The Correlation between Self-Image and Academic Performance

Self Image SMIs 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...

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ADHD and Teen Pregnancy Risk

VoetjieWe already know from former studies that ADHD is associated with a higher incidence of risky sexual behaviors. In addition, The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has recently published an article (1) that asserts there is a higher risk of teenage pregnancy in children with ADHD. Compared with individuals without ADHD, those with ADHD were significantly more likely to become parents at 12 to 19 years of age, females and males are 95% more likely to become pregnant. Obviously “it might be appropriate to target this group with an intervention program that includes sexual education and contraceptive counseling.” But, talking to teens about sex has never been an easily broached topic. How do we engage our children so that they understand the weight of consequences?

“We were expecting to find an increased risk, but not of this magnitude,” said lead study...

Fueling our Brains & Bodies

Luke 2We know that ADHD is linked to higher incidence of Executive Function deficits. And, Executive Function supports our ability to make decisions about the foods we eat. Think about it. Do you ever eat as a reaction to stress, boredom or over-stimulation? Are you prone to emotional overeating? Are you waiting until the last minute to fix lunch?

People with ADHD do have difficulties with planning. And, they tend to be impulsive. It makes sense that a last minute impulse would lead to poor choices in what foods to eat. There is some evidence that ADHD is linked to impulsivity eating disorders like Binge Eating and Bulimia. Other studies suggest that a “Western” diet may contribute to a rise in ADHD symptoms in the study population. So, “energy-dense, heavily processed foods rich in saturated fat, salt, and sugars…” may contribute to ADHD.

Harvard Medical School says that certain foods MAY...

Focusing is hard! Brain response to reward in ADHD

Carrot Prize 300x169Scientists decided to have their findings reviewed by both scientists AND students! Which is odd, certainly. But, it’s also very exciting to see students engaged in new ways. The object was to encourage students to get involved with science and to train them to read scientific journals. The study was titled “Focusing is hard! Brain responses to reward in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” The researchers found that when measuring activity in the part of the brain associated with rewards/pleasure, called the striatum, the “students without ADHD to be much more active in anticipation of the reward, potentially helping to focus onto the task at hand knowing reward was likely to follow. Students with ADHD however displayed the opposite pattern: receiving the reward triggered higher activity in the striatum compared to the anticipation of the prize.”

Russell Barkley, PH.D, says in...

ADHD and School Sports

Boy Baseball SmSchool has started, or is around the corner, for most of us here. There is the usual flurry of activity. Clothes shopping, school supplies, schedules, meeting teachers, and traffic that just always seems to get worse. But then there is the tap-tap at your elbow, and your littlest one hands you a form with imploring eyes. “Join the Football Team”, it reads. And there at the bottom, where your little angel is pointing, is where you are supposed to sign on the dotted line.

If you are at all like me, then the fearful visions of injury and nights spent in the Emergency Department of the local hospital with a leg in traction are just the first of many horrific reveries. There may be reason to pause and consider potential injuries and whether your child has a greater risk. Children with ADHD often are also diagnosed with Dyspraxia, the comorbidity with ADHD is so high that it has been argued...