Featured Doc Blog: 12 Things Every Parent Should Do for Their College-Bound Kids (Part 1)

As you can imagine, Dr. Mark Thomas in our Focus-MD Tuscaloosa office has a lot of experience helping college students. In this two-part blog, he discusses things that parents can do to make the transition to college easier.  I have been treating college-aged young persons with ADHD for over twenty years. In that time, I have witnessed numerous students struggle with getting away from the support structure in place for them at home and adjusting to the new demands of college life and independence. Many of the things that I have observed providing them difficulties could be greatly helped when parents know what things are most beneficial for them to do and what things they should avoid. Things parents should know and do for their college-bound daughters and sons – Know that each student is individual in their needs and… 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, kids 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 »

Why Physicians Should Pay Attention to ADHD

by James Wiley, MD, FAAP -- @adddoc In recent years, our understanding of ADHD has overwhelmingly improved. We know that this chronic medical condition has been proven to cause serious problems with learning, destroys self-esteem, significantly increases the risk of accidents, and can lead to substance abuse, depression, anxiety, divorce, and even incarceration. A recent study suggested that those with ADHD have an increased risk of suicide, especially completed suicide, even without depression. Now that we know so much about ADHD, isn’t it ironic that so few physicians are paying attention to it? Why are so many ignoring a serious condition that is diagnosed in five to ten percent of our patients? Here's who is not ignoring ADHD: The Media. The media gives ADHD plenty of attention, but it's the wrong kind of attention. We know that ADHD teens are more likely to… Read More »