U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance On Civil Rights of Students with ADHD

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

“On this 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I am pleased to honor Congress’ promise with guidance clarifying the rights of students with ADHD in our nation’s schools,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights. “The Department will continue to work with the education community to ensure that students with ADHD, and all students, are provided with equal access to education.”

Over the last five years, OCR has received more than 16,000 complaints that allege discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary education programs, and more than 10 percent involve allegations of discrimination against students with ADHD. The most common complaint concerns academic and behavioral difficulties students with ADHD experience at school when they are not timely and properly evaluated for a disability, or when they do not receive necessary special education or related aids and services.

Full story of guidance on civil rights of students with ADHD at ed.gov

The False ADHD Controversy

More kids are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than ever before, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 8.8% of children were diagnosed in 2011, compared with 7.0% in 2007.

An uptick was also witnessed in the number of parents choosing to medicate their children with stimulants such as Ritalin. That proportion now sits at two-thirds.

ADHD is perhaps childhood’s most common neurobehavioral disorder. It’s characterized by an array of symptoms, including squirming, excessive daydreaming, forgetfulness, and hyperactivity. Scientists still can’t precisely pinpoint what’s going on in the brain to trigger ADHD, but it’s evident that something is amiss. Children with ADHD generally have reduced brain volume in the left pre-frontal cortex.

But the lack of a conclusive causal mechanism in the brain leads many onlookers to conclude that ADHD is a manufactured condition. Its symptoms are merely side effects of childhood, they argue. But this is not in agreement with evidence stemming from genetics. Thanks to large twin studies, a number of genes have been implicated, particularly those that affect dopamine transporters. The dopamine system of the brain regulates a whole heap of processes, but it’s most commonly linked with reward seeking. As far as ADHD goes, we know that when dopamine levels are driven up within the brain, ADHD symptoms lessen in severity.

Full story of the ADHD controversy at Forbes


ADHD Linked To Inner Ear Problems; Could Studying Poor Hearing Lead To New, Innovative ADHD Treatment?

According to Discovery Fit & Health, an inner ear dysfunction in children could cause neurological changes that lead to behavioral abnormalities related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Therefore, adolescents who suffer from inner ear problems could be at risk of developing ADHD, according to a recent study.

ADHD Linked to Inner Ear ProblemsFindings published online in the journal Science reveal that children and adolescents with severe inner ear problems could develop behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity. When a Ph.D. student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine noticed that some mice in a laboratory were continuously chasing their own tails, researchers — including Dr. Jean Herbert, a neuroscience and genetics professor at the college — decided to examine if poor hearing and restlessness were caused by a faulty gene in animals and humans,reports the Daily Mail. Inner ear problems typically derive from genetic defects, though they can also stem from infection or injury.

The scientists took healthy mice and deleted the gene associated with poor hearing from either the inner ear, various parts of the brain that control movement, or the entire central nervous system (CNS). Patients of severe inner ear problems have a mutation of the gene Slc12a2, which mediates the transport of sodium, potassium, and chloride molecules in various tissues, including those in the inner ear and CNS, according to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Full story of ADHD and ear problems at Medical Daily

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Six SmartPhone Tips for People with ADHD

Smartphone Tips for People with ADHDAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition where a person has problems paying attention or concentrating. Following directions is difficult and patients are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. Although it is most often diagnosed in children, adults have it too, wreaking havoc on both our professional and personal lives.

Adults with ADHD have trouble with time management, organizational skills, goal setting and employment. They may also have problems with personal relationships, self-esteem and addictions. Other symptoms include chronic lateness and forgetfulness, anxiety, impulsiveness, procrastination, depression and mood swings.

The exact cause of ADHD is not known, although genetics, chemical imbalances and brain changes could be factors.

Treatment for ADHD includes stimulant medications, psychological therapies, and better personal habits, such as eating a healthy diet and exercise. With our latest technologies, organizational program can also be of great assistance.

Full story of smartphones and adhd at emaxhealth

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Talking about children’s mental health

Talking Children's Mental HealthIt can be difficult to tell whether your teen is just moody or if there’s actually something more going on there and, if there is, what can be done.

Renowned Canadian adolescent mental health specialist Dr. Stanley Kutcher provided answers to questions for a room full of curious parents and caregivers at the Oakville Conference Centre last week as part of Children’s Mental Health Week (May 6-12).

There were a variety of concerns brought up by parents including video game usage, what behaviour is considered in the range of “normal” and how best to treat mental disorders.

