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New ADHD Therapy

In his review of ADHD treatments in Australia, Professor Philip Mitchell found that, while one in five Australian children are being prescribed stimulant medication, few are participating in behavioral therapies.
"Most prescribers of stimulants wanted to use other treatment like behavior therapy, speech therapy, et cetera. But what the survey and the audit both identified was difficulty in accessing such services. Psychologist Andrew Campbell and PhD student Krestina Amon urge more non-drug treatments are needed. They're researching the benefits of a computer game which teaches the children the tools to relax."
The computer game being used requires players to regulate their breathing, and bio-feedback sensors help them use their minds to control what's happening on the screen. Initial results have been very promising as students have been able to use the focusing techniques learned through the computer game to improve study habits and attention skills in the classroom. Source: ABC - Australia

New Leaf Academy, with campuses in Oregon and North Carolina, are specialized boarding schools for girls with Aspergers and ADHD. Visit www.newleafacademy.com to learn more.

Labels: treatment, therapy, non-drug_treatment

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Clearing Hurdles

A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is often accompanied by the stigma that the ADHD child will struggle both academically and socially, and will be relegated to remedial classes in school. But Kathrin MacFarlane has proved that this ADHD stigma is not a foregone conclusion.
"Kathrin is a contradiction of sorts. She's been diagnosed with a learning disability that makes it harder for her to understand and express herself in writing. But she's also been labeled as academically gifted... ADHD typically means a lack of social skills... But Kathrin has been in numerous activities such as Girl Scouts, soccer, Beta Club, Bible Club and more."
Kathrin is planning to attend the University of Alabama in the fall. where she'll major in mechanical engineering. She plans to "go for at least my master's [degree]." Source: Gaston Gazette - Gastonia, North Carolina

Labels: social_skills, diagnosis, benefits

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School's Experimental Therapies Help Some Kids Focus

In 2004, 60 percent of the kindergartners at Gordon Parks Elementary in Kansas City, Missouri, failed a visual-skills test. The results prompted teachers to try something new. They began regular lessons in visual skills using therapist Cheryl Steffenella.
"Parks retrains many students' listening abilities as well, through lessons pioneered by French physician Alfred Thomatis. The sessions use students' voices and modified recordings of Mozart, played through headphones, to retrain the brain."
The American Academy of Pediatrics hasn't approved the new techniques, saying that the results are not consistent. But the students at Park Elementary say they've learned better how to focus, and how to listen. Source: USA Today.

Talisman offers summer camps for kids with ADHD, Aspergers, and Autism. Visit TalismanCamps.com for more information.

Labels: therapy, listening, visual_skills

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The Nurtured Heart Approach

Dartmouth social worker Jennifer Marszalek is one of only nine practitioners in Massachusetts who teaches parents about the "Nurtured Heart Approach" to working with ADD/ADHD children. The approach is based on minimizing punishment and emphasizing positive behavior.
"Impossible as it may seem at first glance, the nurtured heart approach insists that adults avoid 'energizing the moment' when a child is acting negatively, and reserve that reinforcement for circumstances when the child is behaving well. 'It's really a skill to find what's working well. The whole trick is creating success, not waiting for it to happen.'"
Mrs. Marszalek will offer this and other programs throughout the summer at the Summer Institute. Source: South Coast Today

Learn about boarding schools for Aspergers Syndrome children at AspergersBoardingSchools.com.

Labels: behavior, parents, teachers

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Bringing Attention to Disorder

Lorni Heaven's son and daughter have both been diagnosed with ADHD. When they were first diagnosed, Lorni had trouble finding good information or support. So she started her own support group.
"She added: 'Since my son's diagnosis I have tried to find out as much information about ADHD and related disorders as I can, but information and advice locally was not readily available, [or was] minimal or inconsistent."
Her Bromley ADDvice Group has made information available online, via e-mail and phone. The group has also begun having online discussions at 9 p.m. every Sunday. Source: News Shopper

Labels: parenting, information, support

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Sugar Not the Culprit

A team of researchers from the University of Wales reviewed scientific studies on factors contributing to ADHD and found that sugar is not as much of a factor as many people think.
"ADHD...has a strong genetic link, with half the children born of parents with diagnosed ADHD likely to develop the disorder themselves. Chemical imbalances in the brain are also involved and studies have found that children with the condition have on average 4% smaller brains."
Because they know sugar is an energy source, parents often expect their kids to act more hyper and fidgety after having sugar - but that doesn't usually happen. While food allergies can sometimes cause ADHD-like behavior, they don't actually aggravate ADHD. Source: Huliq.com.

Labels: causes, diet, sugar

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The Debate Continues

In the wake of a recent statement by the American Heart Association that kids on ADHD medication should get an EKG to rule out heart problems, doctors on both sides of the argument have voiced their opinions. While some agree with the recommended preventative measure, others aren't so sure.
"...some physicians have balked at the EKG recommendation, saying that half of the children who died [due to ADHD medication-related heart problems] took unintentional overdoses of the drugs. And even the American Heart Association points out that ADHD medications haven't been shown to cause heart conditions or sudden cardiac death."
While the medications don't cause heart conditions, they can aggravate existing conditions. Parents need to determine what they think is best for their child and act accordingly. Source: Orlando Sentinel

Cedars Academy is an ADHD private school that offers a safe, nurturing environment that educates "the whole child". Learn more at CedarsAcademy.com.

Labels: medications, heart_test

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Parents of Autistic Kids More Likely to Have Psychiatric Problems

A new study from the University of North Carolina links psychiatric problems to having children with autism.

Mothers with histories of depression and personality disorders, and parents of both sexes who had been hospitalized for psychiatric disorders or who had schizophrenia, had twice the risk of having a child with autism.

Researchers used the records of 1,237 children diagnosed with autism before age 10, along with the records of 31,000 children as their controls. This study appears in Pediatrics.

A residential treatment center, one that offers psychological and psychosocial evaluation like The Aspen Institute for Behavioral Assessment, can help treat your troubled teen a turn his or her life around. Visit www.aspenassessment.com for more information.

Labels: autism, mental_health, genetics

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Professor Says Additive Removal Not "Alternative Treatment"

Professor Andrew Kemp of the University of Sydney believes there is enough evidence to support additive removal as a viable treatment option for kids with hyperactivity issues. His comments come in the wake of a study out of Southampton University which found an adverse link between certain additives and hyperactive behavior.
"The study was conducted in two phases. In stage one, 153 three-year olds and 144 eight- and nine-year olds were given one of two drink mixes containing artificial food colours and additives, or a placebo. The children were drawn from a general population and across a range of hyperactivity and ADHD... severities... The conclusions drawn by the researchers were that artificial food colours and additives were seen to exacerbate hyperactive behavior in children at least up to middle childhood."
In his comments, Professor Kemp also states that there is currently more evidence regarding the benefits of additive removal than for behavioral therapy, which is still considered an "essential" part of an ADHD treatment plan. Source: NutraUSA

Labels: treatment, diet, addiditives

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Special Vest Could Help with ADHD

A mechanical engineering grad student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has developed a vest that may help children with ADHD. The vest, which can also be used for adults, delivers deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS) to the wearer.
"Occupational therapists working with children suffering from autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorders have observed that DPTS can increase attention to tasks and reduce anxiety and harmful behaviors by providing different sensory stimuli."
In clinical studies, Brian Mullen's vest was preferred over the more traditional weighted blankets. Mullen has developed a concept business called Therapeutic Systems, through which he hopes to further develop and market the vest. Source: News Max

Labels: attention, stimulation, sensory_processing_disorder

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