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Archive for July 27th, 2008


http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/learning_problem/dyslexia.html


http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/learning_problem/learning_disabilities.html

Unfortunately, spammers love this link and therefore, comments are turned of for this entry, but feel free to leave a message on the ‘About’ page, if you feel to leave a comment. Thank you.

Read about the characteristics of students with dyslexia at the bottom of this entry, this entry is very extensive..slide down, please.

Please click on THIS link to read about Learning Disabilities…this is a great link and… another great link to read.

Eye problems: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dons/part_1/chapter_4.html

I’ve heard many times that children think they are “dumb” when they have learning difficulties. I always tell them there is NO such thing in this world as a ‘dumb’ child. Everybody learns in a different way. Some children are visual learners and some are kinesthetic learners, etc.The brain is also very important. Those synapses – sending electronic messages around to the receptors – a synapse might have a disconnection and needs to follow a different route to get the message where it should go – that ‘route’ might be a longer route, but eventually, the message comes through to the receptors. 

On this link….http://school.familyeducation.com/intelligence/teaching-methods/38519.html… you can read about learning styles. And on this link —http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyles.MI.htm — you can take a test to see which style is your learning style!



This newspaper article is from the London newspaper…London Lite. Please click on the newspaper-image to have a larger view to read it. It also says that Teachers in England identify too many children with Hyperactivity and they should get more  help [or training] to know how to identify these children. I was lucky to be one of the last Teachers in South Africa to complete the course that Teachers in South Africa needed to be able to teach children in our ‘Support Classes‘. [It was called Support Classes in the Northern part of the country.]  Some schools have Teachers teaching children with dyslexia with only  Remedial Education as one of their subjects during Teacher training. You couldn’t teach in a Support class with only a Remedial Education, you had to study further to gain a qualification, earlier called: Minimal Brain Dysfunction [MBD in short].  We used to have no more than 9 children in such a Support Class and the children were identified more or less by the end of Grade 1 – some earlier, if the class teacher had noticed/identified the problem as a ‘severe’ problem. Teachers in Grade 1 always allow the child to settle in first and it gives the teacher enough time to make a proper assessment. The environment is all new and the child needs to adjust first.

Depending on the problem/disorder that was identified, the child could be placed back into mainstream after a year in the Support Class, but sometimes it took about 2 years. Most children went back to mainstream after two years. Today some schools have an SEN-class with about 20 children,  but the teacher teaches, as usual, in groups and she doesn’t work on a particular individual designed programme – like in the smaller Support Class. That was my dream, to work with those children in a Support Class and my dream was scattered into pieces when our ‘lovely and wonderful‘  Government started closing down those classes in 1998!  It was very sad for us as Teachers to know that we were the last bunch for that particular course that was called MBD (minimal brain dysfunction). The name was also then changed – only for our last group – to Psycho-neurological Learning Disabilities – before the course was finally abolished. 

The current course, I have been told – is more like Remedial Education, which was one of my academic subjects during my time as a trainee-teacher. It sounds like a dumb down course, after talks with some contacts I still have.  What made this course very difficult for us, was the in depth study of the brain and how it functions – almost like a medical course! I had to know the brain inside out, upside down. Plus all the extensive study work – assignments and written exams.  The practical part was in your second year, when you had to work with a child individually on a weekly basis – for an hourwas great. With full time teaching, it was very hard, because we were not allowed to buy any resources. I agree with the reasons: Every child is different. Every child is an individual and NO resource has what you need for an individual child with an individual problem. Yes, you get TONS of resources with 1 page here, one page there about the problem, but not a single book from page 1 – 30 to suit a particular child’s problem.  

Night after night, I sat creating own resources – hand written and the theme of your program had to be evident in ALL resources. e.g. if you use FLOPPY [ORT] as your dog character on page 1, Floppy must be the dog’s name on the LAST page of the complete program as well. I don’t think anyone will know WHAT kind of labour goes in such a ‘program’ for a child. You cover literally everything as in everything. Not just a few pages to draw a line from A to apple – that’s child’s play and not part of such a  program. You have to think about visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, gross motor, fine motor, visual analysis and synthesis, etc etc etc

We used a few text books. This one in my post  from Janet Lerner is really FANTASTIC and a must-have. It’s an American text book and, if you’re a teacher and you’re interested in knowing more…this book is really a MUST! Part of my course included also the child with Down Syndrome, Autistic children, Visually disabled children, etc. and I was fortunate to work with these children over the past years! I worked very closely with a Down Syndrome Child, which was great fun and a fantastic experience. Oh, did I mention this course was a two-year part time course…so all of that planning and study was done while I was teaching full time too….phew! I don’t think I will manage something like that ever again!

