Computers_and_ADHD

How

Computers Can Help with ADD

Children’s

Issues

Chat

Areas

Bulletin

Boards

Web Pages

Doing

Research on the Web


Computers

are quickly becoming an integral part of our society. As prices have

fallen and computers become faster, they have been appearing in a higher

percentage of homes and offices. Those who do not own a computer can now go

on-line and even have their own web site through the Baltimore County

Library.

Among the first

self-help groups to make extensive use of computers was the disability

community. Physically challenged individuals could use computers and later

the Internet as eyes, ears hands and legs. Individuals who learn to

compensate for a deficit may, through their efforts, gain special skills

Children, parents and adults affected by ADHD can benefit from computer

technology.

At this point,

there are computer applications devoted to most types of interests and

activities.

Children

and Computers: Computer-based

educational software can help children learn academic subjects. The best

programs provide immediate feedback and appealing, changing visual and

auditory input. Many feature cartoon characters who function like an

encouraging tutor. Often, parents and teachers can use easily available

commercial software for academic remediation and for enrichment. The newer

educational software allows a parent to customize the program by changing

the difficulty deleting voices, and changing the reward frequency. In other

cases, educational specialists may use software designed to remediate a

specific problem.

 Many parents feel

intimidated by computers and the Internet and allow their children free

reign with software and Internet surfing. It is better to supervise and have

ground rules. Some software programs and Internet sites contain

over-stimulating graphic violent or sexual themes. Children with ADHD may be

more vulnerable to the adverse effects of over-stimulation.

The use of a word

processor or a voice recognition program can help individuals who have

difficulty with getting their thoughts out on paper. There are a number of

excellent children’s typing programs available. The voice recognition

programs are mostly aimed at adult professionals. Some of the newer versions

have adaptations for adolescent voices and reading levels. A pre-adolescent

child might be able to

use some of them but would need excellent reading skills and close adult

supervision.

 

The Internet:.

This is the physical aspect of the global network, a giant mass of cables

and computers. The Internet can bring vast amounts of information to your

fingertips almost instantly. The key is knowing how to search for

information. If one wanted to find out more about ADHD, one could literally

find thousands of related sites, some misleading or having little to do with

ADHD. This can be frustrating but stick to it. Here are some helpful clues.

 

Three of the more common types of information

on the Internet include Web Pages, Bulletin Boards,  Chat areas and

Instant Messaging.

 

Chat

Areas: I personally do not use chat areas much, but I know many

individuals who use them frequently. Because they are occurring in real

time, they are more spontaneous but harder to monitor or censor. In some

chat areas it is expected that one’s on-line identity is different from

one’s identity ITRW (in the real world) If you use these, exercise caution

and monitor children who go on-line, and don’t let it become a substitute

for real social contact. Instant messaging has become a common way for older

children and adolescents to talk to each other. One can often

Bulletin

Boards: People leave messages on bulletin boards and one can read

the listings at any time. These are often devoted to particular themes and

have someone monitoring to make sure that individuals stay on topic. A

listserve is a bulletin board that is limited to certain individuals and a

specific topic. Individuals who sign up for these, receive messages from

others on the list and can either be contribute their own input or be

“lurkers” (those who listen but do not contribute.) There are

several ADHD-related listserves. To get on a listserve for parents of ADHD

children, send e-mail to [email protected]

and write “subscribe add-parents” in the body of the letter. The

Add-Parents support listserve is a very active list and sometimes gets way

off topic. However, a parent new to ADHD can get a wealth of information and

support from other parents. For a listserve for adults with ADHD, send

e-mail to [email protected]

In the body of the letter put “subscribe addult your name”

 

Web

Pages: These are sites

containing printed or graphic material continuously posted on the World Wide

Web by an individual or an organization. A Personal Web Page is a site

devoted to hobbies and interests of an individual or a family. Companies,

schools and organizations may have web pages for advertising or for

dissemination of information. The way web sites are linked makes it easier

for those with intuitive, non-linear thinking, to navigate and find

information. It can be stimulating and exciting to hop from topic to topic

and continent to continent in seconds. Because of the rapid (if you have a

fast modem) gratification, one can stay interested. Some may become so

absorbed that they need to set a timer to limit sessions.

 

How to Do Research

on the Web: The web can be a

good source of information on ADHD. To search for such information, one

would first go to a Search Engine such as Altavista http://www.altavista.digital.com

or Web Crawler www.webcrawler.com/

or Hotbot www.hotbot.com Webcrawler and

Altavista are nice because they can do a natural language search. One simply

enters “What are the causes of ADHD?” The search engine would then

list sites with articles about the causes of ADHD. If you then wanted to

narrow the search to neurological causes, on Altavista, you press the

“refine” button and enter keywords such as neurological. Hotbot is

less selective but gives longer lists.

If you wanted to

get more technical articles on ADHD from the medical or educational

literature, there are three large indexes to consider. The National Library

of Medicine, gives access to free searches of the Index Medicus, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/syntax.html

a large number of internationally known medical journals. ERIC www.aspensys.com/eric/

is a large index of educational journals. http://www.cec.sped.org/ericec.htm

is devoted to issues related to disabilities and gifted education.

ERIC and Medline

use a search method which uses Boolean Search Operators. Basic information

on this type of search. http://help.hotbot.com/faq/advanced.html#

(Feature #10) would be enough for most searches. For those who wish to do

powerful or complex searches, the National Library of Medicine has a page,

“Syntax of Complex Boolean Expression” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/syntax.html

For more detail on how to do medical/technical Internet searches see the

related web article at http://www.ncpamd.com/webtools.htm#

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Northern

County Psychiatric Associates

Our practice has experience in the treatment of Depression, Attention

Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD), Separation Anxiety Disorder, and other

psychiatric conditions. We are located in Northern Baltimore County and

serve the Baltimore County, Carroll County and Harford County areas in

Maryland. Since we are near the Pennsylvania border, we also serve the York

County area. Our services include psychotherapy,

psychiatric evaluations, medication management, and family therapy. We treat

children, adults, and the elderly. Visit our web site https://www.baltimorepsych.com

or http://www.ncpamd.com 

We also

maintain a list of informative web sites on mental health topics, such as

Attention Deficit Disorder, Parenting and Support Groups.

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