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Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without Hyperactivity)

Attention Deficit Disorder is a completely separate condition than dyslexia. However, research has shown that at least 40% of people with dyslexia also have ADD/ADHD.

ADD/ADHD a Real Disorder

A large number of scientists joined together to issue a consensus statement on ADD/ADHD. They state:

We, the undersigned consortium of 75 international scientists, are deeply concerned about the periodic inaccurate portrayal of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in media reports. This is a disorder…to which many of us have dedicated scientific studies if not entire careers. We fear that inaccurate stories rendering ADHD as myth, fraud, or benign condition may cause thousands of sufferers not to seek treatment. It also leaves the public with a general sense that this disorder is not valid or real or consists of a trivial affliction.

The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, recognize ADHD as a valid disorder. While some of these organizations have issued guidelines for evaluation and management of the disorder, this is the first consensus statement issued by an independent consortium of leading scientists concerning the status of the disorder. Among scientists who have devoted years, if not entire careers, to the study of this disorder there is no controversy regarding its existence.

We have created this consensus statement on ADHD as a reference on the status of the scientific findings concerning this disorder, its validity, and its adverse impact on the lives of those diagnosed with the disorder as of this writing (January 2002).

Need for Treatment of ADD/ADHD

Dr. Russell Barkley, author of “Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents,” cites these grim statistics:

Treatment of ADD/ADHD

Although medication is not usually the first form of treatment, and should never be the only form of treatment, here's what a nationwide survey of 3,000 parents whose children are being treated with medication report:

In addition to reducing ADHD symptoms (chronic and pervasive inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity), most children who receive medication say their treatment helps them:

Almost all children receiving medication say that their treatment helps them focus on schoolwork (95%) and “get things done” (94%).

Although the media claim that medication “dopes” children into submission, ADD medications are not sedatives. They do not “medicate a child into submission.”

Instead, they wake up the brain's “focusing system”—the part responsible for attention, focus, behavior control, and cognitive performance—by allowing Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, to reach that part of the brain consistently.

Great Resources for ADD/ADHD

National Call Center for ADD/ADHD Information

CHADD (Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) has opened a new ADD/ADHD National Call Center to provide information about ADD/ADHD.

Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the center responds immediately to anyone who contacts them:

Visit their great website: www.help4adhd.org.

Good Links for ADD/ADHD Information

Dyslexia Newsletters

Good Videos

Susan Barton Videos

Susan Barton is recognized internationally as an expert in dyslexia.

Richard Lavoie Videos

Richard Lavoie is a nationally-known expert on learning disabilities.

“How Difficult Can This Be? The FAT City Workshop”

Watch how teachers and parents react when participating in a simulation designed to make them understand what it feels like to have learning disabilities in a mainstream classroom.

Available for $45.99 from PBS Video:

“Beyond FAT City: A Look Back, A Look Ahead”

Twenty years ago, PBS Video released Richard Lavoie's original video, “F.A.T. City,” a simulation in which adults experienced the Frustration, Anxiety and Tension that children with learning disabilities feel every day.

“Beyond F.A.T. City” is filled with powerful stories about the impact of “F.A.T. City,” the major trends and issues in the field of learning disabilities, and the challenges ahead for parents and education professionals.

If you liked “F.A.T. City”, you'll love “Beyond F.A.T. City.”

Available for $49.95 from PBS Video:

“When The Chips Are Down”

As Executive Director of Riverview School, a residential school for children with learning disabilities, Richard Lavoie offers practical advice on dealing with behavioral problems quickly and effectively. He also explains how teachers and parents can create a stable, predictable environment in which children with learning disabilities can flourish.

Available for $45.99 from PBS Video:

“Last One Picked…First One Picked On”

In this video, Lavoie anecdotally shares the variety of social skill deficits children with learning disabilities may exhibit, and offers practical advice for parents and teachers to improve those social skills.

