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Mistreatment of ADHD Students Among Reasons ACLU Sues Truancy Court

A group of parents and students, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing a Rhode Island Family Court Judge and his appointees, saying they violated the constitutional rights of public school children.

The suit claims that students' medical issues were all but ignored by the court, which used arrest warrants and the threat of "state custody" to intimidate students and parents.
"The alleged abuses occurred in five school districts -- Providence, North Providence, Woonsocket, Coventry and Cumberland -- where the truancy courts had jurisdiction over more than 700 students during each of the past two school years, according to the suit." [Source: The Providence Journal]
One of the plaintiffs, a 53-year-old mother whose daughter has ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome, claims that the court repeatedly threatened to remove her daughter from the home if she continued to miss school.

The mother tried to explain that she only pulled her child if a change in her medication made her extremely disruptive in class, but the court refused to take that into consideration. A hearing date has yet to be set for the case.

Labels: schools, laws

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Tennessee Parents Win ADHD Lawsuit Against School District

The Williamson County school district in Tennessee was recently ordered to pay the legal fees incurred by parents who spent three years fighting for their sons educational rights.

Writing in the Sept. 25 edition of The Tennessean Mitchell Kline provided the following details about the case:
The lawsuit hinged on whether Chase Kildgore, who is now attending college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, would receive tutoring and have an individual education plan under federal laws regulating special-education students. Chase Kildgore was diagnosed with ADHD in May 2003, before entering the seventh grade.

A year later, schools officials declared that he was not eligible for special-education services but came up with an education plan for him. ...

Then the boy was involved in a fight at Independence High School, where he admitted to striking another student. After meeting with the boy's doctor, father, teachers and counselors, school officials decided the fight was not manifested by his ADHD and therefore followed normal procedures for disciplinary action, suspending him from school and sending him to the county's Alternative Learning Center for 20 days.

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Evaluation Important First Step in ADHD Diagnosis

In the Sept. 27 edition of the Palm Springs, Calif., newspaper The Desert Sun, educational psychologist Brent M. Cooper advised a mother who suspected her high school aged daughter might have ADHD:
The initial step in determining whether your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is to seek a comprehensive evaluation. Once you have a final evaluation, you may request a 504 Plan, which can assist your child in achieving academic success by identifying the modifications and accommodations needed.

Following the assessment, utilizing a therapist who specializes in ADHD can be helpful in advocating for your child, facilitating effective problem-solving in school and home environments and assisting the child in developing executive functions such as organization and impulse control.
If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, you may also want to consider consulting with a therapist or exploring the opportunities that are available at a private boarding school for students with ADHD.

Labels: schools, diagnosis

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Should You Share ADHD Diagnosis with Your Child's Teacher?

At the start of a new school year, some parents whose children have been diagnosed with ADHD consider keeping the diagnosis to themselves. Rather than informing the childs teacher, they keep quiet, not wanting to label their child.

In an Aug. 23 article on about.com, ADHD expert Keath Low advises against withholding this important information:
Communication ... is key. Your childs teacher needs to know about any issues that can impair his learning, social situations and general school life. The teachers need to know about your childs interests and strengths, too. Your collaboration and open rapport with the teacher is vital. ...

As this new school year begins (or even before it does), talk with your childs teacher about the ADHD. Share about the strategies that worked in his previous school - as well as those strategies that did not.
"Dont withhold information in hopes this year will be a better one," Low wrote. "Be proactive. Establish a trusting and open relationship early on."

Labels: schools, parenting, teachers

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Helping ADHD Students Have a Successful Back to School Experience

For most students in the United States, school has either already begun or will be underway soon. Though no group is immune to the back-to-school jitters, students with ADHD can feel especially anxious and uncertain during the first days of class.

According to an Aug. 21 article in the Donthan (Ala.) Eagle, students with ADHD should get a lot of help from their school:
Carol Cunningham, director of exceptional student services for Dothan City Schools, said parent conferences are scheduled when potential ADHD behaviors emerge. Once confirmed, action plans are created, including special education resources, curriculum modifications, or consultations with outside experts.

A district committee addresses problems impacting student academics and behavior, creating strategies and interventions to follow for a minimum eight weeks with periodic reviews and changes, Cunningham said.

"We provide the services and the support they need to be successful in their educational careers," she said.

