Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia

By: Michael Ryan (A dyslexic himself), M.D. and International Dyslexia Association

Do emotional disorders cause dyslexia?

Research indicates that dyslexia is caused by biological factors not emotional or family problems. Samuel T. Orton, M.D. was one of the first researchers to describe the emotional aspects of dyslexia. According to his research, the majority of dyslexic preschoolers are happy and well adjusted. Their emotional problems begin to develop when early reading instruction does not match their learning style. Over the years, the frustration mounts as classmates surpass the dyslexic student in reading skills. Recent research funded by the National Institute of Health has identified many of the neurological and cognitive differences that contribute to dyslexia. The vast majority of these factors appear to be caused by genetics rather than poor parenting or childhood depression or anxiety.

Why is dyslexia discouraging and frustrating?

The frustration of children with dyslexia often centers on their inability to meet expectations. Their parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write. Time and again, dyslexics and their parents hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder.” Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard the dyslexic is trying.
The pain of failing to meet other people’s expectations is surpassed only by dyslexics’ inability to achieve their goals. This is particularly true of those who develop perfectionistic expectations in order to deal with their anxiety. They grow up believing that it is “terrible” to make a mistake.
However, their learning disability, almost by definition means that these children will make many “careless” or “stupid” mistakes. This is extremely frustrating to them, as it makes them feel chronically inadequate.

The dyslexic frequently has problems with social relationships. These can be traced to causes:

  • Dyslexic children may be physically and socially immature in comparison to their peers. This can lead to a poor self-image and less peer acceptance.
  • Dyslexics’ social immaturity may make them awkward in social situations.
  • Many dyslexics have difficulty reading social cues. They may be oblivious to the amount of personal distance necessary in social interactions or insensitive to other people’s body language.
  • Dyslexia often affects oral language functioning. Affected persons may have trouble finding the right words, may stammer, or may pause before answering direct questions. This puts them at a disadvantage as they enter adolescence, when language becomes more central to their relationships with peers.

My clinical observations lead me to believe that, just as dyslexics have difficulty remembering the sequence of letters or words, they may also have difficulty remembering the order of events. For example, let us look at a normal playground interaction between two children. A dyslexic child takes a toy that belongs to another child, who calls the dyslexic a name. The dyslexic then hits the other child. In relating the experience, the dyslexic child may reverse the sequence of events. He may remember that the other child called him a name, and he then took the toy and hit the other child.
This presents two major difficulties for the dyslexic child. First, it takes him longer to learn from his mistakes. Second, if an adult witnessed the events, and asks the dyslexic child what happened, the child seems to be lying.
Unfortunately, most interactions between children involve not three events, but 15 to 20. With his sequencing and memory problems, the dyslexic may relate a different sequence of events each time he tells the tale. Teachers, parents, and psychologists conclude that he is either psychotic or a pathological liar.
The inconsistencies of dyslexia produce serious challenges in a child’s life. There is a tremendous variability in the student’s individual abilities. Although everyone has strengths and weaknesses, the dyslexic’s are greatly exaggerated. Furthermore, the dyslexic’s strengths and weaknesses may be closely related.
I once worked with a young adult who received a perfect score on the Graduate Record Exam in mathematics. He could do anything with numbers except remember them. The graduate students he tutored in advanced statistics or calculus had great difficulty believing that he could not remember their telephone numbers.
These great variations produce a “roller coaster” effect for dyslexics. At times, they can accomplish tasks far beyond the abilities of their peers. At the next moment, they can be confronted with a task that they cannot accomplish. Many dyslexics call this “walking into black holes.” To deal with these kinds of problems, dyslexics need a thorough understanding of their learning disability. This will help them predict both success and failure. Dyslexics also perform erratically within tasks. That is, their errors are inconsistent. For example, I once asked a dyslexic adult to write a hundred word essay on television violence. As one might expect he misspelled the word “television” five times. However, he misspelled it a different way each time. This type of variation makes remediation more difficult.
Finally, dyslexics’ performance varies from day to day. On some days, reading may come fairly easily. However, another day, they may be barely able to write their own name. This inconsistency is extremely confusing not only to the dyslexic, but also to others in his environment.
Few other handicapping conditions are intermittent in nature. A child in a wheelchair remains there; in fact, if on some days the child can walk, most professionals would consider it a hysterical condition. However, for the dyslexic, performance fluctuates. This makes it extremely difficult for the individual to learn to compensate, because he or she cannot predict the intensity of the symptoms on a given day.

What does the dyslexic person feel?

Anxiety

Anxiety is the most frequent emotional symptom reported by dyslexic adults. Dyslexics become fearful because of their constant frustration and confusion in school. These feelings are exacerbated by the inconsistencies of dyslexia. Because they may anticipate failure, entering new situations can becomes extremely anxiety provoking.
Anxiety causes human beings to avoid whatever frightens them. The dyslexic is no exception. However, many teachers and parents misinterpret this avoidance behavior as laziness. In fact, the dyslexic’s hesitancy to participate in school activities such as homework is related more to anxiety and confusion than to apathy.

