How Chaotic and Stressful Is Your ADHD Life?

How Chaotic and Stressful Is Your ADHD Life?

We’ve discovered a ADHD mother’s blog that is funny, outrageous, and will make you feel like everything’s going to be OK.

http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2013/05/30/worst-end-of-school-year-mom-ever#.UbZ-2IThsv0.email

Jen Hatmaker – Worst End of School Year Mom Ever
jenhatmaker.com
Jen Hatmaker

Dear Sheer Genius,

Dear Sheer Genius,

Our family is currently using Play Attention with my son, 9, and daughter, 12. We will be traveling quite a bit this summer and I really do not want to stop our training schedule. We have been consistent so far and I want to maintain our schedule as much as possible. I have seen great results so far and I am looking forward a positive new school year for both of my children.

Do you think it is a good plan to take Play Attention on the road with us? How easy would this be especially if at times we do not have Internet connection.

Thank you.
Melinda, Play Attention mom

How do I submit a question?

To submit your question please click here or email sheergenius@playattention.net. If your question is selected you will receive a personal email from Sheer Genius and your question/answer will be posted on our website as well as our Facebook page. We will only use your first name if you provide it.

Sheer Genius looks forward to hearing from you!

 

Play Attention Dear Melinda,

Thank you for your question. I am so glad to hear that you have set up a consistent schedule with your children. I have good news for you! Play Attention is truly very easy to take on the road! Consider the following:

The Play Attention system is very compact. It will easily fit into a travel bag.

You can run Play Attention on your laptop, netbook, or tablet.

Your data is easily transferable from your desktop to your laptop. Your support adviser can help you to export your current data file to your travel computer.

You do not need to be connected to the internet when doing your Play Attention session.

Since Play Attention is completely wireless, you can even do your session in the car!

I am very proud of you and your family making Play Attention a part of your routine. This will make a huge difference to your children’s learning process. Remember though that sometimes breaks are unavoidable. It is okay to take a small break over the summer as long as you pick up your sessions as soon as you return.

Keep up the great work. We are excited to hear about your children’s progress as they start their new school year!

With all my support and attention,
Sheer Genius

 

Autism and ADHD

What’s the link?
The study was published in Autism: The International Journal and Practice.

http://www.kennedykrieger.org/overview/news/nearly-one-third-children-autism-also-have-adhd

Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that nearly one-third of children with autism also have ADHD.

The researchers found that school age children (4 to 8 years) with both autism and ADHD had significantly greater social and cognitive problems compared to children with autism alone.

“We are increasingly seeing that these two disorders co-occur and a greater understanding of how they relate to each other could ultimately improve outcomes and quality of life for this subset of children,” says Dr. Rebecca Landa, senior study author and director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger. “The recent change to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to remove the prohibition of a dual diagnosis of autism and ADHD is an important step forward.”

The study was published in Autism: The International Journal and Practice.

http://www.kennedykrieger.org/overview/news/nearly-one-third-children-autism-also-have-adhd

Heartwarming, compelling, and motivating.

A case study by Dr. Shane Perrault
[Dr. Shane Perrault is a contributing editor for Psychology Today]. See the full story at http://www.playattention.com/jasmine-announced-plans-attend-elite-college/
Athletic, creative, dynamic, charming; yet discouraged, unfocused and crest-fallen – she came into my office 4 years earlier, fearful she wouldn’t be able to obtain the 2.0 GPA needed to try out for team sports. Even worse, if she couldn’t compete in sports, then why bother with school? Sports were the only success she knew.

When I asked Jasmine about her grades, she responded “well I got a ‘C’,” lowering her head when asked if the “C” was the good or bad news. Next, I asked, “So what are you good at?” Lighting up like a Christmas tree, she responded “Swimming! I want to be an Olympian. No one can catch me in the water, I swim like a dolphin.”

[Dr. Shane Perrault is a contributing editor for Psychology Today]. See the full story at http://www.playattention.com/jasmine-announced-plans-attend-elite-college/

Introducing Dear Sheer Genius

Dear Sheer Genius,

We are pleased to introduce our new advice column, Dear Sheer Genius. This advice column will be sent out every week and we invite all of you to write to our very own attention specialist, Sheer Genius. You may write Sheer Genius and ask questions about Play Attention, attention problems, education, behavior shaping, parenting concerns, peer relationships etc.!

Sheer Genius is here to help!

Who is Sheer Genius?

Sheer Genius is the virtual member of the Play Attention family. His outstanding knowledge and experience is incorporated into Play Attention to help guide you through our program every step of the way!

How do I submit a question?

To submit your question please click here or email sheergenius@playattention.net. If your question is selected you will receive a personal email from Sheer Genius and your question/answer will be posted on our website as well as our Facebook page. We will only use your first name if you provide it.

Sheer Genius looks forward to hearing from you!

