Kids treated for ADHD can still struggle in school, especially girls.

As reported by Channel NewsAsia, a study conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, suggests “Kids treated for ADHD can still struggle in school, especially girls.”

“Fewer girls are treated for ADHD, but when girls are diagnosed they fare worse than boys with ADHD,” said senior study author Dr. Jill Pell of the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

“Having ADHD had a bigger effect on girls than boys in terms of having special education needs, being excluded from school, doing worse on exams, being unemployed and needing to be admitted to the hospital,” Pell said by email.

For the current study, researchers examined data on 766,244 children and teens attending school in Scotland between 2009 and 2013. This included 7,413 kids taking medication for ADHD.

About 85 percent of the kids taking ADHD drugs were boys.

Compared to kids not being treated for ADHD, boys taking medication for the disorder were more than three times as likely to get poor grades in school. Girls on ADHD drugs, however, were more than five times as likely to get poor grades.

Roughly 64 percent of students taking ADHD drugs dropped out of school before age 16, compared with 28 percent of other students.

When they dropped out, boys with ADHD were 40 percent more likely than kids without the disorder to be unemployed six months later. For girls with ADHD, the risk of unemployment was 59 percent greater. [1]

“The study adds to a large body of evidence suggesting that stimulant medication for ADHD may not be enough on its own to help kids succeed,” said Dr. William Pelham, director of the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University in Miami.

Play Attention teaches the skills that medication alone cannot teach. If you are using medication to control symptoms of ADHD, Play Attention can then be used to teach the cognitive skills that are weakest for people with attention difficulties.

View the cognitive skills addressed in Play Attention here.

Play Attention also includes a full behavior shaping program that successfully teaches students how to control self-distracting or impulsive behaviors.

Read more about Play Attention’s behavior shaping program.

Attend our FREE webinar to learn more about how Play Attention can help.

Tufts University School of Medicine performed a controlled study of Play Attention (termed “NF” in study) in the Massachusetts School System. The outstanding results were published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics. View results here.

[1] http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/kids-treated-for-adhd-can-still-struggle-in-school–especially-girls-8816124

View study cited in articl: Educational and Health Outcomes of Children Treated for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2624340

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Join Kate, a real ADHD mom, as she addresses the principals . . .

Dear All Principals of All the Schools My Children Have Ever Attended,

     Let me introduce myself. I am the parent that consistently brings their child in late. I’m the one running through the door after first bell – my child trailing behind me dragging their half opened backpack eating breakfast on the go. I’m the one you give the ‘stink-eye’ to when you see me in the hallway. I’m the one whose child gets sympathetic glances from you that seem to say, “Poor you….your mom doesn’t care enough about you to get you here on time. Tsk,tsk…what a pity.” I’m the one you write the attendance warning letter to every spring. Anyway, Hi! Nice to meet you. I’m Kate.Kate_SM
     Can I tell you that any day I even get all three of my children to school is a win for me? If I get at least two out of three there on time, it’s a bonus win. All THREE to school ON TIME? Well, then I consider myself a gold medal finalist.
    Now, I love my kids. They’re delicious to me and I enjoy every minute with them, but to get them all out of bed, help find their clothes for the day, pack lunches, find shoes, let me repeat, find shoes, and get them all to their respective buses on time? Well…to ADHD me, it’s like climbing Mt. Everest every morning (without a Sherpa).
     You see, first I have to remember every day what time each one has to get out of bed, which is like…impossible. Then I have to remind myself not to get sidetracked by the stories they tell over their bowls of cereal. Then, I have to remember not to get sidetracked by the stories I tell them over my bowl of cereal. And so on..and so on…By the time we get to looking for that one shoe that is MIA, we hear the bus rumble by. “The Twinkie, mom! The Twinkie!” my son will yell. (Get it? Big and yellow and shaped like a…yup, Twinkie…Are my kids the only ones who even know what a Twinkie is anymore?)  Anyway, we’ll all run to the door to see the bus driver give us a sad little wave as he drives the Twinkie by our house yet again.
    So, dear principal, unless I receive a Sherpa for Easter, our relationship will most likely remain the same – you’ll give me the ‘stink-eye,’ and I’ll be pumping my fist that I got at least some of my kids to school today.
   Nice to meet you. See you tomorrow. (After first bell, of course)
~Kate

