Northwest NEWS

August 5, 2002

Features

New program offers help to parents of A.D.H.D. children

by Carol Edwards
   As medical research of the brain's wiring and chemical systems expands, the way children learn and behave is now looked at differently.
   With mandates for learning increasing in the schools, parents and teachers who deal with attention deficits are more challenged to modify the inattentiveness, impulsivity and lack of focus that is seen in children with this disorder.
   A new program, Attentional Deficit Solution, the Ultimate Self-Help Guide for Parents, has just been released to provide help.
   "We wanted to give parents simple tools and strategies that they could implement at home to make managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.) much easier and less stressful," said Elizabeth Blanchard, senior editor of the Informed Health Solutions program.
   The Attention Deficit Solution was funded in part by the National Institute of Health.
   "Reviewed and co-authored by a team of six medical professionals, all of whom specialize in the treatment of A.D.H.D., the Attention Deficit Solution is made up of seven audiocassettes; a comprehensive workbook; a journal for parents; and myriad of charts and tools designed to help A.D.H.D. children focus, pay attention, behave better and get along with other children.
   "One entire section is devoted to alternatives to medication, a concern for many parents," added Blanchard.
   The program dispels the beliefs that A.D.H.D. is caused by too much television, food allergies, excess sugar, poor home life and poor schools.
   It does address the steps to building a child's self-esteem and natural and logical consequences to their actions.
   "Most parents would benefit by first learning new parenting techniques or making dietary changes," said Blanchard.
   "While medication is the answer for some children, leading A.D.H.D. experts say it's not the only answer and shouldn't necessarily be pursued as the first treatment option.
   "Children with attention disorders often fail to comply with traditional kinds of parenting instructions. Many parents, exhausted and confused, quietly give up. They quit trying.
   "They mistakenly believe that nothing works. Parents of attention-disordered children succeed when they understand the nature of their child's problem and they couple that understanding with a plan to effectively manage their child's behavior," said Blanchard.
   Positive steps are given in the program to help build skills and success in a child's life. Techniques for dealing with negative behaviors are provided which make the tapes valuable for parents not only of A.D.H.D. children, but anyone with a strong-willed child.
   "Stop behaviors" include hitting others or threatening to hit others; throwing temper tantrums; teasing with hostility; sassing back; grabbing, destroying or throwing toys or objects; kicking others; biting or threatening to bite; pulling hair; choking others; spitting or threatening to spit on others; interrupting an adult conversation, either in person or while on the phone; mistreating or hurting pets; crying loudly or obnoxiously; slapping, pinching, pushing or scratching others; cursing; damaging property; mocking parents; complaining or demanding in a loud, obnoxious tone of voice; calling someone else a name; making faces at others; and disobeying a command to stop a behavior.
   Contributing authors and reviewers to the program include Bob Batterson, MD, staff psychiatrist at Children's Mercy Hospitals; Avner Stern, PhD, director of Attention Deficit and Learning Disability Services at St. Luke's Behavioral Health; Linda Funk Barloon, MSN, RN at Children's Mercy Hospitals; Noreen C. Thompson, MSN, RN, CS, a consultant at University of Kansas Medical Center; Sue Popkess-Vawter, PhD, RN, Professor of Nursing at University of Kansas Medical Center; and Mary Carolyn Cutting, LCSW, a social worker at Trinity Lutheran Behavioral Health.
   According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, A.D.H.D. is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior in school and social settings, and is one of the most chronic conditions of childhood affecting between 4 and 12 percent of all school-age children, about three times more boys than girls.
   "Attentional Deficit Solution, the Ultimate Self-Help Guide for Parents" is designed to give parents the knowledge and power to make parenting easier and less stressful for difficult children," said Blanchard.
   The program also provides additional sources of information and support for parents and teachers.
   The price of the program is $149.95. For more information, call 1-800-888-CHILD(2445).