Carol Sadler
Special Education Consultant/Advocate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188

I am a lay Parent Advocate assisting parents of children with disabilities in school IDEA, 504 and SST meetings. I am a former CHADD and LDA Coordinator, graduate of the 1st GA Advocacy Office PLSP legal training course and most importantly parent of two children with various disabilities.

Monday, April 13, 2009

News from

FYI - Interesting info. Below on Classroom Trauma related to PTSD…..


Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188


"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." ---- Thomas Jefferson


Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged. It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest and the special education attorneys that I often work with on educational matters. Please do not forward without my permission.


From: Patricia Quinn []
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 11:27 PM
Subject: News from




                                                                                                                                        April  2009

ADDvice for ADD-    Friendly Living




In this month's Newsletter I want to present two somewhat related and important topics. The first pertains to techniques and tips to help improve focus. The second regards symptoms seen in women with ADHD who in their past experienced problems as a result of their inability to focus and other ADHD symptoms and suffered embarrassments in the classroom. These women continue to suffer symptoms today as a result of these traumas but may be unaware of any connection. I hope these discussions will be both informative and helpful to you or those in your family with ADHD.


Wishing you all a Happy Spring and Holiday Season! 




Pat Quinn


Patricia Quinn



man fidgeting


Fidget to Focus?


In my many years of working with kids with ADHD I often observed that they seemed to need to move around to keep themselves awake and alert. As soon as you sat them down to read or concentrate, they began to yawn and lost focus easily. Did their hyperactivity actually help kids with ADHD?

Well, today, I have my answer. In a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology in December 2008 researchers, Mark Rapport et al, studied the relationship between activity level and working memory. Their conclusion was that moving around may help some kids stay alert and learn.  The study compared twelve 8 to 12 year-old boys with ADHD to 11 who have not been diagnosed with ADHD. All children exhibited significantly higher activity rates under all working memory relative to control conditions, and children with ADHD moved significantly more than typically developing children under all conditions. Activity level in all children was associated with central executive but not storage/rehearsal functioning. The researchers hypothesized that the increased activity levels measured in ADHD children may be helping keep them at the level of alertness needed to complete tasks requiring working memory. The researchers suggest that severely limiting this activity could be counterproductive.
They also suggest that stimulant medications may help those with ADHD because they temporarily improve alertness and working memory. 

The following article offers some important tips for improving focus. For a more in-depth discussion of this issues or for more tips, I suggest you read, Fidget to Focus by Roland Rotz and Sarah Wright  (SEE SIDEBAR). It's a great read!




ADD-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Focus


Whether you are a student or an adult with ADHD, focusing is key to performing well at school or on the job.  Everyone with ADHD has the ability to focus. The problem is staying focused, especially when the task is boring or tedious and without a great deal of immediate feedback.
Tips on Staying Focused
1. Ask for something in writing and take notes. Whether in class or at a meeting, ask for something in writing beforehand (a copy of the teacher's class notes or the meeting agenda). With that in front of you, actively jot down notes as the presentation is being made. The act of writing will help you stay focused on what the presenter is saying.


2. Take a good seat.  Where you sit is important and that may not always be in the front or close to the speaker.  Be sure you sit facing the speaker and away from distracting noises and people.


3. Ask for a review.  After an important meeting or class, ask for a brief review of what you have understood were the keys points covered. This is a good time to fill in any gaps that you might have missed when focus lagged and go over time lines for completion of assignments.


4. Avoid fatigue.  We all know that it is more difficult to pay attention and stay focused when we are tired. Try to avoid end of the day meetings or taking difficult classes in the late afternoon. Ask for an early morning review or select a schedule where your most difficult classes are in the late morning or early afternoon when you are most alert.


5. Stay active.  In addition to taking notes, you might also think about some of the other things you can do to stay focused. Remember, we fidget to stay focused.  Holding, feeling, or handling something during a dull or tedious event (For example: playing with hair, clothing, coins, or keys; clicking a pen or mechanical pencil; tapping or drumming fingers; whittling; or knitting) may make focusing easier.   Quieter activities  might  involve chewing gum, sucking on tart candies or altoids or drinking  bubbly sodas or seltzer. When using these strategies always be mindful of those around you and ask for permission from the speaker before hand. (For more ideas along these lines, see, Fidget to Focus by Roland Rotz and Sarah Wright. see sidebar)


6. Optimize medication response. Know when your medication is the most effective. Schedule dosing around the times scheduled meetings or difficult classes. Even, better try ask your prescribing physician about the newer long-acting formulations that provide maximum benefit throughout the day and into the evening hours.


7. Choose teachers and supervisors carefully. If it is possible for you to choose a teacher for a certain class or supervisor at work, look for ones that are predictable and well organized themselves. You also want someone who is dynamic (to keep your interest) and presents you with challenges, but also allows flexibility in fulfilling assignments. Also look for someone that announces deadlines well in advance and provides you will regular feedback during meetings and class time.





Shades of Trauma
































In this article I would like to present information regarding the long-term fallout that may result from symptoms of lack of focus and distractibility in the classroom. Dr Jane Adellizi has has presented results of her work with women with ADHD and LD in her book, Shades of Trauma, and in a chapter in Gender Issues and ADHD: Research, Diagnosis and Treatment. Clinical experience suggests that AD/HD and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be interwoven in complex ways. Research has suggested comorbidity between these two disorders, However, there is also another set of symptoms (Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms PTS) that develop in reaction to trauma in the classroom experienced by students with AD/HD and LD.


Classroom trauma is defined as significantly unpleasant external event or stressor, occurring within the confines of the educational environment, that is a psychological nature. Psychological trauma may leave the student with diminished self-esteem and in a state of fear, humiliation, or learned helplessness to a degree that the student will avoid similar situations in the future. Any situation that is reminiscent of the original classroom trauma is sufficient to resurrect intense feelings that may impede learning and functioning. In order to avoid individuals and situations that were reminiscent of their unpleasant experiences in school. This avoidance pattern  may become a driving force in adulthood when these adults are faced with new situations (in the academic arena, in the workplace, or in social interactions) that threaten their sense of competence and integrity. 


Treatment of PTSD typically centers around alleviating emotional distress. Anxiety management techniques, including relaxation training, biofeedback, assertiveness training, psychotherapy and hypnosis have been shown to be helpful in treating PTSD. Effective psychotherapy for women with ADHD focuses on emotional issues such as low self-esteem and demoralization. Women with both PTSD and ADHD will benefit little until their PTSD issues have been addressed first.


(Information in this article has been excerpted from Posttraumatic Stress in Women with ADHD by Jane Adelizzi, Ph.D. in Gender Issues and ADHD: Research, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Eds) Patricia O. Quinn, MD and Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D. Advantage Books, 2002.) 













































Featured Books and Articles









 Fidget to Focus  CLICK HERE










Shades of Trauma CLICK HERE








(Downloadable PDFs available immediately on purchase)








Dealing with Stress in Your Life  CLICK HERE









Relaxation and Meditation CLICK HERE










Daily Coping Strategies CLICK HERE





Gender Issues



Gender Issues and ADHD CLICK HERE