According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as of 2011. However, if you ask the American Psychiatric Association (APA), they maintain that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007.

Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing the ADHD epidemic in the U.S., convincing parents and doctors that ADHD is a common problem amongst children and one that should be medicated. However, many countries disagree with the American stance on ADHD, so much so that they have entirely different structures for defining, diagnosing, and treating it. For example, the percentage of children in France that have been diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than 0.5%. This is largely because French doctors don’t consider ADHD a biological disorder with biological causes, but rather a medical condition caused by psycho-social and situational factors.

Why France Defines ADHD Differently

French child psychiatrists use a different system than American psychiatrists to classify emotional problems in childhood. Instead of using the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the French use an alternative classification system produced by the French Federation of Psychiatry called Classification Française des Troubles Mentaux de L’Enfant et de L’Adolescent(CFTMEA). Not only does this significantly differ from the APA’s system, but it was actually created with the intention to “offer French child psychiatrists an alternative to DSM-III” because it didn’t complement French psychiatric practices. The CFTMEA encourages psychiatrists to identify the underlying issues that cause a child’s symptoms and to address them using a psychopathological approach.

France defines ADHD as a sociological disorder that’s caused by a set of social situations, whereas the U.S. sees ADHD as a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain. France’s definition of ADHD drastically differs from that of the U.S., which is in part because the pharmaceutical industry helped define ADHD in the U.S. (you can read more about that here). France’s treatment methods, therefore, also greatly differ from those practiced in the U.S.

Treatment Methods for ADHD Used in France

Once a French psychiatrist diagnoses their patient with ADHD, they hone in on the behavioural problems by searching for the underlying causes. Psychiatrists will study the child’s distress and compare it to their social situations. France views ADHD as a social context problem; therefore, ADHD is often treated with psychotherapy or even family counselling. Very rarely do French psychiatrists prescribe medications to treat ADHD, as it’s usually rendered unnecessary after taking a more holistic approach.

It’s important to note that French psychiatrists also consider a patient’s diet when searching for the causes of behavioural symptoms associated with ADHD. Poor eating habits such as consuming foods with artificial colours or flavourings, preservatives, sugars, and/or allergens may worsen a child’s behaviour. This isn’t difficult to imagine; even as adults we can feel the effects certain foods have on our mood, energy levels, and thought processes.

Why There Are Fewer ADHD Cases in France Than the U.S.

A study conducted in 2011 stated that the amount of youth in France with ADHD may be as low as 3.5% — a far cry from the 11 to 15% estimate in the United States. Family therapist and author of A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic Dr. Marilyn Wedge suggests that this may be as a result of the cultural differences between the U.S. and France in regards to raising children. According to Wedge, French parents will often impose more structured lifestyles onto their children, such as enforcing strict meal times and using the “cry it out” method with babies and toddlers. Children are taught self-discipline at a young age, which is why Wedge feels they don’t need to be medicated for behavioural issues.

Unfortunately, spanking is not considered child abuse in France, so this practice is used fairly often to encourage discipline. In March 2015, the Council of Europe, an international human rights organization, faulted France over the country’s lack of legislation regarding corporal punishment of children. As The New York Times explained, “Child abuse is illegal in France and is punished with long prison sentences, but it is not uncommon for French parents to slap or spank children, or for the French courts to view such actions as acceptable under a customary ‘right to discipline.’ “

As Dr. Wedge points out (although neither she nor Collective Evolution support spanking or any other form of child abuse), this simply adds to the discipline they’re encouraged to practice throughout their childhood (source).While Wedge makes some interesting points regarding discipline, I don’t think that’s the underlying reason why most French children don’t need to be medicated for ADHD. Rather, because ADHD is largely a behavioural issue, it rarely requires pharmacological intervention. I believe that these treatment methods are successful in France not because of their parenting culture, but rather as a result of their holistic approach in considering diet and behavioural and social context.

I believe France does not have an issue with over-diagnosing ADHD in the same way the U.S. does because pharmaceutical companies have not targeted them as heavily. Pharmaceutical companies play a substantial role in defining ADHD and deciding treatment methods in the U.S. For example, doctors and researchers in the U.S. have been paid to overstate the dangers of ADHD and the benefits of taking their drugs and understate the negative side effects.

It’s easy for people to believe this misguided information when it’s affiliated with well-known universities like Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Many people don’t even realize that these studies are funded by the very companies that profit from the drugs’ sale because that relationship is hidden in small print (source). These drugs can have significant side effects and are actually considered to be within the same class as morphine and oxycodone due to their high risk of abuse and addiction. You can’t just blame all doctors, either; many of them genuinely believe they’re helping these children because of the information they’ve been given in these studies and by Big Pharma.

