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.

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.

Helping autistic young people take control of their own futures

Published by: Telstra Exchange
Written by: Natalie Falzon

For disadvantaged communities, workplace doors may be frequently found to be more closed than open. The statistics tell us this is likely the case for those on the autism spectrum. Unemployment and underemployment rates for this cohort reveal an uncomfortable truth: there are barriers to autistic young people finding work.

Enter Autism CRC, a partner backed by Telstra Foundation’s Tech4Good Challenge program and driven to empower autistic people to use their strengths and realise their potential. Based on six years of foundational research, they arrived at the conclusion that self-determination is key to improving autistic young people’s employment prospects. So, Autism CRC set out to create a service to encourage and enable this cohort to make informed choices and take definitive action around their own career and education paths.

From the start, myWAY Employability has been designed for and with the autistic community. Initial research indicated that early engagement would be key to establishing a truly relevant service that could factor for a literal spectrum of user requirements. And so, myWAY Employability was developed via a collaboration between Autism CRC and Curtin University that involved more than 300 people (including young people aged 14–30), parents, allied health professionals, disability service providers and educators. A collaborative Human-Centred Design approach, built on learnings and skills imparted by the Tech4Good Challenge’s educational phases, helped the team to explore needs and preferences, identify potential solutions and develop the concept that became myWAY Employability. Click here to read the rest of the story.

ADHD, autism and dyslexia: How companies can help neurodiverse job applicants

Published by: nzherald.conz
Written by: Katie Harris

Neurodiverse Kiwis contribute significant value to the workforce, but structural problems within the interview process mean many can be locked out of the job market. Katie Harris speaks to those on the ground about how to improve interviews for neurodiverse Kiwis.

“Tell me what you’re most proud of?”

For some, this may seem like a simple question to answer, but for many neurodiverse Kiwis its vagueness can throw off even the most well-prepped applicant.

Neurodiversity encompasses neurological differences including dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and Tourette’s syndrome.

The neurodiverse can bring a wealth of creativity, hyperfocus and out-of-the-box thinking that many organisations need, but often interviews can pose as a barrier to success for some.

Autism NZ chief executive Dane Dougan told the Herald the whole recruitment process isn’t set up for neurodiverse people.

Autism NZ employment facilitator Megan McNeice told the Herald a big roadblock for the neurodiverse in interviews is open-ended questions. Click here to read the rest of the story.