Growing Up With Autism and ADHD, I Had To Adapt My Own Education


Published by: Ravishly

I had a dream about writing this. In my dream, I got an email from one of the Ravishly editors, someone who I’ve worked with before but who didn’t assign me this piece. The email popped up in my Gmail inbox, alerting me with a little bold (1) that I had to open and read it. The message was something to the effect of: “Hey Alaina! I see you didn’t turn in your piece to Jenni on time, which was due yesterday. We’re going to have to remove you from the schedule permanently, effective now.” Click here to read the rest of the story

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Helping Children Understand Person First Language


Pubished by: ASD
Written By: Nicole Dezarn

Person first language is an important ethical matter often discussed in the field of special education and disability advocacy. The idea that the important descriptor for a person is not their disability but that the disability is something that the person has is fundamental in framing the mindset that having a disability doesn’t mean that a person is less or incapable of success. It can be challenging enough to broach this subject with adults but how do we help children to understand what person first language means and why it is so important? I felt it might be helpful to share an approach with which I have had success. Click here to read the rest of the story

Great Websites for Women and Girls With ADHD

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD due to the symptoms in girls are more subtle and typically do not fit the stereotype. Girls are more likely to daydream, fidget, chatty, overly emotional, and appear “less difficult or “less difficult” than boys.

Women with ADHD are more likely to eating disorders, obesity, low-self-esteem, depression and anxiety.The following websites provide helpful information on ADHD for women and girls.

Signs and Symptoms

  • The following sites includes information on identifying the signs and symptoms of ADHD in both women and girls.

ADHD affects women differently: What to look for, how to fix it (Health)

ADHD in girls: Symptoms, treatment and more (Healthline)

Gender differences in ADHD (Psych Central)

Common ADHD symptoms in women totally ADD ( Totally ADD)

Common symptoms of ADD and ADHD in women (Health Central)

Girls and ADHD: Are you missing the signs? (Teacher)

How ADHD is different for girls (WebMD)

It’s different for girls with ADHD (The Atlantic)

Understanding ADHD in Women (U.S. News)

Understanding the signs of ADHD in girls (Very Well)

Women and Girls– by National Resources on ADHD (CHADD)

Parenting

  • Managing a child diagnosed with ADHD can be challenging. The following articles share tips on raising a child with ADHD. Additional information includes strategies for both children and teens with ADHD.

8 secret tips for parents of children with ADHD (Empowering Parents)

8 things I wish people knew about parenting a child with ADHD (Understood)

12 rules for parenting a child with ADHD (ADDitude)

ADHD parenting tips (Help Guide)

Does your parenting style work for ADHD (Impact ADHD)

Parenting kids with ADHD: 16 tips to tackle common challenges (Psych Center)

Parenting strategies for helping kids with ADHD (MSU)

Parenting teenagers with ADHD (Healthy Children)

Your ADHD child: Easy parenting techniques (Child Development Institute)

Tips for parents with ADHD raising kids with ADHD (Parenting)

Resource Articles- Girls

  • The following links includes articles specifically on girls with ADHD including parenting a child with ADHD and unique challenges girls face.

Advice for parenting girls with ADHD (Lifescript)

Girls with ADHD face unique challenges (Smart Kids)

How girls with ADHD are different (Child Mind Institute)

Understanding girls with ADHD symptoms and strategies (Great Schools)

Resource Articles

  • Below includes a listing of resources on a variety of articles specifically for women with ADHD. Women face a number of challenges including managing and organizing the home and workplace. Additional challenges may include raising a child also diagnosed with ADHD. (ADHD is often inherited).

6 ways to manage clutter with ADHD (Health Center)

ADHD: A women’s issue (American Psychological Association)

ADHD is different for women (The Atlantic)

Adult women are the new face of ADHD (The Daily Beast)

Against the wind: How it feels to be a woman with ADHD (ADD Free Sources)

Decades of failing to recognize ADHD in girls has created a lost generation of women (Quartz)

I’m a woman with ADHD and here’s why I didn’t know until I was 28 (Bustle)

Is ADHD different for women and girls (Scientific American)

Suffering in Silence: Women with adult ADHD (Medicine. Net)

The hidden struggle for women with ADHD (Broadly)

The new ADHD debate every woman should know about (HuffPost)

“That explains everything!” Discovering my ADHD in Adulthood (ADDitude)

This is how ADHD impacts women and why support communities (Mind)

What it’s like to have ADHD as a grown woman (The Cut)

Websites

  • There are a number of websites that are geared towards women with ADHD. I like the websites described below. These sites are written by women with ADHD which includes personal stories and helpful information.

ADHD Roller Coaster– Author, Gena Pera’s website provides news and essays on adult ADHD

Kaleidoscope Society– A website for and by women with ADHD

Smart Girls with ADHD– A website written by women with ADHD includes resources and personal stories.

Testing

  • The following sites includes a checklist and testing if you believe you have diagnose of ADHD.

