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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Q.  What inspired you to write this book?

A.   I believe that I had ADHD as a

child and still have symptoms today as

an adult, although I was never formally

diagnosed.  I had a hard time as a child

in school because in the 1960’s

in Bermuda, no one knew about ADHD. 

I was very bewildered and frustrated. 

I was also lucky because I had parents

who believed in me and fought for me. 

I also learned compensatory type

strategies that enabled me to succeed.

These strategies I taught myself.  For

example, while I was in college, I would

write everything and I mean everything

that the teacher said.  I became a speed

writer.  This helped me to stay focused

and I had very comprehensive notes. 

Today, I watch my son and my students

struggle to navigate through the

challenges of school with some of the

same difficulties that I faced as a child. 

I am also an educator and I’ve seen

how insensitive, untrained, and stressed

out teachers can ruin children’s  self-

esteem and academic success

because they do not fully understand ADHD. 

Often they personalize the behaviors and come

to dislike the child.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a

challenge to teach children who have ADHD,

especially those whose parents have opted not

to use medication.  However, once a teacher

realizes that the behaviors are not directed

at him or her, personally, and that the child has

an impulsive disorder, they can begin to

separate the behaviors from the child and

begin to empathize.  Empathy then leads to

action.  Action leads to teacher

strategies that can best help the child to

learn.  I wanted to write a book that would help

educators empathize with and understand

children who have ADHD better. Who better

to write such a book than an educator who

understands how it feels to have ADHD?

 

Q.   What are your goals for the book?

 

A.    My goals for this book are to inspire

empathy in educators, to show children

who have ADHD that they are not dumb

and they are not alone,  to give a voice to

and reasons behind the behaviors of ADHD,

and to remind educators that there are

parents at home who love these children

just like they love their own children. 

I also wanted to show children who have 

ADHD that they can have successful lives

and they can learn to compensate for the

areas that they are weak in. I’m a living

example of that.  I also wanted to show

that ADHD is not a disorder of the poor

or uneducated..  It can occur and does

occur in middle and upper

middle class families as well.

      

Q.    Why did you add a clock companion?

 

A.   Children who have ADHD have

difficulty managing time and time

concepts. At first I planned to have a

clock on the wall in each picture so

readers could view how time passed

as Nicholas was distracted.  As I

continued writing, I got the idea to

make him animated. It turned out to

be so much fun.  I wanted kids and

adults to be able to laugh while they

 read about a serious and sometimes

sad disorder.

       

 Q.  The book ends on a sad note.Why?

 

 A.    I really struggled with how to end this

story and many colleagues wanted me to make

 it a happy ending.  I decided not to because

often this story really is a typical day

for children who have ADHD.  I also

wanted adults to observe that even when

we make decisions  that we feel will

facilitate academic success,

and they may, from the children’s

perspective, it can be another hardship. 

*

Q.  What exactly is ADHD?

*

A.   I will defer to Dr. Russell A. Barkley, a

leading expert in this field, and his

definition of ADHD from his book,

Taking Charge of ADHD, The

Complete, Authoritative  Guide For Parents. 

“Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

or ADHD, is a developmental disorder of

self-control.  It consist of problems with

attention span, impulse control, and

activity level.” There are 3 types of

ADHD:  inattentive type, hyperactivity

type, and combined type. 

I would love to elaborate further

because ADHD is so much more,

however, please get this book for

more information.

 

Q.  What are some of the symptoms of ADHD?

 

A.   Children with ADHD are often distracted and

unfocused, talk excessively, act before

they think, will grab things that don’t belong to

them,  have difficulty completing  tasks, often

avoid complex tasks, need immediate rewards

which is why they can play video games for

hours, have trouble making friends or

maintaining friendships, have poor listening

skills even when they are looking at you their

minds can be somewhere else, have difficulty

with reading tasks due to an inability to produce

images in their minds, have difficulty waiting

their turn, it drives them crazy to

have nothing to do and they have significant

working and language memory deficits.

They also have difficulty with time

management and the concept of time, poor

organizational skills, and can develop low

self-esteem because they don’t understand

why they can’t control themselves

even though they try hard to. They can also have

poor control over their emotions and can have

severe tantrums and often over react to

situations that would not bother their peers of

the same age who do not have ADHD.

Basically, poor impulse control affects every

aspect of their lives.  Forgetting homework,

textbooks, projects, where he/she put the

textbook, waiting until the last minute to

complete a major project, and procrastination

are common  problems. There are also varying

degrees of symptons so each child is different.

*

Q.  At what age does ADHD appear?

 

A.   Parents often report that they saw

symptoms as early as 3 years old. 

According to Dr. Russell Barkley, ADHD

appears in early childhood.  

     

Q.  Do girls have ADHD too?

Kiss

A.   Yes, again deferring to Dr. Barkley, his

statistics report the current research that 2-4%

of all children have ADHD.  This disorder is

three times more common in boys  than girls. 