Another reason the U.S. has substantially higher rates of ADHD amongst children than France is because of the ADHD drug advertisements that run in the U.S. Big Pharma creates ads for ADHD drugs sold in the U.S. that are specifically targeted at parents, describing how these drugs can improve test scores and behaviour at home, among other false claims.

One of the most controversial ones was a 2009 ad for Intuniv, Shire’s A.D.H.D. treatment, which included a child in a monster costume taking off his terrifying mask to reveal his calm, smiling self with a text reading, “There’s a great kid in there.” The FDA has stepped in multiple times, sending pharmaceutical companies warning letters or even forcing them to take down their ads because they are false, misleading, and/or exaggerate the effects of their drugs (source). This type of propaganda doesn’t take place in France, at least not on the same scale as the in U.S., largely because it doesn’t coincide with their ADHD diagnosis framework. You can read more about this topic in another article I wrote here.

How to Use This Information to More Effectively Treat ADHD

France’s CFTMEA, definition for ADHD, and holistic approach to treating this disorder provide an excellent example of how we should be addressing ADHD patients, especially children. Instead of getting to the root of these children’s “attention deficits” like French psychiatrists do, American health practitioners typically assume ADHD is a medical condition that can only be fixed with medication. This is not only unethical, but also clearly damaging to a child’s self esteem. Many of these kids could simply be uninterested in the subject matter, suffering from some sort of emotional trauma, or even have heightened creativity and energy! You can’t just blame all doctors in the U.S., either; many of them genuinely believe they’re helping these children because of the information they’ve been given in these studies and by Big Pharma.

However, many scientists in the U.S. have suggested alternatives to medicine to treat ADHD and many of them don’t even recognize ADHD as a disorder (read our article on why ADHD may not be real here). Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report Daniel J. Carlat, M.D, criticized the DSM, stating, “In psychiatry, many diseases are treated equally well with medication or therapy, but the guidelines tend to be biased toward medication.”

Holistic Mental Health Practitioner Dr. Tyler Woods further explains:

The DSM tends to pathologize normal behaviors. For instance, the label “Anxiety Disorder” can be given as a result of some kinds of normal and rather healthy anxieties but the DSM will have experts view it and treat it as mental illness. In addition simple shyness can be seen and treated as “Social Phobia”, while spirited and strong willed children as “Oppositional Disorder”. Consequently, many psychotherapists, regardless of their theoretical orientations, tend to follow the DSM as instructed. (source)

Neurologist Richard Saul spent his career examining patients who struggle with short attention spans and difficulty focusing. His extensive experience has led him to believe that ADHD isn’t actually a disorder, but rather an umbrella of symptoms that shouldn’t be considered a disease. Thus, Saul believes it shouldn’t be listed as a separate disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. You can read more about his opinion in our article here.

Leading integrative pediatrician and author of ADHD without Drugs: A Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD Dr. Sanford Newmark, M.D. has spent more than 15 years studying and successfully treating ADHD naturally. Some of his recommendations include improved nutrition, increased sleep, iron, zinc, and Omega-3 supplementation, family counselling, making positive social and behavioural changes, and pursing alternative modalities such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy. Dr. Newmark considers conventional medication a “last resort,” given the fact that ADHD drugs only work about 70% of the time and have potential negative side effects .

It is clear that many doctors are starting to recognize the importance of treating ADHD outside conventional methods. Misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis of ADHD is a serious issue in the U.S., one that is heavily fuelled by the pharmaceutical industry. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ADHD, I strongly suggest you research this subject more and explore alternatives to medication with the help of a healthcare practitioner!


20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person With Dyslexia

It’s hard to understand it, isn’t it?

If you’re not one of the ten to fifteen percent of the population with dyslexia, it’s really hard to understand what it’s like.

It’s easy to think that it’s a bit of a scam. That if people with dyslexia worked harder, and really applied themselves, they could “get over it.” But that’s not the case.

Life is actually much more difficult for people with dyslexia. They have brilliant minds, but they’re hard to focus.

Dyslexia is a gift—the gift of being able to see things from lots of different points of view, all at once. But the gift comes with a curse, and the curse is that it’s hard to prioritize, or make sense of, all those perspectives.

People with dyslexia can be hard to live with, and hard to love, because their brains work so differently to ours. Even if you love someone with dyslexia, the day-to-day living with it can drive you insane. Because they can forget things, believe they’ve said or done things they haven’t, be incredibly messy and disorganized, and be less socially aware than other people.

The best thing you can do is to understand more about dyslexia, so you’re less exasperated and more sympathetic.

This is an insight into how their minds work.


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1. They have lifestyle challenges.

Dyslexia is much more than just having difficulty reading, writing, and using numbers. They see the world in a completely different way, communicate differently, and have trouble organizing things.

Some people describe it as a lifestyle challenge, others as a lifestyle curse, because it affects almost all aspects of their lives.

