaviors of preschoolers

2. Primary school age boys with ADHD combined type, showed improvements in behavior when they were treated with methylphenidate (Ritalin) or Atomoxetine (Strattera).

That's it! Those were the only two agreements that they were able to make.

Studies haves shown that 50% of adults and children prescribed a stimulant for ADHD will discontinue the medication within 12 months. The reasons for discontinuation are varied and include side effects, unmet expectations or simply a discomfort with taking a controlled substance.

When stimulant medication is stopped, parents of children with ADHD and adults with ADHD symptoms may look to alternatives only to be told by their health care provider that the benefits of these therapies are questionable or short lived.

Given the findings of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality it appears that, unless you are a preschooler or a 10 year old boy with combined type ADHD, the same can be said for drug therapy.

So the next time you question your health care provider about the merits of a non-drug therapy and they report that therapies such as working memory training, social skills training or fish oil supplements do not work, you should mention the above study and remind our learned ADHD specialist that apparently, for most people with ADHD, not much does.

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There Are Three ADHD Types – How Do You Know Which Type Your Child Is?

We have all been there – separated in the doctor's office, being told that your child has one of the ADHD types. If you do not have a good understanding about the disorder it can all seem rather overwhelming at the beginning. The first thing you need to realize that you are not responsible for your child's ADHD! This can not be stressed enough as many parents are berated by friends and family members for not exercising greater specialized measures and so have only themselves to blame for their child's erratic, out-of-control behavior.

The fact of the matter is that the precise cause or causes of ADHD are not actually known despite many decades of research and study. What is known is that ADHD is usually the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain and not the result of poor parenting or lack of discipline. Of course this does not mean that every badly behaved child has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. This can only be determined after a thorough and complete diagnostic process delivered by an ADHD specialist. Any doctor that renders a positive diagnosis after a single consultation should be viewed with skepticism and a healthy dose of caution!

It is very easy to gather research about ADHD these days, thanks to the fact that so many people have access to the Internet. When you start researching the disorder you are sure to come across some recurring information and phrases. For instance, you have probably already learned that there are three ADHD types according to the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These are referred to as sub-types or sub-categories and are:

* Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD – the child struggles with maintaining concentration and focus. They tend to be easily distracted, lose interest quickly, and are known to daydream and be forgetful. Unfortunately, many kids with this type of ADHD remain undiagnosed, because the symptoms are more difficult to spot. As a result, children with this sub-type of ADHD are often misjudged and labeled as being uncommunicative, unresponsive, unwilling to commit them to their schoolwork, and so on.

* Predominantly Hyperactive / Impulsive Type ADHD – Kids that fall into this category are far easier to spot because of the simple fact that they appear to be perpetually on the go. They fidget a lot, move around, jump, run, play, make a noise, demand attention, interrupt others, are easily distracted and are generally very difficult or impossible to control. Teachers are becoming very adept at spotting this particular type of ADHD and some will even go so far as to recommend the ADHD medication the child should be taking! Of course, while teachers do have a very necessary voice that parents should he heed, it is important to have the child evaluated by a professional ADHD specialist.

* Combined Inattentive and Hyperactive / Impulsive Type ADHD – This is the category that contains the most diagnoses. The child with combined type ADHD will display all of the symptoms associated with the previous two types.

ADHD treatment options

Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding synthetic and commonly prescribed ADHD medications, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vivanse, and so on, ADHD drugs remain the number one choice when it comes to treating and managing ADHD behaviors and symptoms. Because of the fact that there are some really unpleasant side effects associated with these drugs, more and more parents are choosing a more natural approach to dealing with ADHD symptoms and behaviors, such as homeopathic remedies. These are safe and very often very effective in not only masking the symptoms for a few hours, like ADHD drugs typically do, but actually actually damaging the disorder.

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ADHD Supplements FDA Registered – How Does That Benefit ADHD Kids?

When you decide that it might be the right time to consider ADHD supplements, the FDA registered should be on the top of your list of criteria. It is important to remember that just because something is natural, it does not need to follow that it will be good for you.

Checking that a product is registered with the FDA is simply good sense. As a concerned parent, what should you consider when you are in the process of choosing a natural ADHD supplement?

Without a doubt, natural treatments are very 'in' right now. While this is not a bad thing, it has resolved in some manufacturers jumping on the band wagon. When a manufacturer is legally permitted to place the word 'natural' on their product, they almost always charge a higher price for it as well.

Because people are more inclined to choose natural products, the manufacturers can be sure sure that the occurrence of the word 'natural' on their labels and advertising will ensure that their product will be a better seller.

Unfortunately, the really useful ingredients, the ones that can be the most beneficial, are also expensive. Manufacturers will sometimes only permit very little of these expensive ingredients to be used in their products. The intention is to include enough so as to label the product as including them. As a result of their being in such small amounts, they are rendered all but useless.

Many parents are reluctant to allow their children to be medicated with the routinely prescribed ADHD medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin. However, parents need to be cautious when choosing a natural remedy as well. As a parent, you have the right to question both the product and the manufacturer.

This is why it is important to choose ADHD supplements FDA registered. Another thing to look out for is whether or not the business is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​accredited one. Any complaints against the product or the manufacturer can be discovered if the business is BBB accredited.

Aside from ADHD supplements FDA approved and manufactured by a BBB accredited business, you should also find out whether or not there is a guarantee, and, of course, the duration of the guarantee. Find out if the guarantee is conditional or unconditional. Another thing to consider is whether the product really does contain only natural ingredients, as well as who the developer of the product is.