A symptom checklist for ADHD in Women

The ADHD test for girls

The ultimate ADHD test for teen girls

July Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the July article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of July on special needs and developmental disability topics. A special thank you to Kathleen Carter for the additional special needs links!

5 things I would advise myself post autism diagnosis (HuffPost)

10 great autism books for autistic kids (New Horizon Professional ABA Services)

11 insightful tips for parents of ASD adults for getting the most out of vocational service providers (Think Inclusive)

17 things to love about ADHD (ADDitude)

ADHD and addiction- What is the risk (Discovery Place)

Creating the optimal living environment for a child with ADHD (Home Advisor)

How to create an autism friendly environment for kids (Redfin)

How to discuss puberty with your child who has special needs (Friendship Circle)

Make this summer safer with safety and wandering prevention resources (Autism Speaks)

My son made me a better teacher (ADDitude)

Parenting tips for ADHD: Do’s and don’t (Healthline)

Parents encourage early therapy for kids with cerebral palsy (Fox17)

Party planning and sensory processing disorder (Sensory Spectrum)

Secrets of your ADHD brain (ADDitude)

Seizures and seizure dogs (Epilepsy Foundation)

Strategies to triumphantly improve your autistic student’s peer interaction (Think Inclusive)

Teacher shortage leaves special education classrooms with inexperienced, first-time educators (Bakersfield.com)

Teens with ADHD: Recognizing signs of depression (Health Central)

The importance of self-esteem for kids with learning and attention issues (Understood)

The price of special education as autism rates surge (Bakerfield.com)

Understanding dyslexia (Child Mind Institute)

4 Tips On Task Initiation For Children and Adults

Task Initiation is often a challenge for children and adults with an executive functioning disorder. For a child, it may be lack of initiative in doing homework while for an adult, it may include forgetting or putting off paying bills. Children and adults with task initiation issues generally have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, Intellectual disability or a learning disorder.

Signs of a task initiation impaired executive functioning skill would be someone having difficulty in getting started on a task and keeping the effort needed in order to complete the task. A child or an adult require external cues in order to complete the task. Also, it will require understanding what is expected and understanding the task. Here are a few strategies:

  1. Limit Distractions. In the classroom any type of added sensory input can defer the student from getting started in their school work.
  2. Create a List. Visual support will help to increase getting the work done for a school-age child, you may want to create a to-do list which the steps are broken down into smaller steps. When a person with an executive function is given a task, it may be overwhelming, making it more difficult to get started.
  3. Use Cues. A clock or a timer will help the child or adult stay on time and understanding the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  4. Break task down. Create where the work is done in chunks so that the work will not be as overwhelming for the student.

Strategies In Training Employees with ADHD

Have you ever conducted a training with employees where you experienced a participant interrupting you while you were talking, blurting out answers before you complete your sentence or appearing not to pay attention? Chances are you may have an employee diagnosed with ADHD.

Most people think of children when they hear the word ADHD, but the fact is that ADHD can continue into adulthood and as a life-long challenge. Currently, 4.4% of the U.s adult population is diagnosed with ADHD. Of these adults, 38% are women and 62% are men.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders which is often characterized by a pattern of inattention/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that can impact workplace learning through making careless mistakes,the inability to complete a task, staying organized and excessive talking throughout the training.

Typically, a person with ADHD, the difficulties lies in the part of the brain that allows people to perform higher level task known as the executive function. 90% of people with ADHD also have an executive function disorder. This is the part of the brain that engages in goal-direction and self-regulations.

Two Types of ADHD:

Types of ADHD

Type 1: Inattention Without Hyperactivity

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Trouble following direction
  • Trouble following through with task
  • Easily distracted
  • Seems disorganized or careless
  • Slow to process information

Type 2: Hyperactivity Without Inattention

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsive speech and action
  • Excessive talking
  • Difficulty waiting turns
  • May have a quick temper
  • Overactive
Challenges Training Employees with ADHD

Workplace learning in most cases for the participant means learning new information, participating in training activities, sitting for a period of time and given direction.

  • A participant with ADHD may have difficulty in sustaining attention and remaining focused during lectures.
  • May need questions repeated
  • May have difficulty in grasping main ideas or details during the lecture.
  • Become easily distracted by both internal (day dreaming) or external (noises) stimuli.
  • May blurt out an answer before a question has been completed.
  • May have difficulty in listening in environments with noise distractions.
  • Difficulty in following through with instructions
  • May talk excessively
  • Difficulty in taking turn in a conversation.

The upside is that often when a person with ADHD is interested in a topic, they may hyperfocus, meaning they will fully participant in group discussion, and show great enthusiasm for the subject matter.

Strategies that help in training employees with ADHD include:

Telling participants what they will learn

Vary instructions- auditory alone will not be effective, participants with ADHD will need visual aids as well.

Allow for frequent breaks.

Summarize key points of the training as a way to reinforce the lesson

Create a leadership role such as assisting in setting up any training equipment and giving out training material.

When possible, alternate between physical and mental activities.

Stick to the expectation of the time. It will be difficult for the participant to sustain focus once a time of dismissal is given.