 

Fidgeting May Help Students with ADHD Learn

Have you ever wondered why your ADHD child acts like the energizer rabbit? Well, so do the researchers. “We don’t know whether they do it to help or because they are anxious, or whether it is helping,” Interesting but inconclusive article read on to learn more…

“MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Students who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often get into trouble for fidgeting in the classroom, but that fidgeting may help them learn, new research suggests.

‘The prevailing view has been and continues to be that hyperactivity is a core deficit in ADHD,’ said study author Michael Kofler, an assistant professor of psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee. ‘When we think of it as a deficit, we are saying it’s a bad thing and it’s interfering [with schoolwork]. Our work has been challenging that thought.’

Little cute active girl with key on back

Kofler’s team gave 25 boys and girls with ADHD, aged 8 to 12, a series of working memory tasks, observing the amount of fidgeting as the children did them. In one set, the students had to remember where a series of dots appeared on a screen and then reorder them mentally, based on color. They had to then remember a series of numbers and letters, mentally reordering them, numbers first from smallest to biggest, then the letters.

In the easier test of dots on a screen, the children knew in advance how many items they would have to remember. In the more difficult test, the amount of items they would have to remember was random so they didn’t know in advance how many items they would have to remember.

The children fidgeted during all the tests, but fidgeted about 25 percent more when they couldn’t predict how many items they would have to remember. The tests were alike in every other way, so Kofler said this shows that demands on working memory affect the level of hyperactivity in ADHD students.

The fidgeting may increase ‘physiological arousal,’ Kofler speculated, similar to what stimulant medication does for a child with the disorder. But the study didn’t prove that point, he said, and the researchers don’t know if the kids were fidgeting on purpose.

The study was published online this month in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

The findings echo some from a study published last year from the University of California, Davis. Researchers there looked at 26 children with ADHD and 18 without. They found that when the children with ADHD fidgeted more, they did better on a test. Fidgeting among kids without ADHD had no effect on test performance.

Dr. Trevor Resnick, a pediatric neurologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, said, ‘We’ve known [intuitively] for many years that kids with ADHD often do better when they are fidgeting.’

However, Resnick said, the interpretation of why they fidgeted more has not been proven. ‘We don’t know whether they do it to help or because they are anxious, or whether it is helping,’ he said.

Kofler agreed, saying his team next plans research ‘to link the movement with the arousal and the performance, to see if we are right about that is why the movement is helpful.’

Meanwhile, until more is known, students with ADHD should not have free rein to do what they want in the classroom, Kofler said.

But the new study does suggest that teachers and parents should focus less on whether a child is sitting still and more on whether the work is getting done, regardless of the movement level, he said.[1]

You should be aware that not all fidgeting is conducive to learning.  Some movements are simply self distracting behaviors that the students tend to start when they become bored or anxious.  Play Attention’s unique behavior shaping tool can actually detect which behaviors help a student’s attention and those that simply interfere.  Check out our unique, patented behavior shaping program that is integrated throughout Play Attention, http://www.playattention.com/solution/behavior/[2]

[1] http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2016-02-29/fidgeting-may-help-students-with-adhd-learn

[2] http://www.playattention.com/

ADHD News & Updates: Study Suggests Drug Ritalin Makes No Long-Term Difference for Kids with ADHD

Time for a New Approach?

Although Ritalin has been a mainstay in the day-to-day treatment of ADHD symptoms, much debate continues whether the drug provides long-term benefits for children.