Fortunately, there are herbal and homeopathic solutions for any persons who wish to treat the problem naturally. The herbal remedies have ingredients such as ginkgo biloba and Gotu kola; they are not nutritional supplements. Rather, they are herbal approaches that are well-known to stimulate brain function without acting as stimulants.

The homeopathic remedies feature ingredients that have been successfully and in use for centuries of years. Recently, studies have indicated clearly that some of them are effective. It is critical to evaluate modern homeopathic remedies with great care. Some contain unnatural ingredients and offer little, if any, benefit.

If your child has ADHD, you should not ignore the numerous benefits of some homeopathic remedies. Simply do more research, and take care to find a company that is FDA registered.

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Pesticides Are Poisons and They Are Affecting Our Brains

Pesticides are poisons and they are affecting our brains. Just how prevalent is this phenomenon and what are they doing to our gray matter? Perhaps natural pest control is a very good idea to consider.

In the United States during the year 2011, 140 billion pounds of pesticides were used on agricultural crops. That is not a misprint – 140 billion pounds.

These were approximately 60% herbicides, 20% insecticides, 10% fungicides and 10% 'other'. So 140 billion pounds of poisons were used on our crops which have been or will be eaten by humans or fed to the animals that are raised for human consumption.

This represents more than 450 pounds of pesticides per person in the United States in 2011 alone. If that is a consistent number, then a 10 year old child has had more than two tons of pesticides used on his or her food supply in just one short decade of life.

So what does this mean? Pesticides are poisons that intentionally kill the offending pests wherever they are weeds or bugs. The mode of action varies, but many are systemic, meaning the poisons are incorporated into the entire offending organism down to the individual cells. Then we as people eat the crops and now those offending poisons are becoming part of us – also down to the individual cells.

As for insecticides, they are neuro-toxins which affect the bugs' nervous system, otherwise known as the brain. The levels used are supposedly strong enough to kill the pests yet weak enough to not harm humans. But if these synthetic poisons are making their way into individual cells of crops and then humans eat the crops, then that means these same poisons are now firmly entrenched in the humans who just ate them. Yep – insecticides make their way up the food chain and stop in the brains of humans.

And we wonder why there has been an increase in ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer's and Learning Disabilities. These are all health issues that affect the brain and would not a neuro-toxin sure be a good way to mess with a brain? Some so-called 'experts' claim the increases are due to an increase in the population or better diagnostics but across the board, that can not be substantiated.

There are numerous studies confirming that pesticides cause health issues. Disease, illness, developmental delays and learning disabilities are all linked to these synthetic poisons. And to think that more than 450 pounds of these toxins were used on your behalf in 2011 alone is a very scary thought.

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Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in Adults

The focus in recent years has been to detect learning problems early on in children. However, many adults also suffer from conditions such as ADD, attention deficit disorder, and ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but have never been diagnosed. Growing up a few generations ago people who were hyperactive, impulsive and easily distracted were often labeled as difficult, lazy and slackers. The idea that this person may be suffering from a learning disorder did not become popular until recently and has led many adults to question whether or not they had a form of ADD or ADHD growing up. It will not be too hard to detect since chances are if someone had a learning disorder as a child they probably still have symptoms even as adults.

Because adults today did not have the benefit of heightened awareness of learning disorders when they were children many went undiagnosed and simply learned to cope with their accessibility to focus, being easily distracted and having trouble completing simple tasks. However, as they get older the coping mechanisms become strained with added responsibility and this can have adverse effects at work and in relationships. It's never too late to get help for adult ADD and ADHD and one way to get started is to recognize some symptoms that will alert you to the presence of these learning disorders.

As with children, the symptoms of adult attention disorder disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be categorized through hyperactivity, impulsiveness, emotional difficulties and forgetfulness. While some adults may have learned how to cope with these issues it does not mean that they cured themselves and if left untreated can lead to deteriorating conditions that can have serious repercussions at work and at home.

While children have school as an environment in which to detect a learning disorders most adults will recognize their symptoms in the workplace. If you are at your job and over a consistent period of time notice you have trouble focusing, completing tasks on time, being easily distracted and have a hard time remembering details discussed in either ADD or ADHD. Everyone will have stressful days that will lead to distraction but when the problem is occurring it's time to seek help.

In addition to having difficulty focusing and being easily distracted adults who suffer from a learning disorder may also be highly disorganized, often forgetful, very irritable, easily frustrated have low self esteem and will try to accomplish way too many tasks at once. This is often due to their attempt at compensating for something they know is wrong but can not admit to. The problem is the more an adult tries to accomplish when suffering from attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder the more he or she falls behind.

If you find yourself constantly struggling to keep up at work or have strained relationships at home with no clear reason why you may be feeling the effects of an undiagnosed learning disorder. Adults with ADD and ADHD did not have the same awareness that children have today and many have ignored obvious symptoms simply because they did not know better. ADD in adults is treatable and the sooner you recognize the symptoms the better your chances for improving.

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Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in Children

ADD, attention deficit disorder, is a learning disorder that is often shown in children by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. This disorder is closely linked with ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and if left untreated can have negative long-term consequences for a child such as his or her ability to learn and get along with others. While it's natural for children to be antsy and excited there are symptoms parents and teachers should look out for that may indicate a more serious case of ADD or ADHD.

Typically the signs of ADD / ADHD will start to appear before the age of seven. If a child demonstrates some symptoms of the disorder on occasion but not regularly they are they do not have the condition. Overly cautious parents may jump to concluding when in fact the child is simply acting their age and being impulsive. However, if persistent symptoms occur at home, school and at play you may want to schedule a doctor appointment to find out if they are suffering from a learning disorder.

