Tag Archives: ADHD coaches help students tackle academic goals

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia study: Parent’s attitudes determine ADHD treatment

6 Sep

Many parents will be presented with a diagnosis of ADHD regarding their child. Yahoo medical reported in the article, Top 10 Myths About ADHD:

Myth #1: Only kids have ADHD.
Although about 10% of kids 5 to 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD, at least 4% of adults have it, too — and probably many more, since adult ADHD is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. That’s partly because people think only kids get it.

Myth #2: All kids “outgrow” ADHD.
Not nearly always. Up to 70% of children with ADHD continue to have trouble with it in adulthood, which can create relationship problems, money troubles, work strife, and a rocky family life.

Myth #3: Medication is the only treatment for ADHD.
Medication can be useful in managing ADHD symptoms, but it’s not a cure. And it’s not the only treatment. Lifestyle changes, counseling, and behavior modification can significantly improve symptoms as well. Several studies suggest that a combination of ADHD treatments works best.

Myth #4: People who have ADHD are lazy and lack intelligence and willpower.
This is totally not true. In fact, ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or determination. It’s a neurobehavioral disorder caused by changes in brain chemicals and the way the brain works. It presents unique challenges, but they can be overcome — which many successful people have done. Even Albert Einstein is said to have had symptoms of ADHD.

Myth #5: ADHD isn’t a real disorder.
Not so. Doctors and mental-health professionals agree that ADHD is a biological disorder that can significantly impair functioning. An imbalance in brain chemicals affects brain areas that regulate behavior and emotion. This is what produces ADHD symptoms.

Myth #6: Bad parenting causes ADHD.
Absolutely not! ADHD symptoms are caused by brain-chemical imbalances (see #4 and #5) that make it hard to pay attention and control impulses. Good parenting skills help children deal with their symptoms.

Myth #7: Kids with ADHD are always hyper.
Not always. ADHD comes in three “flavors”: predominantly inattentive; predominantly hyperactive-impulsive; and combined, which is a mix of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. Although kids with hyperactive-impulsive or combined ADHD may be fidgety and restless, kids with inattentive ADHD are not hyper.

Myth #8: Too much TV time causes ADHD.
Not really. But spending excessive amounts of time watching TV or playing video games could trigger the condition in susceptible individuals. And in kids and teens who already have ADHD, spending hours staring at electronic screens may make symptoms worse.

Myth #9: If you can focus on certain things, you don’t have ADHD.
It’s not that simple. Although it’s true that people with ADHD have trouble focusing on things that don’t interest them, there’s a flip side to the disorder. Some people with ADHD get overly absorbed in activities they enjoy. This symptom is called hyperfocus. It can help you be more productive in activities that you like, but you can become so focused that you ignore responsibilities you don’t like.

Myth #10: ADHD is overdiagnosed.
Nope. If anything, ADHD is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Many children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD. The pressures and responsibilities of adulthood often exacerbate ADHD symptoms, leading adults to seek evaluation and help for the first time. Also, parents who have children with ADHD may seek treatment only after recognizing similar symptoms in themselves.
http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/top-10-myths-about-adhd-2528710.html

Whether drug or behavior therapy is chosen to treat ADHD depends upon the goals of the parents.

Genevra Pittman reported in the article, ADHD Treatment: Parents’ Goals Tied To Choice Of Behavior Therapy Or Medication (STUDY):

(Reuters Health) – Parents’ goals and concerns for their children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may influence their decision to start behavior therapy or medication, according to a new study that researchers say supports a shared decision-making approach to ADHD treatment.
Researchers found parents who were focused on their child’s academic achievement were twice as likely to have the child started on medications, which include Adderall and Ritalin, as other parents.
Parents who expressed goals of improved behavior and interpersonal relationships were 60 percent more likely to start behavior therapy – which involves parents meeting with a counselor to learn how to manage a child’s behavior.
“Studies like this really suggest that taking a shared decision-making approach may be one way to match the kids for whom (treatment) is warranted to the best treatment,” Dr. Alexander Fiks, from The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said.
“For parents, the real thing is to ask pediatricians to really explain the pluses and minuses of all of the different options, and to make sure they can articulate what they’re really most hoping to achieve,” Fiks, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/02/adhd-treatment-parents-goals_n_3857116.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

