Depression – caused by the imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Therefore, in depression, medications (as much as therapy) play a key role in recovery. Thus, antidepressant medications or mood elevators, prescribed to patients with depression to alleviate their symptoms. Antidepressant medicine is not only used for the treatment of depression. Additionally, also prescribed in other psychiatric conditions. These include anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), dysthymia (mild chronic depression), etc.,
The use of antidepressant medications, as against therapy, is on the rise for the treatment of depression. Although antidepressants do not cure depression, they relieve the symptoms. Antidepressants come in various types. The first medication to try may not benefit. However, one must consult their doctor and find the right choice of medication/s for their condition.
Antidepressant medications adherence
Non-adherence to antidepressants – one of the causes of major negative consequences on health. Nonetheless, it also majorly contributes to anxiety and depression in maximum cases in the population. Consequently, the doctor must explore a set of reasons why people do not comply with their therapy or treatment. Firstly, forgetting to take medicine. Secondly, other factors that contribute to non-adherence of antidepressants include –
Fear of addiction
High cost of medications
Fear of medication-induced sexual dysfunction
Delayed onset of action of the medication
Poor instructions and protocols by the doctor
Fear of side effects
Benefits of Adherence to Medications
Nevertheless, adherence to the medication with proper guidance from the doctor will decrease the symptoms of depression. Thus, leading them to get back to their normal life. Also, under-treatment of depression at times fatal. However, if the depression escalates, suicidal tendencies can follow despite and apart from these, suddenly stopping the medications – associated with withdrawal symptoms which can get fatal in severe cases.
Indeed, in recent times – depression – a common problem and the reason for the rise of fatalities that it causes. Thus, it is important to consult a doctor to get the condition’s diagnosis and get on the right treatment. Also, of equal importance to adhere to their therapy and abide by the guidelines.
Depression (with all its types and symptoms) is frequently confused with natural and circumstantial feelings of grief or sadness. However, depression is not merely a weakness. It is not something to be taken lightly. Indeed, it is quite a serious issue and can last for long periods of time. Accordingly, there are different types of depression and they could present with more than a couple of symptoms.
In fact, depression does not merely involve feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. To summarize, it is much more terrible and has a negative effect on your day-to-day functioning.
Further, there are many different types of depression. These are:
Firstly, Major depression
Secondly, Bipolar depression
Thirdly, Psychotic depression
Fourthly, Chronic depression (even dysthymia)
Fifthly, Seasonal depression
Sixthly, Substance-induced depression
Seventhly, Postpartum depression
Eighthly, Double depression
Ninthly, Treatment-resistant depression
Tenthly, Secondary depression
Finally, Masked depression
First off, signs and symptoms of clinical depression vary. Secondly, they depend largely on how severe, how long-lasting, and how often they come into play. In addition, there are individual differences. Therefore, while some experience a few signs of depression, others experience more. Hereunder is a list of symptoms that might indicate that you may be suffering from depression and that you might want to consult a psychiatrist:
Firstly, Being sad for most parts of the day, especially in the morning
Secondly, Feeling like blaming yourself unnecessarily or feeling worthless almost every day
Thirdly, More inclined towards being negative
Fourthly, Sleep Difficulties i.e. Loss of sleep or Excessive sleep
Fifthly, Regular contemplations of death or suicide
Sixthly, Significant weight gain or weight loss
Seventhly, Appetite loss or overeating
Eighthly, Feelings of high fatigue and low energy levels almost every day
Ninthly, Inability to make decisions or impaired focus and difficulty concentrating
Tenthly, Lack of interest in almost all daily activities or hobbies, including sexual activity
Eleventhly, Irritability, and restlessness
Twelthly, Cramps, headaches, and digestive problems persist even with treatment
Although the exact cause of depression is not yet determined, depression is supposedly caused by a combination of a number of factors:
With age, most body organs begin to deteriorate in their function. Therefore, memory loss with age is not uncommon. Nonetheless, this happens to the brain too. Thereby, it reduces the overall speed of functioning of most organs. While slowing of bodily movement is visible, the internal organs functioning also slows down. However, this is not that obvious.
Memory loss or dementia is one of the main manifestations of this degeneration of the brain.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The associated symptoms includes reduced reasoning abilities and cognitive defects. Although, it is seen only in the elderly, not all elderly people will have Alzheimer’s. Consequently, the overall quality of life of the affected person is reduced. Thus, there is difficulty with remembering things that were recently learned. It is a progressive disease and as it gets more severe, a full-time caretaker may be required.
In fact, the brain cells are affected by protein masses known as plaques and tangles. Thus, these hamper the way communication between the brain cells happens. Consequently, these also affect nutrition from reaching all parts of the brain. However, this leads to shrinking of the brain, eventually leading to memory loss and other problems. In addition, there is also a strong genetic linkage, as most people with Alzheimer’s have the lipoprotein A gene.
Though memory loss with age is the most common symptom, there are other symptoms:
Being confused about places, people, and times
Inability to find the right words during conversations
Regular objects are misplaced
Becoming irritable, (in someone who was not so previously)
Inability to organize thoughts
Not able to make the right decisions
Repetitive talks and actions
Forgetfulness (not something the person always does)
Difficulty with numbers (again, not something calculations
Difficulty managing everyday tasks and minor problems
Suspicion of others (like immediate family members and friends)
While age is definitely a risk factor, the fact that not all aged people develop Alzheimer’s is to be borne in mind. Nevertheless, other risk factors include the history of stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and poor lifestyle choices.
Whereas, there is no definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s, symptoms can indicate disease. In addition, brain scans and neuropsychological function testing are useful ways to confirm the diagnosis.
Hence, treatment is aimed at two things reducing the rate of disease progression and treat (or reverse) symptoms if possible.