Anger

Many of the emotional problems caused by dyslexia occur out of frustration with school or social situations. Social scientists have frequently observed that frustration produces anger. This can be clearly seen in many dyslexics.
The obvious target of the dyslexic’s anger would be schools and teachers. However, it is also common for the dyslexic to vent his anger on his parents. Mothers are particularly likely to feel the dyslexic’s wrath. Often, the child sits on his anger during school to the point of being extremely passive. However, once he is in the safe environment of home, these very powerful feelings erupt and are often directed toward the mother. Ironically, it is the child’s trust of the mother that allows him to vent his anger. However, this becomes very frustrating and confusing to the parent who is desperately trying to help their child.
As youngsters reach adolescence, society expects them to become independent. The tension between the expectation of independence and the child’s learned dependence causes great internal conflicts. The adolescent dyslexic uses his anger to break away from those people on which he feels so dependent.
Because of these factors, it may be difficult for parents to help their teenage dyslexic. Instead, peer tutoring or a concerned young adult may be better able to intervene and help the child.

Self image

The dyslexic’s self–image appears to be extremely vulnerable to frustration and anxiety. According to Erik Erikson, during the first years of school, every child must resolve the conflicts between a positive self–image and feelings of inferiority. If children succeed in school, they will develop positive feelings about themselves and believe that they can succeed in life.
If children meet failure and frustration, they learn that they are inferior to others, and that their effort makes very little difference. Instead of feeling powerful and productive, they learn that their environment controls them. They feel powerless and incompetent.
Researchers have learned that when typical learners succeed, they credit their own efforts for their success. When they fail, they tell themselves to try harder. However, when the dyslexic succeeds, he is likely to attribute his success to luck. When he fails, he simply sees himself as stupid.
Research also suggests that these feelings of inferiority develop by the age of ten. After this age, it becomes extremely difficult to help the child develop a positive self–image. This is a powerful argument for early intervention.

Depression

Depression is also a frequent complication in dyslexia. Although most dyslexics are not depressed, children with this kind of learning disability are at higher risk for intense feelings of sorrow and pain. Perhaps because of their low self–esteem, dyslexics are afraid to turn their anger toward their environment and instead turn it toward themselves.

However, depressed children and adolescents often have different symptoms than do depressed adults. The depressed child is unlikely to be lethargic or to talk about feeling sad. Instead he or she may become more active or misbehave to cover up the painful feelings. In the case of masked depression, the child may not seem obviously unhappy. However, both children and adults who are depressed tend to have three similar characteristics:

  • First, they tend to have negative thoughts about themselves, i.e. a negative self–image.
  • Second, they tend to view the world negatively. They are less likely to enjoy the positive experiences in life. This makes it difficult for them to have fun.
  • Finally, most depressed youngsters have great trouble imagining anything positive about the future. The depressed dyslexic not only experiences great pain in his present experiences, but also foresees a life of continuing failure.

Family problems

Like any handicapping condition, dyslexia has a tremendous impact on the child’s family. However, because dyslexia is an invisible handicap, these effects are often overlooked.
Dyslexia affects the family in a variety of ways. One of the most obvious is sibling rivalry. Non–dyslexic children often feel jealous of the dyslexic child, who gets the majority of the parents’ attention, time, and money. Ironically, the dyslexic child does not want this attention. This increases the chances that he or she will act negatively against the achieving children in the family.
Specific developmental dyslexia runs in families. This means that one or both of the child’s parents may have had similar school problems. When faced with a child who is having school problems, dyslexic parents may react in one of two ways. They may deny the existence of dyslexia and believe if the child would just buckle down, he or she could succeed. Or, the parents may relive their failures and frustrations through their child’s school experience. This brings back powerful and terrifying emotions, which can interfere with the adult’s parenting skills.

How can parents and teachers help?

During the past 25 years, I have interviewed many dyslexic adults. Some have learned to deal successfully with their learning problems, while others have not. My experiences suggest that in addition to factors such as intelligence and socio–economic status, other things affect the dyslexic’s chances for success.
First, early in the child’s life, someone has been extremely supportive and encouraging. Second, the young dyslexic found an area in which he or she could succeed. Finally, successful dyslexics appear to have developed a commitment to helping others.
Both teachers and parents need to offer consistent, ongoing encouragement and support. However, one rarely hears about this very important way to help youngsters.
I believe encouragement involves at least four elements. First, listening to children’s feelings. Anxiety, anger and depression are daily companions for dyslexics. However, their language problems often make it difficult for them to express their feelings. Therefore, adults must help them learn to talk about their feelings.
Teachers and parents must reward effort, not just “the product”. For the dyslexic, grades should be less important than progress.
When confronting unacceptable behavior, adults must not inadvertently discourage the dyslexic child. Words such as “lazy” or “incorrigible” can seriously damage the child’s self–image.
Finally, it is important to help students set realistic goals for themselves. Most dyslexic students set perfectionistic and unattainable goals. By helping the child set an attainable goal, teachers can change the cycle of failure.
Even more important, the child needs to recognize and rejoice in his or her successes. To do so, he or she needs to achieve success in some area of life. In some cases, the dyslexic’s strengths are obvious, and many dyslexics’ self–esteem has been salvaged by prowess in athletics, art, or mechanics. However, the dyslexic’s strengths are often more subtle and less obvious. Parents and teachers need to find ways to relate the child’s interests to the demands of real life.
Finally, many successful dyslexic adults deal with their own pain by reaching out to others. They may do volunteer work for charities or churches, or choose vocations that require empathy and a social conscience. These experiences help dyslexics feel more positive about themselves and deal more effectively with their pain and frustration.
Many opportunities exist in our schools, homes and churches for dyslexics to help others. One important area is peer tutoring. If dyslexic students do well in math or science, they can be asked to tutor a classmate who is struggling.
Perhaps that student can reciprocate as a reader for the dyslexic student. Tutoring younger children, especially other dyslexics, can be a positive experience for everyone involved.
Helping dyslexics feel better about themselves and deal effectively with their feelings is a complex task.
First, caring adults must understand the cognitive and affective problems caused by dyslexia. Then they must design strategies that will help the dyslexic, like every other child, to find joy and success in academics and personal relationships.

