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Possible New Treatment for Hyperactive Children

Its called electroencephalography (EEG) biofeedback -- the monitoring of brain wave activity. Its used as part of a system called Play Attention that teaches kids how to focus.
  • Professor Karen Pine of the University of Hertfordshires School of Psychology, and her assistant Farjana Nasrin studied the systems effects on kids with attention deficit.
  • They found that impulsive behavior, which is difficult for ADHD kids to control, was reduced after kids used the system three times a week for twelve weeks.
  • Games for Life, which developed and owns Play Attention, plans to make the system available in the United Kingdom this month.
"The system involves the child playing a fun educational computer game whilst wearing a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet," the University of Hertfordshire reported. "The helmet picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention. As long as the child concentrates they control the games, but as soon as their attention waivers the game stops."

Labels: biofeedback, hyperactivity, treatment

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Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Ease Sensory Overload?

Research published by the American Psychological Association has found a link between omega-3 fatty acids and improved nervous-system function. The fatty acids appear to help animals avoid sensory overload.
"The finding connects low omega-3s to the information-processing problems found in people with schizophrenia; bi-polar, obsessive-compulsive, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders; Huntingtons disease; and other afflictions of the nervous system." [Source: ScienceDaily]
The key finding focused on two specific omega-3s, ScienceDaily reported: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The body, however, cant make these nutrients, but must instead convert them from a-linolenic acid (LNA) or from supplements.

Labels: research, treatment, sensory overload

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Australian Health Orgs Caution Against Overuse of ADHD Drugs

New guidelines from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) advise healthcare providers not to use medication as a first-line treatment for children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

A Dec. 1 article by Jennifer Joseph of the Australian website pharmacynews.com.au provided the following information about the policy change:
RACP chairman David Forbes said the new "multimodal" treatment approach would result in fewer children on drugs. "Treatment may include education, psychosocial strategies, behavioral management and changes in nutrition and medication," he said. &

The draft guidelines, which are awaiting formal consideration from the council of the NHMRC, were released despite relying on the research of a US academic whose integrity was under investigation.

"I am pleased that we can finally provide this more up-to-date information on ways to identify and care for those in our community who may be suffering from ADHD," Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

Labels: medications, treatment, therapy

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Can Yoga Help Kids Overcome ADHD Symptoms?

Several recent studies have found an unexpected supplemental treatment to anxiety and attention disorders: yoga. The studies have mainly focused on yogas effects on cancer patients, but in the process have discovered potential psychological as well as physiological benefits.

A Nov. 1 article by MedPage Today staff writer Kristina Fiore provided the following details about yoga's potential for helping kids with ADHD:
An Australian study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders concluded that yoga "may have merit as a complementary therapy for boys with ADHD already stabilized on medication."

Heather Peck, PhD, a school psychologist at the Bethany Community School in Bethany, Conn., and her colleagues at the University of Connecticut, performed a study last year on children with attention problems -- although not clinically diagnosed with ADHD.

After taking a yoga class in school, the children had improved attention that was comparable to that of their peers who didn't have attention disorders.

"We found significant effect sizes," Peck said. "Their levels of attention came up close to those of the rest of the kids in the class."

Labels: alternative_medicine, treatment, yoga

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Can 'Brain Games' Help Kids Overcome ADHD?

Parents like Karen George are becoming more common. When her son was diagnosed with ADHD, George was reluctant to put him on medication, because he was only 10 years old. Instead, she had him try a brain stimulation program designed to help improve short-term memory. She says that the approach worked.
"The size of the U.S. Market for brain stimulation products... more than doubled between 2005 and 2007 to $225 million, according to a new report by the consulting group SharpBrains... Even health insurers are getting in on the act. Humana, for example, has teamed up with Posit Science, which makes programs to enhance learning and memory..."
One potential downfall of the "brain games" is that the effects are not permanent. A child whose attention is improved will begin to relapse if the program is discontinued. But, say proponents of the games, the same is true of prescription medication. Source: Reuters

Labels: brain_activity, treatment, memory

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Shire Withdraws Application to Market ADHD Patch in Europe

Shire, plc, has announced that it is withdrawing its European Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Daytrana®, an ADHD medication. Daytrana® is a patch, developed for children ages six to 12, that releases a steady, low dose of ADHD medication for up to 9 hours.
"Shire stated that its decision to withdraw the MAA was based on the fact that European regulatory authorities had requested an addiction clinical study for Daytrana® in a European patient population, and that Shire planned to enter the European ADHD market through the previously-announced acquisition of a... product that is already approved in Europe."
Shire will continue to market Daytrana® in the United States, where it has already been subjected to clinical tests and approved. Source: BusinessWire

Labels: medications, treatment, patch

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Medical Assoc. Calls for Better Diagnosis, Treatment of ADHD

The British Columbia Medical Association estimates that about 31,000 young people in B.C. have ADHD. It also estimates that less than half of them are getting proper diagnoses or treatment.
"Shelley Ross, who chairs the association's council on health economics and policy, says the resulting social consequences include crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy and traffic accidents."
A study by the association also found there aren't enough services available for people with ADHD. Source: Globe and Mail

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Drug Company Acquires Worldwide Rights for ADHD Medication

Shire plc, maker of the ADHD medication Vyvanse, has acquired the worldwide rights to a medication called Equasym - which is also used for the treatment of ADHD.
"This acquisition will broaden the scope of Shire's ADHD portfolio and will facilitate immediate access to the European ADHD market as well as provide Shire the opportunity to enter additional world markets."
The agreement between Shire and Equasym maker UCB was announced yesterday. Shire will reportedly pay UCB about $70 million in exchange for the acquisition. Source: PR Newswire

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Utah May Require Insurance to Pay for Autism Treatments

A Utah woman whose son recovered from autism is working to change laws in her state so that all autistic preschoolers can receive similar treatments. Leeann Whiffen's son, Clay, underwent two years of "applied behavior therapy" as a toddler, costing her about $30,000 a year. Mrs. Whiffen mortgaged her home and used credit cards to pay for it.

William Jensen, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah, supports the measure. He said that studies show that 30% to 40% of higher functioning autistic children who receive at least two years of such therapy are "indistinguishable from normal children ten years down the line."

"They are probably still autistic, but they've made such dramatic gain that you cannot distinguish them from other kids," he said. He acknowledged that it is impossible to predict which children will benefit from early childhood treatments.

