Reading and Books, More is Better

BooksA new study in Social Science Research, reported in the Guardian by Alison Flood, has found that people who grew up in a home filled with books have “long-term cognitive competencies spanning literacy, numeracy and ICT (Information Communication Technology) skills.” The study doesn’t focus on whether the respondents were read to as children, they were simply asked about the number of books in the house when they were 16.

The study goes on to show that teenagers with only lower levels of secondary education, but who came from a home filled with books, “become as literate, numerate and technologically apt in adulthood as university graduates who grew up with only a few books”. The university graduates who grew up with hardly any books around them had roughly average literacy levels. So did those whose schooling ended in the equivalent of year nine (13-14 years old), but who grew up...

Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Sorting

ToddlerPlay Attention improves the cognitive skills that lay the foundation for strong Executive Functioning, but many of our clients would like to know other activities they can do outside of their Play Attention sessions to improve cognitive skills even more.  In the coming weeks, we'll be giving specific examples of such activities divided into age category.  This week, let's talk about toddlers and preschoolers:

Activity 1 for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Sorting
Areas developed: General Organization/General Adaptability

A great example of a sorting game involves a standard deck of playing cards.  Lay all of the cards out face up--or just a few, if your child feels overwhelmed by too many cards.  We may have to gradually build up to a full deck.  Regardless, once the cards are laid out, tell your child that the objective of this fun game is to sort the cards...

Fitting Diet and Exercise into your ADHD child’s 504 Plan

52Students with ADHD can qualify for a 504 Plan at school which provides accommodations to help them be successful in the regular classroom. These are often focused around getting tasks done, test taking, managing behaviors, and minimizing distractions. However, diet and exercise can also play a role in managing ADHD symptoms, so it’s important to address these areas with your 504 coordinator.

If your child struggles with hyperactivity and restless behaviors, here are some accommodations suggested by ADDitude Magazine to encourage exercise. You child may be allowed to:

Run errands for the teacherIEP Hand out papers to students when needed
Help clean the classroom
Stand while completing assignments (or get a standing desk)
Take short exercise breaks between assignments

If your child has a food allergy, there is no question that this needs to be included in the 504 Plan. You will need a...

Available accommodations for your child.

Your child has an IEP or 504 plan for ADHD now what….

The world of IEPs as well as 504 plans can be confusing and difficult to navigate. You may not be sure what accommodations are available for your child and how to advocate for those accommodations. Recently an article from Understood broke down classroom accommodations for students with ADHD.

There are five areas to focus on when looking at accommodations; classroom learning, organization, classwork/test taking, in-class learning, and behavior. Here are some examples of accommodations for each area.

Classroom Learning:

  • Move student closer to teacher but away from windows and doors
  • Increase space between desks
  • Have student stand near teacher

Organization:

  • Use assignment notebook
  • Color code folders/notebooks for specific subjects
  • Written out schedule for daily routine

Classroom Work/Test Taking:

  • Worksheets with...

What is the difference between an IEP and a 504?

IEPIn the world of education, it can be difficult to decipher the difference between an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) and a 504 plan. Both plans offer formal help for students K-12th grades with learning and attention issues and they do have some similarities but at closer look they are very different.

An IEP is a plan for a child’s special education experience at school. It provides individualized special education related services to meet the unique needs of the child. It applies to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IEP sets learning goals for the child an describes the services the school will give to them in a written document.

504 is a plan addressing how a child will have access to learning at school. It provides services and changes to the learning environment to meet the needs of the child as adequately as other students. It applies to Section...

Increased Number of Girls and Women With ADHD

GirlsADHDSince 1990, we have seen the increase of girls vs. boys diagnosed with ADHD increase from a ratio of 1 in 8 to 1 in 3, reported by front line clinical therapists.

However, is this because the number of girls with ADHD is increasing or is it because they have been left undiagnosed?

Experts including psychologist Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., head of a major longitudinal study of girls with ADHD, and psychologist and author Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. have been studying the increases of diagnosis in girls as well as women. Dr. Hinshaw explains that because boys tend to demonstrate more hyperactivity and impulsivity that girls; boys with ADHD get noticed and helped. Whereas, girls are diagnosed with being inattentive with a day-dreamy type of disorder. Girls turn their frustration inside which leads to low self-confidence and psychological damage.

Dr. Hinshaw’s continues to explain in the...