Prenatal Care Links with ADHD

Prenatal Care Links with ADHD

Prenatal Care Links with ADHD

Prenatal Care Links with ADHD

Lipid Panel During Pregnancy

According to a new study, understanding your lipid profile during pregnancy, can be important in lowering the risk of ADHD.

Lipid profiles are a panel of blood tests that serve as an initial medical tool for detecting abnormalities in the blood, such as in Cholesterol.

According to a recent study from a team associated with Johns Hopkins University, low maternal HDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels outside the standard range of 135 to 176 mg/dL, is associated with an increased risk of ADHD.

This research suggests pregnant women maintain higher HDL levels for adequate fetal brain development and reduction of ADHD risk.

Several potential causes of ADHD have been identified during pregnancy, like gene variants, structural abnormalities of the brain, and neurotransmitter dysfunction.

Are Drugs Like Tylenol (Acetaminophen) During Pregnancy Linked with ADHD Diagnosis?

There is no reason to believe that short term use is harmful.   However, new data suggests that there may be some concern for long term use.

According to a large study published in the journal of Pediatrics, an association between frequent prenatal acetaminophen use, and ADHD seems to be apparent.

According to their research, those who report long-term exposure to acetaminophen, which is considered 29 consecutive days or more of continuous use, have more than double the risk of A.D.H.D.

Their data suggests that the risk of ADHD actually goes down for women who used acetaminophen for less than seven days.

This does not prove direct cause and effect. There are other possible explanations for the correlation.  However, this new information does raise possible concerns to make experts skeptical in making recommendations.

What this study can lead some to believe, is the consistency of the association between acetaminophen and an ADHD diagnosis leading some people to assume it is not risk-free.

The complexities of pregnancy and medications and the many unanswered questions of correlations between prenatal care and diagnosis of ADHD demand more research and information.

Dr. Gordon is an experienced ADHD expert. He is devoted to helping you learn more about ADHD and find solutions for each individual’s needs. Please feel free to contact us for any concerns or questions regarding ADHD about yourself, or a loved one.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with ADHD. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Prenatal Care Links with ADHD

Dyslexia Impacts Hearing Too

Dyslexia Impacts Hearing Too

dyslexia facts treatments psychology

Dyslexia Impacts Hearing Too

Some consider dyslexia a problem that exclusively affects the ability to read and recall words. However, data suggest dyslexia encompasses more than just that, and affects how the brain processes speech as well.

Dyslexia affects Processing Speech

Typically, there are big differences in reading, but for something like listening, there are subtle, critical differences.

The differences in listening can cause problems for those with dyslexia, not only in understanding meanings, but also in comprehending sounds of speech. Data suggests that people with dyslexia have trouble recognizing voices.

Problems with comprehending sounds of speech can cause children with dyslexia to misspeak, for instance, calling a “champ” a “camp”.

The child understands what they are trying to communicate, but they are unable to transmit their understanding to the sounds necessary to correctly utter the word.

Dyslexics compared with Non-Dyslexics in Reading

Data suggests that there are big differences in dyslexics and non-dyslexics in a broad range of tasks such as reading.

There appears to be a wide range of learning difficulties that can be circumvented, but language and reading difficulties are challenging to circumvent.

Normal reading is the ability to have all brain systems integrate automatically. In dyslexia, the brain is not able to integrate its unit of sound systems with other components of its language comprehension system.

Even when dyslexics learn to read well, spoken language deficiencies can persist.

Diagnostic Tests for Dyslexia

Common diagnostic tests will require the participant to separate sounds from words such as saying “batman” only with the “bat” part.

The voice-recognition task might be used as well, to identify young children at risk for dyslexia.

For a comprehensive understanding of the assessment and diagnostic process for dyslexia, please visit us here.

The Takeaway 

For dyslexic children, the ability of truly hearing and comprehending a parent or teacher speak may be a problem.

If a child has trouble grasping the sounds that make up language, acquiring reading skills will be harder.

It is important to understand that what may appear as unintelligent, such as not being able to answer, “who is the president?”, is not a problem of intelligence at all, but rather of word retrieval.  Reframing a basic question like that as a multiple-choice question, makes it a lot more likely that the child will answer the question correctly.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.  If you have concerns you might have dyslexia, contact Dr Gordon for a comprehensive evaluation and effective treatment. 