State Senator Howard Stephenson will sponsor the bill requiring insurance companies to pay for the therapy with a cap of $30,000 per year. The bill is called "Clay's Law."

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'Green Time' May Benefit Children with ADHD

Can a walk in the park lessen the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder? A recent small study at the University of Illinois indicates that the answer could be yes.

The U of I study reported that being outdoors can lessen hyperactivity and impulsivity in children more effectively than can a walk in a congested urban area.

Dr. Frances Kuo and Andrea Faber tested a group of seventeen children (ages 7 to 12) with Attention Deficit Disorder after they had taken two 20-minute walks. After the "green" walk in the park, the children did "shockingly better" on a neurocognitive test, and showed improvements in attention and impulse control, according to Dr. Kuo.

Dr. Kuo has done other studies demonstrating that "green time," especially time spent in wilderness areas, helps children with ADHD.

Some child psychiatrists warned that while the results of this study are interesting, the number of children is too small to be significant. The study would need to be duplicated within a larger trial to be significant.

Labels: treatment, exercise, rustic_environment

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Some Parents of Autistic Children Trying Unproven 'Chelation' Treatments

Many parents of autistic children are turning to chelation, which is the removal of metals from the body. The unproven theory is that metals such as mercury and lead can accumulate to toxic levels and cause symptoms of autism. Those undergoing chelation take drugs such as Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA) and editate calcium disodium.

So far, three children have died during chelation, including one five-year-old autistic boy.

Dr. Susan Swedo, director of the National Institute of Health's autism research, has proposed a study of the effects of chelation on autism. She wants to recruit 120 autistic children and give half of them chelation drugs and the other half placebos. This study has not been approved yet for safety reasons.

According to figures from the Interactive Autism Network at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, more than two percent of parents have tried chelation. This would translate to 3,000 children undergoing chelation at any given time.

Autism is a developmental disorder that occurs in about one out of every 150 children. The symptoms involve difficulties in communication and social interaction, sometimes characterized by repetitive behaviors. Symptoms can be mild to severe. Parents are often frustrated by the slow pace of autism research, and most have tried one or more of 300 untested, alternative treatments like chelation.

"If they hear about a new treatment, they feel the need to try it," said Dr. Paul Law, Director of Medical Informatics at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. "Anything that has a chance of benefiting their child - they're willing to give it a shot."

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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

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Why is ADHD Treated with Stimulants?

One of the most common treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is stimulant medication. But it seems counterproductive to treat hyperactivity symptoms with stimulants, so why do they work?
"In all of our brains, there is a portion that deals with matters of impulse suppression and control. It is this center that gives us the ability to focus on things that don't interest us... to be patient... and to remember... But for those with ADHD, there is, for some reason, a shortage of electrical activity in these portions of the brain."
Stimulant medication works because it increases activity in the part of the brain that controls impulses, helping someone with ADHD to focus, becoming less fidgety and more patient. Source: Associated Content

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Free Guide to Alternative ADHD Treatment Plans

ADDitude magazine, the leading publication for families and adults who have been affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, recently released a report on non-medical options for treating ADHD symptoms.
"Top ADHD doctors and treatment specialists contributed to the free ADDitude Guide to Alternative ADHD Treatment, which investigates and clearly explains the benefits and risks of natural ADHD therapies like fish oil."
The free guide includes tips for behavior therapy, diet and exercise changes, and the use of supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids. Source: LifeWithADHD.com.

Labels: parenting, treatment, support

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Innovative Program Improves Care for Children with ADHD

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have implemented an experimental program aimed at helping primary care physicians better diagnose and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children. The program is centered on the standardized evidence-based diagnosis and treatment guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
"The intervention consisted of an innovative training program developed by Cincinnati Children's on how to implement AAP diagnosis and treatment guidelines. The training focused on modifying office systems to accommodate the AAP guidelines."
Eighty-four Cincinnati-based physicians participated in the program, which resulted in a nearly 50 percent increase in the use of parent and teacher ADHD rating scales and a 35 percent increase in systematic monitoring of patient medication. Source: Huliq.com

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University to Study Autism and ADHD

The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded $3 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children with autism. The study will test two types of treatment: a nonstimulant medication and parent management training.
"'ADHD symptoms are common in children with autism, but children with autism often do not respond well to stimulant medications, the conventional treatment for ADHD,' said Benjamin Handen, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine."
The 10-week clinical trial will start enrolling patients in September. Researchers hope to recruit 144 children ages 5 to 13 who have both autism and symptoms of ADHD. Source: MediLexicon News

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Mutated Gene Related to ADHD Medication

It was an unintentional but beneficial discovery. A team of researchers at Darby Children's Research Institute discovered a gene mutation that plays a direct role in the effectiveness of Ritalin when treating ADHD. The discovery could make it possible to pre-test patients and determine whether certain medications will work.
"Imagine the relief a patient or parent of a treated child might feel, having access to advance testing to be sure that they can adequately metabolize this medication and avoid adverse effects..."
Though the mutated gene was discovered because of its adverse effect on Ritalin, researchers believe it may affect other medications as well. Source: Medical News Today

Labels: medications, treatment, genetics

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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

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Labels: treatment, therapy, non-drug_treatment

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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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Brain Exercises for ADHD

Amnon Gimpel, M.D., has released a book titled Brain Exercises to Cure ADHD. Dr. Gimpel draws from over 30 years of academic and clinical experience in his book, which is meant to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, medication.
"Dr. Gimpel explains that the child, adolescent or young adult (even some adults) is actually suffering from brain delays in some portions of the cortex, which may be treated with cognitive therapy and 'Brain Exercise Therapy.'"
Dr. Gimpel's book is not written as a textbook, but rather as a guide for parents and sufferers of ADHD to learn and implement his brain exercise therapy. Source: Jewish Press

Physical exercise, like the kind kids with ADHD get at summer camp, can also be a good form of treatment. Talisman Camps offers programs for kids with ADHD, ADD, and learning differences.

