Girls with ADHD more prone to self-injury, suicide as they enter adulthood

Girls with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – and their families – often look forward to the likely decline in visible symptoms such as fidgety or disruptive behavior as they mature into young women.

However, new findings from UC Berkeley caution that, as they enter adulthood, girls with histories of ADHD are more prone to internalize their struggles and feelings of failure – a development that can manifest itself in self-injury and even attempted suicide.

“Like boys with ADHD, girls continue to have problems with academic achievement and relationships, and need special services as they enter early adulthood,” said Stephen Hinshaw, UC Berkeley professor of psychology and lead author of a study that reports after 10 years on the largest-ever sample of girls whose ADHD was first diagnosed in childhood

via Girls with ADHD more prone to self-injury, suicide as they enter adulthood.

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Preventing Summer Brain Drain in Your ADHD Child – Vacations – ADHD

Summer vacation is almost upon us. You can tell because the number of field trips are increasing – teachers know that even students without Attention Deficit Disorder lose the ability to focus in the last couple of weeks of school, so why fight it?

For kids with ADHD, especially those who struggle with academics, summer vacation is a welcome relief from the grind of lessons. For parents, it’s a relief to be free of the need to nag the kids about homework. But that’s also a bad thing. Summer vacation will not only let everything your child learned dribble out his ears, but he’ll also get out of the learning mode. The first couple of weeks back to school is always hard for children, but especially for children with ADHD, and it will be here before you know it.

via Preventing Summer Brain Drain in Your ADHD Child – Vacations – ADHD.

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Improving Social Skills in Children with ADHD with Social Skills Builder

When I started to realize that my son's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was having an impact on his social interactions, I considered social skills group therapy as a solution. Social skills group therapy helps children with ADHD or a disorder on the autism spectrum learn and practice social skills with other children.

I live in Northern California, right next to Berkeley, so I figured it would be easy to find a group. You can't throw a stone in Berkeley without hitting a therapist of some kind. But you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized that there were only a couple of these groups in my area, and they met too far away from us to make using them feasible.

I read a few books, which gave me some ideas such as role-playing with him, to practice the correct interactions. But unfortunately my son just found role-playing kind of dumb, maybe because he was role-playing with me instead of another child. I was beginning to run out of methods.

via Improving Social Skills in Children with ADHD – Social Skills – ADHD.

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Brain Pathways Seem Disrupted in Kids With ADHD

HealthDay News — The brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD show abnormalities in certain areas involved with "visual attention," new research finds.Researchers performed functional MRIs fMRIs on 19 children aged 9 to 15 diagnosed with ADHD and 19 without the disorder while the children took a test in which they were shown a set of numbers and then asked to remember whether a subsequent group of numbers matched the original.

via Brain Pathways Seem Disrupted in Kids With ADHD.

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Some Kids Respond Better to ADHD Drug Than Others

HealthDay News — Children with specific gene variants respond better to the drug methylphenidate Ritalin, Concerta, which is widely used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, a new study says.The finding could help improve treatment of ADHD, according to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers."Physicians don’t have a good way of predicting who will experience great improvement in ADHD symptoms with a particular medication, so currently we use a trial-and-error approach. Unfortunately, as a result, finding an effective treatment can take a long time," lead investigator Dr. Tanya Froehlich, a physician in the division of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, said in a medical center news release.

via Some Kids Respond Better to ADHD Drug Than Others.

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New ADHD Guidelines Include Preschoolers, Older Teens

(HealthDay News) — In new guidelines released Sunday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has expanded the age range for the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to children as young as 4 and as old as 18.

For the youngest children, the academy is emphasizing the use of behavior treatments over medication in most cases.

"I think the most significant changes are expanding the ages from preschool through adolescence. The original guidelines were from 6 to 12, because that’s where the evidence was. We’ve been able to broaden the scope of the guidelines because there was more evidence available for preschoolers and adolescents," said the lead author of the new recommendations, Dr. Mark Wolraich, CMRI Shaun Walters Professor of Pediatrics and the Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

via New ADHD Guidelines Include Preschoolers, Older Teens.

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U.S. Rates of Autism, ADHD Continue to Rise: Report

(HealthDay News) — One in six U.S. children now has a developmental disability such as autism, learning disorders or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That number appears to be on the rise. In 1997-1999, about 12.8 percent of kids were diagnosed with a developmental disability. That number rose to 15 percent in 2006-2008 — or an additional 1.8 million U.S. children.

Much of the bump up in cases seems driven by rising rates of autism and ADHD, experts say.

via U.S. Rates of Autism, ADHD Continue to Rise: Report.

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A Tale of Two Afterschool Programs, Part 2

As I recounted in Part I of this series, I came to the conclusion last fall that the after school program my son was attending was not suitable for him, and probably not for any child who was imperfect in any way. It certainly was not suitable for a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Lawrence was not happy there, and I was concerned about what the impact of the constant reprimands and punishments would be. I felt that if Lawrence was always seen as the bad kid he might eventually decide that it wasn’t worth even trying to behave.

In addition, the lack of a clear disciplinary process and escalation of issues seemed very unprofessional. I felt that the people running the program were well-meaning, but ill-equipped to handle even minor conflicts. And with ADHD, even if the child is taking medication, you’re always going to have a certain number of conflicts.

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Tips for Summer Camp Success for Your ADHD Child

Summer camp can be a wonderful experience for kids with ADHD, if it’s a successful experience. There are some things you can do to help ensure success. Even if your child is excited about summer camp or has already been through the experience once, you might find some useful suggestions here.

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ADHD and Relationships

I used to drive my ex-husband crazy. Actually, I think what used to drive him crazy was my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I’m not sure what else about me drove him crazy, but that was definitely an irritant.

I was diagnosed with ADHD a few years after my first marriage broke up, so at the time, although I was beginning to realize that I had a short attention span and could be hyperactive, I didn’t know why. My ex (who did not have ADHD) and I both had computers and would often be sitting side by side working or playing a game or whatever. But I had always had either laundry, tidying up and cleaning to do, so I usually didn’t stay in my chair very long. I’d jump up after fifteen or twenty minutes at the computer and put a load of laundry in. Then I’d sit down for another fifteen or twenty minutes, until I felt the need to get up and do some dishes or pick up the apartment. My ex-husband, during this time, would not have moved. One day he roared at me, “Can’t you just sit down for longer than five minutes?!” Well, yes, actually. I was sitting down longer than that, but to him it seemed like I was up and down like a jack-in-the-box.

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