Tag Archive for 'ADHD'

Page 2 of 3

K. Ellison again

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Katherine Ellison has appeared on multiple media outlets promoting her book, Buzz. She had another entry, this time in the Washington Post yesterday (20 November 2010). Given the recent release of the US Centers for Disease Control prevalence study, this is pretty timely and, award-winning journalist that she is, Ms. Ellison notes the connection in her lead.

As the mother of a teenager who got a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in 2004, I wasn’t surprised to read the new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that said the number of ADHD cases in children jumped by 22 percent between 2003 and 2007 – an increase of 1 million kids.

But, she goes on to add lots more good content to her op-ed piece published under the headline “Doing battle with the ADHD-industrial complex.”
Continue reading ‘K. Ellison again’

ADHD prevalence in US nears 1 in 10

Telephone surveys of parents in the US about the health and well-being of 73,123 children and youths between 4 and 17 years of age revealed that at one time or another 9.5% of the parents said “a doctor or other health-care provider had … told [the parent] that [the] child had ‘attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactive disorder, that is, ADD or ADHD.'” This represents a substantial increase from the 7.8% of parents who responded in the same way to a similar question four years earlier.

I don’t have time to dive into the details of the study right now, but interested readers can chase it through the US Centers for Disease Control. It was published several days ago as “Increasing Prevalence of Parent-Reported Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children — United States, 2003 and 2007” in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

A little sugar with your behavior?

Just as I did on EBD Blog, I’m encouraging folks to read Dan Willingham’s blog entry for the Washington Post regarding the persistent myth that sugar causes children to act hyper. Jump right on over to Dan’s post to read his full deflation of this popular balloon, then you can go back and catch my antique take down on the same topic at “Sugar High?

ADHD-RD connection confirmed and refined

Writing in Pediatrics, Professor Kouichi Yoshimasu and colleagues reported that the chances of children and youths having reading disabilities is significantly higher among those who have ADHD than it is among the general population of children and youths. Furthermore, although boys are significantly more likely than girls to manifest reading disabilities among the general population, among children and youths with ADHD the chances of reading disabilities are about equal. However, because girls are so much less likely to have reading problems than boys, girls’ risk is much higher in relation to their female peers’ risk.
Continue reading ‘ADHD-RD connection confirmed and refined’

DLD fall conference is just around the corner

Check out the fine slate of workshop sessions available to registered guests at the annual “Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice” meeting of the Division for Learning Disabilities, which is to be held in Baltimore (MD, US) 29 and 30 October. Of course, I am biased, but I consider this one of the outstanding professional development opportunities of the year in learning disabilities, including the more specific disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and so forth (as well as related disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Continue reading ‘DLD fall conference is just around the corner’

Story comprehension in children with ADHD

Ursula Bailey and colleagues examined developmental changes in children’s comprehension of complex stories shown as television shows. They wanted to assess whether the comprehension of stories by children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) changed in the same way as the comprehension of stories by children without ADHD, and whether the comprehension of stories was affected by potentially distracting materials when the children were exposed to the story. The researchers showed 48 children with a diagnosis of ADHD (medication free for previous 24 hours) and 65 comparison peers the TV stories (13-min Rugrats episodes) when they were about 8½ years old and again when they were about 10¼ and under two conditions: while the children had toys available or when no toys were available., After the children viewed the stories, experimenters asked them to recount the story and then to answer questions about the story.
Continue reading ‘Story comprehension in children with ADHD’

Stick to your pans

Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver by
really short

Via a post by “Sixty-Five” at Life Begins at Sixty-Five, I learned of an article by Alex Witchel in the New York Times featuring the famous chef, Jamie Oliver. The 35-year-old Mr. Oliver has been a one-person juggernaut in the world of cuisine. Mr. Witchel’s story is about Mr. Oliver going to a metropolitan area in West Virginia (US) noted for the high rates of obesity among its populace; there he will promote the pleasures of home-cooked food.