In South Africa I was fortunate to support many parents with the knowledge that I gained from this course. In the UK I have had conversations with Parents during IEP meetings with our Senco and the Senco left me to do the ‘talk’ with the Parents, as she realised soon I knew more than what she knew and that she also gained some insight in what I know, which helped her as well. It is also easy to identify children in my class, experiencing problems and to know with first-hand knowledge how to support them in the best way, although I was teaching in mainstream. [in SA]

My class was near the main entrance of the school and there was a little round-about near the entrance. From my desk, I could see the roundabout. I used to send my ADHD children, that I know was a little bit hyper, to go a few rounds around the roundabout to give them a little break from class, as these children do need a break through-out lessons. It’s really hard for them to stay focused for a long time. They usually find that it helped for them and the rest of the class always envy them for having that type of break. I can also recall how a child with petit mal — Read on THIS LINK about Petit Mal. — was identified in my class, if you know more about it, you would know it’s not possible to identify it by an EEG-scan. Read on this link about an EEG-scan.http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/scanning/eeg.html It was interesting to have had the Educational Psychologist, who worked closely with Pete [not his real name], to come and visit me and advised me how to observe him, before she made her final conclusion. Even today, I’m very aware of children and their responses – like the way Pete responded in class in that first two months of school in my Gr3-class.

I want to stress it out, that you shouldn’t look at the list of symptoms and think that your child has got at least one or two of the symptoms and that classifies your child as a child with hyperactivity! Only if there are at least 10 or more of the symptoms, I would advise you to speak to an expert. Your child needs to be observed over a period of time by professional people who know what they need to be looking at [not even all teachers know] and see your child as a whole. [A one-off observation is NOT enough!] Some children are very easy identifiable but some children need to be observed over a longer period of time. Every child is different and every child responses differently in particular situations, therefore, he/she can not be observed in an hour’s session or in a day’s time!! You need to observe the child in different situations – busy with different tasks.

My experience with children starting the new year to play chess was also an eye opener. You can immediately see which child will be able to focus on the game and will stay focus! As chess is a game where you have to sit still, focus on the game…that means tons of concentration! If you think your child has got concentration-problems, let him play chess! But, don’t punish him with chess if he doesn’t want to play it! He needs to enjoy the game! Chess is fun! IF you know about all the “tricks”! hehehe…like…”en passant”… a fork…a pin…a dragon …what more fun could there be? Also, don’t expect chess to solve that problem immediately, if your child [with concentration problems] starts playing chess. It is a long process and you might only see results after a year – it all depends on the child!


Learning Disabilities: Theories and diagnoses and teaching strategies – the ‘Bible’ of our course.

learningdisabilities_9

 

The best book! This was my teaching ‘bible’!

See this link for the book on the previous image

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Learning-Disabilities/Janet-W-Lerner/e/9780618224050


ADHD: Overview
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), sometimes inaccurately referred to as ADD (There is no clinical term by this name) is a disorder usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolesence. In the United States, approximately 3 – 5% of children are diagnosed with this disorder currently, with the peak around ages 8-9 years of age., with approximately 50% of cases diagnosed before age 4. The ratio of males to females is 3 males for every 1 female diagnosed.

There are 4 recognized types of ADHD. They are: ADHD – predominantly inattentive type; ADHD – predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type; ADHD – combined type (inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity); and ADHD – Not otherwise specified.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD – hyperactive-impulsive type include: overactivity, impulse inhibition, language disorders, rejection by peers, aggressiveness, and conduct disorders. These children are generally referred for their behaviors early in their schooling or by their parents, and the symptoms have a high chance of persistence. More males than females have this subtype of disorder. Thus, the younger the age a child is diagnosed, the greater the chance they will be diagnosed with ADHD – hyperactive-impulsive subtype.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD- inattentive type include: sluggishness, organization, subtle deficits, social withdrawl, anxiety and depression. These children are generally referred for learning disabilities later in school, and have a greater chance for adjustment. Males and females have a more equal chance of being afflicted by this subtype of the disorder. Those diagnosed in their teen years are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD – inattentive subtype.

