Sue Scheff: ADHD is Real by Connect with Kids

adhd.jpg“Kindergarten is when we started with the diagnosis. His kindergarten teacher noticed it, said he just couldn’t focus, couldn’t stay on task.”

– Katherine, mother

Hundreds of thousands of kids have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and many are taking stimulant medicine to help them succeed in school. Will these kids have to take pills for the rest of their lives? New research says maybe not.

Nine-year-old Mitchell has ADHD.

“Kindergarten is when we started with the diagnosis. His kindergarten teacher noticed it, said he just couldn’t focus, couldn’t stay on task. So we took him to his pediatrician and he noticed it right in his office and said, ‘Let’s try to get him on some medicine,’” says Katherine, Mitchell’s mother.

Since then, Mitchell has been on a stimulant ADHD medicine. But will he need the medication forever? Not necessarily, according to new research. Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health performed brain scans of more than 400 children. They found that children with ADHD had a three-year delay in development of the frontal lobe — the area of the brain responsible for attention and planning.

“This study is important because now it links the behavioral disorder with a more medical or organic finding on brain development. I think it should also help parents to feel that it is a true disorder and is something that we’re trying to treat and to help the children get on task,” says Thomas Burns, Psy.D., Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

What’s more, says Burns, that three-year delay means some children with ADHD may outgrow their disorder.

“There’s a subset of kids that appear to catch up over time and for those children, it would fit with a small subset of the kids diagnosed with ADHD that appear to grow out of it in their teens,” says Burns.

 Mitchell hopes he’s one of those kids.

“I think I might outgrow it,” says Mitchell.

”Yes, I’m thinking with our help we can overcome it and eventually get him off the medicine,” says Katherine.

Tips for Parents

  • Children with ADHD have impaired functioning in multiple settings, including home, school and relationships with peers. If untreated, the disorder can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood. (National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH)
  • NIMH reports that symptoms of ADHD will appear over the course of many months, and include: 
    • Impulsiveness: a child who acts quickly without thinking first.
    • Hyperactivity: a child who can’t sit still; walks, runs or climbs around when others are seated; talks when others are talking.
    • Inattention: a child who daydreams or seems to be in another world, is sidetracked by what is going on around him or her.
  • If ADHD is suspected, the diagnosis should be made by a professional with training in ADHD. This includes child psychiatrists, psychologists, developmental/behavioral pediatricians, behavioral neurologists, and clinical social workers. (NIMH)
  • For children with ADHD, no single treatment is the answer for every child. A child may sometimes have undesirable side effects to a medication that would make that particular treatment unacceptable. And if a child with ADHD also has anxiety or depression, a treatment combining medication and behavioral therapy might be best. Each child’s needs and personal history must be carefully considered. (NIMH)
  • Some people get better results from one medication, some from another. It is important to work with the prescribing physician to find the right medication and the right dosage for your child. For many people, the stimulants dramatically reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work and learn. The medications may also improve physical coordination, such as that needed in handwriting and in sports. (NIMH)

References

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
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Supervised Parties by Connect with Kids

teenparty.jpg“As we walked out to the street to see what all the commotion was about, the van had 30-foot flames shooting out of it. Someone had screamed that there was a girl inside who they had pulled out of the van.”

– Bill Strickland, father

<!–a href=”#” target=”_blank”>Sprint</a–>With spring break and prom just around the corner, parents have good reason to be extra vigilant about underage drinking —  and not just to protect their own kids. With more states enacting parental liabilities laws than ever before, parents also have to protect themselves.

Brad Brake and Bill Strickland are neighbors, and their daughters wanted to have a party.

“They basically asked if I would provide alcohol and I wouldn’t, and Bill wouldn’t,” says Brad, father. “And I basically let it be …you’d almost call it turning a blind eye.”

The dads’ policy: don’t ask; don’t tell. But more than 200 kids showed up at the party — many with their own alcohol.

“This is a news clipping from the day after our party. And it says ‘West Side erupts in bizarre night of violence’ and I highlighted the ‘huge party’ [phrase]. Because that’s all that mattered to us,” laughs Shelby, 17.

Parties like this are one reason that 23 states have now passed “social host” laws.

“If you’re a homeowner, you have the positive responsibility to ensure that these out-of-control parties do not happen in your home. And if that happens, if it occurs and the police have to come, the firemen have to come, the ambulances have to come and someone gets hurt, you’re held responsible for the cost to the community,” says Jim Mosher, J.D., Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

The police did come to the girls’ party that night. It seems that two boys got into an argument and one went outside and threw gasoline into the other boy’s van.