Many people are under the assumption that a child with ADD / ADHD will be an overly excited bundle of energy causing havoc all over the place and disrupting everyone around him. While this scenario may be a classic example of the learning disorder it is not the only sign of it. A child with attention deficiency disorder may be inattentive but not hyper or impulsive and can also be hyperactive but have the ability to pay attention. These cross signals can make it hard to detect true ADD / ADHD in children.

To properly diagnose this learning disorder in kids it is important to focus on the three primary areas of the condition: attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. When it comes to attention for observation of examples of the following: not paying attention to details, trouble staying focused and being easily distracted, difficulty remembering and following instructions, inability to finish projects and being easily bored shortly after starting a task. Again, these responses can occur naturally with every child but if it becomes frequent and persistent a warning flag should go up.

Excitement is common in most kids but when that enthusiasm crosses over into constant moving and hyperactivity it can be a sign of ADD / ADHD. Kids that constantly squirm and leave their seats in school, talk excessively, can not relax or play quietly, are just to temper tantrums and can not sit still are good candidates for this learning disorder. Almost all children are excitable but when the child can not calm down or understand the need for down time then it is time to consider a doctor's diagnosis.

Lastly, impulsive behavior that includes mood swings and overreaction may also be signs that a child has attention deficiency disorder. Acting without thinking, unable to wait their turn in games and projects, constantly interrupting others, frequent tantrums and guessing at answers without hearing the full question are familiar signs of ADD / ADHD. Again, it is not always easy to tell if a child is acting out for a particular reason or if they are actually displaying exercises of a learning disorder so be patient and careful when trying to diagnose ADD in children .

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ADD, ADHD and Dyslexia in Familes

What's in a name?

SLD, VAS, ADD, Dyslexia, Minimal Brain Dysfunction. These all come back to one thing, a child with learning difficulties.

Attention Deficit Disorder is just one of these conditions despite potentially one of the most significant. ADD is the handicap which few people still acknowledge. Even in these enlightened times it is being rejected by some education and medical professionals.

Television coverage has brought forth the knowledge that this handicap certainly does exist, one only has to speak to the parents of children suffering from this disability. Listen to the many stories of children who daily turn their home into a battlefield.

To the average person a child with learning disabilities has no obvious problems. They appear quite normal, they run around and play with other children at school and are able to see, speak and hear in the usual manner. Most people would look at these children and say they have no handicap and certainly are in no need of any special assistance. Unfortunately the handicap these children have is invisible.

These are children who at ten or twelve years of age are still unable to read, write or do mathematics at all but the very basic of levels. What is to become of them? That is the question being asked by numerous parents.

Research tells us that ADD is an immaturity in the limbic zone of the brain and these children can not take responsibility for their behavior. They are impulsive, frequently hyperactive, easily frustrated and usually suffer from extremely low self-esteem. Add to this the long list of learning disabilities and you have a recipe for disaster.

This situation exists from birth but becomes more apparent as the child grows older. The brain ever undergoes a maturing phase at around the age of fourteen years. The handling of the situation during the child's early years determines whether or not the person achieves emotional and behavioral stability when reaching adulthood.

Those who are not given the appropriate assistance in their formative years simply join the growing list of statistics of adults who are unable to read. It has been suggested that a large proportion of prison inmates are those suffering with ADD which was never acknowledged during their childhood years.

Unfortunately ADD is still not picked up by a large number of teachers. It can be said in their defense that they are trained to teach, not to diagnoseose medical conditions. On the other hand, if a child is progressing through the school system and although appearing to be of normal intelligence, still seems unable to pick up on the usual reading, writing and maths skills, what then?

The usual recourse is to place the child in some sort of reading recovery program at a reliably early age. If this does not work there is the possibility of reading clinics and teacher aides for extra assistance. By this stage the teacher and child are both frustrated with the teacher frequently complaining that if only the child would sit still and concentrate, things would certainly improve. Unfortunately for the child with ADD, that is beyond his control.

By this time, any astute parent will be seeking help, not only at the child's school but also with their local GP, speech therapist, and dietician or possibly even a physiotherapist or osteopath.

The educational term for this type of problem is specific learning disabilities, (SLD). This covers all the learning difficulties a child may develop. ie VAS (visual attention span), dyslexia (reading problems), dyscalculia (mathematics), dysphasia (speech and language), dysgraphia (writing) and of course ADD (attention deficit disorder).

ADD is not an uncommon disorder. It is usually found in males and will actually be seen in about five to twenty percent of boys.

The idea that this is a condition of recent times is incorrect. Research into man's ability to learn dates back to the early Grecian era. Late last century neurologists and neurosurgeons made a study of people who had experienced strokes which claimed in their being unable to speak, write, or generally comprehend. They were then able to relate these problems to different areas of the brain giving some ideas into the functioning of this organ. By the 1970's it was found that children with 'Minimal Brain Dysfunction' as it was then called, did indeed have problems in the learning regions of the brain. Initially it was considered that these problems developed during pregnancy or birth, but further studies have revealed that the child with ADD generally has other family members also displaying symptoms of this condition. This has led observers to consider that ADD is very generous genetic! It appears that the condition is handed down through the males of the family. Females are less likely to inherit this disorder but can often be carriers.

So, what is ADD?

It is a disorder affecting a child's ability to concentrate or pay attention. The majority of children with this disability generally have difficulties in both these areas but some children may experience problems with only one.

The child with the attention problem will be easily distracted; he will also be restless and frequently disrupted other children in the classroom.