There is a high level of correlation between children with ADHD and other psychiatric illnesses. This included illnesses ranging from behavioral, mood, family, anxiety, cognitive, social to school functioning, with the greatest increase in those with the ADHD – combines subtype. 45% of those with ADHD ADHD exhibit symptoms of OppositionalDefiant Disorder, and 25% Conduct Disorder. Younger children are more at risk for social phobia, while adolescent children are at risk for depression.

 The symptoms of ADHD change over time. As children enter adolescence, ADHD is persistent, although the diagnosis appears to change from ADHD – hyperactivity-impulsive or ADHD – combined to one of ADHD- inattentive. This is possibly due to the hormonal changes. At this point, only 70-80% still meet the full criteria for ADHD, lowering the percentage of teenagers with ADHDto 1-2%. Entering Adulthood, the estimates range from 30 to 70% of those diagnosed as a child still meeting the full criteria, though there is general agreement that those who do meet the criteria have a definite lessening of the hyperactivy-impulsivity of the disease.

Substance abuse is common among those with ADHD. 75% of males with ADHD who were not on medication are reported as having a substance abuse disorder, 25% of those on medication having a substance abuse disorder (18% of the general population has a substance abuse disorder for comparison), and adults with ADHD were 2 times as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. They esimate that 33% of adults with ADHD abuse alcohol and 20% abuse other substances.

The primary treatment for ADHD is stimulant medications such as Ritalin or Adderal, sometimes combines with supportive psychotherapy, especially when other psychiatric disorders are present.

With appropriate psychotherapy, that focuses on controlling their environment to increase or decrease stimulation as needed, working on coping mechanisms, among other factors, approximately 50% of adults with ADHD can stop medications by some reports.

Learning Disabilities
Imagine having important needs and ideas to communicate, but being unable to express them. Perhaps feeling bombarded by sights and sounds, unable to focus your attention. Or trying to read or add but not being able to make sense of the letters or numbers.

You may not need to imagine. You may be the parent or teacher of a child experiencing academic problems, or have someone in your family diagnosed as learning disabled. Or possibly as a child you were told you had a reading problem called dyslexia or some other learning handicap.

Although different from person to person, these difficulties make up the common daily experiences of many learning disabled children, adolescents, and adults. A person with a learning disability may experience a cycle of academic failure and lowered self-esteem. Having these handicaps–or living with someone who has them–can bring overwhelming frustration.

But the prospects are hopeful. It is important to remember that a person with a learning disability can learn. The disability usually only affects certain limited areas of a child’s development. In fact, rarely are learning disabilities severe enough to impair a person’s potential to live a happy, normal life.

This booklet is provided by the NationalInstitute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Federalagency that supports research nationwide on the brain, mentalillnesses, and mental health. Scientists supported by NIMH are dedicated to understanding the workings and interrelationships of the various regions of the brain, and to finding preventions and treatments to overcome brain dysfunctions that handicap people in school, work, and play.

The booklet provides up–to-date information on learning disabilities and the role of NIMH-sponsored research in discovering underlying causes and effective treatments. It describes treatment options, strategies for coping, and sources of information and support. Among these sources are doctors, specialeducation teachers, and mental health professionals who can help identify learning disabilities and recommend the right combination of medical, psychosocial, and educationaltreatment.

In this booklet, you’ll also read the stories of Susan, Wallace, and Dennis, three people who have learning disabilities. Although each had a rough start, with help they learned to cope with their handicaps. You’ll see their early frustrations, their steps toward getting help, and their hopes for the future.

The stories of Susan, Wallace, and Dennis are representative of people with learning disabilities, but the characters are not real. Of course, people with learning disabilities are not all alike, so these stories may not fit any particular individual.

What Is a Learning Disability?
Unlike other disabilities, such as paralysis or blindness, a learning disability (LD) is a hidden handicap. A learning disability doesn’t disfigure or leave visible signs that would invite others to be understanding or offer support. A woman once blurted to Wallace, “You seem so intelligent–you don’t look handicapped!”

LD is a disorder that affects people’s ability to either interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up in many ways–as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control, or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede learning to read or write, or to do math.

Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions that, in some cases, affect many parts of a person’s life: school or work, daily routines, family life, and sometimes even friendships and play. In some people, many overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Other people may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on other areas of their lives.

Please click HEREto read about the different types.

