Technology

New and profound diagnostic terms are emerging that diagnose actual addiction in this area. It’s called “Internet Addiction Disorder” according to the diagnostic manual used by physicians and other healthcare professionals.  If you want the codes here they are: https://www.aihc-assn.org/Blog/tabid/1676/ArticleID/379/Internet-Addiction-A-Digital-Problem-in-the-Real-World.aspx

IAD will display distinct habits. According to the journal Current Psychiatry ReviewsTrusted Source, someone with an IAD will:

  • have mood changes
  • focus on the internet and digital media
  • be unable to control how much time they spend
  • need more time or a new game to be happy
  • show withdrawal symptoms when not using the internet or technology
  • continue using the internet or technology even when it affects their relationships
  • neglect their social, work, or school life

How it is diagnosed is complex. Here is a link  https://www.psycom.net/iadcriteria.html for you so consider your own habits and that of the medical community https://www.aihc-assn.org/Blog/tabid/1676/ArticleID/379/Internet-Addiction-A-Digital-Problem-in-the-Real-World.aspx. Can you list 25 things that you do each day that does not involve technology?  I asked a group of graduate students studying to become speech-language pathologists and they had trouble.  How about you?

There are good and unfortunate impacts that technology has had to date based on a variety of sources.  Think about the last time that you tried to talk to someone to find that they could not answerer yo.  They had earbuds in their ears, were not looking up at you – just at a machine and appeared to be in an entirely non-face-to face world.  The effect on communication in this century is both astounding and profoundly changing us.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/04/health/screen-time-lower-brain-development-preschoolers-wellness/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_content=2019-11-04T22%3A00%3A09&utm_term=link&fbclid=IwAR2kl7JF5e1BDeY6-j-BGQiGqpT1t5BA4dVM4yVIpZsbSpNZ7pZRuopXkQ0

https://www.today.com/video/screen-time-may-be-reshaping-preschoolers-brains-new-study-says-72848453586?fbclid=IwAR0rorh-QKQcF0r8KFkYOmmSK9DGoQbP2CkRXT-1RhYg0qywY8lGoQDwrxo

GOOD NEWS!

The good news is that there are positive things that we can use computers for, as noted in an example of a few resources below. There are others if you search by grade level which yields similar listings so look at those as well.

https://download.cnet.com/news/best-apps-to-educate-and-entertain-preschool-and-kindergarten-age-kids/

28 of the Best Apps for Kids in the First Grade

American Academy of Pediatrics advises families is that used in moderation can be helpful.  https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx    History is repeating itself. The transition from oral to written language posed challenges for those living through that period.  We all need to embrace the change and recognize that things are not all bad with this new change in communication.

ADHD Cases on the Rise According to ABC News….Now What do we do???

ADHD Cases on the Rise – ABC News.

WOW….this is now being realized and you can read this article or search for others as they are being written in a number of publications recently.  That is not the point of this post.  Please read on..now that I have your attention….let’s focus 🙂

Given this recent finding,  I think that it is going to be so important for people to know more from those of us involved in raising children with the problem, those of us who actually work with these individuals in our professional lives, those of us who may actually diagnose the condition and have to discuss the signs and symptoms to the adult or the parents of a child. I am not convinced that people truly understand this disorder.  Knowledge is power and if we empower others with more information about what makes the ADHD brain tick,,,what makes it unique and what struggles and strengths it brings to the lives of those who live with it day to day then it will make it so much easier for them.  I believe that this goes for most medical problems or differences with which a person lives.  The more you understand the easier a time you will have in life.  You will be able  to learn to compensate and perhaps even overcome the obstacles.  

With this in mind….

Please….. Tell – the parent, the adult, the child  who is old enough to understand…what the struggles will be that they may face.  Please – help them to understand the signs and symptoms of ADHD that may affect them in their day to day lives.  What resources are available to assist them.  What some of the conditions are that may potentially coexist with this such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, mood disorders, anxiety.  The impact of medication – including  its side effects is extremely important to relate.