“And as we walked out to the street to see what all the commotion was about, the van had 30-foot flames shooting out of it. Someone had screamed that there was a girl inside who they had pulled out of the van,” says Bill.

The girl from the van was passed out – drunk — but the officers pulled her out just before the van filled with fire. For Bill and Brad, there were no arrests, no lawsuits, no fines. But many parents say it’s still a struggle to know the right thing to do.

“I can’t forbid my children from drinking. That’s the best way in the world to have them shut off from me, to not tell me the truth. And truth in my house is king,” says Bill.

Others say the solution is simple:

“We need to stop this, this is not okay. And it is particularly not okay that it’s happening with the concurrence and the support of parents,” says Mosher.

Tips for Parents

  • Parents need to know that hosting parties where alcohol is being served to minors is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous for their kids, for others and for themselves, given the legal liabilities they face. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA)
  • While all states and the District of Columbia have 21-year-old minimum drinking age laws, more than 20 percent of young people below the legal drinking age reported driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both in the past year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (NHTSA)
  • A recent survey commissioned by The Century Council, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, revealed that 65 percent of underage youth say they get alcohol from family and friends (interpreted as meaning they get it from their parents, their friends’ parents, older siblings or friends, with or without their permission).
  • Most troubling, some parents have become willing accomplices in planning teen parties and turning a blind eye to alcohol use in their own homes. (NHTSA)
  • Laws vary from state to state, but in many states, parents who break these laws could be forced to pay all medical bills and property damages in the case of a crash, and could also be sued for emotional pain and suffering when there is severe injury or death. (NHTSA)
  • Parents should help plan their teenagers’ parties to ensure they are alcohol-free:  (NHTSA)
    • Help make the guest list and limit the number to be invited. Send personal invitations to avoid the dangers of “open parties.”
    • Put your phone number on the invitation and encourage calls from other parents to check on the event. Think about inviting some of the other parents to help during the party and to help you supervise to ensure no alcohol or drugs are present, and to help ask uninvited attendees to leave.
    • At the party, limit access to a specified area of your property. Make sure there is plenty of food and soft drinks available. Make regular, unannounced visits to the party area throughout the evening.
  • Most importantly, tell parents to talk honestly with their kids to make sure their kids know they are concerned for their safety. (NHTSA)

References

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • The Century Council

Bullying goes high tech in a cyber world

cyberbullphone.gifAnother example of how parents need to take charge on what their kids are doing online – Cyberspace is becoming more and more risky – and Cyberbullying is climbing and harming more and more kids.
by Isabelle Mascarenas
Parents Universal Resource Experts is proactive in educating parents today on the issues surrounding our kids – the most critical today is the dangers of the Internet.  As a Parent Advocate, (Sue Scheff), I believe we have to keep informed and up to date on Cyber-Safety.

Sue Scheff: Free Speech or Lack of Parenting?

cnnnews.jpgI was contacted by CNN News in regards to this recent story.

As a parent advocate, I am proactive in helping parents protect their children in Cyberspace – whether it is monitoring their MySpace account – or using other protective measures such as Reputation Defender/MyChild to monitor your child’s privacy – but this story completely shocked me.
How can a parent condone a 13 year old writing about a principal in sexual ways? Where is this coming from? The parent is claiming their son has “free speech” – and they are correct about that, but when your 8th grader is calling someone a rapist or child molester without any substantiated evidence, in my opinion, this could be considered defamation – and as I continue my fight against Internet Defamation – “Free Speech does not condone defamation.” Furthermore – the writings of “giving students anal” or “jacking off in my office” – is absolutely disgusting that a 13 year old writes this way. This is my personal opinion.
Read Below:
FEBRUARY 21–The parents of an Ohio boy who was expelled this month for creating a phony MySpace profile that described his middle school’s principal as a child molester have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the 13-year-old’s free speech rights have been violated by education officials. Toader and Marianna Osan claim that their son (who is identified only by his initials in U.S. District Court filings) was improperly booted from the eighth grade at Hillside Middle School in Parma after educators learned of the boy’s creation of a MySpace page for principal Jeff Cook. The MySpace profile, which was headlined “Your Princeypal,” did not carry Cook’s name, but it included his photo and identified him as the Hillside Middle School principal. The since-removed profile, an excerpt of which you’ll find below, listed Cook’s general interests as “giving students anal” and “jacking off in my office,” and named his heroes as Michael Jackson, Adolph Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. For his vulgar online handiwork, “M.O.” was first suspended, and then, on February 7, was informed that he was being expelled (for “malicious harassment”) until June 10, effectively the end of the school year, according to a February 20th court filing. His parents argue that students “disrespecting teachers outside of school is an age-old tradition, and one from which teachers neither need nor deserve protection…It would be naive to think that even the most popular principal is not the subject of student ridicule and parody.” The Osans are seeking their son’s immediate return to school and a judicial order protecting his off-campus speech, which previously included the observation that Cook had an affinity for the Purple Penetrator, a sex toy.