Firstly, talking about vaginismus, a depressed woman comes to mind. It is not only the cyclical changes in physiological and psychological terms that women have to endure and become resilient. Women also need to change to external circumstances. Hence, they are probably designed to be flexible enough for change. However, depression can get the better of even the so-called toughest woman. The good news is that it is something that Psychiatrists can treat to the fullest degree. Among the various symptoms of depression that are easily modified with medications, sexual symptoms are rarely discussed. However, one symptom rarely discussed is sexual problems or disinterest due especially to physical causes resulting in depression.
A specific sexual disturbance, especially during the initiation of first sexual contact or encounter, is dyspareunia. The female version of which is vaginismus, which could be more common in depressed women. Various successful vaginismus treatments do not require interventions. These include medications, surgical operations, psychotherapeutic measures, nor any other complex interventional procedures.
Vaginismus is treatable and the success rates are quite high.
Among the most effective treatment approaches in depressed women with vaginismus is pelvic floor control exercises, commonly known as kegel exercises. This, along with insertion or dilation training using objects specific to the sexual treatment procedures, is helpful. Resulting in pain elimination techniques using psychotherapeutic measures like exposure and response prevention is helpful. Likewise, transition steps with incremental tolerance to pain and enjoyment of the act are taught. Also, exercises designed to help women identify, express, and resolve any contributing emotional components are helpful. They either are from past experiences or from ill-informed sexual learning experiences, which are mostly hearsay.
Women can do their treatments in the comfort of their homes. Thus, allowing a woman to work at her own pace in privacy or cooperation with her health care provider. The sexual pain, tightness, and penetration difficulties due to vaginismus in depressed women are completely treatable. In addition, they fully overcome any remaining pain or discomfort with time.
Women experiencing pain or tightness during sexual activities can expect great benefits. However, if the pain is associated with penile penetration problems, including unconsummated relationships, they can expect a high degree of resolution of vaginismus. This is true even in depressed women. This would allow for full pain-free and adequate intercourse to the satisfaction of both partners.
Vaginismus treatment in depressed women and exercises follow a manageable, step-by-step process ~
Step 1 –
Understanding Vaginismus. Step 1 provides an overview of vaginismus and how symptoms can arise from it. Symptoms include sexual pain, tightness, burning sensations, or penetration difficulties that may result from it. Women start their sexual endeavors with this approach. The women become proactive about their sexual health. This is because understanding vaginismus is fundamental to the process of overcoming it. Topics also include obtaining a solid diagnosis, treatment methods, relationship issues, pelvic/relaxation techniques, conditioned responses, and muscle memories.
Step 2 –
Sexual History Review & Treatment Strategies. A balanced approach helps women review and analyze their history. Exercises help identify and evaluate any events, emotions, or triggers contributing to vaginismus sexual pain or penetration problems. Checklists and detailed exercises map out a woman’s sexual history and pelvic pain events, working toward appropriate treatment strategies. Emotional reviews help detail any negative events, feelings, or memories that may collectively contribute to involuntary pelvic responses. Topics also include blocked or hidden memories. In addition, how to move forward when there have been traumatic events in a woman’s past.
Step 3 –
Sexual Pain Anatomy. Women often lack complete information about their body’s sexual anatomy, function, and the causes of pelvic pain and penetration problems. Confusion regarding problems with inner vaginal areas and vaginal muscles frequently leads to misdiagnosis and frustration. Step 3 educates about these sexual body parts, emphasizing their role in sexual pain and penetration issues. Topics include how to distinguish what kind of pain or discomfort is normal with first-time or ongoing sex. Also, what physical changes occur during arousal to orgasm cycles in the context of sexual pain or penetration problems. In this step, explanations about the Anatomy areas such as the hymen and inner vulva. These areas are demystified (for example, there are six diagrams of hymen varieties to help distinguish hymen problems).
Step 4 –
Vaginal Tightness & The Role Of Pelvic Floor Muscles.Female sexual pain and penetration difficulties typically involve some degree of involuntary tightening of the pelvic floor. This step focuses on the role of pelvic floor muscles, especially the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle group. This explains in great detail how triggering the PC once continues their involuntary tightness. This continues with increasing attempts at intercourse. Effective vaginismus treatment focuses on retraining the pelvic floor to eliminate involuntary muscle reactions that produce tightness or pain. Learning how to identify, selectively control, exercise and retrain the pelvic muscles is a trick. This is to reduce pain and alleviate penetration tightness and difficulties is an important step in vaginismus treatment.
Step 5 –
Insertion Techniques. Allowing initial entry without pain for women with painful penetration is the purpose of this technique. In this step, women practice pubococcygeus (PC) muscle control techniques. Women allow the entry of a small object (cotton swab, tampon, or finger) into their vagina. Thus, gradually working completely under their control and pace. The step helps in any previous closure of the entrance to the vagina and prevention of penetration by involuntary muscle contractions. Women begin to take full control over their pelvic floor. They subsequently learn how to flex and relax the pelvic floor at will, eliminating unwanted tightness and allowing entry.
Step 6 –
Graduated Vaginal Insertions: However, when used properly, vaginal dilators are effective tools to help further eliminate pelvic tightness due to vaginismus. Also, dilators provide a substitute means to trigger pelvic muscle reactions. Thus, the effective dilator exercises in Step 6 teach women certain techniques. However, these include overriding involuntary contractions and relaxing the pelvic floor to respond correctly to sexual penetration. Subsequently, graduated vaginal insertion exercises allow women to transition comfortably. Hence, this is to set the stage where they are ready for intercourse without pain or discomfort.
Step 7 –
Sensate Focus & Techniques For Couples To Reduce Pelvic Floor Tension. Helping with the transition to pain-free intercourse, this step explains sensate focus techniques. This is for couples to use to reduce pelvic floor tension and increase intimacy. Couples begin to work together during this step as exercises teach how to practice sensate focus (controlled sensual touch) successfully. In addition, they prepare for pain-free intercourse using techniques from earlier steps. The exercises build trust and understanding. In addition, they assist in the process of adjusting to controlled intercourse without pain.