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Skin Patch Effective in ADHD Treatment

A team from the University of Cleveland has conducted a study in which they determined that skin patches are a safe and effective treatment of ADHD for children 6 to 12 years old.
"'The findings are significant because only a relatively modest amount of work has been done to examine the effects of ADHD treatments by gender,' said Dr. Robert Findling."
Three-hundred and twenty-six children participated in the study, which found that a skin patch improved ADHD symptoms in 41 percent of boys and 23 percent of girls. Source: The Post Chronicle

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Strattera Approved for Children and Adolescents

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug Strattera for use in the maintenance of ADHD in children and adolescents. It is the first non-stimulant approved by the FDA for treatment of ADHD.
"Strattera provides uninterrupted relief from ADHD symptoms throughout the day into the evening. This is important since the symptoms of ADHD go beyond the work and school day."
The approval comes after an 18-month study showed dramatically superior results in the maintenance of ADHD symptoms for children and adolescents between the ages of six and 15-years. Source: News-Medical.net.

Labels: medications, treatment, non-stimulant

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ADHD Treatment Not Linked to Substance Abuse

Two studies that recently appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry found almost no link between ADHD medication and substance abuse. The results help quell fears that kids who start taking ADHD medication are more likely to struggle with drug or alcohol use later in life, but also pointed out another unexpected issue:
"Subjects who didn't start stimulant medication until they were between the ages of 8 and 12 had greater substance abuse that was mediated by an increase in antisocial personality disorder in adulthood."
The study seems to indicate that kids who received ADHD treatment later in childhood were more like to develop an antisocial personality disorder, which then sometimes increased the risk of substance abuse. The upshot of both studies, however, is that neither found a direct link between ADHD medication and drug or alcohol use. Source: Psych Central

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Change in Diet can Help

The most common treatment for ADD and ADHD is medication. But some research indicates that changes in a child's diet, along with medication, can significantly improve ADD or ADHD symptoms.
"A number of nutritional approaches have been promoted to help manage ADHD, with most involving some form of food restriction or dietary supplementation... (Dietary modification and nutritional supplements should not be used instead of the usual medication without a doctor being involved.)"
Reducing food additives, decreasing sugar, and increasing magnesium and zinc have all been shown to improve ADD/ADHD symptoms in some children. When making dietary changes, it's best to change one thing at a time and take note of what works and what doesn't. Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)

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Experts Want Insurance Companies to Pay for Early Treatment for Autism

One of the foremost experts on autism is urging parents to have their babies screened for the disorder as early as possible, and to start treatment in children as young as 14 months.

Autism can be detected before age two, yet the average age of diagnosis is four and a half, according to Dr. Patricia Wright, a specialist at the Hawaii Department of Child and Adolescent Health.

Dr. Wright says that early intervention may be the best hope for autistic children, who now number almost one in 150. Such treatment costs as much as $50,000 a year, because it involves about 25 hours a week of one-on-one or one-on-two teaching. However, Dr. Wright says such intervention offers autistic children the best chance of growing up to become productive adults. Insurance coverage is cost-effective, she says, because "they learn independent skills so they don't need continued lifelong support."

Dr. Wright and other experts are asking government agencies and insurance companies to pay for treatment in young children, though outcome-based evidence is scant at this time. However, researchers at the University of Washington are currently studying whether early intervention can prevent the disorder in siblings of children with autism. Their results may determine the fate of early intervention programs.

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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.

Boarding schools for children with ADHD can address ADHD kids behaviors in and out of the classroom. Learn more ways they can help at BoardingSchoolsInfo.com.

Labels: medications, treatment, therapy

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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.

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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.

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Experts Call for New Approach to ADHD

Results of a long-term study conducted by researchers at UCLA have the medical community calling for an upgrade to the diagnostic and treatment criteria for ADHD. This first-of-its-kind study found that only about half of the children who were diagnosed with ADHD exhibit the cognitive issues most commonly associated with the condition.
"Part of the explanation may lie in the common method for diagnosing the disorder. ADHD is an extreme on a normal continuum of behavior that varies in the population, much like height, weight or IQ. Its diagnosis, and thus its prevalence, is defined by where health professionals 'draw the line' on this continuum, based on the severity of the symptoms and overall impairment."
Another finding that has raised eyebrows is that, in Finland - where the study was conducted, ADHD is rarely treated with medication like it is in the United States. Despite that, ADHD "looked" the same in both countries, regardless of whether it was being treated medically, which raises questions as to the effectiveness of current ADHD treatments. Read more at PsychCentral.com.

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Managing Your Child's ADHD throughout the Year

Weekends, vacations, and other long breaks from school can be especially challenging for parents of children with ADHD. One recommendation is to use an individualized treatment plan that includes a medication patch like Daytrana.
"Clinical studies have shown that Daytrana's novel design provides a continuous flow of medication when worn for the 9-hour recommended wear time. Alternatively, Daytrana can be applied later in the day if the child sleeps late on weekends or start activities later during the summer or holiday season, and can still be removed at the usual time."
If your child has been prescribed ADHD medication, it's helpful if the doses can be tailored to your child's activity level and schedule. Talk with your doctor about the best options for creating an individualized treatment plan. Read more at HealthNewsDigest.com.

Specialty boarding schools
, like the Cedars Academy, offer programs geared specifically for children with ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger's Syndrome, or Non-verbal learning disorders. Learn more about their boarding schools for learning disabilities at CedarsAcademy.com.

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Study of Kids with ADHD Raises Questions About Drug Treatments

A study of Attention Deficit Disorder among Finnish children reinforces the idea that children outgrow some of their symptoms, but also raised some questions about the long-term effectiveness of medications as a treatment for the condition.

Dr. Susan Smalley, of the University of California/Los Angeles, used data from a longitudinal Finnish study begun in 1986. Researchers from Finland's University of Oulu and Imperial College in London collected information on 9,432 children from the time of their mothers' pregnancies until adolescence. About 457 of the children were evaluated for ADHD and other psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Smalley found that symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity decreased as the children grew older, but symptoms of inattention continued into adolescence. Only about half the adolescents diagnosed with ADHD had cognitive deficits in working memory, inhibition, etc that are commonly associated with ADHD. Those with cognitive defects did not show increased levels of inattention or hyperactivity compared to others with ADHD.

Youth in Finland rarely take medications for ADHD. Dr. Smalley found that when she compared children with ADHD in Finland who did not take drugs to those in the United States who did, she could conclude that prevalence, symptoms, psychiatric comorbidity and cognition was equivalent for both groups.
"We know medication is very effective in the short-term, but the study raises important questions concerning the efficacy of ADHD treatment," she said.
Two genes labeled DBH and DRD2 that regulate dopamine were associated with ADHD in the Finnish population of adolescents.