“A new study suggests that long-term drug Ritalin makes no difference to children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to Sydney Morning Herald,[1] a research team at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute has found that ADHD children who are treated with Ritalin continue to struggle mentally and academically as they get older.

For three years, the research team has been following 212 children without ADHD and 178 children with ADHD. The aim of the study is to identify the factors that make a difference to the development of children with ADHD.

Adorable five year old African American Girl and mother having an argumentAccording to Ten Eyewitness News[2], the Children’s Attention Project funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council has found that by the age of seven, children with ADHD show severe mental, social and academic differences compared with their peers. Preliminary findings suggest that these disparities persist three years after the start of the research.

Four times as many ADHD children aged 10 years old suffer from mental health problems such as oppositional disorder and anxiety. Children with ADHD are also well behind their peers in their reading and mathematical abilities. The study did not find differences in outcomes between girls and boys.

One of the chief investigators of the project, pediatrician Daryl Efron, said that all of the children with ADHD continued to be at risk of mental health and academic problems at 10 years old, just like when they were seven years old. At age 10, those children in the study under Ritalin medication for ADHD were not doing better than their peers not taking the medication. This suggests that Ritalin medication doesn’t improve the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD.

Dr. Efron cautioned that drugs like Ritalin can be very effective in reducing the day-to-day symptoms of ADHD, helping children to be calmer and more focused. However, the treatment options for ADHD haven’t progressed very much beyond treating day-to-day symptoms. Medical researchers need to find a better approach to ADHD in the future to make a real long-term difference.”[3]

[1] http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/no-evidence-ritalin-makes-a-difference-long-term-for-adhd-kids-20160311-gngmeb.html

[2] http://tenplay.com.au/news/national/march/study-reveals-the-truth-about-ritalin

[3] http://www.parentherald.com/articles/28101/20160314/adhd-news-updates-study-suggests-drug-ritalin-makes-difference-long.htm

 

Could Adults’ Expectations Drive Up ADHD Diagnoses in Kids?

 

We have been discussing how parents’ attitude may affect their ADHD child’s severity and longevity. Recent studies show that ADHD has risen globally and that adults’ expectations and greater academic pressure could be reasons why.

“Reporting in the Feb. 22 issue of JAMA Pediatrics, researchers from the University of Miami point to evidence that the rise in ADHD diagnoses coincided with ever-growing demands on young children’s attention and focus.

10 year-old asian elementary schoolboy appears to be frustrated while doing homework.

Since the 1970s, the researchers said, elementary school children have been getting more and more homework, while preschoolers have spent more time in full-day programs—and getting coached in reading and numbers by mom and dad.

During those same years, the prevalence of ADHD doubled in the United States.

Of course, many other things have also changed since the 1970s, and it’s not possible to pin the rise of ADHD on any one trend, said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Brosco, associate director of the university’s Mailman Center for Child Development. His research letter only points to an association and not cause-and-effect.”

But, Brosco said, it makes sense that greater academic pressure would set the stage for more ADHD diagnoses.

“You may have a young child who has difficulty paying attention to boring things,” Brosco said. “That’s only a problem if you’re trying to force that child to pay attention to boring things.”

“In the U.S.,” he added, “we’ve decided that increasing children’s academic demands is a good thing. But we haven’t really considered the potential negative effects.”

A child psychologist not involved in the study agreed there’s a “plausible” connection between academic expectations and ADHD diagnoses.

It’s not that homework is causing ADHD, said Stephanie Wagner, an assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center in New York City.

ADHD is a “neurobiological” disorder, Wagner said, which means it’s brain-based, and not caused by environmental factors.

“But we do know that the environment can exacerbate symptoms,” she added.

So the more time that children with ADHD have to sit, do homework and have no freedom for play, Wagner said, the more difficulty they’ll have—and the more apparent that will be to adults.

According to Wagner, children with ADHD typically do best in environments where there are clear rules, plenty of hands-on lessons, and less “down time.”