Available for $49.95 from PBS Video:

Other Good Videos

“Which Brain Do You Want? The Proof About Drugs, Alcohol, and The Brain” by Dr. Daniel Amen, MD

In this powerful anti-drug video, you'll see graphic proof, from SPECT scans, that drug and alcohol abuse greatly damages the brain.

You will meet 5 young people, hear the impact of drugs and alcohol on their lives, and see their brain scans. You'll see the brain damage, hear what happens when a brain misfires, and learn ways to improve the functioning of a damaged brain.

To order this video, click here.

“Teen to Teen: The ADD Experience” by Chris Zeigler Dendy, MS

Meet 6 teenagers and young adults who offer hope for other children and teenagers with ADD. Their message is simple and powerful: “We have ADD and we're okay.” They have learned to recognize their strengths, feel good about themselves, and compensate for the challenges of having ADD.

These inspiring role models share their insight, wisdom, and humor regarding school, classroom accommodations, medication, coexisting conditions such as anxiety and depression, their “ADD sense of time,” sleep problems, and relationships with parents.

They share their successes and dreams, and reveal some of their painful experiences.

Available for $28 from ChrisDendy.com:

“Children of the Code,” a public television series

American children suffer more long-term life-harm from failing to learn to read than from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined. In purely economic terms, reading related difficulties cost our nation more than the war on terrorism, crime, and drugs combined.

More than any other subject or skill, our children's futures are determined by by how well they learn to read.

So begins this fascinating website that contains amazing statistics, quotes, and over 100 interviews with leading neuroscientists, reading researchers, educators, and policy leaders.

Good Web Sites

International Dyslexia Association
www.interdys.org

Reading Rockets Explains Dyslexia
www.ReadingRockets.org/helping/questions/dyslexia

Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity
www.dyslexia.yale.edu/dyslexiastraighttalk.html

LD Online
www.LDOnline.org

Dyslexia Help at the University of Michigan
www.DyslexiaHelp.umich.edu

Xtraordinary People
www.XtraordinaryPeople.com

For Parents of Dyslexics
www.DyslexicHelp.org

Learning Ally (formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic)
www.LearningAlly.org

CHADD Children and Adults with ADD
www.chadd.org

National Resource Center on AD/HD
www.help4adhd.org

Good Books

Overcoming Dyslexia 
by Dr. Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

Sally Shaywitz runs the Dyslexia Research Center at Yale. This is one of the NIH research sites. Sally and Ben Shaywitz are at the forefront of the brain research and fMRI studies on dyslexia.In this book, Dr. Shaywitz explains the latest brain research in layman's terms. It's a lengthy book, but it is well worth reading.

Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention 
by Nancy Mather and Barbara J. Wendling

This clear and concise book provides an in-depth look at dyslexia along with information that will prepare school psychologists, neuropsychologists, and educational diagnosticians to recognize, assess, and provide effective treatment programs for dyslexia. This book is also a good resource for parents or teachers who are helping a child with dyslexia.

Susan Barton feels this new book, which quotes the latest research, is a “must have” and should be on every professional's bookshelf, right next to Dr. Sally Shaywitz's book, Overcoming Dyslexia.

The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan 
A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child's Confidence and Love of Learning
by Ben Foss

This book is going to revolutionize how we talk about, and deal with, dyslexia.

There have only been a few books that excited Susan Barton so much that she stayed up all night to read them. This is one of those very rare books.

Ben Foss, a successful adult with severe dyslexia, shares facts, advice, and strategies along with stories from his own life – and those of more than 400 other adults with dyslexia he has interviewed in the past few years – to create a blueprint for parents.

His theme is a child with dyslexia is not broken.

Parents must take a very active role in helping their child accept, understand, and embrace their dyslexia – so their child does not end up suffering from severe shame caused by feeling defective.

How? He starts by forcing parents to face and deal with their own fears and myths.

Then he shows them how to empower their child to dream big, deal with the school system, balance tutoring with accommodations and technology tools, become part of the dyslexia community – and so much more.