2. They can seem weird.

Despite their high intelligence, and because they see so many different perspectives at once, they can appear incoherent in conversation. They can come out with strange ideas, and lack the ability to check if their thoughts are suitable for conversation. They can seem almost autistic because they’re often unaware of social rules.

3. They find details exhausting.

Because their brain is less efficient at processing letters and sounds, it has to work harder—much harder. So any time spent reading, using numbers, or focusing on details is really, really exhausting.

4. They function differently on different days.

Some days they seem to function better than others, and can appear to be improving. Other days, it’s like everything is getting worse. There’s no reason, and no pattern. It just is.

5. They are highly creative.

Their ability to view the world from all perspectives makes them highly creative. They can come up with wildly creative ideas, partly because they’re not constrained by the laws of physics, mathematical logic, or the impossible.

6. They see things that others don’t.

Like words moving on the page, or even off the page, and letters flipping about. You know how challenging it can be to read letters and numbers incaptcha? Imagine reading a whole book like that. Or reading a book through a magnifying lens that a child is holding, and moving about.

They can even see the word cat more than 40 different ways.

7. They get overwhelmed by what they see.

They see so many possibilities that their thoughts can become garbled and distorted. It’s hard to sort through all that information and work out what’s important or appropriate. Without the ability to filter, this special gift becomes a tragic, confusing, disability.

8. They are more likely to have ADD.

People with dyslexia are more likely to have ADD. About 40% of people with dyslexia have ADD, and 60% of people with ADD have dyslexia.

9. They can experience thoughts as reality.

They can fully believe they’ve told you something, that they haven’t, or swear that you haven’t told them something that you have.

Often they express themselves in such a unique way that their message hasn’t come across coherently. And they may not realize that this aspect of their communication is part of their dyslexia.

10. They may not know they have dyslexia.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dyslexia can go undiagnosed for years, and may not be recognized until adulthood. This is one reason why it’s hard to calculate the number of people with dyslexia. And, unfortunately, people with undiagnosed dyslexia often label themselves as stupid or slow.

11. They think in pictures instead of words.

Not surprisingly, they tend to be highly visual, think in pictures, and utilize visual aids to help them plan and organize their lives. Rather than using self-talk, their thought processes are more subliminal. Most people with dyslexia are not even aware that they do this.

12. They will always have dyslexia.

They can learn to read and spell, but they will always have dyslexia. To make life easier, a font and a dictionary specifically for people with dyslexia are on the way.

The font is designed to avoid confusion, and add clarity, while the dictionary will favor meaning over alphabetical order.

13. They use their brain differently.

People with dyslexia don’t use their brain the same way that most of us do. Their brain underutilizes the left hemisphere—the area required for reading—and the bridge of tissue between the two sides of the brain (the corpus callosum) doesn’t function in the same way. So, their brain doesn’t always direct information to the correct place for processing.

14. They get it from their family.

Dyslexia is inherited, and most people with dyslexia have an aunt or uncle, or a parent or grandparent with dyslexia. Scientists have discovered that the DCD2 appears to be a dyslexia gene.

15. They often have low self-esteem.

People with dyslexia are just as intelligent as the rest of us. And they’re fully aware that other people can read and write much more easily than they can. So they feel stupid compared to other people.

As Albert Einstein said:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid.”

16. They have different symptoms.

Dyslexia is a tricky thing, because no two people have the exact same symptoms. Some lose things, or have poor organization skills. Some are slow at reading or have poor comprehension. Some may have difficulty organizing ideas to write, or have difficulty processing auditory information. Some also have difficulty sequencing the days of the week, or months of the year.

17. They are full of contradictions.

They may be highly aware of their environment, but appear lost. They may recognize, or read, a word on one page but be unable to recognize it on the next. Their brains are often very fast, but they appear slow, because they’re filtering through all the possibilities that they see.

18. They have great strengths.

People with dyslexia are often very good at reading people, and have great people skills. They usually have fantastic memories, and rely on them. They’re often good at spoken language, and frequently spatially talented (think architects, engineers, artist and craftspeople). They are highly intelligent, and intuitive, with vivid imaginations.

19. They can be incredibly successful.

People with dyslexia can be incredibly successful, often because of their dyslexia.

Famous people with dyslexia include entertainers like Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Henry Winkler, Danny Glover and Cher. As well as artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Tommy Hilfiger, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

Carole Grieder and Baruj Benacerraf utilized their dyslexia to becomeNobel prize-winning scientists. People with dyslexia also go on to be writers and journalists like Scott Adams (of Dilbert), Agatha Christie, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Fannie Flagg (the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café).

20. They can change the world.

People with dyslexia can, and have changed the world. People like George Washington, Richard Branson, Henry Ford and Stephen Spielberg have changed, and continue to change, the world we live in.

