Featured Doc Blog: How to Help a Child with ADHD Adjust to a New School Year

Dr. Joanna Ghegan in our Mount Pleasant, SC office recently contributed to an article in Lowcountry Parent Magazine.  This article describes 5 ways you can make sure your child has a great start to a better school year. Parents of children with ADHD understand the difficulties that come along with new routines (or getting back in a routine!), new teachers, and more advanced coursework.  You can find the original article here, or read below. "For parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), facing those first few months of a new school year can be a challenge. Routines have changed, teachers are different and academic struggles may be more pronounced as coursework becomes more advanced. But helping your children get comfortable in a new school year doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle. Here are 5 ways to… Read More »

Meet the 2017 Focus-MD $1,000 Scholarship Winner

We are very pleased to introduce the winner of the 2017 Focus on Your Future Scholarship Essay contest.  Isabel is a student at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.  Like many patients with ADHD, she was diagnosed in grade school, but it wasn’t until high school when she started to really struggle with the academic demands. In high school she was frustrated that many of her peers were performing better and grasped the concepts much easier than she. After falling behind in most of her classes, she took charge of both her educational and medical well-being. She obtained a 504 education plan  to help her manage some of her barriers to learning. She also started treating her ADHD with medication and using organizational techniques that in her words, “enabled me to utilize the knowledge I possessed all along, but… Read More »

Featured Doc Blog: Spring is Just Around the Corner!

by Dr. Andrew Burstiner, Focus-MD Red Bank March and April mark the halfway point for kid’s ages when determining what grade a child should be in.  Here in New Jersey, most school districts use October 1 as the cutoff date for determining a child’s grade eligibility.  So, kid’s born in the March/April period have classmates up to half a year older or younger. As a Pediatrician, I know that this age variability can mean a world of difference in the physical, mental and social development of children.  This phenomenon has been well researched over many years, is clear to most professionals caring for and/or working with children, and has been well portrayed about 10 years ago in the Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers. Older children in a grade year often have a competitive advantage over their younger peers, and this advantage often… Read More »

The Independence Curve

ADHD is a neurodevelopment disorder.  That means that it delays the way the brain develops the connections leading to normal function in certain areas.  Well connected brains can sustain attention, regulate emotions, resist impulses and regulate motor activity.  Less well connected brains, well, you know…Until those connections catch up, parents are filling the void on organization, completing tasks and providing time management.  Parents are reminding, giving the same instructions over and over while they go in one ear and out of the other over and over. Inescapably this leads to frustration and resentment.  Parents try punishment and kids get angrier and angrier. Parents just want their kids with ADHD to be responsible and kids with ADHD just want to stop getting yelled at.  So, if reminders, yelling and restricting privileges don’t work, what will?   How about regularly treating the problem… Read More »

Paying the Wrong Kind of Attention to ADHD

by James Wiley, MD, FAAP -- @adddoc An email alerted me of a study concerning ADHD medication.  Since I prescribe it every day and take it myself, I’m always interested. When I clicked on the link I was directed to a July 15 article with this headline:  “Do ADHD Medications Boost Substance Abuse Risk?”  The article was reporting on a June 2016 study from the University of Michigan published the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In brief, the study concluded that if stimulant medication treatment is started earlier (before age 9) and continued, it actually cuts the rate of substance abuse in half.  Put another way, treatment cuts the risk back down to the rate for kids that do not have ADHD. You might think that the media would have noticed a study from a… Read More »