Step 8 –
Pre-Intercourse Readiness Exercises Finalizing preparations for couples to transition to fully pain-free intercourse, this step completes pre-intercourse readiness—couples review and practice techniques that eliminate pelvic floor tension and prepare to transition to full intercourse. Preparing ahead of time is the key to this step. This is to manage, control, and eliminate pain or penetration difficulties. Hence, the exercises assist with the final transition to pain-free intercourse.
Step 9 –
Making The Transition To Intercourse. Step 9 explains the techniques used to eliminate pain and penetration difficulties while transitioning to normal intercourse. This section includes many troubleshooting topics of great use. Examples include, such as positions to use to maximize control and minimize pain, tips to ensure more comfortable intercourse, etc.
Step 10 –
Full Pain-Free Intercourse & Pleasure Restoration. The final step toward overcoming vaginismus includes penis entry with movement and freedom from any pain or tightness. To educate, build sexual trust and intimacy are the goals of Step 10. They help complete the transition to full sexual intercourse free of pain. Couples can begin to enjoy pleasure with intercourse, initiate family planning, and move forward to live a life free from vaginismus.
Both men and women can suffer from sexual dysfunction or sexual problems. In common person’s parlance, it is a problem that prevents you from experiencing sexual satisfaction. If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction in any part of the sexual response cycle, you are not alone. This traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Research suggests that 43% of women and 31% of men report some degree of sexual dysfunction or difficulty.
It also remains a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss and resolve worldwide. Read on to know more about sexual dysfunction. This is so that you can understand it and seek treatment for it. Moreover, this is because treatment options are available and extremely helpful.
Types of sexual dysfunction Sexual dysfunction is classified into four categories:
Desire disorders: This is a generalized lack of sexual desire or interest in sex
Arousal disorders: Inability to become physically aroused during sexual activity
Orgasm disorders: A delay or absence of orgasm
Pain disorders: Pain during intercourse
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction – An inability to achieve or maintain an erection for penetrative sexual intercourse
Retarded ejaculation – An absent or delayed ejaculation despite sexual stimulation
Early or premature ejaculation – Inability to control ejaculation
Inadequate vaginal lubrication before or during sex
Inability to relax the vaginal muscles for sexual intercourse to happen
Lack of interest in or desire for sex. An inability to become aroused or pain during intercourse is also classified as sexual dysfunction.
Causes of sexual dysfunction
Physical causes – Several medical conditions can cause problems with sexual function. They include diabetes, heart and neurological problems, hormonal imbalances, kidney or liver failure, and the use of habit-forming substances. Antidepressant use can also affect sexual function.
Psychological causes. – Stress and anxiety, sexual performance anxiety, relationship problems, depression. These are some of the psychological causes responsible for sexual disorders. In addition, feelings of not being good enough and the effects of a past sexual trauma also come into play.
Diagnosis of sexual dysfunction
Subsequently, the doctor will begin with history. This includes talking about symptoms, followed by a physical exam to rule out medical problems.
However, a major part of diagnosis is psychological. Therefore, the doctor will evaluate your attitude about sex, as well as other contributing factors. Hence, these may include fear, anxiety, past sexual abuse, relationship problems, medications, habit-forming substances, etc. In conclusion, this is to understand the underlying cause of the problem.
In fact, psychiatrists and sexologists can treat most types of sexual dysfunction by addressing the underlying physical or psychological problems. In addition, other common ways to treat sexual dysfunction are:
By changing a medication that may be causing sexual dysfunction. If you have a sexual dysfunction due to hormone deficiencies, you may benefit from hormone shots, pills, or creams. Men can use Viagra or Cialis for erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Mechanical aids – Penile implants or vacuum devices can be used in men to maintain an erection. Vacuum devices are used in women too. In addition, there are dilators to help women who have an extremely narrow vaginal opening.
Sex therapy – Marriage counselors and therapists help couples resolve their relationship issues that may be causing sexual dysfunction.
Behavioral therapy helps you seek insight into your behavior, causing sexual dysfunction, and addressing it.
Psychotherapy. This type of therapy can help you resolve prior sexual trauma—feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, fear, or guilt, and poor body image.
We discuss how to increase sexual energy for men naturally.
What are Kegels?
Firstly, a Kegel is an exercise specifically designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This can help you improve erection angle, improve erection quality, give more intense orgasms, indirectly enlarge your penis, cure incontinence. And much more, thus improving sex !!! Hence, this is one of the most important ways on how to Increase Sexual Energy for Men. These are some of the many ways to improve many sexual problems.
Firstly, Kegels were invented by Dr. Arnold Kegel, an Obstetrician, in the 1940s. Although developed for women, it became clear Kegels are also great for male sexual health !!!
Find your PC (pubococcygeus) muscle:
While urinating, contract your muscles, so you either slow or stop the flow of urine. Indeed, those are your pelvic floor muscles !!!
4 Simple Steps:
Multi-Orgasmic Men? YES! However, with strong pelvic floor muscles and practice, men CAN become multi-orgasmic !!!
Don’t just Kegel
In addition, combine your Kegel with other penis exercises like jells and stretches to maximize your results !!!
Firstly, have your partner do Kegel too. In fact, you’ll both enjoy a harder erection and a tighter vagina. Here we have discussed how to increase sexual energy in men !!!
In addition, within the framework of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health, or sexual health/hygiene, addresses the reproductive processes, functions, and system at all stages of life. However, UN agencies claim sexual and reproductive health includes physical as well as psychological well-being vis-a-vis sexuality.
Therefore, reproductive health implies that people can have a responsible, satisfying, and safer sex life. In addition, they must have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. Therefore, one interpretation of this implies that men and women ought to be informed of and have access to safe, effective, affordable, and acceptable birth control methods. Men should thus, know how to increase sexual energy in themselves.
Also, access to appropriate health care of sexual, reproductive medicine and implementation of health education programs to stress the importance of women going through pregnancy and childbirth could provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.
Indeed, individuals do face inequalities in reproductive health services. However, inequalities vary based on socioeconomic status, education level, age, ethnicity, religion, and resources available in their environment. Men are more likely NOT to access healthcare services, especially to increase their sexual energy.