The child who is unable to concentrate will be a daydreamer. These children have so much difficulty in concentrating on one topic the usually 'switch off' completely and dream about anything that is of more interest to themselves rather than listen to what the teacher is saying at the time. This is understandable when one realizes that the brain of the child with ADD is just not selective in what it absorbs. Is it any wonder these children end up by giving the whole learning process away and simply doing their 'own thing'.

A large proportion of these children have not only ADD, but also hyperactivity adding to their problems. (ADHD) They find it impossible to keep their hands to themselves, always fiddling and touching, having absolutely no respect for objects surrounding them, be they expensive or cheap! These children appear to be completely out of focus and run and jump on furniture turning a home inside out in a matter of minutes. In the classroom the child will wander around and appear to be quite disruptive. Unfortunately the need to be on the move is not simply bad behavior, but a neurological one.

On the other hand there is the hypoactive child who will often be overlooked through childhood. He is the one who has trouble getting off his bottom, does not take much interest in sporting activities and is more than happy to just stay put! His problem is more with concentration than attention. It is easy for these children to be completely overlooked, both in the classroom and at home. They are so “good” they are actually ignored.

Impulsiveness combined with hyperactivity is one of the most dangerous features of ADD. Dangerous to both the child and to those close at hand; This is especially so in the very young child. Cases have been reported of children running out into traffic, jumping off roofs and poking objects into electric sockets causing despair for parents and teachers alike.

The child with ADD also experiences major difficulties in waiting for anything. Without a parent agrees promptly to a request, frustration invariably results in displays of temper. In the classroom or examination room these children often read questions incorrectly in their impatience to get started. This results in frequent incorrect answers.

It is not uncommon for a child with ADD to require a writer especially in examination situations. This is because they invariably have problems with fine motor coordination which affects their ability to tie shoelaces, do up buttons and more importantly, to develop correct hand writing skills.

We are told also that about sixty percent of all children with ADD have some problem developing their early speech patterns. They acquire speech during the first year but have some difficulties in the development of language. Generally these children gain correct receptive speech so they can easily understand the language of those around them. There is however often a delay in their ability to express themselves. The use of small sentences will frequently not start until around three years of age. If speech problems are not corrected in the early years they may well continue all the way into adult life. It is known that speech difficulties lead to a greater risk of spelling, reading or writing disabilities.

Another problem which can continue well into adulthood is low self-esteem and self confidence. This is due to a dysfunction in the limbic system. These children feel awkward mixing with their peers, a problem which becomes even more noticeable in group situations. They feel more comfortable with only one or two children at a time. These difficulties are obvious in early schooling but becoming alarming as the child reaches puberty. Owing to their low self-esteem, they are easily influenced by their peers and will often engage in dubious activities as they try to gain acceptance by their group. Here we see these children rapidly heading on the downward slope to becoming involved with alcohol, drugs and criminal activities.

Various methods of therapy are available the more common being remedial teaching, speech therapy, behavioral therapy and dietary assistance. There is also drug therapy, this being the most controversial. The claim is that the majority of children with ADD respond positively to drugs but it has been proved that there are some who are actually made worse by this form of treatment. Consequently this treatment is only performed through a specialist and the child is monitored closely to determine its reaction.

To ascertain whether a child is suffering with ADD he must be evaluated by a combination of practitioners preferably in a medical, mental health or educational facility. Many parents will recognize symptoms their child might display. Following are just a few of the signs which accompany this condition.

  1. The child has difficulty remaining separated.
  2. Late speech development.
  3. Will frequently do physically dangerous activities without considering the circumstances. (Leaps before he looks).
  4. Has trouble following a list of instructions.
  5. Is easily distracted by external noises.
  6. Often talks excessively.
  7. Is always on the move, fidgets and is generally restless.
  8. Frequently moves from on unfinished task to another.

The existence of developmental learning and behavioral disabilities is not widely acknowledged. Those who specialize in this area are only too well aware of their fight to assist these children. These children are fragile and are certainly not a lost cause. They require endless support, security and love. Let us not forget that these children are our future adults.

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Video Game Induced Seizures – A Mother’s Story

Parenting a special needs child is tough but rewarding. Being the mother of a son who has been diagnosed with epilepsy has had challenges both emotional and physical, but being able to stay home with him has been a special gift from God. Seizures cause the body to stiffen and shake, often resulting in physical exhaustion after the seizure is over. My 14 year old son began having seizures when he was 7 years old while playing a video game on Nintendo – the first version.

I remember the first seizure he had. I was sitting on the bed and he was in the bedroom playing the Legend of Zelda with his little brother. Joshua was 7 at the time. I heard him come into the room and say to me “Momma I see spots”. Well, I thought sometimes it was just playing the game and told him to sit up on my bed. I noticed his neck turn to the right and so did his eye. His eyes became fixated deep within the sockets and his body body to stiffen. He still heard my voice so I told him to try to go to the bathroom.

I held his arm long enough for him to walk to the bathroom. Then he begins to shake and his knees buckled. OMG! I could not believe what was happening. I screamed to the top of my lungs for his father to come quick. His father called 911 as I began to pray “God please do not take my baby, please do not take my son”! I had never experienced anyone having a seizure especially my child.

The ambulance came and put an IV in his arm. By the time we were 1/2 way down the road, he came out of the seizure and began talking as if nothing had happened. It was the most bizarre thing. At the hospital they ran a series of tests to determine if he had some sort of tumor or growth that may have caused seizure activity, but found nothing.

It was determined that the flickering light from the game and the television caused the seizure.