Sue Scheff: Helping Teens Avoid Bad Decisions and Risky Situations

teenchoices.jpgGood Kids, Bad Choices

All kids make mistakes … but some bad choices can lead to terrible outcomes. As parents, we need to do everything in our power to help our children learn to make smart decisions. How do you help your kids learn about the consequences of a split-second decision? How do you help them avoid dangerous and risky situations?

Learn what leads kids to make bad decisions… and how parents can help with Good Kids, Bad Choices.

What is your greatest fear for your child? Car accident? Drug or alcohol addiction? Sexually transmitted disease? Unplanned pregnancy? Physical disability? Death? When it comes to learning how to avoid bad decisions, children need the guidance and insights that only parents can provide.

So how do parents learn what situations kids get themselves into? Why they make bad choices?

Order Good Kids, Bad Choices and find out.

You’ll see real teenagers talk about the split-second decisions they made … the terrible outcomes … and what they wish they had done instead. You’ll learn tips from experts and parenting advice about the steps you can take to help your child learn to make better decisions. And you’ll hear the inspiration from families who can help your family – before it’s too late.

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As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) keeping parents informed about today’s teens and the issues they face today is imperative for parents, teachers and others to continue to learn about.  Connect with Kids, like Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, brings awareness to parents and other raising with and working with today’s kids.

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?

Find about more about Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Christian Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools.

Parents Universal Resource Experts & Sue Scheff: Teen Drinking and Driving

teendrinking.jpgShattered

It’s hard to get teens to really listen when adults talk to them about the dangers of drinking and driving. Your kids will listen to Shattered. The program features true stories from real teens whose lives were drastically changed as a result of drunk driving. Watch and learn together, and suddenly the pressure is off your own children as they relate to the kids onscreen. You won’t be talking at your children… you’ll be talking with them.

“I didn’t think I’d ever be one of these people, you know, that drinks and drives and hurts people, but I am.” – Jayme Webb, her story, in Shattered

Shattered is a no-sugar-coated, heart-wrenching program, with facts and tips from experts to help parents and teens avoid the risks of drinking and driving.

“As teenagers, we always think we are invincible and nothing bad is ever going to happen to us,” says Whitney, 16. But bad things do happen. Nearly 3,000 teenagers die each year due to alcohol-related car accidents. It is the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds.

Comes with a free Family Viewing Guide with myth-busters about alcohol’s effects, sobering up, peer pressure, and resources to help you create a driving contract you’re your teens.

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?
Find about more about Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Christian Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools.

Sue Scheff: Teenagers Cutting Themselves by Connect with Kids

teencut.jpgThe Enemy Inside

It’s hard to understand teenagers cutting themselves, but kids do deliberately burn, scratch and cut themselves until they bleed. Even the kids involved with teenage cutting can’t tell you why it makes them feel better… at least for the moment. They can tell you that it’s addictive and scary.

“Cutting” is the most popular form of self-injury today, and it is on the rise among adolescents. Teenagers cutting themselves is a sign of emotional pain but it can also lead to major physical injury… and even death in some cases. The addictive nature of this condition allows it to spin quickly out of control.

How can you help prevent teenage cutting?

The first step is communication, but talking about teenage cutting isn’t easy.

The Enemy Inside can help. Compelling true stories from kids who struggle with self-injury will help explain why kids do it, why they want to stop – and so often why they can’t. You’ll also hear expert advice for parents, teachers and counselors, on how to help prevent this kind of self-harm cutting and how to suggest healthier alternatives.

Order your copy of The Enemy Inside to learn what you need to know about teenagers cutting themselves and to see why Connect with Kids programs have been shown to improve youth behavior and increase communication between parents and children.

Developmentally, kids are not mature enough to refrain from impulses. They feel, therefore they must act. They feel sad, they feel angry, and in order to get rid of that feeling, they have to act right away.

–Karen Conterio, Administrative Director of S.A.F.E. Alternatives

Some parents are so distant from their kids’ lives that they wouldn’t even know this is going on or that there kids are having these thoughts. And they could help prevent it if they would just talk to their kids.

–Brittany, 15, former cutter
 

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?

Find about more about Boarding Schools, Military Schools, Christian Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools