Gifts for ADHD Tweens and Teens
High-energy kids need active play, especially when they’re cooped up indoors. Active gaming fills the bill. Check out Kinect forXbox 360. The player’s body acts as the controller. Kinect tracks your child’s full-body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions, even different emotions in his voice. Sports, fitness, dance, and animal games will be first off the assembly line. Price: Xbox 360 console with Kinect: $299.99; Kinect sensor only: $149.99.
Building toys, like LEGO, are great for creative kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but, oh, the mess! This year, along with the latest “Toy Story” or “Harry Potter” LEGO set, give your organizationally challenged child a LEGO ZipBin. When unzipped, it turns into a play mat, on which your child can construct buildings, airplanes, whatever. When zipped up, it’s a box or basket, depending on the model, which stores the bricks inside. Perfect for one-step cleanup. Price: $12.99-$24.99.
A Maze and Marbles (via Young Explorers) is an interactive building toy that captures -- and holds -- our ADHD kids’ attention. The countless configurations of chutes, bridges, and drops, through which the marbles race, develop organizational and spatial skills. This hardwood version of the classic toy is sturdy, making it ideal for the rough play of ADHD kids. Price: $69.95.
Spheres of Influence
Hoberman Spheres are an engineering marvel, and an addictive distraction that occupies busy hands and curious minds. The colored collapsible spheres, which expand from six inches to 30 via small plastic joints, are not only fun to play with, but can also teach self-regulation, a function often lacking in ADHD kids. 1000 Petals Yoga suggests using the Hoberman sphere as a visual aid for meditation. “Take a deep breath, while expanding the sphere, breathe out while contracting it.” Price: $14.99 - $34.99.
Feel the Burn
Super Skipper, by International Playthings, burns up a child’s extra energy while harnessing the therapeutic benefits of music and rhythm. Kids jump and skip over a revolving bar in time to music. Music is key to brain development, for language processing, motor skills, and coordination. As a bonus, the toy might just tire out your child! Price: $32.99.
The Holidays are supposed to be joyous times to spend with family and friends. For many, these happy times are replaced with stress and anxiety over the demands we place on ourselves over the expectations of Christmas presents and shopping, holiday baking, decorating, writing cards, visiting friends and relatives, and hosting parties. Tackling these 4-6 weeks requires organization, careful planning, controlled spending, and cooperation with loved ones. For those with ADHD, these qualities may prove to be particularly elusive, and may leave you longing for January 2, 2012.
Why not spend an hour talking with an ADHD Adult Coach to devise a strategy for not only surviving these holidays, but to develop a New Year’s Resolution that includes learning proven coaching methods for planning, organization, prioritization, and relationship management?
Until your visit, consider these helpful hints:
Ways to cope with the stress of the holiday season.
1. Taking care of yourself. Continue to do what keeps you feeling energized and healthy.
2. Decide in advance what you’ll buy. Make a list that includes the people to buy a gift for, each with a dollar amount and gift idea. Shop specifically for the items on the list. Shopping online cuts down on impulsive overspending, saves time and gas money you would spend driving, wrapping, and mailing.
If finances are especially tight, homemade gifts or services or a family gift exchange are very nice options. Other family members may be relieved by your suggestion.
3. Delegate. Deciding what others can do to help. Keep a list and post each family member's duties on a chart on the fridge, with a check-off box next to the name and the task. You’ll know at a glance whether the job has been done.
4. The perfect holiday is only a fantasy. There’s only so much time and only one of you. Most of us think we can do more than we actually have time for. Better to plan too little than too much. Family traditions are wonderful, but as families change and grow, you may need to do things differently. Adjust the holiday plans to your current situation. Rediscover the word “No!”
5. Extra efforts to focus. If possible take a day off from work or hire a babysitter so you can plan, write cards, or shop without the kids. And you will be treating yourself time alone to recharge your batteries.
6. Skip shopping. Rediscover the true meaning of the Season by making a donation in family members' names to a favorite cause or nonprofit organization.