In the United States, about 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health experts believe genetics might play a role in its development, as well as lifestyle behaviors like smoking or drinking during pregnancy.

Critics have long charged that some children diagnosed with ADHD are wrongly labeled as having a “disease” and given drugs they don’t need.

Recent decades have seen a number of trends that could feed the rise in ADHD diagnoses, Brosco said. Those include changes in how the disorder is diagnosed and aggressive marketing of ADHD drugs, Also, kids with ADHD are sometimes eligible for special education services that were not available in the 1970s, Wagner said. “So there likely are families who seek a diagnosis for their child, in order to help him or her receive appropriate services in school,” she said.

But, Brosco said, there has also been a shift in academic demands. Looking at government statistics and previous research, Brosco’s team found that between 1981 and 1997, U.S. children dedicated more and more hours per week to studying.

The biggest change was seen among 6- to 8-year-olds. By 1997, they were spending over two hours a week on homework, versus less than one hour in 1981.

Even preschoolers were feeling the pressure. By 2005, 77 percent of parents said they “frequently” taught their 3- to 5-year-olds letters, words and numbers. That was up from 58 percent in 1993.

It’s not that parents shouldn’t engage their preschoolers’ minds, Brosco stressed. But it should be done through play and connection, rather than lessons, he said.

“Parents should read to their children,” Brosco said. “That’s social interaction and storytelling.” The problem, he added, arises when parents use flashcards and other ways of pushing young children to “get it right.”

Another change, the study found, is that many more preschoolers are in full-day programs now—58 percent in the mid-2000s, compared with just 17 percent in 1970.

Brosco said there’s nothing wrong with full-day preschool, if children are playing and learning things that are developmentally appropriate—like how to get along with other kids. But some programs get into academics, he noted.

“At that age,” Brosco said, “what’s most important is free play, social interactions, using your imagination. We need to be careful that our demands aren’t making children feel like they’re getting it ‘wrong.’ We want them to love learning.” [1]

Does your ADHD child suffer from unfocused, inattentive behavior? We are here to help, attend one of our FREE Live Speed Webinars: http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

[1] http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-02-adults-adhd-kids.html

Merry Christmas

Merry_Christmas_PA
Improve your Focus and Success in
The New Year!

Attend one of Play Attention’s FREE webinars:
http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

December 29th @ 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT
January 6th @ 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Here we go again with Kate, an ADHD real-life mom who shares her amazing, funny, and true life stories with you.  Enjoy. 

Sigh…here we go again…

So yesterday was my big day. The principal asked me to present at a meeting training other teachers on a teaching method I use with my students.

It was my first time presenting at this school and I was looking to impress. Knowing how hard a time I have focusing, I over planned and practiced each word, each gesture until it was perfect.Kate_SM

The time came to speak. I was doing great – I looked the part, introduction went smooth…I was focused and determined – sure I was going to hit it out of the ballpark.

Then…two minutes into the presentation, a woman entered the room late. I glanced at her and noticed she closely resembled the lady from the movie “The Goonies”…you know…the one that makes “mouth” (Corey Feldman) drink the glass of dirty water? Pearls, beret…the whole works.

I lost my words and started to giggle. Train of thought left the track and was only on this woman from the movie. Presentation was now out of control. Words came out randomly. I couldn’t regain focus and stumbled my way through to the end.

From the confused look on everyone’s faces I knew that my impression had been made.

Sincerely,

Kate    

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

In this post Kate, an ADHD real-life mom, reminisces of times gone by. Share in her amazing, funny, and true life stories.  Enjoy.

I’ve been reminiscing, and I think my third grade teacher nailed it back in the late 70’s when she gave me the nickname “Fizzles”. She was so very frustrated with me because I had grand and fantastic ideas, but never followed through on any of them. I don’t know if she ever thought I had attention difficulties or if she spoke to my parents. If she did, they would have told her that I was just being lazy, or that I wasn’t very bright.Kate_SM

I sometimes imagine how different my life would be now, if someone back then had understood what I needed and reassured me that I was just as intelligent as my peers, but that my brain worked a bit differently…if someone had taught me how to focus and preplan way back then. I wonder how many of those grand and fantastic ideas I’ve had over the years could have become something big if I had learned to follow through on my intentions.