As Sixty-Five noted, an interesting subtext to the story is Mr. Oliver’s schooling experiences. Mr. Oliver’s success comes against a back drop of Learning Disabilities. Here’s a snippet from the Times article to illustrate:
Continue reading ‘Stick to your pans’

Think Aloud redux

Over on Twitter, friend of LD Blog Liz Ditz retweeted this:

RT @Includekidswdis: Stop, Think, Do a program by Lindy Petersen http://is.gd/1FQ0h which can really help children with #ADHD

I took a quick look and immediately remembered the work of Bonnie Camp and her colleagues (especially Mary Ann Bash) during the previous millennium. Dr. Camp and her group developed, researched, and refined methods for teaching children with learning and behavior problems, including attention deficit disorders, to manage their behavior. The Think Aloud program was at the forefront of the cog-mod mania that swept through child clinical psychology and special education in the 70s and 80s.

THINK ALOUD is a psychoeducational training progtam designed to enhance social and cognitive problem solving skills for increasing prosocial behavior and decreasing impulsivity. Much of the program content was chosen to correct cognitive deficits displayed by young aggressive boys. (1,2) Research on verbal mediation indicated that before internal controls could be established, many children needed first to establish effective control by verbalizing aloud then fading to a silent level. The Think Aloud Program was designed to teach children a problem solving process (including problem identificaton, generation of alternative solutions, predicting consequences and evaluating outcomes), how to verbalize aloud, how to apply this process in both cognitive and social situations, then move to silent direction and control of behavior. The original research with the program was conducted in two controlled trials and one refresher program with pairs of 6-8 year old boys rated as hyperaggressive by their teachers. (3,4,7,8,9,12) The manual for this program, along with details of research findings, is presented in Think Aloud: Small Group Program (11).

The numerals in the quote are footnotes (not surprisingly). They refer to only a few of the dozens of sources Dr. Camp provides.

Although it is a bit rough as a Web site, Dr. Camp has created an Internet site for Think Aloud. It features citations for those sources as well as some of the original materials. In addition, she has made some new materials for the program available as downloads.

Link to the Think Aloud site.

Preschool attention predicts early literacy skills

Christie Walcott and colleagues reported that children whom preschool teachers rated as having attention problems had lower scores later on phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, and rapid naming. Here’s the abstract.

Objective: The link between significant attention problems and reading difficulties among school-age children is clear, but few have examined the impact of early inattention on preliteracy development. This longitudinal study examines this link. Method: A total of 47 children had repeated measures of teacher-rated attention problems and three key preliteracy skills (phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, and rapid naming) in both preschool and kindergarten. Results: Teacher-reported attention problems in preschool significantly and negatively predicted both phonemic awareness and letter naming scores 1 year later, even after controlling for initial language ability and preschool performance on these tasks. Levels of preschool inattention did not significantly predict rapid automatic naming 1 year later. Likewise, preschool preliteracy scores did not predict attention problems in kindergarten. Conclusion: Early attention problems may interfere with the acquisition of certain preliteracy skills. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are presented.

Walcott, C. M., Scheemaker, A., & Bielski, K. (2009). Research brief: A longitudinal investigation of inattention and preliteracy development. Journal of Attention Disorders, 13, [online first, so no page numbers yet]. doi:10.1177/1087054709333330

ADHD meds and academic achievement

Writing in Pediatrics Richard M. Scheffler and colleagues reported that elementary-aged children who took medication for ADHD had higher mathematics and reading scores than their unmedicated peers with ADHD. The research team identified individuals in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Class data set whose parents repeatedly reported that they had been diagnosed with ADHD and compared the achievement data for those children with ADHD whose parents said their child had taken medication to the achievement of those children with ADHD whose parents said their child had not taken medication. The scores of the children who had taken medication were about two or three tenths of a school year higher than those of the children who had not taken medication.

Although these findings extend the scientific understanding of psychopharmacologic treatment of ADHD, it is important to note that they are essentially correlational, not experimental. Although the study is very well done (uses a good data set, sophisitcated statistical analysis, etc.), the children were not randomly assigned to medication and non-medication conditions. It is possible that (a) some other factors explain why some children were or were not medicated, and that other factor may be the cause of the differences in achievement or (b) that children who had higher achievement were simply less likely to be medicated.

Here’s the abstract:
Continue reading ‘ADHD meds and academic achievement’