The transition to school for many children is quite a challenging endeavor. They are faced with the mental, emotional, and social challenges of learning to interact appropriately with peers, learn good boundaries, deal with emotional frustrations, and navigate the process of making friends. Ironically, these trials and tribulations are all secondary to the main focus in school, which are the cognitive and educational tasks of learning. The curriculum is designed sequentially and incrementally to be in line with the natural developmental milestones that most children are achieving at any given age. The material is challenging and intended to help with propelling a child forward through their development. For upwards of 7 million students, or roughly 14% of kids, their learning is impacted by any number of challenges that create the need for special education services, and nearly one-third of these students are struggling with a specific learning disability.
What are Specific Learning Disabilities?
The Colorado Department of Education defines it this way: Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as read more
ADHD is a complex issue to diagnose due to the number of symptoms that are shared by ADHD and other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, behavioral disorders, and substance abuse issues. read more
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has three different subtypes. The Inattentive subtype is characterized by symptoms of being easily distracted, difficulty sustaining attention, issues with organization and follow-through, and a tendency to be forgetful to name just a few. read more
In practice, we are often asked by clients what is the best way to treat the issues they are dealing with? The short answer (of course) is that it depends. The recommendations that we provide to clients are based on professional training, clinical experience, and most importantly research findings. Let’s try to discuss some of the important variables that go into making what is a very personal decision.
Probably the most important factor to determining how to treat issues, is the issue itself. The diagnosis typically drives the treatment recommendation, however sometimes the severity (mild, moderate, severe) also changes the recommendation for medication, therapy, or both. Let’s talk about a few of the more common issues that people are often familiar with and often have a clearer recommendation. ADHD, once diagnosed after appropriate testing, is a condition that is often treated most effectively with medication. This is particularly true for moderate to severe forms. Some mild cases can be effectively treated with therapy or ADHD coaching that helps clients to implement certain tools and tricks to make their symptoms more manageable.
Medication is almost always recommended for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Most rread more
Recommendations for Adapting to Attention and Concentration Problems
What follows are a list of tips and methods for improving success for adolescents and adults who struggle with attention deficit disorders. Not all suggestions will work for every person. It is important to experiment with each for a reasonable amount of time and see if it makes a difference. Remember that with practice these skills become more familiar and comfortable. Over time most people begin to use these skills without having to actively work at it and begin to demonstrate improvements in sustained attention, impulse control, and organization. Be patient and diligent and you should see improved results in time. Be sure to modify each one to be age-appropriate in nature.
- Mountains into Mole Hills: One trick that can be helpful is to break tasks in smaller individual steps. Rather than telling yourself to clean your room, you might consider breaking into small tasks like pick the clothes first, put away the personal items, make the bed, and then vacuum the floor. It might be important to allow for short breaks between tasks.
- Explicit Directions: Make sure you seek out directives that are as clear as possible and give plenty of detail. For example, if someone asks you to get that project done, that will likely be too vague. Instead,
Coping Skills Development
Everyone attempts to cope with life’s stressors. Most people utilize a mixed bag of strategies, which could probably be put somewhere on a spectrum. Toward one end are healthier coping skills, and toward the other end are unhealthy coping skills. To be more effective in life and cope better, we encourage you to work on using coping skills that are on the healthier side of the spectrum, but provide you common strategies on both sides of the spectrum so you can see what you might be doing. Circle the ones you use routinely.
Healthier Coping Skills
I confront the situation head on I distance myself from the situation I control myself I use relaxation techniques I act to take care of things myself I learn or develop special skills I call a friend I call a supportive family member I keep on trying and trying I become very tolerant I try to get all the facts I debate things within myself I learn more about what happened I involve myself in daily tasks I try to see the situation as positive I accept responsibility when appropriate I set healthy boundaries with others I sleep or nap to build up my reserves I do something creative I pray and rely on my higher power I dream I make do with what I have I do art work I write in a journal I work at a hobby I find a mission I seek out social situations I talk with others about the event I find som read more
Many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD and there is an increasing number of adults seeking ADHD medications to help with focus, energy, and concentration. But do they really have it? First let’s cover some facts. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a well-known childhood disorder that affects 5-7% of children and presents with problems with attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. What is less well known is that 30-70% of children with ADHD continue to exhibit symptoms into adulthood. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, there must be a childhood onset with persistent and continued symptoms. Symptoms do not come and go. ADHD is also not something acquired in middle age. If a person has it, they have always had it. Men are 4 times more likely to have this disorder. There are three different types of ADHD: an inattentive type, hyperactive type, and combined type. In children the combined type is most common. As children age into young adulthood many notice their hyperactive symptoms improve, but tend to see the inattentive symptoms persist. Inattentive symptoms include: 1) fails to pay close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes, 2) has difficulty sustaining attention for long periods of time, 3) does not seem to listen when spoken to, 4) often fails to follow through with projects, 5) has trouble organizing activities or tasks, 6) read more