Attention Deficit Disorder (Short Attention Span)
Also called ADD, ADHD, or hyperactivity, a short attention span occurs in 3% to 5% of children, most of them males. A normal attention span is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child's age. Therefore, a 2-year-old should be able to concentrate on a particular task for at least 6 minutes, and a child entering kindergarten should be able to concentrate for at least 15 minutes. (Note: A child's attention span while watching TV is not an accurate measure of his or her attention span.)
If you suspect that your child has a short attention span, ask another adult (a teacher or day care provider, for example) if they have observed this also.
• A child hasn't learned to listen when someone talks, wait his turn, complete a task, or return to a task if interrupted. (These can be normal characteristics of children less than 3 or 4 years old.)
• 80% of boys and 50% of girls are also hyperactive. A child who has symptoms of hyperactivity is restless, impulsive, and in a hurry.
• 50% of children also have a learning disability. The most common learning disability is an
auditory processing deficit (that is, they have difficulty remembering verbal directions). However, the intelligence of most children with ADD is usually normal.
2. Similar conditions
Disruptive children, children who don't mind, and aggressive children are sometimes included under the broad category of hyperactivity. Many problem 2-year-olds are considered "hyperactive." These children should be looked upon as children with behavior problems and approached with appropriate discipline techniques.
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is the most common developmental disability. "Developmental" means that the disability is caused by delayed brain development (immaturity). This delay results in poorselfcontrol , requiring external controls by the parents for a longer period of time. Often this type of temperament and short attention span is hereditary. A small percentage of children with ADD are reacting to chaotic home environments, but in most cases the parents' style of child-rearing has not caused the disability. Minor brain damage has not been proven to be a cause of ADD but scientists are conducting research into this area.
4. Expected course
Children with ADD on a developmental basis can improve significantly if parents and teachers provide understanding and direction and preserve the child's self-esteem. When these children become adults, many of them have good attention spans but remain restless, have to keep busy, and, in a sense, have not entirely outgrown the problem. However, not only does society learn to tolerate such traits in adults, but in some settings the person with endless energy is prized. Children with severe ADD may need vocational counseling as adults.
Call Your Child's Physician for Referral to a Child Psychiatrist or Psychologist If:
• Your child shows unprovoked aggression and destructiveness.
• Your child has repeated accidents.
• Your child has been suspended or expelled from school.
• Your child can't make or keep any friends.
• You have "given up" hope of improving your child.
• You can't stop using physical punishment on your child.
• You are at your wit's end.
Living with a Child Who Has Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention deficit disorder is a chronic condition that needs special parenting and school intervention. If your child seems to have a poor attention span and is over 3 years of age, these recommendations may assist you in helping your child. Your main obligations involve organizing your child's home life and improving discipline. Only after your child's behavior has improved will you know for certain if your child also has a short attention span. If he does, specific interventions to help him learn to listen and complete tasks ("stretch" his attention span) can be
initiated. Even though you can't be sure about poor attention span until your child is 3 or 4 years of age, you can detect and improve behavior problems at any time after 8 months of age.
1. Accept your child's limitations.
Accept the fact that your child is intrinsically active and energetic and possibly always will be. The hyperactivity is not intentional. Don't expect to eliminate the hyperactivity but merely to bring it under reasonable control. Any criticism or other attempt to change an energetic child into a quiet or model child will cause more harm than good. Nothing helps a hyperactive child more than having a tolerant, patient, low-keyed parent.
2. Provide an outlet for the release of excess energy.
This energy can't be bottled up and stored. Daily outdoor activities such as running, sports, and long walks are good outlets. A fenced yard helps. In bad weather your child needs a recreational room where he can play as he pleases with minimal restrictions and supervision. If no large room is available, a garage will sometimes suffice. Your child should not have too many toys, for this can cause him to be more easily distracted from playing with any one toy. The toys should be safe and relatively unbreakable. Encourage your child to play with one toy at a time.