About the author

Dr. Michael Ryan is a psychologist with a private practice in Grand Rapids, MI. He specializes in working with people with learning disabilities. A dyslexic himself, Dr. Ryan is a past president of the Michigan Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and a former national vice president of IDA.

Michael J. Fox Believes ‘We’ll Be Able to Stop the Progress’ of Parkinson’s Disease in 5 Years

Michael J. Fox’s impact on Parkinson’s disease is undeniable, from the hundreds of millions of dollars of funding directed towards research, to his work reducing the stigma of the disease. And the actor is confident that researchers will hit a new milestone in the next five years.
“We’ll be able to predict it, and we’ll be able to stop the progress of the disease,” Fox, 57, tells PEOPLE.
That would be a massive breakthrough for Parkinson’s disease — a neurological disorder that causes tremors, slowed movement, balance problems and more — and a far cry from where research was in 2000, when Fox created the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
At that point, “the overall pace of progress was quite stalled,” says Deborah W. Brooks, the foundation’s cofounder and executive vice chairman.
“Michael going public with his disease and then going further and acknowledging that he had a role to be playing to galvanize the patient community, plus directing fundraising towards Parkinson’s research, really gave it a jolt, and was a catalyst for the whole Parkinson’s patient and research community,” she says.
“People with Parkinson’s have told me when they heard I was diagnosed, they were happy,” Fox says, because of the attention they knew he would bring. “I said, ‘I get it.’ ”
Dr. Steven Frucht, the director of Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders at NYU Langone Health, agrees.
“I don’t think you can understate the impact it had on the field, and also in very practical ways, in the dollars of research funding that was directed towards this disease,” he says. “It had an enormous impact.”
In the 18 years since the foundation’s inception, the non-profit has raised nearly $1 billion for Parkinson’s research, which led to major medical and surgical advances in treating and slowing the disease.
“Today, we have the best drug development pipeline for Parkinson’s, ever,” says Brooks. “But in addition to that, we have a robust and growing pipeline of therapeutic programs that we believe can change the underlying disease biology. Not only will we be able to manage symptoms, but we can slow the disease, reverse the disease and ultimately prevent the disease.”
“That’s a completely new direction that’s been possible in the last couple of decades, not solely by our work, but we’re a big part in being about to work quickly and aggressively around emerging priorities,” she adds. “The science has exploded, particularly over the last five years.”

  • For more on Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

Along with new treatments, Parkinson’s researchers have recently gained a better sense of the fundamentals of the disease.
“We now are beginning to understand that Parkinson’s disease really is a collection of related disorders, some of them genetic, some not,” Frucht says. “It’s probably six, eight or ten different diseases that mimic each other but are different.” That means that each Parkinson’s patient is unique, with some exhibiting certain symptoms that others do not. “Treatments are now more likely to be targeted to the cause of the illness.”
Plus, with Fox continuing to act and work in the spotlight, along with other celebrities like Alan Alda, a Parkinson’s diagnosis no longer feels like the end of the world.
“This is a demonstration that for many patients, Parkinson’s is something that they live with and adapt to. It doesn’t define what they do and it doesn’t define how they move through the world,” Frucht says. “They’re saying: I had it yesterday and it doesn’t affect what I do today or tomorrow.”

Aldi- Low Carb Shoping List-AT ALDI YOU CAN GET MOST OF YOUR LOW CARB STAPLES

VEGETABLES & FRUIT :

You can use both fresh and frozen.
– Lettuce
– Asparagus
– Cabbage
– Green Beans
– Brussel Sprouts
– Broccoli
– Avocado
– Zucchini
– Tomatoes
– Peppers
– Cauflilower
– Spinach & Leafy Greens
– Garlic
– Onions
– Mushrooms
– Celery
– Strawberries, Raspberries & Blueberries

PROTEIN:

– Sardines
– Mac
– Nuts & Seeds – Macadamias, Pine Nuts, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Ground Almonds
– Nut Butter
– Mince/Ground Beef
– Eggs
– Smoked Salmon
– Tuna
– Steak
– Whole Chicken
– Chicken Legs
– Silverside
– Sausages-
– Leg of Lamb
– Salami

DAIRY:

– Cream
– Sour Cream
– Cream Cheese
– Parmesan
– Brie
– Cheese
– Feta
– Ricotta
– Mascarpone
– Almond Milk (Not Dairy I Know!)
– Greek Yoghurt

FATS:

– Avocado Oil
– Coconut Oil
– Mayonnaise
– Olive Oil
– Butter
– Coconut Milk
Here is Quick Start To Keto Diet Plan to help those of you wanting to start this diet.