Labels: students, schools

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ADHD Expert Offers Tips for Minimizing Stress of Back-to-School Time

Every fall, the start of a new school year means changes to the family routine. For families with kids who have ADHD, this transition can be decidedly difficult.

In an Aug. 7 article on Health Digest News, developmental pediatrician, author and mother of three children with ADHD, Patricia Quinn, M.D., offered advice to help make back-to-school time less stressful and more productive for ADHD students and their families:
  • Set up a morning checklist so that your child knows what needs to be accomplished before she heads off to school.
  • If your child is newly diagnosed with ADHD, talk to her teacher, school counselor and principal to make sure they're well informed.
  • Above all, be sure your child has a clear understand of your expectations around classroom behavior and homework.
  • The fewer surprises, the better the adjustment will be.

Labels: schools, parenting

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Program Offers Online Coaching for Youth with ADHD

The Edge Foundation, a national non-profit personal coaching organization, has partnered with GlobalScholar® to make online coaching services available for ADHD students.

The following details are from a PRWeb press release announcing the ADHD coaching program:
The customized, private label coaching platform powered by GlobalScholar technology, creates an engaging, comfortable, and secure environment where student and coach can work together to help the student develop key skills for academic success.

Skills [to be developed include] scheduling, goal setting, confidence building, organizing, focusing, prioritizing and persisting at tasks.
Students with ADHD are more likely to have lower grade-point averages and be put on academic probation than are their non-ADHD peers. One-on-one coaching can give ADHD students the added help they need to reach their full potential.

Labels: schools, academics, coaching

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Easter Seals Releases Free Disability Awareness Curriculum

Easter Seals, one of the countrys leading non-profit providers of disability services, has release a free curriculum aimed at teaching children about peers who have disabilities -- including fellow students who have disorders such as ADHD

The Easter Seals website describes the curriculum as follows:
FRIENDS WHO CARE® is designed to help children better understand what it means and how it feels to be a young person with a disability. This educational program gives students the opportunity to learn what is involved when someone has a disability and how they adapt to live life, go to school, or work as independently as possible.

The curriculum explores a range of disabilities and includes specially crafted learning activities, hands-on exercises, guided discussions and guest speakers. It starts with an introduction to disability, and looks at vision, hearing, and physical disabilities and then at learning disabilities including ADHD, autism and intellectual disabilities.
The curriculum is designed for use in the classroom or at home, and can be downloaded for free at www.easterseals.com/friendswhocare.

Labels: schools, awareness, curriculum

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Assistive Listening Devices Can Help ADHD Students in the Classroom

Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may benefit from using assistive listening devices (ALDs) in the classroom. ALDs help filter out background noise, making it easier for kids to focus.

Pamela Wilson, special needs children's editor for the BellaOnline website, elaborated on the usefulness of ALDs in a recent post:
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) have been shown to be helpful for students ... with learning disabilities or ADHD who may be distracted by classroom noise, and those with central processing disorders who have difficulty discerning the most important sounds in their environment, whether it is an instructor's voice or an audio-visual presentation.

One of the benefits of assistive listening devices is that the level of the sound of the teacher's voice does not change due to distance or background noise. There is often an environmental microphone on receivers so students can hear classmates' questions or comments, but it is often more helpful to repeat what has been said before responding or summarizing as the discussion progresses.

ALDs do not take the place of other accommodations for students who have hearing loss or other challenges.
ALDs involved a microphone that is worn by the teacher, and a receiver that is worn by the student. ALDs are among many advancements that are helping students with ADHD achieve greater success in the classroom.

Labels: schools, classrooms

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Education Expert Warns Against Dangers of Labeling Students

In a culture that thrives on defining and categorizing people, education experts warn that labeling students can do more harm than good. Malcolm Gauld, President of Hyde Schools (prep schools in Maine and Connecticut and public schools in Washington D.C. and New York), said he encourages creating a character culture, rather than a performance-based one.

"In a character culture, achievement is valued, but principles are valued more," Gauld said in an article on the website of Minnesota's Review Messenger. "That is, what you stand for is more important than merely how you stack up against the others."

"Labels and categories register deeply in our children, and they can be difficult to overcome," Gauld said. "And it doesn't end in early childhood. Later, children will likely face additional labeling due to the peer pressure of cliques, and perhaps the name-calling of bullies. And then there is the educational system itself."

Parents of children with ADHD have personal experience with both the benefits and dangers of labeling students whose issues can significantly impact their educational progress.

