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ADDed Attractions March 15, 1999
Here it is Spring Already… Well, almost :) and with the end of the school year coming up just around the corner, for many of us several things come to mind, and the most important one for me is IEP’s.
I for one do not like waiting until the last week of the current school year or the first week of the new school year to make arrangements for summer and the upcoming school year so I have scheduled my IEP’S for the first part of April.
1. Check out the new changes concerning IDEA and see how they apply to you. Pete and Pam Wright have gone to a lot of work to make this information available to without the hassles of downloading ascii files. You can check these changes out at www.wrightslaw.com/law/code_regs/Index_IDEA_Regs_990313.htm
2. Take into consideration what you want to provide for your child during the summer months. James’ has short and long term memory problems and 3 months out of school doesn’t help these issues so I will be trying to obtain some sort of summer school or tutoring during these months to help him stay in touch with what he’s learned during the school year. I also have other concerns I want addressed during his next school year and I want to do more main streaming for James and get him out of the self contained classroom setting .
3. I spoke with the Director of Chadd a few months ago and they explained that a lot of the support groups do shut down for the summer due to family vacations and with school not in session, parents have fewer needs for support. So, if you rely on these support groups for help and advice in dealing with IEP’s, you should get it now while these groups are in full swing.
4. Remember, IEP’S can be changed anytime so if laws change, or you decide later on that it is not an appropriate one, you can call a meeting and make the changes.
5. I always set up my next IEP for the end of September to see how the IEP is working. Sometimes you can avoid the IEP by speaking with teachers and other people who work with your child and if all is going well and there are no concerns, I cancel the IEP and wait for the first report card to come out and go from there.
I hope some of these ideas help. IEP’S can be an important part of our children’s education and I just hate leaving them to the last minute and I really dislike doing my sons IEP at the end of the year when teachers and staff are bombarded with IEP’s as they try to get them done by the end of the year. I want the staff participating in my son’s IEP to be fresh and not overwhelmed by numerous meetings. I don’t want them to feel “anxious” to get through “one more IEP”.
ADD: Here, There and Everywhere
As I speak around the country, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “If ADHD is genetic, then why is there so much more of it now?” The questioner is implying that ADHD is an excuse for poor academics or misbehavior. But the answer isn’t that easy. There at least three reasons why ADHD is more prevalent now than ever before.
“A Rose by Any Other Name”
ADHD has been around for a long, long time. The explanations for this condition have evolved over time. Prior to this century, people with behavior difficulties were considered deviant, morally corrupt or demon possessed. At the beginning of the 1900’s, George Still suggested for the first time a biological and genetic link to “unbounded” behavior.
In the 1930’s we were diagnosed as “Minimal Brain Damage”. However, the discovery of medications revealed that we weren’t brain damaged, but rather we had “Minimal Brain Dysfunction”. Then we had “Hyperkenetic Reaction to Childhood”, Hyperactivity, AD/HD, and now AD/HD with at least three subtypes: Inattentive, Hyperactive/Impulsive, and combined.
A search of history reveals many examples of people who would probably be diagnosed with ADHD; Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford are among many who had failed school, had behavior problems and later had many interests. I suspect that much of the criminal activity of the day could be traced to ADD as well. The point is that ADHD is not new, it is just defined, so now we can diagnose it.
Also, I am an example of someone who wasn’t diagnosed until I became an adult. Many from previous generations are just now realizing that they have ADD. We look back at our past and say “Now I understand why I ... (failed school, was called lazy, was always in trouble, etc.).
Researchers believe 3% to 5% of our children have ADD. They always have, but we didnot recognize it.
If It Walks Like A Duck
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it isn’t necessarily a duck. Just being able to diagnose ADHD doesn’t completely explain the increase. There are many non-ADD reasons why a student or adult could appear ADD. Take for example, a student sitting in the back of the classroom who has a hearing difficulty. Would s/he be paying attention to the teacher lecturing up front? No. The student may doodle, look away, or even bother the person next to them. S/he may appear to have ADD, but it doesn’t matter how much Ritalin you give her/him, s/he won’t hear any better.
Many learning disabilities can interfere with attentiveness in class. If the student doesn’t understand or can’t process the information, why would they pay attention? Also conditions like Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Manic Depressive Illness, and Seasonal Affective Disorder appear much like ADD with similar symptom. Also, environment issues like divorce, apathetic parents, abuse, high stress, traumatic events, fear, etc. could cause a child to either act up or not care about school. This behavior could be mistaken for ADD.