The world's oldest person with Parkinson's, a Japanese woman dies at 117-year-old

TOKYO — The world’s oldest person with Parkinson’s, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died.
Chiyo Miyako died Sunday. Her death was confirmed Friday by Kanagawa prefecture, her home state south of Tokyo.
Miyako, born on May 2, 1901, became the world’s oldest person in April after Nabi Tajima from Kikai island in southern Japan died at the age of 117.
This Sept 2015 photo shows Nabi Tajima, the world’s oldest person. (KIKAI TOWN / KYODO NEWS / AP)
Miyako’s family called her “the goddess” and remembered her as a chatty person who was patient of parkinson’s and kind to others, according to Guinness World Records, which had certified her title. Miyako enjoyed calligraphy, which she had practiced until recently, and eating sushi and eel, Guinness said.
Guinness said the successor to her world record is yet to be confirmed.
The new oldest person in Japan is a 115-year-old woman, Kane Tanaka of Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.
The world’s oldest man, Masazo Nonaka on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, celebrated his 113rd birthday Wednesday

Cheese Pops – Low Carb Popcorn The Best Ever Invention

As we all know, there is almost everything we can come up with as a low carb version.
Well, one thing is a bit difficult.

Popcorn

We have tried to make a bread like popcorn, but not very successful with kids.
Then about 2 years ago I saw this idea the first time. But since it requires to keep the cheese drying for 48 HRs, I have never ever got into it.
Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn

Why?

Because it takes time and because I was sure that before those 48Hrs are gone, all the cheese will be gone.
But then again it is worth trying. Or not?
So last week I tried it, manage to not eat any single piece in 48Hrs and Ta Da.
It is extremely addictive and delicious. Immediately the next day, I had to prepare another batch and that is what I am gonna do today for all of you.
Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn

Then I will take some pictures, make a video and place it all here for you to see and try.
This recipe is really easy and you will not regret trying it.
If you manage not to eat them immediately, they are even better the next day.
And cost wise? Much much cheaper then any cheese Pops you buy in the supermarket if you find some.
Sophie has made a Facebook live, where we have tried it for the first time. Just in case you want to have a look, here it is:

And of course short version from our second take:

But now to the recipe for Low Carb Cheese Pops:

You can use any hard cheese. I would suggest to cut it into slices and then make it into small squares since it will dry better. The first time we made it, I had to keep it much longer to dry, since even after 48 Hrs it was not fully dry.

Cheese Pops – Low Carb Popcorn

 Serves: 4  Prep Time:   Cooking Time: 

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g (1 Cup or 3.5 oz) Hard Cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut hard cheese first into slices and then into small squares ( I have used Gouda)Cheese Pops - Low Carb Popcorn
  • Place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and cover with a napkin
  • Keep it on a kitchen top for 48 Hrs
  • Heat up the oven to 200 C (392F)
  • Place the cheese in the oven for 3 minutes
  • Bon appetit

 

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NUTRITIONS

Per serving: Calories: 88 kcal, Carbohydrates 0,4g, Protein 5g, Fat 7 g

What Foods to Avoid as an Epileptic Patient

If you have epilepsy, you may find that you experience a higher frequency of seizures after eating certain foods, as some food can trigger epileptic episodes, according to the Epilepsy Society. Avoiding these foods and eating regular, balanced meals can help reduce your risk of seizures and improve your overall health.

Refined Carbohydrates

Research published in the journal “Neurology” in 2006 reported that one half of a patient group treated with a diet regimen that had only low-glycemic foods showed 90 percent fewer seizures. The Epilepsy Society advises that in some patients with epilepsy, fluctuating blood-glucose levels can trigger seizures. To balance your blood glucose levels, avoid high-glycemic foods, which raise your blood glucose levels. These foods include refined carbohydrate foods such as pizza, soft drinks, white bread, cakes, bagels, white rice, white pasta and chips. Instead, choose low glycemic-index foods such as whole grains, brown rice, whole-wheat bread and pasta, legumes, yogurt and nuts.

Certain Fruits and Vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables are low-glycemic, meaning they do not cause your blood glucose levels to rise and fall drastically. If you have epilepsy, however, the Epilepsy Society recommends that you avoid certain vegetables and fruits that fall in the medium- to high-glycemic range. These foods include mangos, raisins, bananas, mashed potatoes and dates.

Monosodium Glutamate

The food additive monosodium glutamate — MSG — is used as a flavoring and preservative in a variety of foods. An animal study published in 2004 in “Neuroscience Letters” concluded that excess MSG can physically alter the nerves of rats and lead to epileptic seizures. If you have epilepsy, it is best to avoid this food additive, even though it has not been determined if any amount of MSG can cause or worsen seizures in people.

