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Is Attention Deficit Disorder A Developmental Disability

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How To Document Your Child’s Adhd Impairments

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Developmental Disabilities, Explained

Make sure to include all of the medical evidence and psychological test results you have that demonstrate your child’s abnormality. Standardized tests are generally preferred to other evidence, but standardized tests are not always available for every set of symptoms or for every age.

Be sure to provide names, addresses, and phone numbers for every doctor, psychologist, therapist or clinic that has seen the child for ADHD-related reasons, as well as any medication information. School records and teachers’ observations can be a good source of evidence, and can show the consistency or progression of impairments over time.

You can also document your own observations and the observations of anyone else who knows your child and has observed his or her difficulties . Your own observations will likely involve the child’s functional abilities in daily living and social situations. The medical documentation you submit should reflect and corroborate your own observations .

Canadian Paediatric Society Mental Health And Developmental Disabilities Committee

Members: Debbi Andrews MD , Susan Bobbitt MD, Alice Charach MD, Brenda Clark MD , Mark E Feldman MD , Johanne Harvey MD , Benjamin Klein MD, Oliva Ortiz-Alvarez MD, Sam Wong MD

Liaisons: Sophia Hrycko MD, Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Angie Ip MD, CPS Developmental Paediatrics Section Aven Poynter MD, CPS Mental Health Section

Principal authors: Stacey A. Bélanger MD PhD, Debbi Andrews MD, Clare Gray MD, Daphne Korczak MD

How Treatment For Adhd Affects Disability

Treatment for adult ADHD most commonly involves the use of prescription stimulant medications such as Adderall or Concerta. If the patient has a history of substance abuse or cardiac problems, there are also non-stimulant medications that can be prescribed. Adults with ADHD can also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, or coaching to help them learn new ways of thinking and doing things that they struggle with. Although many adults with ADHD show significant improvement with the appropriate treatment, some may not. The SSA will want to know what the patient’s past and current treatments have been and that the patient is not failing to comply with your doctor’s treatment plan by taking the prescribed medication.

Learn about getting disability for a child with ADHD in our article on SSI disability benefits for children with ADHD.

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Research Into Positive Traits

Possible positive traits of ADHD are a new avenue of research, and therefore limited. Studies are being done on whether ADHD symptoms could potentially be beneficial.

A 2020 review found that creativity may be associated with ADHD symptoms, particularly divergent thinking and quantity of creative achievements, but not with the disorder of ADHD itself â i.e. it has not been found in patients diagnosed with the disorder, only in patients with subclinical symptoms or those that possess traits associated with the disorder. Divergent thinking is the ability to produce creative solutions which differ significantly from each other and consider the issue from multiple perspectives. Those with ADHD symptoms could be advantaged in this form of creativity as they tend to have diffuse attention, allowing rapid switching between aspects of the task under consideration flexible associative memory, allowing them to remember and use more distantly-related ideas which is associated with creativity and impulsivity, which causes people with ADHD symptoms to consider ideas which others may not have. However, people with ADHD may struggle with convergent thinking, which is a process of creativity that requires sustained effort and consistent use of executive functions to weed out solutions which aren’t creative from a single area of inquiry. People with the actual disorder often struggle with executive functioning.

Requirements For Adhd To Qualify Under The Neurodevelopmental Listing

Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Specific ...

In 2017, Social Security changed listing 112.11 from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Neurodevelopmental Disorders, to encompass more medical conditions. It also changed the requirements in the listing significantly. The new listing requires that your child’s condition is characterized by one of the following:

  • hyperactive and impulsive behavior
  • frequent distractibility
  • recurrent motor movement or vocalization, or
  • significant difficulties learning and using academic skills.

You also need to show that your child’s ADHD or ADD causes them to have severe limitations in certain areas of functioning. Your child must have either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” limitation in two of the following areas:

  • concentrating on tasks
  • interacting with others
  • adapting or managing oneself
  • learning, understanding and remembering information .

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Affects Focus Attention And Behavior And Can Make Learning Challenging

A disorder that includes difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior and hyperactivity. Although ADHD is not considered a learning disability, research indicates that from 30-50 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability, and that the two conditions can interact to make learning extremely challenging.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , or approximately 2 million children in the United States. This means that in a classroom of 24 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD.

ADHD is not considered to be a learning disability. It can be determined to be a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act , making a student eligible to receive special education services. However, ADHD falls under the category Other Health Impaired and not under Specific Learning Disabilities. Individuals with ADHD can also qualify for accommodations under the ADA and Section 504 if their ADHD impacts a major life function such as learning.

Many children with ADHD approximately 20 to 30 percent also have a specific learning disability.

*National Institute of Mental Health, 2003

How Common Is Adhd

About 11% of children between the ages of four and 17 have ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD typically first appear between the ages of three and six years old. The average age of ADHD diagnosis is seven years old. In children, its three times more common in young boys than girls. Males are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.