The good news is that programs such as Stone Mountain School (a residential school for boys with behavior problems) provide highly effective educational experiences for children with ADHD, learning disabilities, and other disorders.

Labels: schools, Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder

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New Study Links ADHD Meds with Better Test Scores

Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley have found that students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder fared better on math and reading tests if they were taking medication. The study followed 600 kids with ADHD from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Children's scores on several standardized math and reading tests taken during those years were examined. Compared with unmedicated kids, average scores for medicated children were almost three points higher in math and more than five points higher in reading. The difference amounts to about three months ahead in reading and two months in math, the researchers said. (Source: The Associated Press)
The researchers were quick to note that medication is not the only effective treatment for ADHD, and the study simply indicates that kids who are treated fare better than those who are not.

Even though they are capable of achieving significant results, many students with ADHD have histories of academic frustration and other school-related problems. For many of these students, private boarding schools have been able to provide the intensive support and structured guidance that can lead to considerable improvements in both performance and behavior.

Labels: schools, Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder, academics, boarding_school

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Mom Fights for Child's Education

Cameron Carter is an 11-year-old British boy who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and dyslexia. Both conditions cause him trouble in class; he gets frustrated and acts out, behavior which led to seven expulsions during elementary school. Now that he's in secondary school, the problems are continuing -- and his mother is less than pleased with the school's response
Cameron Carter has been excluded from Forest Town's Garibaldi School five times since September. ...

Angela [Cameron's mother] claims [his current school] does not have the resources to deal with Cameron, but a request to move him has been knocked back by the Nottinghamshire Local Education Authority. Now Angela says action needs to be taken quickly -- before her son gets in more serious trouble ...

A Nottinghamshire County Council spokesman said the cost of sending Cameron to the school in Cumbria would be over 100,000 [British pound sterling] every year. "There is no professional evidence to suggest that Cameron needs an independent special school or a residential setting," he said. [Source: Mansfield Chad]
School officials have said the cost of sending Cameron to a special school are too high, and they believe his current school is equipped to help him. Angela disagrees, and has taken legal action to challenge the district's decision.

Because some local public schools are unprepared to educate students with ADHD, many parents have enrolled their children in a private boarding school that specializes in providing comprehensive educational services, behavioral guidance, and emotional support to students with ADHD.

Labels: education, schools, Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder

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Law Requires Special Programs for ADHD Students

If your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you should meet with an evaluation team at his school to ensure that his specific educational needs are being met:
"A multidisciplinary team consisting of the parent, a classroom teacher, special ed teachers and others will meet to determine your child's eligibility for special-ed services, and how those services will be provided. If the team decides your child does not need special ed, the process stops. If you disagree, you can appeal your case in a 'due process' hearing."
The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act guarantee that children with ADHD have access to the programs they need to ensure their educational success. Source: ADDitude Magazine

Labels: schools, laws, special-needs

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Student Sells ADHD Drug, May be Charged with Felony

A 17-year-old Iowa high school student may be charged with a felony for allegedly selling a prescription drug to a schoolmate. The schoolmate's behavior raised concerns, prompting school officials to call the police. The schoolmate later admitted to buying an Adderall pill for $2.
"[The student] reportedly told school officials she is prescribed the drug, but does not like taking it, adding she sold the pill because she knows it is expensive."
The student has been charged with delivery of a controlled substance, but it remains unclear whether she will be charged as an adult or a juvenile. Source: The Hawk Eye (IA)

Labels: schools, prescription_drugs, pills

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Fitness Balls Replace Classroom Chairs

In one classroom in Charlotte, Tennessee, students no longer sit on chairs, but on fitness balls instead. Teacher Angie Owen got the idea from a California classroom that's doing the same thing.
"Assistant Principal Judy Woodard said the balls give students a range of motion and helps their posture. 'It helps a child that has ADD, ADHD, or other medical conditions to move when they need to move,' she said. 'And helps them concentrate.'"
Students are not only seeing their posture improve, but their grades as well. In addition to classroom benefits, the students often roll the balls down to the gym for a series of stretching exercises. The fitness balls were donated by Target, and other retailers are planning to make similar donations. Source: NewsChannel 5 (TN)

Labels: schools, classrooms, fitness_balls

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New York Building Residential Schools for Special-Needs Students

The state of New York is building additional residential schools for children with disabilities as a cost-saving measure. The state currently pays more than $200 million a year to educate special needs children in private schools in other states.

