Friday, December 4, 2015

How Long Does ADHD Last? James W. Forgan, Ph.D., and Mary Anne Richey)

Most researchers agree that ADHD lasts a lifetime. “Numerous longitudinal studies now support the conclusion that ADHD is a relatively chronic disorder affecting many domains of major life activities from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood” (Barkley, 2006). The impact of ADHD on adults will likely become as widely studied as its impact on children. 

Some encouraging news is that puberty or maturation changes types of ADHD behaviors for some boys. According to Silver (1999), “About 40–50 percent of children with ADHD will improve or no longer have ADHD after puberty”. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ADHD - Typical Versus Atypical Behavior (James W. Forgan, Ph.D., and Mary Anne Richey)

We’re often asked, “How do you determine if this is normal boy behavior or behavior that is unusual?” You can probably arrive at an answer on your own, but you need to consider these three questions to know if your son’s behavior is unusual: 
  • How frequently does the disruptive behavior occur? 
  • How long do your son’s disruptive behaviors last? 
  • How intense is your son’s behavior during this time? 

Think about how frequently your son’s disruptive behaviors occur. Once an hour? Once a day? Once per week? It is unusual for a child to get into trouble on a daily basis. We talked to one mom who felt like she had to keep her 7-year-old away from the other neighborhood boys because every time her son went out to play, he came home crying. He had an explosive temper and yelled at the other boys when he got mad but couldn’t handle it when the neighborhood kids yelled back, and he’d run home in tears. This was unusual behavior because it happened so consistently. 

Consider the parent with several sons who all have similar behavior patterns. They may think their children are behaving typically because their reference group of boys may be their only comparison. Thus, parents may think that everything is fine until their sons go to school. Once a young boy enters the school system, the parents are surprised to learn that their son’s behavior is considered problematic. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

ADHD Properly Diagnosed (James W. Forgan, Ph.D., and Mary Anne Richey)

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why seek a professional diagnosis? Why not just begin a homeopathic or behavioral treatment?” One dad, a prospective client of Jim’s, called and asked abruptly, “Why should I drop a grand with you to diagnose my son when I can just start counseling?” Jim explained that a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis help determine the most appropriate treatment. 

Let’s face it: You can build a house without a set of plans. It may take a lot longer, cost a lot more, and have hidden problems, but it can be done. Likewise, do you think a smart general enters a war without a battle plan? Absolutely not. So why start treating your son for something you suspect but haven’t confirmed? 
The diagnosis serves multiple purposes. First, it may provide parents with a sense of understanding, which is often accompanied by relief. Parents may be relieved to know their child really does have something fundamentally different about his mind. The diagnosis also can help parents shift their mindset about their child. 

Second, the diagnosis may provide you and your son with access to school services. Most public and private schools require a professional diagnosis or an evaluation to provide any formal accommodations. Accommodations are adjustments such as extra time to complete tests or homework, seating near the front of the class, or frequent breaks. Furthermore, as boys with ADHD prepare to take college entrance exams, a diagnosis and a complete evaluation report by a qualified individual are required to receive accommodations. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How the Baby Product Industry Affects Your Child’s Development : Electronic Tablets and Smartphones

To add to all the electronic devices available, there are now interactive tablets to consider. Many babies and toddlers absolutely love playing with touch-screen technology—and it’s no wonder! The touch screen provides instant gratification with its cool images, movements, and sounds appealing to their senses. Understandably, many parents are thrilled with this interactive technology because, mostly through media ads, they’ve heard that babies can learn letters, numbers, words, and concepts. However, to date there is no research studying a connection between tablets or smartphones and infant learning.

Whether traveling in the car or waiting in the pediatrician’s office, it’s not uncommon for parents to hand over a smartphone, laptop, or tablet to their toddler. To parents, these devices act much like a babysitter, and with hundreds of apps available for young children, they’re increasingly appealing to little ones. Are there potential benefits or harms to babies being exposed to these interactive screens? Again, proper research hasn’t been completed, so there’s no scientific proof yet. For older children, the interactive element allows them to learn concepts such as cause and effect and sequencing, but for babies still experiencing critical brain development, long-term effects remain unknown.

Friday, November 20, 2015

How the Baby Product Industry Affects Your Child’s Development : Televisions and DVDs (Anne H. Zachry, PhD, OTR/L)

Consider the negative effects on the developmental process when a baby watches educational DVDs. While watching videos, he passively stares at a screen without moving or interacting with others, not to mention the over stimulation that can occur from the flashing images and sounds coming from the screen. A recent study found that for every hour each day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, babies learned 6 to 8 fewer new vocabulary words than babies who did not watch videos. So the more time babies spent watching videos, the fewer words they knew.7

Preliminary research also indicates that low academic achievement, limitations with attention span, obesity, aggression, and sleep impairments may be associated with overuse of childhood technology.8–12 Unfortunately, the average daily TV viewing time for children younger than 2 years in this country is 1 to 2 hours, and this time span typically increases with age.13