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Helping ADHD Kids Make New Years Resolutions

Few adults fail to make New Year’s resolutions. Whether they keep those self-made promises is yet another thing, as most for one reason or another are often easily abandoned early in the New Year. Sometimes older kids and teens will tell me they intend to make New Year resolutions, often because they have “seen” or “heard” a parent’s enthusiasm in making their own resolutions for the upcoming year. Once parents find out about their ADHD child’s desire to make New Year’s resolutions, they often feel the need to help their behavior impaired child write their list. I’m sure these parents have the best of intentions, but more often than not; they create a lot of stress when their child is trying to decide about what issues to deal with and what to avoid. Parents usually want and sometimes pressure their ADHD child to resolve or promise to: • Improve their behavior • Make better grades • Behave at school, church or in social occasions • Take their medication without a fuss • Do their homework without being forced • Keep their room, car, or clothing clean and in good repair • Avoid getting tattoos or piercings • Avoid getting speeding… Read the rest

19 Signs Your ADHD-labeled Child May Not Be ADHD or Was Misdiagnosed

News Flash! Over 1.2 million kids have been misdiagnosed as ADHD in the past year! Younger kids more likely misdiagnosed with ADHD. Headlines like these have been so common in the past six months, that many of us are concerned that more than likely, 2.2 t o 2.5 million children and teens are misdiagnosed and mislabeled as ADHD each year. These numbers tend to drive home many of my beliefs: Many kids are too quickly labeled as ADHD without the benefit of a thorough work-up Parents, teachers, doctors and other professionals who evaluate and treat ADHD need to be further educated in the things that can look just like or mimic ADHD. With these points in mind, let’s take a look at some of the tell-tell signs that might lead you to suspect your behavior-problem child has been misdiagnosed as ADHD: If he or she is really not ADHD or has what I call incomplete expression ADHD, then he or she probably: 1. Isn’t getting better on ADHD medications 2. Is still making failing grades 3. Developed worse behavior on ADHD drugs (more impulsive, more hyperactive, less attentive) 4. Has become depressed or withdrawn on ADHD drugs, cries a lot,… Read the rest

One in Five U. S. Teens Abuse Prescription Medications

A Centers for Disease Control report released June 3, 2010 notes that the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) of 2009 estimates as many as one in five or twenty percent of U. S. high school students have taken a prescription controlled substance drug without obtaining a prescription. In a statement released with the study, Grant Baldwin. Ph.D., director of the CDC’s Injury Center Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention said data obtained from the study indicates “prescription drug misuse is a significant problem in both adolescents and adults.” It appears teens and young adults feel that misusing prescription drugs borrowed or purchased from friends is somehow safer than using non-prescription illegal drugs and the trend is growing. The CDC report notes that illicit drug abuse of opiods such as hydrocodone and oxycodone accounts for more than $9 Billion dollars a year in direct health costs for emergency room visits, for overdose, deaths, drug treatment programs and rehabilitation. At least twice a month, some mom or dad brings their teenage son or daughter to my office requesting we check them for drug use. Often, they are afraid one of their child’s friends has given them something that made them goofy or caused… Read the rest

Study Shows Possible Link between Pesticides and ADHD Prevalence

Could it be that pesticides might yet be another ADHD imposter (zebra) causing children to display the core symptoms of ADHD even in the absence of the actual disease? According to an article published in the June 2010 issue of Pediatrics, the Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, a study by Maryse F. Bouchard, PhD of the University of Montreal Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and co-investigators; showed a strong association between the presence of ADHD-like symptoms and the pesticide metabolite, dimethyl triphosphate (DMTP) in the urine of probable exposed children. (While there are six metabolites which may be excreted by children exposed to organophosphates, DMTP is the most common!) Information for this study was accumulated using data on 1139 children ages 8 to 15 from the 2000-2004 National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES), a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of U.S. kids and adults. Of the kids studied, 119 could be diagnosed as ADHD based on structured interviews with parents or caregivers that supported an ADHD diagnosis based on the American psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria. These children reportedly had as great as… Read the rest

Beware the Choking Game

The choking game is a dangerous way for older children and teens to experience a “high” following interruption of normal blood flow and oxygen to the brain as the result of voluntary choking. Twelve year-old Michael’s mom was worried because he always seemed to have bloodshot eyes and “these funny little red spots on his face and eyelids.” She first noticed these things about two months earlier; about the same time Michael started complaining of headaches and having “weird mood swings.” She was sure he was suffering from allergies and had tried several over-the-counter medicines, but saw little improvement after a month’s use. Michael did indeed have bloodshot eyes and little red hemorrhages on his eyelids and cheeks. More importantly, I noticed the same red hemorrhages on his neck, just above a series of red-purple bruises that went almost all the way around the base. What is the choking game? It’s a dangerous way for older children and teens to experience a “high” following interruption of normal blood flow and oxygen to the brain as the result of voluntary choking. Usually the experimenting child uses a cord, rope or necktie to choke themselves until they come close to or completely… Read the rest

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies in ADHD Children

For many years parents have suspected their children may have been ADHD as the result of a critical nutrient, vitamin or mineral deficiency. Unfortunately, their attempts to discuss this concern and get advice from doctors about testing for these possible deficiencies and then treating them have often fallen short of the goal. Basically, I think it’s because there is currently a lack of good, verifiable research data to directly link ADHD and nutrient deficiencies and doctors just don’t like to speculate. While data is still lacking, I found an article on ADHD kids being at risk for zinc and copper deficiency to be interesting in that any type of deficiency that has been clearly identified as occurring in ADHD or behavior-disordered kids might have a causal relationship. Here’s the gist of the article: Investigators from the University of British Columbia and the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre in Vancouver, Canada found ADHD kids, ages 6 to 12 years were more likely to have zinc and copper deficiencies at rates of 45% and 35%, respectively. The kid’s dietary habits were assessed using 3-day food records with 24-hour recall for “junk food intake” and were compared to recommended dietary daily allowances and… Read the rest

Tobacco and Lead Exposure Increases Risk of ADHD

Numerous references to lead exposure and behavioral problems similar to ADHD (hyperactivity, inattentiveness, distractibility) have occurred in medical literature for at least twenty years. In addition, experts have long known that elevated blood lead levels may cause learning problems and lowering of an affected child’s IQ, further causing these kids to be diagnosed and labeled as ADHD. But… now, things have changed. Not only does a study published in the December 2009 issue of the medical journal Pediatrics link lead exposure to ADHD, but surprisingly additionally links the use of tobacco during pregnancy to ADHD in children ages 8 to 15. Dr. Tanya Froehlich and fellow researchers in the department of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and other associated medical centers analyzed data on 2,588 children obtained from the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey dealing with lead exposure, prenatal tobacco exposure and subsequent diagnosis of ADHD. In the study, kid’s lead levels were assessed by blood testing and use of tobacco or cigarettes during pregnancy was measured by question-reporting. Of those kids surveyed, 8.7% met ADHD diagnosis criteria. What they found: · Children and adolescents known to be exposed to tobacco during their pregnancy were 2.4… Read the rest
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