This study appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Stone Mountain School adhd boarding schools for boys offers a quiet, rural setting that removes everyday distractions allowing boys to concentrate on positive behaviors and academics.

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Medication-Free Treatment

Many parents of children with ADHD and other developmental disabilities are looking for treatments that require little or no medication. A program in Beverly, Massachusetts offers that kind of program.
"Goodchild's treatment is based on the theory that simple movements like crawling are critical to a child's brain development, and he believes that recreating those developmental milestones will help heal the brain. 'We can use movement to correct what's been mis-wired,' he said."
Though the method has been around for decades, there's no scientific proof that is actually works. There is however, mounting experiential evidence as parents see dramatic results in their children's behaviors after enrolling them in similar programs.

Cedars Academy schools for learning disabilities understand the needs of children with learning disorders. Their entire program is geared to help kids with ADHD, Aspergers, and NVLD.

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Symptoms of ADD/ADHD

Most of the articles in this blog share treatment options and other stories related to ADD/ADHD. But sometimes it's good to go back to the beginning, so we've included an article that gives a general overview of the symptoms you should watch for if you're concerned that your child may have ADD/ADHD.
"Understanding your child's possible ADD/ADHD is imperative to getting along with him or her. The earlier ADD/ADHD is identified in your child, the more time you have to work with and understand your kid."
If your child has the symptoms outlined here, it doesn't necessarily mean that he or she has ADD/ADHD. But he or she should be evaluated by a professional who's qualified to determine whether your child one of these disorders, and to what degree.

Just because your child has ADHD it doesn't mean that they can't go to college. A good college preparatory school, like the Academy at Swift River, prepares high school students for college and beyond.

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Scientists Develop Unique ADHD Accessory

At John Carroll University in Ohio, a team of scientists have developed a clever aid for people with ADHD or sleep disorders; a simple pair of glasses that block blue light. By blocking blue light, a person's circadian rhythm is advanced, causing melatonin to be released sooner.
"Normally, melatonin flow does not begin until after the individual goes into darkness. Studies indicate that promoting the earlier release of melatonin results in marked decline of ADHD symptoms."
The glasses are meant to be worn for the two hours prior to bedtime. The team has also developed alternatives to the glasses - light bulbs and nightlights that also block blue rays.

Boarding Schools for ADHD, like Cedars Academy in Delaware, can help children with learning disabilities in ways that public schools can't. By understanding the needs of students with learning disorders, the faculty and staff at Cedars offer the personal attention and environment to help kids. Visit CedarsAcademy.com for more information.

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Parents Medication Guide

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in partnership with the American Psychiatric Association, has published the ADHD Parents Medication Guide intended to help parents navigate the sometimes confusing waters surrounding ADHD treatment.
"As a parent or guardian of a child or teenager diagnosed with ADHD, you may be aware of the debate surrounding the medication used to treat this condition. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed several research studies involving children and adolescents who were prescribed medication for ADHD and concluded that these medications are effective and that the risks associated with these medications are known and can be managed."
Some of the topics covered in the guide include "side effects & ADHD medication", "school & the child with ADHD" and even "unproven treatments".

Want to learn more about ADHD medications? Visit our ADHD Directory where you'll find lots of resources for parents of children with ADHD.

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Be Cautious of ADHD Diagnosis

Concern is increasing over the proper diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children. Numerous recent studies have found that misdiagnosis and over-prescription of medication are likely. One study in particular notes a 700% increase in prescription medications to treat "child behavior problems" during the 1990s.
"More recently, national research has documented that less than one-third of primary-care physicians adhere to established diagnostic criteria."
An expert panel convened in 1998 determined that, while ADHD as a disorder does exist, it probably affects only 3 - 5 percent of children. In contrast, upwards of 14 percent of boys in America have been diagnose with ADHD. Though this information shouldn't scare parents, it should remind them that caution is required when seeking an appropriate diagnosis for behavioral issues in children.

Private schools for children with learning disabilities can be found in our ADHD Directory.

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Finding Balance with Doctors

Parents and pediatricians have the same goals; to keep children healthy, happy, and on a positive developmental path. But they sometimes have differing ideas of how to achieve those goals. As a parent, how do you get past the roadblock (or avoid it altogether) when a pediatrician's suggested treatment goes against your parental experience or instinct?
"The trick here [Dr. Delia Chiaramonte] says, is to stand firm, even when you know you're annoying the doctor. 'You have to let go of the desire to be the good patient and make everyone like you,' she says. She recommends questioning the doctor thoroughly."
Respect the pediatrician's years of study and practice, but make sure he or she respects your knowledge and experience as a parent as well. When it comes to your child's care, ask all the questions you need to, don't be afraid to questions a diagnosis if a treatment isn't working, and exercise your right to get a second (even a third and fourth) opinion.

Labels: medications, treatment, pediatricians

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Miscommunication Complicates ADHD Treatment

A new study has found that differing perceptions between parents and doctors regarding an ADHD child's most concerning behaviors is complicating treatment.
"...parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are concerned with behaviors such as aggression and defiance, while pediatric psychiatrists focus on associated mental health conditions including depression, bipolar and learning disabilities."
The differing opinions mean that behaviors parents are most concerned about often go unaddressed. Researchers hope the study will help doctors and parents find common ground to ensure that children with ADHD are receiving the best treatment possible.

Labels: behavior, treatment, communication

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Including Dads

When University at Buffalo student Greg Fabiano started working with parents of children with ADHD, he noticed that many of the dads were missing. He tried to find some research that would explain why so many fathers were absent, but he found none - so he started conducting some research of his own.
"His new research program, designed for children 6-12 years of age, includes two formats: a control group of fathers and children who receive traditional, evidence-based treatments for ADHD families and another group that receives the same, plus a sports element - in this case, soccer games."
Fabiano says the results have been remarkable. Treatment drop-out rates for both fathers and children have decreased significantly and there's very little tension on the soccer field (which is unusual for kids with ADHD).

Therapeutic boarding schools, like Youth Care in Utah, offer help for families of troubled teens.