Finally, it is possible, for example, that low-income individuals lack the resources for appropriate health services and the knowledge to know what is appropriate for maintaining reproductive health.
Firstly, a migraine headache is characterized by a severe headache usually affecting one side of the head. In addition, there are other symptoms along with headaches like nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound. Nevertheless, some patients experience neurological phenomena like changes in vision, temporary loss of sensation, and altered sensation, a phenomenon known as an aura (flashes of light, zigzag patterns, bright spots, tingling in the arms, and the legs). A migraine headache can last for 2 to 3 days. Migraine? We do magic!!
The symptoms depend on the stage of a migraine attack. The stages of a migraine attack can be:
Prodrome, Aura, Headache or attack, and Postdrome.
Prodrome: One to two days before the migraine attack, the patient may experience;
Constipation and frequent thirst and urination.
In case of an aura (during or before a migraine), there may be visual, motor, speech, and sensory illusions and disturbances such as,
Loss of vision.
A strange sensation of needles pricking an arm or a leg.
One side of the body becomes weak and numb.
There are visual illusions such as the appearance of flashes of light, zigzag patterns, bright spots.
There is a problem with hearing and speaking.
However, in some cases, there may be a hemiplegic migraine (the limb becomes weak).
During a Migraine Attack (lasts for 4 to 72 hours), there may be
Throbbing pain on either one or both sides of the head
Blurred vision, light-headedness.
Nausea and vomiting
Sensitivity to light and sound
Sensitivity to touch and smell (though rare)
Finally, in Post-drome (after a migraine), there can be
A person may be sensitive to light and sound.
Dizziness and weakness
Indeed, an amalgamation of environmental and genetic factors may be responsible for migraines. Therefore, triggers vary for each patient:
Stress and extreme physical exertion
Caffeinated drinks and habit-forming beverages
Salty and processed foods
Altered sleeping habits
Hormonal alterations in women (Constant fluctuation in the level of estrogen)
Oral contraceptives and certain vasodilators (nitroglycerin)
Preservatives like MSG (monosodium glutamate) and Aspartame (sweetener)
Sunshine, certain odors, travel, etc., can trigger a migraine.
Treatment and Prevention:
Medicines under supervision to abort an attack of migraine and special medicines to stop attacks as well as to prevent a migraine from recurring, also known as maintenance therapy
Finally, Lifestyle changes are helpful to decrease attacks:
Avoid your trigger for a migraine.
Follow regular sleep-wake cycle.
Regular exercise, meditation.
Avoidance of caffeine-containing and other habit-forming beverages.
Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.
Why is it important to practice good sleep hygiene?
Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health. It can also improve productivity and overall quality of life. Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from practicing good sleep habits.
How can I improve my sleep hygiene?
One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. However, some recommendations can guide how much sleep you need generally. Other good sleep hygiene practices include:
LIMITING DAYTIME NAPS
Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes. Napping does not make up for inadequate nighttime sleep. However, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance.
Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. And when it comes to habit-forming substances, moderation is key. While these habit-forming beverages are well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the habit-forming beverage.
Exercising to promote good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality. For the best night’s sleep, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.
Steering clear of food that can be disruptive right before sleep. Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion for some people. When this occurs close to bedtime, it can lead to painful heartburn that disrupts sleep.
THE SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE
Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for individuals who may not venture outside frequently. Exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine. A regular nightly routine helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches. When possible, try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before attempting to sleep.
Making sure that the sleep environment is pleasant. Mattress and pillows should be comfortable. The bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees – for optimal sleep. Bright light from lamps, cell phones, and TV screens can make it difficult to fall asleep, so turn those lights off or adjust them when possible. Consider using blackout curtains, eyeshades, earplugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans, and other devices to make the bedroom more relaxing.
What are signs of poor sleep hygiene?
Frequent sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. In addition, if you’re taking too long to fall asleep, you should consider evaluating your sleep routine and revising your bedtime habits. A few simple changes can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and a night spent tossing and turning.
Contact your psychiatrist to find the right kind of therapy for YOU, either counseling or medications or a combination of both for good sleep hygiene.
The exam season has arrived. And so has Exam Anxiety and Phobia.
Students can be seen immersed in their books and notes.
Excitement is in the air and so is anxiety.
While the former is a good thing to see, the latter raises concerns in the minds of parents and teachers. However, the fact is that anxiety before exams is a normal thing.
The pressure to perform will make students experience nervousness. Indeed, this is alright, but only if it is up to a limit. If it reaches an unhealthy level, it needs to be managed.
If a student experiences the following symptoms before exams, then the anxiety is unhealthy. And it is time for a session with a psychiatrist.
Difficulty in breathing
These symptoms are an indication of the student being in the grip of panic and fear.
Nevertheless, it can be managed and controlled with the following tips.
Make a study plan for preparation:
In some cases, students get anxious because they are not ready with the preparation. However, just days before the exam, they feel at a loss. They become anxious as to how they will answer the questions in the exam. To avoid this, students should make a plan for preparation. Indeed, devoting adequate time to each topic so that the entire syllabus is covered and their preparation is complete.
Meditate and try breathing techniques:
Meditation is a great relaxation technique that soothes the mind and body. Also, taking deep breaths (inhaling and exhaling). For example, 15 to 20 minutes can go a long way in controlling the symptoms of anxiety. In addition, meditation gives you confidence, removes negative thoughts, and improves your concentration and memory.
Getting involved in physical activity before an exam seems like a waste of time to many. However, it is necessary to avoid tension and stay healthy. So, if sports cannot be indulged in, one should do exercises such as stretching and aerobics. Indeed, they relax the tensed muscles and keep fatigued at bay.
Eat green vegetables and light food:
Eating healthy is also important during exam preparation. If one skips meals or takes recourse to fast foods, it makes anxiety worse. In fact, junk food makes one drowsy. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are light and easy to digest. They also provide complete nutrition and ensure the sustained release of energy during the study sessions.