What Causes Learning Disabilities?
Genetic Factors — The fact that learning disabilities tend to run in families indicates that there may be a genetic link. For example, children who lack some of the skills needed for reading, such as hearing the separate sounds of words, are likely to have a parent with a related problem. However, a parent’s learning disability may take a slightly different form in the child. A parent who has a writing disorder may have a child with an expressive language disorder. For this reason, it seems unlikely that specific learning disorders are inherited directly. Possibly, what is inherited is a subtle brain dysfunction that can in turn lead to a learning disability.

There may be an alternative explanation for why LD might seem to run in families. Some learning difficulties may actually stem from the family environment. For example, parents who have expressive language disorders might talk less to their children, or the language they use may be distorted. In such cases, the child lacks a good model for acquiring language and therefore, may seem to be learning disabled.

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use — Many drugs taken by the mother pass directly to the fetus. Research shows that a mother’s use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may have damaging effects on the unborn child. Therefore, to prevent potential harm to developing babies, the U.S. Public Health Service supports efforts to make people aware of the possible dangers of smoking, drinking, and using drugs.

Scientists have found that mothers who smoke during pregnancy may be more likely to bear smaller babies. This is a concern because small newborns, usually those weighing less than 5 pounds, tend to be at risk for a variety of problems, including learning disorders.

Alcohol also may be dangerous to the fetus’ developing brain. It appears that alcohol may distort the developing neurons. Heavy alcohol use during pregnancy has been linked to fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that can lead to low birth weigh, intellectual impairment, hyperactivity, and certain physical defects. Any alcohol use during pregnancy, however, may influence the child’s development and lead to problems with learning, attention, memory, or problem solving. Because scientists have not yet identified “safe” levels, alcohol should be used cautiously by women who are pregnant or who may soon become pregnant.

Drugs such as cocaine–especially in its smokable form known as crack–seem to affect the normal development of brain receptors. These brain cell parts help to transmit incoming signals from our skin, eyes, and ears, and help regulate our physical response to the environment. Because children with certain learning disabilities have difficulty understanding speech sounds or letters, some researchers believe that learning disabilities, as well as ADHD, may be related to faulty receptors. Current research points to drug abuse as a possible cause of receptor damage.

Please click HERE to read more about it.

Symptom Description…ADHD Behavioral Checklist
Trouble attending to work that child understands well
Trouble attending to work that child understands poorly
Impulsive (trouble waiting turn, blurts out answers)
Hyperactive (fidgity, trouble staying seated)
Disorganized
Homework not handed in
Inconsistent work and effort
Poor sense of time
Does not seem to talk through problems
Over-reacts
Easily overwhelmed
Blows up easily
Trouble switching activities
Hyper-focused at times
Poor handwriting
Certain academic tasks seem difficult (specifiy)
Seems deliberately spiteful, cruel or annoying
Anxious, edgy, stressed or painfully worried
Obsessive thoughts or fears; perseverative rituals
Irritated for hours or days on end (not just frequent, brief blow-ups)
Depressed, sad, or unhappy
Extensive mood swings
Tics: repetitive movements or noises
Poor eye contact
Does not catch on to social cues
Limited range of interests and interactions
Unusual sensitivity to sounds, touch, textures, movement or taste
Coordination difficulties

By Martin L. Kutscher, MD
Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, New York Medical College, Medical Professional
Pediatrician and Neurologist

Some of the most famous celebrities of today and yesteryear are dyslexic personalities. The owner of Virgin airlines Richard Branson, John Lennon of the music group Beatles, actors like Tom Cruise,
Robin Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg, photographer David Bailey. Even people from past times like Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Alva Edison, and Albert Einstein are also said to suffer from learning problems like Dyslexia.

 ritalin
Ritalin – what you need to know and please find out more too! Please note that I myself is no expert on Ritalin, this info is from a source and you can find the source at the end of the article. All I can say is: I have the experience of kids in my class who used to take Ritalin. I’m not for Ritalin, but not completely against it. Every child is a different case and only a Medical Specialist can decide what’s best for your child – in collaboration with the parents/teachers.  Don’t trust every quack of a doctor! Make sure you go to a specialist trained in the field of children with ADHD and not only learning problems. My opinion: Most kids – with problems – can go without Ritalin. All you need to do is to give your child attention and love!
dog help
This doggie needs “help” too…but not in the form of Ritalin. He needs attention and love. Image: flatrock.org.nz
 

What is Ritalin?

