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  • 1. Joshua Kaufman Services Coordinator Student Support Services Western Carolina University
  • 2. Highlights from Denver AHEAD…..  This is a summary of information by the following presenters at the National Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Conference in Denver July 2010.  For complete PowerPoint slides and handouts see the following website 
  • 3. ADD a Chemical Imbalance  Essentially ADD is a chemical imbalance  Unless the chemical imbalance is addressed most other interventions will have limited success at best  Medication is the currently the most effective treatment  Cognitive Therapy, Skill Building, and Coun./Coaching
  • 4. 2 Major Neurotransmitters  Dopamine and Norepinephrine  These 2 chemicals are involved in many of the brain processes involved in Executive Functioning  The difficulty arises when the brain either doesn’t produce enough or doesn’t reuptake and/or re-release appropriately  80% of those treated respond well to appropriate medications
  • 5. Noteworthy ADD Biological Markers  Very strong heritability .8 (approx. 3x higher than breast cancer)  25% also show signs of dyslexia (gen. pop. 5%)  Undersized Amygdala which is involved in emotional regulation such as anger, frustration tolerance, depression, and anxiety  Further research will likely yield a blood test identifying which med(s) would be most effective for particular individuals
  • 6. Common Issues Associated with ADD/ADHD  Low Self-esteem  Lack self awareness and emotional regulation  Problems self monitoring in social situations  Low frustration tolerance  Can display mild to moderate OCD type thinking and behaviors
  • 7. Common Issues Associated with ADD/ADHD  Difficulties with procrastination and sustained effort/attention  Lack time management skills  Frequently have alertness and sleeping difficulties  Reading fluency and concentration  Writing difficulties; procrastination, task completion, slowed production  Connecting, organizing and prioritizing information
  • 8. “Pills Don’t Teach Skills” *Favorite quote from the conference by Thomas E. Brown Ph.D.
  • 9. The Most Powerful Approaches Use: Medication Treatment combined with:  Cognitive Therapy  Skill Development  Counseling/Coaching
  • 10. Themes to guide strategies  Education about the research is key for those with ADD, their families, counselors, instructors, etc.  Structure, structure, structure  Novelty - as long as it’s planned into the routine!  Clearly defined expectations  Multiple checklists and tracking devices  Encourage the use of more of their senses  Widgets or dog poop?!?
  • 11. Effective Strategies  Provide appropriate referrals to campus and community support services  Assist students in discovering their strengths and weaknesses  Recommend a mix of required course with desired course  Get to know your faculty  Maintain a supportive attitude and be patient
  • 12. Effective Strategies  Visual aids  Integrate kinesthetic action  Writing  Colored overhead sheets w/cutouts for reading  Time management skills such as:  Breaking large assignments into smaller tasks  Setting intermediate deadlines  Building in rewards that fit the individual
  • 13. Effective Strategies  Personal counseling may address:  Education  Improved social interaction  Self esteem issues  Self regulation and awareness  OCD type thinking  Depression  Anxiety  Substance use/abuse
  • 14. In Your Interactions…..  Ask open ended questions  Keep them on task and don’t let them get you off track, don’t let them avoid the difficult questions  Ask questions that lead to planning or strategy development  What would you do it…..?  What has worked for you in the past?  How would you handle it if…..?
  • 15. Documentation
  • 16. What was the intent? The intent of the reauthorization is to move the focus (particularly in the work place) from showing “no disability exists” or “otherwise not qualified” to the provision of appropriate accommodations. The intent was to grant easier access to accommodations.
  • 17. Will Documentation Disappear? Not Likely  Determine appropriate accommodations  Determine specific deficits  It is not the job of ODS’s to diagnose students’ disabilities/difficulties but rather to implement/provide appropriate accommodations
  • 18. Diagnostic Evidence Should…  Be determined on a case-by-case basis  Be an individual assessment  Not take too long or be too time consuming  Make basic sense, be legitimate and rational  It can not be erroneous
  • 19. …and Demonstrate What? “Substantial limitation(s)” Specific reason for each accommodation
  • 20. What forms can we expect?  IEP’s and similar evidence from the K-12 system  Traditional diagnostic evidence  Increased reliance on student interviews
  • 21. “Understanding Executive Functioning”  Presenter Alicia Brandon  Landmark College Institute for Research and Training  For more information about Landmark College Institute of Research and Training go to 
  • 22. “Helping to Improve Inadequately Treated ADD/ADHD”  Presenter Thomas E. Brown Ph.D.  Associate Director, Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Yale Medical School  For more information about Dr. Brown and ADD/ADHD go to 
  • 23. Heyward, Lawton and Associates  Presenter Salome Heyward, JD  “[Dr. Heyward] is a civil rights attorney with over 30 years of experience and is a well-known and respected speaker and trainer in the area of disability discrimination law and disability management.”  For more information about Dr. Heyward go to 
  • 24. Questions/Comments