In the early 1990's Nintendo USA launched a warning that video games could cause seizures and it was noted that this may occur in children who had epileptic tendencies. But the warnings on the games came after the creation of the game he was playing. Was Nintendo aware of this? That is a good question. In China a Pokemon series caused 100's of people to flood the emergency rooms with seizures simultaneously. The point is that the games and the shows had a flickering light that happened at certain intervals for the purpose of stimulating the brain of the player / watcher.

This flicker causes an opening of the pupal at irregular intervals, thus inducing an improper misfiring of the neurons in the brain. Once this happens, seizure occurs. Diagnosing epilepsy after a photonic induced seizure is nearly impossible but here is the thing – the first seizure can trigger epilepsy and more seizures will occur.

After that first seizure, my son has at least 2 seizures per year. I never knew when they would happen but limited his exposure to flickering light, dis-allowed any video game play, made him wear protective sunglasses and turn away when there were police lights, etc. around.

I constantly worry about him having a seizure, but am proud that my life allows me to be home with him.

Today I stay home and work designing websites and doing social media marketing because I want to be with him while he is sick. If you have children who love to play older video games, please make sure you limit their time and make them sit away from the screen. Older televisions have this same screen flicker.

With much love.

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Cerebral Palsy – What Are The Likely Causes?

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders which affect body movement, balance and posture. In simple terms, it is paralysis of the brain as a result of injury. The severity of this condition ranges from mild to minor and very profound.

Incidence: It is present in all sexes, races, ethnic groups, people of all ages and social classes. Statistics reveal that over 1,000,000 people have it in the United States of America alone.


The condition is classified into three main groups:

1. Spastic (Pyramidal): This is characterized by increased muscular tone, with stiff muscles and awkward movement. Paralysis is classified according to the part of the body that is involved. The term Diplegia is used when both legs are paralysed; hemiplegia reiter to a situation wherey one side of the body is involved. Quadriplegia (tetraplegia) refers to paralysis of all four limbs while paraplegia is the paralysis of both legs and the lower trunk. Quadriplegia usually accounts for about 70% to 80% of all cases.

2. Dyskinetic (extrapyramidal): This affects coordination of movements, and is of two types.

i. Ataxia: Balance and coordination are affected. The individual usually has unsteady gait if at all he / she is able to work. The sufferer finds it difficult to cope with quick and controlled movements such as writing, typing, etc. Ataxia makes up about 5-10% of all cases.
ii. Atethoid: There is uncontrolled, slow movements affecting certain parts of the body such as the tongue, face and mouth. Athetoid accounts for about 10-20% of all cases.

3. Mixed: This is a combination of various types of cerebral palsy. The individual usually has normal or above average level of intelligence. The children affected by this condition can improve upon their disabilities if well handled on time.

Causes of Cerebral palsy

Condition typically results from abnormal development or damage to one or more parts of the brain, chiefly the parts in charge of muscle tone and motor activity or movement. Some of the causes therefore include:

1. Injury in early pregnancy, during birth (labor) or in early childhood
2. Infection, thyroid disorder or other medical problems in the mother
3. Rhesus incompatibility between mother and the future which results in brain damage to the foetus.
4. Low birth weight: Common in children with weight less than 2 pounds at birth.
5. Multiple births: Also common in multiple births such as twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuples, octoplets, etc
6. Premature birth
7. Severe jaundice: This can also result in brain damage.
8. Genetic defects.

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Torticollis in Infants: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

As a new parent, now you have many responsibilities to monitor the growth of your baby. Learning every aspect of child development is a good effort to know how your baby grows. Beside, you should also pay attention to abnormality that may happen to your loved one. There are many abnormalities that can happen to a baby; one of them is torticollis. Torticollis is also known as wry neck; This is a condition when your baby's head is tilted to one side. If you find that your baby has difficulty to move his head round, you should be wary as he may suffer from wry neck.

How can you know that your baby develops torticollis? To help you know if your baby is suffering from this abnormality, the following conditions usually happen:

1. Your baby will tilt his head in one direction frequently. In young infants, this activity is difficult to see.
2. When breastfeeding, he usually prefers only on one breast.
3. Your baby commonly makes a difficult effort to turn towards you and get frustrated when he can not do it correctly.

Try to monitor your baby if he behaves like the conditions above. This is because babies with torticollis act just like the other healthy babies. Watch his growth carefully so that you will know earlier if your baby suffers from this abnormality.

What are the causes of torticollis? There are some factors that can cause this abnormality. First, it can be caused by the shortening of sternocleidomastoid muscle. The muscle gets shorter because your baby's head is tilted to one side in the uterus. This muscle plays an important role in facilitating head movement so your baby may have difficulty in moving his head when this muscle is affected. Torticollis can also be inherited but this is a rare case.

Torticollis is actually a common condition in newborns. However, your baby desires to get early treatment so that he can grow just like the other babies. Treating baby with torticollis can be performed easily at home. Gentle neck rotation is an exercise that you can perform to reduce the abnormality. To perform this exercise correctly, you can learn it from a physiotherapist. Another exercise that you can perform is by offering a bottle in a direction that makes your baby turn his head. Using toys with sounds to make him turn to another direction is also a good exercise to do. Make sure that you always consult with your physiotherapist to get proper care tips for baby with wry neck.

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Natural Treatment for Hyperactivity

There are many treatments on the market for adults and children with hyperactivity. There is a major trend among parents to try and treat their children naturally. It is a popular belief that diet can help people with hyperactive strains without using drugs that cause massive side effects. For example: small portions of caffeine seem to have a calming effect instead of the reverse and sugar should be kept at a minimum.