Photo: Introducing Dear Sheer Genius,
We are pleased to introduce our new advice column, Dear Sheer Genius.  This advice column will be sent out every week and we invite all of you to write to our very own attention specialist, Sheer Genius.  You may write Sheer Genius and ask questions about Play Attention, attention problems, education, behavior shaping, parenting concerns, peer relationships etc.!
Sheer Genius is here to help!
Who is Sheer Genius?
Sheer Genius is the virtual member of the Play Attention family. His outstanding knowledge and experience is incorporated into Play Attention to help guide you through our program every step of the way!
How do I submit a question?
To submit your question please click here or email sheergenius@playattention.net.  If your question is selected you will receive a personal email from Sheer Genius and your question/answer will be posted on our website as well as our Facebook page.  We will only use your first name if you provide it.
Sheer Genius looks forward to hearing from you!

ADHD Is Linked to Adult Obesity


Research published in the journal Pediatrics
reports that boys who are diagnosed with ADHD are twice as likely to become obese adults.

Study co-author, Dr. Francisco Xavier Castellanos

Read the full article: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/05/15/peds.2012-0540.abstract?sid=e4c6be00-0665-4fce-bd7c-ee3c8d183bbd

The international study involved researchers from New York, Mexico, and Verona and spanned over 30 years. They followed 207 Caucasian boys diagnosed with childhood ADHD. Starting at an average age of about 8, they were interviewed at ages 18-25 and finally at age 41. At age 18, 178 boys without ADHD were recruited for the study.

The researchers found that at age 41, the men who had ADHD weighed an average of 213 pounds with 41 percent of them deemed obese. The non-ADHD group averaged 194 pounds, with only 22 percent deemed obese. The men with childhood ADHD tended to have a higher body-mass index (BMI) and obesity, even if they no longer had ADHD symptoms. Additionally, socioeconomics made no difference; wealthy or poor, they tended toward obesity.

Study co-author, Dr. Francisco Xavier Castellanos, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry in the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center said, “The bottom line is, boys who were hyperactive when followed up for more than 30 years turn out to be more likely to be obese than comparable kids from their same communities.”

The authors could not determine why adult obesity followed a childhood ADHD diagnosis. Some theories:

* With our current understanding of dopamine and ADHD (see prior submission), ADHD children may be trying to increase dopamine levels through food intake.

* Poor impulse control and poor planning skills are frequently associated with ADHD. This could lead to food choices and poor eating habits. Impulse control may also contribute to overeating.

Long-Term Use of ADHD Medications Changes Brain Function

What every parent and adult needs to know

Report By: Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Read the full article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0063023

For many years, dopamine, a neurotransmitter (a brain chemical that transmits a message from a brain cell to another brain cell), was thought to be primary culprit in ADHD. Dopamine plays a major function in the brain as it is responsible for reward-motivated behavior. A plethora of studies have shown rewards increase the level of dopamine in the brain. This is what makes us motivated to get rewarded. Many drugs, including cocaine, Ritalin, and methamphetamine, act by amplifying the effects of dopamine. Too little dopamine means greater distractability and riskier behavior as the brain constantly seeks ways to increase its dopamine levels.

Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory published a study in the journal PLOS One examining levels of dopamine in ADHD patients who had never taken stimulants. They reviewed dopamine transporter density. Transporters actually filter dopamine away from its receptors in the brain. More transporters means less dopamine (and therefore less bang for the reward). Transporter density was determined through PET brain scans.

Initial scans found no differences among their small population of 18 adults who suffered from ADHD but were never treated for it. This group was then treated with Ritalin. After a year, the researchers discovered that dopamine transporter density increased by 24 percent. What this study found was in fact what many parents have discovered during their child’s use of medication; taking ADHD medication may change the brain’s chemistry so that the effects of the medication are reduced over time. To accommodate this, one’s pediatrician or medical doctor will often increase the dosage due to drug tolerance.

More questions than answers arise due to this research. Here’s what’s now on the table:

* Medication is commonly taken over many years. The researchers are not sure whether the brains would return to their original state if they stopped taking the drug.

* Other studies have indicated that increased levels of dopamine transporters in the brain could be used as a diagnostic marker for ADHD — a way to screen for ADHD. This research tells us that long-term use of stimulant medications like Ritalin may actually cause these increased levels. So increase levels is not a good biomarker.

* Long-term effects are now questionable; will the medicated person constantly need more risk-associated behaviors including drug use as the effects of medication are reduced over time?

“In this study, we only proved that increased dopamine transporter levels cannot be used as a biomarker,” Wang said.

One of the patients in Wang’s study who had never received ADHD therapy was having difficulty in college and in her marriage, but she loved to paint. After taking medication she did better in school and with personal relationships, but she lost her creative drive, Wang said.

Breastfeeding — The New Ritalin?

