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Dr. Anne Zachry

occupational therapist & child development specialist

Category: Special Needs (page 2 of 2)

ADHD Symptom Checklist

Do you ever ask yourself, “Does my child have ADHD?” Here is an ADHD symptom checklist to review. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a treatable disorder which affects approximately 8% of the population. There are three types of ADHD:

1) Predominantly Inattentive Type- these children have problems with inattention and are easily distracted
2) Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type- these children fidget, can’t sit still, run, jump, are restless, hyper-verbal, interrupt others, and are possibly accident prone
3) Combined Type- these children present with a combination of the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms

Boys with ADHD tend to out number girls by 3 to 1, although it is believed that ADHD in girls is under-diagnosed. What follows is an ADHD symptom checklist for children. If a child demonstrates 5 or more of these behaviors, you may want to speak to your pediatrician:

__Excessively fidgets or squirms
__Difficulty remaining seated
__Difficulty awaiting turn in games or activities
__Easily Distracted
__Work is messy
__Blurts out answers to questions
__Difficulty following instructions
__Difficulty sustaining attention
__Daydreams or gets lost in thoughts
__Shifts quickly from one activity to another
__Difficulty playing quietly
__Often talks excessively
__Often interrupts
__Frequently doesn’t listen to what is said
__Constantly loses things necessary for tasks
__Often engages in dangerous activities
__Fails to finish what he/she starts

It is important to remember that one doesn’t have to be hyperactive to have ADHD. A large number of children with this disorder are not hyperactive or impulsive at all, but they still have a great deal of trouble with focusing and paying attention. But if your child exhibits 5 or more of these symptoms, and you frequently ask yourself, “does my child have ADHD?”, you may want to consult with your pediatrician.

Reference: Parker et al. (1991). Medical Management of Children with ADD Commonly Asked Questions. Chadder.

Child Vaccinations and Autism?

As parents, how many of you worry about vaccinating your baby due to fears related to autism? Over the past 10 years, there has been a sharp decline in infant immunizations, and unfortunately, there has also been an evident increase in disease outbreaks, all due to concerns about a relationship between child vaccinations and autism. The small study that sparked all of the fear and concern has now been debunked. The study suggested that there was a connection between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. However, in January 2011, the British Medical Journal revealed that the study was flawed and described how the head researcher actually fabricated evidence to confirm the results of his study. He subsequently lost his medical license. In fact, research that has taken place since the original study has not been able to confirm a connection between the MMR and autism.

Yet, many parents continue to be skeptical, especially those who already have one child diagnosed with autism, and there are alternatives to not vaccinating at all. Pediatrician, Robert Sears, MD, outlines two alternatives to the traditional vaccine schedule in his book The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. The “Selective Vaccine Schedule” omits particular vaccines, while the “Alternative Vaccine Schedule” stretches out the traditional one. Still, a recent article in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, disputes many of Dr. Sears’ opinions and the AAP continues to recommend the traditional vaccine schedule.

What to do? That’s an extremely difficult question. First and foremost, do your research. Then, consult with your pediatrician. Obviously, as a parent, it is important to take an active role in making vaccination decisions, and by working closely with your pediatrician, together you can decide what is in the best interest of your child.

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