Tag Archive for 'ADD'

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ADHD and transition to college

Tara Parker-Pope of the New York (NY) Times reported on some of the challenges facing students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder when they change from high-school student to college student. This is an important concern, and Ms. Parker-Pope raises important aspects of it.

The transition from high school to college is tough for most students. But for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, university life poses a host of academic, medical and personal challenges. Students with A.D.H.D. struggle to stay focused on their studies and to meet the organizational demands of schoolwork.

Although some children appear to outgrow the disorder as they age, doctors say that as many as two-thirds have symptoms that persist into adulthood.

Individuals with ADHD sometimes also have Learning Disabilities. Approximately 5% of the school-age population has been diagnosed as having ADHD alone and another 4% have both ADHD and LD, according to a report of a large-scale study reported by Pastor and Reuben (2008). Those individuals have co-morbid (as the phrase goes) LD and ADHD may benefit from some of the resources assembled by the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD), which conducted a symposium about transition in 2008.

Link to Ms. Parker-Pope’s 14 April 2009 article. Learn about the NJCLD symposium entitled, “Transition to Higher Education for Students with Learning Disabilities: Building Effective Partnerships and Resources” (30 May 2008) by visiting the NJCLD section of LDOnline. Remember to review the resources available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Pastor, P. N., & Reuben, C. A. (2008). Diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disability, United States, 2004–2006: Data from the National Health Interview Survey. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, publication no. (PHS 2008-1565, vital and health statistics; series 10, no. 237). [download PDF]

Omega 3/6 as ADD treatment?

In the spring of 2008, Professor Mats Johnson and colleagues reported that a select sub-group of children with attention deficit disorder who were given omega 3/6 fatty acids had lower scores on two scales measuring features of the disorder. The sub-group appears to be children with primarily attention Of course, just as one swallow does not a summer, I wouldn’t recommend going into the business of promoting omega 3/6 therapy. Still for those who have championed the importance of nutrition, this will come as welcome news.

Journal of Attention Disorders, Vol. 12, No. 5, 394-401 (2009)
DOI: 10.1177/1087054708316261

Omega-3/Omega-6 Fatty Acids for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial in Children and Adolescents

Mats Johnson
Göteborg University, Sweden, mats.k.johnson@vgregion.se

Sven Östlund

Göteborg University, Sweden

Gunnar Fransson

Göteborg University, Sweden

Björn Kadesjö

Göteborg University, Sweden

Christopher Gillberg

Göteborg University, Sweden

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess omega 3/6 fatty acids (eye q) in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: The study included a randomized, 3-month, omega 3/6 placebo-controlled, one-way crossover trial with 75 children and adolescents (8—18 years), followed by 3 months with omega 3/6 for all. Investigator-rated ADHD Rating Scale—IV and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale were outcome measures. Results: A majority did not respond to omega 3/6 treatment. However, a subgroup of 26% responded with more than 25% reduction of ADHD symptoms and a drop of CGI scores to the near-normal range. After 6 months, 47% of all showed such improvement. Responders tended to have ADHD inattentive subtype and comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders. Conclusion: A subgroup of children and adolescents with ADHD, characterized by inattention and associated neurodevelopmental disorders, treated with omega 3/6 fatty acids for 6 months responded with meaningful reduction of ADHD symptoms. (J. of Att. Dis. 2009; 12(5) 394-401)

Things to consider: Only the data collection after the first 3 months was blind; note that at 6 months, when blind measures were not used, the percentage responding was higher. This opens the possibility that some of the difference between the percentage responding at 6 months and and 3 months was the result of bias by the people conducting the assessments. The sample is 75, so additional replications are important.

Teacher on M. Phelps

Teacher magazine has a blog entry referring to news pieces in the New York Times and the Washington Post about Michael Phelps and his family. Interesting reading for those who are interested in ADHD and families. Check the comments.

Link to the post.

ADDitude on M. Phelps

ADDitude, a magazine about ADD and ADHD (with a nod to Learning Disabilities), is promoting a story it ran 10 years ago about Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps. Here’s some text the folks at ADDitude asked bloggers to run:

According to an interview with ADDitude magazine about his attention deficit, Michael Phelps’ mom Debbie says she helped him stay focused by reminding him to consider the consequences of his behavior. She recalls the time when 10-year-old Michael came in second and got so upset that he ripped off his goggles and threw them angrily onto the pool deck.

During their drive home, she told him that sportsmanship counted as much as winning. “We came up with a signal I could give him from the stands,” she says. “I’d form a ‘C’ with my hand, which stood for ‘compose yourself.’ Every time I saw him getting frustrated, I’d give him the sign. Once, he gave me the ‘C’ when I got stressed while making dinner. You never know what’s sinking in until the tables are turned!”

Link to the story.

ADHD alternatives

Tara Parker-Pope provided a brief overview of alternatives to medication in the treatment of ADHD in a column for the New York Times of 17 Jun 2008. Under the headline, “Weighing Nondrug Options for A.D.H.D.,” Ms. Parker-Pope briefly reviewed concerns about drugs and described several alternatives. In her discussion of St. John’s Wort, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and omega-3 fatty acids, Ms. Parker-Pope noted that alternative medical treatments are rarely used individually.

Link to Ms. Parker-Pope’s article. Thanks to Joel Mittler for alerting me to the article.