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Girls with ADHD Face Risks as Adults

Results of a new study conducted through the Universite de Montreal has found that hyperactive and aggressive behaviors in young girls can have negative effects on them as adults. The study followed 881 Canadian girls from age 6 until they turned 21 years old.
"'This study shows that hyperactivity combined with aggressive behavior in girls as young as six years old may lead to greater problems with abusive relationships, lack of job prospects and teenage pregnancies."
About 25 percent of the girls who had behavioral issues as children grew out of them, leading researchers to believe that more study is needed into hyperactivity and aggression triggers. Read more at PsychCentral.com.

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Labels: hyperactivity, aggression, girls

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Simulation Helps Parents Better Understand ADHD

In an effort to help parents, teachers, and other professionals better understand what it's like to live with ADHD, the Stowell Learning Center in Diamond Bar, Calif., will offer a two-hour simulation experience.
"Developed by Drs. Joe and Carol Utay from Pittsburg, the simulation will place participants in a classroom setting and it will have them focus through a series of distractions. Throughout the simulation, participants can ask questions and discuss their experience."
One participant called the experience "very valuable," saying it helped her realize how difficult it would be to live with ADHD every day. Though a reservation is required, the experience is free. Read more at www.pr.com.

Labels: parenting, understanding, simulation

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Poor Working Memories Can Cause Kids to Fail in School

British researchers have identified a new kind of learning disability - defects in working memory - that may affect up to 10 percent of all children.

Working memory is the brain's temporary "storage bin." It allows people to mentally store and manipulate an average of three to five items at once. Children with poor working memories often appear lazy or unintelligent in school. The disability seems to be linked to Attention Deficit Disorder.

"One little girl told me recently, 'Every time I read a sentence it erases the one that was before it,'" said Dr. Mel Levine. "That's a perfect example of an active working memory dysfunction." Dr. Levine is co-founder of All Kinds of Minds, a nonprofit institute in Durham, N.C., that studies learning differences. Children like this little girl cannot remember the first sentence on a page as they continue to read the rest of it.
"In children with learning difficulties, it becomes a huge issue, especially around middle school where the demands on working memory grow dramatically," Dr. Levine said.
Working memory is the single best predictor of academic success, said the study's author, Dr. Tracey Alloway of Britain's Durham University. Memory training exercises can help children with poor working memories, but the bigger problem is that the condition is rarely diagnosed.

Labels: learning_disabilites, memory, dysfunction

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Skin Sensitivity and ADHD

In this Q&A column from The Jackson Sun, a concerned grandparent asks if there could be a correlation between her grandson's skin sensitivity and his ADHD.
"'This boy may have oversensitivity to tactile experiences. We call this tactile defensiveness,' says Michelle Yoder, owner of Touchstone Therapy, a private practice in Pineville, N.C. 'Children with tactile hypersensitivities may avoid certain textures or seek out activities that help them regulate that incoming input.'"
Tactile hypersensitivity can interfere with a child's ability to concentrate - especially a child with ADHD. Read more at JacksonSun.com.

Labels: tactile_hypersensitivities, tactile_defensiveness

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Getting Down to Basics

Dr. Martin Kutscher recommended a lot of books to parents of children with ADHD, but few parents had time to read 300-page books. So Dr. Kutscher read several of them himself and boiled them down to a simple, easy-to-ready book titled ADHD - Living Without Brakes.
"In ADHD - Living Without Brakes, Dr. Kutscher gives four basic rules: #1 Keep it Positive, #2 Keep it Calm, #3 Keep it Organized, #4 Keep it Going. These four rules will help both parents and professionals negotiate many of the difficulties associated with ADHD."
Called "realistic and optimistic," Dr. Kutscher's book draws on his 20 years of experience with neuropsychiatric disorders and helping both parents and patients understand the complexities of ADHD. Read more at HealthNewsDigest.com.

Labels: parenting, tips, support

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Strategies for Family and Home

Families that include a child with ADHD often have more chaos, more stress, and more frustrations. But there are many things family members can do to ease these emotions.
"It's important to remember that the child with ADD/ADHD who is ignoring you, annoying you, or embarrassing you is not acting willfully. Having ADD/ADHD can be just as frustrating as dealing with someone who has it. Kids with ADD/ADHD want to sit quietly; they want to make their rooms tidy and organized; they want to do everything Mom says to do, but they don't know how to make it happen. If you keep this in mind, it will be a lot easier to respond to your child in positive, supportive ways."
Make a point to recognize and acknowledge positive things. Chances are your child is already aware of his shortcomings. Help him see the good things, too. It's also important to keep things in perspective and remember that when your child acts out, he does so because of a disorder, not because he's willfully disobedient. Read more at HelpGuide.org.

Labels: tips, families, positives

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ADHD Drug Proven Effective in Teens

A study conducted through Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has demonstrated positive results with the ADHD medication Concerta in treating symptoms in teenagers.
"Compared to placebo, those given the active treatment showed a significant reduction in investigator-rated ADHD at two weeks. The investigators rated 52 percent of the methylphenidate patients as being 'much' or 'very much' improved, compared to 31 percent of placebo patients."
Researchers studied 177 teens that were diagnosed with ADHD. They also talked with the teens' parents, many of whom confirmed improved behavior. Read more at IOL.co.za.

