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ADHD Memoir Published by Youngest-ever Author

Blake Taylor is a freshman at the University of California at Berkley. For the last two years, he's spent summer vacations writing his memoirs about life with ADHD, and the book is finally ready for release.
"Taylor is being considered the youngest American to publish a personal account of his life with ADHD. A determined 18-year-old from Weston, Conn., Taylor says he wants to give readers insight into what it's like day-to-day to have ADHD, and to combat the stereotype that the widespread neuro-developmental disorder is really just an excuse for unruly behavior or the result of bad parenting."
The paperback book follows Taylor on his journey from trouble-making 5-year-old to hard-working, socially active college freshman. It chronicles the trial and error he had to go through to find the right combination of medication, self-imposed organization, and rest. Read more at WebWire.com.

Taylor is proof that children with ADHD can go to college and earn academic and personal success. The Cedars Academy offers a post-secondary program that prepares ADHD students for college and life after high school.

Labels: college, development, determination

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ADHD Might be Temporary in Some

A team from the National Institute of Mental Health recently published the results of a study in which they found that the brains of some children with ADHD develop more slowly but eventually catch up with those of other children. The study seems to indicate that, while not true for everyone, some children will "outgrow" their ADHD.
"'Finding a normal pattern of& maturation, albeit delayed, in children with ADHD should be reassuring to families and could help to explain why many youth eventually seem to grow out of the disorder,' Philip Shaw of the National Institute of Mental Health, who led this most detailed study of the problem to date, said in a statement."
To this point, the debate among researchers focused on whether the brain of an ADHD child deviates from normal development or is simply delayed. This most recently study points strongly toward there being a delay in development, which may - over time - affect the way ADHD is treated and managed.

If your middle school aged daughter is experiencing problems in school because she's not as developed as her classmates, you might want to consider what a private girls school can offer. Visit NewLeafAcademy.com to learn about their boarding school for girls with ADHD.

Labels: development, maturity, growth

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Children Who Watch Too Much TV Have Problems Paying Attention

A New Zealand longitudinal study of 1000 children found that watching more television than average was linked to inability to pay attention.

Dr. Robert Hancox and his colleagues at the University of Otago had parents and older children keep track of how much television a child watched at ages three, five, eleven, thirteen and fifteen. The average amount was two hours per day for younger children, and three hours for teenagers. Children who watched more than those amounts tended to have problems focusing and paying attention.

Dr. Hancox and others theorize that television watching may influence brain development. Another explanation might be that the fast pace of television shows makes reality boring for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than two hours per day, and that children under age two years watch no television at all.

This study appears in the September 2007 issue of Pediatrics magazine.

Military boarding schools may be a good idea for kids who want a career in the military, but not for teens who need therapy and individual attention in the classroom. Visit TeenBoardingSchools.com to learn more about military boarding schools.

Labels: attention, tv_watching, development

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Research Indicates that Ritalin Stunts Growth

A study that began in 1999 has revealed slower growth and weight gain in children who take Ritalin. On average, kids with ADHD who took Ritalin to manage the condition's effects weight 4.4 pounds less, and were an inch shorter than kids who didnt take the medication.
"Whether these kids eventually grow to normal size remains a question. Kids entered the study in 1999 at ages 7 to 9. The current report is a snapshot taken three years later. The 10-year results - when kids are at their adult height - won't be in for two more years."
The findings appear to end years of debate over short- and long-term physical effects of Ritalin. Read more at CBSNews.com.

Ritalin, a medication for ADD, is becoming a popular drug that teens are abusing. Teen drug abuse is a serious issue, even when it comes to prescription drugs. Learn about the rise of prescription drug abuse in teens at Teen-Help-Directory.com.

Labels: medications, long_term_effects, development

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Second-hand Smoked Linked to ADHD

A recent study by the University of Washington found that exposure to second-hand smoke increases a pregnant woman's risk for having a child with ADHD or conduct disorder. A total of 171 children participated in the study and were divided into three groups: children whose mothers smoked, children whose mothers were exposed to second-hand smoke, and children whose mothers were in a smoke-free environment during the final two trimesters of pregnancy.
"The UW researchers found that those children whose mothers had been exposed to tobacco smoke either by smoking or by being around smokers when they were pregnant had more symptoms of ADHD and conduct disorder..."
It's believed that nicotine is the compound which affects brain development during the last two trimesters and is the cause of ADHD and conduct disorder. Read more at News-Medical.net.

Does your child seem to have little or no regard for the feelings of others? Is your teen aggressive toward you or peers, even destructive or physically cruel? Has your adolescent ever threatened to assault you?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, this could indicate a serious behavioral problem: conduct disorder. Learn more about conduct disorder from the factsheet that explains what conduct disorder is and how you can help your child.

Labels: prenatal, smoking, development

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Children with Asthma more Likely to Have Developmental and Behavioral Problems

The University of Virginia's Children's Hospital recently conducted research which identified several developmental and behavioral problems that are often found in asthmatic children. If these problems are not diagnosed and treated, an asthmatic child may not receive all the help he needs.
"We can definitely state that families with asthmatic children not only report higher incidences of ADHD, but also of depression, anxiety and learning disabilities,' said Dr. James Blackman, developmental pediatrician at the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center at UVa Children's Hospital and lead study author."
Managing these "co-morbidities" as they're called, is key to treating children with asthma. The study found that the severity of the child's asthma affected the severity of developmental problems like ADHD. Read more at ScienceDaily.com.

Labels: behavior, development, asthma

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Playtime with an ADHD Child

Playing is a natural part of childhood (and hopefully of adulthood, too!). Parents who play with their children develop stronger bonds, and deeper levels of affection and trust than parents who don't. But for parents whose children are ADHD, playtime can be more frustrating than bonding or enjoyable. K.C. Gagne offers some suggestions.
"When you begin to play with your child, make sure that you both know what to expect. As the parent of an ADHD child, you should remember that your child may want to quit before you're done. They may also get distracted easily and stray from what you are doing. Do your best to avoid distractions."
She also suggests that playtime be one-on-one, as it will help your child stay focused. Frequent breaks and limited stimuli will also help. Read more at FamilyPlayandLearn.com.

Labels: stimulation, development, playtime

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