“If you’re already asking what you can do to be a good parent, you already are one,” said Kutcher. “Bad parents don’t ask.”

He stressed the importance of parents trusting their instincts when it comes to recommendations made by doctors.

“You know your child better than anyone else,” said Kutcher.

Full story of children’s mental health at Inside Halton

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ADHD Drug Shows Promise for Binge Eating

ADHD Drug May Help Binge EatingA stimulant drug, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse), nearly abolished eating binges in adult patients who had experienced such episodes four times a week, a researcher said here.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 11 weeks of treatment with the drug, which is currently approved for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cut the mean rate of days with binge eating to as little as 0.1 week, said Susan McElroy, MD, of Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio.

Patients assigned to placebo in the 270-patient trial had a mean bingeing rate of 1.1 days/week at the end of treatment, McElroy reported at the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual meeting.

Weekly binge eating days at baseline ranged from 4.3 to 4.6 on average. The decrease seen with the highest dose of lisdexamfetamine used in the study, 70 mg/day (the highest approved dose for ADHD treatment), was clinically important, McElroy told MedPage Today.

Full story of adhd drug for binge eating at Med Page Today

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ADHD: I’m Down the Rabbithole. Again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Ok. That’s it. I’m down the rabbithole again.

The more I learn about ADHD, the more complex and interconnected everything gets. I’m totally overwhelmed by the plethora of theories, webinars, tools, and tricks of the trade.

Not to mention the amazing, fascinating, infuriating, and fabulous personalities representing a myriad of contrasting, conflicting, and concurring opinions available through blogs, articles, Twitter peeps and peeping twits (including those who randomly steal and re-post my writings without so much as a by-your-leave).

Today’s frustrating fiasco

I started this morning writing today’s blog post, a simple homage to good ADHD parenting. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was reminiscing about my own childhood mothering versus the talented ADHD moms I’ve come to know and love since my diagnosis.

Full story of understanding ADHD at Psych Central

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Monitor your child’s mental health

Monitor Childs Mental HealthMental illness is a broad category that encompasses many different disorders. The most common conditions include attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder, anxiety/panic disorders, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD) symptoms often present themselves in childhood but continue into adulthood. The troubling symptoms permeate and cause problems at home, school, work, and in relationships.

Some experts suggest that ADHD can occur in eight to 10 per cent of school-aged children. The classic problem that children face is having a difficult time paying attention or concentrating. This results in the inability to follow directions, complete tasks and inhibits their ability to function in their every day lives.

Full story of children’s mental health at Daily Nation

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Is mental health seasonal?

Is Mental Health SeasonalSpring has sprung, at least for most of us, which means sundresses, seersucker and boozy croquet parties on the front lawn. Goodbye happy lamp, hello mimosa.

But it’s not just champagne that’s lifting our spirits and banishing the wintertime blues. According to Google (and a team of researchers from the University of Southern California, Harvard and Johns Hopkins) mental illnesses — such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anorexia — are far more seasonal than we think.

The epidemiologists, led by John Ayers, combed through every Google search performed in the United States and Australia between 2006 and 2010, looking for queries like “symptoms of” and “medications for” OCD, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, depression, anorexia, bulimia and schizophrenia.

The Internet, the authors note in a study forthcoming in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (PDF), is “the world’s most relied-on health resource. Because of mental health’s complexity, stigma, and obstacles to care, patients are likely to investigate their problems online.” At the same time, tracking a population’s longterm mental health indicators is difficult for epidemiologists; phone surveys are often unreliable — would you want to discuss the voices in your head with a complete stranger? — and cost prohibitive. Google queries, on the other hand, are nakedly honest and free to collect.

Full story of seasonal mental health at Salon

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ADHD Can Often Persist Into Adulthood

ADHD Persists Into AdulthoodChildren with ADHD often grow up to be adults with ADHD, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that of the 232 young adults in the study who had childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, 29 percent still had it at an average age of 27. What’s more, 57 percent had at least one other mental health issue, such as alcohol abuse, depression or chronic anxiety.

"This shows us [ADHD] is a serious, chronic condition that’s not being adequately addressed," said lead researcher Dr. William Barbaresi, who directs the Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The findings, published online March 4 and in the April print issue of the journal Pediatrics, give a clearer picture of how often ADHD symptoms persist into adulthood, Barbaresi said.

Past studies have made a wide range of estimates — partly because they often have focused on specific groups of kids, like boys referred to specialty treatment programs.

Full story of adhd in adults at US Health News

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