The medical Xpress article, Engaging parents leads to better treatments for children with adhd reported about the ADHD study:

Pediatricians and researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s(CHOP) have developed a first-of-its kind tool to help parents and health care providers better treat ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder). The new, three-part survey helps steer families and doctors toward “shared decision-making”, an approach proven to improve healthcare results in adults, but not widely used in pediatric settings. The results of the CHOP study are published in the journal Academic Pediatrics.
“Shared decision-making in health care means that doctors and families make decisions together. Doctors contribute their professional knowledge, and families weigh their values and personal experience,” explained lead author Alexander Fiks, M.D., M.S.C.E, an urban primary care pediatrician at CHOP and a faculty member at CHOP’s PolicyLab. “We chose to focus on ADHD for this study, because it is a relatively common diagnosis with two recommended treatment options – prescription medication and behavioral therapy – that require the family to make decisions about what will work best for them. Choosing a treatment that doesn’t ‘fit’ can lead to unsuccessful results. We wanted to see if we could create a tool to help guide families and physicians through this process.”
According to a study published earlier this year, the number of physician outpatient visits in which ADHD was diagnosed in children under age 18 was 10.4 million. Psychostimulants were used in 87 percent of treatments prescribed during those visits.
The CHOP study involved 237 parents of children aged 6-12 who were diagnosed with ADHD within the past 18 months. Using a combination of parent interviews, current research, and input from parent advocates and professional experts, researchers developed a standardized three-part questionnaire to help parents define and prioritize their goals for treatment; attitudes toward medication; and comfort with behavioral therapies. The completed survey serves as a guide to support families and health care providers to reach the most effective and workable treatment for a child’s ADHD.
“It’s important to know whether a parent’s primary goal is to keep a child from getting in trouble at school, improve academic performance, or maintain more peace with family members or peers,” said Fiks. “We also need to learn about the family’s lifestyle and attitudes toward behavioral therapy and medication. All of these factor into making the best treatment decision for each individual child and family.” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-engaging-parents-treatments-children-adhd.html

Citation:

Contrasting parents’ and pediatricians’ perspectives on shared decision-making in ADHD.
Fiks AG, Hughes CC, Gafen A, Guevara JP, Barg FK.
Source
Pediatric Research Consortium, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 3535 Market St, Room 1546, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. fiks@email.chop.edu
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
The goal was to compare how parents and clinicians understand shared decision-making (SDM) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a prototype for SDM in pediatrics.
METHODS:
We conducted semi-structured interviews with 60 parents of children 6 to 12 years of age with ADHD (50% black and 43% college educated) and 30 primary care clinicians with varying experience. Open-ended interviews explored how pediatric clinicians and parents understood SDM in ADHD. Interviews were taped, transcribed, and then coded. Data were analyzed by using a modified grounded theory approach.
RESULTS:
Parents and clinicians both viewed SDM favorably. However, parents described SDM as a partnership between equals, with physicians providing medical expertise and the family contributing in-depth knowledge of the child. In contrast, clinicians understood SDM as a means to encourage families to accept clinicians’ preferred treatment. These findings affected care because parents mistrusted clinicians whose presentation they perceived as biased. Both groups discussed how real-world barriers limit the consideration of evidence-based options, and they emphasized the importance of engaging professionals, family members, and/or friends in SDM. Although primary themes did not differ according to race, white parents more commonly received support from medical professionals in their social networks.
CONCLUSIONS:
Despite national guidelines prioritizing SDM in ADHD, challenges to implementing the process persist. Results suggest that, to support SDM in ADHD, modifications are needed at the practice and policy levels, including clinician training, incorporation of decision aids and improved strategies to facilitate communication, and efforts to ensure that evidence-based treatment is accessible.
PMID:
21172996
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3010085
Free PMC Article
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010085/

The Centers for Disease Control provides great information in the article, Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
Treatment