People with dyslexia are kind, creative, highly intelligent beings who are just as frustrated at their inabilities as you are. They just can’t take a break from the way their minds work.

Instead they rely on the people that love them to help them interpret the world, and to help them function in a world that’s not adjusted to their needs.

Yes, they can be frustrating to love at times, but they have incredible, unique, world-changing gifts.

With your help, maybe the person you love can change the world too.


20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD / ADHD

It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid.

People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.

From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.

True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.

Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:

1. They have an active mind

The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.

2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said

A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.

3. They have difficulty staying on task

Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.

4. They become anxious easily

As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.

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5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional

If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.

6. They concentrate too intensely

When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.

7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone

And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.

8. They are unable to regulate their emotions

For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.

9. They have verbal outbursts

Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.

10. They have social anxiety

Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.

11. They are deeply intuitive

For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.

12. They think out of the box

Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.

13. They are impatient and fidgety

Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.

14. They are physically sensitive

Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.

15. They are disorganized

Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.

16. They need space to pace

When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

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17. They avoid tasks

Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.

18. They can’t remember simple tasks

Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.

19. They have many tasks going on at the same time

Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.

20. They are passionate about everything they do

The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.

Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. It’s important to take extra care of yourself; take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe.

Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities; try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task.

Yes, ADD/ADHD people are hard to love, but once you understand the burden they are carrying, your heart will open up. Love and compassion will take the place of anger. You will see into their sweet and good soul.





76 Seconds In The Brain Of Someone With Autism And ADHD

1. I wonder how many years it would take for me to go to every restaurant in this entire city.
2. Holy shit, I’m so tired.
3. I didn’t sleep enough last night.
4. I wonder why I didn’t sleep enough last night.
5. I wonder if I should talk to someone about that.
6. I wonder where you find someone to talk to about things like sleeping.
7. I should wear more red.
8. I wonder what that person would look like.
9. How old is old now?
10. Oh wait, never mind. Better question: How young is young now?
11. At what age do kids get their cell phones?
12. Wait, where are my shoes?
13. I wonder what my ex is doing right now.
14. God I love Leonardo DiCaprio.
15. Oh, there are my shoes.
16. What, where did this tab come from? * clicks eighth tab in browser *
17. Oh it’s this dog learning how to wear a harness. OMG that’s so fucking cute.
18. Maybe I should re-watch some of his old films.
19. Maybe I shouldn’t and should just go see Wolf of Wall Street instead.
20. I should bookmark that photo so I don’t forget it.
21. Did you see the poster for that movie?
22. Jonah Hill looks great.
23. He’s really killing it now.
24. Sometimes I feel bad for doubting him.
25. Oh, note to self: I should get flowers for the front table.
26. He was good in Superbad.
27. Sometimes I forget Emma Stone was in that.
28. Emma Stone is the shit.
29. I want to go to brunch with Emma Stone.
30. Wait, what is that sound?
31. Where do you find a best friend like Emma Stone?
32. I wish there were some type of store you could go to get friends like her.
33. I wonder what aisle she’d be in.
34. Maybe she’d be next to the snack options.
35.* Checks bookmarks * What is this link?
36. * Opens the same photo of the dog *
38. Right, Emma Stone. That’d be cool; it’d be like when you went to Blockbuster and the candy and the popcorn were right there so you could get it when you get your movie.
39. I can’t believe Blockbuster stayed around as long as it did.
40. I need to pee.
41. I wonder if anyone who worked at Blockbuster used to watch Netflix at home.
42. I wonder what Beyonce and Jay Z talk about when they’re by themselves.
43. I feel like they really love each other.
44. I can’t imagine them breaking up.
45. Jason Derulo.
46. But really what do we know about celebrities?
47. Is it good to eat coconut or not? I can’t remember.
48. I should start a blog.
49. * Makes a blog *
50. Is that my phone ringing?
51. I can’t even remember what life was like without the internet.
52. How did our parents go to college without computers?
53. I wonder if today’s twentysomethings could pass college back then.
54. Hulu Plus is such a scam you have to pay for it AND watch commercials.
55. I should smoke more weed.
56. But really, whose phone is that?
57. I’m hungry.
58. I wonder what I should eat.
59. I should go grocery shopping.
60. When was the last time I cut my toenails?
61. Why doesn’t Seamless allow you to use cash online?
62. Maybe I should just go out and pick up food.
63. I should check how many vacation days I have left this year.
64. Is it really necessary to wear pants to go outside?
65. I wonder what happened to my blog.
66. Crap, what is my password?
67. OK, I’ll just hit resend password.
68. Oh shit, I never answered this email.
69. Oh god, I didn’t answer this one either.
70. I wonder if animals were humans if they would feel naked without clothing on.
71. I wonder if society just decided we didn’t have to wear clothing what would happen.
72. I wouldn’t want to sit on a seat on the subway that some naked ass sat on.
73. I don’t want to go out tonight.
74. If Siri was a real person, would she be attractive?
75. I’m tired.
76. Oh cool, a text message.


