Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) and ADHD

School avoidance can affect many students for various reasons but with our children with ADHD, it is extremely commonplace. Previously termed School Refusal the correct term is now Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA). I prefer this term as it highlights the fact that the child is experiencing emotional distress about attending school, rather than simply refusing. (EBSA excludes physical illnesses preventing a child from attending school, truancy or parent-condoned absences). I work with a few children who experience EBSA, and watching their struggle can be heartbreaking. Another set of initials that affect our children with ADHD. Signs of Emotionally Based School Avoidance,…

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ADHD and Masking

Ever been at a family gathering or a party where people have commented on how amazing your child is and are you sure they have ADHD?  Ever gone into your child’s school and practically begged for help and they’ve looked at you like you are crazy.  Your child is an angel and maybe it’s you that needs to seek help?  You are not alone.  Your child is a masker.  I used to think I was going mad too.  I nearly convinced myself that it was all in my head and that I was just a ‘bad’ parent who couldn’t control her child. …

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ADHD in Schools

As we know, our children with ADHD generally have difficulties with attention, impulsivity, hyperactivity and time management/planning. These are all the things that are required to thrive in a mainstream school! I've used this analogy in a previous blog, but if your child was in a wheelchair, no one would expect to have to battle to get a ramp installed or wait years for this to happen. Yet a few simple adjustments to a mainstream school could really help our children and do not affect or impact the learning of the other students. Sitting still is probably the first obstacle, our kids…

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Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in Children

Since blogging about ADHD in children, I have come across so many other comorbidities such as ASD, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), Anxiety, RSD (Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria) and here is yet another one, PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance).  PDA is widely understood to be on the autistic spectrum or ASD as it is now called.  As I have learnt ASD and ADHD are also closely linked.  My daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, and I work with children who have ASD and PDA, so I was really interested in the difference between ODD and Pathological Demand Avoidance in children.  What is Pathological…

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ADHD and Dyspraxia in Children

ADHD and dyspraxia are both neurodevelopmental disorders. ADHD is a condition that affects focus, attention, and impulsivity. Dyspraxia (also known as DCD, Developmental Coordination Disorder) is a condition that affects fine and gross motor skills, coordination and movement. It is often referred to as a "motor learning disability." This means that it can be difficult for people with dyspraxia to learn new motor skills, or to execute previously learned motor skills. Dyspraxia can occur in isolation, or it can be comorbid with other conditions, such as ADHD. In fact, research suggests that ADHD and dyspraxia often co-occur. One study found that 36…

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CBT for Children with ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, one of the most common mental disorders affecting children.  It is a developmental impairment of the brain's executive functioning.  This affects a child’s ability to focus, stay organised, sit still and manage impulse control.  Treatment for children with ADHD will often involve stimulant medication and therapy.  The most promising improvements seen in children with ADHD are those who are on medication combined with CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. What is CBT? Whilst CBT was developed from various ideas, the work of Dr Aaron T. Beck (1921-2021) is recognised as the most prominent.  He believed that negative schema, thoughts,…

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Inattentive ADHD in Children

Inattentive ADHD in children, previously termed ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), indicates that the child does not suffer from the hyperactivity side of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). Many children go undiagnosed because they are not the 'stereotypical' ADHD child, buzzing around like Tigger. However, Inattentive ADHD is serious and debilitating, and, frustratingly, often overlooked. What is ADHD? There are three subtypes of ADHD: · Hyperactive and Impulsive · Inattentive (ADD) · Combined type ADHD ADHD is a neurological condition that varies in severity from child to child, often making ADHD diagnosis difficult. My son and daughter both have ADHD, but my daughter’s…

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ADHD in children and sleep problems

There is not one part of our body that does not benefit from sleep.  And it’s no surprise that importantly, our brain needs sleep to function correctly.  Lack of sleep not only impacts our physical but also our mental health... I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I love my sleep.  But that’s probably because I rarely get a good night’s sleep.  Like a lot of parents, I am a light sleeper because I’m always listening out for a child who might need me in the night.  When one tiptoes in, after I’ve managed a couple of hours of sleep, my…

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ADHD and Emotional Regulation

Keep Moving! When we think of ADHD the first things that generally spring to mind are hyperactivity, fidgeting and/or attention difficulties.  However, one of the biggest burdens someone with ADHD must deal with is the inability to regulate their emotions.  This emotional dysregulation is extreme and largely underestimated. Whilst children with ADHD experience the same emotions as others, they experience them more intensely.  As discussed before, (The ADHD Brain) there are very real brain differences in a child with ADHD.  These differences result in delayed development of parts of the brain, one of these being delayed emotional development.  The prevalence of emotional…

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ADHD in the Early Years (EYFS)– Strategies to help in class

Reception is the first year of primary school in England and Wales. It is considered the final segment of EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage).  It comes after nursery and before Year 1.  Pupils in reception are aged four to five years old.  Your child must attend school from the beginning of the school year following their fifth birthday.  Regardless of the month they were born, they will start in the September. Therefore, some pupils will be nearly a year behind others.  A year at this age is quite noticeable!  It is not like 30 and 31, it is a massive gap!  This…

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