Therefore 1-3% of girls have ADHD and 3-8%

of boys have ADHD. According to the authors

of the book, Understanding  Girls With ADHD,

Drs. Nadeau, Littman, and Quinn, report that

girls tend to have the inattentive type of

ADHD (no hyperactivity), and are prone to

depression more as are boys who have the

inattentive type, and  may tend to over eat

and be obese due to poor impulse control

when it comes to food.

 

Q.  About how many children and

adolescents have ADHD in the

USA?

 

A.   Calculating the previous statistics, about

2 million children have ADHD in the USA.

 

Q.  Do children outgrow ADHD?

 

A.   There is no magic cure for ADHD. 

Dr Barkley reports the statistics in his

book as follows: 50-65% of children with

ADHD continue to have symptoms as

they reach adulthood. Although many of

them will be employed and self-supporting,

their educational level and socioeconomic

status tend to be lower than those of others

even their siblings.  Antisocial behavior

is likely to be troublesome for at least

20-45%, with as many as 25% qualifying

for a diagnosis of adult antisocial

personality disorder.  Only 10-20% of

children with ADHD reach adulthood

free of any psychiatric diagnosis and

are functioning well.

  

Q.  What is the best approach to treating ADHD?

 

A.  According to the experts, the best

treatment to date is a combination of

medication and counseling. 

It is not true that children who take

stimulant medications end up using

other drugs.  Actually the

opposite is true.  Children who receive

no or little help often become so

frustrated that they drop out of school

and turn to drugs to ease the pain and

frustration.  It is also true that not all

children who have ADHD

need medication and not all children with

ADHD respond well to medication.  For

others, medication is a God send.

 

Q.  How do the medications work?

 

A. According to Dr. Barkley, some 

medications help to release more

dopamine from brain cells while 

others act to block their reuptake

both for dopamine and norepinephrine. 

There is more of the neurochemical

outside of the nerve cells to function

better. 

 

Q.  What causes ADHD?

A.   According to the experts in this field,

some children get it because the mother

absorbed drugs or chemicals that harmed

the fetus, lead poisoning or other chemical

contamination after birth, and genetic factors.

*

Q.  Who should I contact if I suspect my

child may have ADHD?

A.  I would start with your pediatrician

and report your concerns.  Your

pediatrician can then refer you to a good

pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist.

If your pediatrician blames the

behaviors you and your child's teacher

have observed, on you, get a new

pediatrician and have your child

evaluatedADHD is not caused by

inconsistent parenting.  Does consistency

and realistic consequencies help? 

Of course, but let's get a diagnosis

first and then work on what the

parents can do to help their child.


Q.  Why would a child with ADHD need

speech and language services?

A.  Unfortunately, many children with

ADHD, miss or  are delayed in many

developmental areas.  Speech and

language can be one of those

areas.  It is common to see delays

in vocabulary, ability to follow multi-step

directions, working memory deficits,

and the pragmatics (social

skills) of language.

      

Q.  What do speech-language pathologists do?

*

A.   Speech-language pathologists are

specialists who specialize in the diagnosis

and  treatment of speech and language

disorders such a receptive and expressive

 language delays and disorders,

stuttering disorders, voice disorders,

stroke patients' communication,

swallowing disorders, feeding 

disorders, articulation and

phonological disorders, memory

deficits, selective mutism, autism,

learning disabilities, tracheostomy

patients, and ADHD to name a few. 

Speech-language pathologists work

in a variety of settings; private

clinics, hospitals, public schools and

preschools, homecare agencies, private

practices, rehabilitation centers, adult

homes, youth detention facilities, and

 geriatric homes.

      

Q.  Do you plan to write another book?

*

A. Definitely!   I've recently completed

"They SSSay I'm A StStStutterer, I 
SSSay Nothing!"  Meet Kelly and
 
 The Tail of a Black Panther!  


 Here are some pointers for parents of children who have ADHD.  Please post your success stories and gadgets and I'll share them.

1. My son has a hard time calming down at night and can't fall asleep.  I make sure he gets a warm bath, a short massage, and then goes to bed. I also put a 10 gallon fish tank in his room with the light acting as a night light.  He finds the water soothing and has been falling asleep faster!  I turn off the light after he falls asleep. 

Image result for pics of fish                     

2.  My son responds well to tokens that he gets everytime he waits his turn in class.  The teacher doesn't have to do extra work since I supply the tokens and every five tokens gets him a dollar. He brings the tokens home to me.  When he has enough dollars, he gets to buy a new video game.  This has been a very effective practice! 

More Tips:

3.  To get my son who has ADHD to read more, I read with him and we take turns.  He reads one page and then I read the next.  This has really been beneficial and it gives me a chance to make sure that he can answer questions about what he has read and is comprehending it.   Rita Palmer, Florida

 

4.  My daughter has trouble with multi-step directions.  So she is taking karate classes and it has helped her to remember the steps to many tasks!
Send in your tips to speechlrb@gmail.com.  Thanks!
* 

EverydayHappy