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Getting Children To Sit Quietly | Pediatric Therapy Tv

Pediatric Occupational Therapist gives our viewers the top 3 tips to help get children and students to sit quietly in class, circle time or even on the road!

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • What to do before your child sits down
  • Where to sit each child
  • How to keep your child still

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I am your host, Robyn Ackerman. Today I’m standing with pediatric occupational therapist Deborah Michael. Deborah, can you give us the three top tips to getting a child to sit quietly?

Deborah: Absolutely. First of all, you need your child regulated before they sit down. They need to be ready to sit down. If they just came in from recess or from playing outside, they may need to take a few deep breaths to calm themselves down before they sit down.

Secondly, you want to space the kids out correctly. When you’re sitting in circle time, you want to put Sarah in front and little Peter to the side and left so he doesn’t put his hands in her hair. If you are in a car, you don’t want to put the two siblings that fight the most right next to each other.

And third of all, provide fidgets and movement for children that need it. Maybe they can be squishing a ball or rocking in a rocking chair rather than sitting still and having the heebie-jeebies.

Robyn: Thank you very much, Deborah. Those are great tips. And thank you, also, to our viewers. And remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

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New Guidelines for ADHD Diagnosis

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmetnal disorders.  Current data suggest that the prevalence rates in school age children is between eight to ten percent.  This is a disorder which is characterized by significant inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity.

New Guidelines For an ADHD Diagnosis:

ADHD is a buzz topic that has been highly discussed in the media this past week (here in the Chicago Tribune and in The Wall Street Journal).

The American Academy of Pediatrics published new guidelines regardinboy with adhdg the initial diagnosis of the condition. According to these new guidelines, children can now be officially diagnosed with the disorder when they are as young as four years old.  Prior to these new guidelines (which were just published this month) a child was unable to be diagnosed with the condition under he or she was six years old.

What benefit does an early diagnosis pose?  Quite a bit of benefit for families who have a child with the condition.  These children are now able to receive accommodations and interventions within the home and school domains to ensure social and academic success.

There have been plenty of past policy statements that document the best practice for treating ADHD.  Now these young children will be able to receive treatments that they might otherwise have been missing out on.  The American Academy of Pediatrics published a best practice paper for the intervention of ADHD in 2001.  In a nutshell, the paper states that the two primary interventions for ADHD include the use of stimulant medication and behavioral therapy.  Donna Palumbo, a neuropsychologist from New York, wrote a chapter in a pediatric neuropsychology textbook in 2007 “Pediatric Neuropsychological Intervention“, that updated the AAP practice guidelines to include parent training and social skills training in addition to the already mentioned stimulant medication and behavior therapy.

What are your thoughts on children getting diagnosed as young as 4 years old for ADHD?

To learn more on ADHD- sign up for a Free ADHD 101 Webinar by clicking here!

Where To Go If Your Child Has Been Misdiagnosed

Parents come to professionals in order to ascertain what is going on with their child.  As a neuropsychologist, the two most common questions I hearmother upset with child are:What is wrong with my child? And How do I fix it?  

A diagnosis will help clarify the symptom characteristics that the child exhibits which in turn will lead to developing the most effective interventions and accommodations for that child within the home, school, and private clinic settings.

Many times parents question the appropriateness of a diagnosis that was given to their child.  It is important to understand that there are several factors that can lead a clinician towards an inappropriate diagnosis or a diagnosis that is not the best fitting based upon the child’s symptom characteristics.

How Assessments Are Conducted:

An evaluation constitutes several hours out of one day of your child’s life.  Many factors impact the child’s performance during the testing, including;

  • Lack of appropriate sleep the night before
  • Being hungry during the evaluation
  • Anxiety over the testing situation

How many of those factors contributed to the diagnosis that was handed to the child?  Second, did the diagnostician receive or ascertain all appropriate information.  Did that individual receive information from the school, past medical records, detailed information regarding the child’s early development?  You are your child’s best advocate.  As much as any diagnostician may know about the responses on the testing, the response to the testing as well as explanations for the testing has to gel with you.  If you are uncomfortable with a diagnosis, ask questions.  Explain to the diagnostician that the behaviors that were observed are not consistent with what is observed on a daily basis.  Work as a team to figure out what lead to the discrepancy between actual behavior and observed behavior/test scores.

If you do not feel that your questions were answered with a diagnosis or are hesitant to follow through with the interventions that were offered, it is then recommended to seek a second opinion.  Oftentimes a second set of eyes, even in the form of reviewing the report/test performance can help solidify the diagnosis that was given or help establish what additional testing/information would be needed.




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Child Struggling In School | Pediatric Therapy Tv

Today’s episode answers a question from a viewer.  The mother asks if she should be worried that her son’s teacher tells her that her son has a hard time paying attention in class.  Pediatric Neuropsychologist Dr. Stasi answers her with what her next steps should be.

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • If a parent should listen to a teacher’s concerns even if the parent disagrees
  • Figuring out the why’s of the child’s struggle
  • What the goal of an evaluation is

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I am your host, Robyn Ackerman. Today I’m standing here with pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Greg Stasi. Doctor, we have a question from Tina from Arlington Heights. Tina asks, “My son’s kindergarten teacher says he has a hard time paying attention in class. I think he is just being an active boy. Should I be worried?”

Dr. Stasi: Thank you. Tina, that’s a great question. I get a lot of parents coming in and telling me that their child struggles to pay attention or that the teacher told them that he has trouble paying attention on a day-to-day basis. Should the parent be worried? I don’t know. It’s a concern, and the teacher has the best viewpoint as far as identifying whether or not the child pays attention. She is comparing him to the peers in the classroom.