Within the next three years, New York will have more than 500 new schools, half of them in Long Island and New York City, officials said.

About 12 percent of the state's school-age population, or 410,000 students, have special needs.

Labels: schools, disabilities

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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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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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Author to Speak about ADHD

This week, the regular CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) meeting at Hickory Valley Christian School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will have a special guest speaker. Author Chris Dendy will give a presentation titled "School Daze" that focuses on strategies for success in school.
"Among other elements of her presentation will be executive function of the brain, which has emerged as a key factor influencing school success or failure for students with ADHD. Since teachers may attribute disorganization, forgetfulness and memory problems to laziness or lack of motivation, development of an educational plan to address these deficits is critical."
Ms. Dendy has authored three books, including one that was co-authored by her son, Alex. She has an M.S. from Florida State University and is co-founder and clinical advisor for the Gwinnet, Georgia, chapter of CHADD. Source: The Chattanoogan

Labels: schools, success, failures

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Back-to-School Handbook

It's that time of year. Kids are getting ready to go back to school and parents are getting ready to send them. For kids with ADD/ADHD, the transition back to school can be tough, so ADDitude magazine if offering a free back-to-school handbook.
"In this free expert booklet, ADDitude magazine has assembled its best academic resources including a back-to-school checklist for parents, a sample letter introducing your child to new teachers, daytime medication guidelines, and learning strategies for students with attention-deficit disorder and learning disabilities."
The 14-page booklet provides tips for working with teachers and administrators, managing ADHD symptoms in the classroom, and talking to your child about his goals, fears, and challenges for the upcoming school year. Source: PR Newswire

Labels: schools, tips, teachers

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Low Expectations all too Common

Becky McCall still remembers the cutting comment her son's schoolmate made when they were quizzing each other about science: "You're not supposed to be smarter than me; you're in special ed!" It seems to be a common misnomer that kids with learning disabilities are, by default, not as smart as those without them.
"A great many children with ADHD, dyslexia and Asperger's syndrome (just to name a few learning differences) can be taught to meet grade-level proficiency (or even exceed standards). Because of the unique ways in which these children's brains work, these students may require alternative or additional teaching strategies."
But just because they need unique teaching methods doesn't mean they can't learn or excel as much as their academic counterparts. Parents should prepare for low expectations from teachers and other students, and be ready to advocate for their child - who is just as capable as any other. Source: Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal

Labels: schools, learning_disabilites, peers

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Private Tutor Helps Student with ADHD

When Cody was diagnosed with ADHD, he was prescribed medication, but it didn't make things much easier. His ability to focus and stay in his seat didn't come until he started meeting with a private tutor.
"[Vicki] Abernathy said when she and Cody began working together he was a slow reader, lacked rhythm and couldn't stay focused on a single subject. Abernathy said in order to keep him focused they would do the hardest homework first, which was always math."
She also kept him motivated by offering his favorite snacks when he finished his homework. Now, he's doing better at school, is able to concentrate on homework, and can calm himself back down when he starts getting hyperactive. Source: Southeastern Missouri Newspaper

Labels: schools, tutoring

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Does Having ADHD Mean Doing Poorly in School

Most studies of students who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder find that school kids with ADHD struggle in the classroom. They struggle to pay attention, finish homework on time, and get good grades. But does it have to be this way?
"In the end I think that this research points out something that many educators, doctors, and parents of ADHD/ADD children already know: We need to collaborate to find definitive strategies that will help these children be successful in school. These strategies need to be widespread, taught to teachers and parents alike."
Parents are their children's greatest advocates. As the parent of a child with ADHD child, you can be the catalyst for the collaboration that's necessary to level your child's educational playing field. Source: Brain Blogger

Cedars Academy is a private boarding school that specializes in children with ADHD.

Labels: schools, success

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Maximize Your ADHD Child's School Performance

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who, since 1986, has worked with ADHD children and their families. In this Parenting Ideas article, he offers suggestions for helping kids get the most out of their school experiences.
"Get to really know and understand your child's needs at a deeper level. Keep in mind the difference between real 'needs' and things that you 'want.' Real 'needs' would include resources that your child must have in order to function at acceptable levels. Have documentation to back up what you think is a need. Be able to express this information to his school, doctor, etc.
"Dr. Cowan also stresses the importance of asking questions. Most professions have their own 'language' and parents need to push both doctors and educators to explain things in everyday language. Not only will this help parents understand their child's diagnosis better, but it will help parents determine whether the "professionals" they're talking too really know their stuff or not. Read more at ParentingIdeas.org.