7. Escape! Try a quick in-town vacation from the holiday season and its frenzy. Take your family on a day trip the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Visual and auditory processing are the processes of recognizing and interpreting information taken in through the senses of sight and sound. The terms, "visual and auditory processing" and "visual and auditory perception", are often used interchangeably. Although there are many types of perception, the two most common areas of difficulty involved with a learning disability are visual and auditory perception. Since so much information in the classroom and at home is presented visually and/or verbally, the child with an auditory or visual perceptual disorder can be at a disadvantage in certain situations. The following information describes these two types of disorders, their educational implications, some basic interventions and what to do if there is a suspected problem.
Visual processing disorder What is it?
A visual processing, or perceptual, disorder refers to a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted, or processed by the brain.
Common areas of difficulty and some educational implications:
Spatial relation This refers to the position of objects in space. It also refers to the ability to accurately perceive objects in space with reference to other objects.
Reading and math are two subjects where accurate perception and understanding of spatial relationships are very important. Both of these subjects rely heavily on the use of symbols (letters, numbers, punctuation, math signs). Examples of how difficulty may interfere with learning are in being able to perceive words and numbers as separate units, directionality problems in reading and math, confusion of similarly shaped letters, such as b/d/p/q. The importance of being able to perceive objects in relation to other objects is often seen in math problems. To be successful, the person must be able to associate that certain digits go together to make a single number (ie, 14), that others are single digit numbers, that the operational signs (+,,x,=) are distinct from the numbers, but demonstrate a relationship between them. The only cues to such math problems are the spacing and order between the symbols. These activities presuppose an ability and understanding of spatial relationships.
Distracted Driving is Magnified by ADHD
For even the most experienced driver, distractions by billboards, other drivers, music, food and beverages, passengers, and cellphones are everyday occurrences that can only serve to increase the risk of serious accidents. Now add to this mix a diagnosis of ADHD, and you have compounded the problem to a degree that demands our attention.
According to 2009 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Most states now have in place certain limitations on young drivers, and it is essential that parents and teens know the law in their state and surrounding states. These restrictions typically relate to hours when driving is not permitted, or whether underage passengers may be present without an adult in the car. Absent in these restrictions are guidelines and rules for parents on how to assure safe driving for teenagers with ADHD. Dr. Russell Barkley, renowned expert on ADHD affirms that one of these rules is that the teen will take medication as prescribed before driving, as medication is the only treatment known to improve driving behavior for those affected by ADHD. Other rules include keeping the radio low and absolutely disallowing the use of cell phones (especially texting) while driving. Barkley also suggests teens maintain a driving log, including when medication was taken, where the driver went and how far she drove, contact numbers for where the teen would be and when the car left and returned to the family residence. Parents should check the log regularly; privileges might be awarded or removed based on the log’s information.
On this topic, CHADD recommends that teens who abide by these rules should see their driving privileges increase every six months, while teens who have difficulty following these rules can see those privileges cut back or suspended until they display more maturity and compliance. It is better and less expensive to have driving privileges suspended by a parent than by a judge. Careful planning, drivers’ education and a gradual increase in privileges that correspond with improved skills benefits teen drivers and can help make driving a better experience for them and their parents.
Without a proper diagnosis, appropriate treatment is impossible. Schedule an appointment with a Portrait Health Centers' doctor by calling (847) 868-3435 or simply click below:
About Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), is a complex problem affecting about 5% of school-aged children. These kids can't process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ears and brain don't fully coordinate. Something adversely affects the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, most notably the sounds composing speech.
Kids with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard. These kinds of problems usually occur in background noise, which is a natural listening environment. So kids with APD have the basic difficulty of understanding any speech signal presented under less than optimal conditions.
Schedule an Auditory Processing Exam today with a Licensed Audiologist at Portrait Health Centers by calling (847) 868-3435 or simply click below:
About 4 percent of adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many others have never been diagnosed. (About half of kids with ADHD still have it in adulthood.) A diagnosis can be important. Adults with ADHD tend to have lower incomes as well as higher rates of accidents, unplanned pregnancies and substance abuse than those without it, says Martin W. Wetzel, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha.