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Dyslexia Impacts Hearing Too

Dyslexia and Reading Terms & Definitions

Dyslexia and Reading Terms & Definitions

dyslexia - what is dyslexia

Dyslexia and Reading Terms & Definitions

  • Alphabet principle is the letter combination, as well as individual letters, which constitute symbols that are used to represent speech sounds. The letters and combinations are based on systematic and known relationships between written letters and spoken words.
  • Digraph is one sound resulting from the combination of two letters (e.g., ph or ey). In the English language, there are many digraphs made up of both consonants and vowels.
  • Diphthong is a single syllable speech sound (e.g., the combination of two vowels in words such as boy or may) that begins at or near the point of articulation of one vowel and proceeds to the place of another vowel.

Dyslexia “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. Many state education codes, including New Jersey, Ohio and Utah, have adopted this definition.

  • Grapheme is the smallest unit of writing, which individually may not have meaning and does not necessarily correspond with a single phoneme (e.g., the “s” and the “oo” in the word spoon).
  • Logographic stage is visual and involves the rote memory of words that are related to graphic symbols. This can be known as visual reading.
  • Morphology is the study of words, how words are put together, and the relationship of words or other words. It is the analysis of the structure and parts of words, such as word stems, roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, recall, identify, manipulate and use individual letter sound phonemes spoken words. It is a critical predictor of a child’s future reading ability.
  • Phonological awareness is the knowledge of the sound structure (or phonological structure) of words.
  • Semantics involves the meaning and interpretation of words, sentence structure, and signs.
  • Syntax includes the rules, principles, and the process by which the structure of sentences are formed and includes word order and punctuation.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Dyslexia and Reading Terms & Definitions

What is Orthographic Mapping?

What is Orthographic Mapping?

Dyslexia Signs & Symptoms by Age Group

What is Orthographic Mapping?

Orthographic mapping is the process of forming letter-sound connections in order to combine and recall the spelling, pronunciation, and the meaning of words. It involves the critical process by which children are able to learn to read words at a glance, spell a word aloud (and from memory), and develop vocabulary words. When a child develops orthographic knowledge, they begin to learn to identify letter patterns that are similar between different words and this process is aided by understanding the various prefixes, suffixes, root words, syllables, and the rules of spelling (e.g., i before e except after c). Written words are stored in memory so that when the child sees the word again (or a similar string of letters) they can use previous knowledge to identify the word instead of having to go through the decoding process, where they sound out the letters to make the word. Orthographic mapping enables the ability to identify words by sight (i.e., sight words) allowing instant recognition and fluent and quick reading abilities.

Orthographic mapping occurs via a developmental process and a sequence of several phases, where the child connects the spelling of words to the pronunciation of words in memory. As the child learns and develops, the connections of the spelling of words improve in the following stages: Visual Nonalphabetic, Partial Alphabetic, Full Grapho-Phonemic, Consolidated Grapho-Syllabic, and lastly Graphomorphemic.Orthographic mapping is a skill that develops from phonemic awareness and grapheme-phoneme knowledge.

In order for a child to read fluently, they must have developed orthographic recognition or the ability to quickly recognize letter patterns that make up a word that they know or a series of letter strings that is familiar, such as the suffix ‘ing’ or the prefix ‘pre.’ Orthographic recall is required in order for the child to demonstrate spelling abilities, as a specific memory of letter combinations and sequence of letters is necessary for fluent reading.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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What is Orthographic Mapping?

The 3 Ways Dyslexia is Experienced

The 3 Ways Dyslexia is Experienced

3 Ways Dyslexia is Experienced

The 3 Ways Dyslexia is Experienced

Dyslexia is more complex than what was originally understood. Research now demonstrates that there are 3 subsets of dyslexia; phonological awareness, rapid automated naming, and double deficit.

This was demonstrated by different patterns of brain activation of the participants when reading and rhyming words.

Phonological Dyslexia

Phonological Dyslexia is a brain disorder, that causes extreme difficulty in assembling words based off of what the words sound like.

It makes it extremely difficult to recognize and articulate the sound of spoken words. This makes it very difficult to sound out words.

Phonological Dyslexia is the most common form of dyslexia, and is considered synonymous with dyslexia itself.

Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) Deficit

Sometimes referred to as naming speed, rapid naming, or visual dyslexia, it is the speed with which one can name a series of familiar stimuli such as letters, numbers, colors and objects out loud, and reflects the automaticity of processes which are also important for reading.

This can result in saying the wrong word or not being able to say the right word because it’s on the tip of their tongue.

People with RAN will not have difficulties with recognizing and articulating words like people who have phonological dyslexia,  however RAN will cause one’s fluency and comprehension to be affected, because it takes longer to retrieve language information.

Double Deficit Dyslexia 

Double Deficit Dyslexia is as straightforward as it sounds. It is a deficit in both, phonological awareness (of the sounds in words) and RAN according to the double-deficit hypothesis.

This subtype is the least common and the hardest to remediate.

If you have concerns you might have dyslexia, contact us for a comprehensive evaluation and effective treatment.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
The 3 Ways Dyslexia is Experienced

Phonemic Awareness and Its Importance for Academic Skills

Phonemic Awareness and Its Importance for Academic Skills

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Phonemic Awareness and Its Importance for Academic Skills

Phonemic awareness is the ability to be aware of and use individual sounds, also known as phonemes, in spoken words. Phonemic awareness is crucial for developing fluent reading. Phonological awareness refers to the broader skill of recognizing and utilizing units or oral language. When a child attempts to learn to separate the word “cat” into three different sounds, phonemic awareness is required in order to say or speak the word. Phonemic awareness is an important ability that helps children with reading, reading comprehension, and spelling skills and abilities.

Among individuals with dyslexia, phonemic awareness is an area of much difficulty. In fact, phonemic awareness is a significant factor that indicates a child’s level of reading proficiency, as children who are better able to differentiate sounds and combine words have greater reading abilities and are better able to understand what they are reading (i.e., reading comprehension). These abilities directly influence overall academic achievement, as children with phonemic awareness are also better able to understand information in other subjects as well since the majority of academic tasks require reading and reading comprehension, especially as children get older.

Phonemic awareness contributes to another skill known as phonics, which is the manner in which letters and sounds are related. When a child can verbalize words they can use this skill to sound out and read printed words.

Problems with phonemic awareness in individuals with dyslexia can be explained at the neurological level, as the areas of the brain that represent speech sounds and higher level processing of speech sounds show areas of weakness among these individuals.

Research has shown that specific training of phonemic awareness to the advanced level is a necessary and important component for any effective treatment  program for dyslexia.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Phonemic Awareness and Its Importance for Academic Skills

Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia

Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia

dyslexia - what is dyslexia - treatments -symptoms

Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia

In addition to engaging in our signature training system (The Power Learning Tower), an effective treatment for dyslexia is accommodations and learning strategies that are individually tailored to the person’s needs. Although there are similarities in the signs and symptoms of dyslexia, each person will have their own unique issues, therefore treatment and accommodations must differ.

Academic accommodations for students with dyslexia are critical for short-term and long-term educational success. The right accommodations can not only allow the student to perform to his/her true academic potential, but also prevent the student from experiencing issues with self-esteem related to learning difficulties related to dyslexia.

Accommodations create a smooth and organized classroom experience that ultimately even benefits the class as a whole. Below are examples of beneficial and commonly used class accommodations for students with dyslexia.

Accessibility to Educational Material

Students with dyslexia are often provided with the teacher’s notes or other class material or material in audio format. This serves a useful function because the student does not have to hear and/or see the class material for the first time when the teacher presents it to the class. This potentially creates a situation where the student with dyslexia may become overwhelmed with information, thus creating difficulty. By accessing class material ahead of time (and in alternative formats), the student can prepare him/herself for the lesson and then truly benefit from when the teacher presents the material to the class.

Additional Time

Similar to accessing class material ahead of time, being provided with additional time on tests, assignments, and even homework, allows the student with dyslexia to focus on the material and not on other factors (e.g., a deadline) that may interfere with optimal performance. Since students with dyslexia have difficulty processing certain academic material, being provided with additional time will remove much stress on the student, allowing full focus on the actual content and the learning experience.

Alternative Response Format

Students with dyslexia are often permitted to provide verbal responses to test questions. This is yet another accommodation that evaluates the student’s true knowledge of the material without letting reading and writing skills to interfere or block the student’s ability to express what they know.