Many students compromise on sleep. They think that it would help in studies. However, lack of sleep leads to poor focus and concentration, which further affects the studies. It also makes one irritable and drowsy. So, one should make sure that one is getting 6 hours of sleep every day.
Exams and Concentration difficulties are all too common. ADHD, CDD, short-term memory loss, forgetfulness, insomnia, and many more terminologies we would have come across very often.
They all seem to have evolved from a common origin, and that is concentration issues. Have you pondered on these questions!! Why can’t it be easy to concentrate? Why can’t it be easy to remember everything? If yes, then read on to know more.
Concentrate! Focus! Pay attention! These are not just words but one huge and complicated process in itself. Many children and adults often develop this issue wherein they find it extremely difficult to concentrate.
Science behind exams and concentration difficulties:
When an individual performs a single task, for example, reading a book, the image of what he sees hits the retina. The nerve fibers carry the image to the brain from the retina, which stimulates the brain cells to fire an action potential. The signal from here moves to the thalamus and proceeds to the visual cortex. This signal activates locus coeruleus, which is a brain stimulant. It targets the particular area of the brain, becoming the deciding factor as to how one responds to a stimulus, which is an image. When there is deregulation of the locus coeruleus, it is then that a person develops disorders like
ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia and others.
Factors influencing concentration:
Concentration is a skill that requires you to prioritize your senses while doing any work. It is an ability to block out distractions.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and concentration deficit disorder (CDD) are the two predominant concentration issues. The first one is more common among the children while the latter is observed in mostly the adults. Any individual with ADHD or CDD can show abnormalities in their behavior and social life.
Individuals with ADHD tend to forget and face problems sticking to one task and may even display excessive fidgeting. CDD individuals tend to be lethargic, move slowly, and have trouble staying alert. Adults may become socially withdrawn and exhibit slow information processing.
Solutions for concentration issues:
Moreover, concentration issues require a lot of time to be overcome. You can try to figure out what causes the distractions and avoid them as much as possible by refocusing your mind only on what you are doing. Also, you can give yourself timers that comprise “distraction time” and “focus time.” This strategy helps if one’s mind is actively processing other things.
You may also create subtasks by listing the things you need to do and then ruling out one by one once you accomplish them.
Always breathe better and try for long inhalation and exhalation. This helps to bring down your anxiety levels which hinder concentration.
However, although the above-mentioned strategies help you improve your concentration, they are not the ultimate cure for any issues.
Thus, every individual is unique, and sometimes accepting oneself can solve many complications as it reduces the need for unnecessary thinking. Finally, always bear positive thoughts in your mind as they will act as a driving source.
As a parent, you feel a special deep panic when you realize that your child—your beautiful, clever, funny child, who regularly surprises you with precocious bons mots, who built an ingenious bow out of tubing and rubber bands that can shoot a chopstick across the living room with remarkable accuracy—is having trouble learning to read.
Meanwhile, all the other kids appear to be breezing along, polishing off Harry Potter books while your child stumbles over the difference between “how” and “now.” You don’t want to be one of those hysterical parents who gets all crazy about every little developmental bump in the road, but, hey, your kid can’t really read yet, and the others can. In your darker moments you feel the desolate urge to ratchet down your ambitions for your child from valedictorian to graduating at all. So, How to Help Your Child with reading disorders Learn to Read…
Such fears may be exaggerated, but they’re not irrational. Reading ability does predict school achievement and success (which is, of course, related to income, health, and other factors), and reading gains ever greater importance beyond school, as more jobs are now based on information and technology. Failure to read places significant limits on how one fares in other parts of life. And a lot of people never do learn to read well: Approximately 40 percent of fourth grade children in the United States lack basic reading skills; 20 percent of all graduating high school seniors are classified as functionally illiterate (meaning that their reading and writing skills are insufficient for ordinary practical needs) ; and about 42 million adults in the United States cannot read. So, you’re not nuts to take a reading problem seriously.
Now for some perspective. First, let’s take a moment to recognize that compared with the development of oral language, the acquisition of reading is unnatural. Speech and the ability to understand speech can be considered the result of a natural process in the sense that the requisite skills emerge without formal training. Several species of animal employ sounds such as clicking, whistles, song, or foot tapping in a fashion that constitutes focused and targeted communication (and dolphins actually seem to have names for one another). Before children can speak fluently, they move from sounds to words, words to phrases, and so on, acquiring their growing expertise from exposure to the speech around them. They then make efforts to speak, with little formal guidance. By contrast, children must be taught to read.
The good news for kids who have trouble reading is that while a deficiency in reading may look like an across-the-board failure, it is often a local problem in just one or two of the components that add up to the ability to read. Reading, like golfing or playing the guitar, is not one big global skill but a constellation of many smaller ones. When we read fluently, the little skills weave together so seamlessly that they look like a single expertise.
There are components to – How to Help Your Child Learn to Read – It is important to look at the components because a holdup in the development of any single one may be at fault in a child’s poor performance in reading. If we can identify the component that’s not doing its share, we can do a great deal to improve reading.
The components that make up reading are interrelated and overlapping, but distinguishable:
Vocabulary: knowing the meanings of words. A child’s comprehension of what is read depends on this. Better vocabulary better prepares a child for reading.
Comprehension: understanding and being able to interpret what is read, connecting the printed words and sentences with human experience.
Phonological awareness: identifying and manipulating units of oral language, such as words, syllables, onsets, and rimes. Children who have phonological awareness can recognize that sentences are made up of words, words can be broken down into sounds and syllables, sounds can be deleted from words to make new words, and different words can begin or end with the same sound or have the same middle sound(s).
Decoding: breaking down words into their constituent sounds and building words from those sounds. This begins with blending sounds (“puh” plus “al” equals “pal”) and extends into sounding out words the child has never seen before by recognizing the sounds of letters and syllables that form them.
Fluency: reading smoothly with accuracy, speed, and expression that conveys the sense of what’s being read.
As a parent with no particular professional expertise in teaching literacy, there’s a lot you can do on the level of normal play and routine home life to promote reading—and without turning it into a chore or a high-pressure struggle.