It is suggested that a high-protein diet can help improve concentration. Protein is found in all kinds of foods including meat, eggs, cheese, nuts and beans. If you have these primarily in the morning, it will help get through the tasks of school or work much easier.


Do not eat sugar close to bedtime but instead, plenty of complex carbohydrates. Vegetables and some fruits contain these. If the individual were to eat oranges, apples, pears or a grapefruit at bedtime instead of ice cream or some other sweet treat, they will feel more relaxed and will be able to get a better nights sleep. Getting a little exercise a couple of hours before bedtime is very beneficial for a good nights rest also. Taking a walk around the block or a short jog is good for you in many other ways also.


You can minimize some of the hyperactivity by completely (or as as much as possible) eliminating foods and drinks that contain food colorings and preservatives. Specifically red and yellow dyes. You can also reduce hyperactive tendencies by eating few simple carbohydrates which would include sugar, candy, corn syrup, honey, potatoes and white rice. Eating more Omega-3 fatty acids seems to help also. This food group would include tuna, salmon, walnuts, Brazil nuts, olive oil and canola oil.


While controlling the diet is very successful, it does not happen overnight. It is also not as hard as one might think to control the diet and eliminate negative products and food. Once you learn which ones contain the dyes and excess sugar, it's a snap to go to the grocery store and shop. If you take away the sweets and keep lots of fruit and vegetables, children especially, will adapt and before you know it, they are requesting the fruits and vegetables as a snack instead of harmful things such as candy. Cereals without the dyes are easy to find and delicious to eat! Cheerios, Corn Flakes, etc. are much more healthy for not only children but also adults.

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Dyslexia – An Amazing Discovery

Reading and writing are a great passion for me, and if I had $ 10 for every time other accomplished or aspiring writers have said “I always wanted to write”, I'd be laughing all the way to the bank. Voracious readers, they'll have many happy childhood hours creating stories. So how come I avoided reading whenever I could and I never wrote anything down without I absolutely had to? Despite the fact that I have a fertile imagination and have always loved a good story, all my life reading and writing have been associated with feelings of guilt, shame, confusion and humiliation. But all this changed when I discovered something that made me feel like I was walking into the light from a long tunnel for the very first time. I was euphoric as I realized I'm not lazy, I'm not dim or stupid … I'm dyslexic! I was 46 and the weight of the world began lifting from my shoulders. A crucial piece of life's puzzle puzzle fell gently into place as my brain freed itself to feel the passion. But how could it have taken so long?

As a child at school, my parents were told I was vivid and intelligent but had poor concentration. I was slow in learning to read and in number work but teachers never raised concerns about my ability. They said I was lazy – so I believed them. As I grew older, my parents' frustration with my lack of academic progress was palpable. My school reports used the same old clichés: “Jacqui must try harder”; “… not concentrating on her work,” invoking the same old cold, clammy feeling down my back.

Pages that should have contained my writing remained steadfastly empty and I found it difficult to express myself, verbally, without emotional outbursts of unintelligible nonsense. I could not find the words to explain that I had tried my hardest but for some reason I simply could not take in what my teachers wanted me to learn.

I left school and went to train as a dance teacher. I married and spent many happy years bringing up my children; but although I always encouraged my children to read, I felt a fraud. The house was full of books but I could not bring myself to read them. I was conditioned to think of this as laziness and told myself that I was just too busy to read.

I discovered I had a flair for management but as I took on jobs with more and more responsibility, I had a monkey on my back as my constant companion. If anyone passed me something to read I would mumble something about looking at it later. My embarrassment and humiliation were so powerful, I was simply incapacitated of reading anything when someone was watching me.

It was not long before I encountered the proverbial glass ceiling and realized that I would have to get an academic qualification, so I took a deep breath and started a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). Because of the excessive work load and time commitment needed, we were advised that everything else in our lives should be stable. No changing jobs or moving house. Me? Oh, I went through a divorce and remarriage, two changes of job and moved house three times. But, I managed to scrape through, got my Masters and basked in the glory of having finally done something with my brain.

MBA under my belt, I resumed my rise through management; but I still felt that monkey on my back. I could not expose myself to the ridicule of admitting I had problems understanding written texts or dealing with numbers; and the elaborate masquerade continued. Until, that is, I came across a book titled “The Gift of Dyslexia”. I was intrigued because I had always thought of dyslexia as a learning disability but as I began to read, I discovered a complete and accurate description of … me. Lights were flicking on in my brain as the realization dawned. I no longer had to search for excuses because I had an explanation. Not only was I not stupid, I was a genius for getting this far. I had developed complex and effective coping strategies that had allowed me to function. I had positively thrived, against all the odds. There's nothing wrong with my brain, it's just wired differently. Information has to be reprocessed into a form that I can understand.

This exciting and liberating moment heralded a change in my whole outlook. I heaved the monkey off my back and began the slow climb out of the world of guilt and shame. I discovered that Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill had been dyslexic. I discovered that many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, such as Richard Branson, are dyslexic. They tend to be maverick. They do not conform.

So, why is dyslexia a gift? Because a person with dyslexia is strong, resilient, resourceful, insightful, empathic, intuitive, perceptive and creative. We see the world from a different perspective to most, and that makes us more rounded and better able to cope with life. I have succeeded, against all the odds but can see why it causes behavioral problems. As a child I was shouting in the wind. I simply did not understand information because of the way it was presented. Charged with passion and emotion, but unable to express it in a way others could understand. It's a simple step from there for a child, or an adult, to vent their frustration.