Location

A common accommodation is allowing students with dyslexia to complete tests in a separate room. This serves several functions, such as allowing the student to use notes and other academic aids and materials without other students watching, as accommodations can sometimes cause students with dyslexia to feel shame or embarrassment in the presence of peers. In addition, a separate and private testing location can allow the student greater focus on the task.

Avoid Timed Tasks

Individuals with dyslexia should not be given time constraints for tasks involving reading. As a result of their difficulty, anything that involves reading (e.g., math word problems, multiple choice exams) will take the individual longer periods of time to complete. This is why individuals with dyslexia are permitted ample time (often double the time, or more, that is typically allotted for a task) to complete assignments or exams.

Writing

A common accommodation is allowing a student to use a laptop computer to type responses to assignments or during exams. This prevents fatigue while writing and allows the student to use a spell checker. The purpose is to assess the individual’s true knowledge and prevent issues with writing from disrupting the individual’s ability to express what they know.

Using a Scribe

Individuals with dyslexia are provided a scribe, which is a person who writes down answers for the individual during exams while the individual with dyslexia verbally dictates information. This allows the individual to focus on their knowledge of material without being burdened by handwriting, spelling, grammar, etc.

Hearing Instructions

Individuals with dyslexia are often permitted to have exams and class assignments read to them rather than having to read instructions themselves. This prevents confusion of directions, which can greatly affect the child’s performance on the task and failure to truly assess the individual’s knowledge of material.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia

Best accommodations for Dyslexia

Best accommodations for Dyslexia

dyslexia facts treatments psychology

Best Accommodations for Dyslexia

In addition to engaging in our signature training system (The Power Learning Tower), an effective treatment for dyslexia is accommodations and learning strategies that are individually tailored to the person’s needs. Although there are similarities in the signs and symptoms of dyslexia, each person will have their own unique issues, therefore treatment and accommodations must differ. There is no known cure for dyslexia, but accommodations and learning strategies can contribute to the disorder no longer affecting the person’s ability to read, learn, and even enjoy academic tasks.

Avoid Timed Tasks

Individuals with dyslexia should not be given time constraints for tasks involving reading. As a result of their difficulty, anything that involves reading (e.g., math word problems, multiple choice exams) will take the individual longer periods of time to complete. This is why individuals with dyslexia are permitted ample time (often double the time, or more, that is typically allotted for a task) to complete assignments or exams.

Visual Accommodations

Oftentimes, the individual with dyslexia is permitted to use colored overlays or “reading rulers” while completing exams or assignments in order to prevent distraction on a page when reading and to assist with visually tracking of written information.

Writing

A common accommodation is allowing a student to use a laptop computer to type responses to assignments or during exams. This prevents fatigue while writing and allows the student to use a spell checker. The purpose is to assess the individual’s true knowledge and prevent issues with writing from disrupting the individual’s ability to express what they know.

Using a Scribe

Individuals with dyslexia are provided a scribe, which is a person who writes down answers for the individual during exams while the individual with dyslexia verbally dictates information. This allows the individual to focus on their knowledge of material without being burdened by handwriting, spelling, grammar, etc.

Hearing Instructions

Individuals with dyslexia are often permitted to have exams and class assignments read to them rather than having to read instructions themselves. This prevents confusion of directions, which can greatly affect the child’s performance on the task and failure to truly assess the individual’s knowledge of material.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Best accommodations for Dyslexia

Dyslexia Signs & Symptoms by Age Group

Dyslexia Signs & Symptoms by Age Group

Dyslexia Signs & Symptoms by Age Group

Dyslexia Signs & Symptoms by Age Group

Preschool

Even before exposure to reading material begins in the classroom, children can demonstrate signs and symptoms of dyslexia. The disorder can affect the child’s verbal language skills, which are the precursors to reading abilities. Signs and symptoms to look for in preschool age children include:

  • Mispronunciation of words (e.g., aminal instead of animal)
  • The child is not as talkative as other children and vocabulary is limited
  • Confuses names of objects (e.g., if you ask the child to get his/her socks, he/she will get their shoes)
  • Difficulty with learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes
  • Difficulty learning rhyming words (e.g., cat and hat)