I am so jealous, yet happy for the kids these days who have people in their lives that understand the way their little brains work! May they all get the guidance they need and may their grand and fantastic ideas all come to fruition!

Sincerely,

Kate

ADHD Adults: “You Are a Star”

ADHD Adults: “You Are a Star”
Famous Powerhouses with ADHD . . .

When we think of ‘famous’ people we often think: “Geez, they must be really smart and gifted people.” Many times there is also a misconception that people with ADHD could never be ‘smart’ or ‘gifted’ because of their disorder. Studies indicate that just the opposite is true. “Many, many individuals with ADHD are successful and gifted at what they do in life and sometimes have higher IQs. The truth is that when people with ADHD are able find something that they’re passionate about, they will dedicate themselves harder than anyone else could even imagine — often times crushing the competition.”[1]

According to Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D. the misconception is just that, nonsense. “I did a study of 157 adults — all of them fully met diagnostic criteria for ADD/ADHD, and all had significant impairment in working memory and processing speed — but they each had intelligence quotients (IQs) of 120 or above, or would fall into the top nine percent of the population.”[2]Executive_SM

By judging what the ‘famous’ people below have accomplished, we would think ADHD is more of an advantage than a weakness. These famous people with ADHD don’t let their diagnosis, symptoms, or the world, hold them back. Be inspired and get motivated to be proactive about your ADHD!

LEADING LADIES

Lisa Ling “Renowned journalist Lisa Ling got a sneaking suspicion that she might have ADHD during the filming of a recent ADHD–themed episode of “Our America With Lisa Ling.” Her reporting on the disorder compelled her to get an evaluation, and at age 40, she was diagnosed with adult ADHD. “My head is kind of spinning,” she said in the episode after receiving her diagnosis. “But I feel a little bit of relief because, for so long, I’ve been fighting it and I’ve been so frustrated with this inability to focus.”

Karina Smirnoff — Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars has lived with ADHD her entire life, but wasn’t properly diagnosed until adulthood. She’s worked with her doctor to find the best treatment for her inattention and impulsivity. As a professional dancer, Smirnoff channels her ADHD energy into her work.

Bex Taylor-Klaus — Bex Taylor-Klaus, 19, has come a long way since her third-grade after-school drama class. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Taylor-Klaus now travels between Los Angeles and Vancouver to play roles on the hit TV shows Arrow, The Killing, and House of Lies. Her advice to ADHDers? “Embrace it. It may be a nuisance, it may be hard to deal with sometimes, but you can learn to manage it. Don’t ever try to get rid of it entirely. Attention deficit makes you special.””[3]

Cynthia Gerdes “Owner of Hell’s Kitchen – an award-winning restaurant in Minneapolis, which brings in more than a million dollars annually – Gerdes started her career as a teacher. She owned several successful toy stores before she entered the restaurant business. Gerdes, who holds bachelor’s degrees in education and business administration from the University of North Carolina, was always able to work the long hours her jobs demanded, but when it came to smaller tasks, like food shopping, she was lost.
“I couldn’t cook,” she says. “And even with a grocery list, I couldn’t get the five ingredients I needed.”
The restaurant exec has found that making adjustments in her schedule is enough to keep her ADD/ADHD in check. “I won’t do two meetings in a row,” she says, “because I know I can’t sit still that long.” Taking breaks while reviewing menus and bills helps, too.
She still has problems with grocery shopping. Her husband, who is a chef, is supportive. “He is amused and bemused when I spin in circles around the house,” she says. “Thank God, he is a chef!”

