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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

On 8:09 AM by Jane Rekas   No comments
How To Talk to Your Kids About ADHD

How do I tell my child about ADD (ADHD)?

 Helping Our Children Grow Their Frustration Tolerance

6 Way to Help Children Cope with Frustration

 The Whole Child - For Parents - Building Inner Controls

Ten Ideas to Increase a Child’s Attention Span and Tolerance for Frustration

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On 8:16 AM by Jane Rekas in    No comments
The first step to getting appropriate treatment is to visit a doctor or mental health specialist. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests.

In order to accurately diagnosis you or your child's Mood Disorder or ADHD, etc.,  I would like to suggest that you make an appointment with your Primary Care Physician to discuss possible contributing medical conditions, such as:
  • Blood sugar imbalance, hypoglycemia, diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Hypertension
  • Ferritin (Iron stores), B12, B6, folic acid
  • Vitamin D, RBC zinc, copper, and magnesium
  • Neurotoxin exposure (e.g. lead poisoning, mercury other heavy metals)
  • Infections (e.g., encephalitis)
  • Use of medication (bronchodilators, isoniazid, alkathisia from neuroleptics)
  • Medication side effects, interactions
  • Viruses
  • Complete blood count, basic metabolic panel to rule out anemia and to assess general nutritional status
  • Sleep disturbance

When evaluating a child for possible depression, consider:
CBCrule out anemia
Electrolyteselectrolyte abnormalities
Creatinine/BUNrenal dysfunction
LFTsrule out hepatitis and drug effects
TFTsrule out thyroid disease
EKGas a baseline if pharmacotherapy with a tricyclic antidepressant is being considered
EEGrule out seizure disorder

Depression also may occur with other serious medical illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. People who have depression along with another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both depression and the medical illness, more difficulty adapting to their medical condition, and more medical costs than those who do not have co-existing depression.7 Treating the depression can also help improve the outcome of treating the co-occurring illness.8

On 8:12 AM by Jane Rekas in    No comments
By Jane Rekas, LCSW, Mental Health Specialist

We now know that Depression, Anxiety and ADHD are indeed affecting children in epidemic numbers. Up to 2.5 percent of children suffer from depression and 3 to 5 percent of all children have ADHD (as many as 2 million American children or at least one child in every classroom). Approximately 4 out of 100 teenagers get seriously depressed each year. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. Anxiety disorders also often co-occur with other disorders such as depression, eating disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Successful treatment of depression, anxiety or ADHD requires a combination of behavioral and family therapy and proper medication. But you are probably well aware that there has been a backlash against medicating young children – particularly for ADHD with Ritalin.

Parents have every reason to be concerned about misdiagnosis and incorrect medication. However, according to child psychologist Patricia Dalton, while there have been many cases of children who have given medication when they did not need it, the larger concern is actually children with disorders who are not receiving the proper medication (or the proper dose).

The Surgeon General’s Report also indicates “fewer children… are being treated for ADHD than suffer from it.” So many more children are not receiving proper treatment including medication, due in part to parents’ fears.

What is most important is for you to advocate for your child with your physician or psychiatrist. Be sure to have an ongoing dialogue with them about the correct dosage for your child, the correct schedule for giving the medication, proper ongoing monitoring, any needed lab testing, and possible side effects. When you are confident that these questions are being answered, then you can be more comfortable with getting your child the medication they may very well need.


Note: All health and medication matters should ultimately be discussed with your pediatrician or a child psychiatrist. Also, most diagnoses of depression and ADHD do not occur before age 5, however, there are exceptions. A thorough examination to rule out other medical conditions and to confirm a diagnosis is also necessary.

Stimulants / Amphetamines 

Many children and teens with ADHD take a medication called methylphenidate, better known by the brand name Ritalin. But although methylphenidate drugs are the medications that are most frequently prescribed to manage ADHD, lots of children take other medicines to control their ADHD symptoms.

In addition to methylphenidate drugs, doctors often prescribe other types of medication to help people with ADHD. Like Ritalin, amphetamines (such as Adderall) and dexamphetamines (such as Dextrostat or Dexedrine) treat ADHD by stimulating the brain's attention centers.