Ginkgo Nuts

Research published in 2001 in the journal “Epilepsia” reported that consuming a large amount of ginkgo nuts can cause vomiting and seizures about four hours after eating them. Ginkgo nuts are commonly eaten in Japan and China. The study noted that this food triggered seizures in individuals who did not have a history of epilepsy or seizures of any kind. If you have epilepsy, it is best to not eat an excess of ginkgo nuts, since they may be toxic to nerves.

Cannabidiol significantly reduces seizures in patients with severe form of epilepsy

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from the cannabis plant that does not produce a “high” and has been an increasing focus of medical research, was shown in a new large-scale, randomized, controlled trial to significantly reduce the number of dangerous seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
In the new study comparing two doses of CBD to a placebo, the researchers reported a 41.9 percent reduction in “drop seizures” – a type of seizure that results in severe loss of muscle control and balance – in patients taking a 20 mg/kg/d CBD regimen, a 37.2 percent reduction in those on a 10 mg/kg/d CBD regimen, and a 17.2 percent reduction in a group given a placebo.
The phase III trial was led by principal investigator and study first co-author Orrin Devinsky, MD, a professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and director of NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and was published online May 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“This new study adds rigorous evidence of cannabidiol’s effectiveness in reducing seizure burden in a severe form of epilepsy and, importantly, is the first study of its kind to offer more information on proper dosing,” says Dr. Devinsky. “These are real medications with real side effects, and as providers we need to know all we can about a potential treatment in order to provide safe and effective care to our patients.”
The study included an investigational liquid, oral formulation of CBD called Epidiolex. The product is manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, which operates in the U.S. as Greenwich Biosciences; GW Pharmaceuticals funded the clinical trial.
Safety of Two CBD Doses Studied
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a rare and severe form of epilepsy characterized by frequent drop seizures and severe cognitive impairment. Six medications are approved to treat seizures in patients with the syndrome, but disabling seizures occur in most patients despite these treatments.
Researchers enrolled 225 patients (age 2 to 55) with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome across 30 international sites in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of two doses of CBD: Seventy-six patients received 20 mg/kg/d CBD, 73 received 10 mg/kg/d CBD, and 76 were given a placebo. All medications were divided into two doses per day for 14 weeks. The number of seizures were monitored beginning four weeks prior to the study for baseline assessment, then tracked throughout the 14-week study period and afterwards for a four-week safety check.
Side effects occurred in 94 per of patients in the 20 mg CBD group, 84 percent in the 10 mg CBD group, and 72 percent of those taking placebo. Side effects were generally reported as mild or moderate in severity and those that occurred in more than 10 percent of patients included: sleepiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, upper respiratory infection, fever, vomiting, nasopharyngitis, and status epilepticus. Fourteen patients taking CBD experienced dose-related, elevated liver enzymes that were reversible. Seven participants from the CBD group withdrew from the trial due to side effects compared to one participant in the placebo group.
“This landmark study provides data and evidence that Epidiolex can be an effective and safe treatment for seizures seen in patients with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a very difficult to control epilepsy syndrome,” adds study co-first author, Anup Patel, MD, chief of Neurology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
A study led by Dr. Devinsky published in last May’s New England Journal of Medicine showed a 39 percent drop in seizure frequency in patients with a different rare form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome. Those findings represented the first large-scale, randomized clinical trial for the compound. Open label CBD studies led by Dr. Devinsky also have shown positive results for treatment-resistant epilepsies.
In April, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously voted to recommend approval of a new drug application for Epidiolex cannabidiol oral solution, following a meeting where researchers, including Dr. Devinsky, presented their findings. The FDA will decide whether to approve the medication in late June.
“While the news gives hope for a new treatment option to the epilepsy community, more research remains imperative to better determine the effects of CBD and other similar cannabis-derived compounds on other forms of the disease and in more dosing regimens,” says Dr. Devinsky.

12-year-old epilepsy patient sues Jeff Sessions to legalize medical marijuana

Alexis Bortell is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions so she can legally use medical cannabis in her hometown.
The 12-year-old filed a lawsuit against Sessions over the federal classification of marijuana as an addictive drug with no medical value, reports KDVR.
“As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it’s illegal in Texas,” said Bortell, who hasn’t experienced a seizure since using liquid THC drops in over two years.
Bortell’s family uses a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope, and is just one of many families forced to move to states that have legal medical programs.
“I would like to be able to visit my grandparents without risking being taken to a foster home,” Bortell told KDVR.
The lawsuit also includes another minor, a military veteran, and former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Marvin Washington. The federal government has already lost a motion to dismiss the case.
By 

12 Rules for Parenting a Child with ADHD / ADD

Never Punish a Child for Behavior Outside His Control

Make ADHD the enemy; not your child. Catch your child being good every day. Stop blaming others. And other rules for raising a child with ADD that every parent should hear.