The goal is to identify the ‘whys’. Why is this child struggling? Is it because it’s ADHD? Is it because of some type of learning disorder, that the child has difficulty comprehending the text? Is it a language disorder, that they are really not comprehending what is being instructed to them? Or is the child bored? The goal is to get an evaluation and figure out why is the child struggling and then we can move forward. Thank you.

Robyn: Thank you very much, Dr. Stasi, and thank you, Tina, for submitting your question. And remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

Submit your own question to robyna@NSPT4kids.com (all questions will be answered discretely and question submitters will receive the response in an email as well).

Sugar Not to Blame for ADHD

Sugar has been hypothesized for years as being a major culprit in the rise of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

In fact, this notion was so popular and accepted that it was actually paired as the correct answer to the statement, “The major cause of hyperactivity in North America” on the Kid with junk foodtelevision show Jeopardy in January of 1987 (Barkley, 2000). It is surprising that such claims have been made and still held onto today even though not a single scientific study has supported them.

Why people blame ADHD in children on sugar:

Why do parents and many practitioners hold on to such claims then? Why is the idea that sugar will make you hyper so popular? One suggestion has been postulated by two psychologists from the University of Kentucky in a study published in 1994 is the power of psychological suggestion.

In this study, the authors created a condition in which the mothers of several boys who rated their children as being “sugar sensitive” were instructed that their child was either given a drink with sugar or a sugar free drink; when in fact none of the children were given any sugar in the drinks. The mothers were then asked to rate their child’s behavior after they were given the drink.

Results indicated that the mothers who thought their children had ingested a sugary drink rated their children as being more hyperactive.

The mothers were also:

  • More critical of their physical activities
  • Maintained closer physical proximity to their children
  • Talked more frequently to the children then the parents who thought the child consumed the sugar free drink.

What this study indicates as pointed out by Barkley (2000) is that “what parents believe about a dietary cause of hyperactivity (e.g. sugar) not only can bias their reports but also can change the way the parents treat their children.”

Causes of ADHD:

So, sugar does not cause ADHD, but what does?

What numerous research articles have indicated is that both genetic and environmental factors produce the cluster of symptoms that make up the condition. What is known is that genetics has(have) the largest factor in the expression of ADHD. Research has indicated that up to 80% of the variance in the expression of ADHD symptoms is directly related to genetics (Marks, Trampush, & Chacko, 2010).

Beyond genetics, research has demonstrated the importance of two major neurotransmitters in the expression of the condition: dopamine and norepinephrine. Thus, it comes as no surprise that majority of stimulant and non-stimulant pharmacological interventions for ADHD target these two neurotransmitters.

Overall, much hype has been made regarding the impact that sugar has on the expression of ADHD; specifically many individuals hold the notion that sugar increases hyperactivity. Not a single empirical research study has supported that notion. What research has supported is that the cause of the disorder is the same cause of the majority of mental health disorders; a combination of genetics and the environment.

Strategies to Improve Homework Success

boy doing home workAfter a busy day, the last thing you want to do is fight with your child about finishing his homework. Turning in an assignment or performing successfully on a test should feel like a great accomplishment for you and your child, not a constant battle. Every child prefers different organizational and environmental strategies to help him focus and stay on task; and different strategies may work in different days depending on the child.

Homework Seating Tips:

• Exercise ball: By replacing a typical chair with an exercise ball, the child automatically receives more input to their body. He is now required to keep his feet flat on the floor, his shoulders down and relaxed, and his trunk erect with his muscles constantly firing as he keeps hjs body in an upright position. This extra input gives him increased attention and focus during fine motor and tabletop activities.

**Note: Exercise balls used as a chair are not appropriate for children who have poor postural control and weak core muscles, as this will cause them to focus on keeping their body stabilized on top of the ball, as well as on the task at hand. This may lead to rushed or sloppy work because their attention is on the exercise ball, noton their homework. Talk with an OT or PT if you have questions about the best seating for your child. Read more

10 Tips To Get Your Students To Sit Quietly In Class/Circle Time

Girl Sitting LearningIt can be hard to get children to sit still in circle time or at a desk. Ideally, we can take the time to see why a child may be having trouble. For those that are young, fidgety or distracted, we need to know they are not doing it to bother us, and we need to have strategies to help them be more attentive. Remember, some children can sit still longer than others. Others children need to fidget or move because their nervous systems just are made that way.

Here are some ideas and strategies for assisting restless kids:

#1-Use a visual cue. For example, if the teacher is reading Spot, the children can hold beanbags, and every time the teacher says Spot’s name, the children have to toss the beanbag into the bucket. This keeps him attentive!

#2-Use carpet squares or bean bag chairs. Space the kids out so they are not on top of each other!

#3-Some kids can not sit unsupported (and unless you are super strong in your core, you can’t, either!). Make sure you identify these kids, and lean them against the wall, let them lie down, or give them a chair with feet on the ground.!

#4-Have the kids stand up, sit down, get involved with the story, and listen for some name or place in the story to stay attentive.

#5-Use a checklist so that kids follow and check off as things are said or done.

#6-Use multi-sensory teaching strategies. March around while doing multiplication tables, have the children stand up while speaking, and develop fun routines during the day to that will get the kids moving around. Read more

Why Can’t Johnny Sit Still? ADHD and How it Affects Your Child’s Classroom Behavior

 

A parent asked me this the other day:  She and the teachers were so frustrated with her son’s behavior.  It turns out that “Johnny”, as he is known in this blog, is a bright child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Luckily for him, his parents, and his teachers, he is not alone and there are many well-validated interventions to get him to “sit still”. Johnny is just one of the estimated 8-10% of school aged children who have a diagnosis of ADHD.  The DSM-IV, which is the diagnostic manual for all mental health disorders, indicates that there are several symptoms of ADHD including:  inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

Read more