Teachers or parents eager to solve the problem could jump to wrong conclusions. It is critical to get a proper diagnosis to properly deal with the issue. It is not beneficial for the child or the class to have a child on medication when it isn’t the right course of action. Unfortunately, the flush of information on ADD has led to too many wrong diagnosis. Yet many who are ADD go undiagnosed.
This doesn’t mean that ADD is an excuse it just means we need to find better ways of knowing exactly what we are working with.
No Walls to Bounce Off
Another reason we are seeing more ADD than ever before is that marginally ADD people who used to make it through school are now experiencing failure.
The incidence of ADD failure increase as class size increases. This makessense because there are more distractions and less opportunity for the teacher to keep such a student on task. I am so pleased that my state, California, has reduced primary class size from 32 to 20 students. In the long run this will help these children significantly. Also our Junior High and High Schools have become so large that a struggling student could get lost in the crowd and never get the help or guidance when they need it.
Also structure is incredibly important for ADD people to be successful, yet our homes and society itself are become much less structured and stable.
Broken homes, lax discipline, and more freedom sooner contributes to the increased failure rate among ADDers.
We also are a high stimulus, high information society. A place where video games change stimulus every three or four seconds, life on TV last only 30 minutes with breaks every 5-7 minutes, food can be zapped and ready in seconds. The high pace of life and what we want to get from it has made us unable to attend as well, more impulsive and less likely sit still.
Sure ADD is more apparent today than ever before, but that isn’t necessarily all bad. Awareness and education can eventually help us to help all students regardless of the bent to be successful in life.
Rick's Note: Please come read my book at my website www.hyperactiveteacher.com . I have combined my experience as a teacher and as someone with ADD with research and practical principles for success both at home and the classroom. You may also subscribe to my FREE newsletter by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this month's column, I'd like to present an overview of Conduct Disorder, which is a serious behavioral disorder that seems to develop fairly often in children with ADHD. This article appeared in a prior issue of ADHD RESEARCH UPDATE, the electronic newsletter I publish to help parents stay up to date on new research information about ADHD. If you would like to sign up for a Free Preview of this newsletter, just go to: www.helpforadd.com/nresearch.htm.
According to DSM-IV, the publication of the American Psychiatric Association that provides current diagnostic criteria for all recognized psychiatric disorders, the essential feature of CD is "...a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or age-appropriate social norms or rules are violated." These behaviors fall into 4 main groupings:
* Aggressive behavior that causes or threatens to cause harm;
For the diagnosis of CD to be correctly assigned, at least 3 of the specific symptoms must have occurred during the prior 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the last 6 months. In addition, the disturbance in behavior must clearly result in clinically significant impairment in the child or teen's social, academic, or occupational functioning. These criteria are intended to assure that the diagnosis is not assigned for an isolated antisocial act, but is instead reserved for youth who show a pattern of antisocial behavior over a significant period of time.
In addition to these core diagnostic criteria, individuals with CD often display a number of associated features as well. They often have little empathy or concern for the feelings and wishes of others; they are prone to often misperceive other's intentions towards them as being hostile which can lead them to overreact in a retaliatory, aggressive manner; guilt and remorse over clear misdeeds are often absent, other than feeling badly about having been caught; poor frustration tolerance and irritability are often present, and self esteem is often poor even though an image of "toughness" is often presented.
CD is often also associated with the early onset of sexual behavior, substance use and abuse, excessive risk taking, and school suspension. Self-destructive behavior, including suicide, also occur at higher than expected rates. Not surprisingly, school suspensions, dropping out, and poor achievement are also quite common in individuals with CD.
NOTE: It is important to recognize that the explicit symptoms of CD do not really share any overlap with diagnostic criteria for ADHD (see www.svr.com/addhelp/criteria.htm). These two disorders certainly share many of the "associated features", but the actually symptoms that are used to make the diagnosis for each condition are really quite distinct. This is why if a child with ADHD is also displaying the types of behaviors that may warrant a CD diagnosis, it is important not to attribute the antisocial behavior to just another facet of the child's ADHD. The danger in doing this is that the child may not receive the necessary and appropriate treatment as a result.
Subtypes of Conduct Disorder
Two different types of CD are currently recognized. The Childhood- Onset Type is defined by the onset of at least on symptom of CD prior to age 10. Thus, even though a child may not meet full diagnostic criteria before age 10, if these criteria are met when the child is 12, and at least one symptom was present (e.g. running away) before 10, the Childhood-Onset Type would apply. Almost all children who meet criteria for childhood-onset CD would have previously been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
The second subtype of CD is called the Adolescent-Onset Type. This type is applicable to individuals who current meet the diagnosis for CD but who showed no symptoms of CD prior to age 10. Individuals with adolescent-onset CD are less likely to display aggressive behavior and are more likely to have decent peer relationships. Of utmost importance is that adolescent-onset CD less likely to persist into adulthood.
