occupational therapist & child development specialist


Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of ADHD in children

Breastfeeding has a number of benefits, such as building your baby’s immunity against illness. Recent research reveals that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Researchers conducted a retrospective study that revealed a well-defined link between breastfeeding rate and the chances of a child being diagnosed with ADHD. The investigators have yet to discover why breastfeeding is related to a reduced incidence of ADHD in children, but they are conducting additional research to shed more light on this issue.

Source: Science Daily @ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722152739.htm


Handwriting Without Tears is a Great Program for Handwriting Instruction

Handwriting Without Tears is a wonderful multisensory writing program for children with special learning needs. This post will share some information about the program and the specific products that I use as a pediatric occupational therapist with my students in the school system.


The Handwriting Without Tears workbook that you will want to use with preschool and kindergarten students is the “Get Set for School” workbook. It’s great because it uses music, movement, building, coloring, and other activities to help children develop color and shape awareness, fine and gross motor control, letter and number recognition and counting skills.For kindergarten students, the “Letters and Numbers for Me” workbook is a must! This workbook teachers correct upper and lower case letter formation as well as number formation. First grade students will move on to “My Printing Book”, and second graders should use “Printing Power”. Finally, there is a cursive handwriting workbook for third graders that is excellent. For more information  on the program visit their site, and to learn more about fine motor skills and handwriting, visit my blog @ http://drzachryspedsottips.blogspot.com/.

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.

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