Most parents are good parents. But if your son or daughter has attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), “good” may not be enough. To ensure that your child is happy and well-adjusted now and in the future — and to create a tranquil home environment — you’ve got to be a great parent.
Fortunately, it’s easier than you might imagine to go from good to great. All it takes is a few small adjustments in your  strategies for parenting a child with ADHD and the way you interact with your child. Here’s what works, and why:

1. Accept the fact that your child — like all children — is imperfect.

It’s not easy to accept that there’s something not quite “normal” about your child. But a child who senses his parents’ resentment — and their pessimism about his prospects — is unlikely to develop the self-esteem and can-do spirit he’ll need in order to become a happy, well-adjusted adult.
“For a child to feel accepted and supported, he needs to feel that his parents have confidence in his abilities,” says Ken Brown-Gratchev, Ph.D., a special education instructor at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon. “Once parents learn to look at the gifts of ADHD — things like exceptional energy, creativity, and interpersonal skills — they can see the shine inside their child.”
Carol Barnier, of New Fairfield, Connecticut, certainly sees the “shine” in her child with ADHD. “My child is destined for something wonderful, something that would be impossible for those calmer, regular-energy level children,” she says. “I can think of several occupations where boundless energy would be an incredible asset. I’m even jealous of his tireless enthusiasm for life and wonder what more I could accomplish if I were so blessed.”
Do your best to love your child unconditionally. Treat him as if he were already the person you would like him to be. That will help him become that person.

2. Don’t believe all the “bad news” about your child.

It’s no fun to hear school employees describe your child as “slow” or unmotivated. But don’t let negative remarks deter you from doing everything in your power to advocate for his educational needs. After all, kids with ADHD can succeed if they get the help they need.
“While it’s true that your child’s mind works differently, he certainly has the ability to learn and succeed just like any other kid,” says George DuPaul, Ph.D., professor of school psychology at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “Look at it this way—if your child was diabetic or had asthma, would you, for one single minute, hesitate to advocate for his benefit?” Just as a diabetic needs insulin and an asthmatic child needs help breathing, a child with ADHD needs his learning environment regulated.
Sue Greco of Warwick, Rhode Island, is adamant about being her 11-year-old’s strongest advocate. “My son has a great brain,” she says. “He’s a leader, with great ideas, but he’s been labeled ‘unable to succeed’ at the local public school. Because I know he’s capable of more, I’ve enrolled him in a Catholic school, hoping the higher academic expectations and greater structure will challenge him in a positive way.”

3. Don’t overestimate the importance of medication.

There’s no doubt that, for many children with ADHD, the right medication makes a huge difference in behavior. But by no means is medication the only thing that makes a difference, and talking about it as if it were will leave the child feeling that good behavior has little to do with her own efforts. When you catch your child doing something you’ve repeatedly asked her not to do, fight the urge to ask, “Did you forget to take your medication this morning?” And don’t ever threaten to increase her dosage because she did something inappropriate.
“Statements like these give your child the impression that her behavior is controlled solely by external factors,” says Dr. Brown-Gratchev. “It’s a parent’s responsibility to send the clear message that, while medication will improve the skills she already possesses, it won’t magically fix all of her troubles.”
As Sara Bykowski, a mother of two sons with ADHD living in Angola, Indiana, puts it, “I tell my kids that their medicine is like glasses. Glasses improve eyesight that the person already has. My kids know that their self-control, no matter how limited, is the main factor in their behavior management.”

4. Make sure you know the difference between discipline and punishment.

How often have you complained to friends or family members (or even a therapist), “I’ve yelled, lectured, threatened, given time-outs, taken away toys, canceled outings, bribed, begged, and even spanked — and nothing works!” Do you see the problem with this approach? Anychild exposed to such a variety of “sticks” would be confused. And one of the most effective approaches to discipline — the “carrot” of positive feedback — isn’t even mentioned.
“Many parents use the terms ‘discipline’ and ‘punishment’ interchangeably,” says Sal Severe, Ph.D., the author of How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too! “In fact, they’re vastly different.” Discipline, he says, is preferable because it teaches the child how to behave. It includes an explanation of the inappropriate behavior and redirection to acceptable behavior — along with positive reinforcement each time the child makes a good behavior choice. Punishment, on the other hand, uses fear and shame to force the child to behave.
Punishment certainly has its place. However, it should never involve physical or verbal abuse, and it should be used only as a last resort. For example, if your child continues to yank the cat’s tail despite being repeatedly told not to — he should be punished.
Often, the best way to discipline a child with ADHD is via a simple program of behavior modification: Define age-appropriate, attainable goals and then systematically reward each small achievement until the behavior becomes routine. By rewarding positive behavior (rather than punishing negative behavior), you help your child feel successful — and further increase his motivation to do the right thing.

5. Never punish a child for behavior that he is unable to control.

Imagine telling your 10-year-old to make his bed. Now imagine finding him, minutes later, lying on his unmade bed playing cards. What should you do? Give him a sharp word and put him in time-out?
According to Dr. Severe, that’s probably not the best approach. In many cases, he says, a child with ADHD fails to comply not because he is defiant, but simply because he becomes distracted from the task at hand (in this case, making the bed). Distractibility is a common symptom of ADHD — something that he may be unable to control. And when you repeatedly punish a child for behavior he can’t control, you set him up to fail. Eventually, his desire to please you evaporates. He thinks, “Why bother?” The parent-child relationship suffers as a result.
The best approach in situations like this might be simply to remindyour child to do what you want him to do. Punishment makes sense if it’s abundantly clear that your child is being defiant — for example, if he refuses to make the bed. But give him the benefit of the doubt.