5 Signs Your Kid Has Overlooked Sensory Processing Disorder

A lot of kids, dare I say all of them at one point or another, have freaked out about the texture of a particular food, the itchiness of a sweater, or the volume of the radio when their parents’ favorite ’90s jam comes on. But, if you have noticed that happens regularly, and is almost always accompanied by epic meltdowns, it may be a sign your kid has overlooked sensory processing disorder (SPD).

According to the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory processing disorder exists when your child’s sensory signals are not detected, or are not organized into appropriate motor or behavioral responses.In other words, children with sensory processing disorder may have a much greater or much lower response to stimuli as their non-SPD peers because their brain has trouble receiving and interpreting sensory information. A lot of kids who are the autism spectrum also have sensory processing disorder, but there are also many children who do not fall within the spectrum that struggle with sensory issues.

Kids with undiagnosed sensory processing disorder may be labeled “picky” or “difficult” or are thought to have behavioral problems. They are are often punished or ridiculed when what they need is patience, understanding, and occupational therapy. Here are some red flags that your child may have an overlooked case of sensory processing disorder.

1. They Are Over-Responsiveness

Kids with sensory processing disorders may be hypersensitive to sensory stimuli that is typically unoffensive to others. Brain Balance Achievement Centers notes the following examples of hypersensitivity: fear of sudden, high-pitched or loud noises, distracted by background noises, fearful of surprise touch, and more.

2. They Are Under-Responsiveness

When a child with sensory processing disorder has hyposensitivity, he or she may seek out stimuli, according to Brain Balance Achievement Centers. Some example include a constant need to touch people or textures, clumsy and uncoordinated movements, and the inability to sit still.

3. They Have A Fight Or Flight Response

Have you noticed your child suddenly running away from something that makes him uncomfortable? Kids with sensory processing disorder often have, what the Child Mind Institute called, a “neurological panic response” to everyday sensations, causing them to flee or become aggressive when in sensory overload. These children may run toward something that will calm them, such as a teacher, without noticing that they are pushing or shoving other kids along the way, according to Understood.

4. They Suffer Dramatic Mood Swings Or Meltdowns

Kids with sensory processing disorders will often have radical, inexplicable shifts in behavior, according to the Child Mind Institute. This is usually in reaction to a change in environment. Brain Balance Achievement Centers noted that sensory meltdowns are not the same as temper tantrums. Sensory sensitivity to noise, lights, crowds, or touch can cause those who have sensory processing disorder to become frightened or confused. Parents of children with undiagnosed sensory processing disorder may misinterpret these signs of sensory overload as behavior problems.

5. They Have Co-Occurring Disorders


Because the majority of people on the autism spectrum also have significant sensory issues, the Child Mind Institute noted that sensory processing problems are now considered a symptom of autism. However it’s important to note that most children with sensory issues are not on the spectrum. Kids who have been diagnose with ADHD, OCD and developmental delays may have sensory processing disorder, as well. In some cases, kids with sensory processing disorder are misdiagnosed – and inappropriately medicated – for ADHD, according to the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder.


Can’t Hear in Noisy Places? It’s a Real Medical Condition

Many people have trouble understanding conversations in noisy situations. Scientists are beginning to understand why.

The problem is sometimes called “hidden hearing loss”: Standard hearing tests don’t measure it, and sufferers are often told their hearing is normal. But the distress they feel struggling to discern what others are saying in crowded restaurants and business meetings is real.

Now there’s growing evidence that the causes of problems processing speech amid noise are different than the causes of problems hearing sound. Scientists believe exposure to loud noises can erode the brain’s ability to listen selectively and decode words, without causing traditional hearing damage. Difficulty understanding speech amid noise can set in long before traditional hearing loss.

“This is something we’ve recognized for a long time—and this research tells us why it’s happening,” says Anne Oyler, associate director for audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. “Audiologists will have to start actively looking for this disorder.”

In a normal inner ear, sounds reach the brain when hair cells (dark and light blue) connect to nerve fibers (in green) via synapses (the red and white dots), as shown in this photo taken through a microscope. New research has found that exposure to loud noises can damage those synapses and disrupt the connection, long before the hair cells deteriorate.
(In a normal inner ear, sounds reach the brain when hair cells (dark and light blue) connect to nerve fibers (in green) via synapses (the red and white dots), as shown in this photo taken through a microscope. New research has found that exposure to loud noises can damage those synapses and disrupt the connection, long before the hair cells deteriorate.)

Hearing loss in adults is usually associated with damage to the tiny hair cells that line the inner ear and transfer sound signals to nerve fibers that lead to the brain. Aging, trauma and noise exposure can all cause those hair cells to deteriorate.