Although the expression of hyperactivity is allowed in these ways, it should not be needlessly encouraged. Don't initiate roughhousing with your child. Forbid siblings to say, "Chase me, chase me," or to instigate other noisy play. Encouraging hyperactive behavior can lead to its becoming your child's main style of interacting with people.
3. Keep your home well organized.
Household routines help the hyperactive child to accept order. Keep the times for wake-up, meals, snacks, chores, naps, and bed as regular as possible. Try to keep your environment relatively quiet because this encourages thinking, listening, and reading at home. In general, leave the radio and TV off. Predictable daily events help your child's responses become more predictable. ADD symptoms are made worse by sleep deprivation and hunger. Be sure your child has an early bedtime and a big breakfast on school days.
4. Try not to let your child become fatigued.
When a hyperactive child becomes exhausted, his self-control often breaks down and the hyperactivity becomes worse. Try to have your child sleep or rest when he is fatigued. If he can't seem to "turn off his motor," hold and rock him in a rocking chair.
5. Avoid taking your child to formal gatherings.
Except for special occasions, avoid places where hyperactivity would be extremely inappropriate and embarrassing (such as churches or restaurants). You also may wish to reduce the number of times your child goes with you to stores and supermarkets. After your child develops adequate self-control at home, he can gradually be introduced to these situations. Be sure to praise your child when he plays independently rather than interrupting you when you are talking to guests or are on the telephone.
6. Maintain firm discipline.
These children are unquestionably difficult to manage. They need more carefully planned discipline than the average child. Rules should be formulated mainly to prevent harm to your child and to others. Aggressive behavior, such as biting, hitting, and pushing, should be no more accepted in the hyperactive child than in the normal child. Try to eliminate such aggressive behaviors, but avoid unnecessary or unattainable rules; that is, don't expect your child to keep his hands and feet still. Hyperactive children tolerate fewer rules than the normal child. Enforce a few clear, consistent, important rules and add other rules at your child's pace. Avoid constant negative comments like "Don't do this," and "Stop that."
7. Enforce rules with nonphysical punishment.
Physical punishment suggests to your child that physically aggressive behavior is OK. We want to teach hyperactive children to be less aggressive. Your child needs adult models of control and calmness. Try to use a friendly, matter-of-fact tone of voice when you discipline your child. If you yell, your child will be quick to imitate you.
Punish your child for misbehavior immediately. When your child breaks a rule, isolate him in a chair or time-out room if a show of disapproval doesn't work. The time-out should last about 1 minute per year of your child's age. Without a time-out system, overall success is unlikely.
8. Stretch your child's attention span.
Encouraging attentive (nonhyperactive) behavior is the key to preparing your child for school. Increased attention span and persistence with tasks can be taught at home. Don't wait until your child is of school age and expect the teacher to change him. By age 5 he needs at least a 25-minute attention span to perform adequately in school.
Set aside several brief periods each day to teach your child listening skills by reading to him. Start with picture books, and gradually progress to reading stories. Coloring pictures can be encouraged and praised.
Teach games to your child, gradually increasing the difficulty by starting with building blocks and
progressing to puzzles, dominoes, card games, and dice games. Matching pictures is an excellent way to build your child's memory and concentration span. Later, consequence games such as checkers or tic-tactoe can be introduced. When your child becomes restless, stop and return for another session later. Praise your child for attentive behavior. This process is slow but invaluable in preparing your child for school.
9. Buffer your child against any overreaction by neighbors.
Ask neighbors with whom your child has contact to be helpers. If your child is labeled by some adults as a "bad" kid, it is important that this image of your child doesn't carry over into your home life. At home the attitude that must prevail is that your child is a good child with excess energy. It is extremely important that you not give up on him. Your child must always feel loved and accepted within the family. As long as a child has this acceptance, his self-esteem will survive. If your child has trouble doing well in school, help him gain a sense of success through a hobby in an area of strength.