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Diagnosing and Treating ADHD

Diagnosing ADHD isn't something that a parent or teacher can do by themselves. It takes a team of people to properly evaluate a child's behavior and form a proper diagnosis. Some of the more common characteristics of ADHD are occasionally observed in kids who don't have ADHD, so establishing a patter is important.
"One thing that I have found is that there is a huge division about whether to use medication to treat the disorder (after it has been properly diagnosed) or not. People are completely against or completely for the medication...So speaking as a parent of a hyperactive child, I believe you need to keep an open mind, do lots of research and ask LOTS of questions."


Remember that if you make a decision that doesn't seem to work for your child, you can change your decision. You're not "locked in" for life. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, remember that physical activities can help your child manage the "hyperactive" part of the disorder.

Therapeutic boarding schools, like Stone Mountain School, help boys with ADHD learn to control their behaviors as they earn school credits.

Labels: medications, treatment, diagnosis

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Alternatives for Children with ADHD

An estimated 5 to 10 percent of children in America have either ADD or ADHD. There is a wide range of treatments available for these disorders, most of which involve some sort of medication. But some parents are uncomfortable with the idea of giving medication to their kids, especially if their kids are very young, so Amanda Fey, a naturopathic doctor in New York, has compiled a list of alternative treatments that parents may wish to consider.
"If your child had been diagnosed with ADHD, remember that pharmaceutical drugs aren't the only solution available. Supplementing with critical nutrients and improving children's diets have proved to be extremely beneficial in many scientific research studies; therefore, making it a sensible alternative solution for parents to explore."
Food additives have been shown to aggravate ADHD symptoms in children, as has a lack of both Omega-3 fatty acids and iron. Before adding nutritional supplements (especially iron), have your child's overall health evaluated to determine if he's lacking either of these. As for the food additives, they're almost impossible to avoid altogether but can be greatly reduced by preparing meals at home and reducing a child's intake of junk food and other sweets.

Schools that offer programs for children with non verbal learning disorder can help in ways that public schools aren't able to. Learn more at LearningDisabilitesInfo.com.

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Prognosis Good for Kids Who get Treatment

When it comes to kids and ADHD, reports and studies abound that document increased risks for substance abuse and decreased academic potential. It's enough to make a parent feel like their kid has no chance at a "normal" life. But a study conducted over the summer shows that most ADHD children who are treated - either with medication, behavior therapy or both - improve over time.
"The roles of specific therapies and educational strategies remain unclear... For now, parents should know that treating ADHD, early and with vigor, can make a difference, says Anne Teeter Ellison, a psychologist and president of an advocacy group called Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder..."
Studies have also found that improvement comes as young brains develop and mature. So while there may be a lot of "doom and gloom" reports out there, there are also valid reasons to believe that a child with ADHD can look forward to a bright, productive future.

Residential treatment centers, like the Aspen Institute, can offer parents struggling with difficult children a clear diagnosis and treatment plan.

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Computer Program Improves Attention

Professor Torkel Klingberg of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology recently conducted a study that measured the working memory (WM) functions of children with ADHD. Working memory is a common problem for people with ADHD and Dr. Klingberg's study explored the connection between WM problems and other ADHD symptoms.
"In a preliminary study, Klingberg found that a training of WM tasks can enhance executive functioning including working memory, response inhibition and reasoning in children with ADHD. The [follow-up] trial included 53 children with ADHD and revealed a significant treatment effect both at intervention and follow-up."
The results of both studies seem to indicate that systematic development of working memory in children with ADHD helps reduce other symptoms both during the treatment and up to three months afterwards. Parents of the children who were involved in the study also reported a significant decrease in their children's symptoms.

Private boarding schools for boys and girls with ADD can help your child get the most out of school. Find one at BoardingSchoolsInfo.com.

Labels: attention, treatment, memory

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Benefits and Side Effects of Concerta

Concerta was the first time-released formula ever marketed for the treatment of ADHD. The once-daily treatment is one of several options for treating ADHD symptoms, and has both benefits and side effects of which parents should be aware.
"The Concerta capsule has an outer coat of medication that dissolves quickly, and then two small compartments of medication inside that release gradually. The time-released system of the Concerta capsule provides up to 12-hour coverage and provides more even coverage for ADHD symptoms but there are a few drawbacks with the capsule form."
One drawback is that, because of the pill's design, it can't be cut to decrease the dosage. Also, because of the 12-hour coverage, the drug's manufacturer suggests skipping a day's dose if it isn't taken early in the morning. The 12-hour time-release also means that normal sleep patterns may still be disrupted even if the pill is taken early. As with any medication, a doctor should be consulted before a final decision is made, and prescription instructions should be carefully followed.

Labels: medications, treatment, side_effects

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Prevalence far Exceeds Treatment

Colleagues at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who studies over 3,000 children found that the number of children who exhibits signs of ADHD far exceeds the number that are being treated.
"Based on standard diagnostic criteria, 8.7 percent of the children fulfilled criteria for ADHD in the year prior to the survey... Among children meeting criteria for ADHD, 39 percent had received some medication treatment and 32 percent were treated consistently with ADHD medications during the previous year."
Additionally, less than half of the children who met the ADHD criteria had been previously diagnosed. Read more at News-Medical.net.

Residential schools offer advanced curriculums, individual academic programs, and a variety of extra-curricular activities. Learn more about residential schools at TeenBoardingSchools.com.

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Tips for Vyvanse

Vyvanse, one of the newest ADHD treatment drugs, has been on the market since July, 2007. To date, the feedback has been excellent. Dr. Charles Parker offers some tips for parents, children and/or patients considering Vyvanse to treat ADHD.
"Always start at the lower dose: 30mg which roughly equals Adderall XR 10mg. They may be on higher doses, even 40 mg of the Adderall XR, but always go low and slow. Its more efficacious [effective], and if you start at 50mg which roughly equals 20mg Adderall XR, it can give them an unpleasant feeling."
Because Vyvanse is a slow-release medication, taking another dose later in the day shouldn't be necessary. Dr. Parker also advises that the body tolerates psych meds better if accompanied by a protein breakfast. Read more at CorePsychBlog.com.

Outdoor education programs can help children with ADHD get away from stimulants and work on correcting their behaviors. WildernessProgramsInfo.com offers more information about outdoor education programs.

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Treatments for Kids with ADHD Work, but Need Monitoring

A new study from the National Institute of Health suggests that treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder can help youngsters, but doctors need to monitor them from time to time.