This ground-breaking book is available in print, as a Kindle ebook, and on audio.

Basic Facts About Dyslexia & Other Reading Problems 
by Louisa Cook Moats & Karen E. Dakin

This book is a must-have guide for parents or teachers of a child who struggles with reading, writing, or spelling. It defines dyslexia and illustrates, with real-life examples, how to recognize dyslexia and other reading problems at various stages of development, from preschool to adulthood.

The authors have selected and distilled the most significant research in the field to create this descriptive and informative resource.

This thin book (115 pages) is written in parent-friendly language.

I Have Dyslexia. What Does That Mean? 
by Shelley Ball-Dannenberg

If your child has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia, and you are at a loss of how to explain it to your child, or to her friends and teachers, you will absolutely LOVE this new book.

Written by the parent of an 8-year old daughter with dyslexia, this beautifully illustrated book provides a much-needed tool to explain dyslexia to a child—as well as to their siblings, friends, teachers, and relatives. Written in an upbeat positive manner, it explains why regular reading and spelling instruction did not work for that child (and the success the child has already started to experience, thanks to getting the right type of tutoring), as well as the child's many gifted areas.

Although Shelley Dannenberg is now a Certified Dyslexia Testing Specialist and a Barton tutor, she has not forgotten her own daughter's confusion and worry when she was first diagnosed, and Shelley's book, written from her daughter's point of view, will bring comfort and relief to many children—and their parents.

From Emotions to Advocacy: A Survival Guide to Special Ed 
by Peter and Pam Wright

Peter Wright is one of the nation's leading educational rights attorneys. Every parent who has a child in the special education system should read this book. It explains how the system works and how to get what your child needs.

Purchase it online:

504 Plans: Section 504 and Public Schools 
by Tom C. Smith and James R. Patton

Finally, a short book written in everyday language that explains the value of a 504 Plan – to provide classroom accommodations for students who are not in the special education system – and what public schools need to do to ensure compliance now that parents and attorneys are becoming more aware of the requirements of Section 504.

This is an essential tool for independent testing professionals – and for parents who want to use outside testing reports to obtain a 504 Plan at a public school.

Click here to read the 3-page introduction to this superb new book. The book is published by Pro-Ed. To order:

A Special Education: One family's journey through the maze of learning disabilities 
by Dana Buchman

Famous clothing designer Dana Buchman knew nothing about learning differences when her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD, and a motor-skill disability.

Dana's ability to “fix” things was not enough. She had to acquire a new skill set to be able to see her daughter as a person with unique abilities.

In this intensely honest memoir, she shares her anxiety, guilt, frustration and anger in learning to deal with, and accept, her daughter's issues—and the strain it put on her marriage and family life. This is an inspiring account of one mother's journey to acceptance and understanding.

The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disability 
by Dr. Larry B. Silver

Written in layman's terms for parents, this incredibly complete paperback book discusses every facet of dyslexia as well as ADD, ranging from how IQ tests are given to someone who doesn't read well, to problems to anticipate throughout the lifespan. Dr. Silver presents both research and advice in all areas of one's life affected by dyslexia.

The Dyslexic Advantage 
Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic.
by Brock Eide, M.D. M.A. and Fernette Eide, M.D.

Presenting a variety of case studies and true stories to support the science, The Dyslexic Advantage demonstrates that each individual with dyslexia is unique, and faces specific challenges while, at the same time, experiences remarkable talent and ability. Carefully explaining how four areas dyslexics excel in appear in the activities of children and adults, the Eides provide useful advice on how to maximize an individual's potential in: material reasoning (used by architects and engineers); interconnected reasoning (scientists and designers), narrative reasoning (novelists and lawyers); and dynamic reasoning (economists and entrepreneurs).

The Source for Dyslexia and Dysgraphia 
by Regina Richards

Written for parents, this well-paced easy-to-read book shares the latest research on Dyslexia and remediation methods. It also does a fabulous job explaining dysgraphia (the extreme difficulty with handwriting that affects many dyslexic children) and what can be done about it.

