Special Needs Resource and Training Blog

Providing online disability awareness education and training resources

9 ADHD symptoms in children parents should look out for

Published by: WAFB 9
Written by: Charlotte LoBuono

In general terms, children with ADHD often have trouble staying focused and exhibit hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Roughly twice as many boys as girls were diagnosed with ADHD in 2015-2016. ADHD is a chronic condition that may carry over into adulthood.

HeyTutor compiled a list of nine common ADHD symptoms found in children. While HeyTutor consulted established medical organizations including the CDCand the Mayo Clinic, only health care professionals—child psychologists, psychiatrists, and primary care providers—can appropriately diagnose children with ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD can be challenging because so many of its symptoms are, in milder forms, common behaviors seen in most children—from trouble listening to loud play.

Parents can take the first step in helping children who exhibit ADHD symptoms by contacting a medical professional for a consultation (or several) to confirm whether the symptoms fit a formal ADHD diagnosis. A doctor will be able to determine whether another condition may better explain the symptoms—or, as is often the case, if the child has a coexisting condition along with ADHD. Click here for the rest of the story.

How ADHD May Affect Reading

Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Morgan Mandriota

Many people enjoy cuddling up on the couch with a book as a way to wind down. But people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially children, might find reading much more frustrating than relaxing.

This is because those with ADHD tend to experience reading problems.

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts children and adults differently, but many people report reading difficulties with ADHD.

So how does ADHD affect reading comprehension? It can be challenging for many reasons, including difficulty with:

  • focusing
  • memory and retention
  • processing information
  • sitting still
  • managing time
  • managing distractions (e.g., distracting thoughts or stimuli in the environment)

“Given difficulties with sustained attention, reading can be particularly difficult as kids often report rereading passages over and over again given lack of focus and being easily distracted,” says Angelique Snyder, Psy.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“Their inability to focus and concentrate may make it harder for them to visually track information and retain what they just read, so both their reading speed and comprehension can suffer,” adds Dr. Judy Ho, board certified clinical neuropsychologist and a psychology professor at Pepperdine University.

A 2019 study suggests that reading disabilities and ADHD typically co-occur. Snyder notes that kids with ADHD also tend to have comorbid learning disorders, which can affect reading. Click here for the rest of the story.

Repeat Emergency Department Visits for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Psychiatric Disorders


This study examined the likelihood of this group returning to the ER within 30 days of discharge.


  • This population based in Ontario. Canada showed that individuals with both an IDD and psychiatric disorder had an increased risk of repeat ER visits compared to individuals with psychiatric disorders only.
  • For this combined disorder group, there was a trend of ER  visits more commonly resulting in admission
  • Residing in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and in rural areas, greater morbidity, and lower continuity of primary care over the previous 2 years were consistently associated with increased risk of repeat ER visits.


Durbin, A.; Balogh, R.; Lin, E.; Wilton, A.S.; Selick, A.; Dobranowski, K.M. Lunsky, Y. (2019). Repeat Emergency Department Visits for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Psychiatric Disorders. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 124 (3) 206-219.

A kiss from their sister: A family’s journey with cleft lip care

Published by: Boston Children’s Hospital
Written by: Katie Paradis

Kelly and Ben’s experience with cleft lip care at Boston Children’s Hospital spans multiple years and multiple children.

Two of their daughters, Molly and Annie — five years apart in age — were born with an incomplete unilateral cleft lip. The couple won’t shy from admitting that receiving the diagnosis doesn’t get easier.

“It’s a roller coaster of emotions,” Ben says.

cleft lip or palate is the most common congenital craniofacial difference in the world. Yet, in the United States, the odds of having a child born with a cleft lip (without a cleft palate present) are about 1 in 2,800.

“I just couldn’t believe we fell into that small percentage,” Kelly says.

cleft lip is a visible separation in the skin of the top lip. The space can be small or it can be a significant opening that extends from the base of the nose to the top jaw and gums.

.Kelly and Ben had lost their first child, Lucy, at birth in 2014. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, Kelly’s pregnancy with Annie in 2015 was closely monitored by her maternal-fetal medicine team. Despite extensive prenatal care that included multiple ultrasounds, Annie’s cleft was not detected before her birth.

“After losing Lucy, we were anxious throughout the pregnancy with Annie,” says Ben. “And then we were hit with the surprise of her cleft lip when she was born. Click here to read of the rest of the story.

Treating ‘Fragile X Syndrome’ autism symptoms

Published by: ABC News

Holly is her mom’s little princess. But this girl’s fairy tale started with a scare. While pregnant with Holly, Vicki Davis found out she was a carrier of Fragile X Syndrome.

“I had never heard of it. I had no clue what it was,” said Vicki.

It’s a mutation of a gene on the X chromosome that leads to a lack of protein production, critical for development. It’s one of the most common causes of mental retardation.

“Thirty percent of individuals with Fragile X Syndrome have full autism. Another 30 percent have an autism spectrum disorder,” said Dr. Randi Hagerman, UC Davis MIND Institute.

Hagerman says she first met Holly when the girl was just a few months old. The infant’s Fragile X Syndrome was subtle.

But, “She was extremely delayed,” said Hagerman.

As part of a clinical trial, Holly started taking a serotonin medication. Then, minocycline, a common antibiotic normally used to treat acne, was added to her regimen.

“Her developmental testing just improved remarkably,” said Hagerman.

Holly didn’t start talking until she was 2 and a half years old. Vicki says additional minocycline treatments around that time helped her catch up to other kids, and even excel. At just 4 she started reading.

“The medication really helped her create some of those pathways that taught her how to learn,” said Vicki. Hagerman hopes the treatments that helped Holly could do the same for kids with autism. And that could mean a lot more children living happier and healthier lives.

The drugs Holly was treated with have a few side effects, mostly involving the stomach. Hagerman says the drug treatment can be used in older kids with Fragile X Syndrome. However, the results might not be as dramatic. The UC Davis MIND Institute is currently testing other drugs to improve the symptoms of Fragile X for patients up to 25 years old.  Click here to read the rest of the story.


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