Stone Mountain School, a therapeutic boarding school for boys, is set in a rural area of North Carolina which removes common distractions and allows boys struggling with academics and behaviors a chance to learn how to control their emotions while earning school credits.

Labels: education, schools, advocacy

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Learning Disability Specialist Offers Study Tips

Students with learning disabilities like dyslexia and ADHD often have a hard time studying for tests and quizzes. Learning disabilities specialist Alexa Taylor has developed a list of strategies to help students who struggle in this area.
"Duplicate normal study places. If studying in the library is a habit when class is in session, don't switch to studying in the dorm, where roommates and television can be distractions."
Other suggestions include using different study styles throughout the day, and mapping out a specific written study schedule.

LearningDisabilitiesInfo.com is a great resource for parents of children with learning disabilities.

Labels: schools, learning_disabilites, studying

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Study Shows Working Memory Training can Help

Cogmed is the name of a computer program which trains and develops working memory. In a recent breakthrough study, an institute in Sweden used the program to redefine the way attention problems are understood and treated. Now, researchers at Harvard University have conducted a study of their own which supports the initial findings.
"'Our pilot study indicated that the training of working memory in a school setting may be a feasible, safe, and effective way to help children with ADHD that warrants further investigation,' [Dr. Enrico] Mezzacappa concluded in the study."
Mezzacappa goes on to say that the program helps stimulate cognitive skills and overall development, and makes treatment for ADHD possible within schools systems, to students who might otherwise receive no treatment at

Stone Mountain, a school for boys with ADHD, helps boys deal with their behaviors while earning credits for school. Visit StoneMountainSchool.com to learn more.

Labels: schools, exercise, memory

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The Role of Executive Function

"Executive function" refers to the brain's ability to take in and organize information in ways that allow a person to accomplish goals - whether short or long term. A helpful analogy might be to think of executive function as performing the same tasks for the brain as a conductor does for an orchestra - organizing and guiding different instruments to play alone or together, loudly or softly - to accomplish the goal of playing a certain piece of music. Deficits in executive function may cause academic problems for students with ADD or ADHD.
"Although the impact of executive function deficits on school success is profound, this fact is often unrecognized by many parents and teachers. I learned the hard way with my own son that a high IQ score alone is not enough to make good grades."
In particular, poor working memory - one attribute of executive function - affects a student's ability to recall past events, prepare adequately for upcoming events, remember instructions, or memorize facts. Students with ADD or ADHD will greatly benefit from modified lessons that take executive function issues into consideration. Writing demonstrations, active learning techniques, and modified testing are just a few.

Cedars Academy is a specialized boarding school for non-verbal learning disorder (NLD) and Asperger's. Learn how they can help your child today at CedarsAcademy.com.

Labels: schools, organization, academics

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A Guide to Teaching ADHD Students

A child with ADHD spends as much time in the classroom as any other child, so his teacher's ability to interact well and teach effectively is vital. This article from David Blitz gives tips for teachers who have ADHD students.
"The first step in being successful in teaching an ADHD student is being able to develop with him/her a good rapport and a positive relationship. Like with any other student, the ADHD student is more likely to respond to you positively and you are more likely to be able to help them reach their true academic potential if your interaction with them is in a positive and non-judgmental manner."
Other tips include using positive reinforcement, creating a good learning environment, and breaking down lessons into smaller segments that are easier for an ADHD child to understand.

Need a good ADHD boarding school? Find one at Boarding Schools Info.com.

Labels: schools, teachers, classrooms

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When "ADHD" Meets "Academically Gifted"

Until now, there's been no official name given to kids who are unusually bright but also struggle with a learning disability such as ADHD. Because there's been no name, no distinct category, there's also been no strategy in place for educating these kids. But a non-profit group called IDL - Individual Differences in Learning Association - has begun taking corrective action on behalf of this unusual group of students that are being called "twice-exceptional learners".
"[Katharina] Boser and other members of IDL spent most of the summer in the county's Television and Media Production studio... interviewing students, teachers, parents and experts to create a two-hour video on twice-exceptional learners."
The video will be used to inform and educate school officials on the unique learning needs of twice-exceptional learners, which are also sometimes referred to as GTLD - gifted and talented/learning disabled. The goal is to help parents and educators learn how to consider not just a child's learning disability, but his learning skills and talents as well.

Schools for children with Asperger's Syndrome can help children get the most out of their education and find the best career path for them. Find one at Your Little Professor.

Labels: schools, learning_disabilites, advocacy

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ADHD Medication Improves Grades

A new study has proven that ADHD medication has long-term academic benefits for children diagnosed with the condition. The study was conducted by a team from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and appears in the September edition of the Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics.
"The Mayo team found that treatment with prescription stimulants, such as Ritalin, was associated with improved long-term academic success of children with ADHD... By age 13, those taking medication had improved reading scores compared with children with ADHD who didnt receive the drugs, the researchers found."
The children who took medication also had better attendance and were less likely to be held back.

Labels: medications, schools, grades

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Special-Needs Education Gets Special Action

Special-education teachers in the Frankfort Independent Schools are ready for big changes. At an organizational meeting Tuesday, those teachers led a discussion with district officials and parents about improving education for students with special needs at Frankfort High School and Second Street School. Read more online.

Learn about Camp Huntington special needs summer camps.

Labels: education, schools, special-needs

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Hyper Kid, Honored Teacher

Marshall Zaun says that he was an ADHD kid before the disorder was ever recognized, diagnosed, or treated. Now 38-years old, Zaun not only managed to graduate from high school, but he graduated valedictorian. He went on to become a teacher, and was recently named the Lancaster (California) School District's Teacher of the Year.
"The son of a school nurse and a car designer, Zaun entered a regular high school but after a month switched to Silverado Continuation High School in Mission Viejo because of poor attendance... and because his mother thought it better to try a different route."
He credits his high school English teacher as being the one who "reached him" and influenced him to become a teacher, despite his ADHD. Read more at DailyNews.com.

Asperger's Syndrome in Children and Teens is considered a form of high-functioning autism. Learn more at YourLittleProfessor.com.

Labels: schools, teachers, influences

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What Should Counseling Goals Be?

Some parents of children with ADHD choose to include counseling as part of the child's overall treatment plan. But should your goals be if your child is receiving counseling for his or her ADHD?
"First, it is important to teach the child or teen with ADHD how to recognize problems and how to solve problems. There are many good problem solving techniques that young people can quickly learn, and these are great tools to teach them."
Other goals include teaching a child how to be less impulsive, how to monitor his or her thoughts, and how to develop adequate social skills. Read more at ParentingIdeas.com.

Labels: schools, treatment, counseling

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Transitional Class Helps Students Prepare for First Grade

In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Thames Elementary school has launched its first "transitional first-grade" classroom. The classroom is made up of just a few students, and is intended to help children with ADHD and other behavioral or learning challenges develop the skills they need to transition into first-grade.
"Teacher Candace Hill's class is smaller, which means more one-on-one time. And lessons are tailored to each individual child. Some students go to a first-grade classroom for lessons, to ease the transition into second grade."
The parents of all 11 children in this first class agree that it's the best place for their children. Read more at ClarionLedger.com.

Labels: education, schools, teachers

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The Transition to College

College is a unique and exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for teens with ADD/ADHD. As a parent, there are steps you can take to help your teen make a smooth transition into college life.
"Around February of his senior year, begin to withdraw your daily supervision and support. (Of course, you should warn him first!) Think of the next six or seven months as college training camp, a time for him to learn how to handle freedom. Without the help of mom or dad, he should practice living independently..."
The better prepared your child is for living on his own and managing the often hectic pace of college life, the more he'll be able to enjoy his college experience. Read more at AdditudeMag.com.

Cedars Academy, a private boarding school for boys and girls with ADD/ADHD, has a Post-Secondary Program designed to help students build their college experience after they finish their senior year. Cedar's progam gives students a year to experience college life, while still having the support of a structured environment.

Labels: schools, college, young_adults

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Welsh Mother Pleads for Help with ADHD Childs Education

Phillipa Davies of South Wales is asking for help. Her daughter hasn’t been to school in over a month because of her behavioral issues. Though her daughter was expelled for only three days, Davies has refused to take her back, saying the school is mistreating her daughter.

“She told the Post her daughter was even eating her food in the staff room away from the other children… Twenty-five-year-old Ms Davies said that as Sophie got older she had developed behavioral problems and had been found to have tendencies of autism and of ADHD.” [Source: The South Wales Evening Post]

The school district can’t comment directly on Sophie’s case, but the head of schools – Aled Evans – said the school has an excellent reputation for effective teaching. He added that, while Sophie may be experiencing trouble at school, keeping her home and uneducated is not an appropriate solution.


Labels: education, schools

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 1 Comment

ADHD Student Earns Honors

Christopher Durgan was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when he was 5 years old. Most of his school career was peppered with trouble. Clashes with classmates and teachers caused him to feel isolated. He was also suspended several times.

Now, he is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society. He just completed the two-year electronic engineering technology program at the Charles H. Bohlen Jr. Technical Center, Watertown. And next week he will compete in the computer maintenance technology contest at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo. [Source: Watertown (NY) Daily Times]

His turn-around happened during his sophomore year of high school. He learned how to control his anger, and also discovered that he could change things about his life that he didn’t like. At the same time, he developed a strong interest in electronics. In electronics classes, he met fellow students who shared his interest and helped build his self-confidence. He is now excitedly looking forwarding to starting college in the fall.


Labels: students, schools

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 1 Comment

ADHD or Eye Strain?

It’s not quite August, but parents and children are thinking about school. It’s time to shop for clothes, notebooks, pens, and pencils. Parents should also consider taking their kids in for an eye exam.

“Your child’s eye doctor will perform a thorough evaluation that not only includes testing how clearly they see, but also whether there are any other vision disorders that could get in the way of learning. These other disorders can include uncorrected hyperopia, accommodative insufficiency, and convergence insufficiency or excess.” [Source: The Star Exponent (VA)]

Any one of these disorders can cause headaches or eyestrain, or cause a child to dislike reading and home work. The disorders can cause ADHD-like symptoms such as poor concentration or restlessness. A simple eye exam can pinpoint the cause of these behaviors and ensure that your child isn’t misdiagnosed.

Labels: behavior, schools, visual_skills

Posted By: Aspen Education Group 2 Comments

High Dropout Rate among ADHD Students

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) puts a teenager at risk for dropping out of high school or taking longer to graduate, compared to students with bipolar, panic, or other mental disorders, according to a new study from the University of California at Davis school of Medicine.

  • Researchers went through data collected on 43,000 participants over age 18 years old from the US Census Bureau about the age of the onset of their diagnosis, their substance abuse, and high school graduation.
  • The participants who suffered from ADHD had the highest dropout rate at 28.6%.
  • Students with mania or panic disorders at rates of 26.6% and 24.9% respectively.
  • Students with other psychiatric disorders had dropout rates in the high teens to low 20-percent ranges.

"Most people think that the student who is acting out, who is lying and stealing, is most likely to drop out of school," said senior author Julie Schweitzer. "We found that students with the most common type of ADHD have a higher likelihood of dropping out, and students with disciplinary problems."

Almost ten percent of all boys and six percent of girls have ADHD.

This study appears in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Labels: students, schools, academics, dropout

Posted By: Jane St. Clair 1 Comment

Educators, Parents Address ADHD Misdiagnoses Among Gifted Students

Some educators and parents in the U.S. express concern over the number of gifted kids who are misdiagnosed with ADHD or other behavioral disorders. Some South African educators are beginning to express similar concerns.

Aconcerned group of Western Cape educators, with the help of the National Association for Gifted and Talented Children in South Africa (NAGTCSA), is planning to conduct a forum for school principals later this year. It is aimed at opening discussion on ways to nurture and meet the needs of gifted children in schools.[Source: Times Live (South Africa)]

A gifted child who is bored in class may exhibit some of the same “symptoms” as a child who has ADHD. A Johannesburg school for gifted students says that over half its students were initially misdiagnosed with ADHD.

Labels: schools, gifted children, diagnosis

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 2 Comments

Parents Design Backpack to Help Students Stay Organized

Alex Regenold was handling school pretty well until he entered fifth grade. Then, the increased homework and papers became too much for him to keep track of, and his ADD made matters worse. His parents tried a handful of organizational programs but nothing worked, so they made one of their own.

The system they invented (patent pending) is smart in its simplicity. Pockets labeled ‘Turn In’ and ‘To Do’ sandwich a color-coded assignment notebook.

A student assigns sticker labels with a class name, in chronological order of their classes, to each of the colors. Handouts (but not homework) from the classes go into corresponding file folders of that color.