Conduct a stretching activity for the group when possible, I would sometimes include a game of “would you rather.” This works great but should tie into the theme of the training.

Tips to remember:

A diagnosis of ADHD also qualifies under the American Disabilities Act regarding workplace accommodations.

 

 

 

May Special Needs Articles

Welcome to the May article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of May on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

5 things I learned from being an autism dad (Fatherly)

7 toilet training tips that help nonverbal kids with autism (Autism Speaks)

8 ingenious innovations helping autistic children communicate (Mashable)

9 important things autism moms want people to know (Autism Magazine)

10 steps to include students with autism in general education classrooms (Think Inclusive)

After an autism diagnosis: 13 necessary next steps for parents (Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism)

An overlooked resource- people with disabilities (Think Inclusive)

Author tells own story of life with cerebral palsy (Madison Magazine)

Autism: The hidden talent that shows up in the workplace (Business Standard)

Gaming may help kids with ADHD (The Newspaper)

How to help children with autism make, and keep friends (Chicago Tribune)

Kids treated for ADHD can still struggle in school, especially girls (Reuters)

The joys and challenges of being a parent with autism (The Atlantic)

Using visual schedules to get a child with autism organized in 45 minutes (Autismag)

What sensory processing disorder says about autism (Spectrum)

February Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the February links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of February on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

specialneedslinks

10 fun activities for children with autism (education.com)

12 things to remember when working with challenging students (Think Inclusive)

Autism awareness and wandering- tips for parents and the wider community (Patient Talk)

Adults with autism: Scarce funds and wait lists (WUWF)

Adults with autism see interests as strengths, career paths (NYU)

Imaging study confirms differences in ADHD brains (The Conversation)

Justice side with Michigan girl in dispute over service dog (ABCNews)

Sensory processing disorder and autism: Task and the picky eater (Aspergers 101)

Supporting students with autism in the classroom: What teachers need to know (My Disability Matters)

 

 

30 Must-Know ADHD Teaching Resources

Studies show that in the United States, 6.4 million children between the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. The average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7. Males are almost three times to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.

30-adhd-teaching

The DSM-V defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of attention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning of development. Inattention symptoms include the following:

  1. often fails to give close attention to details
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in task or play activities
  3. often does not listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions
  5. Often has difficulty organizing task and activities often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in task that requires sustained mental effort.

Hyperactive symptoms include:

  1. trouble paying attention
  2. restlessness
  3. excessive talking
  4. loud interaction with others
  5. frequent interventions
  6. may have a quick temper

The following links provide tools, resources and information for parents and special education educators on providing support to children diagnosed with ADHD.

Accommodations

Information on classroom accommodations including teaching techniques, learning style, schedule, environment, material, assistance and behavior management.

8 easy classroom accommodations for students with ADHD( Blue Mango)

10 ways to support students with hyperactivity and attention needs  (The Starr Spangled Planner)

Accommodations for ADHD students (ADDCoach4U)

Classroom accommodations for ADHD(Understood)

Every 504 plan should include these ADHD accommodations (ADDitude)

Top 20 ADHD accommodations and modifications that work (Promoting Success Blog)

Classroom Tips and Strategies

The following links are tips and strategies that are specific to teaching techniques and helpful information on behavior approaches, rewards, eliminating distractions and seating arrangements

15 strategies to help students with ADHD (Student Savvy)

30 ideas for teaching children with ADHD (Kelly Bear)

50 practical strategies for teaching ADHD without drugs (ASCD Edge)

ADHD and piano lesson teaching strategies (Teach Piano Today)

ADD/ADHD in the classroom: Tips for teachers and parents (hsana.org)

ADHD Teaching Strategies for the Classroom( Promoting Success Blog)

Classroom interventions for ADHD (pdf)

Classroom rules that keep student’s attention on learning (Additude)

Helping the student with ADHD in the classroom (LDonline)

How can teachers help students with ADHD (Education World)

Ideas and strategies for kids with ADD and learning disabilities (Child Development Institute)

Setting up the classroom (ADD in Schools)

Supporting students with ADHD (Free Spirit Publishing)

Teaching students with ADHD: Instructional strategies and practice (U.S. Department of Education)

Tips for teaching students with ADHD(ADHD Kids Rock)

Concentration

Tips and information from websites on helping students concentrate in the classroom.

5 simple concentration building techniques for kids with ADHD (Empowering Parents)

5 ways to improve your child’s focus (Understood)

17 ways to help students with ADHD concentrate (Edutopia)

Ways to improve concentration in kids with ADHD (Brain Balance)

Executive Functioning

Executive functioning helps students analyze a task, planning, organization, time management and finishing a task. The following links provide articles on understand executive functioning and its relationship to ADHD.

Classroom strategies for executive functioning (Understood)

Executive functioning explained and 20 strategies for success (Minds in Bloom)

Executive function skills (CHADD)

Executive Functioning Issues (Understood)

Handwriting for kids with ADHD (Look! We’re Learning)