10. From time to time, get away from it all.
Exposure to some of these children for 24 hours a day would make anyone a wreck. Periodic breaks help parents to tolerate hyperactive behavior. If just the father works outside the home, he should try to look after the child when he comes home, not only to give his wife a deserved break but also to understand better what she must contend with during the day. A baby sitter one afternoon each week and an occasional evening out can provide much-needed breaks for an exhausted mother. Preschool is another helpful option.
Parents need a chance to rejuvenate themselves so that they can continue to meet their child's extra needs.
11. Utilize special programs at school.
Try to start your child in preschool by age 3 to help him learn to organize his thoughts and develop his ability to focus. However, you should consider enrolling your child in kindergarten a year late (that is, at age 6 rather than 5) because the added maturity may help him fit in better with his classmates. Once your child enters grade school, the school is responsible for providing appropriate programs for your child's attention deficit disorder and any learning disability he might have. Some standard approaches that teachers use to help children with ADD are smaller class size, isolated study space, spaced learning techniques, and inclusion of the child in tasks like erasing the blackboard or passing out books (as outlets for excessive energy). Many of these children spend part of their day with a teacher specializing in learning disabilities who helps improve their skills and confidence.
If you think your child has ADD and he has not been tested by the school's special education team, you can request an evaluation. Usually you can obtain the help your child needs with schoolwork by working closely with the school staff through parent-teacher conferences and special meetings. Your main job is to continue to help your child improve his attention span, self-discipline, and friendships at home.
12. Medications are sometimes helpful.
Some stimulant drugs can improve a child's ability to concentrate. You may want to discuss the use of drugs with your child's physician. In general, medications should not be prescribed before school age. They should also not be prescribed until after your child has been evaluated by a doctor and a school psychologist or special education teacher, an individualized educational plan (I.E.P.) is in effect at school, and you have followed the suggestions in this handout. Medications without special education and home management programs have no long-term benefit. They need to be part of a broader treatment program.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Music Study Benefits
Music is an important and powerful part of our universe, our culture and society — no matter what our ethnic group. It is a biological as well as an aesthetic part of human life.
The many benefits include:
The joy of music making
The opportunity for another form of personal expression (non verbal, etc)
Music can affect mood, state, (can change brain wave activity)
Music study can increase self-confidence
Music can make the learning process easier, aids the learning of language
A significant positive correlation has been shown between music study and increased math, science, reading, history and SAT scores
Music study can help to develop imagination, creative thinking, communication and teamwork skills
Music listening has been shown to increase spatial-temporal reasoning (the kind of reasoning used in higher levels of math and science)
Music training can affect brain growth and organization.
Music utilizes both sides of the brain.
Music gives 0pportunities to
Experience the benefit of hard work and responsibility
Develop perseverance and determination
Experience the value of teamwork
Develop sensory acuity — especially auditory and motor skills
Music is a lifelong, intergenerational, and international language
Use of music can assist children with learning differences.
Music has such a pervasive influence on learning. The value has been proven. There is no educational justification for cutting music programs in schools.
Private lessons have many special benefits. One-to-one undivided attention for 1/2 to an hour every week is a precious experience — one reason why it is so important to select the teacher carefully. It is an opportunity for the child to be treated as a unique, valued person, to have someone who cares about them and can see their progress. Private lessons are also an opportunity to discover and develop one's own learning style. Learning disabilities missed in the school classroom are often more easily discovered in this setting.
Music helps in many different ways
1. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain's circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.
2. There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day.
3. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.
4. Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.
5. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a "me first" attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.
6. Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student's own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
7. In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
8. Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.
9. Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development. Everyone needs to be in touch at some time in his life with his core, with what he is and what he feels. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.
10. Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on "doing," as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.
11. Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.
