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Mom of Autistic Child Opens School for Special Needs Students in England

Suzanne Buckner's son, Freddie, has several learning challenges, including autism. His outbursts at school were so severe that he was barred from attending. Buckner was offered several other options, but felt no area program could handle children like her son, so she started a school of her own.
"Ms Gillies - a resourceful businesswoman - has been given the go-ahead to open a unique school for up to 10 children facing similar challenges to Freddie's. Freddies Reading, based in South Street, is the first of a planned nationwide chain of Special Educational Needs schools being set up by Ms. Gillies."
The school will provide education for children ages five to eleven who have needs including ADHD, behavioral disorders, and emotional issues. An estimated 58,000 children in England and Wales have violent tendencies that prevent them from attending regular schools. Source: Reading Evening Post (UK)

Labels: autism, schools, special-needs

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International ADHD Conference Starts Nov. 12th

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which is the nation's largest organization for people affected by ADHD, is hosting its 20th annual international conference on November 12 to 15 in Anaheim, California.
"The conference opens with Ross Greene, Ph.D., the renowned psychologist, providing strategies for parents to avoid conflicts and negotiate many of the parenting pitfalls that are so much a part of raising children with challenging behaviors."
The keynote speaker will be Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner, who will share his story of living with ADHD and dyslexia. Other speakers and presenters include Blake Taylor, Terry Matlen, Chris Dendy and Gina Pera. Details are available online at www.chadd.org. Source: About.com.

Labels: awareness, conference, support

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Hyperactive Kids Struggle to Identify Smells

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne (Australia) found that children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder had more trouble identifying common smells than did their non-ADHD counterparts.
"[Warrick] Brewer [of ORYGEN Youth Health Research Centre] said the findings could lead to a smell test which would act as a screening tool for children with ADHD but would not replace current treatments."
Vicki Anderson, co-supervisor from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, agreed, saying the information could supplement established assessments for ADHD. Source: Kerala (India) News

Labels: screening, odors, smells

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Parental Praise, Positive Comments Help ADHD Kids

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder often need extra care, time, and attention. While doctors can help diagnose ADHD in children, they can't always help parents figure out what to do next. The University of Michigan Health Care System recently offered some suggestions.
"Pay attention to the good qualities your child has, and tell him or her when you notice good behavior. When offering praise, tell your child specifically what was done well and what you liked about it."
Parents can also help by offering positive direction; tell your child what should be done, rather than what shouldn't. And, because ADHD medication can affect appetite, make sure your child gets enough to eat. Source: HealthDay News

Labels: praise, positive_comments, good_behaviors

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Diagnosed in Four-Year-Olds

A new study indicates that even four-year-olds can have full-blown symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

OCD is not the same as the "normal developmental rituals" that most young children exhibit, such as asking their parents to re-read a favorite bedtime story. OCD has specific criteria that include repetitive thoughts and ritualized behaviors such as hand washing and re-cleaning or re-checking the same thing over and over. Treatment for OCD usually involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Psychologist Abbe Garcia and her colleagues at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center evaluated 58 children ages 4 to 8, and concluded that OCD begins around age 5. In half the cases, the onset was gradual; 29 percent had a chronic course; and 28 percent had a course that waxed and waned. Many suffered from anxiety and other problems as well as OCD. The Hasbro study was the first to look at very young children and OCD.

"If parents are concerned about their child, if their behavior is causing problems in daily routine, then they should take their child to their pediatrician - someone who knows the child well." Dr. Garcia said. "Early intervention is important."

Labels: ocd, toddlers

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Coach Helps ADD Student Succeed

Emily was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder when she was in high school. She remembers "spacing out" in class and not knowing how to answer when the teacher called her name. Because she didn't like the way ADD medication made her feel, Emily and her family tried something different - an ADD coach.
"'With Emily, what I worked on a lot was planning for homework assignments,' [Kara] Goobic says. She taught Emily how to handle a syllabus by putting deadlines for papers on her calendar, and by helping her break big projects down into smaller chunks."
Her coach also helped her create a college schedule that took her ADD into account. So far, it's working: Emily completed her freshman year of college with a 3.4 grade average. Source: NPR

Labels: students, success, coaching

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British Support Group Wants to Train Teachers about ADHD

In Lincolnshire, England, a support group says it has the resources to train teachers on working with students who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but that the resources are not being fully utilized.
"Project leader Sharon O'Dell said: 'A lot of schools have had us in but it's only a drop in the ocean when you think of all the schools in Lincolnshire. Just training one or two teaching assistants is not going to address the problem.'"
Her comments echo those heard from teachers across the UK who feel that there's no real strategy for training teachers about the best techniques for teaching students who have ADHD. Source: The Lincolnshire (UK) Echo

Labels: schools, teachers

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Schools Strive to Meet Challenges of Special Needs Students

Every year, thousands of students across the nation receive special education-related services. As the demand increases, schools continue striving to meet increasing challenges.
"School-age services are provided for each eligible student in accordance with an individualized educational plan (IEP) that describes the specific program for each student.... IEPs are reviewed with parents and new plans developed for the upcoming school year."
The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees an IED for all students with learning disabilities, including those who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The act also regulates the number of students per classroom, to help ensure that students get the extra attention they need. Source: Crescent News (Defiance, OH)

Labels: special-needs, learning_disabilites

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Teachers Lack ADHD Management Skills

A study of teachers in the United Kingdom found that nearly two-thirds struggle to understand and manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in their students. Few have been adequately trained.
"Unfortunately, only 35 percent of teachers had received any training in understanding or managing ADHD behavior. This is despite teachers playing a vital role in helping to diagnose and manage ADHD."
One positive is that teachers who had received training often partnered well with parents, suggesting that more training could easily improve the learning environment for students with ADHD. Source: Psych Central

Labels: students, teachers, classrooms

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Ritalin Warning

The British advisory body that determines guidelines for doctors has warned that Ritalin should only be prescribed to children as a last resort. The organization has also advised that children under five not be given the medication at all.
"[The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence], which decides on the guidelines given to doctors, says parents should be taught how to manage their child's disorder instead. The advisory body and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health are aiming to provide a blueprint of best practice with the new guidelines."
The cause of ADHD is uncertain, though both genetic and environmental factors are thought to be factors. Source: Southern FM (Brighton, UK)

Labels: medications, side_effects, pediatricians

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Study to Examine Ability of Bipolar Disorder Medication to Treat ADHD

Depakote and Risperdal are intended for use in the treatment of bipolar disorder, but doctors have long prescribed them for the most extreme cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children. Now, the National Institute of Mental Health is funding a study to determine which of these medications works best, and at what dose.
"The study... will include about 140 children between 6 and 13 - about a third of them in San Antonio. Stony Brook School of Medicine in New York, which is leading the study, and North Shore-LLC Health System's Feinstein Institute Research in New York are the other two sites."
All three sites are currently seeking families with children who have extreme cases of ADHD, such as explosive bouts of rage, and sudden, unprovoked aggression. All children will first be treated for hyperactivity, and will receive behavioral therapy for their aggression. Source: My San Antonio News

Labels: medications, treatment, bipolar_disorder

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Fathers Over 40 at Higher Risk for Children with Bipolar Disorder

A Swedish study found a link between bipolar disorder and older fathers. The risk of having a bipolar child began to increase once a father was 40 years old. Fathers over 55 years were 37 percent more likely to have a bipolar child than were fathers in their 20s.

Between one and four percent of children have bipolar disorder, which is characterized by mood swings ranging from deep depression to euphoric mania.

Previous studies linked schizophrenia and autism to older fathers, with the age of mothers not being a factor.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute analyzed data from 13,428 people with bipolar disorder who had been born between 1932 and 1991.

This study appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Labels: fathers, genetics, bipolar_disorder

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