Now, I no longer feel the need to prove myself to anyone, least of all, myself. I understand why I do not understand. I have discovered the joy of writing. Finally, I am able to express myself, creatively and without fear of humiliation. I have written my story for others to discover, share and dispel myths and misinformation about this all too common condition. Life has given me a gift and now I feel the freedom to express myself … and am doing so.

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Dyslexia, The Beginning

I am not a psychologist and I do not claim to be an expert but I am the parent of a teenage boy, who has been coping with dyslexia all his life. His diagnosis led me to do my own research which in turn prompted me to question myself, and the result is I am a mature woman who has lived unknowingly with dyslexia.

My own experiences have definitely helped me understand what my son is going through. We have fantastic memories, retain huge amounts of information, have a wonderful capacity to think outside the box, are creative and imaginative, and have an amazing way of visualizing concepts and ideas.

We can not spell, are slow at reading and writing, have a big problem with organization skills (anyone who knows me will not believe this, I am Miss Organization but that's because I over compensate), can not comprehend time naturally and have so many ideas going on in our heads that we hop from one thing to another and often leave projects unfinished.

When my son was diagnosed he was 9 years old and had just started 3rd class. Up until then we thought he was just a bit immature, not too interested in traditional learning and easily distracted. We always knew he was intelligent and articulate, at 9 he could converse with adults on most subjects, and his input was always interesting and informative. We knew his reading and writing were way way that of his big brother's at the same age, and he was often in trouble in school, never for behavioral problems but rather for forgetting stuff, not completing work and not paying attention.

Kade's 3rd class teacher recognized the signs of Dyslexia. Mainly that his performance was years behind his intellect. She advised us to arrange to have Kade formally assessed. We had two choices, wait for an assessment from the department, which would have taken 1 to 2 years, or pay to have him assessed privately, we went for the latter, had the assessment within a month and paid ABOUT € 500. Of course to us it was money well spent, the sooner he was diagnosed the sooner he would receive the help needed, but paying for a private assessment is not always an option for parents.

Options are limited for parents who can not afford to pay for a private assessment, but I know some schools and colleges have funds to help parents. I also know that the parent who shouts the loudest is the parent who gets heard.

Much later we decided to go through the department to have Kade assessed for ADD I rang the physiologist at least once a week for months. I crossed the line from being persistent to being a pest but it worked. Initially we were told he would be waiting twelve months, in the end it took six, so I cut the waiting time in half.

I will not lie; I was devastated when we received the news that Kade is Dyslexic. We were told not to say that he is Dyslexic, but rather to say he has Dyslexia. I actually choose to use the term Dyslexic. Having Dyslexia sounds like a negative thing, like having a disease, I believe being Dyslexic is a gift and as you follow my articles you will understand what I mean.

Dyslexia is not a learning difficulty, it is a learning difference. Using traditional methods to teach a Dyslexic child is like making a left handed child write with their right hand. But I did not come to this conclusion overnight, it took time, research and understanding.

So now I had a piece of paper which proved that my son was Dyslexic, along with a recommendation that I got in touch with the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, to find a tutor for my son. I was overwhelmed and really had no idea what to do next. I rang the DAI and was told they could not give me any information without I paid a fee to become a member. I hung up the phone feeling angry and tearful.

While in my present rational state of mind I can fully understand that the DAI, like any voluntary organization depending on membership fees to operate, and I am now a fully paid up member and have found their conferences to be hugely informative, but at that time my thoughts were they do not want to help me.

My next move was to meet with Kade's school teacher. She was fantastic, she gave me very practical advice and informed me of the help he would receive within the school. I met with the schools Special Needs Assistant (really this title needs to be reviewed) and his first piece of advice, after a lengthy interview with Kade was that I should tell him that he is Dyslexic.

Kade was clever enough to know that he was different to the other kids. He knew he was very intelligent and he was frustrated because he was not achieving the results that his peers achieved.

By now I was over the upset and had gone back to my usual positive, proactive mode. I presented the news to him in such a positive and matter of fact way that he was relieved to know the reason why he was having difficulties.

I did not lie to him, I gave him the facts, I told him straight out that he would have to work harder than other kids just to achieve the same. I also told him that I would help him in every way that was necessary to ensure that he realized his full potential.

I became Kade's biggest supported, I fought for him to receive the help he needs, I agreed with him when in his frustrated moments he rented about his teacher, when he was just tired to continue, I wrote excuse notes for him when I knew enough was enough and he did not really need to do another 20 sums.

School was, is and always will be difficult at times for Kade, home is and always will be his soft place to land. I never criticize, never give out, and never express disappointment in him, only in the educational system when it lets him down.

If your child is Dyslexic you need to be in their corner, you need to help, support and fight for them every step of the way.

Watch out for my next article Dyslexia What Kade did next.

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Recognizing ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Symptoms in the Classroom

If you are an educator, it is essential that you learn the process of recognizing ADHD predominately inattentive symptoms in the classroom. ADHD stands for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. This is a disorder that typically makes itself known in the earliest years of a child's life. Medical professionals, scientists and researchers that specialize in this condition agree that it is a neurobiological complication that results in difficulties in inhibiting responses that are considered to be spontaneous, development complications, and behavior abnormalities. This disorder interferees with the child's ability to regulate their individual activity levels, inhibit their behaviors and attend to the various tasks that they are responsible for. Furthermore, it is considered to be the most prevalent chronic based health condition affecting children. While there are many categories associated with ADHD, in this health guide, we will place our focus on the ADHD predominately inattentive symptoms that may become evident in the classroom.