If you believe you might have ADHD, call the Portrait Health Centers at (847) 868-3435 or click below to schedule an apppointment:
Here are 15 signs of adult ADHD.
1. You're restless.
Children with ADHD can be overly energetic, but adults may just feel edgy or restless.
"Adults don't show the more obvious signs such as running and jumping," says Colette de Marneffe, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Silver Spring, Md. "Hyperactivity presents more subtly in the form of restlessness."
However, you may recall a rambunctious childhood. Dr. Wetzel had a patient who recalled spending a lot of time in the school hallways because "he couldn't sit still." It's a "classic story," he says.
2. You have a child with ADHD
ADHD appears to have a genetic component. When one member of the family has it, there's a 25- to 35-percent chance that someone else in the family does, too, according to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, some adults, who may have had the same symptoms when they were children, realize that they may have always had the condition without realizing it.
These 19 famous people have scored gold medals, started up Fortune 500 companies, won Grammy awards, starred in TV shows, won Super Bowls — and they all have ADD or ADHD.
Actor, singer and one of Parenting.com’s hot celeb dads said on the Celebrities with Diseases website that growing up, he was the “fun one who had trouble paying attention”, and that today, he would’ve been diagnosed with ADHD. He also recalls having trouble reading — these days he follows along with books on tape.
The Grammy-winning singer said in an interview with Collider.com that he has “ADD mixed with OCD”. That didn’t stop him from bringing sexy back — or writing hit after hit.
The star chef had ADHD as a child, but he told the Celebrities with Diseases website that healthy eating helps him manage it. Today, he’s a huge proponent for healthier school lunches and eliminating junk food from kids’ diets as a way to cope with attention disorders.
The Ukrainian-born Dancing With the Stars pro said ADHD was not a well-known disorder in her home country — in an interview with ET, she reported she was diagnosed just two years ago .
Swimmer Michael Phelps racked up 14 gold medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics. But swimming isn’t just a winning sport for Phelps; it’s a way for him to cope with his ADHD. Phelps’ mom Debbie described her son’s exhibition of classic ADHD symptoms: not sitting still or being able to focus. However, he channeled that into swimming, and with “continuous praise and positive reinforcement” Phelps had the encouragement he needed to score the golds.
Funnyman Jim Carrey is well known for his zany, all-over-the-place antics — but he said on the Celebrities with Diseases website that’s a result of his ADHD. He remembers coping by being the class clown, and said that it’s “hard for me to come down from what I do.”
Pennington, who was diagnosed with ADHD in college, said in the London-based Metro newspapers that carpentry is what helps keep him focused. Looks like his gig as the bundle-of-energy Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host couldn’t be more perfect for him.
Sir Richard Branson:
Virgin Founder and adventurer Sir Richard Branson has ADHD — but that hasn’t stopped him from owning a major airline, sending tourists into space, or building an underwater plane. Branson’s living proof of the statistic reported in Psychology Today that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own company — indeed, he started up his own magazine called Student when he was just 16.
The socialite/heiress/reality TV starlet said in her post-jail interview with Larry King on CNN that she takes Adderall to manage her ADHD, which she’s struggled with since she was 12.
Remember Knight as middle bro Peter on The Brady Bunch? He’s said on NCL.org that in watching energetic, quirky Peter, viewers were also watching Knight’s public struggle with ADHD. (He also had trouble memorizing lines.) After difficulties with reading and writing, and dropping out of college, Knight was eventually diagnosed with ADHD nine years ago. He compares getting medication for ADHD to getting glasses for poor vision.
The comedian and host of Deal or No Deal is known for his germ phobia — but he’s reported that he also deals with ADHD. In his public service announcements for Adult ADHD, Mandel recalls not being able to focus or sit still in class as a kid, but he wasn’t diagnosed until he was an adult.
Former NFL quarterback (he won the Pittsburgh Steelers four Super Bowl titles) was diagnosed with depression after he admitted he often had anxiety attacks before games. He also reported he has ADHD, and struggled even as a child. Bradshaw now frequently speaks out against the stigmas of mental disorders, hoping he can help others — particularly, he said in an interview on FireChief.com, the “big old macho guys”– get help.