ADHD isnt just a childhood disorder. About 4% of American adults over the age of 18 contend with ADHD behaviors on a daily basis. In adulthood, its diagnosed equally between males and females. During their lifetimes, 13% of men will be diagnosed with ADHD while just 4.2% of women will be diagnosed.

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How We Care For Adhd

The clinicians at the Boston Childrens Division of Developmental Medicine have years of experience assessing and providing ongoing, comprehensive treatment for children and adolescents with ADHD, including medication, behavioral therapy, and parent education and support. Our experts also work with parents and teachers to help them better understand the condition and develop strategies for interacting with children with ADHD most effectively.

Can Someone Receive Disability Benefits For Adhd

NACD – Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder

Since ADHD is a disability, can people with the disorder receive disability benefits? The short answer is yes, an individual can receive disability benefits for ADHD. However, there are very strict rules about whether a person with ADHD qualifies for benefits under the United States government. First, the process for filing social security disability with a diagnosis of ADHD can be lengthy. In order to obtain social security disability income for ADHD, individuals must have been diagnosed with the condition since childhood. Additionally, a person must be able to prove that their ability to participate in schoolwork or to maintain a job was severely hindered by their diagnosis.

A government official will examine school performance and look for patterns suggesting severe functional impairments during childhood and into adulthood via medical documents, standardized test scores and life history. In addition, several other requirements must be met in order to qualify for social security disability including:

  • The individual must have documentation from a medical professional of an ADHD diagnosis, with the following symptoms: inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity
  • The person must have documentation that two of three conditions were a direct result of ADHD: problems with communicating, functioning in social settings or functioning in ones personal life relative to people of the same age

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Concerned About A Child

Are you worried about a child you think may have a disability? Know that youre not alone. If you think its time to find out for sure, Damar can help. Well help you learn where to startand support you every step of the way through diagnosis and, if necessary, a unique treatment plan.

Causes & Risk Factors

While there is no consensus about precisely what causes ADHD, it is believed that the most likely cause is genetics. Children born into families where there is a history of ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children where there is no family history of ADHD. While there have been attempts to link parenting style, exposure to television at a young age and exposure to environmental hazards as a cause of ADHD, there has yet to be any conclusive evidence that they cause the disorder.

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Outcomes In Relation With Selected Kinds Of Treatment

Large-scale international reviews of scientific studies have concluded that psychotherapy is effective for numerous conditions.

One line of research consistently finds that supposedly different forms of psychotherapy show similar effectiveness. According to The Handbook of Counseling Psychology: “Meta-analyses of psychotherapy studies have consistently demonstrated that there are no substantial differences in outcomes among treatments”. The handbook states that there is “little evidence to suggest that any one psychological therapy consistently outperforms any other for any specific psychological disorders. This is sometimes called the after a scene/section in Alice in Wonderland where every competitor in a race was called a winner and is given prizes”.

Further analyses seek to identify the factors that the psychotherapies have in common that seem to account for this, known as for example the quality of the therapeutic relationship, interpretation of problem, and the confrontation of painful emotions.

Outcome studies have been critiqued for being too removed from real-world practice in that they use carefully selected therapists who have been extensively trained and monitored, and patients who may be non-representative of typical patients by virtue of strict inclusionary/exclusionary criteria. Such concerns impact the of research results and the ability to generalize from them to practicing therapists.

Executive Function And Motivation

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)  siqik

The symptoms of ADHD arise from a deficiency in certain executive functions . Executive functions are a set of cognitive processes that are required to successfully select and monitor behaviors that facilitate the attainment of one’s chosen goals. The executive function impairments that occur in ADHD individuals result in problems with staying organized, time keeping, excessive procrastination, maintaining concentration, paying attention, ignoring distractions, regulating emotions, and remembering details. People with ADHD appear to have unimpaired long-term memory, and deficits in long-term recall appear to be attributed to impairments in working memory. The criteria for an executive function deficit are met in 30â50% of children and adolescents with ADHD. One study found that 80% of individuals with ADHD were impaired in at least one executive function task, compared to 50% for individuals without ADHD. Due to the rates of brain maturation and the increasing demands for executive control as a person gets older, ADHD impairments may not fully manifest themselves until adolescence or even early adulthood.

ADHD has also been associated with motivational deficits in children. Children with ADHD often find it difficult to focus on long-term over short-term rewards, and exhibit impulsive behavior for short-term rewards.

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Examining The Relationships Between Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder And Developmental Coordination Disorder Symptoms And Writing Performance In Japanese Second Grade Students

Children with ADHD and DCD have difficulty writing.

Few studies addressing the relationships among ADHD, DCD, and writing have been conducted in Japan.

Students performed seven writing tasks, including tracing, copying, handwriting, and spelling.

Their parents completed the ADHD-RS and the DCDQ-J.

We found relationships between ADHD and DCD symptoms and writing in Japanese children.

What Are Some Myths About Disabilities

There are many. Some include that children with disabilities do not notice things in the environment and/or are not affected by positive or negative events as much as non-disabled children that they dont experience love or attachment that they cant become independent that they dont have sexual feelings and are not sexual that children with disabilities are all the same that theyre burdens to their families that their behaviors are nonsensical and have no meaning that they should not be part of our communities that they cannot work at all that they do not have feelings and that they are not as valuable or precious as other children.

