Seeing ADHD On A Spectrum, Not A Disease Category

[Source: Psych Central]


A new study suggests that there is a natural spectrum of attention function in the general population, with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at one extreme.

Accordingly, a genetic analysis may be able to predict children who will be a high risk for ADHD.

If this opinion is accurate the concept has broad implications for psychiatric diagnoses and perhaps for society.

Researchers at Cardiff University School of Medicine and the University of Bristol in the U.K. believe there is a spectrum of attention, hyperactivity/impulsiveness, and language function in society.

They contend that varying degrees of these impairments are associated with clusters of genes linked with the risk for ADHD.

Viewing these functions as dimensions or spectrums contrasts with a traditional view of ADHD as a disease category.

Read the Rest of this Article on Psych Central

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Having a Sibling Makes Boys Selfless, Study Suggests

[Source:  Science Daily]

siblingsA new study brings good news to all the brothers out there: Having a sibling is just as good for you as it is for your sister.

That’s surprising to family scholars because boys typically report that they benefit less than girls from peer relationships.

“In our study, most relationships were not as important for boys as they were for girls,” said study co-author Laura Padilla-Walker. “But the sibling relationship was different — they seemed to report relying on sibling affection just as much as girls do. It’s an area where parents and therapists could really help boys.”

Padilla-Walker and fellow Brigham Young University professor Jim Harper found that siblings uniquely promote the development of sympathy. A quality relationship with a brother or sister also increased teens’ levels of altruism, also known as prosocial behavior.

“Having a sibling you can count on seems to make a difference especially for prosocial behavior,” said Harper. “Best friends make a contribution, but siblings still matter.”

The BYU researchers followed 308 pairs of teenage siblings for three years. The project measured their development and tracked the quality of their relationships with friends and family members.

“This was the first siblings study to control for all these other important relationships,” Padilla-Walker said. “We can say that siblings are uniquely important, which is encouraging.”

The message for parents is that helping their children have a positive relationship with each other will yield lasting rewards. Boys who have a hostile relationship with a sibling were significantly more likely to have behavioral problems later on. But the researchers caution that just breaking up fights isn’t enough.

Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily

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SLP Corner: Meme Use in Speech-Language Therapy Sessions

by Jessica Chase Solari, CCC-SLP


When I was first introduced to memes, I thought they were all for comedy and that they were image-based on the internet. However, I later found out that the term “meme” is actually more complex and broad than what you can find online. The word “meme” originates from science, noted first in Richard Dawkin’s book The Selfish Gene (1976), where Dawkins (an evolutionary biologist) discusses how in genetics a meme is a self-replicating unit with significance in explaining human behavior and cultural evolution ( He discusses that a meme is a cultural entity that might be replicated or imitated based on its ability to be retained, transmitted, and their aptitude to be replicated. In this article about memes and their use in speech-language therapy, I will be mostly discussing memes passed through social mediums including the internet, television, and radio through audio, video, images, and text as well as combinations of these mediums.

Memes passed through the social mediums of the internet, television, and radio are different than other memes. These can be saved to be found later and generally tracked back to the original source. This can show scientists, researchers, and marketing specialists how they transform over time, how many people have viewed or heard a particular meme, and what types of actions, in particular the continuation or dormancy of the meme, occur following a person being subjected to the meme. Scientists and researchers study how memes evolve and predict which will survive and spread throughout a culture.

To learn more about popular memes and how they can be used in speech-language therapy sessions, continue reading!

Read the Rest of this Article on Consonantly Speaking

Posted in SLP |

Book Review: Learning the Alphabet Through Short Stories

once[Source: The Montreal Gazette via Mind Shift]

Alphabet books are a staple of children’s literature. We’re all familiar with the basic “A is for apple, B is for bear” approach but some of us, myself included, revel in alphabet books that set themselves apart from the norm — that assign X to more than the usual xylophone image and Z to something other than zebra.

Oliver Jeffers, an illustrator easily identified by the hand lettering that graces his books and by the characters with stick arms and legs, has created some remarkably unique picture books. Born in Australia and raised in Northern Ireland, he now makes his home in Brooklyn, N.Y. He burst onto the scene 10 years ago with How to Catch a Star, and went on to create such memorable books as Lost and Found, The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Stuck, This Moose Belongs to Me, the Hueys series and The Day the Crayons Quit (the latter written by Drew Daywalt).

Now he brings us his biggest book yet: 122 pages of stories and drawings devoted to the 26 letters of the alphabet. Released in the U.K. on Sept. 25 and in Canada five days later, it has already won the praise of other authors and illustrators; Jon Scieszka, for example, having told The Guardian in an interview that the book features “amazing art, and beautifully interwoven short storytelling.”

Read the Rest of This Book Review on the Montreal Gazette

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Social Skills Corner: Let’s Pretend…

by Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L 


Talking toys, ready-made projects, iPads, and electronic games are all super fun and enticing. However, they don’t help our kids develop communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. These are the skills that will ensure life long learning and problem solving not only through school but throughout careers and family life as well. What will happen to the next generation of kids if they don’t learn these critical life skills?

In an effort to help 4 – 6 year olds develop these skills in our Social Adventures group we read books with simple themes such as “Good-night Gorilla” and “The Little Red Hen” and act out the stories in the gym. This has been quite a challenge for our little ones as they show difficulty negotiating roles, identifying props, figuring out how to use the space available to them and staying with the theme.

To help the kids grasp early negotiation skills, we provided each child with a ball or tactile play item and when another item looked more interesting to them, they asked a friend to trade. If a friend wanted to trade, he said, “Sure”. We taught the kids to say, “In a minute” if they didn’t want to trade and then encouraged the swap shortly after.

Read the Rest of this Article on All 4 My Child

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