Huntington Connects


Connecting you to the latest news, tips and academic resources

Helping Your Kid Find Their Tribe

Last year, Huffington Post called it “the catch phrase of our digital generation: ‘Find Your Tribe’. It’s been used as a call for those seeking a like-minded community and it’s everywhere. Yoga groups. Cooking groups. Blogathons. Ultimate Frisbee clubs. You name it! But what seems like a luxury for most of us is actually a necessity for kids with ADHD: having a group of like-minded kids (and adults who support them) creates an environment that fosters learning, connection, and growth.

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Does ADHD Increase Risk for Addiction?

A recent New York Times article entitled, The 4 Traits That Put Kids At Risk For Addiction, featured the results of a study and corresponding treatment program developed by Dr. Patricia Conrod at the University of Montreal. Dr. Conrod’s research points to several ‘personality traits’ that “can identify 90 percent of the highest risk children, targeting risky traits before they cause problems.” The four traits identified in the study? Sensation-seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness. As a parent of a child with ADHD who suffers from impulsiveness (one of the cornerstone behavior issues of ADHD), you may then wonder: does this mean my child will struggle with addiction as a teen or an adult?

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A Spooktacular Halloween with ADHD

Spiderman. Elsa. Pokémon. Batman. Halloween is always an exciting holiday for kids, dressing up as their favorite characters and heading out for Trick-or-Treating. All that candy! For any parent, managing the bag of candy that comes home that night can be challenging. But for parents whose children have ADHD, with all of that candy comes extra stress. For years researchers have been studying the effects of sugar on kids with ADHD. If you’ve ever attended a child’s birthday party then you’ve witnessed the surge of energy that fills the room after cake and ice cream have been served. So, it may seem like a no brainer that kids with ADHD, who already have a lot of energy, are going to be even more hyperactive after eating sugary food and drinks– which may leave you wondering why researchers even need to study something that seems so obvious!

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Helping Kids with ADHD become Strong Readers

Reading skills are central to every academic subject, and kids who struggle to read are at risk for difficulty in math, science, history, and writing. Research shows that kids with ADHD are more likely to have reading challenges than kids without ADHD, possibly because of working memory and processing speed weaknesses. Reading problems may be subtle at first and involve difficulty identifying letters or sounds. Over time, problems can include slower reading speed, difficulty with decoding, poor sight word identification, and poor reading comprehension. Once a child has fallen well behind his or her peers in reading he or she is unlikely to catch up without extra support. Research shows that kids with reading difficulties do best when they receive interventions as early as possible. So, if you suspect that your child’s reading skills aren’t developing as well as they should be, talk to your child’s teacher now.

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The Power of Owning Your ADHD

When hackers sought to discredit US Olympians by releasing their medical records, it was revealed that Simone Biles had sought and obtained an exemption for the use of a therapeutic medication. The medication, as it turns out, was prescribed to treat her ADHD. While some athletes have yet to comment on their released information, Simone was quick to address the topic. Rather than retreating, she responded proudly and in a way that not only acknowledged her diagnosis but also showed the world that she owns her ADHD. The public’s response to her statement has been overwhelmingly positive.

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The ADHD and Math Connection

Kids with ADHD often struggle with math. Difficulties with sustained attention, working memory (manipulating numbers in your head), organization and planning all interfere with math learning and performance. Starting from an early age, kids with ADHD struggle to memorize math facts and are prone to making errors on simple math problems (3-2=6). As they progress through school, they may struggle with word problems and more complex calculations by missing key details or having difficulty sequencing problem solving steps. As a result, it’s not uncommon for students with ADHD to be performing at least one year below grade level in math even when they don’t have a specific learning disorder. This can be incredibly frustrating for parents and teachers, and the student themselves – especially when they know that they are capable of doing better.

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