James Carville, a political consultant and commentator, is best known for leading campaigns for Bill Clinton and Tony Blair (heard of them?) He also has adult-onset ADHD, and frequently speaks about it with organizations such as the Portrait Health Centers.
Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko’s:
Paul Orfalea’s dyslexia and “ADD to the max”may have caused him to flunk second grade and earn Cs and Ds in college — but, in an interview with ADDitude magazine, he credits ADHD with helping him start the copy chain Kinko’s (so-called for his own nickname, due to his curly hair). “With ADD, you’re curious,”he said. Orfalea also says his ADHD lets him think big without getting weighed down by details, saying “I can’t write a letter and I can’t fix a machine [...] I hire capable people to handle that.”Orfalea also offers up a barb for the No Child Left Behind Act, and how it would have impacted him with his ADHD: “I would still be in third grade, because that’s how bad a speller I am.”
Major League Baseball star Pete Rose lost interest in school when he was labeled a “troublemaker” by teachers — but Rose didn’t find out until a few years ago that his behavior could have been explained by his ADHD, according to ADDitudemag.com. His undiagnosed ADHD also fed his gambling addiction, which eventually cost him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose chronicled his battle with ADHD and gambling in his 2004 book My Prison Without Bars.
Former Lost star Michelle Rodriguez worries that her ADHD could interfere with writing and directing opportunities. But she said in an interview with Cosmopolitan that she is wary of taking medication for it.
David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue Airways:
David Neeleman reported in an interview with ADDitude magazine his ADHD prevents him from being detail-oriented and completing doing day-to-day tasks, saying, “I have an easier time planning a 20-aircraft fleet than I do paying the light bill.” But Neeleman credits his success, and creation of JetBlue, with his ADHD — saying that, with the disorder comes creativity and the ability to think outside the box.
Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner said on CHADD’s (Children and Adults with ADHD) leadership blog that he struggled in grade school with attention issues, until he won a race in fifth grade. Being the fastest kid in the class gave him his “little arena” to focus on — and eventually, the tools to succeed in the big arena, when he took the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
When singer Solange Knowles (little sister to Beyonce — and mom to son Daniel) found out she had ADHD, she didn’t believe it was a disorder. But Knowles said on HealthCentral.com she has high energy and that “people think I’m high even when I’m sober.”
*** Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — also referred to ADD or ADHD — is a biological, brain based condition that is characterized by poor attention and distractibility and/or hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. It is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children. Symptoms may continue into adolescence and adulthood. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to poor school/work performance, poor social relationships and a general feeling of low self esteem.
Without a proper diagnosis, appropriate treatment is impossible. Schedule an appointment at the Portrait Health Centers today! Call (847) 868-3435 or click below:
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The proportion of children and teens in the U.S. who have a developmental disability such as autism has increased 17% since the late 1990s, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 1997 and 2008, the number of children with a disability rose from 8.2 million to roughly 10 million, or more than 15% of all kids between the ages of 3 and 17, the researchers found.
This upward trend has been driven largely by surges in the number of children found to have autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, although the prevalence of stuttering and learning disabilities has also increased.
Health.com: What causes ADHD? 12 myths and facts
The study, which appears in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics, is the first time nationally representative data on developmental disabilities has been collected since 1988, says Sheree Boulet, Dr.P.H., one of the study's authors and an epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
The reasons for the increases aren't clear, but growing awareness and increasing acceptance of developmental disabilities have probably played a big role, Boulet says. For instance, she explains, the availability of early and effective treatments for conditions such as ADHD might be encouraging more parents to have their children screened for the disorder.
The study findings are to be expected, given the "increased awareness and much better reporting," says Alan Hilfer, Ph.D., the director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center, in New York City.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, [Whalen et al., (2011). Dissecting daily distress in mothers of children with ADHD: An electronic diary study. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 402-411.], parents of children with ADHD experience high stress levels on a daily and ongoing basis that is tied directly to their child’s behaviors and symptoms of ADHD. Using real-time monitoring tools to record levels of stress over a 7-day period, mothers of children with ADHD who participated in the study documented every 30 minutes during non-school hours both their child’s behaviors and their personal level of distress. Participating children used an electronic diary device to record their moods and behaviors, independent of their mother’s input.