Available from Linguisystems, part number 6-0308-1.

Straight Talk About Reading 
by Susan Hall and Louisa Moats

This book is ideal for the parent who knows their young child is struggling with reading but doesn't know why (and isn't getting good answers from the child's school). It discusses the various reasons children struggle, what specific tests to request, how to tell what reading method their school is using, how to be an effective reading coach, games parents can play that will help, etc.

Available from Amazon.com.

Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print: A Summary 
by Marilyn Jager Adams

A compilation, interpretation, and summary of 20 years of reading research.

Available for $10 from the Dissemination Director, Center for the Study of Reading:

Informed Instruction for Reading Success: Foundations for Teacher Preparation 
by the International Dyslexia Association

This 25-page position paper, published in 1997, describes an “informed approach to reading instruction” that would best serve all children and that is crucial for “at-risk” children and those with dyslexia.

Available for $5 from the International Dyslexia Association, (410) 296-0232.

Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum 
by Marilyn Jager Adams, Barbara Foorman, Ingvar Lundberg & Terri Beeler

Brimming with fun, adaptable activities and games, this prereading program can by used by preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade teachers in any classroom to teach and improve phonemic awareness. The developmental sequence follows a school year calendar, building on simple listening games and gradually moving on to more advanced sound manipulation exercises like rhyming, alliteration, and segmentation. Assessment activities are also included.

Available from Paul H. Brookes Publishing, (800) 638-3775.

Dyslexia: Theory & Practice of Remedial Instruction 
by Diana Brewster Clark & Joanna Kellog Uhry

An excellent resource book that not only briefly describes how people learn to read, but includes one chapter on each Orton-Gillingham Multisensory teaching method. Each chapter describes the similarities and differences of the methods, quotes research articles that prove the effectiveness of each method, and describes the training necessary to become proficient in each method.

Available from York Press:

About Dyslexia: Unraveling the Myth 
by Patricia Vail

Written for educators, parents, and other interested adults, this easy-reading 50-page book discusses the symptoms, strengths, and weaknesses of those with dyslexia at various ages, from pre-school through adulthood. Any book by Patricia Vail is worth reading.

Mothers Talk About Learning Disabilities: Personal Feelings, Practical Advice 
by Elizabeth Weiss

“In this generous, compassionate book, Elizabeth Weiss shares the story of her own emotional growth, and that of other honest mothers, who have made peace with the many and varied challenges of raising children with learning difficulties.”

Patricia Vail

“If I had only known that there were other mothers feeling the way I did, the journey through my child's learning problems would have been less lonely. I wish this book had been written 20 years ago.”

Anne Schneider

Call the Special Needs Project at (800) 333-6867 to order this book.

No One To Play With: Social Problems of LD and ADD Children  by Betty B. Osman

A detailed explanation of the often under-estimated social difficulties experienced by children with learning differences, along with solid advice on how to lessen their social problems.

Available from Academic Therapy Publications, (415) 883-3314

Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution  by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole

Written by two “academic failures”—that is, two academic failures who graduated from Brown University at the top of their class. Jonathan Mooney and David Cole teach you how to take control of your education and find true success. Jonathan Mooney has dyslexia, and David Cole has ADD. These are the tricks they used to survive and thrive at Brown University.

Available from Amazon.com.

Meeting the Challenge of Learning Disabilities in Adulthood  by Aryln J. Roffman

Learning Disabilities are lifelong. To better understand how they impact the lives of adults, read this book. Ms. Roffman presents a diverse group of adults with LD who describe how they've met disability-related challenges at work and at home, and discuss frankly how learning disabilities affect their lives as adults.

The book offers practical suggestions and proven strategies to help adults capitalize on their strengths, and promote a satisfying quality of life.

Available from Amazon.com.

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Bright Solutions for Dyslexia

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