On This Page
• Medications
• Behavioral intervention strategies
• Parent Education and Support
• Behavior Treatment for Preschoolers
• ADHD and School
• Related Pages
My Child Has Been Diagnosed with ADHD – Now What?
It is understandable for parents to have concerns when their child is diagnosed with ADHD, especially about treatments. It is important for parents to remember that while ADHD can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed. There are many treatment options, so parents and doctors should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s treatment — teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members. Taking advantage of all the resources available will help you guide your child towards success. Remember, you are your child’s strongest advocate!
In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way.
Following are treatment options for ADHD:
Behavior Treatment for Preschoolers
Click here to learn more »
• Medications
• Behavioral intervention strategies
• Parent training
• ADHD and school

To go to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement on the treatment of school-aged children with ADHD, visit the Recommendations page.
Medications
Medication can help a child with ADHD in their everyday life and may be a valuable part of a child’s treatment. Medication is one option that may help better control some of the behavior problems that have led to trouble in the past with family, friends and at school.
Several different types of medications may be used to treat ADHD:
• Stimulants are the best-known and most widely used treatments. Between 70-80 percent of children with ADHD respond positively to these medications.
• Nonstimulants were approved for treating ADHD in 2003. This medication seems to have fewer side effects than stimulants and can last up to 24 hours.
Medications can affect children differently, where one child may respond well to one medication, but not another. When determining the best treatment, the doctor might try different medications and doses, so it is important to work with your child’s doctor to find the medication that works best for your child.
For more information on treatments, please click one of the following links:
National Resource Center on ADHD
National Institute of Mental Health
Behavioral Therapy
Research shows that behavioral therapy is an important part of treatment for children with ADHD. ADHD affects not only a child’s ability to pay attention or sit still at school, it also affects relationships with family and how well they do in their classes. Behavioral therapy is another treatment option that can help reduce these problems for children and should be started as soon as a diagnosis is made.
Following are examples that might help with your child’s behavioral therapy:
• Create a routine. Try to follow the same schedule every day, from wake-up time to bedtime.
• Get organized . Put schoolbags, clothing, and toys in the same place every day so your child will be less likely to lose them.
• Avoid distractions. Turn off the TV, radio, and computer, especially when your child is doing homework.
• Limit choices. Offer a choice between two things (this outfit, meal, toy, etc., or that one) so that your child isn’t overwhelmed and overstimulated.
• Change your interactions with your child. Instead of long-winded explanations and cajoling, use clear, brief directions to remind your child of responsibilities.
• Use goals and rewards. Use a chart to list goals and track positive behaviors, then reward your child’s efforts. Be sure the goals are realistic—baby steps are important!
• Discipline effectively. Instead of yelling or spanking, use timeouts or removal of privileges as consequences for inappropriate behavior.
• Help your child discover a talent. All kids need to experience success to feel good about themselves. Finding out what your child does well — whether it’s sports, art, or music — can boost social skills and self-esteem.
Parent Education and Support
Parent education and support are other important parts of treatment for a child with ADHD. Children with ADHD might not respond as well as other children to the usual parenting practices, so experts recommend additional parent education. This approach has been successful in teaching parents how to help their children become better organized, develop problem-solving skills, and cope with their ADHD symptoms.
Parent education can be conducted in groups or with individual families and is offered by therapists or in special classes. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) offers a unique educational program to help parents and individuals with ADHD navigate the challenges of ADHD across the lifespan. Find more information about CHADD’s “Parent to Parent” program by visiting CHADD’s website .
Behavior Treatment for Preschoolers
The 2011 clinical practice guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that doctors prescribe behavior interventions that are evidence based as the first line of treatment for preschool-aged children (4–5 years of age) with ADHD. Parents or teachers can provide this treatment.
The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) conducted a review in 2010 of all existing studies on treatment options for preschoolers. The review found enough evidence to recommend parent behavioral interventions as a good treatment option for preschoolers with disruptive behavior in general and as helpful for those with ADHD symptoms.
The AHRQ review found that effective parenting programs help parents develop a positive relationship with their child, teach them about how children develop, and help them manage negative behavior with positive discipline. The review also found four programs for parents of preschoolers that include these key components:
• Triple P (Positive Parenting of Preschoolers program),
• Incredible Years Parenting Program
• Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
• New Forest Parenting Program—Developed specifically for parents of children with ADHD [Abstract ] [Authors ]
Read the full AHRQ report here .
ADHD and the Classroom
Just like with parent training, it is important for teachers to have the needed skills to help children manage their ADHD. However, since the majority of children with ADHD are not enrolled in special education classes, their teachers will most likely be regular education teachers who might know very little about ADHD and could benefit from assistance and guidance.
Here are some tips to share with teachers for classroom success:
• Use a homework folder for parent-teacher communications
• Make assignments clear
• Give positive reinforcement
• Be sensitive to self-esteem issues
• Involve the school counselor or psychologist
What Every Parent Should Know…
As your child’s most important advocate, you should become familiar with your child’s medical, legal, and educational rights. Kids with ADHD might be eligible for special services or accommodations at school under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and an anti-discrimination law known as Section 504. To learn more about Section 504, click here .
Related Pages
• Child Development
• Positive Parenting Tips
• Injury, Violence, and Safety
• Safe and Healthy Kids and Teens
• CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html