To start with:
Parents can begin working on the components of reading when their child is still an infant and extend the process throughout childhood. To begin with, the more the child knows about oral language, the better. When she begins to read, she will draw upon a reserve of expertise that she first built up as a speaker and listener: vocabulary, comprehension, phonological awareness, connecting words to things.
With infants, talk to the child and encourage him to make a range of talk like sounds. Begin reading to the child, and keep books around, including some within the child’s reach. Do what you can to make reading fun, enjoyable, peaceful, and engaging, setting the stage for what comes next at the toddler level. You are building command of sounds, love of reading, and an appreciation of the value and importance of books.
With toddlers and pre-schoolers, it helps to connect reading to some routine such as bed time, nap time, or a pre or after meal lull. Select topics she likes; let the child select books for you to read. Get in the habit of activities or games that rhyme and otherwise play with sounds: songs, jingles, made-up phrases (e.g., “Billy is silly” to catch the rhyming sounds, “Sally sounds silly” to catch the sound of the initial S). Nursery rhymes are especially rich in words, rhyming, and other fundamentals. Talk about a greater range of subjects, even very mundane ones—like pointing to the parts of a car or animal in an illustration and labelling them.
As you read, stop and ask a gentle question: “What do you think Babar is thinking here?” or “What do you think will happen next?” These are great for comprehension. If the question is too difficult, offer a little more guidance by attaching a statement: “I’ll bet Babar is a little lonely. What do you think would make him feel better?” Also, you can encourage your child to experiment with writing, which helps reading because she uses sounds to try to write the word. You might see the child write “sn” for “sun,” a great start that shows awareness of sounds and the breakdown of words into sounds.
How to Help Your Child Learn to Read:
As your child continues in elementary school and begins to work hard during the school day on reading, it’s a good idea to continue reading with and to him, mixing in casual writing practice (some kids will go for the idea of alternating entries in a journal with a parent) and talking over dinner and in other family settings about what the child has read.
If there’s a series of books that speaks to one of your child’s enthusiasms, helping him get into that series will allow him to become familiar with continuing characters and engage with a larger story, which makes even new books seem familiar.
Keep a dictionary around and easily accessible, and use it once in a while. Thus, inviting your child to do this with you. The dictionary not only reinforces vocabulary and comprehension, it helps your child decode words. Hence, by showing that they are composed of syllables that can be sounded out.
Make up word games to play while driving or in a store. “Think of words that sound like snow” is good for a first or second grader. However, you can work up to more complicated games for older children. If you make the play competitive (if your family is into that), please resist the temptation. The temptation to rattle off 50 words in a row and then do your special taunting wiggly victory dance.
And, of course, continue to show by your actions. Not just your pronouncements – that reading is engaging, relevant, and a path to fresh experiences. Keep books around where your child can pick them up in the natural course of things. And don’t forget to pick up a book yourself. Model the desired intimacy with books; don’t just preach it.
You can’t add becoming a fulltime reading tutor to the already fulltime demands of parenting. Nonetheless, children will vary in interest, ability, and attention. So, you’ll inevitably have to select just a few of the many possible activities to promote reading skills. In general, go for regularity—a little almost every day. And, as part of a routine that links reading to the more relaxed moments in the day. Rather than a Shakespeare marathon one Saturday a month. That is How to Help Your Child Learn to Read.
And when setting priorities, bear in mind that two activities are clearly the most critical:
Firstly, read aloud to the child. So, it shows that reading is important, part of everyday life, and fun. Also, it allows you to model the basic component skills. However, it’s fine to read the same books over and over, as many children like to do. Research indicates that repeated readings help a child to integrate words better; comprehend meaning; and connect sounds, words, and meaning. Even on the 50th time through the same story, interact during the reading to bring the child into the activity. “What is Pooh doing? What do you think is in the jar?”
Secondly, help the child understand that letters are related to sounds and that words can break down into sounds. Finally, the child’s reading will advance by being able to sound out words, not by memorizing individual words. There are alphabet books to help you work with your child to connect letters to sounds. In the middle of reading, stop and sound out a word. “Let’s sound this out together: Err … un. Run! He’s getting ready to run.”
Reading may be important and complex and very scary when your child has trouble with it. However, parents should take heart. And remember that mundane low-pressure practice during games and other activities with you can make an enormous difference. Even a slightly increased sensitivity to breaking down sounds or rhyming may help. Also, a slightly heightened familiarity with books and motivation to engage with them, can provide a significant boost at school. Reading preparation is at the top of the list of factors that make a difference in school achievement. Such preparation need not – and should not – feature threats, severity, and drudgery. Instead, help your child to read by doing what you do anyway. This includes, playing with him, talking with her – in a slightly more purposeful manner. How to Help Your Child Learn to Read may be difficult. Indeed, you may need a school counselor or a child psychiatrist.
Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized, and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with constant activity.
Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur at the moment without first thinking about them and that may have a high potential for harm, or a desire for immediate rewards, or an inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are the key behaviors of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There are many types of ADHD. Some people with ADHD only have problems with one of the behaviors, while others have inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Most children have the combined type of ADHD.
In preschool, the most common Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptom is hyperactivity.
It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity, and impulsivity, but for people with ADHD, these behaviors:
are more severe
occur more often
interfere with or reduce the quality of how they function socially, at school, or in a job
Inattention in ADHD
People with symptoms of inattention may often:
Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities
Have problems sustaining attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading
Not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
Not follow through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily side-tracked
Have problems organizing tasks and activities, such as what to do in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, having messy work and poor time management, and failing to meet deadlines
Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers.
Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones
Be easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
Be forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments
Hyperactivity-Impulsivity in ADHD
People with symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity may often:
Fidget and squirm in their seats
Leave their seats in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or the office.
Run or dash around or climb in situations where it is inappropriate or, in teens and adults, often feel restless
Be unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly.
Be constantly in motion or “on the go,” or act as if “driven by a motor.”
