As children wake up in the morning, their bodies are switching from sleep mode to day mode. Depending on the learning disability, the child may not have received a full night sleep to recharge. Thus, breakfast is especially important. What are the super foods to start the school day out right? Start with the nutrient, water! A suggestion is to place two glasses on the table, fill one glass half way with water and the other half full of either milk, fruit juice or a pureed fruit or vegetable shake. Dehydration can zap concentration very quickly. Remember to pack a fresh bottle of water with a few ice cubes every day! Giving a compliment to a child when you catch them drinking water is a sure way to keep that fantastic habit of hydrating with water in motion.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. A few possible characteristics of ADHD children in a school classroom may include being in constant motion by touching or playing with objects and excessive talking and interrupting conversations to state something not currently being discussed(1). It is important to remember that each ADHD diagnosed child is unique and may act in their own way.
Many learning opportunities present themselves during a typical school day. To allow a child to get the most out of each learning day, it is important to provide a child with nutritious food options. Just as you fuel up your car with gas, a body needs multiple fuel-ups during the day to keep the organs and brain fed. When a child has a learning disability, his/her body will need finely tuned fuel readily available to tap into and use throughout the day. A hungry child solely focuses on a growling stomach, not the teacher’s lesson plan.
It is estimated, as of 2011, that 12% of children ages 5-17 years old have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is a 43% increase from 2003. With such an increase in prevalence, more research than ever is being done to investigate treatment options. One option that many parents have found helpful is making diet changes for their children. Research has found correlation between making specific diet changes and a decrease in ADHD symptoms. Foods that are recommended to be avoided include foods with artificial colors and preservatives, high mercury, sugar, caffeine, dairy, gluten and non-organic produce. Below are ten popular foods that children eat that fall into these categories. Try eliminating these foods one at a time for about 2 weeks to see how your child responds. Unfortunately, children may respond differently to diet changes, so it may require some trial and error. To get your child on board with a diet change, make a fun game out of it by exploring the grocery store aisles for foods your family has never tried.
About The Author:
Margaret Burke is a Registered Dietitian at Portrait Health Centers in Saint Charles and Naperville, Illinois and a Certified English as a Second Language Instructor, and is currently completing her 200 hour yoga teach training. She works in private practice helping clients achieve their nutritional goals. When she is not working, she enjoys photography, traveling abroad, and baking delicious treats.
Many experts believe that learning disabilities originate mostly from little interruptions in the brain causing it not to function properly, though the causes are not concretely identified, the good thing is that there are methods used to help battle those interruptions. One of those ways is by using nutrition as the ‘super hero’. There are properties that are naturally found in foods that can aid the brain to help remove those interruptions and improve the way that the brain works. Here are just 5 that show promise to help and next time you go grocery shopping think to include to have in your kitchen.
1) Show them how the task is done
2) Do the task with the child
3) Watch your child do the task at hand
4) Finally have the child do the task independently
When a child feels they are independent, they are more willing to listen and participate in the communication occurring and be an active participant.
Effective communication in general can be difficult for so many families; fortunately it is a skill that can be worked upon. Communication skills which include empathy, reflective listening, and positive feedback are important for effective and successful communication with your child.
An open dialogue between you and your family members allows for support, clarification and sharing information more easily making it for a happier home at the end.
Some individuals and organizations refer to this as Language Processing Disorder and assert that it is a specific subtype of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). One difference between Language Disorder and APD is that individuals with APD may have difficulty processing sounds that are not language (e.g. fire engine sirens, barking dogs, or crying babies). Another difference is that Language Disorder includes difficulty with language that is not auditory at all. In order to be diagnosed with Language Disorder, an individual must meet the following criteria:
A. Persistent difficulties in the acquisition and use of language across modalities (i.e., spoken, written, sign language, or other) due to deficits in comprehension or production that include the following:
C. Onset of symptoms is in the early developmental period.
D. The difficulties are not attributable to hearing or other sensory impairment, motor dysfunction, or another medical or neurological condition and are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay.”
(American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 42)
As noted in the above diagnostic criteria, individuals begin exhibiting signs of Language Disorder in early childhood. Teachers, school psychologists, audiologists, and speech therapists are often involved in identifying and testing young children for language impairment. The impact of Language Disorder can be one of isolation, where a child becomes extremely uncomfortable communicating with anyone outside of the immediate family. The consequences of such isolation can lead to emotional distress in the form of depression, anxiety, social phobias, or even aggressive behavior and inappropriate explosions of anger. In addition to seeking treatment for the core deficits found in Language Disorder, parents should strongly consider seeking a mental health professional to help with the emotional and psychological problems a child may experience when struggling with Language Disorder.
In today’s day and age, hearing that a child has been diagnosed with ADHD has become more common compared to previous years. According to Centers for Disease and Control Preventions, in 2003, 7.8% of children between the ages of 4-17 were diagnosed with ADHD; this percentage has increased to 11% in 2011. It is now estimated that 1 in every 9 children has been formally diagnosed with ADHD, with the earliest symptoms becoming evident at age three, and the average age of diagnosis being seven.
Adapting to life at college is difficult enough even for the most gifted of students. Between the demands of an advanced curriculum, being away from the comforts of home, adapting to a roommate, dorm life, dorm food, laundry, newfound freedom, temptations, and distractions, it’s no wonder that the first report card comes with such a shock to so many college freshman and their parents. Now imagine adding to this list the pressures of managing ADHD, and you can understand why so many students with ADHD are seeking guidance from Clinical Psychologists who specialize in coaching young adults in managing ADHD.
Whether it be the hour-long monotonous lectures that are a test to anybody’s focus, or the hundreds of pages of weekly assigned reading, or the semester-long group project, the requirements of college learning demand that students remain attentive and organized, and yet possess an air of creativity and ingenuity. As any student with ADHD could tell you, the combination of these traits are a real struggle to maintain. The medications that are designed to help battle inattentiveness and distracted thoughts often work to one’s disadvantage when the mind needs to be creative and dynamic. Also part of the challenges are the extended hours for studying and expressive writing. Medications that have always been adequate for high school studying requirements seem ineffective for many college courses.
Portrait Health Centers Specializing in Diagnosing and Treating Depression, Attention Deficit Disorders, Nutritional Needs, and Learning Differences in Children, Adults & Seniors