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Now on to more important stuff. :)
A couple of days ago, I posted a request from a mom who needed support for her ADD/ADHD son. Bonita wrote to say Thank you! The responses have started to pour in! Even his doctors are amazed and thrilled at the response. I have started printing them and will be allowed to see my son on Tuesday, June 10. I will be able to give them to him then and he will know how many others have this problem and how many people care. It has even renewed my belief that there are still caring and loving people in this world. Thanks so much. These letters have made me smile, cry and even enlightened me. THANX, THANX, THANX!!!
PARENTS ADVOCACY COURSE
Here is information on a Parents Advocacy course. It is offered on AOL. Class meets: Wednesdays 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific. Duration: Four Weeks (90 minutes approximately) Registration Fee: NONE!! IT'S FREE!!
Course Description: Parents Advocacy Course was first offered in August 1996, and it's primary goal is to teach parents and concerned community members about their rights in regards to Special Education. In this course, you will learn about Special Education Laws and Court Cases, The Individual Education Plan, Teacher Training (common similarities found across the country) and Advocating.
Instructor Profile: Dawn Saur (email Wheels2082@aol.com) has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She is currently a Special Education Advocate who enjoys helping people learn more about Special Education and know their rights. She is disabled with Aspergers Syndrome which is similar to High Functioning Autism but fewer characteristics.
To register for these classes: send email to Wheels2082@aol.com. This course runs on a monthly cycle.
One of the issues that comes up frequently in my mail is resources for children about ADD/ADHD. Here are some books that deal with that issue.
I hope you find some of these helpful!
** Applying computer technology is simply finding the right wrench to pound in the correct screw. **
** WEBSITE UPDATE **
The new website will be going up on Friday, June 13, 1997. Look for information on two new books due out in July 1997 for adults. I am in the process of reading them now and they look wonderful! Also find my tips and hints for applying for Social Security. After having been through it, I learned a few things that I thought you might find helpful. You will also find information on upcoming seminars and conferences.
**I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.**
** Medication **
I wanted to create a page that would address the positvie side of using medication for the treatment of ADD/ADHD. so I asked for your input.
I didn't receive alot of responses but the ones I did receive all agreed that medication was the turning point in not only their childs ability to succeed at home and in school, but also made a large difference for the family as a whole as behavior issues came under control and the household was able to settle down and function normally again. I also received a respons from a teacher who also responded that there was a tremendous difference in the ADD/ADHD children who were medicated properly, not only in their school work and performance at school but also in how the child interacted with his/her peers.
I also received this response from David Rabiner Ph.D:
In my experience, I've seen two extreme attitudes towards medication that are unfortunately too common. One is where parents refuse to consider medication under any circumstances and regard it as absolutely inappropriate. The other extreme is where parents view medication as a cure all and do not believe their child could or should require any other form of intervention. Neither of these attitudes is likely to be helpful for their child.
An article published in the January 1993 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry makes clear why. This article reports the results of a medication trial study in which children who had been diagnosed with ADHD were given different doses of methylphenidate (e.g. the generic form of Ritalin) and a placebo over a 5 week period. Their behavior and academic productivity were compared to non ADHD children over this period. The authors report that for 75% of the children with ADHD, their behavior and academic productivity were improved on at least one of the doses tried to the point where they no longer differed from children without ADHD. This information was based on teacher ratings, and because teachers did not know when the children were getting medication and when they were getting a placebo, the results can not be explained away by some sort of bias.
Thats the positive news. The flip side of course, is that 25% of the children with ADHD did not evidence such improvement on any of the doses that were tried. Although many of these children received some benefit from medication, it was not enough to result in their functioning in ways that were similar to children without ADHD.
A reasonable conclusion from these results, which are not atypical for this type of study, is that medication can provide a substantial benefit for many children with ADHD. A sizable number of children will not be so dramatically helped, however, and will require other forms of intervention. Another very important conclusion is that a careful trial that involves collecting systematic ratings of a child's behavior and school work on different doses as well as a placebo is important to obtain a clear idea of the medication benefits - or lack thereof - for an individual child. Parents should insist that their child's physician have an effective procedure in place for obtaining this type of information so that good decisions about the use of medication for their child can be made.
These trials are not difficult to do, and I have a procedure that parents can use in cooperation with their physician. Unfortunately, my experience is that many physicians continue to rely on nothing more than anecdotal teacher reports to decide whether medication is helpful. This is really a problem, because in the article noted above, it was reported that when children with ADHD were receiving placebo, their teacher reported significant improvement in their behavior over 50% of the time. This means that many children are maintained on medication when they may be deriving no real benefit from it. In addition, unless careful comparisons are made of how a child does on different doses, it is very had to be confident that a child is receiving the optimum dose for him or her.
I also received some responses from readers who were reporting the same benefits from alternatives methods.
With that in mind, what do we tell parents and addults who are faced with making a decision concerning treatment? Medications such as Ritalin, Cylert, etc have medical testing to show they are affective in the treamtment of ADD/ADHD, Alternative methods don't yet have that backing but testing is being done. Medications can have serious side affects for the child or addult using them, I don't have any information on whether or not alternatives have produced negative side affects. Medication does not work for everyone, either do alternatives. Traditional medical treatment is supported by many professionals including those who are most noted in the field of ADD/ADHD, Alternatives are supported by some professionals but not those most noted in the field of ADD/ADHD. Pharmacuetical Companies everywhere are prospering from the sale of these medications and those companies that offer alternatives are also thriving and continue to grow.
As a parent who has faced many of the same challenges we all face, as well as the decision to use medication and as a parent who has experienced success from both traditional and alternative treatments, the best thing that I feel I can do is offer an unbiased ear to those who need it, to respect their lifestyle and their ideals and be supportive of any decision they make whether I agree with it or not and to offer a supportive shoulder to lean on if needed. I feel that the last thing others need is criticism for the choices that they make or pressure to choose what I feel is right.
Any other ideas or opinions out there?
** Mailing lists **
For those of you who are interested in subscribing to other newsletters that deal with Attention Deficit Disorder here ya go!
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ADDKIDS Children with ADD/ADHD (c) firstname.lastname@example.org
(***New address***) ADDPARENTS Parents of kids with ADD (c) email@example.com
(***New address***) ADDULT Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (c) firstname.lastname@example.org
ADDANDUNIV Attending college with Attention Deficit Disorder (o) Send any subscription or info requests to email@example.com
BEHAVIOR Behavioral/Emotional Disorders in Children (c) firstname.lastname@example.org OCD-L Issues concerning obsessive compulsive disorder (c) email@example.com
How to Subscribe:
To subscribe to any of these lists, send an e-mail message to the LIST address. Leave the subject line blank, see the protocol listed under Subscription code. For example, if John Doe wanted to subscribe to the ADA-LAW list, he would send and e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the text he would type exactly: subscribe ADA-LAW John Doe Subscription Codes:
That's it for this addition! Please feel free at anytime to send me any feedback, ideas or information you'd like to see included in the newsletter. I can't promise it will be used but I will certainly do my best to include it.
Any submissions for the monthly newsletter need to be into me by the 10th of each month.
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