Blurt out an answer before a question has been completed, finish other people’s sentences, or speak without waiting for a turn in the conversation
Have trouble waiting for his or her turn
Interrupt or intrude on others, for example, in conversations, games, or activities
Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
This requires a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed clinician, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or child psychiatrist with expertise in ADHD. For a person to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity must be chronic or long-lasting, impair the person’s functioning, and cause the person to fall behind normal development for his or her age. The doctor will also ensure that any ADHD symptoms are not due to another medical or psychiatric condition. Most children with ADHD receive a diagnosis during the elementary school years. For an adolescent or adult to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms need to have been present before age 12.
Difficulties for Parents:
ADHD symptoms can appear as early as between the ages of 3 and 6 and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD can be mistaken for emotional or disciplinary problems or missed entirely in quiet, well-behaved children, leading to a delay in diagnosis. Adults with undiagnosed ADHD may have a history of poor academic performance, problems at work, or difficult or failed relationships.
ADHD symptoms can change over time as the personages. In young children with ADHD, hyperactivity-impulsivity is the most predominant symptom. As a child reaches elementary school, inattention symptoms may become more prominent and cause the child to struggle academically. In adolescence, hyperactivity seems to lessen and may show more often as feelings of restlessness or fidgeting, but inattention and impulsivity may remain. Many adolescents with ADHD also struggle with relationships and antisocial behaviors. Inattention, restlessness, and impulsivity tend to persist into adulthood.
Risk Factors for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
Scientists are not sure what causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Like many other illnesses, several factors can contribute to ADHD, such as:
Use of habit-forming substances or beverages during pregnancy
Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy
Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead, at a young age
Low birth weight
ADHD is more common in males than females, and females with ADHD are more likely to have problems primarily with inattention. Other conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, depression, and substance abuse, are common in ADHD.
Treatment and Therapies
While there is no cure for ADHD, currently available treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve functioning. Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments.
ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity for many people and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. The medication also may improve physical coordination. Sometimes psychiatrists or developmental pediatricians must try several different medications or dosages before finding the right one that works for a particular person. Anyone taking medications must be monitored closely and carefully by their prescribing doctor.
The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called a “stimulant.” Although it may seem unusual to treat ADHD with a medication that is considered a stimulant, it works because it increases the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which play essential roles in thinking and attention.
Under medical supervision, stimulant medications are considered safe. However, there are risks and side effects, especially when misused or taken more than the prescribed dose. For example, stimulants can raise blood pressure and heart rate and increase anxiety. Therefore, a person with other health problems, including high blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, glaucoma, liver or kidney disease, or an anxiety disorder, should tell their doctor before taking a stimulant.
Talk with a doctor if you see any of these side effects while taking stimulants: decreased appetite, sleep problems, tics (sudden, repetitive movements or sounds); personality changes, increased anxiety and irritability, stomach-aches headaches
A few other ADHD medications are non-stimulants. These medications take longer to start working than stimulants and improve focus, attention, and impulsivity in a person with ADHD. Doctors may prescribe a non-stimulant:
when a person has bothersome side effects from stimulants;
when a stimulant was not effective;
or in combination with a stimulant to increase effectiveness.
Although not approved specifically for treating ADHD, some antidepressants are sometimes used alone or combined with a stimulant to treat ADHD.
Antidepressants may help all of the symptoms of ADHD and can be prescribed if a patient has bothersome side effects from stimulants.
Antidepressants can be helpful in combination with stimulants if a patient also has another condition, such as an anxiety disorder, depression, or another mood disorder.
Doctors and patients can work together to find the best medication, dose, or medication combination.
Adding psychotherapy to treat ADHD can help patients and their families to better cope with everyday problems.
Behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help a person change his or her behavior. It might involve practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks or completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events.
Behavioural therapy also teaches a person how to monitor his or her own behaviour give oneself praise or rewards for acting in a desired way, such as controlling anger or thinking before acting
Parents, teachers, and family members also can give positive or negative feedback for certain behaviors and help establish clear rules, chore lists, and other structured routines to help a person control his or her behavior.
Therapists may also teach children social skills, such as waiting their turn, sharing toys, asking for help, or responding to teasing. Learning to read facial expressions and the tone of voice in others and how to respond appropriately can also be part of social skills training.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also teach a person mindfulness techniques or meditation. So, a person learns how to be aware and accept one’s own thoughts and feelings to improve focus and concentration. The therapist also encourages the person with ADHD to adjust to the life changes that come with treatment, such as thinking before acting or resisting the urge to take unnecessary risks.
Family and marital therapy can help family members and spouses find better ways to handle disruptive behaviors, encourage behavior changes, and improve interactions with the patient.
Education and Training
Firstly, children and adults with ADHD need guidance and understanding from their parents, families, and teachers to reach their full potential and succeed. So, frustration, blame, and anger may have built up within a family before a child is diagnosed. However, parents and children may need special help to overcome negative feelings. Thus, mental health professionals can educate parents about ADHD and how it affects a family. In addition, they also will help the child and his or her parents develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other.
Secondly, parenting skills training (behavioral parent management training) teaches parents the skills they need to encourage and reward positive behaviors in their children. Thus, it helps parents learn how to use a system of rewards and consequences to change a child’s behavior. So, parents are taught to give immediate and positive feedback for behaviors they want to encourage and ignore or redirect behaviors they want to discourage. Finally, they may also learn to structure situations in ways that support desired behavior.
In addition, stress management techniques can benefit parents of children with ADHD by increasing their ability to deal with frustration to respond calmly to their child’s behavior.
Support groups can help parents and families connect with others who have similar problems and concerns. Groups often meet regularly to share frustrations and successes, exchange information about recommended specialists and strategies, and talk with experts.
Tips to Help Kids and Adults with ADHD Stay Organized
Parents and teachers can help kids with ADHD stay organized and follow directions with tools such as:
Firstly, keeping a routine and a schedule. Keep the same routine every day, from wake-up time to bedtime.
In addition, include times for homework, outdoor play, and indoor activities. Also, keep the schedule on the refrigerator or a bulletin board in the kitchen.