Its a heartbreaking list of untruths. Children with disabilities are as remarkably human as any of us, with challenges many of us could never imagine.

Whats it like to live with a disability?

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How To Manage Adhd And Learning

Treating ADHD can help with learning-related symptoms. Try the following strategies:

  • Educate parents and teachers about ADHD:Support for adults who care for children with ADHD may help them better manage their symptoms.
  • Experiment with ADHD management strategies: Frequent reminders, calendar apps, a planner, or a special location where all school books go may reduce forgetfulness and stress.
  • Consider therapy: Psychotherapy can help a person learn to live with ADHD, develop coping strategies, and more effectively advocate for their needs at school.
  • Consider medication if the person with ADHD is older than 6 years of age: Stimulant medications can help a person concentrate, which may enable them to self-actualize at school.
  • Embrace a comprehensive treatment approach: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using stimulant medications in children under 6 years of age only when other interventions do not work. A combination of interventions works best at all ages.
  • Advocate for an individualized education plan: Work with teachers to develop a personalized education plan. Within this plan, advocate for accommodations at school, such as a distraction-free testing environment. Although ADHD is not a learning disorder, people with the condition generally have protection under the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act, which entitles them to certain accommodations in school.

Research Into Use Of Biomarkers For Diagnosis

Developmental Language Disorder – Boys Town National Research Hospital

Reviews of ADHD biomarkers have noted that platelet monoamine oxidase expression, urinary norepinephrine, urinary MHPG, and urinary phenethylamine levels consistently differ between ADHD individuals and healthy controls. These measurements could potentially serve as diagnostic biomarkers for ADHD, but more research is needed to establish their diagnostic utility. Urinary and blood plasma phenethylamine concentrations are lower in ADHD individuals relative to controls and the two most commonly prescribed drugs for ADHD, amphetamine and methylphenidate, increase phenethylamine biosynthesis in treatment-responsive individuals with ADHD. Lower urinary phenethylamine concentrations are also associated with symptoms of inattentiveness in ADHD individuals.Electroencephalography is not accurate enough to make an ADHD diagnosis.

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What Are Some Additional Strategies For Managing My Childs Adhd At Home

You may find the following strategies helpful for managing ADHD in the home:


  • Give clear and specific directions and limits: Children with ADHD need to know exactly what others expect from them.
  • Catch your child being good: Punishing a child only teaches them what not to do. Recognizing and acknowledging positive behaviors is an effective way to teach your child what to do. This increases the expression of appropriate behavior.
  • Set up an effective behavior system: Create a consistent system to reward appropriate behavior and respond to misbehavior with alternatives such as a “time out” or loss of privileges. Corporal punishment is not effective. A common practice is to use “marbles-in-a-jar” wherein the child earns one marble for a specified appropriate behavior in the household. When a certain number of marbles are earned, they can be exchanged for a privilege.


  • Stick to a schedule: Follow the same routine every day, from wake-up time to bedtime. The schedule should include time for homework and play.
  • Use a calendar or planner the child can see: Create a place to write down important reminders, responsibilities and events. These tools may be especially helpful for adolescents and young adults who struggle with time management.
  • Organize items that are needed every day: Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks and school supplies. An organization checklist may be helpful.

Homework time:

Developmental Disability: A Definition

Developmental disability is the broad term used to describe a range of conditions that affect physical and/or mental functioning. For a condition to be considered a developmental disability, the manifestations or symptoms of the condition must be present in childhood years and expected to be present for life. Most developmental disabilities are present at birth and may be identified early in life, although some developmental conditions may not be recognized until after age three. Conditions that arise or are detected in adolescent or adult years are not considered developmental disabilities.

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Developmental Model Of Adhd

The above cited findings, in association with observations and diagnostic findings from the clinical experience in the treatment of persons affected by ADHD reveal age group specific dysfunctions as well as persistent behavioral factors which result from the neurobiological basis of ADHD . To clarify the aspect of a developmental course across the lifespan, we developed a model. Even though the model is confined in its complexity, it aims at helping the reader to deduce hypotheses about age specific impairments caused by ADHD.

Figure 1

In the developmental model essential features are incorporated that

heighten the risk to develop ADHD,

persist along the life span,

change along the life span, and

are only valid in adulthood.

Multiple causal predisposing factors form the core of the developmental psychopathology of ADHD. In the aetiopathogenesis of ADHD, the influence of genetic predisposing factors, negative prenatal and socio-environmental factors are regarded as certain. Different prospective studies found a relationship between tobacco consumption during pregnancy and ADHD in childhood . Besides a generally higher sensitivity to nicotine consumption, the interaction between genetic vulnerability and the smoking behavior of the mother during pregnancy is stressed for an ADHD subtype . Other toxins, such as alcohol or drugs, as well as stress are likewise seen as risk factors. However, results from different studies reveal a contradictory picture.

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