Tuesday October 23, 2018

Know How Your Canine Friend can Help Reduce ADHD Symptoms in Kids

The research involved children aged seven to nine who had been diagnosed with ADHD and who had never taken medicines for their condition

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Besides remaining loyal and man’s best friend, dogs can also provide therapy that can effectively treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), say researchers.

The results indicate that children with ADHD who received canine assisted intervention (CAI) experienced a reduction in inattention and an improvement in social skills.

While both CA and non-CA interventions were ultimately found to be effective for reducing overall ADHD symptom severity after 12 weeks, the group assisted by therapy dogs fared significantly better with improved attention and social skills at only eight weeks and demonstrated fewer behavioural problems.

“Our finding that dogs can hasten the treatment response is very meaningful,” said Sabrina Schuck, Executive Director at the University of California-Irvine, US.

“In addition, the fact that parents of the children who were in the CAI group reported significantly fewer problem behaviours over time than those treated without therapy dogs is further evidence of the importance of this research,” Schuck added.

child
The results indicate that children with ADHD who received canine assisted intervention (CAI) experienced a reduction in inattention and an improvement in social skills. Pixabay

The study, published in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin (HAIB), illustrates that the presence of therapy dogs enhances traditional psychosocial intervention and is feasible and safe to implement.

Animal assisted intervention (AAI) has been used for decades. However, only recently has empirical evidence begun to support these practices reporting benefits including reduced stress, improved cognitive function, reduced problem behaviours and improved attention.

“The take away from this is that families now have a viable option when seeking alternative or adjunct therapies to medication treatments for ADHD, especially when it comes to impaired attention,” said Schuck.

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“Inattention is perhaps the most salient problem experienced across the life span for individuals with this disorder.”

The research involved children aged seven to nine who had been diagnosed with ADHD and who had never taken medicines for their condition. (IANS)

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Here’s How Support From School May Help ADHD Children

While research shows that medication is effective, it does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families

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ADHD
How school support may help ADHD children. Pixabay

One-to-one support and a focus on self-regulation may improve academic outcomes of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests.

ADHD refers to a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

“Children with ADHD are of course all unique. It’s a complex issue and there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” said Tamsin Ford, Professor from the the University of Exeter in the UK.

“However, our research gives the strongest evidence to date that non-drug interventions in schools can support children to meet their potential in terms of academic and other outcomes,” said Ford.

For the study, published in the journal Review of Education, the team found 28 randomised control trials on non-drug measures to support children with ADHD in schools.

child, ADHD
The results indicate that children with ADHD who received canine assisted intervention (CAI) experienced a reduction in inattention and an improvement in social skills. Pixabay

They found that important aspects of successful interventions for improving the academic outcomes of children are when they focus on self-regulation and are delivered in one-to-one sessions.

According to the study, self-regulation is hard for children who are very impulsive and struggle to focus attention.

In addition, the children were set daily targets which were reviewed via a card that the child carried between home and school and between lessons in school and rewards were given for meeting targets.

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While research shows that medication is effective, it does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families.

“More and better quality research is needed but in the mean-time, schools should try daily report cards and to increase children’s ability to regulate their emotions. These approaches may work best for children with ADHD by one-to-one delivery,” Ford noted. (IANS)