Patricia Quinn, M.D., “I’m not the sort of person who thinks ADD is a strength, but I do think you can use it to become successful,” says Dr. Patricia Quinn, who practices in Washington, D.C.
Quinn’s mission these days is to highlight the problems facing women and girls with ADD. In 1997, she co-founded, with Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., The National Center for Girls and Women with ADHD, and she has written several books on the topic. She believes that the condition often goes undiagnosed in girls and women because it tends not to cause hyperactivity the way it does in men. “Girls and women are not bothering anybody, so they don’t get diagnosed.”
Quinn, who does not use medication to manage symptoms, says that discovering that she had the condition helped explain why she felt so different from other medical students. She believes that it was, ultimately, hard work that got her to where she is today. “I had a lot of success despite my ADD,” she says.”[4]

Read Play Attention’s success stories and find out how the play attention team can help you live life to your full potential: http://www.playattention.com/adhd-success5

 

LEADING GENTLEMEN

Michael Phelps — Diagnosed with ADHD at age 9, Michael Phelps went on to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, swimming his way to a record-breaking 18 gold medals. According to his mother, Debbie Phelps, swimming helped her son manage his symptoms from a young age by keeping him focused and disciplined.[6]

Justin Timberlake — The Grammy-winning artist revealed in an interview with Collider.com that he has “ADD mixed with OCD.” That hasn’t stopped him from bringing sexy back in his suit and tie. He has since transcended his success to movies and business. Not bad, Justin. Not bad.[7]

Terry Bradshaw — Four-time Super Bowl champion turned sports analyst and commentator, Terry Bradshaw revealed in his book Keep It Simple that he has struggled with ADHD for years. He’s also battled clinical depression along the way, but none of his diagnoses stopped him from being inducted into the National Football League’s Hall of Fame.[8]

will.i.am — This seven-time Grammy Award winning recording artist has found a way to make his ADHD work for him — through music. He’s stated that music serves as his ADHD therapy and helps him bring control to his thoughts while keeping his mind focused.[9]

Ty Pennington — It only takes a few minutes of watching Ty Pennington on the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to pick up on the star’s hyperactive energy. Diagnosed as a child, Pennington continues to manage his ADHD with the help of stimulant medication. According to his mom, Yvonne Pennington, the very traits that once held her son back are now what make him a huge success. She encourages parents to focus on what their child can do, as opposed to what they can’t do.[10]

Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist — When your last name becomes the universal reference to calling someone a genius — you’re smart. Albert Einstein was a classic case of ADHD as he was forgetful, could never find his keys and often seemed oblivious to his surroundings. Not to mention the hair. It’s safe to say he didn’t fit in with the majority. He was a maverick, and he lived by his own rules.[11]

Play Attention can custom build your program to meet your specific needs at no extra charge. So call 800-788-6786 and request a free consultation or request a quote at http://www.playattention.com/play-attention-cost/[12]. When you decide to start your Play Attention program, you will be assigned an educational support advisor to assist you every step of the way!

[1] http://elitedaily.com/money/10-successful-people-adhd/

[2] http://www.additudemag.com/q&a/ask_the_add_medical_expert/7266.html

[3] http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-6.html

[4] http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/8642-5.html

[5] http://www.playattention.com/adhd-success

[6] http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-7.html

[7] http://elitedaily.com/money/10-successful-people-adhd/

[8] http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-8.html

[9] http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-9.html

[10] http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-11.html

[11] http://elitedaily.com/money/10-successful-people-adhd/

[12] http://www.playattention.com/play-attention-cost/

ADHD: The Correlation between Self-Image and Academic Performance

ADHD: The Correlation between Self-Image and Academic Performance
Is poor self-image affecting your ADHD child’s academic performance?

With the hustle and bustle of getting ready for back to school; filling those backpacks with school supplies, buying new clothes, making lunches, scheduling necessary pickups and drop-offs, we often forget the emotional feelings our ADHD child experiences when beginning the new school year. Poor self-image and negative feelings of poor self-esteem affect our child’s ability to perform up to grade level and vice versa: poor academic performance can also affect our child’s self-image.