Everything fits neatly in a briefcase-shaped bag that’s big enough to tote a few books, but that doesn’t become a bottomless pit of forgotten stuff. [Source: Des Moines Register]

The first semester he used the system, Alex’s grades went from Ds to Bs and As, and his parents were getting requests for their organizational system from parents and teachers. His parents started mass producing the system, tentatively called School PLANit, in 2009.

Labels: students, schools, organization

Posted By: CRC Health Group 1 Comment

Youngest Students Most Likely to be Misdiagnosed with ADHD

Two new studies have found that students who are the youngest in their classes are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) than are the oldest kids in the class. One of the studies, out of North Carolina State University, raises concerns about misdiagnosis.

North Carolina State University researchers found that children born just after the kindergarten eligibility cutoff date were 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children born just before the cutoff date.

For example, in schools where the cutoff date is Sept. 1, children born on Aug. 31 make the cutoff and are the youngest in their class; children born on Sept. 2 will wait an additional year to enter school and will be among the oldest in their class. [Source: NC State University]

Though these kids are just a few days apart in age, there is a significant statistical difference in the number of kids born just before the cutoff date (consequently, the youngest in their class) who are diagnosed with ADHD. Researchers are concerned that kids are being misdiagnosed when, in fact, they’re just less mature than their older classmates.

Labels: schools, diagnosis

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 1 Comment

Afterschool Programs May Boost Academic Performance of ADHD Students

A study published in the current issue of the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health appears to prove the efficacy of an after-school program for students with ADHD.

The [study] consisted of a 12-week multi-modal program delivered through 60-minute sessions, three times per week. The sessions included sensory stimulation, motor training, aerobic strength and conditioning, and academic training…

Of the children examined… 81% of their parents said the children no longer demonstrated ADD/ADHD behaviors. [Source: South Mississippi Sun-Herald]

Documented improvements were made in several academic areas, including reading, mathematics and writing. The program runs for 12-weeks, and was developed by Dr. Robert Melillo. It integrates cognitive and physical activities, while also making changes to the child’s diet. No large-scale roll-out of the program is planned at this time.


Labels: students, schools, academics

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 1 Comment

Group Helps Parents of ADHD Students Prepare for IEP Meetings

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, the American’s With Disabilities Act guarantees him an educational plan designed to meet his needs. Called an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan), parents and teachers meet to develop it together.

Some parents may  feel unprepared for such meetings, but the advocacy organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disoder (CHADD) has tools that can help.

“Take CHADD’s Parent to Parent classes online or in your local community and you will learn how to prepare for these meetings and develop a better plan for your child. Just as importantly, you will learn how to work with your child’s teacher once a plan is in place to make sure it is implemented successfully. Four hours of the course specifically address these all important school issues.” [Source: ADHD & Parenting Examiner]

The classes are available to CHADD members, and both membership and classes can be purchased at CHADD’s website.

Labels: education, schools, support, resources

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 1 Comment

To Help Your Child, Help Your Child's Teacher

At the start of another school year, students are acclimating to classrooms, new teachers, new classmates, and homework. Parents of students with ADD or ADHD can help teachers do their jobs by keeping them well-informed.

“Peggy Thomas, Director of Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services advises that students do best when parents and teachers work together as partners. The start of a new school year is a great time to open a dialogue with your child’s teacher… It’s just as important for parents to tell teachers about issues at home that may affect school performance as it is for teachers to report how children are doing in the classroom.” [Source: The Citizen (GA)]

Not only is it helpful for parents to tell teachers if a child has ADD/ADHD, but the American’s with Disabilities Act guarantees the child a customized educational plan that takes his disorder into consideration.

Labels: schools, parenting, teachers

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 1 Comment

Do Attention Problems Automatically Mean ADHD?

As the school year gets into full swing, some parents may be hearing from their kids’ teachers – being told that their child has trouble sitting still in class and paying attention. But does that mean the child has ADHD?

“Young children do have trouble sitting still and listening. Sitting still and paying attention in class is a trait that is learned. Children are full of energy, so much so that I wish they could share some of it with me. If a child is disciplined appropriately when he or she disobeys, the learning process will be easier both for the child and the teacher.” - Source: Bella Online

Before jumping to an “ADHD” conclusion, have your child evaluated by a medical professional who has experience diagnosing attention disorders. While your child’s teacher may be well-intentioned, she’s neither trained nor experienced in accurately diagnosing ADHD. Don’t take her word for it. Talk to a doctor.

Labels: schools, diagnosis

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 3 Comments