A Healthy Child In A Healthy Family Who Attends A Healthy School In A Healthy Neighborhood. ©

If you suspect that your child might have ADHD, you should seek an evaluation from a competent professional who has knowledge of this specialized area of medical practice.

Related:
Studies: ADHD drugs don’t necessarily improve academic performance
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/14/studies-adhd-drugs-dont-necessarily-improve-academic-performance/

ADHD coaching to improve a child’s education outcome
https://drwilda.com/2012/03/31/adhd-coaching-to-improve-a-childs-education-outcome/

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Studies: ADHD drugs don’t necessarily improve academic performance

14 Jul

Moi wrote in ADHD coaching to improve a child’s education outcome:
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry discusses the primary symptoms of ADHD in the article, What Is ADHD:

The primary symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.
Hyperactive children always seem to be in motion. A child who is hyperactive may move around touching or playing with whatever is around, or talk continually. During story time or school lessons, the child might squirm around, fidget, or get up and move around the room. Some children wiggle their feet or tap their fingers. A teenager or adult who is hyperactive may feel restless and need to stay busy all the time.
Impulsive children often blurt out comments without thinking first. They may often display their emotions without restraint. They may also fail to consider the consequences of their actions. Such children may find it hard to wait in line or take turns. Impulsive teenagers and adults tend to make choices that have a small immediate payoff rather than working toward larger delayed rewards.
Inattentive children may quickly get bored with an activity if it’s not something they really enjoy. Organizing and completing a task or learning something new is difficult for them. As students, they often forget to write down a school assignment or bring a book home. Completing homework can be huge challenge. At any age, an inattentive person may often be easily distracted, make careless mistakes, forget things, have trouble following instructions, or skip from one activity to another without finishing anything.
Some children with ADHD are mainly inattentive. They seldom act hyperactive or impulsive. An inattentive child with ADHD may sit quietly in class and appear to be working but is not really focusing on the assignment. Teachers and parents may easily overlook the problem.
Children with ADHD need support to help them pay attention, control their behavior, slow down, and feel better about themselves.
What Is Not ADHD?
Many children and adults are easily distracted at times or have trouble finishing tasks. To be ADHD, however, the behaviors must appear before age 7 and continue for at least six months. The symptoms must also create a real handicap in at least two areas of the child’s life—in the classroom, on the playground, at home, in the community, or in social settings.
If a child seems too active on the playground but not elsewhere, the problem might not be ADHD. It might also not be ADHD if the behaviors occur in the classroom but nowhere else. A child who shows some symptoms would not be diagnosed with ADHD if his or her schoolwork or friendships are not impaired by the behaviors.
Even if a child’s behavior seems like ADHD, it might not actually be ADHD. Many other conditions and situations can trigger behavior that resembles ADHD. For example, a child might show ADHD symptoms when experiencing
A death or divorce in the family, a parent’s job loss, or other sudden change.
Undetected seizures.
An ear infection that causes temporary hearing problems.
Problems with schoolwork caused by a learning disability.
Anxiety or depression. 