Self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a number of self-impressions that have built up over time: What are your hopes and dreams? What do you think and feel? What have you done throughout your life and what did you want to do? These self-images can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas.

Portrait of a sad hispanic girl isolated on whiteSome believe that a person’s self-image is defined by events that affect him or her (doing well or not in school, work, or relationships.) Others believe that a person’s self-image can help shape those events. There is probably some truth to both schools of thought: failing at something can certainly cause one to feel bad about oneself, just as feeling good about oneself can lead to better performance on a project. 1

Studies show that there is definitely a correlation between ADHD and peer relationships, academic performance, and self-image.

One such study examined relationships between symptoms of ADHD, peer relations, academic performance, and self-image among university-level students. Eighty-three students at a private, Midwestern, comprehensive university participated in the study. None indicated that they had been previously diagnosed with ADHD or were currently receiving any form of ADHD treatment. The students were administered an adapted version of the General Adult ADD Symptom Checklist (Amen, 1995). Particular variables of interest included perceptions of peer relations, academic performance, and self-image. The results showed that 5% of students surveyed met the operational definition criteria for ADHD symptoms. Significant correlations were found with poor peer relations, less satisfactory academic performance, and poor self-image.2

To feel good about themselves, children need two things: the sense that they’re successful, both socially and academically, and unconditional love from their parents. If either ingredient is missing, a child will have a hard time developing a sense of self-image.

A child might reveal his unhappiness by saying, “I hate my life” or “No one likes me” or “I’m just dumb.”

Does your child say or do things that suggest that he feels he isn’t “good enough” or is unworthy of love? Do her words or behavior suggest that she feels like a failure at school? That her peers aren’t especially fond of her, or that she is otherwise unsuccessful socially?3

Tips for Building Self-Image:

Focus on the steps within a task, not just the end product

  • Break a large task down into small, manageable chunks
  • Introduce frequent, short breaks that coincide with the end of the child’s concentration span
  • Provide encouragement at the end of each chunk of work, building their confidence in being able to complete the overall task

Show faith in the child’s abilities

  • Where possible, choose and tailor tasks to match what they are good at and build on their strengths
  • Keep praising good actions. Children with ADHD can find it hard to accept compliments
  • Raise the child’s own expectations about what they can realistically achieve:

— They may stop trying if they encounter obstacles and need extra encouragement
— If the adults around them have low expectations of what they can achieve, the child will too.

Put mistakes into perspective

  • Keep setting clear boundaries about what is acceptable, and help the child to understand that everyone makes mistakes
  • Recognize that children with ADHD may seem to:

— Take a long time to learn from their mistakes
— Make the same mistake repeatedly.

  • A lot of patience may be needed, as this may be a long journey for the child
  • Help the child to see smaller mistakes in the context of bigger achievements

— For example, when correcting punctuation in a piece of work, praise their handwriting/ideas/story.4

Doing well in school, performing at your academic peak will no doubt increase your ADHD child’s self-image. Using Play Attention’s Academic Bridge is a great way for you and your child to know when they are truly paying attention and performing at their academic peak. Academic Bridge will monitor attention and let the student know when they have lost focus. Through consistent and repetitive training, your student will be able to pay attention for longer and longer periods of time.5

The Play Attention family hopes you have a successful school year! If you would like more information how Play Attention can help improve the cognitive skills necessary for classroom success, call 800‐788‐6786. Or register for an upcoming webinar.6

 

RESOURCES

1   http://www.mtstcil.org/skills/image-1.html

2   http://www.shsu.edu/~piic/summer2007/wantz.htm

3   http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1465.html

4   http://www.adhdtogether.com/sites/default/files/Ideas-help-build-self-esteem_COA.pdf

5   http://www.playattention.com/solution/academics/

6   www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/