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Author: Martin L. Kutscher

ADHD and Learning Disorder School Classifications

A description of the different ADHD and Learning Disorder Classifications. Book Excerpt from the ADHD e-BOOK “Section 504” Accommodations Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 93-112) is a Federal civil rights law which aims at eliminating discrimination in any program that receives federal funds (including almost all US schools and colleges). By 504 definition, the disability: can be physical or mental; must substantially limit one or more “life activities” such as learning, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, speaking, hearing, or walking. Parents or the school may initiate a 504 evaluation. Classification under Section 504 will...

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ADHD Behavioral Checklist

Use this ADHD Behavioral Checklist to keep track of a child’s ADHD symptoms. Book Excerpt from the ADHD e-BOOK © Martin L Kutscher, MD. May copy for patient use. Child’s Name: Date: Please rate the severity of each problem listed. (0)none (1)slight (2)moderate (3)major Your Name: Subject (if teacher): Please add comments below! Symptom Description Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Trouble attending to work that child understands well Trouble attending to work that child understands poorly Impulsive (trouble waiting turn, blurts out answers) Hyperactive (fidgity, trouble staying seated) Disorganized Homework not handed in Inconsistent work and effort Poor sense of time Does not seem to talk through problems Over-reacts Easily overwhelmed Blows up easily Trouble switching activities Hyper-focused at times Poor handwriting Certain academic tasks seem difficult (specifiy) Seems deliberately spiteful, cruel or annoying Anxious, edgy, stressed or painfully worried Obsessive thoughts or fears; perseverative rituals Irritated for hours or days on end (not just frequent, brief blow-ups) Depressed, sad, or unhappy Extensive mood swings Tics: repetitive movements or noises Poor eye contact Does not catch on to social cues Limited range of interests and interactions Unusual sensitivity to sounds, touch, textures, movement or taste Coordination difficulties Other (specify) If the child is on medication, please answer the following questions: Can you tell when the child is on medication or...

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Common Sense ADHD School Accommodations

A list of suggestions for accommodating students with ADHD. Book Excerpt from the ADHD e-BOOK Any teacher can institute the following suggestions, even without formal student classification: Learn about ADHD. Typically, teachers in the higher grades have a harder time “believing” in the condition. The older students no longer appear physically hyperactive. Organization and planning problems are frequently misinterpreted as lack of preparation and motivation. The school special education staff should have materials for classroom teachers. Don’t take the ADHD behaviors as personal challenges. The answer to the question “Why can’t he listen to me like all of the other children?” is that he can’t turn off his ADHD at will. It isn’t personal. Take a realistic outlook at the child you get every day. Periodically, rate the ADHD behaviors using Dr. Phelan’s brief checklist (1 means very little; 10 means a lot) Inattentiveness Impulsivity Difficulty Delaying Gratification Emotional Overarousal Hyperactivity Non Compliance Social Problems Disorganization This is your starting point. Not a typical child. This is what you can likely expect from him every day. Once teachers (and parents) accept this starting point (which I assure you the child does not exactly want, either), it is easier not to take everything so personally. Also, anger on the caregiver’s part is reduced – since anger arises when there is greater discrepancy between what you expected versus what you got....

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ADHD and Executive Dysfunction

An explanation of how ADHD impacts daily life. Book Excerpt from the ADHD e-BOOK ADHD needs to be redefined to include a wide range of “executive dysfunction.” As Russell Barkley explains, this dysfunction stems from an inability to inhibit present behavior so that demands for the future can be met. So, What are Executive Functions? When you step on a snake, it bites. No verbal discussion occurs within the snake’s brain. No recall of whether striking back worked in the past. No thought as to where this action will lead in the future. No inhibition. Stepped on. Bite back....

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Just Stop! The Key to Home Treatment of ADHD

When typical rewards and punishments don’t work, you may need an approach that Ross Greene refers to as “Plan B.” Here, our focus is on preventing over-heated meltdowns. We anticipate problems and try to head them off: we stop, we stay calm, and we negotiate if possible. Consider the two following scenarios: Scenario One Mother: “John, can you please go do two hours of homework?” John: “Stop! Go away!” Scenario Two Mother: John, can I make you fresh pancakes for breakfast? John: “Stop! Go away!” What’s going on here? John gives the same response whether asked about something good or bad. His negative response clearly has nothing to do with the actual request. It has to do with his being interrupted. It has to do with his being overwhelmed. It has to do with his ADHD. Obviously, rewards and punishments won’t work in this setting. The problem is an inability to control a sensation of being overwhelmed, not a problem with motivation. (After all, you are already offering fresh pancakes.) “Just Stop!” is the key – for the ADHD person and you. STOP! Those four letters are the key to behavioral treatment for most people with ADHD. The exclamation point is a reminder of how important the step is; and how hard it can be, as well. As described so well by Russell Barkley, the primary difficulty in ADHD...

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