Early to Mid Grade School

As academic material becomes more challenging, the signs and symptoms of dyslexia will become more pronounced, causing the child’s grades to suffer, and even causing the child emotional or self-esteem issues as a result of difficulty with reading. When children begin to learn to read, issues with phonemic awareness (i.e., decoding words into separate sounds) become apparent, along with other signs and symptoms such as:

  • Confusing the sounds of the letters of the alphabet
  • Inability to read small “function words” such as that, an, in
  • Omitting parts of words when reading
  • Confusing words that sound alike
  • Poor spelling
  • Difficulty sounding out words to pronounce the word correctly
  • Avoidance of reading aloud in class due to embarrassment
  • Slow reading
  • Difficulty understanding what he/she reads
  • Difficulty recalling what happens in a story
  • Becoming fatigued from doing reading tasks

High School and Beyond

As the child reaches adolescence and young adulthood, dyslexia becomes evident in the teenagers understanding of more abstract and complex ideas and information. Examples of signs and symptoms include:

  • Mispronunciation of names or tripping over parts of a word
  • Confusing names that sound alike or difficulty remembering names
  • Spoken vocabulary is smaller than listening vocabulary
  • Substituting made up words when reading out loud
  • Trouble promouncing uncommon, unique or strange words
  • Saying “ummm” quite often while speaking due to difficulty finding words
  • Continued difficulty with writing assignments and spelling
  • Slow reading or lack of fluency when reading

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Dyslexia Signs & Symptoms by Age Group

Dyslexia: The Assessment & Diagnostic Process

Dyslexia: The Assessment & Diagnostic Process

Dyslexia: The Assessment & Diagnostic Process

Dyslexia: The Assessment & Diagnostic Process

When an individual is suspected of having dyslexia, they are referred for a Psychoeducational Evaluation (this evaluation is also known as a Psychological, Learning Disability, or a Neuropsychological Evaluation), typically by a teacher or sometimes by the child’s parent who notices that the child is struggling with reading or that the child’s grades are suffering as a result of reading difficulties. Dyslexia must be evaluated by examining the individual’s skills and abilities in language, phonological awareness, reading, writing, and spelling.

The first and crucial step is gathering a comprehensive history

At PNS, Dr. Gordon first meets with the child and the child’s parents (if the examinee is a child) or the adult individual suspected of having dyslexia and ask many questions related to background history, such as ages that the individual reached developmental milestones (e.g., crawling, first words), academic functioning, as well as social, emotional, and behavioral functioning, and family history of learning or mental health problems. Information regarding the individual’s academic history, reading history and history of symptoms is also gathered.

The skills & abilities that are tested

We then conduct a neuropsychological testing evaluations for dyslexia utilizing assessments that are administered to the individual. The person suspected of having dyslexia meets with a qualified professional individually and is administered the assessments that consist of the following tasks:

-Intellectual Functioning
-Word Reading & Word identification
-Reading Fluency
-Reading Comprehension
-Letter sound knowledge + phonological blending=phonic decoding
-Phonological Skills (Manipulations tasks: deletion, substitution, reversal)
-Rapid Naming
-Spelling
-Listening Comprehension
-Auditory Processing & Language Processing
-Vocabulary
-Working Memory
-Sustained Attention
-Mental Processing Speed

There are numerous tests used to diagnose dyslexia and there is no single assessment that can diagnose the disorder on its own.

Combining test results with background information

After all information is gathered, the qualified professional scores the assessments and a psychoeducational report is created that integrates all assessment results and the individual’s background history. The psychoeducational report will have a diagnosis of Specific Learning Disorder With impairment in reading (i.e., dyslexia) if the individual meets criteria.

What is the purpose of giving a diagnosis of dyslexia?

A critical section of the psychoeducational report is the recommendations section. This section includes specific recommendations from the qualified professionals that are individually tailored to the person with dyslexia and are meant to assist the individual in academic settings, as well as the individual’s home life. This is the ultimate purpose of diagnosing dyslexia in the first place: So that the individual can receive assistance and the proper intervention for the disorder so he/she can succeed academically or in any setting where the individual is affected by dyslexia.

The Pathways team of professionals has helped thousands of people with Dyslexia. We are Dedicated to effective and compassionate care for individuals with neurological challenges.

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Source: Pathways Neuropsychology
Dyslexia: The Assessment & Diagnostic Process