What is ADHD?

Written by Dr. John Carosso

Is ADHD just a bunch of symptoms?

We tend to describe and explain ADHD by its outward appearance and core symptoms: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distractibility. However, that does not explain ‘what is ADHD’ or what causes the disorder.

Let’s dig deeper

If we look beyond and beneath the signs and symptoms, and consider the cause of ADHD, we can get a much better grasp on effective strategies.

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“What About The Siblings of My Special Needs Child?”

Written by Dr. John Carosso

A parent on Facebook asked a good question regarding the difficulty of her other children, the siblings of her special needs child, not understanding the difference in discipline between them and their brother, and how this causes dissension and frustration. In addition, from other parents, there has been concern expressed about siblings copying maladaptive behavior, and feeling as if they are not getting as much attention. All of these issues will be addressed in today’s post.

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Autism-Friendly Shopping Hour

In Manchester, U.K, a superstore staged its first ever ‘quiet hour’ to help autistic and disabled shoppers this weekend… and now EIGHT other shops at Manchester Fort are set to do the same.

Simon Lea, manager of the Asda Living store at the Cheetham Hill complex, came up with the idea to helping people who felt intimidated or stressed by noise and disturbance.  And his idea for a super-quiet shopping environment struck a chord with thousands of people around the country with autism or other conditions and their families.

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The Power of Social Groups

In Columbia, South Carolina two teenaged boys are locked in a game of chess, while another pair plays with Lego Bionicle action figures and Game Boy video games. One boy puts together a floor-sized puzzle. Another is blissfully occupied by his iPad.

Meanwhile, their mothers sit nearby around a sofa and chairs, bonding over shared experiences and leaving their kids to be themselves.  The moms, for a while, don’t have to worry whether their autistic children are following the rules of the “typical world.” They don’t have to worry that anyone will look with misunderstanding or judgment toward their kids’ behavior or their own parenting.

Boy With Autism Sees Snow White

Many families come home with cute photos and fond memories after a Disney vacation, but for one family from North Carolina, it was a much more profound experience.

While on a family trip to Walt Disney World in November, concerned mom Amanda Coley kept a close eye on her son, Jackson, who was diagnosed with autism weeks later.  “He pretty much ignored [all of the characters],” the North Carolina mother told CBS News. “He wasn’t super fearful or nervous; he just didn’t have any interest.”

But when “Jack Jack” caught a glimpse of a warm Snow White, his attitude changed. The non-verbal toddler who’s known to shy away from strangers was suddenly all smiles.

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On the Brink of Breakthroughs in Diagnosing and Treating Autism

There’s a popular saying in the autism community: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Although this phrase is meant to convey the remarkable variation in abilities and disabilities among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we’re learning that it also applies to the extraordinary variability in how ASD develops. When I first began doing research on autism decades ago, we thought of it as one condition and aimed to discover its “cause.” Now we know ASD is actually a group of lifelong conditions that can arise from a complex combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Study: Kids With Autism Do Well Learning New Words

Children with autism learn new words the same way as other children do, but it takes them longer, a small study found.

The researchers compared 15 children with autism, aged 18 months to 7 years, and a control group of 15 children without the developmental disorder.

A series of tests showed that both groups of children relied heavily on the same technique to learn new words — they followed a teacher’s gaze as the teacher named an object, the investigators found.

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Securing the Future of a Child with Autism

There’s a saying repeated in the autism community: “If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism.”

That speaks more to the special support a child on the autism spectrum might require, but it also reflects the financial implications such a diagnosis has for a family. Estimates of the lifetime costs of raising a child with autism range from $1.4 million to $2.5 million, says Adam Beck, professor of health insurance and director of the Center for Special Needs Planning at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. That compares with about $300,000 up until age 18 for a typical child.

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Program Helps Autistic Workers Find Their Niche

Michael Sanchirico is a whiz with a camera and works effortlessly with software like Photoshop. Yet for years, the talented artist and writer toiled at a retail job, sweeping floors, unloading trucks and feeling frustrated that employers couldn’t see his potential.

With the help of a program known as Power to the Grid, Sanchirico now collaborates with the staff at Detroit’s American Jewelry & Loan to create product photography and online sales projects. It’s a position ideally suited for Sanchirico, who is on the autism spectrum and struggled with the hiring process.

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There’s a surprisingly simple way to convince vaccine skeptics to reconsider

Here is a depressing fact about facts: In the face of beliefs, they often have little power. Fixing falsehoods — whether it’s the closely held conviction of a birther or an anti-vaxxer — doesn’t tend to work nearly as well as it seems it should.

But maybe we’re going about the business of changing people’s minds all wrong. A new study found that while it may be tempting to lecture someone that they’re just wrong about vaccines and autism, it may be more powerful to simply tell and show them exactly what it’s like when a child gets sick from a disease that could have been prevented.

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