Researchers assigned 600 children ages 6 to 9 years randomly to one of four treatment groups. The first group received medications from ADHD specialists. The second received medications and behavioral therapy. The third group received drugs from their family doctors, and finally the last group received only therapy. After fourteen months, the first two groups improved the most. However, three years later, all four groups showed similar improvements and the advantages of medications waned.
"Many kids do better over time," said Peter Jensen, director of Columbia University's Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health. "They should start drugs and stop as needed."
This study appears in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Cedars Academy is a private school for children with non verbal learning disorder, ADHD, and Asperger's Syndrome. Visit CedarsAcademy.com to learn more.

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Alternative to Medication

Until recently, freshman Sophie Bell was taking medication to treat her ADHD symptoms. But she didn't like how "shaky" the medication made her feel, so she and her mom started looking for alternatives. They found Dr. Martin Rosen, a chiropractor.
"He believes ADHD can start with a misalignment in the spine which affects the body's balance and ultimately how the brain functions."
Indeed, after a series of treatments, both Sophie and her mom noticed a difference in her ability to focus. She eventually stopped taking her medication altogether. Read more online.

Find more alternative treatments for ADHD in our ADHD Directory.

Labels: medications, alternative_medicine, treatment

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PedMed: In Praise of Non-Drug Solutions

Some specialists in pediatric and/or holistic medicine are concerned about the excessive publicity often given to drugs that treat things like ADHD, while other forms of treatment - like behavioral therapy - go almost unnoticed. Pharmaceutical companies sponsor awards, dinners and major lectures. Medical journals are filled with their ads.
"The net result is that even though in its policy statement the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry emphasizes its admonition that 'psychiatric medication should not be used alone,' more often than not, it is. For example, a study of 223 children ages 3 and younger diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder found more than half were prescribed psychotropic medication, yet fewer than a third were receiving psychological services."
William Pelham, Jr., distinguished professor of psychology, pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of New York at Buffalo conducted a study which found that when medication was used in conjunction with behavioral therapy, drug doses could be reduced by as much as 67 percent while still achieving the same results. Read more at ScienceDaily.com.

Military boarding schools rarely offer any programs for kids with special needs or who really need therapy, not being screamed at. Find an alternative at 4-Military-School-Alternatives.com.

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Medication Isn't Always What's Needed

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities issued a statement on Sunday stating that medication shouldn't be the first course of action for children or adolescents who are diagnosed with ADHD.
"While pharmacological treatments are found to treat ADHD successfully, research shows that interventions such as family and/or group therapy and other behavioral supports should be used prior to pharmacological treatments. In addition, research findings have shown medications to be beneficial when used in combination with behavioral treatment for children and adolescents that do not respond to behavioral strategies alone."
The statement goes on to suggest that parents and children weigh the risks and benefits of medication carefully and that if a decision is made to try medication the patient should start with the lowest dose possible. Read more at Tennessean.com.

Boarding schools for children with a learning disability can help with more than just academics. Learn more at TeenBoardingSchools.com.

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Tonsil Removal Helps ADHD in Some Kids

Recent studies are beginning to find an unusual link between ADHD in young children and their tonsils. More specifically, of kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD and had their tonsils removed, about half see diminished ADHD symptoms; or the symptoms disappear altogether.
"In one recent study, at the University of Michigan, 22 children with ADHD and sleep-disordered breathing had adenotonsillectomies [their tonsils removed]. After one year, 11 no longer battled ADHD."
The link seems to be between the tonsils and adenoid, and a child's sleep patterns. The tonsils and adenoid can partially block a child's airway when he lies down. The result is disturbed sleep patterns, and in some children (especially young children) lack of sleep causes hyperactivity and acting out that often gets worse the longer the child is sleep deprived. Read more at AZFamily.com.

Outdoor education programs offer ways for children to learn new skills while learning to live with their ADHD. Find a program at Boot-Camps-Info.com.

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Maintaining Eye Contact Improves Compliance

A study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Attention Disorders determined that children with ADHD are more likely to respond positively to a parent's request if the parent maintains eye contact for an extended period of time. Seventy-six families participated in the study and were divided into three groups: one that used behavioral techniques without extended eye contact, one that included eye contact, and one control group. The control group was the only one that didnt receive standard behavioral treatment instructions.
"For parents receiving the standard instructions, children's non-compliance ratings declined by 32%. Among parents who received standard instructions + the stare technique, children's non-compliance scores declined even more substantially, by a full 44%, which was significantly greater than the reduction reported by parents receiving standard instructions alone."
The study shows that parents who maintain eye contact when giving their children instructions, then maintain eye contact for 20-30 seconds afterwards obtain a more agreeable response from their children. Read more at HelpforADD.com.

Copper Canyon Academy is a high school boarding school for girls with ADHD. Learn more about Copper Canyon Academy.

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Finding the Treatment Path the Works

Some families are choosing to find their own ways of treating ADHD in their children, deciding - in some cases - to leave doctors out of the process completely. It's not a decision the families come to lightly, and they advise other parents considering similar decisions to make them carefully as well.
"Samuel had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, when he was three. He was officially diagnosed with ADHD two years ago. The family went through six months of behavior training in the RIP [Regional Intervention Program], learning to handle tantrums, teach Samuel to share and calm himself down."
Though Samuel's parents eventually felt he needed medication to get his ADHD fully under control, other parents chose herbal therapies like BrightSpark. Read more at Tennessean.com.

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Preschoolers and ADHD

The August/September issue of ADDitude Magazine features an article called "Preschoolers and ADHD" that takes an honest look at early diagnosis and what types of treatments work best.
"In a significant piece of new research, the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS), conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, concludes that treating these symptoms in preschoolers with parent effectiveness training, behavioral therapy and, in extreme cases, low doses of medication can be highly effective."
The article is posted on the magazine's website, along with links to the PATS study and other helpful information. Read more online.

Aspergers schools offer curriculums geared specifically for children with non-verbal learing disorders. Learn more about Cedars Academy.

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Improvements Follow ADHD Treatments

The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recently published four studies that reviewed the long-term benefits of ADHD treatments. In the initial studies, children were given one of three treatments; medication, medication and behavioral therapy, or behavioral therapy only.
"Ratings from both family members and teachers favored the combination treatment, and careful medication management was more successful than medication provided through usual community care sources."
Another study showed that children differed in their response to ADHD medication, with some showing improvement even into the third year of follow-up and others showing little response to medication at all. Read more at HealthDay.com.