Not too surprisingly, the study concluded that maternal stress is related to the behaviors of the child with ADHD, and maternal distress is highest when the child reported him or herself to be angry, impatient, or restless. The study also concluded that mothers are more reactive to their child’s negative behaviors. When children display negative behaviors or exhibit mood states such as oppositional behavior, hyperactivity or anger, the mothers' distress level increases significantly and are greater in mothers whose child has ADHD and who report higher rates of ADHD symptoms, depression and child-related stress. These mothers at higher risk of stress also appear to be highly sensitive to negative behaviors in their child and are more likely to respond by experiencing increasing distress.
As the study authors conclude, “Results from this study have several important implications, including the importance of recognizing the impact that ADHD can have on parents and of providing parents with necessary treatment and support. Too often, children themselves are the sole focus of ADHD treatment and important issues that parents are struggling with do not receive sufficient attention. Also, these findings highlight the particular struggles that parents experience dealing effectively with the negative behaviors that occur more frequently in children with ADHD. Because such behavior triggers significant increases in what may already be high levels of distress, responding consistently in the ways that are often discussed in behavioral parent training programs may be especially difficult."
This suggests that there would be important value in helping parents develop skills to manage their distress in the moment, and to learn to recognize particular triggers of increased distress. The cumulative emotional toll of raising a child with a chronic disorder could be decreased through the use of parental coaching. Reducing negative emotional reactions to such challenging child behaviors could make it easier for parents to follow through consistently with behavioral strategies they are trying to implement.
Learn how to implement effective behavior strategies through parental coaching with one of Portrait Health Centers licensed psychologists. Call (847) - 868-3435 or click below:
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Although many people do not yet know this, there is a substantiated link between glucose and the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Whereas medical science previously believed these conditions to necessitate prescription medication, it is possible to exercise some limited measure of control over ADD and ADHD through nothing more than dietary modifications. What follows are the basic facts you should understand about the link between glucose and ADHD, along with some tips for planning an effective nutritional strategy.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and is primarily recognized in individuals through symptoms such as excessive talking, inability to remain calm or focused, forgetfulness, and general impulsiveness. ADHD is a common disorder, affecting roughly three to five percent of children in school.
Glucose is the body's primary source of fuel, and is typically derived from carbohydrates, although under certain circumstances it can also be manufactured from protein or fat. As food enters the system and is digested, it is converted into glucose which is sent out into the bloodstream and either utilized as energy or stored for later use.
Glucose and ADHD
A Yale study involving 28 children, 17 with ADHD and 11 in the control group, found that the children having ADHD were affected by changes in their blood glucose level to a greater extent than the control group. Following sugar consumption, inattention and impulsiveness were also increased to a greater extent in the ADHD children as opposed to the control group. This has led researchers to suggesting that you avoid consuming excessive sugar or substantially elevating your glucose levels (especially in the absence of protein) if you have ADHD.
ADHD Diet and Glucose
The ADHD diet seems to intuitively grasp this idea by suggesting that you have your ADHD child first tested for gluten sensitivity, as the incidence rate of gluten sensitivity is much higher among individuals with ADHD than among the general population. As excessive sensitivity to gluten would result in a larger blood sugar spike, you can see how this might lead to exacerbated symptoms of ADHD.
Following the ADHD Diet
The other precepts of the ADHD Diet are as follows: consume organic food wherever possible, avoid high mercury containing fish like swordfish and shark, add omega-3 supplementation, and consume a daily multi-vitamin. When this advice is put into play with the research recommending against sugar consumption for ADHD individuals, you can go a long way towards controlling this disorder with just a few simple dietary modifications.
Schedule an appointment with a Portrait Health Registered Dietitian by calling (847) 868-3435, or by simply clicking below:
Portrait Health Centers, the industry leader in the treatment of learning disorders for children and adults, shares tips, news, and advice about the treatment, diagnosis, and therapy options for people struggling with Attention Deficit (ADHD) and other learning disorders.