New research suggest it is
Mimouni-Bloch, A, Kachevanskaya, A, Mimouni, FB, et al. Breastfeeding May Protect from Developing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Breastfeeding Medicine. 2013; doi:10.1089. Accessed May 14, 2013. Full study: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/bfm.2012.0145

The May 14, 2013 issue of Breastfeeding Medicine reports that breastfeeding may offer a protective effect from ADHD. The Israeli scientists performing the study say breastfeeding may keep children from developing ADHD even as they get older.

The Israeli researchers recruited 6 to 12 year-olds diagnosed with ADHD.These children were matched up with two sets of healthy control groups. The control groups were the ADHD children’s siblings who did not have ADHD, and 6 to 12 year old children with similar backgrounds. Siblings were included because they likely have similar genetic and
environmental backgrounds as the children with ADHD.

The researchers found that children who had been diagnosed with ADHD were breastfed less often than their healthy peers. Here’s the breakdown:

* At one month of age, only 63 percent of children with ADHD were breastfed.

* At one month of age, the non-ADHD kids were breastfed 86 percent of the time while the ADHD children’s non-ADHD siblings were breastfed 79 percent of the time.

* By six months of age, only 29 percent of the ADHD children were breastfed while 50 percent of their healthy siblings and 57 percent of the non-related children were breastfed.

“A stepwise logistic regression … demonstrated a significant
association between ADHD and lack of breastfeeding at 3 months of age, maternal age at birth, male gender, and parental divorce,” the researcher wrote. “Children with ADHD were less likely to breastfeed at 3 months and 6 months of age than children in the two control groups. We speculate that breastfeeding may have a protective effect from
developing ADHD later in childhood.”

One can’t help but ask if the child’s propensity to be distracted, fussy, or moody could have a difference in the outcomes of this study. In other words, were they breastfed less because of ADHD like symptoms early on, or does the act of breastfeeding actually act as a protective effect.

Mimouni-Bloch, A, Kachevanskaya, A, Mimouni, FB, et al. Breastfeeding May Protect from Developing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Breastfeeding Medicine. 2013; doi:10.1089. Accessed May 14, 2013. Full study: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/bfm.2012.0145

Is It ADHD or Sleep Deprivation?

A scientist makes a connection

From the NY TIMES

Read the full article: https://www.google.com/search?q=Is+It+ADHD+or+Sleep+Deprivation%3F%2C+NY+times&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
“We all get less sleep than we used to. The number of adults who reported sleeping fewer than seven hours each night went from some 2 percent in 1960 to more than 35 percent in 2011. Sleep is even more crucial for children, who need delta sleep — the deep, rejuvenating, slow-wave kind — for proper growth and development. Yet today’s youngsters sleep more than an hour less than they did a hundred years ago. And for all ages, contemporary daytime activities — marked by nonstop 14-hour schedules and inescapable melatonin-inhibiting iDevices — often impair sleep. It might just be a coincidence, but this sleep-restricting lifestyle began getting more extreme in the 1990s, the decade with the explosion in A.D.H.D. diagnoses. …

“One study, published in 2004 in the journal Sleep, looked at 34 children with A.D.H.D. Every one of them showed a deficit of delta sleep, compared with only a handful of the 32 control subjects.

“A 2006 study in the journal Pediatrics showed something similar, from the perspective of a surgery clinic. This study included 105 children between ages 5 and 12. Seventy-eight of them were scheduled to have their tonsils removed because they had problems breathing in their sleep, while 27 children scheduled for other operations served as a control group. Researchers measured the participants’ sleep patterns and tested for hyperactivity and inattentiveness, consistent with standard protocols for validating an A.D.H.D. diagnosis.”

Sleep, like diet, may be a contributor to ADHD symptoms. It would be wise to monitor sleep habits as it is wise to monitor a healthy diet.

Will.i.am Battles ADHD

Reported in Britain’s Sunday Mirror

Read full article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/voice-judge-william-tells-battle-1857345

 

The Voice Judge, Will.i.am Battles ADHD Offers his voice to the community If you’ve got kids, you probably know Will.i.am from the popular TV show called The Voice and his band, The Black Eyed Peas featuring Fergie. He struggles with ADHD. He told Britain’s Sunday Mirror, “I have ADHD. I’ll admit it… I’ve got all this stuff in my head at the same time as I’m doing stuff and I don’t know how to stop or slow down. But it’s all good because I know how to control it. “For every obstacle there’s some type of solution. So if you have ADHD it’s your passion point. One thing I learned about ADHD is that it’s hard to keep your attention and you can’t sit still and you’re always moving and thinking about a whole bunch of things. “But those traits work well for me in studios and in meetings about creative ideas… If I was stuck at a different job I’d be horrible and wouldn’t survive. Music is my therapy… Music keeps me sane and keeps my mind on something. It’s fragile up there. “My mind would wander, and if it wanders then that’s not good because I could scare myself thinking of weirdo stuff. Music brings control to my thoughts. It’s not escape – it’s just order. I’m making order out of a disorder.” Will.i.am’s insights are helpful. He’s found a way to take his ADHD and turn it into something creative. Good strategy!