Non-Stimulants for ADHD and other Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Other types of medications that are prescribed for ADHD are nonstimulating and work differently. These include atomoxetine (like Strattera) and certain antidepressants (such as Wellbutrin). Alpha-2 Agonists are also used: Clonidine or Tenex.
Risperidone – Atypical antipsychotic used in the management of schizophrenia. It has also found use in the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, autism, and aggressive behavior (12).
On 8:10 AM by Jane Rekas in    No comments

12 Tips for Getting Organized for Adults with ADHDOrganizing is a challenge and a chore for most people. But when you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), symptoms like distractibility, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating can make getting organized seem impossible.
But there are small steps you can take to organize your space and your life. Below, attention and ADHD coach Laura Rolands and clinical psychologist and ADHD expert Ari Tuckman share their strategies for getting a handle on clutter and creating a clean space.
1. Start small. When it comes to organizing, one of the mistakes people with ADHD make is to try to work on everything at once, said Rolands, who operates LSR Coaching and Consulting.
The second mistake, according to Tuckman, is letting your space become unbearably disorganized. So the disorganization becomes doubly overwhelming, and you give yourself more reasons to avoid it.
“Pick one area to clean for today and make it an area that is not too large,” such as “one section of your kitchen counter or one corner of your living room,” Rolands said.
If this is still overwhelming, think of an amount of time that feels comfortable to you, such as 10 minutes, she said. Set your timer, and organize until you hear the ding. Timers also serve as great reminders that you need to move on to your next project.
2. Work on one small area each day, Rolands said. Again, this helps you avoid getting overwhelmed and easily distracted.
3. Organize on a regular basis. As Tuckman said, “We don’t expect one shower to last all week, so it’s the same with organizing.”
Find yourself slipping? “Remind yourself that although being organized takes some time, it also saves time when you’re able to find things quickly and with less stress,” he said.
4. Shrink your stuff. “The less you have, the easier it is to organize what’s left,” said Tuckman, who’s also the author of More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD.
Some items will be easier to part with than others, he noted, while you might hold onto items just in case you need them later. But he reminded readers that “If you can’t find it when you need it, you may as well not own it.”
5. Downsize regularly. In addition to getting rid of the things you own, be strict about buying more things and letting clutter in your life in general. “The less stuff that comes into your life, the less you need to manage, so get yourself off of mailing lists and resist the temptation to buy those unnecessary little items,” Tuckman suggested.
6. Keep your system as simple as possible. Having an easy organization system “makes it more likely that [you] will stick with it, which is the ultimate goal,” Tuckman said. For example, use file folders with brightly colored labels, Rolands said. Using different colors makes them easier to find, Tuckman said.
Too distracting? “Use one folder for all bills related to the house, rather than creating separate folders for each bill,” he said.
7. Color-code email based on the sender. “This way, you can see emails from your priority customers, family members and bosses first,” Rolands said.
8. Create a simple system for your home and office mail. Mail is something that easily piles up and creates tons of clutter. So organize mail every day. “Give yourself a few options such as File, Toss, Do and Delegate,” she said.
9. Carve out time to clean the clutter. Rolands suggested that readers “Make an appointment with yourself to organize.”
10. Limit distractions, Rolands said. If you don’t want to be organizing in the first place, there are tons of things that can pull for your attention. So turn off the TV and computer, and let your phone go to voicemail. Also, consider other common distractions that stop you from accomplishing your tasks and avoid those.
11. Ask for help. You don’t have to organize alone. For starters, you can ask someone to simply be in the room as you organize. “Having someone else present tends to keep us working longer and [with] fewer distractions,” Tuckman pointed out.
If you’re having particular trouble creating a simple organizing system, ask a friend to help or hire a coach, Rolands said.
12. Check out helpful resources. Rolands likes the National Resource Center on AD/HD for anything ADHD-related and Families with Purpose, “an organization dedicated to helping busy parents create a meaningful family life for themselves and their children.”
Also, ADDitude magazine offers a variety of free downloads on organizing and other ADHD information.
Ultimately, do what works best for you. “There is not a one-size-fits-all [system] with regard to anyone, especially adults with ADHD,” Rolands said. Tuckman added, “Don’t expect yourself to enjoy [organizing], just do it anyway.”

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