Although CD may occur in children as young as 5-6, it's onset is usually in late childhood or early adolescence. The course of CD is variable: in a majority of individuals, the disorder remits by adulthood. Nonetheless, a substantial percentage continue to display sufficient antisocial behaviors into adulthood to warrant the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder as young adults. This is most likely to be true as noted above, for individuals whose CD begins early in life and is marked by aggressive behavior.
What is the association between ADHD and CD?
Data collected in numerous studies indicates that about 50% of children with ADHD will also develop ODD (i.e. Oppositional Defiant Disorder) or CD at some point during their development. An inter- esting finding has been that although "pure" ADHD (that is, ADHD without either ODD or CD) is quite common in children, the reverse is almost never that case. In other words, it appears that virtually all children under age 12 who meet criteria for ODD or CD will also be diagnosed with ADHD. In these cases, it appears that the impulsvity and over activity that is characteristic of ADHD children, and the ensuing difficulties this creates in parent- child, teacher-child, and peer relationships, increases the risk for the kind of conflictual interactions that promote the develop- ment of these other disruptive behavior disorders.
THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT PARENTS LEARN ABOUT THE KINDS OF SPECIALIZED BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES THAT ARE OFTEN HELPFUL AND NECESSARY FOR CHILDREN WITH ADHD.
Probably the most important thing a parent can do to help promote their child's long term success is to make sure that the] proper steps are taken to prevent the development of these more severe behavior disorders that often develop in response to the problems that primary ADHD symptoms can cause.
Here's why. The long term outcomes of children with pure ADHD and ADHD/CD are very different. For example, in one study in which samples that followed two samples of ADHD children - one with high levels of aggressive behavior and the other without - there were no cases of drug or alcohol abuse at age 14 in the ADHD only group, while for the ADHD aggressive group, over 30% had engaged in substance abuse. In a similar study using different samples of children, approximately 1/3 of ADHD/CD boys had committed multiple crimes as teenagers compared to fewer than 4% of boys who had been diagnosed with ADHD alone.
That's all for this month...I hope the above was useful to you. Please stop by www.helpforadd.com/nresearch.htm to sign up to preview ADHD RESEARCH UPDATE if you are interested.
David Rabiner, PhD
The IDEA Admendments of 1997, which became law in July of 1998, were designed to improve services for those students who require special education. However, the law did not mention ADHD by name. Some districts and some states had used this loophole as an excuse to not provide ADDD/ADHD students with services, especially in cases where the child was "ADD Only" - meaning that there was no other learning disability or other impairment involved.
That strategy is no longer going to work.
According to The Federal Register, March 12, 1999, changes in IDEA will affect ADD students and parents. Specifically, the new rules state that "The proposed definition of ``other health impairment'' (``OHI''), at Sec. 300.7(c)(9), has been amended to (1) add ``attention deficit disorder'' (ADD) and ``attention deficit hyperactivity disorder'' (ADHD) to the list of conditions that could render a child eligible under OHI, and (2) clarify that, with respect to children with ADD/ADHD, the phrase ``limited strength, vitality, or alertness'' includes ``a child's heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment.''
In simple terms, this means that ADD alone is sufficient cause for special education services. This is not to imply that all ADD students should be in spec ed. Many ADD kids do well in the classroom with little or no accommodation. However, those who may require an IEP will now be able to have one based ONLY on their ADD without being required to have any additional handicapping condition. You can read more about this at add.miningco.com/msubiep.htm
Notice that the definition includes both ADD and ADHD. It would appear that hyperactivity is NOT a requirement for this definition. This is a huge victory, especially for female students who very often are ADD Without Hyperactivity.
It is almost a given that there will be challenges to this revised definition. School finances are tight, and this expanded inclusion will mean more students who will require service, thus more money, and thus more problems. This is not entirely the fault of the school. The States and the Federal Government have continue to place increased burdens on local districts without providing any additional funding or other resources to help meet that need.
Several of you, including Brandi V, should be congratulated for makeing the public and the Congress more aware of exactly what ADD is and how important it is to teach these children in ways in which they can learn. Speaking as an ADDult, I would like to thank you for that.