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Memory Help for Children with ADHD

Memory problems are common for kids with ADHD. But a new medication called methylphenidate (MPH) may offer help.
"...six boys with ADHD and 6 healthy boys were studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Each patient was tested twice, once with MPH and once without... In the most difficult task, performance of medicated patients was better than that of non-medicated patients."
Brain activity also increased under the medication. Read more at PsychCentral.com.

Drugs used to treat ADHD typically work by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain. Video games can have the same effect on boys with ADHD. Learn how Boys with ADHD Can Find A Cure By Going Back to Tom Sawyer Era at www.stonemountainschool.com.

Labels: medications, treatment, memory

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New ADHD Patch Being Developed

Noven Pharmaceuticals, in partnership with Shire plc, is developing a new transdermal patch for the treatment of ADHD. The two companies previously worked together to develop Daytrana™, which was the first ADHD treatment patch ever approved.
"As previously announced, Noven successfully completed a Phase 1 study of an amphetamine transdermal system (ATS) under development for the treatment of ADHD. Shire has requested modifications to the original patch formulation in order to align ATS with its future direction in ADHD."
Daytrana™ was first released in June 2006. It was the first, and is currently the only, transdermal product approved for ADHD therapy.

The new school year is just around the corner - now's the time to look into finding an ADHD school or Asperger's Schools or a school for children with a non-verbal learning disorder. Cedars Academy is a private school specializing in children with ADD, ADHD, NLD, or Asperger's.

Labels: medications, treatment, therapy

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FDA to Approve new ADHD Drug

Shire Plc is expecting to receive approval from the FDA for a new extended-release drug used to treat ADHD. The drug is called Intuniv, and Shire hasn't yet announced an expected release date.
"Britain's third-biggest drugmaker said it had received an 'approvable letter' from the U.S. medicines regulator for Intuniv, formerly known as Conexyn, signaling it will approve a new drug pending further information."
Shire didn't say what additional information the FDA has requested. Intuniv is a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD that is believed to have little or no risk for potential abuse or dependence.

Read more at BabyCenter.com.

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Treatment of Children with Mental Disorders

The medical community's understanding of mental disorders has advanced significantly in the last several years. This Q & A article from PsychCentral addresses some of the more common concerns that parents have about getting their children diagnosed.
"Talk to your child's doctor. Ask questions and find out everything you can about the behavior or symptoms that worry you. Every child is different and even normal development varies from child to child."
The article goes on to suggest that parents may want to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist if the child's doctor believes he or she may have a mental disorder. Read more at PsychCentral.com.

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Accessible ADHD Psychological Treatment

An increasing number of doctors, counselors, and even scientist are expressing concern about the prescribing of ADHD related medications to young people. Some are concerned about misdiagnosis, while others wonder about the long term effects medications will have on still-developing bodies and their biological systems. Now, a new psychological treatment offers a unique alternative for some families.
"Child Development Institute, LLC now offers an easier way to obtain this much needed resource through Total Focus, a multimedia program for use at home by parents and kids working together as a team. The format allows busy mom & dads to receive parent education by listening to CDs on the way to work. The activities for the kids are fun can be fit into their free time."
The Total Focus program includes a variety of methods and treatment than can help with everything from self-esteem to motivation and problem-solving. Read more online.

Private schools for children with non verbal learning disorder can help in ways that public schools just can't. Cedars Academy accepts children with non verbal learning disorders as well as Asperger's Syndrome. New Leaf Academy helps girls with non verbal learning disorders and behavioral problems because of their LD.

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Nicotine to Treat ADHD?

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine think they've found an unexpected treatment for cognitive disorders associated with things like Alzheimer's and ADHD: nicotine.
"The compounds target receptors in the brain that are activated by nicotine. They impart the beneficial effects of nicotine - specifically enhanced cognition - without the numerous health threats associated with smoking."
The three-year study focused mainly on treating schizophrenia and was conducted using rodents. Further animal work will be done before the compounds are testing on humans. Read more at ScienceDaily.com.

If your child has been diganosed with a non-verbal learning disorder, a boarding school or summer camp may help. Learn more about schools for children with non-verbal learning disorder at CedarsAcademy.com and TalismanCamps.com.

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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.

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Use of ADHD Drugs Tripled During Ten-Year Period

The use of medicine to treat Attention Deficit Disorder tripled between 1993 and 2003. The United States accounted for 83% of the increase. However, researchers noted that France, Sweden, Korea and Japan showed increases in ADHD drug use among children ages five to nineteen years, and Canada and Australia had heavier use than predicted. Overall, there was a 900% increase in spending on ADHD drugs such as Ritalin.

Richard Scheffler, who led the study, said that ADHD could become the world's leading childhood disorder treatable by drugs.

One in 25 American children now takes such medications.

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Deciding Where to Draw the Line

When a child has ADD or ADHD, it's important that he's diagnosed and receives appropriate treatment to help him learn to function in school, at home, and socially. However, not all children who "simply can't sit still" have ADD or ADHD. Some are just being kids.
"It should not be forgotten that attention span and concentration differs from child to child and they increase with age. Children come into this world with different abilities and timetables. A child is regarded a 'normal' if his behavior conforms to that of his peers, but there are wide variations in childhood behavior and it is often hard to decide where abnormality begins."
It's important for parents and teachers to work together if someone suspects that a child may have ADD or ADHD. Behavior should be monitored at home and at school, and parents and teachers should "compare notes". Read more at ParentingIdeas.org.

Labels: behavior, treatment, diagnosis

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AACAP Introduces New ADHD Practice Parameter and Pocketcard

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has released a new Practice Parameter and Pocketcard that documents the best ways to evaluate, diagnose and treat ADHD.
"AACAP's Practice Parameter shows that ADHD is a medical illness on par with diabetes or asthma. Like these conditions, ADHD can be successfully managed, but not cured."
Included is information about the benefits and potential risks of ADHD medication. The AACAP hopes the information will be beneficial for those in the medical profession who don't specialize in treating children and/or adolescents or mental health illnesses. Read more online.