6. Stop blaming other people for your child’s difficulties.

Are you the kind of parent who finds fault with everyone except your child? Do you say things like “That driver has no control over the kids on the bus,” or “If only the teacher were better at behavior management, my daughter wouldn’t have so much trouble in school?”
Other people can contribute to your child’s problems. But trying to pin the blame exclusively on others encourages your child to take the easy way out. Why should she take personal responsibility for her actions if she can blame someone else (or if she repeatedly hears you blame someone else)?

7. Be careful to separate the deed from the doer.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” Don’t believe it. Kids who repeatedly hear bad things about themselves eventually come to believe these things.
No matter how frustrating your child’s behavior, never call him “lazy,” “hyper,” “spacey,” or anything else that might be hurtful. And stop yourself if you start to say something like “You’re such a slob — why can’t you keep your room clean?” or “What’s wrong with you? If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times.. .”
Carol Brady, Ph.D., a child psychologist in Houston, explains it this way: “Parents must make ADHD the enemy — not the child. When you personalize a child’s ADHD-associated problems, her self-esteem plummets. But when you team up with your child to problem-solve various negative behaviors, you create a climate where your child feels loved and supported despite her shortcomings.”
Next time your child’s room is a disaster, tell her, “We have a problem, and I need your help to solve it.” Tell her it’s hard for you to tuck her in at night because you’re afraid you might trip over the toys on her bedroom floor — or that leaving food in her room attracts bugs. Ask for her input. The more involved your child is in the solution, the better the outcome.

8. Don’t be too quick to say “no.”

All children need to be told “no” at certain times — to keep them from doing something dangerous or inappropriate. But many parents say “no” reflexively, without considering whether it might be OK to say “yes.” And a child who hears “no” too many times is apt to rebel — especially if he is impulsive to begin with.
Why are parents so quick to say “no”? Often, it’s out of fear (“No, you cannot walk to school by yourself.”), worry (“No, you can’t sleep over at Jake’s house until I meet his parents.”), a desire to control (“No, you can’t have a snack before supper.”), or a competing need (“Not tonight, kiddo, I’m too tired.”). Smart parents know when to say “no,” and when it makes more sense to take a deep breath and answer in the affirmative.
In many cases, a small change in the way you use the words “yes” and “no” with your child can mean the difference between a pleasant interaction and a nasty confrontation.
Let’s say your child wants to go outside to play but you want him to sit down and do his homework. “Instead of automatically saying no,” suggests Dr. DuPaul, “ask him to help you brainstorm a workable solution.” That way, he feels that he has at least some measure of control over the situation and that you are trying to accommodate his wishes. He will feel less frustrated and be more cooperative.

9. Pay more attention to your child’s positive behavior.

In their quest to quash behavior problems, many parents overlook all the positive ways in which their child behaves. The resulting negativity can cast a pall over the household that affects every aspect of life.
“Retrain yourself to look at the positives,” says Dr. Severe. “Catch your child being good or doing something well, and praise her. When you point out and praise desirable behaviors, you teach her what you want — not what you don’t want.”
Bear in mind that some of the problem behaviors you ascribe to ADHD may be common to all children of that age. It’s helpful to read up on the stages of childhood development — especially if your child with ADHD happens to be your first-born.
Make happiness and laughter the cornerstones of family life. Spend fun time with your children. Go with them on bike rides. Play with them at the park. Visit museums together. Take them to the movies. Sure, life with ADHD can be challenging. But the rewards are great for parents who really connect with their children.

10. Learn to anticipate potentially explosive situations.

Imagine that your daughter has been invited to a party. That’s good news, especially for a child who isn’t very popular with her peers. Now imagine that the party is hosted by a girl with whom your daughter recently quarreled. Do you simply cross your fingers and hope for the best?
“Absolutely not,” warns Dr. DuPaul. “Parents spend a lot of time in reactive mode instead of thinking ahead and planning ahead.” A simple plan, he says, is all it takes to keep a positive experience from turning negative for all concerned.
“In our house, we have ‘the plan,’” says Sara Bykowski. “Before we go into a store or to a friend’s home, we talk about the behavior that is expected and possible pitfalls. We also have a routine for any problems that arise. I might say, ‘Can I talk to you for a minute?’ and then take him away from the group. We discuss what’s happening and try to come up with a solution. Sometimes we still have to leave early, but that happens much less often now.”
Whatever you do, be consistent. “All kids benefit from consistency,” says Dr. DuPaul, “but ADHD kids, in particular, need consistency. It’s not a luxury for them.” A last-minute change in schedule or an interruption of a familiar routine can wreak havoc with a child who already feels like she spends most of her time off-balance and “catching up.” Better to have set routines and plans and do all you can to stick to them.
“Set your home up in a way that encourages organization and responsibility, then run it like an army barracks,” suggests ADHDer Shirley McCurdy, an organizational expert and the author of The Floor Is Not an Option. “Think easy and accessible — clear storage bins for clothes, zippered pouches for homework, and a large, color-coded family calendar.”
Make sure you and your spouse are in agreement on matters of organization and discipline. “Parents who aren’t on the same page in their general approach to motivation and discipline with their child with ADHD can cause problems,” says Stephen Grcevich, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “Behavioral interventions for kids with ADHD are unlikely to be successful unless applied consistently.”
When parents present a united front, their children know exactly what to expect. Ultimately, the more predictable and consistent your child’s environment becomes, the happier the whole family will be.