12. An arts education exposes children to the incomparable.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I LOVE TO PLAY THE PIANO BUT MY HUSBAND IS AGAINST IT. HE SAYS I AM TOO OLD, 55 YEARS. BUT PIANO IS MY CHILDHOOD DREAM. IS IT TOO LATE. HELP ME
If you have the interest and desire to play the piano then age is no barrier. I have taught students who started learning piano when they were almost 58. They progressed very well and they even passed the trinity college of london examinations. Sorry, I cant say much about your husband. I guess, he probably thinks you are going to be a ROCK STAR and it worries him.
Maybe your child has no interest in music. Do not force your child to play music. Give him the opportunity to decide what he likes best. There are other forms of art like painting, dancing, fashion, acting, drama. Maybe your child would do better with another form of art. Try him out with sport activities likes karate, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, cricket etc...
Music is wonderful but it requires a lot of dedication and practice. Teachers can only teach but it is up to the child to practice and improve upon the teachers teachings.
MASTER GLENN - MY MOTHER FORCES ME TO PLAY THE PIANO BUT I WANT TO PLAY THE DRUMS. I NEED HELP. DONT TELL MY MOTHER I SAID THIS.
You know Kid... This seems to be a common problem... If your mother wants you to learn the piano then why don't you learn the piano and play it well to please her. As your mother she does so much for you. Learn to play a few tunes well on the piano and prove to her your passion for music.
Then discuss with her about your love for the drums. Explain to her why you want to play the drums and what is means to you... Give her an option. Tell her that you will learn to play the piano and the drums. Hopefully she would understand your keen interest in music and let you play the drums. By the way Kid, Piano is a beautiful instrument. Try playing it... You may change your mind about the drums...
Monday, January 28, 2008
Instilling the love of music in your child is easier than you thought. Here are some helpful suggestions to get you started.
Is it Difficult: No It is Easy
What is the Time Required: It should be Ongoing
- Sing to your child. Yes, even though you believe you can't sing in tune, your child will still think you have a lovely voice. The significance of music to children is well known. There are findings that even a fetus responds to music while still in the mother's womb. Whether you believe the research or not, there's no harm in singing to your child.
- Dance with your child. Okay, I know some of you might say you can't dance but neither can many. Honestly, it doesn't matter, your child will enjoy and even be fascinated to see you dance. Put on your favorite music CD and dance with your kid. This way you're introducing your child to the joys of music and creating a happy memory at the same time (well you'll be also burning off calories).
- Teach them action songs. Kids love these types of songs. There are lots of action songs you and your child can learn together. Some examples are "London Bridge is Falling Down", "Ring Around the Rosy". There are cd's and tapes of action songs that come with lyrics and instruction booklets on the market today. Or you can be creative and make your own actions. Action songs are a great way to teach kids about the rhythm of music.
- Share with them your favorite songs. I remember hearing music being played at our home everyday when I was young. As a result, I was exposed to different types of music and various artists at a young age. Exposing your child to your favourite songs will help him/her understand that there are varying types of music to appreciate.
- Rent, buy or borrow books, videos and tapes that revolve around the subject of music. Choose cd's that feature great musicians like Mozart and Beethoven as well as famous children's songs. Also borrow dvd's from a rental store, musical movies like " The Muppet Show "and " The Sound of Music ". There are also good children's TV shows that can help introduce your child to music. This is a wonderful way of teaching him/her the significance of music in our world.
- Join parent-child classes available in your area that introduces the concepts of music in a fun way.
- If appropriate, take your child to local concerts. Be sure though that if you do take your child to a concert, you'll sit far away from the speakers as the noise will be too much for a kid to handle. Concerts are a great way to introduce your child to performers and musical instruments.
- If your child is interested in learning how to play an instrument, then encourage her by enrolling her in music lessons.
- Make sure you pick a teacher that has a rapport or connects well with your child.
Yes it surely does. Music improves spatial-temporal reasoning which is a neurological process needed to understand mathematics. The best way to enhance your child's learning with music is to encourage listening to and learning music throughout the child's developmental years. Do it in a variety of ways that are enjoyable and fun, then let your child's own interest and aptitudes guide your choices of lessons and activities