Labels: medications, treatment, diagnosis

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When to See the Doctor

May parents who think their children might have ADD/ADHD struggle to know when they should seek medical advice and when they need to just wait and see what happens with their child. Some parents don't want their child "labeled" and so they hesitate to seek a proper diagnosis.

"But there are times when you should see a doctor and seek medical help. Much research has shown that ADHD is biological in nature and there is medical treatment that can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD."
In this article from About.com, symptoms and behaviors are broken down by age group so that you know what you look for in children of different ages and can know when it's time to see a doctor. Read more at About.com.

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Ritalin Patch May Help with Side Effects and Stigmas

A West Virginia T.V. station recently told the story of a young boy who, diagnosed with ADHD, has begun taking his medication via a skin patch that he wears under his clothes.
"Doctor Feifel says it may be the same chemical [as Ritalin] but the patch seems to have a big advantage over pill... 'Some of the side effects that we think about with Ritalin are due, or at least contributed to, by the fact that it's a roller-coaster effect.'"
The patch provides a more steady, even dose of the medicine, and eliminates the need for trips to the nurse's office for kids to take their medication. Read more at WCHSTV.com.

Labels: medications, treatment

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Barriers Impede ADHD Care for Minority Children

A new study out of Michigan State University found that a wide range of barriers are preventing minority children with ADHD from getting adequate treatment. The study’s researchers believe schools and health professionals in areas with higher concentrations of minorities need to do a better job raising awareness.

“The barriers preventing minorities from seeking and using these treatments include a lack of culturally competent health-care providers, financial hurdles and little dissemination of information about treatments that work.” [Source: PsychCentral]

Treatment programs that combine medication and behavior therapy have been shown to dramatically improve attention and overall behavior in kids with ADHD. MSU researchers hope their study will compel people in minority-dense areas to act.


 

Labels: research, treatment

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Magazine Polls Parents on Best ADHD Treatment

When it comes to effective treatment for children with ADHD, there are a multitude of options. Different kids need different treatment programs. Consumer Reports recently surveyed more than 900 parents of kids with ADHD, to find out what’s working for their kids.

“’Eighty-four percent of those in the survey had tried medication and, of those, two-thirds said that it helped a lot,’ said Consumer Reports Dr. Orly Avitzur. But medication alone is not a cure all. The survey found that children like Amanda who were treated with both drug and non-drug therapies had better results than those who used drugs alone.” [Source: KABC-TV (Los Angeles)]

Behavioral therapy, consistent schedules, and special school accommodations are some of the non-drug approaches that have helped kids with ADHD improve and mange their symptoms.

Labels: parenting, treatment

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 2 Comments

Experts Advise: Treat ADHD Early

The lazy days of summer are over, and kids are back to school. The change in setting, schedule and expectations can be hard for a child with ADHD. It can be especially hard for a child with ADHD that has yet to be diagnosed.

“Children with untreated ADHD often have a difficult time in a typical school setting and parents get feedback about excessive talking, inattentiveness, missed assignments and disruptive behavior.

If all of this sounds familiar and you suspect your child may have ADHD but has never been diagnosed, it would be better to answer that question before this school year is too far advanced.” - Source: Kelowna Capital (B.C., Canada) News

Some parents of children with ADHD may be tempted to “wait and see,” thinking their kids may just need some extra time to adjust. But if left untreated, ADHD can cause a child to fall behind in school, and catching up can be difficult. If your child exhibits signs of ADHD, have her evaluated by a medical professional who’s experienced at diagnosing and treating ADHD. Help your child start the school year right.


 

Labels: parenting, treatment

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 1 Comment

Study Finds Shortcomings in Medicaid-Funded ADHD Treatment

According to Dec. 29 article on the website Medscape Today, a study of more than 500 children has revealed significant deficiencies in Medicaid-funded treatment for children with ADHD.

Writer Deborah Brauser described the situation:

Investigators evaluated data on 530 children between the ages of 5 and 11 years (mean age, 9.9 years; 68% boys; 54% Latino, 23% black, 13% white, 10% from more than 1 ethnic background) diagnosed with ADHD. ...

Results showed that 34% of all participants received no care of any type during the 6 months before the baseline interview, and 44% received no care between the 6- and 12-month follow-up time points. Among those in the primary care group only, 52% received no care between the 2 follow-up times.

"That there were only 1 to 2 follow-up visits a year by the children in primary care is a concern because those receiving stimulant medication require more frequent monitoring," explained [lead author] Dr. Zima. "We also anticipated higher rates of stimulant use in the mental health clinics."

Instead, "the rates of stimulant medication treatment in primary care clinics was consistently at least 2.8 times greater than that found in specialty mental health programs over the 3 time intervals," the authors write. ...

"Care for childhood ADHD in the [studied] Medicaid program failed to meet the Institute of Medicine's definition of quality that requires 'consistency with current professional knowledge' and 'improved likelihood of destined health outcomes,' " the authors write.

 

Labels: treatment

Posted By: 4ADHD.com 1 Comment

Expert Warns of Effects of Untreated ADHD

In a Jan. 7 article on the Huffington Post website, ADHD expert Steven M.S. Kurtz, Ph. D., sounded the alarm about the potential damage to children and society if health care reform rollbacks impede or impair the ability of ADHD patients to get the medical treatment they need:

Teenagers and young adults with untreated ADHD are often plagued with impulsivity, failure to think through the consequences of their decisions, an inability to finish what they start and poor judgment.

The statistics show that they are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, more likely to get addicted, more likely to have early (and unprotected) sex, as well as being more likely to be expelled from school. And Dan's car accident? That was no exception either -- people with ADHD are also more likely to get into accidents, and more likely to be seriously injured. ...

What these people brooding over the cost of health care don't seem to realize is that not providing care is already costing us. By not offering adequate treatment to the nation's children, even if we don't know it, we are already paying -- in addition to the price the kids are paying.

Decades of research have shown us that kids with untreated ADHD -- not to speak of anxiety, depression and other very treatable conditions -- struggle just to become productive citizens. These kids have a harder time holding jobs, staying married, raising children and even keeping out of jail. As long as we continue to deprive our youth of the mental health care they need, we are sabotaging our own future as well as theirs.

We need their talents and ingenuity and intelligence; we need them to step up and become our nation's entrepreneurs, engineers and political leaders.

Labels: treatment

Posted By: Staff Writer 1 Comment