11. Be a good role model.

Parents are a child’s most influential role model, so think carefully about your behavior. If you’re unable to control yourself, how can you expect your child to exercise self-control?
“Yelling sets a poor example of how your child should handle his emotions,” says Dr. Brady. “Parents tend to think that, the louder they get, the bigger the impact on the child — but it doesn’t work. The only thing the child hears is the anger. The situation quickly spirals out of control.”
It’s perfectly normal to feel angry at your child from time to time. It’s not OK to continually shout at her. You wouldn’t dream of screaming and swearing at friends or coworkers, so you know you can control your anger if you must.
Next time your child does something that causes your blood to boil, leave the room, take a few deep breaths, or do something else to calm yourself. When you demonstrate self-calming techniques in this way, you teach your child the importance of managing her emotions.
If you do lose your temper, do not hesitate to apologize to your child.

12. Seek help from others.

Some things in life simply cannot be done well alone, and raising a child with ADHD is one of them. “If you take the Clint Eastwood approach, you’ll wind up exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically,” says Dr. Brown-Gratchev. “Build a NASA-worthy support system. That way, when your own ‘system’ overloads or fails, as it inevitably will from time to time, there’s someone to put you back together again.”
Ask your pediatrician for the name of a psychologist or other mental-health professional who specializes in ADHD. Or contact CHADD — chances are, there’s a chapter in your community.
Sue Kordish, of Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, knows the value of a reliable support system. “For years, my husband and I worried that no sitter would understand our son’s special needs,” she says. “We tried hiring a teenager, but it didn’t work out, and the experience left us even more wary. With no family members living nearby, the situation was hard. We just didn’t go out. Then we found a sitter who works with special-needs kids. We were finally able to relax and enjoy some seriously overdue couple time.”

10 Things I Wish My Endocrinologist Would Have Told Me

When I was first diagnosed I consulted with a variety of specialists, I felt that I still didn’t get a good understanding of what’s really going on in Hashimoto’s.
Here are a few things that would have been helpful to know at the beginning of my journey…
10 Things I Wish My Endocrinologist Told Me

Ten Things I Wish My Doctor Would Have Told Me…

  1. You are not going crazy! The anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, and emotional numbness you are feeling could be related to your thyroid. Thyroid antibodies are a marker that lets us know that the immune system is destroying thyroid tissue, which can cause a release of hormones into your bloodstream causing a transient hyperthyroidism and the related mood alterations, followed by an onset of hypothyroidism.
  2. Selenium deficiency has been recognized as an environmental trigger for Hashimoto’s, so you may want to consider using a selenium supplement. A dose of 200 mcg of selenomethioninehas been shown to reduce thyroid antibodies by about 50% over the course of three months in people with Hashimoto’s. In my experience, this can help people feel calmer and can also improve energy levels and hair regrowth.
  3. Going gluten free is a strategy that everyone with Hashimoto’s should try. In some cases, we see a complete remission of the condition; in other cases (88% of the time), the person feels significantly better in terms of bloating, diarrhea, energy, weight, constipation, stomach pain, reflux, hair regrowth, and anxiety.
  4. If you are having symptoms of subclinical hypothyroidism—like fatigue, weight gain, sadness/apathy, hair loss, fertility challenges, cold intolerance, brain fog, and joint pain—it may be helpful to start thyroid hormones. Studies have found that starting thyroid hormones can make us feel better and even slow down the progression of the condition!
  5. Some people may not convert thyroid hormones properly, and thus taking a T4-only containing medication like Synthroid or levothyroxine may not relieve all of your symptoms. There may be an advantage to taking a combination T4/T3 medication. Read about which thyroid medication is best.
  6. Your thyroid may function and work on its own again at some time in the future. There is a test we can do to figure out if you can be weaned off from medications. Innovative new therapies like low level laser therapy may also help people improve the function of their thyroid and wean off meds!
  7. Hashimoto’s and iodine deficiency hypothyroidism should be treated differently. Iodine excess may aggravate Hashimoto’s in some cases, leading to anxiety, irritability, brain fog, palpitations, and fatigue, as well as accelerated damage to the thyroid gland. For people with Hashimoto’s, the low doses of iodine that are found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins (150 mcg–220 mcg) are generally safe.
  8. Thyroid antibodies, thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO antibodies) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TG antibodies), are a marker of how aggressive the attack is on your thyroid gland and can be used as a marker to track your condition. You should retest your antibodies every 3 months to see if your lifestyle interventions are working.
  9. Your hair loss could be caused by low ferritin. Ferritin is a stored form of iron that is often depleted in Hashimoto’s.
  10. Your diet could be helpful in eliminating your thyroid symptoms, reducing thyroid antibodies and some people even have been able to eliminate their thyroid antibodies through diet alone!