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ADHD-aiheesta (4/10) - vinkkejä lasten vanhemmille

Ei ole minun asiani esittää neuvoja lasten vanhemmille, mutta intuition avulla rohkenee valkkailla olemassa olevista vinkeistä ja vanhempien huomioitavaksi tarkoitetuista ohjeista katkelmia. Nämä katkelmat tosin muodostavat uuden teoksen, joten tekijänoikeuslakien näkökulmasta tällainen toiminta on toki hiukan arveluttavaa. Lähteinä kuitenkin: SFGate, Dallas News, The Independent, The Washington Post, NY Daily News, Baltimore Sun, OregonLive.com, Miami Herald, The Mercury News, Tampa Bay Times, The New York Times


The better you organize your work and life, the better you control your life and your ADHD. Avoid becoming stressed and discombobulated by actively calendaring your time for assignments, projects and tasks at home and school.

Teens with ADHD are prone to overreacting emotionally to frustrating or stressful situations. We have emotions "on steroids," and it's hard for our parents to see us upset. Take a break, walk around, focus on your breathing and when calm, open up to your parents.

"When she started on the Ritalin, it was as if she could learn with all of her brain power," Thompson says. "But she was also taught the coping and self-management skills to deal with her own inner geography, to keep a datebook with assignments and due dates, to ask for help."

"They're just so frustrated, they don't know how to tell parents what they need when they ask," she says. "But, when I walk around the block and take some deep breaths, I am able to think about the fact that I am having trouble (and need help) with my science homework."

Because as much as tweens and teens profess that they want to "just be left alone," every one of them thrives on consistent and loving boundaries.

My intuition is telling me that any punishments or serious consequences will backfire. She is already struggling in school, so adding misery gets you more misery.

And it should not be the therapist you are all seeing, by the way. She should have one all to herself so she can build trust with someone new.

Why am I telling you to have fun in the midst of a crisis? Because that wall around her heart is not coming down with a wrecking ball; it will need to be chipped away with a tiny hammer. Laughter and ease provide the brain with relaxation, and when the brain is relaxed, it can begin to feel safe. And when the brain feels safe, the heart can feel vulnerable. This is not an overnight process, and, yes, she still has to go to school and try. But in the moments you are together, let it be easy.

"What we've found is that when they're moving the most, the majority of them perform better," Mark Rapport, head of the Children's Learning Clinic at the University of Central Florida and one of the study's authors, said in a statement. "They have to move to maintain alertness."

Many people who have ADHD are not in the least hyperactive or disruptive. Indeed, they are quiet and daydreamy, lost in their thoughts, following the charms of their inner, imaginative life. Oftentimes female, these people are commonly not diagnosed with ADHD simply because they are not restless or disruptive

Recently, a lead editorial in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, Science, questioned why middle school children were being taught college and even graduate-school-level cell biology concepts when their developing minds were not yet ready to receive this complex information. How meaningful was rote memorization of features such as the Golgi apparatus, the editorial asked, if the children had not been taught the knowledge foundation and acquired problem-solving abilities in the underlying areas of cell structure, chemistry, and biology?

Given the nationwide push to teach children more and more complex concepts at earlier and earlier ages, you'd think that there surely must be an extensive scientific literature to support these efforts. Not only does no such data exist, but an emerging body of research indicates that attempts to accelerate intellectual development are in fact counterproductive.

The pharmaceutical/medical industry teaches us that whatever the problem, a pill is the answer. This notion is becoming so all-powerful, and so locked together with a pressurised, exam-centred, conformist educational system, that every parent who has a misbehaving or inattentive child may now find themselves pushed towards a diagnosis of ADHD.

"(The kids) are very motivated because they do like the movement on the horse," MG said. "This, for a lot of them is their only sport, and so that's a huge confidence builder. When you can manage an 1100 pound horse you've accomplished something."

A recent parody on the satirical website The Onion superbly crystallised this medical demonisation of unusual behaviour, with the headline "Ritalin Cures Next Picasso", and a story in which delighted parents say: "The cured child no longer tries to draw on everything in sight, calming down enough to show an interest in television."

The more obsessed a culture becomes with attainment and success, the more afraid we are of the blame that will be apportioned to those children (and their parents) who fail to triumph.

Activities like skateboarding and martial arts focus on attention to detail, so if kids like that, and if their competency is increasing, it can build on itself, he said.

Lancelotta leads a weekly rock-climbing session in Miami for kids with ADHD and autism, among others. "It's not an evidenced-based treatment for ADHD, but it requires team attention and concentration to the activity, or else they fall, so there is an immediate response if they're not paying close attention," he said. "It helps with motor planning, hand and foot placement. It helps with individual goal planning. It increases frustration tolerance."

After a year in dance, the ticks were gone. Pierson was off of almost all medication, but Marsha Feeney said her son still takes a low-dose of the ADHD drug Concerta before big tests or important days at school.

"At school, they'll make fun of me, saying dance is all for girls," he said. "I know girls do dance a lot, and it's most girls in dance (class), but boys do it, too. If anybody says anything to me, I just ignore them."

The kids sorted into six groups, each characterized by distinct strengths and weaknesses in attention, memory, self-control and other tested areas. No group was better or worse in IQ testing or overall severity of ADHD symptoms. "These are different neuropsychological profiles," says Nigg. "They all have ADHD, but perhaps all for a different reason."

Researchers have come to realize that ADHD may not be a single disorder. It's starting to look like a group of related disorders, each potentially arising from different environmental and genetic factors and perhaps requiring a different treatment approach.

"Usually, with kids' stress, if you can talk about it, it will get better," says Hammond. "Even just talking about stressors can desensitize a child to them."

"Missing school becomes a big problem, because kids fall further and further behind, which creates more stress," says Hammond. "You don't want kids to get turned off school early, because they probably have many years of education down the road."

"Some of the biggest challenges are basic life skills — doing laundry, going food shopping, managing money, paying the cellphone bill, learning to live with people different than you," she said. "College has less structure and more independence. There's time management, organizing your day and handling stressors on your own. If you're not on top of it and you have an illness, all those things become more challenging."

Studies suggest that meditation can help train attention through focusing on quiet breathing, the sounds it makes and the sensations one can experience in silence. Research has shown that meditation is good for the brain. This training helps us to learn how to listen, how to focus, how to control our minds as well as our bodies.

Citing Christopher Lucas, associate professor of child psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, Mobiledia notes that kids focus on video games and television in a different way than the attention they'll use to thrive in school and life. "It's not sustained attention in the absence of rewards," Lucas said. "It's sustained attention with frequent intermittent rewards." When kids play games and rack up points, move to higher levels and unlock characters and goodies, their brains are rewarded by dopamine, a neurotransmitter that's released each time they "win."

Parents should strive to foster and maintain an open dialogue with their adolescent children and continue to talk with them about their health and wellness as they mature.

However, since the advent of social networking sites, the way in which adolescents explore and form their identities has dramatically changed. Without proper guidance and safeguards, the Internet and social media can potentially cause harm to adolescent users, damaging their self-esteem, encouraging unhealthy or risky behaviors, and even, in rare instances, incurring legal consequences. Parents should talk to their teens about social media usage and expectations, as well as affirm the positive aspects of social media in meeting their needs to socialize and explore their identity.

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