New research suggests that the synapses connecting the hair cells to nerve fibers are even more vulnerable and suffer permanent damage long before the hair cells deteriorate, bringing about the difficulties in selective listening.

While there aren’t immediate remedies, there is a glimmer of hope that the damage might be reversible. In a study published in Nature in April, University of Michigan researchers were able to regenerate cochlear synapses in mice that had been exposed to loud noises by injecting them with neurotrophin-3, a protein that stimulates nerve growth.

In a landmark study in 2009, scientists at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, led by otolaryngologist Charles Liberman, showed that mice exposed to loud noises lost up to 50% of those synapses even though their hair cells soon returned to normal.

Earlier in September, the same researchers showed that such damage occurs in humans as well. In a study published in the journal PLOS One, they compared a group of college-age music students regularly exposed to loud sounds for four to six hours with another group studying quieter subjects. Both groups tested normal on standard hearing tests and were equally able to understand words in quiet environments. But the high-risk students fared significantly worse on tests of understanding speech-in-noise. Tests with electrodes showed that their auditory nerves had a diminished response to sound stimulation compared with the low-risk group.

A new device called Soundhawk offers help to people who sometimes find it hard to hear—but aren’t ready for a $3,000 hearing aid. Personal Tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler tests it out.

“We believe this is the first evidence of hidden hearing loss in humans—but it is just a first step,” said Stéphane Maison, the study’s lead investigator. He and his colleagues are hoping to develop more precise tests to measure damage to cochlear synapses and diagnose it definitively.

Exactly how such damage, called cochlear synaptopathy, compromises the ability to understand speech amid noise isn’t fully understood. Dr. Liberman likens sound signals arriving at the brain to a high-resolution photo, with nerve connections like thousands of pixels creating a clear picture. If some of those nerve connections die, the brain gets a lower-resolution image and may lose the ability to distinguish where sounds are coming from and who is speaking.

The researchers think cochlear synaptopathy may help explain tinnitus, the persistent buzzing or ringing some people hear, as well as hyperacusis, which is an increased sensitivity to unpleasant sounds such as a baby crying or a siren. With fewer signals from the auditory nerve fibers reaching it, the brain may generate the buzzing to fill in the vacuum, or turn up its internal volume, making sounds that already loud become intolerable.

Audiologists are well aware that many patients have trouble understanding speech in noisy situations. “It’s the primary reason people walk in the door,” says Joanna Roufos, an audiologist with Manhattan Audiology in New York.

Charles Liberman of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston led a landmark 2009 study that found mice exposed to loud noises lost up to 50% of the connecting synapses in the inner ear.
Charles Liberman of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston led a landmark 2009 study that found mice exposed to loud noises lost up to 50% of the connecting synapses in the inner ear. PHOTO: GARYFALLIA PAGONIS

Besides giving standard hearing tests, many audiologists now use speech-in-noise tests that ask patients to pick out and repeat words or entire sentences amid a variety of background sounds and voices. There is little consensus, though, about what to do when such tests confirm a problem with understanding speech in noise. Many factors, including aging, cognitive ability, memory and conventional hearing loss, all play a role. Some patients are sent for an evaluation of an auditory-processing disorder, although such specialists may be more accustomed to dealing with children.

“The jury is still out as to how hidden hearing loss manifests in humans and how we might diagnose it,” says James W. Hall III, an expert in auditory processing disorders at Salus University in Elkins Park, Pa. “We don’t have enough information yet for it to be part of routine diagnosis of hearing problems.”

Many patients who have speech-in-noise difficulties also have traditional hearing loss. Audiologists say both can be improved with hearing aids, especially newer models with directional microphones and technology that damps background noise.

But hearing aids can’t return hearing to normal, experts caution. “The number one complaint of people who wear hearing aids is that they have trouble hearing in noise, and that’s not going to change,” says Dr. Oyler.

Stéphane Maison conducted a hearing test at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. He is an investigator on a study of the damage loud noise can cause in humans’ ability to decode speech in a loud environment.Stéphane Maison conducted a hearing test at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. He is an investigator on a study of the damage loud noise can cause in humans’ ability to decode speech in a loud environment.

A variety of assistive listening devices can also help patients hear what they want to hear in specific situations. With a personal frequency-modulation (FM) system, for example, the person speaking uses a microphone and the listener wears a wireless Bluetooth receiver. Other devices transmit the audio feeds in theaters, concerts, meetings, churches or even home TV directly to listeners without amplifying background sounds.

Many people who struggle with speech in noise are reluctant to take such remedial steps, however. Hearing-aid companies often say it takes people seven years, on average, to seek treatment after they first suspect a hearing issue.

Audiologists urge sufferers to get evaluated, even if the solutions aren’t perfect. “Some people feel they can fake their way through conversations,” says Sarah Sydlowski, an audiologist at Cleveland Clinic and board member of the American Academy of Audiology. “But it can be extremely taxing to go through a busy workday and be constantly struggling to understand.”


Does your child have ADHD? Doctors can test, observe child to determine diagnosis

Any parent knows that children can at times be wild and undisciplined. But what happens when your child’s inability to sit still or focus starts affecting his or her school work and lifestyle?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a commonly occurring neurodevelopmental disorder that is seen in children, adolescents and adults. This condition does not consist of just one or two specific symptoms, but rather a complex cluster of behaviors that often appear together. Some children with ADHD are restless and disruptive while others are quieter and get distracted more easily.

Although many of us might experience some mild characteristics of ADHD from time to time, those with the condition have more difficulties in day-to-day functioning.

ADHD is most often diagnosed in children before age 12, but could persist into adolescence as well as adulthood, particularly if unrecognized and untreated. It can stem from genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors. Other psychiatric conditions can coexist with ADHD, including oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, learning disorders and substance use disorders.

Doctors are able to diagnose ADHD after obtaining a thorough history, administering behavior-rating scales for parents and teachers, performing comprehensive neuropsychological testing, carefully listening to the family’s descriptions of behaviors and directly observing the child.

After careful assessment, the first line of treatment might be psychosocial interventions to promote specific behaviors that can manage ADHD. These behavioral tools can also improve educational needs.

Your doctor might also recommend medications, which can be extremely beneficial. There are several different types of such medications that can act as stimulants or non-stimulants. They affect individuals differently, so one person might respond well to one medication but not another. Medications can also be used in combination with behavioral and educational tools.

ADHD is a serious disorder that responds well to therapeutic interventions. However, if left untreated, it can have serious negative outcomes that could be lifelong. Early intervention is key to addressing this disorder so that children can begin treatment. With behavioral tools and/or medication, progress can be made throughout childhood and into adolescence so your child can become a productive, healthy adult.


While it may seem obvious that a good hike through a forest or up a mountain can cleanse your mind, body, and soul, science is now discovering that hiking can actually change your brain… for the better!

Hiking In Nature Can Stop Negative, Obsessive Thoughts

Aside from the almost instant feeling of calm and contentment that accompanies time outdoors, hiking in nature can reduce rumination. Many of us often find ourselves consumed by negative thoughts, which takes us out of the enjoyment of the moment at best and leads us down a path to depression and anxiety at worst. But a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.

To conduct this study, researchers compared the reported rumination of participants who hiked through either an urban or a natural environment. They found those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and they also had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain related to mental illness. Those who walked through the urban environment, however, did not report decreased rumination.

The researchers noted that increased urbanization closely correlates with increased instances of depression and other mental illness. Taking the time to regularly remove ourselves from urban settings and spend more time in nature can greatly benefit our psychological (and physical) well-being.

Hiking While Disconnected From Technology Boosts Creative Problem Solving

A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about 4 days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks which required creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion.

The researchers of this study noted that both technology and urban noise are incredibly disruptive, constantly demanding our attention and preventing us from focusing, all of which can be taxing to our cognitive functions. A nice long hike, sans technology, can reduce mental fatigue, soothe the mind, and boost creative thinking.

Hiking Outdoors Can Improve ADHD In Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming more and more common among children. Children who have ADHD have a difficult time with impulse control and staying focused, they get distracted easily, and exhibit excessive hyperactivity.

While raising children who have ADHD can be difficult for parents, the usual solution — opting for prescription medication — may be doing more harm than good, particularly when natural solutions can work just as well. A study conducted by Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, found that exposing children with ADHD to “green outdoor activities” reduces symptoms significantly. The results of this study suggest nature exposure can benefit anyone who has a difficult time paying attention and/or exhibits impulsive behavior.

Hiking In Nature Is Great Exercise And Therefore Boosts Brainpower

We already know that exercising is fantastic for our overall well-being. Hiking is an excellent way to burn between 400 – 700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty, and it is easier on the joints than other activities like running. It has also been proven that people who exercise outside are more likely to keep at it and stick to their programs, making hiking an excellent choice for those wishing to become more active on a regular basis.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume — the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory — in women over the age of 70. Such exercise not only improves memory loss, but helps prevent it as well. Researchers also found that it can also reduce stress and anxiety, boost self esteem, and release endorphins. Many people take medication to solve each and every one of these issues, but the solution to these ills may be a lot simpler than you think!

How Can You Begin To Start Hiking?

Luckily, hiking is one of the easiest and least expensive sports to get involved in, and it can have great benefits for the whole family, including grandma! Start out small and test your abilities. Do what works for you — if that means just walking through trails in a park, that’s fine. Any exercise outdoors is better than none. You can easily find maps of trails around your home online, and there are plenty of smartphone apps to map them out, too. I recommend turning off your signal and your phone while hiking though, so you can reap the most benefits of the hike (though it may be wise to at least carry it with you in case of emergency).

