Your Questions About Adhd Causes In Children

Carol asks…

What is the difference between a disorder such as ADHD and a learning disability?

I just don’t get it. Is LD just and umbrella term that covers ADHD?

barry jennings answers:

ADHD is not a learning disability. All of these disorders are diagnosed based on the criteria set in the Diagnostic manual. ADHD and LD’s are in totally different parts of the manual and unrelated.

LD’s are learning difficulties and are based in the cognitive part of the brain (the part that absorbs and organizes information). There are lots of different processes involved in learning and a learning disability happens when a person has normal intelligence in most area’s but has a significant delay in one or more of the learning processes. For example the first process involved in learning is input and that is how the information gets into the brain. If someone has a visual learning disability then they have problems with the process of using visual cue’s to get information.

ADHD is a not a learning disability but it can cause difficulty with learning of course. ADHD is centered in a different part of the brain. It is a problem in the part of the brain that is responsible for focus and self control. It does not just affect learning it affects all aspects of a childs life. Kids with ADHD still need medication after school and on weekends so they can focus while doing things they enjoy like reading, get household chores done and socialize well with others, not just for school and learning. Adults need medication to keep their jobs, relationships and lives running not just to learn.

Ken asks…

What are some good techniques to use for a child with ADD?

when I google it, they always throw it in with ADHD. My daughter is 6 years old and im looking for better ways to help her focus.
great answers (looking for ways to help her now before they try and tell me she needs meds. Im terrified as a parent that they will do this and I don’t want that.
@ Cassandra, what you said about the speech problem really hit home.

barry jennings answers:

Ohhh its great that you found out this early. My mom found out when I was 8 and its was a little harder. Ill list some things my mom did for me. I actually still do most of it the same way and Im 26 🙂
-dressing chart: I had problems remembering to do certain things. I would get off track and say forget to wash my face or brush my teeth. My mom made a chart and time schedule. At 6:30 wake up time, 6:31-6: 34 use the bathroom, 6:35-6:45 shower time, 6:46-7:00 dressing times, 7:01- 7:05 inspection ( make sure I was wearing everything), 7:06-7: 15 my mom would do my hair and I would brush my teeth. 7:16-7:22 walk and wait for the buss . I still follow that schedule only my times are different. My husbands running around while I know exactly what Im doing and wear everything is.
– book bag and binder checks: when you have ADD your mind is racing a mile a minute. Sometimes you wonder off and forget things. My mom would ask my teacher for a list of things I needed to have in my binder and my mom would check it. When ever I had everything right and in the correct spot my mom would put a smiley face on the inside of my binder. After I got ten my mom would buy me and barbie or small toy I wanted. As for my book bag my mom just looked to see I had everything. My mom labeled where everything was to be kept and I was responsible for keeping it in that place
– keep in close contact with teachers: With ADD it can cause you to be really hyper. She may be will behaved but she may not be focusing on her work. My mom emailed my teachers almost everyday. My teachers didnt mind because i was better behaved and more focused. She told them of my condition and they knew to make sure I was focusing. I was always called on. I had no choice of making sure I was listening to what was being said. Your daughter may be to young to force herself to pay attention so I would Email the teacher and ask her what was discussed that day. When your daughter gets home ask her. If she gets it right then you can give her some sugar free candy. Its really important her teachers know she has ADD.
– absolutely no high amounts of sugar. Sugar is like fuel for us. With it, its almost impossible to stay on top of anything. I would say on average my mind goes to a different topic every 2-3 minutes. Im actually having to work hard on focusing to write this because Im going off on other things. She does not need to eat sugar really. We are lucky because we have replacements now. I eat some of the same candy everyone else eats only with no sugar. At walmart ( in the candy isle) they have bags of hershey candy products. You typically get 8-10 in each small bag. They cost about 1.50 at my store. There is also a really good brand I forget its name but Its in a shinny green bag and it starts with a w. They have about 5-7 types of candy. All of its good. Low on calories and sugar but high on flavor.
-keep her room organized. You really should tech her to be an organization junky. I had cubby holes with labels. Each cubby was for different things. One for small toys, one for larger toys, one for shirts, one for pants, one for hat ect. Everything needs to have its own place. You have to realize you daughter isnt like other children. She will need hypo organization. Try not to rearrange her furniture often. This will absolutely confuse the mess out of her. Do not clean her room unless she is helping you. Once again that will confuse her, trust me I cant ever find anything when my husband decides he wants to randomly rearrange stuff. Most people with ADA have their own ways of organization. Let her organize her room with you. She can tell you where she would like things.
– Most children with ADD will excel at a particular subject. She may suffer greatly in others. We are typically very smart and catch on to certain things easily. Its important you find her talent. She will most likely express it in a few years. Also have her IQ tested. We typically score above others. You daughter actually may have a higher IQ than you but she may have to work on unlocking it. Do not let any school put her in special programs. Unless they are ment for students with ADD. She is not “special ed” she is extraordinary smart. However she may suffer in school mainly because of focusing problems.
-She may find making friends a little harder. Its hard to make friends when you cant stay on a subject long enough to express it. You might have already noticed she may not be able to stay on one topic long. The older she gets the harder this will be. When I was younger I had speech problems. My mind would be moving faster than my mouth could. That caused my words to jumble. The trick is slowing her down. Make her focus on a particular subject. My mom gave me word card. I had to talk about nothing but that topic for 4 minutes. I sure she will find this really hard.

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