Inattentive ADHD

Teaching children with ADHD is often challenging for many educators. However, if the education professional takes the time to learn about the condition, the challenge is diminished. The ADHD predominately inattentive child is the most commonly recognized in today's classroom. Children that display signs of inattentive ADHD may experience various types of impairments in the academic setting. As a result of the complications associated with ADHD predominately inattentive symptoms, children suffering from this issue may experience low academic performance. In addition to this, the child may not experience many achievements during the course of their classroom instruction. If you are teaching children with ADHD and they suffer from attention problems, you may be able to assist them and provide them with more opportunities to excel.

Common Characteristics

Recognizing ADHD predominately inattentive symptoms in the classroom will help in diagnosing the undiagnosed ADHD sufferer and will allow you to assist the child that you are working with to learn basic skills, facts and abilities that will permit them to excel in school and become successful, productive adults. The following outlines common characteristics associated with children suffering from inattentive ADHD:

· You may find that when you speak to the student, they may not appear as if they are listening. This is often most evident when the child is provided with directions to follow and does not adhere to the outlined instruction, acts as if they do not understand, or sees as if they have forgotten the directions provided to them.

· Children with inattentive ADHD may not be able to engage in tasks to completion. In many instances, the child may become bored. In other instances, they may find the tasks too time consuming or too difficult. It is common for these children to quit playing with other children, fail to finish tests and assignments and appear as if they have lost interest in the activities that are occurring around them.

· The academic performance of a child with ADHD predominantly inattentive symptoms in the classroom may prove to be highly inconsistent or characterized as being “poor”. One day, the child may appear as if they are performing exceptionally well. The next day, they may appear to be lost or act as if they are unable to complete the tasks.

The ADHD predominantly inattentive symptoms in the classroom that have been outlined here are only a few of the most common complications experienced by children that have this neurobiological condition. If you are responsible for teaching a child with inattentive ADHD, it is imperative that you learn as much as you are capable about the condition and that you work to engage the child at every available opportunity. Whether it is through colorful and exciting books, highly intriguing flash cards, educational magnetic toys, carefully designed wooden educational products or other types of educational toys, getting the child focused on something that will permit them to hear your instruction is the first step to academic success when working with a child exhibiting ADHD predominately inattentive symptoms in the classroom. By purchasing classroom toys and other educational products, you will find that it is easy to assist the predominately inattentive child's symptoms in the classroom.

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The Three Main Characteristics of ADHD

If you are a parent of a child that has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, it is important that you learn about the three main characteristics of ADHD. Most people visualize a child that displays signs of ADHD as one that lacks control, is consistently moving or highly disruptive. However, there are many children that may display signs of hyperactivity while others may show signs of inattentiveness. There are three main characteristics of ADHD to date. These are inattentiveness, hyperactivity as well as impulsivity. The signs of ADHD that a child experiences when they are diagnosed will depend on which of these characteristics are considered to be dominant. Through this educational guide on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you will learn about each of these characteristics of ADHD.

Inattentive ADHD

Children that suffer from inattentive disorder experience many difficulties associated with their attention span. This is especially true of the activities that are being engaged in or the information that they are exposed to on an audible level is considered to be boring or does not catch their interest. The following highlights common signs of ADHD that directly refer to the attention span of the child:

· The child may not pay attention to the instructions that are given to them. If they do, by chance, hear the instructions, they may quickly forget them or appear as if they are experiencing problems understanding them.

· The inattentive ADHD child may have severe issues staying organized and finishing assignments and other tasks that are expected of them.

· It is not at all uncommon for the child experiencing signs of ADHD related to their attention span to seem as if they forget easily. In many instances, they may experience complication in losing and misplacing items of importance such as books, assignments, and even toys.

Hyperactive ADHD

Children that experience signs of ADHD such as constantly moving and appearing as if they move from one thing to another quickly may be suffering from hyperactive ADHD. This is one of the most common characteristics of ADHD. This children experience a tremendous amount of problems when it comes to sitting or still still. Even when their body is not in motion, a part of it – such as a finger – may be. Many may tap their finger or move their legs when required to stop and sit still. The following outlines the symptoms associated with this type of ADHD:

· The child may often fidget or may engage in squirming when asked to stay in a location while limiting their movements.

· Characteristics of ADHD such as talking in an excess fashion or appearing to have an extremely short temper may be experienced.

· Hyperactive signs of ADHD may include constant and inappropriate movements and what may appear as if a never-ending amount of energy.

Impulsive ADHD

Impulsive ADHD is the final of the three main characteristics of ADHD. Children that suffer from impulsive signs of ADHD experience a high amount of problems associated with self-control. For many adults, this is often the most challenging form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The following represent the symptoms often experienced with this type of ADHD:

· Children will often engage in certain actions without considering the consequences that may immediately result from those actions.

· Kids with impulsive ADHD may act in socially inappropriate ways. It is not at all uncommon for the child to blurt out words, interrupt others when they are talking, or saying the wrong words and phrases at the occasion times.

· Children exhibiting signs of ADHD that are impulsive in nature will experience complications controlling strong emotions. It is common for these kids to throw temper tantrums and appear as if they have anger issues.

If you feel that you are dealing with a child that suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, it is essential that you set up an evaluation for the child. It is also beneficial to work closely with the educators at the child's school as well as the child's primary care physician. If your child is diagnosed with this neurobiological disorder, it is important to ensure that you learn as much as you are able to about the condition. Your knowledge will result in your child's ability to succeed academically, socially, and in relationships with other children, as well as adults. Equipping yourself with knowledge on the condition will equip your child with the tools and resources that they need to become successful adults.

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