I have heard comments like: I do not understand why my skin gets itchy if i put cream on it, why does this fabric bother me? he only eats soft spicy food….nothing else!  it is so hard to find foods that my son/daughter can eat because he is so fussy.  my child cannot fall asleep, “i have insomnia”, another says.  “turn off all the lights …it is too bright in here”, “i can’t eat this (maybe it is the texture of the food), “he won’t let me brush his teeth and washing his hair is a struggle because he pulls away”.  Educate people about the sensory integration and regulation difficulties like these.  Let them know that this is just a part of their make-up.   

Years ago I went with my son to the circus…..never again! He was overcome by the loud noise.  Neither the sensory overload during a vacation such as Disneyworld nor the quiet and peaceful setting where all slowed down on a dude ranch would work as vacation sites.  The predictability of a setting like Club Med – where the transitions from one activity to another could be planned in advance and known – no unexpected changes was a better fit…albeit not perfect.  A trip like a cruise may or may not work….yes it is predctable and there is a structure in place before you go; but, would the pace of getting from stop to stop during the vacation be too slow?  I do not have ADHD but would find this an issue.  Something to think about ….

For parents of children both camp settings and schools need to be considered.  A play ground of five hundred students waiting to start the day standing in line, then heading like a stampede, running up the staircases in a loud and echoing stairwell to the classroom…. by the time upstairs in the class, the ADHD student would be ready for time out to de-stress from the experience of even preparing for the classroom setting. There are specialized camps for children and programs for teens with ADHD.  Teachers at school and counselors in a camp setting need to understand the problems that may occur.  

College students with ADHD will have to advocate for themselves and also be aware that there may be better programs for them then others that may not be geared to the learning differences with which they come to school. Research the programs that are available.  Talk with organizations that cater to the person with ADHD and join a support group so that you can gain resources.

We need to be advocates – for ourselves, our patients, our children.  Please help…..

More Specific Diagnostic Label for Asperger’s Syndrome is Planned

I am noticing that many readers have an interest in autism and the disorders on the spectrum that I figured I would add this post to my blog.  Before you start reading the article, take a look at the below description of the topic of the disorder to which the article refers.  This will help you understand a bit more.  I found this information available on the website of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  I quote from this source with interest, as I never knew this piece of history:

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“In 1944, an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger observed four children in his practice who had difficulty integrating socially. Although their intelligence appeared normal, the children lacked nonverbal communication skills, failed to demonstrate empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. Their way of speaking was either disjointed or overly formal, and their all-absorbing interest in a single topic dominated their conversations. Dr. Asperger called the condition “autistic psychopathy” and described it as a personality disorder primarily marked by social isolation.

Asperger’s observations, published in German, were not widely known until 1981, when an English doctor named Lorna Wing published a series of case studies of children showing similar symptoms, which she called “Asperger’s” syndrome. Wing’s writings were widely published and popularized. AS became a distinct disease and diagnosis in 1992, when it was included in the tenth published edition of the World Health Organization’s diagnostic manual, International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), and in 1994 it was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic reference book.”

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Removing the DSM diagnoses of PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Syndrome from the DSM manual -Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – version 5 is scheduled to occur in May 2013.  There would be a new diagnosis – “social communication disorder“.  This has to do with pragmatic language skills.  Seems to me that not many people think about this area of language when they think about what speech-language pathologists do for a living so i am really happy that this change is in the works, in a formal body of work.   

So, many of you may be wondering what is “pragmatic language” and what is a “social communication disorder??  Well, pragmatic language refers to how we use language in interacting others.  In other words, what do we do when we communicate.  We can make statements, comments, ask questions, greet people, label things that we see, describe them, state actions that are occurring. we can end interactions with people by saying “good-bye”, we can state our feelings.  You get the idea; i am sure as you read this post.  How we look when we are communicating also impacts on social communication.  If your facial expression does not match the intended meaning of what you are saying then this may result in confused interpretation of what you are trying to relate to another person or group of people. 

With this information in mind, one can see why the “label” for this syndrome, in the DSM might be helpful to change.  In my mind it will enable others to more clearly understand the problems with which these people face.  It makes me ponder that if the labels of other mental health conditions were more clearly labelled, would those who live with them be treated differently?

I welcome your thoughts….