Labels: behavior, medications

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Treatment Options

The phrase "ADHD treatment options" typically calls to mind various medications, like Ritalin, Adderall, and others. But there are options for those who don't want to take, or don't want their kids to take, prescription pills.
"Although it is now a routine part of most ADD treatments nowadays, at the time, biofeedback was a pioneering technique. Basically, I would be set up at a laptop computer with a compact disc of my choosing inside. When my brain was acting in a certain way characteristic of concentration, the music would turn on. When my brain stopped acting that way, the music would turn off."
Treatments like biofeedback and other forms of behavioral therapy may not eliminate the need for medication, but they can help make lower doses more effective. Read more at KeepSoundHealth.com.

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Labels: medications, treatment, therapy

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No Correlation Between ADHD Medication and Substance Abuse

A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital recently concluded a study in which they investigated the relationship between ADHD medication and substance abuse. Their findings are encouraging for patients and parents alike.
"The study found no relationship between having ever received stimulant treatment and the risk of future alcohol or other substance abuse. The age at which stimulant treatment began and how long it continued also had no impact on substance abuse."
Results of the study also should relieve some of the pressure felt by physicians who worry about the long-term effects of ADHD stimulant medication. Read more at WAFB.com.

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Labels: medications, substance_abuse

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Dr. Drew Talks About ADHD

He's best known for his radio show Loveline, and his VH-1 television program Celebrity Rehab. But in this interview with LAist, Dr. Drew Pinsky spends a considerable amount of time talking about the realities of ADHD.
"Are alternative treatments for ADD or ADHD, such as changing diet, effective? 'That clearly has been shown to have no effect. Listen, those studies are not neuropsychiatrically tested. Not good stuff. It's very clear if you have a kid with that problem there are two interventions. One is behavioral interventions, which are really quite good, and pharmacological interventions. But once again, these are complicated cases that need to be followed up by skillful people.'"
Dr. Pinsky also stresses the importance of having a child properly diagnosed by a "neuropsychiatric forum" rather than a primary care physician. Read more at LAist.com.

Labels: treatment, therapy, diagnosis

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Role of Meds Shrinking?

A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has some pediatricians and professors calling for restraint and caution in the prescription of medication for the treatment of ADHD. The NIMH study has found that children who used psychosocial or behavioral treatment instead of medication had essentially "caught up" with those children who used medication.
"'While results of one study rarely justify drastic changes of practice, the findings underscore the complexity of ADHD, show that stimulant drugs are far from being a silver bullet and that there is much we do not yet know,' Prof [Joseph] Rey wrote in the latest Medical Journal of Australia."
He acknowledges that stimulant medication still plays a role in the treatment of ADHD, but warns that it should not be considered the only, or even the best, form of treatment. Read more at En.EpochTimes.com.

Labels: medications, treatment, therapy

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I Don't Believe in ADHD

Though there are many scientific studies that confirm the validity of ADD and ADHD, there are also many people - both in and outside the medical community - who don't believe it's a real disorder. In this article for ParentingIdeas.org, family therapist Douglas Cowan, Psy.D, tries to set the record straight.
"Look, there are lots of physical differences between the actual brains of people with ADD and those who don't have it, and there are also functional differences in the way that their brains work. And there are lots of scientists and physicians who are investing lots of time and money into identifying and writing about those differences. Just because their research is too boring to make the Morning Show on TV doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, or isn't true."
Cowan goes on to list the many differences that have been discovered via MRIs, PET scans and other scientific studies. Though some of his evidence may be a little hard to follow, it's even harder to refute. Read more at ParentingIdeas.org.

Labels: awareness, diagnosis, beliefs

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Hyper-focus Not All Bad

Beth Hering's son has ADHD. As a result, though he struggles to focus on some things, he's able to hyper-focus on others. The current object of his hyper-focus is Bigfoot.
"Sometimes the hyper-focusing will grate on my nerves. I am asked at least 10 times per week whether or not I think Bigfoot is real... But hyper-focusing also can have benefits. Need to write sentences using spelling words? Tell him to make them related to Bigfoot and you'll get paragraphs."
Hering believes it will come in handy in college, too, once he finds a subject that truly interests him. Who knows, he may determine to find a cure for cancer. Or he may actually find Bigfoot one day. Read more at ParentCenter.com.

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Labels: focus, benefits, positives

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Famous People with ADHD

As a parent of a child with ADHD you want to encourage your child and help him realize that his ADHD doesn't have to determine his future success. To help parents make this point, More4Kids has compiled a list of famous people who had/have ADHD.
"The simple fact that these people achieved what they have in their own fields has to make you wonder, is Attention Deficit Disorder really a disorder or a gift. There are researchers that have posed that very quandary. It is not uncommon for people that have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD to also be incredibly creative, and that helps them excel and succeed in what they want to do in life."
The list is by no means exhaustive, but there are enough familiar names on it to give both kids and parents a more positive outlook on ADHD. Read more at More4Kids.info.

Labels: positives, empathy, hope

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Alternative Treatment for Children with Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is a hereditary form of mental retardation that often includes an ADHD disorder. Previously, stimulant medications like Ritalin were found to produce side effects like increased irritability. Now, a new study has found that a certain amino acid (called L-acetyl carnitine or LAC) can reduce ADHD symptoms without side effects.
"Those treated with LAC demonstrated reduced hyperactive behavior and increased attention. No side effects were exhibited, confirming that LAC is a safe alternative to stimulants... The patients treated with LAC also had significantly improved social ability compared to the placebo-treated group."
The authors of the study concluded that LAC should be proposed as a viable alternative treatment for children with FXS who also display ADHD symptoms. Read more at MedicalNewsToday.com.

Labels: mental_health, genetics, symtoms

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