ADHD News has a synopsis of the ADHD diagnosis in the article by Mark Domoto, M.Ed. In the section, Diagnosing ADHD
https://drwilda.com/2012/03/31/adhd-coaching-to-improve-a-childs-education-outcome/

Julia Lawrence of Education News reports about a Quebec study in the article, Study: ADHD Drugs Don’t Improve Academic Performance in Kids:

Shirley S. Wang of The Wall Street Journal writes about one such study published in June which looked at academic outcomes of Quebec students prescribed ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall over a span of 11 years. Researchers concluded that boys who were taking drugs academically underperformed peers with the same symptoms who were not medicated. The working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research also reported that girls who took ADHD drugs had higher incidence of emotional problems than ones who did not.
“The possibility that [medication] won’t help them [in school] needs to be acknowledged and needs to be closely monitored,” says economics professor Janet Currie, an author on the paper and director of the Center for Health & Wellbeing, a health policy institute at Princeton University. Kids may not get the right dose to see sustained benefits, or they may stop taking the medication because side effects or other drawbacks outweigh the benefits, she says.
Why drugs that claim to improve concentration, focus and emotional control don’t lead to academic improvement is a question that has puzzled researchers for some time — and answering the question could be the key to effective ADHD treatment in children. Finding an effective treatment regime could help a lot of kids; according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 2.7 million children currently on ADHD drugs of some kind in the United States alone.
http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/study-adhd-drugs-dont-improve-academic-performance-in-kids/#sthash.HkASci3N.dpuf

This study is in accord with research from Yale University.

Geneva Pittman of Reuters writes in the article, Be cautious of mind-altering drugs for kids: doctors:

Focusing on stimulants typically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, researchers said the number of diagnoses and prescriptions have risen dramatically over the past two decades.
Young people with the disorder clearly benefit from treatment, lead author Dr. William Graf emphasized, but the medicines are increasingly being used by healthy youth who believe they will enhance their concentration and performance in school.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1.7 percent of eighth graders and 7.6 percent of 12th graders have used Adderall, a stimulant, for nonmedical reasons.
Some of those misused medicines are bought on the street or from peers with prescriptions; others may be obtained legally from doctors.
“What we’re saying is that because of the volume of drugs and the incredible increase… the possibility of overdiagnosis and overtreatment is clearly there,” said Graf, from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
In their statement, published in the journal Neurology, he and his colleagues say doctors should not give prescriptions to teens who ask for medication to enhance concentration against their parents’ advice. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/13/us-medications-kids-idUSBRE92C17H20130313

Here is the press release from Yale:

No attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids, doctors urge
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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Read this article on YaleNews
 
Doctors at Yale School of Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) have called upon their fellow physicians to limit or end the practice of prescribing memory-enhancing drugs to healthy children whose brains are still developing. Their position statement is published in the March 13 online issue of the journal Neurology, the medical journal of the AAN.
The statement was written to address the growing trend in which teens use “study drugs” before tests and parents request attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs for children who don’t meet the criteria for the disorder. The AAN spent several years analyzing all of the available research and ethical issues to develop this official position statement on the topic.
“Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and to prevent the misuse of medication,” said first author of the statement, Dr. William Graf, professor of pediatrics and neurology at Yale School of Medicine. “The practice of prescribing these drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable.”
Graf and a group of child neurologists provide evidence that points to dozens of ethical, legal, social, and developmental reasons why prescribing mind-enhancing drugs, such as those used to treat ADHD, for healthy people is viewed differently in children and adolescents than it would be in functional, independent adults with full decision-making capacities.
Some of the reasons not to prescribe neuroenhancements include: the child’s best interest; the long-term health and safety of neuroenhancements, which has not been studied in children; kids and teens may lack complete decision-making capacities while their judgments and cognitive abilities are still developing; maintaining doctor-patient trust; and the risks of over-medication and dependency.
“A physician should talk to the child about the request, as it may reflect other medical, social, or psychological motivations such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia,” said Graf, who notes that there are alternatives to neuroenhancements available, including maintaining good sleep, nutrition, study habits, and exercise regimens.
Other authors on the position statement include Saskia K. Nagel, Dr. Leon G. Epstein, Dr. Geoffrey Miller, Dr. Ruth Nass, and Dr. Dan Larriviere.
Citation: Neurology 80 (March 13, 2013)

Citation:
Pediatric neuroenhancement Ethical, legal, social, and neurodevelopmental implications
1.William D. Graf, MD,
2.Saskia K. Nagel, PhD,
3.Leon G. Epstein, MD,
4.Geoffrey Miller, MD,
5.Ruth Nass, MD and
6.Dan Larriviere, MD, JD
+Show Affiliations
| + Show Full Disclosures
1.Correspondence to Dr. Graf: william.graf@yale.edu
1.Published online before print March 13, 2013, doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318289703b Neurology March 26, 2013 vol. 80 no. 13 1251-1260
2.
Abstract
Full Text
Full Text (PDF)
1.Also available:
2.CME Course
3.Data Supplement
Abstract
The use of prescription medication to augment cognitive or affective function in healthy persons—or neuroenhancement—is increasing in adult and pediatric populations. In children and adolescents, neuroenhancement appears to be increasing in parallel to the rising rates of attention-deficit disorder diagnoses and stimulant medication prescriptions, and the opportunities for medication diversion. Pediatric neuroenhancement remains a particularly unsettled and value-laden practice, often without appropriate goals or justification. Pediatric neuroenhancement presents its own ethical, social, legal, and developmental issues, including the fiduciary responsibility of physicians caring for children, the special integrity of the doctor–child–parent relationship, the vulnerability of children to various forms of coercion, distributive justice in school settings, and the moral obligation of physicians to prevent misuse of medication. Neurodevelopmental issues include the importance of evolving personal authenticity during childhood and adolescence, the emergence of individual decision-making capacities, and the process of developing autonomy. This Ethics, Law, and Humanities Committee position paper, endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology, Child Neurology Society, and American Neurological Association, focuses on various implications of pediatric neuroenhancement and outlines discussion points in responding to neuroenhancement requests from parents or adolescents. Based on currently available data and the balance of ethics issues reviewed in this position paper, neuroenhancement in legally and developmentally nonautonomous children and adolescents without a diagnosis of a neurologic disorder is not justifiable. In nearly autonomous adolescents, the fiduciary obligation of the physician may be weaker, but the prescription of neuroenhancements is inadvisable because of numerous social, developmental, and professional integrity issues

Increasingly, some families find that an education coach improves their child’s chance of success at school.
Jean Enersen’s King5 News story,  ADHD coaches help students tackle academic goals tells the about the success one family has had with an ADHD coach:

Middle school is all about keeping track of schedules, and getting assignments in on time. It can be complicated.
“I have eight teachers,” said 7th grade student Marcus Wesley.
When his mother asked, “Have you started writing your story?” Marcus could only tell her, “No, but I have all my outline and stuff.” The story was pivotal to his grade.
Keeping a handle on all his upcoming assignments is hard for Marcus. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD.
“I’m a little more hyper than other kids. So they give me the medicine to calm me down,” he explained.
But medicine is only part of the answer said his mother. Alone, it won’t assure his success in school.
“I personally think every student deserves a coach,” said ADHD coach Naomi Zemont.
Since last September, Zemont has been Marcus Wesley’s ADHD coach.
“Last time around, you really wanted to make up this work in humanities,” she reminded Marcus.
Zemont helps the 7th grader develop a plan to achieve his goals. He sets the goals himself, and decides the actions it will take to complete them. In doing so, Marcus is learning to break tasks into parts he can manage. http://www.king5.com/health/childrens-healthlink/ADHD-coaches-help-students-tackle-academic-goals–144024376.html

Before deciding what is the most appropriate therapy, the diagnosis of ADHD must be made by a competent health care provider.

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ADHD coaching to improve a child’s education outcome

31 Mar

Many children have a diagnosis of ADHD. Web MD has an excellent article about  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also known as hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder (ADD). ADHD is a common condition that affects children and adolescents, while ADD is more common in adults.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD. Some experts, though, say ADHD may occurs in 8% to 10% of school age children. Experts also question whether kids really outgrow ADHD. What that means is that this disorder may be more common in adults than previously thought.

Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can’t seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD.

The behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child’s ability to function at school and at home.

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.

Increasingly, some families find that an education coach improves their child’s chance of success at school.

Jean Enersen’s King5 News story,  ADHD coaches help students tackle academic goals tells the about the success one family has had with an ADHD coach:

Middle school is all about keeping track of schedules, and getting assignments in on time. It can be complicated.

“I have eight teachers,” said 7th grade student Marcus Wesley.

When his mother asked, “Have you started writing your story?” Marcus could only tell her, “No, but I have all my outline and stuff.” The story was pivotal to his grade.

Keeping a handle on all his upcoming assignments is hard for Marcus. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

“I’m a little more hyper than other kids. So they give me the medicine to calm me down,” he explained.

But medicine is only part of the answer said his mother. Alone, it won’t assure his success in school.

“I personally think every student deserves a coach,” said ADHD coach Naomi Zemont.

Since last September, Zemont has been Marcus Wesley’s ADHD coach.

“Last time around, you really wanted to make up this work in humanities,” she reminded Marcus.

Zemont helps the 7th grader develop a plan to achieve his goals. He sets the goals himself, and decides the actions it will take to complete them. In doing so, Marcus is learning to break tasks into parts he can manage. http://www.king5.com/health/childrens-healthlink/ADHD-coaches-help-students-tackle-academic-goals–144024376.html

Before deciding what is the most appropriate therapy, the diagnosis of ADHD must be made by a competent health care provider.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry discusses the primary symptoms of ADHD in the article, What Is ADHD

The primary symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.

Hyperactive children always seem to be in motion. A child who is hyperactive may move around touching or playing with whatever is around, or talk continually. During story time or school lessons, the child might squirm around, fidget, or get up and move around the room. Some children wiggle their feet or tap their fingers. A teenager or adult who is hyperactive may feel restless and need to stay busy all the time.

Impulsive children often blurt out comments without thinking first. They may often display their emotions without restraint. They may also fail to consider the consequences of their actions. Such children may find it hard to wait in line or take turns. Impulsive teenagers and adults tend to make choices that have a small immediate payoff rather than working toward larger delayed rewards.

Inattentive children may quickly get bored with an activity if it’s not something they really enjoy. Organizing and completing a task or learning something new is difficult for them. As students, they often forget to write down a school assignment or bring a book home. Completing homework can be huge challenge. At any age, an inattentive person may often be easily distracted, make careless mistakes, forget things, have trouble following instructions, or skip from one activity to another without finishing anything.

Some children with ADHD are mainly inattentive. They seldom act hyperactive or impulsive. An inattentive child with ADHD may sit quietly in class and appear to be working but is not really focusing on the assignment. Teachers and parents may easily overlook the problem.

Children with ADHD need support to help them pay attention, control their behavior, slow down, and feel better about themselves.

What Is Not ADHD?

Many children and adults are easily distracted at times or have trouble finishing tasks. To be ADHD, however, the behaviors must appear before age 7 and continue for at least six months. The symptoms must also create a real handicap in at least two areas of the child’s life—in the classroom, on the playground, at home, in the community, or in social settings.

If a child seems too active on the playground but not elsewhere, the problem might not be ADHD. It might also not be ADHD if the behaviors occur in the classroom but nowhere else. A child who shows some symptoms would not be diagnosed with ADHD if his or her schoolwork or friendships are not impaired by the behaviors.

Even if a child’s behavior seems like ADHD, it might not actually be ADHD. Many other conditions and situations can trigger behavior that resembles ADHD. For example, a child might show ADHD symptoms when experiencing

  • A death or divorce in the family, a parent’s job loss, or other sudden change.
  • Undetected seizures.
  • An ear infection that causes temporary hearing problems.
  • Problems with schoolwork caused by a learning disability.
  • Anxiety or depression. 

ADHD News has a synopsis of the ADHD diagnosis in the article by Mark Domoto, M.Ed. In the section, Diagnosing ADHD

The Edge Foundation provides information about ADHD research:

Our ADHD Coaching Research

Edge Foundation’s 2 year ADHD coaching study research demonstrates that ADHD students significantly benefit from receiving coaching using the JST  ADHD coaching model used by Edge Foundation.

ADHD Coaching Research Study Results

  • Students who received Edge ADHD coaching, based on the JST Coaching model for ADHD youth, showed substantial gains in their overall approach to learning.
  • The study showed that students who received Edge ADHD coaching services showed significant improvement in their ability to organize, direct and manage cognitive activities, emotional responses and overt behaviors.
  • They were able to formulate goals more realistically and consistently work toward achieving them, manage their time more effectively, and stick with tasks even when they found them challenging.

The research report became available on-line beginning November 11, 2010.  (See:  Edge Foundation ADHD Coaching Study Executive Summary and Edge Foundation ADHD Coaching Study Full Report .)

Why the Research Matters

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has long been associated with poor grades, poor reading and math test scores, and being held back. But despite billions of dollars spent on special education programs, the number of ADHD students dropping out of high school and college is alarming. Now a new study shows that ADHD students don’t have to be “at risk” students.

ADHD Students are “At Risk” Students

A few sobering facts to consider about the impact of ADHD on students’ success:

  • High school students with ADHD are 4 times more likely to drop out of school than the general population.
  • 42% of ADHD students are likely to be held back (compared to 13% general population).
  • 60% of ADHD students are likely to be suspended (compared to only 19% of the general population).
  • And 35% of ADHD students won’t graduate at all and those who stay in school will suffer from lack of confidence, higher risk of substance abuse and menial grades (on average a C- or D+).
  • Only 22% of students with ADHD enter college.
  • Only 5% will graduate.

Why ADHD Students are at Risk

Students with ADHD are vulnerable because ADHD impacts the portion of the brain that regulates what  is known as  executive functioning. ADHD students have executive function deficits in attention, planning and organization, prioritization, impulse control, memory, time management, and higher-order conceptual thinking.

Turns out a student’s executive function levels are well known by researches to be a hallmark of academic success.

ADHD Coaching Boosts Executive Functioning

Edge Foundation’s study offers hope for students with ADHD because it definitively links ADHD coaching to improved executive functioning.  And improved executive functioning means more success in school.

ADHD students who participated in Edge ADHD coaching sessions, based on the JST model for ADHD youth coaching, demonstrated statistically significant, higher executive functioning than ADHD students who did not receive ADHD coaching. According to the study, “The magnitude of the effect size for self regulation was more than double the typical educational intervention, and executive functioning was quadruple. Findings with effect sizes that large are rare.”

ADHD coaching has long been used by the corporate world to improve performance of CEOs and executives, but little study has been done until now on the impact this particular kind of intervention may have on populations with learning disabilities, like those living with ADHD. While medication has been shown to improve academic productivity (better note-taking, scores on quizzes and worksheets, and homework completion), medication alone is not associated with skills like better learning, reading or the ability to apply knowledge, all of which are critical in a successful post secondary education.

How Edge ADHD Coaching Works

Edge Foundation’s ADHD coaches work with students in seven major areas: scheduling, goal setting, confidence building, organizing, focusing, prioritizing and persisting at tasks. ADHD Coaches help students assess their environments, identify needs, set goals, and offer suggestions and guidance. They monitor student progress and goals through regular phone or email check-ins. The protocol of regularly checking in with clients provides for more structure and accountability. When coaching ADHD teens and college students, check-ins are usually made every day.

If you have questions about the study or would like to find out more about how an Edge ADHD coach can help you succeed in school, give us a call (1-888-718-8886) or send us an email.  We’d love to hear from you.

Reference Links:

Edge Foundation ADHD Coaching Study Executive Summary

Edge Foundation ADHD Coaching Study Full Report

ADHD and College Success: A free guide

UC Davis Study:  Dropout risks: ADHD, conduct disorder, smoking

ADHD and Executive Functioning

Executive Function, ADHD and  Academic Outcomes

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ADHD coaching is one tool which might help more children who have been diagnosed with ADHD to succeed.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©