Generic Name: methylphenidate (METH il FEN i date)
Brand Names: Concerta, Metadate CD, Metadate ER, Methylin, Methylin ER, Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Ritalin-SR

Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). When given for attention deficit disorder, Ritalin should be an integral part of a total treatment program that includes psychological, educational, and social measures.

Ritalin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Ritalin?
Do not use Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use Ritalin before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body. Do not use Ritalin if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe high blood pressure, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, angina, heart failure, heart rhythm disorder, recent heart attack, a hereditary condition such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.

Ritalin may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Ritalin should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Ritalin?
Do not take Ritalin if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use Ritalin before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Do not use Ritalin if you are allergic to methylphenidate or if you have:

glaucoma;

overactive thyroid;

severe high blood pressure;

angina (chest pain), heart failure, heart rhythm disorder, or recent heart attack;

a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome;

severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (methylphenidate can make these symptoms worse); or

a hereditary condition such as fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency.

Some stimulants have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects. Tell your doctor if you have a congenital heart defect.

If you have certain other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before using Ritalin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

a congenital heart defect;

a personal or family history of mental illness, psychotic disorder, bipolar illness, depression, or suicide attempt;

epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or

a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Ritalin is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether methylphenidate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Long-term use of Ritalin can slow a child’s growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

Do not give Ritalin to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take Ritalin?
Take Ritalin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take Ritalin at least 30 minutes before a meal. The extended-release forms of methylphenidate (Ritalin-SR) can be taken with or without food.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release TABLET. Swallow the tablet whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the tablet would cause too much of the methylphenidate to be released at one time.

If you have trouble swallowing the extended-release CAPSULE, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Measure liquid Ritalin with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

To prevent sleep problems, take Ritalin early in the day, no later than 6:00 pm.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Ritalin. You may need to stop using the medicine the day of your surgery. Store Ritalin at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Methylphenidate is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much Ritalin. An overdose of methylphenidate can be fatal.
Overdose can cause vomiting, agitation, tremors, muscle twitching, seizure (convulsions), confusion, hallucinations, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, blurred vision, dry mouth and nose, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Ritalin?
Ritalin can cause side effects that may impair your vision or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Ritalin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Ritalin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;

feeling like you might pass out; fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; aggression, restlessness, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or motor tics (muscle twitches); easy bruising, purple spots on your skin; or dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious Ritalin side effects may include:

stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

vision problems, dizziness, mild headache;

sweating, mild skin rash;

numbness, tingling, or cold feeling in your hands or feet;

nervous feeling, sleep problems (insomnia); or

weight loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

What other drugs will affect Ritalin?
Before taking Ritalin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs: a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); clonidine (Catapres); dobutamine (Dobutrex), epinephrine (EpiPen), or isoproterenol (Isuprel); phenylbutazonie (Azolid, Butazolidin); cold/allergy medicine that contains phenylephrine (a decongestant); potassium citrate (Urocit-K, Twin-K), sodium acetate, sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer), citric acid and potassium citrate (Cytra-K, Poly-Citra), or sodium citrate and citric acid (Bicitra, Oracit); medications to treat high or low blood pressure; stimulant medications or diet pills; seizure medicine such as phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital (Luminal), primidone (Mysoline); or an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), citalopram (Celexa), doxepin (Sinequan), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor) paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Ritalin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Ritalin only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. (‘Multum’) is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum’s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum’s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.  Source:
http://www.drugs.com/ritalin.html

More info on the following links too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylphenidate

http://www.mentalhealth.com/drug/p30-r03.html

http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/drug_info_details.asp?brand_name_id=971

DYSLEXIA:
General Characteristics:
Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at grade level.
Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough,” or “behavior problem.”
Isn’t “behind enough” or “bad enough” to be helped in the school setting.
High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written.
Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales,
business, designing, building, or engineering.
Seems to “Zone out” or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
Difficulty sustaining attention; seems “hyper” or “daydreamer.”
Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.

Vision, Reading, and Spelling
Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.
Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don’t reveal a problem.
Extremely keen sighted and observant, or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
Reads and rereads with little comprehension.
Spells phonetically and inconsistently.

Writing and Motor Skills
Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion-sickness.
Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.
Math and Time Management
Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time.
Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can’t do it on paper.
Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money.
Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.
Memory and Cognition
Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced.
Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).
Behavior, Health, Development and Personality
Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes).
Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bedwetting beyond appropriate age.
Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health. Read more on this next link that will open in a new window:
http://www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms.htm



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