Make sure you have some good sturdy hiking shoes, a hat, and a water bottle, and be sure to layer your clothing so you can take things on or off easily as you warm up and cool down. You may want to consider using trekking poles as well, which can increase your speed and take some of the pressure off your knees. Now, can you just do one thing for me?

Go take a hike!

Much Love


17 Ways to Help Students With ADHD Concentrate

Research shows that students with ADHD can concentrate better when they’re allowed to fidget (here’s a link to the study). But what if this becomes a distraction for the rest of the class? We received hundreds of Facebook comments from teachers, parents, and students with great ideas for letting students quietly fidget, and here are some of our favorites:

Research shows that students with ADHD can concentrate better when they’re allowed to fidget

1. Squeeze Balls

Squishy balls, stress balls, koosh balls, hand exercisers… there are dozens of objects that can be squeezed quietly. Teacher tip: make sure that kids use them under their desks for minimal distractions to others. Fun activity idea: fill balloons up with different items (seeds, playdough, flour, etc.) to squish.

2. Fidgets

Fidgets are small objects that help keep students’ hands occupied. You can buy these or use objects like beaded bracelets, Rubik’s Cubes, or slinkies.

3. Silly Putty

Silly putty, playdough, or sticky tack can also keep students’ hands occupied.

4. Velcro

Tape a strip of the hard side of velcro under the student’s desk. It gives them something to touch. Many types of objects can work, such as emery boards or straws.

5. Gum or Chewable Necklaces

Chewing gum can help keep some ADHD students focused. In no-gum classrooms, necklaces with chewable pieces can also work. You can also wrap airline tubing or rubber bands at the ends of pencils for students to chew.

6. Doodling

Doodling can help many students focus, not just ones with ADHD (here’s the research if you’re interested). Some students also benefit if they can draw during storytime or a lesson.

7. Background Noise/Music

A fan in the back of the room can help some students focus. Letting them listen to music on headphones (as long as it doesn’t interfere with what’s happening in class) can also help. One teacher had success with an aquarium in the back of the room — the students liked hearing the calming swish of the water.

8. Chair Leg Bands

Tie a large rubber band (or yoga band) across both front legs of the chair for students to push or pull against with their legs.

9. Bouncy Balls

AKA yoga balls, stability balls, or exercise balls. These are potentially great for all students, not just ones with ADHD.

10. Swivel Chairs

Kids can twist a little bit from side to side. A rocking chair also works.

11. Wobble Chairs

Similar to swivel chairs or disk seats, these chairs let students rock within their seats. Teacher tip:don’t let students wobble too much, or they may fall off!

12. Disk Seats

These sit on a chair and allow students to rock in their seats (without being as dangerous as rocking the entire chair). Cushions can also work.

13. Standing Desks

Great for all students, not just ones that need to fidget. Learn how students brought standing desks into their classroom in this Edutopia community post: Using Stand Up Tables in the Classroom. If it’s within your budget, you can also use treadmill desks.

14. Desks with Swinging Footrests

A built-in footrest can help reduce the noise that would otherwise happen with foot tapping.

15. Stationary Bikes

Putting a stationary bicycle at the back of the classroom is a great way to help students be active, with the added benefit of exercise!

16. Classroom Space for Moving Around

Clear an area in the side or back of the room to let students stand, stretch, dance, pace, or twirl. If you’re brave, you can set up small trampolines for students to jump on.

17. Flexible Work Locations

Students don’t have to do their learning at their desk. One student did his work at the windowsill, while another moved from one desk to another. Having different learning stations can benefit all types of students. For ideas on setting up your classroom,


“What Are You Saying?” Auditory Processing Disorder in Children

Watch the free replay of the webinar “What Are You Saying?”Auditory Processing Disorder in Children with Lois Kam Heymann, M.A., CCC-SLP, which originally aired Wednesday, October 13th, 2016 and download the expert slides.

Auditory processing disorder is a glitch in the brain’s ability to filter and process sounds that makes it difficult (even painful) to receive, organize, and use auditory information. Some children with APD can’t filter out background noise, making it maddening to work in a busy classroom. Other children perceive sounds incorrectly, mixing up ga and da sounds, for example. And still others forget parts of a conversation or miss verbal nuances. Roughly 7 percent of all children have some type of auditory processing difficulty, but many are misdiagnosed because their symptoms look so much like ADHD.

In this webinar parents will learn:

> the behavioral characteristics of ADHD and APD

> indications that your child may have APD

> symptoms that may indicate your child has more than one disorder

> how listening challenges affect a child’s academics, social interaction, and behavior

> the best diagnosis and treatment approaches for APD

> how you can help your child overcome the challenges related to APD