I thank all of you whom have been reading my articles and have responded by email and/or have purchased a book from me. Many times the question has risen of where to purchase the book(s) and the answer is through me. I am registered with the Library of Congress and at this time choose to represent myself until I find the right publisher or agent to represent me. At this time, I am looking forward to getting world wide coverage through CBN News. They want to interview me about my books and story of success. It is very hard to wait but good things take time...
While I have been sending articles in each month I have also been working on my second book which is now completed! You the reader have been very helpful by indirectly directing me in the areas that I believed would be the most helpful and that would be easy for you to follow yourself through application. Yes, I did say application. What I have attempted to do is to show you how I decided what would be of the best benefit for myself and my son by looking up symtoms and also doing the same with herbs. I give examples to follow and with the herbal teas I do the same along with teaching you what you need to do with ease. When looking up symptoms I don't leave it at just Attention Deficit... I want you to look up sleep deprivation, memory loss, acne, and whatever else that ails you.
My first book directs you in where to get tests available, options to try, organizations to contact, magazines to subscribe to, information about many disorders and the reason there of, and much more. The two books walk hand in hand. I'm very excited about having the two books which will open wide the doors of understanding and enable you to seek answers yourself!
The price of each book is 24.45 each and a special deal of 40.00 if you purchase both books together. Send check or money order to Michelle J. Davis P.O. Box 10757 Prescott, AZ 86304. Allow approximately two weeks for delivery.
Thank you again for all the encouragement and letting me be the one some of you have chosen to seek direction from. There is a light and you don't have to wait till you see the end of the tunnel.
The ocean is an awesome creation of Nature. To most People, the ocean is full of unknowns. Like the ocean, middle and high school are also full of unknowns; however, there will always be some things that never change. Like the waves constantly crashing, there will be fickle friends; relationships, like jellyfish, come and go leaving nasty stings and hurts; and misdirected priorities and poor choices can accumulate, taking their toll on academics.
When you head into the ocean to jump the waves, you do so face-first. Walking in backwards puts you at a disadvantage-you don’t know when the waves are breaking, and you can get tossed around unmercifully. Entering middle school and high school can be similar; you have to go in “face-first,” knowing that there are some things you can always expect.
There’s nothing wrong with stress. The problem for most people comes in learning how to avoid it and, if that’s not possible, deal with it.
School stress can creep up on you, kind of like termites eating on the foundation of a home-you don’t even know they are there until the floor falls!
CAUSES OF STRESS
What things lead to this? Some Students bite off more than they can chew; they think they can take CP, Honors or AP classes, keep an active social life during the week either going out or having a telephone receiver implant (spending hours on the phone nightly), and participate in clubs and athletics. Something will suffer; you can’t be devoting time and energy to everything unless you’re super-organized and self-disciplined (which is the exception, not the rule).
The key to this syndrome is learning to set priorities, planning and sticking to the plan. Another way to tackle it is to eliminate things from your schedule, thus reducing your commitments and leaving time to do what is most important-make outstanding grades.
Other stress can come from fickle friends and rocky relationships; you have to understand that stress drains a person. It takes its toll on the body, making you more susceptible to illnesses.
Stress can wear you out-you’re always tired. It can cause breakouts of acne and can muddle your mind from clear thinking and studying. Stress is reduced by eating well-not a junk food diet and fast food, but nutritious foods; vitamins may help. Regular, daily exercise, in moderation, definitely helps.
Stress also can arise from home. If your grades are slipping, if you’re spending too much time running around, if you’re hanging out with people your parents disapprove of, then you run into more confrontations with Mom and Dad.
GETTING RID OF IT
Stress reduction can come from making sound, mature choices. When your decisions are heading you in the wrong direction, and you will seldom know this, then your parents will step in to help you get back on the right track. Listen to them. They haven’t lived a lifetime without learning some important lessons of living and their job is to impart to you their wisdom and guidance.
Middle school and high school are, indeed, some of the greatest years of your life. Like heading into that vast ocean, you have to be armed with some survival training. If you accept some of the givens, then you are better able to handle the givens-given you don’t want to be pulled from the raging waters, gasping for air from having fought the undertow, and covered with jellyfish battle scars!
Thank you to all those who make my site and this newsletter possible!!
Copyright 1997-99 Brandi Valentine. All rights reserved. This Newsletter is copyrighted by the authors and/or publisher. ADDed Attractions may be used for non-commercial purposes only and may not be redistributed for commercial purposes without the express written consent of Brandi Valentine.
Appropriate credit should be given to this resource and it's authors if It is reproduced in any form. Brandi Valentine
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