Then, write changes on the schedule as far in advance as possible.
Organizing everyday items. As such, have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks, and toys.
Accordingly, using homework and notebook organizers. Therefore, use organizers for school material and supplies. So, emphasize to your child the importance of writing down assignments and bringing home the necessary books.
Also, being clear and consistent. Children with ADHD need consistent rules they can understand and follow.
In addition, praising and rewarding children is helpful. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism. Look for good behavior, and praise it.
Indeed, a professional counselor or therapist can help an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder learn how to organize his or her life with tools such as:
Making lists for different tasks and activities
Using a calendar for scheduling events
Using reminder notes
Assigning a special place for keys, bills, and paperwork
Breaking down large tasks into more manageable, smaller steps to complete each part of the task provides a sense of accomplishment.
Reading disorders occur when a person has trouble with any part of the reading process. Reading and language-based learning disabilities are commonly called dyslexia. These disorders are present from a young age. Thus, usually result from specific differences in the way the brain processes language.
There are many different symptoms and types of reading disorders, and not everyone with a reading disorder has every symptom. People with reading disorders may have problems recognizing words that they already know and may also be poor spellers. Other symptoms may include the following:
Trouble with handwriting
Difficulty reading quickly
Problems reading with correct expression
Problems understanding the written word
Reading disorders are not a type of intellectual and development disorder. Also, they are not a sign of lower intelligence or unwillingness to learn. People with reading disorders may have other learning disabilities, too, including problems with writing or numbers. Visit learning disabilities for more information about these problems.
Types of Reading Disorders
Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. Individuals with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, there are some common characteristics among people with dyslexia. They are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. Dyslexia can be inherited in some families. Moreover, recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia. Examples of specific types of reading disorders include:
Word decoding. People who have difficulty sounding out written words; matching the letters to sounds to be able to read a word.
Lack of fluency. People who lack fluency have difficulty reading quickly, accurately, and with proper expression (if reading aloud).
Poor reading comprehension. People with poor reading comprehension have trouble understanding what they read.
A related problem is alexia (pronounced uh-LEK-see-uh), or an acquired inability to read. Unlike most reading disabilities, which are present from when a child starts to learn to read, people with alexia were once able to read. However, they lost the ability after a stroke or an injury to the area of the brain involved with reading.
How will I know if my child has a reading problem?
The news usually comes in one or more of three ways.
School feedback. If your child’s teacher alerts you to a problem, resist falling into the blame games. If the teacher asks, “Do you ever read to him at home?” don’t come back with, “Aren’t you teaching him to read at school? Whatever you’re doing isn’t working.”
Your child’s statements. The child may well make general or specific comments. Like “I don’t want to read.” or “I can’t do this”. “I don’t get what’s happening in this story.” More likely, your child will just express frustration. Strong resistance against practicing reading, including blanket statements like “Reading is dumb” is an obvious sign.
Behavior’s you can observe. Reluctance to be read to, getting stuck on most words in a sentence. And slow or no reaction when you ask a simple question. For example, “What is the sound of that letter?” Another warning sign would be if the child’s reading is very slow. Accuracy in early reading is much more important than speed. However, if you can wash and dry the dishes before the sentence is completed, fluency is a problem. Or you may notice that the child gets the beginning of the word but guesses at the rest of it. Like, reading “smoke” as “smile,” for instance—which suggests she is trying to memorize whole words. Instead of breaking them down to sound them out.
Can’t I just wait until the child gets to school, where they have teachers trained to teach reading?
You could, but it would be better if you did not. Practicing the components of reading in the home doesn’t mean you force reading before your child is ready to. However, you can help develop important skills without rushing the process. Also, the child who does practice those skills will do better when he does get to school and is ready to read in earnest. Studies show that having more of the component skills in place at age 5 predicts better school achievement at ages 7 and 15.
What do I do if I think my child has a reading problem?
Indeed, a reading evaluation can be very important. A trained specialist can identify weakness in any of the component skills and will know how to work on it. Bear in mind that the child’s negative reaction to reading alone will not necessarily show you where the problem is. Your best bet is to ask your child’s teacher, school psychologist, or principal to bring in a reading specialist. Or if you prefer to seek out help on your own, you can do your own search. Search for a reading specialist online or in the phone book.
Moreover, a little respectful tact in dealing with your child’s teacher may well be necessary. However, you’re not questioning the teacher’s competence or going over her head by consulting a specialist. Thus, reading is a well-developed area of educational specialization, with masters and doctoral level professionals. Hence, they can offer very focused assistance that goes beyond what can happen in the classroom. So, plan to work with the teacher as will any reading specialist your child ends up seeing.
However, there are more serious problems—auditory disorders, dyslexia, pervasive developmental disorder—that can lead to reading impairment. Thus, one reason to go to a specialist is that there are different strategies. Hence, these are associated with addressing each of the many causes of a reading problem.
What if my child can read, but just won’t? What if my child just has an attitude problem?
You can be certain of motivational problems only if all of the component skills are well established. So, as a parent, you probably cannot determine this on your own. However, if you’ve taken your child for a reading evaluation and problem is just motivational then you might try these. So, establish more reading routines and engage in more talking about reading at the dinner table and have the child select a book to read together at the bookstore; switch to engaging magazines or something else other than a book that has words to read; read stories connected to movies, and see the movies with the child.
My child is pulled out of class for an intensive reading program. If I enroll her in an outside program for a few weeks, will that bring her up to speed?
Nevertheless, a few weeks in an intensive reading program, all by itself, probably will not be enough. A program that is sustained and supported in the home is more likely to have staying power. Also, research suggests that much can be done to help the child and build the skills needed. In addition, that steady progress takes precedence over a quick fix. Therefore, notably the mundane game like activities I’ve discussed above will go far to improve reading and complement school activities. Thus, if you can start early, all the better. Then, you have the option, select day care, preschool, and kindergarten that emphasize sounding out, rhyming, and other pre-reading skills.